Talhotblond: (2009)

Director: Barbara Schroeder
Writer: Barbara Schroeder, Pat Lalama, Glenn Boozan
Narrated by: Steve Clement
Seen on: 9.1.2016

Talhotblond: is a documentary on a murder case that happened a few years ago: Thomas Montgomery shot co-worker Brian Barrett, out of jealousy over a girl they were both chatting with, known to them as Jessi/talhotblond.

Talhotblond: is probably the most misguided documentary I have ever seen. I don’t know anything about the real case, but the way things are presented here is deeply and absolutely problematic.

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Re-Watch: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) Days of Summer
Director: Marc Webb
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Patricia Belcher, Rachel Boston
Seen on: 10.12.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hopeless romantic, just waiting to meet a girl he can fall in love with. When he meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel), he believes that he has found her. But since the movie is told in flashbacks, we know that things didn’t turn out the way he had planned: Tom only got 500 days with Summer.

When I saw (500) Days of Summer the first time, I thought it was nice, but I couldn’t really understand the amount of praise the film got. But since that praise kept on coming and since the movie was part of my film course, I decided to give it another try and see if maybe I missed the magic the first time round. Turns out I’m still of pretty much the same opinion as I was six years ago.



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Der Knochenmann [The Bone Man] (2009)

Der Knochenmann
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod, Silentium
Cast: Josef Hader, Josef BierbichlerBirgit MinichmayrChristoph LuserPia HierzeggerSimon SchwarzDorka GryllusStipe ErcegIvan Shvedoff
Seen on: 13.8.2015

Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) is getting by. With the help of Berti (Simon Schwarz) he can earn a little money by repossessing things. When Berti sends him to find a guy and his car, Brenner ends up at an inn in the middle of nowhere looking for him. The guy’s car is there, but nobody admits to knowing him. Sufficiently intrigued by circumstances and with nowhere else to go, Brenner decides to stay for a bit. Despite the foreboding presence of owner Löschenkohl (Josef Bierbichler) whose daughter in law Birgit (Birgit Minichmayr) may have something to do with Brenner’s interest. But a missing guy is only the beginning of the weird events at the Löschenkohl inn.

While the Brenner movies continue their increasing technical proficiency here, regarding plot and script Der Knochenmann is the weakest movie in the series so far.


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The Sky Has Fallen (2009)

The Sky Has Fallen
Director: Doug Roos
Writer: Doug Roos
Cast: Carey MacLaren, Laurel Kemper
Seen on: 25.06.2015
[Screener Review. Available here.]

A mysterious illness has hit earth and wiped out most of humanity. The few remaining survivors start seeing dark shapes that carry away the bodies of the dead to experiment on them and bring the results of their experiments back to life – yet another thing the survivors have to fight. Two of those survivors are Lance (Carey MacLaren) and Rachel (Laurel Kemper) who stumble over each other in the woods and together figure out a plan how they might fight back.

The Sky Has Fallen was obviously made out of love for practical special effects and it is quite ingenious with them. Unfortunately the rest of the film hasn’t got quite the same amount of attention as the SFX – and it shows.

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Re-Watch: Valhalla Rising (2009)

Valhalla Rising
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn, Roy Jacobsen
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Alexander MortonGary LewisJamie SivesEwan Stewart
[Here’s my first review.]

Around 1000 A.D., a man (Mads Mikkelsen) is enslaved by vikings for his almost supernatural fighting strength. When he is sold from one king to the next, he manages to escape [among other things because he can see the future] together with a boy (Maarten Stevenson). When they meet a group of templars, the boy and the warrior – now called One-Eye – decide to join forces with them to go to the holy land.

I saw Valhalla Rising almost five years ago and the film intrigued me. A lot. So getting another chance to see it in the cinema was quite a treat, especially since I might be even more intrigued after the second watch.

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Tales from the Script (2009)

Tales from the Script
Director: Peter Hanson
Writer: Peter Hanson, Paul Robert Herman
“Cast”: various Hollywood screen writers
Seen on: 15.3.2015

Tales from the Script is a documentary about screen writing in Hollywood. Hanson and Herman interviewed several more and less famous screen writers about their experiences in Hollywood with the movie industry.

Tales from the Script was really interesting. Partly simply delightful, partly making you want to headdesk incessantly, but always entertaining and insightful.

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Humpday (2009)

[Humpday will be shown today at the Framing Reality film festival in Vienna: 20.30, Filmcasino. They have a focus on Lynn Shelton and Barbara Kopple.]

Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore
Part of: Framing Reality

Ben (Mark Duplass) is happily married with Anna (Alycia Delmore) but their harmonious existence is shaken up by the surprising arrival of Ben’s old friend Andrew (Joshua Leonard). Andrew is an artist and what you’d call a free spirit. And then in drunken night, Ben and Andrew hatch the plan to do an art project together for Humpfest – a porn film festival. But doing porn isn’t easy.

Humpday has got to be one of the most charming films I’ve ever seen. It left me with a huge grin on my face and a spring in my step for the entire day.


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The Hole (2009)

The Hole
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Mark L. Smith
Cast: Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Haley Bennett, Teri Polo,
Bruce Dern, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Dane (Chris Massoglia) and Lucas (Nathan Gamble) just moved with their mother (Teri Polo) into a new house. Again. But there’s something different about that house – and that’s not the neighbors’ daughter Julie (Haley Bennett). Dane and Lucas stumble upon a seemingly bottomless hole in the basement. And when they open it, something escapes.

The Hole feels like one of those classic adventure films of the 80s where kids are curious explorers in a world where adults are barely anything more than an afterthought. It’s a rather nostalgic film in the way it’s made. It’s not without its faults but that works very well.


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La mission [The Mission] (2009)

La mission
Director: Peter Bratt
Writer: Peter Bratt
Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Erika Alexander
Part of: identities Festival

Che (Benjamin Bratt) has lived in Mission, a district of San Francisco, for all of his life and also raised his son Jesse (Jeremy Ray Valdez) there on his own, after Jesse’s mother died. Che is respected in the area and since he and Jesse bonded over building lowriders, they are very close. Until Che finds out that Jesse is gay and dating a white boy. Enraged and despite his neighbor Lena (Erika Alexander) trying to soothe things over, he kicks Jesse out after a beating. But Che loves Jesse too much to not at least try and find a solution, even though he can’t really accept him for what he is.

It’s been a couple of days that I finished my part of the identities Fesival. Out of the ten movies I saw in the regular program this year, nine were good (I haven’t reviewed all of them yet).  But somehow La mission is the one that I’ve been thinking about most since then. It’s an intense film, told from an unusual perspective. I loved it.


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Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast & Furious
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Gal Gadot, Shea Whigham, Sung Kang

Dom (Vin Diesel) has been on the run outside of the US for a while when he gets the message from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) that his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has been shot and killed. So he returns to the US to track down the killer. Which brings him directly into the investigation of by now FBI-agent Brian (Paul Walker) as they both try to infiltrate the organisation of drug dealer Braga.

After the utter drag that was Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious was fun again. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t perfect, but it was fun.


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