Given the track record of movies based on toy lines, it was absolutely… MoreGiven the track record of movies based on toy lines, it was absolutely justified to be rather skeptical about the making of a Lego movie. The console games the company produced over the years have been fun though, and everyone deserves a chance, right?
Well, as it turns out the Lego Movie is much closer to the Toy Story trilogy than to G.I. Joe or Battleship, thank heavens. It's incredibly fast, it excels at being silly and extremely detailed. Of course there is plenty of humor, some of which may be over the youngest viewers heads. There is just so much to see and explore that you will definitely need more than one viewing to get it all, that's how overwhelming things are, and not just in the fun action sequences. The voice acting is great, especially the unbelievably silly crap they have Morgan Freeman say is already worth the price of admission.
The final plot twist - yes there is such a thing in an animated movie - is so logical and simple yet stunningly surprising and also shows that the movie has a huge beating heart under its brick skin. It's a love declaration to the toy line, yes, but even more so to the power of imagination, the joy of playing and the innocence of escapism.
Reading too much into a kids movie? Most certainly not. Everyone involved knew exactly what they were doing and delivered at the top of their game.
A movie for the young ones and those still young at heart.
Shakespeare would have been proud. The mix of incest, murder, betrayal… MoreShakespeare would have been proud. The mix of incest, murder, betrayal and tyranny easily could have been part of one of his dramas. In this historical Chinese piece it's portrayed in the most visually pleasing style imaginable. The palaces, clothes, props are full of details and colors. The feast for the eyes never manages to make you care for anything that's going on, sadly. The dysfunctional family's story is way too complicated and unlikable for that. There isn't even all that much action until the showdown suddenly gets a lot more epic than expected. Only the assassin attacks are really awesome. Other than that: visually pleasing but ultimately unimportant.
A film that is easy to admire for its outstanding acting and great… MoreA film that is easy to admire for its outstanding acting and great cinematography, but hard to love for its slowness and cruelty. Pretty sure its images will stick with me for a while, especially the actors' faces. The story of the protagonist's struggle for survival and the fates of people he encounters are a lot harder to digest than imagined. Sometimes the film seems to enjoy its own brutality a little too much, though. It is to get a point across but sometimes feels a bit like torture porn. That doesn't lessen the film's impact. It's most certainly memorable, incredibly well done and acted down to the smallest roles. It's a tour the force you have to experience to believe it, but it's not something you may want to revisit later again.
The adaptation of Noah Gordon's best selling book about a British boy… MoreThe adaptation of Noah Gordon's best selling book about a British boy who travels to the medieval East to learn about medicine may have its financial roots in Germany, but the look and feel of the film couldn't be more international. The settings, the camera work, production design, everything's all top notch and in Hollywood's league. Some of the visuals are strikingly beautiful and take you to a different time and place, like every good film. The film can rely on a couple of acting veterans who never disappoint like Skarsgard and Kingsley, but the leading man, newcomer Tom Payne, makes for a talented and likable protagonist. The film's ambition is nothing less than telling a story of adventure, love and drama on the scale of Lawrence of Arabia. Of course it can't entirely live up to that. Still, the effort and great work that went into this shows and make for a very entertaining film. The only complaint would have to be how ham-fisted the commentary on current religious struggles that made it into the film feel. Those aspects of the story may have a couple of very true things to say about how religion, prejudice and fear-mongering has made life more difficult for centuries, it all feels a bit forced, though. The result is still fine adventure cinema on a massive scale, worth checking out.
Ben Stiller's film is a love declaration to many things: the printed… MoreBen Stiller's film is a love declaration to many things: the printed press, photography, and of course following your dreams. Cynics will find plenty of opportunities to shred the movie to pieces but everyone with their heart at the right spot might enjoy following Walter Mitty on his unlikely adventure. The tone of the film has little to do with Stiller's louder comedies, instead it has mostly a quit, quirky sense of humor, even a few rather serious notes while sometimes giving its scenes the time to slow down and breathe. That may seem a bit boring for an audience expecting a gad every ten seconds, but it also makes the laughs that do come so much more rewarding. The cinematography delivers beautiful, unforgettable images and the hunt for the lost negative keeps you guessing up until the pretty logical yet unexpected reveal. Stiller can rely on a good cast and his own character's flaws and virtues to have the audience in his corner. The result is a a lovable, sweet and funny film that should be treasured like the memory of a very special vacation.
This Finnish Christmas tale looks better than most other films from… MoreThis Finnish Christmas tale looks better than most other films from Europe. Arthouse lovers could complain that it got Hollywoodized too much, but the wonderfully wacky story of "the original" Santa tale should please everyone with a sense for unusual horror. The mix of traditional folklore, family story and monster film just works really great together. Especially the ending is so clever you can't help but hope this is a true story.
Decent German post-apocalyptic thriller that set in a world where… MoreDecent German post-apocalyptic thriller that set in a world where temperatures have risen and even middle Europe has dried out. As a small group of survivors try to make their way to the supposedly wetter mountains they have to deal with hostile locals. The atmosphere, cinematography and acting is great, but the really convincing first half doesn't entirely go anywhere. There are moments of real tension and even horror, but once it ends you feel they could have done even more with the premise. Still, worth checking out.
Entertaining albeit stupid genetic experiment thriller that can't… MoreEntertaining albeit stupid genetic experiment thriller that can't decide how it wants to make the audience feel about its creature. The somewhat lousy special effects do not exactly help creating a connection to the "monster". Another problem are the characters that range from idiotic, flat to downright unlikable. So overall everything that happens makes you feel entirely indifferent.
This beautifully filmed Western is basically a slow moving two hour… MoreThis beautifully filmed Western is basically a slow moving two hour chase, down a snowy mountain ridge into the desert plains. It can rely on its two charismatic leading men and it's interesting how the movie refuses to reveal who the villain is, or if there even is one, for the longest time. The solution is even more disappointing after all and raises just one question: why didn't they think of that two hours earlier?
Shocking a load of crap this movie is, considering the amount of… MoreShocking a load of crap this movie is, considering the amount of talent involved in it. Especially the director's and writers track record has been great, which makes you wonder what everyone was smoking doing this. They should most certainly be ashamed of themselves. Avoid at all costs, even if you like the Björk videos it mimics.