Plot: Hogarth (Eli Marienthal) is a bright, curious child, prone to adopting critters and with a love of everything SciFi. His single mother Annie (Jennifer Aniston) has her hands full with him and with work. One night, Hogarth sees something weird in the forest next to his house and goes to investigate. What he finds is a giant metal robot from outer space in some distress, and Hogarth can’t just walk away – he helps. But a robot of its size is bound to draw attention – and not every attention is good.
I missed The Iron Giant when it came out and it had been on my watchlist ever since (that hasn’t kept me from using the ever useful “ART” gif). I finally made it, and I’m glad I did. It’s a really sweet, fun film with very nice animation.
Plot: After a promotion that his superior feels was actually unearned, Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) is reassigned to Fort Spencer, middle of nowhere. The fort is small and there are only a handful of soldiers posted there. Soon after his arrival, a man (Robert Carlyle) shows up at the fort. He is in bad condition and once he finds a little strength, he starts telling them of his party who turned to cannibalism to survive. The soldiers in the fort know they have to do something about them.
Ravenous had been on my watchlist for a very long time and while I didn’t love it, it was really good. I’m glad I finally got around to it.
Marie (Caroline Ducey) is very much in love with her boyfriend Paul (Sagamore Stévenin), but Paul doesn’t want to have sex with her. Her increasing sexual frustration leads her to encounters with other men – be it Robert (François Berléand) who work in the school she works at, or Paolo (Rocco Siffredi) who she picks up in a bar. All the while Marie still tries to keep her relationship with Paul alive.
Romance is an interesting film that provokes discussion about sex, relationships and power. Though I found myself disagreeing with a lot of the conclusions it seems to draw, I enjoyed the thought experiments that come with watching it.
Vera (Martina Gedeck) seems to lead a perfect life: she’s the heiress of a successful company that is run by her husband Manfred (Tobias Moretti) who is devoted to her and their son Max (Marian Löschl). Then Vera starts to discover a first crack in the facade: Manfred seems to be having an affair. In an attempt to save their relationship, she whisks him away on an impromptu holiday. But very quickly Vera finds her life crumbling around her entirely and the only one who seems to be always there for her is former company employee Andreas (Tim Bergmann).
Deine besten Jahre is a strange film, made even more unusual because it’s a TV production. What starts as a normal family drama takes some surprising and sometimes downright experimental turns leading to a fascinating film that takes a while to settle.
Two students need to transport a body from Vienna to Russia which is a pretty expensive thing to do officially. So they decide to pretend that the body was simply drunk and to smuggle it to Russia by night train.
Meine Mutter war ein Metzger is a short film that was shot pretty much without a budget and in black and white, making it feel older than it actually is. But that doesn’t hurt the film at all. Neither does the fact that I can’t quite believe that the outlandish story is based on actual events like the film claims. Whether it’s half-true, all-true or all-made-up, it’s a funny film with awhole lot of black humor. I wouldn’t have minded if it had been longer.
Jasmin (Nina Proll) and Tamara (Edita Malovcic) were in school together when they were kids, but have since drifted apart. While Tamara is working as a nurse and dating Roman (Michael Tanczos), leading a relatively stable life, Jasmin is drifting at the edge of the politically right scene, moving from guy to guy and none of them are particularly nice. Their paths cross again, when they both end up getting an abortion on the same day. And somehow this time their connection seems to stick.
Nordrand is a smart film that looks closely at harsh social circumstances in Vienna. And it’s also a film with vivid characters that are lovingly set in scene.
Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) and Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) are step siblings, united in their love to manipulate and destroy the people around them, a skill they have so artfully mastered that their ploys don’t fall back on them. Both have a new project: Valmont is trying to seduce Annette Hargrove (Reese Whitherspoon), the new principal’s daughter, who is widely known for her chastity pledge and that before school starts. Kathryn, on the other hand, is looking for revenge on an ex-lover who just dumped her for the naive Cecile (Selma Blair). So she enlists Valmont’s help to completely corrupt Cecile.
I was 14 when Cruel Intentions came out, 15 by the time I saw it the first time and I think that it is one of the defining teen movies of my generation. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good film, though it definitely does have its strengths, but it is very hard to view it separately from its influence.
Tscherkassky re-edited footage from The Entity, transforming it into a psychedelic fight of a woman (Barbara Hershey) against, apparently, her own house. Or is it against the film itself?
Outer Space is a short film and I was glad that it was only a short – I don’t think I could have stomached the kaleidoscopic images, the sound design, the film jumps, the flashing lights for an entire feature. But despite the exhaustion caused by the film, the disorientation is evocative, creating a very unique atmosphere and one that is worth experiencing.
Summarizing: it’s work, but it’s worth it. At least if you like experimental film.
When Ronnie (Guy Edwards) returns early from his school, it doesn’t take long for his family to find out that he has been accused of stealing and expelled. When Ronnie is adamant that he didn’t do it, his father Arthur (Nigel Hawthorne) and his sister Catherine (Rebecca Pidgeon) take up the fight to prove that he is innocent. They hire the famous lawyer Robert Morton (Jeremy Northam) to help, but the fight is more complicated, makes bigger waves and takes much longer than anyone expected.
The Winslow Boy is a nice film that wouldn’t stand out much if it weren’t for Rebecca Pidgeon and Jeremy Northam (and Jeremy Northam’s sexiness).
Harper (Taye Diggs) is about to publish his autobiographical novel dealing with his time in college. But first there’s a different trip to the past he takes: his best friend from that time, Lance (Morris Chestnut) is getting married to his college sweetheart Mia (Monica Calhoun) and Harper’s the best man. So he travels to New York, leaving his girlfriend Robin (Sanaa Lathan) to join him later in the week. Which gives him the opportunity to reconnect with his friend and missed romantic connection from college Jordan (Nia Long).
The Best Man is interesting because it actually isn’t all that interesting at all: despite being a film that has both race and gender turned on the genre conventions’ head (since RomComs of this kind are usually targeted at and played by white women), it plays out pretty much exactly the same as what we’re used to. Which, from a cinematic pov, isn’t very captivating, but from a sociological pov, there’s much to dissect.