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Der Junge, der den Wind einfing

KakaDer Junge, der den Wind einfing(2019) 

Englisch The premise is estimated to be about 45 minutes of film material and the 113-minute running time is quite noticeable in some passages, but it is good for Chiwetel Ejiofor's directorial debut. The compelling story of a boy who manages to save the life of his family and village with a clever invention is filmed simply, with a few key and clearly delineated characters and their interactions and connections with each other, plus the misunderstanding of his father, the corruption of the government and the hard life in a poor country in the middle of Africa - as a necessary peppering of the plot. All the key points are sketched out decently and the narrative value is worthwhile, even if the film doesn't usually go completely in depth and rather just skims the surface and focuses primarily on one level.

Rebel Moon – Teil 2: Die Narbenmacherin

LimaRebel Moon – Teil 2: Die Narbenmacherin(2024) 

Englisch When you consider that Netflix canceled Season 3 of Mindhunter because it was too expensive and then put a lot more money this shit that looks like it was written by retarded A.I., it makes me really sad. The only reason I won't give it a Boo! rating is the fact that the VFX guys really worked their asses off and it shows, but otherwise I'd ask Zack Snyder to take a few years away from movies and Netflix to channel their funding into something meaningful. It almost seems like Snyder has some kompromat on the boss Netflix, otherwise I can't explain their marketing strategy. PS: I really like Djimon Hounsou and I'm sorry he has to be involved in something like this.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

JFLThe Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension(1984) 

Englisch Wes Anderson likes this. That’s a fact. The renowned offbeat filmmaker has admitted that he counts himself among the avowed fans of Buckaroo Banzai, which shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. We can find echoes of the film’s team of eccentric characters facing absurdly exaggerated obstacles with a straight face not only in Anderson’s direct homage, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but also in all of his other films. We can even say that Anderson’s first films, Bottle Rocket and Rushmore mirror the desire to live life along the lines of Buckaroo Banzai in the dull real world and with the same sincere naïveté that we experienced as young boys founding our own version of Our Gang. Starting with The Life Aquatic, Anderson finally had the means and the renown that allowed him to subsequently do nothing else but aesthetically polished paraphrases of Banzai-esque team-based movies freed from the bonds of reality. ____ If we leave aside the waggish conspiracies of fans and filmmakers who highlight the film’s incomprehensible and offbeat nature, Buckaroo Banzai comes across as a live-action antecedent of Adult Swim’s animated series, especially the channel’s retro-meta productions. Like Sealab 2021 and Mike Tyson Mysteries, Buckaroo Banzai is based on the comic-book ethos of classic team-based series such as Jonny Quest, G.I. Joe and Scooby-Doo with their trash premises and sincere naïveté. But its ethos also links it to later projects like Mister T (and perhaps even Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos), which stood on the cult of personality of the central character, the semi-divine leader of the team. But unlike the stoner logic and subversive absurdity of Adult Swim’s productions, W.D. Richter and Earl Mac Rauch took the route of intellectual-nerdy camp. They thus take delight in the highly convoluted histories of the film’s world, characters and individual artifacts, and revel in references to the entire field of fantasy and pop culture, ranging from Thomas Pynchon and Orson Welles to rotoscopes and B-movie sci-fi to martial arts and pulp comic books. The whole project is imbued with a sense of tremendous exaggeration, as well as with the joy that comes with being able to childishly goof around in its world, leaving aside needless rationality. Thanks to that, this commercial failure became a beloved cult classic that appeals to the same group that its creators came from. The pastiche of cult movies and trash flicks itself became a cult movie that stimulates its viewers’ desire to again be young boys who thumb through comic books and hope that someday they can the sidekicks of their favourite heroes. But in this case, they rather know that’s not going to happen, but it’s fun to give it some thought. Buckaroo Banzai is thus actually Star Trek and Galaxy Quest rolled into one, though its fandom revolves around the meaning of watermelons instead of wildly overclever theories.

Fallout - Season 1

JeoffreyFallout - Season 1(2024) 

Englisch Tell me which Fallout you like, and I'll tell you if you'll like this series! It's pretty straightforward. If you're a die-hard fan of the classic Fallout 1 and 2, and everything after that felt like a betrayal of the brand, an inexplicable genre shift, and a mishandling of the post-apocalyptic world, then this series bearing the Bethesda logo in each episode's intro might not be for you. It's likely to trigger some serious PTSD, reminding you of the demise of your beloved childhood... Now, if you're into Fallout 3, 4, or even Fallout 76 (remember when those folks were rarer than vault dwellers on the surface?), then you've struck gold. This series is a treasure trove with a million nods to your favorite games. Whether it's a dog named Dogmeat (though he made an appearance in the earlier games too), a character with the surname Howard, or familiar locations like the Red Rocket gas station and Super Duper Mart, you'll feel right at home. Even fans of Fallout New Vegas get their cowboy fix, with management and corporations as the main antagonists. But what if you haven't played any Fallout games? Well, if you have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic themes, you're likely to enjoy this series too. It's got atmosphere, a unique charisma distinct from, say, The Last of Us. It's gritty, occasionally bizarre, and sometimes cynically funny. The story is intriguing, though it takes a bit to unravel all its twists and turns. The characters are quite likable, though you might need some time to warm up to a few of them. So let's break it down - die-hard fans of Fallout 1 and 2, you might want to step aside and let it pass, maybe one star at most. Fans of Fallout 3, 4, and 76, step right up with your 5 stars. New Vegas fans might lean towards a 3 or 4-star rating. If you're new to the Fallout universe, you could end up anywhere, but with interest in the topic, it's a solid 4 stars. And for those who've seen and played it all (well, except for Fallout 76 in my case), it's a respectable 7.5/10. IT JUST WORKS!

12.12: The Day

EvilPhoEniX12.12: The Day(2023) 

Englisch The most praised film of last year from South Korea is finished and it is a very important historical work for country. 1979 was a very dark time in Seoul, where a coup was carried out after the assassination of the president, with various military factions fighting for power over the Korean state. It's a dense atmospheric political-war piece that will grip even the uninitiated viewer. There are two top actors on both sides of the barricade, with Jeong-min Hwang playing the bastard who wants to take over the state and Woo-seong Jeong the good guy who wants to stop him. I'm not a big fan of political thrillers, but this one has such a sinister and uncomfortable atmosphere woven throughout, where the tension builds and builds incredibly, that I almost didn't breathe. Top craftsmanship, top actors, top dialogue, top atmosphere and there was some action (not much of that though), and all the intrigue and power struggles are rendered very believably. A scary and crazy night on 12.12.1979, where the ending quite pissed me off. 8/10.

Lítá v tom

EvilPhoEniXLítá v tom(2023) 

Englisch Nice surprise. The movie has a fun premise, where Kryštof Hádek has a sick mother, she probably doesn't have much time left, so he decides to please her by introducing his pregnant neighbour as his girlfriend and also by being a father, only it all gets classically out of control. Kristína Svarinská was divine, she played great, it's funny, sweet and touching and nicely made. I enjoyed it I'm happy to rate it. 7/10.

Menus plaisirs - Les Troisgros

DaViD´82Menus plaisirs - Les Troisgros(2023) 

Englisch Everything you wanted to know about this fancy French family-run three-Michelin-stars restaurant, but were afraid to ask. Meticulous, without the slightest exaggeration riveting (yes, watching the routine performed by proper professionals for four hours of footage in this rendition can indeed be, and is, riveting), all revealing insight as if you were standing right there working with them (to the point that after completing those four hours you are entitled to be paid for a half shift worked). Frederick Wiseman keeps a watchful eye on everything from food preparation, debates over the investment wine list, the work of the journeymen as well as the managers, the clientele, the suppliers, the interconnectedness of departments and activities... A heaven for process analysts, and anyone else who is interested in "how and why things get done". I went into this with the expectation that I would inevitably watch parts of it, but I ate it up like a raspberry. There are so many interesting areas to delve into in even greater detail that, as much as that enormous running time seems like an unbearable obstacle, it is the only blemish on the beauty in the finale. It could have done with an hour longer director's cut.

The King’s Land

KakaThe King’s Land(2023) 

Englisch A gritty low-budget historical drama that can hold its ground compared to its Western friends. A fine Mads Mikkelsen as a soft-spoken retired captain, a great villain escalating the pissed-offness of both the protagonist and the viewer, and a magical landscape of Danish moorland wilderness, very impressively shot by Rasmus Videbaek. I expected a tougher finale, but it somehow fell into a romantic template, but it was not a big deal and Bastard retained its toughness and dignity.

Sarinjaui Syopingmol

EvilPhoEniXSarinjaui Syopingmol(2024) 

Englisch Another big series surprise this year, which escalates in the end in such a way that I almost had a heart attack. The series has a very interesting story about a young teenage girl who involuntarily inherits an illegal gun shop from her dead uncle, where only a select breed of people (assassins, cleaners, etc) are allowed to do business, and a bounty is put on her head, i.e. all the shop customers go after her, and it's an action-packed home invasion as fuck. I was a little worried about how a series set in one house being attacked by a bunch of nutters would work, but luckily it works and it ended up being a little different too. It has a very unconventional narrative that creates plot twists through flashbacks, and we learn more about the protagonist and the other characters – some of the twists are cool and it's definitely a well thought out show. MInhye is excellent as a female assassin who protects the young teen (btw the teen knows muay thai and guns so she also lends a hand). After the first five episodes I was happy with an above average series, but from episode 6 onwards it's pure carnage! Episodes 6 and 7 are pure flashbacks where we learn the background about the deceased uncle, who was a mercenary, and that was a real action packed massacre. It also introduces the main villain, a cruel ruthless bastard who kills innocents for pleasure (I haven't seen a bigger motherfucker in a long time!). I was screaming with happiness and excitement and thinking that if the whole series was just about him, he'd probably drive me away fast. The finale is another decent action-packed load that closes all the necessary loops, serving up uncompromising action and twists and turns and making the series the action event of the year. The choreography is top notch, it's exactly the rough, fast, brutal and contact style that I love from South Korea and, most importantly, everyone pulls out a knife, so there are at least five knife fights that deserve a spot on YouTube! Any lover of action, great stories and most of all Korean work can't miss this. Awesome! 8.5/10.

Fallout - Season 1

3DD!3Fallout - Season 1(2024) 

Englisch The good, the bad, the ugly... Fallout mode. It's got pace, it's got cynical humor, it's got bloody action, and it's got a very timely theme. Walton Goggins is impeccable in both timelines and he also has the most interesting role. The others act like morons at times, but you'll forgive them for the perfect atmosphere. Jonathan Nolan is a fan and has looked after every important aspect of the adaptation. The twist is downright delicious, even though it was perhaps foreshadowed well in advance. The finale is taut as a string and Kyle MacLachlan rocks it incredibly. Even though it looks like chaos reigns, that doesn't mean no one is at the helm.

Suzume

D.MooreSuzume(2022) 

Englisch A riveting spectacle. Action-packed, but also sensitive, unexpectedly impressive and moving in the end. And always entertaining. The kind of film that almost makes you forget it's "just" animation.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

D.MooreGhostbusters: Frozen Empire(2024) 

Englisch The balance of the previous film, which playfully combined nostalgia with new characters and followed up naturally, is sadly gone. For some unknown reason, they didn't want to give us what they promised last time, and so the original team certainly didn't return to action; on the contrary, it seems to me that they did even less (with the possible exception of Dan Aykroyd). Thus, the most interesting character remained Phoebe, played by Mckenna Grace. It's not a bad movie at all, but I saw it a week ago and I almost don't know what it was about anymore. And that's never a good thing.

Late Night with the Devil

EvilPhoEniXLate Night with the Devil(2023) 

Englisch It's not a groundbreaking horror film that is shockingly violent or scary, but it gets points for its original concept (and they say it’s not possible!) and for being different, definitely a film that can't be compared to anything else. The film manages to win the viewer over from the beginning with an artificially contrived Talk Show that is simply fun, and once it gets into the horror gear, it’s fine too. I liked the faithful 70's retro feel, the performances from everyone involved (Dastmalchian shines for perhaps the first time) and the decent atmosphere. Surprisingly, it's also decently brutal at the end, and there's an interesting twist. So even though it's not a genre film that should be attacking the top rungs of the horror charts, it's definitely something that should be supported for being fresh and different. Paranormal a little different. 75%.

Qian xing

EvilPhoEniXQian xing(2023) 

Englisch Jason Kwan delighted me with his debut Chasing the Dragon, so I gave him a chance, since he has all Hong Kong veterans and it’s a joy to see them together. Plot-wise it's admittedly clichéd, we have cops trying to catch a drug boss played by Andy Lau of course, alongside him is undercover cop Gordon Lam, and they have an interesting relationship. The commander of the cops is Simon Yam, but he can't take on another role, and the lead detective is my favourite Eddie Peng, the only main star who knows martial arts, but he only gets a chance to perform once, luckily they set him up with Philip Keung, so that one knife fight was really cool and nicely shot. I also liked the Mexican mercenaries shootout with the attack on the wedding and a very nice virtual hacker fight where he starts selling drugs online on the Darkweb and the cops try to bring him down. I found the finale weaker, the shootouts didn't really grab me that much, but I had fun. 6/10.

Civil War

EvilPhoEniXCivil War(2024) 

Englisch I like Alex Garland's work and even though he makes films that aren't exactly audience friendly, he hasn't stepped on my toes once so far, so I was curious to see how he'd handle a slightly different material, more audience friendly, with a blockbuster format and on a very topical subject, and it's great, though not without its faults. It's a war road movie set in a war-ravaged America with an apocalyptic tinge that has a very slow pace most of the time, but thankfully it works thanks to convincing actors, decent dialogue and an uncomfortable atmosphere. I was a bit bothered that we don't see the birth of the conflict but are thrown somewhere in the middle, and also that the whole film is from a journalists point of view, I would have liked to see what's going on in other parts of America or some behind the scenes from the government on what the president is currently dealing with/planning, but never mind. The highlights are two scenes: the confrontation with Jesse Plemons, which has a very chilling atmosphere and a great build up, and then the finale – I was worried Garland would give us a three-minute shootout but he surprised us. We actually get more than twenty minutes of military action! A massive attack on the White House and it has it all: amazing sound of weapons, perfect cinematography, gripping atmosphere, in short it looks really dense and authentic, a perfect dreamlike action war finale. Of course, the few naturalistic shots are nice, but there could have been more of them. 80%

Hundreds of Beavers

EvilPhoEniXHundreds of Beavers(2022) 

Englisch Tasteless, infantile and almost unwatchable. The humour is in the style of Charlie Chaplin's worst work with a brain aneurysm, so if you're 10+ enjoy. It's a series of gags with no story and no wit, creativity or intelligence. It's all about beavers, sorry people dressed up as beavers and is it funny or does it lead to anything funny? It doesn't. A laughably unconvincing farce where lasting two hours was almost a superhuman feat. I was praying for Jigsaw to walk in the door and end this torture. In a sentence, black and white silent crap. I have not been as embarrassed watching a film as I was here in a long time. The film is lucky I don't give Boo! ratings and I appreciate that it must have taken quite a bit of work to create, but that's all – never fuckin more (maybe under the influence of various substances it can work). 3/10.

Hundreds of Beavers

J*A*S*MHundreds of Beavers(2022) 

Englisch I feel like a bit of an oddball for rating an obviously authentically loved by all bizarre film as low as I do, but I just don't see it there. And I've given it a chance twice! First time a couple of weeks ago, I gave up after 15 minutes, thinking it must have hit me in a bad mood. Today, the second time, I made it to the end, but no. I didn't laugh once, and I'm not even sure what I was supposed to laugh at. When you get the Teletubbies stoned and dress them in black and white, you get stoned black and white Teletubbies. They're still Teletubbies, not an independent film masterpiece.

The Zone of Interest

MattyThe Zone of Interest(2023) 

Englisch Though throughout most of the film we don’t see anything other than an outwardly ordinary German family, the layered soundtrack, which mixes the chirping of birds and the murmur of a river with a constant mechanical drone, evokes an almost indefinable feeling from the first minutes, a feeling that something intimately familiar seems strange and oppressive. The resulting effect is best described by the term “unheimlich” from Freud’s psychoanalysis, i.e. uncanny. Zone of Interest is extremely disturbing in its ability to capture the abnormality of the everyday. ___ The unchanging, rigid apathy of the depicted world is underscored by predominantly static shots without artificial lighting and with great depth of field. The cameras are positioned in different corners of the house and garden like in a reality TV show. They record the movements of the actors without artistic stylisation, thus evoking an impression of the distant past. Not even the editing adheres to the principles of standard narrative cinema. The switching between cameras depends on which room a character has just entered. Everything thus seemingly takes place in the present tense. Subjectivity and creativity, or rather the possibility of averting one’s gaze and disrupting the order of things, are suppressed. The tasks that Höss carries out are mindless administrative work. Genocide is a logistical process. ___  If we wanted to locate the source of the tension that pervades the whole film, it would be the clash between what the Hösses are willing to see and what happens outside of their house and garden. Glazer’s distinct style is a form of rejection. He consistently avoids aestheticizing one of the greatest tragedies of modern history. At the same time, he succeeds in using empty space in a way that is far more powerful than direct depiction. Because we cannot see the other side, we are aware of what is happening there. Our effort to fill this gap leads to the fact that we cannot stop thinking about the ongoing violence. ___ Glazer also included night scenes shot with a special thermal camera. This involves a reconstruction of the story of a ninety-year-old Polish woman named Alexandra, whom Glazer met during his research. She became for him a symbol of resistance, a light in the darkness. Taking into account the perspective of those who actively resisted Nazism is one of the few elements that Zone of Interest shares with more conventional dramas about the Holocaust. Where other Oscar-winning dramas offer catharsis and a reassurance that humanity will ultimately prevail, Zone of Interest offers only a disturbing presentiment of things to come. We see that the concentration camp has become a museum where cleaners mechanically vacuum the dust and polish the display cases. A single glance inside the death factory peculiarly does not reveal any atrocities. Rather, it is characterised by the same emotionless routine that we saw in the Hösses’ bourgeois household. We have become accustomed to the presence of the Holocaust in our collective memory and in the media space. Zone of Interest shines a light on the mundanity, banality and elusiveness of the evil to which we contribute merely by remaining indifferent. 90%

Succession - Season 4

KakaSuccession - Season 4(2023) 

Englisch The wildest season of the series with several over-the-top twists, indiscriminately fantastically staged, and a shocking finale, ending with the most gruesome vote in corporate history, with a perfect punchline that makes clear sense and, dare I say, couldn't have fit together any better. A screenwriting masterclass.

Succession

KakaSuccession(2018) 

Englisch Like Game of Thrones or Yellowstone, Succession manages to create a unique, self-contained world with its own rules and ecosystem. Moreover, this is complemented by masterfully written, tangible, physical, fragile and strong characters full of different moods, conflicting attitudes, great interactions and moving ideologies. How deep and far the creators went in the psychology of each character and their anchoring in the imitation of the modern-day corporate high-profile world is quite impressive and a unique feat. It's been a fantastic ride, without exception all four seasons have been good, but I'm inclined to think not to add any more. For one thing, it's not really helped by some of the shocking twists in the last season, and secondly there's been enough of the negative stuff already. That is, unlike the series mentioned above, where you could find your favorite good and bad characters, Succession has a completely unique position in that NO character here is like or worthy of any kind of cheering. And watching 40 episodes of a battle of spineless turds can be too much of a mouthful at times, even for a jaded viewer.

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