K3 Filmfestival // Review: Risse im Beton // Review: Endzeit

Last weekend, I visited the K3 Filmfestival in Villach, which was held from 17th – 21st of September. It’s a small, international festival, with a special emphasis on films from Austria, Italia and Slovenia. Like the Sarajevo Film festival, I will give an overview about each day I went to the cinema.

k3-film-festival-villach_FB_webThursday, 18th:

At 6pm the festival started for me with a retrospective of Moucle Blackout, an Austrian avante-garde-filmemaker. Her movies were shown in 16mm, and the projector was standing inside the cinema hall. I have been in contact with avente-garde films before, but I could never connect to them. They just too dull and unbearing for the most parts. But sometimes, if I can see any theme in these movies, I have  something to hang on. Like her first movie, which I would describe as a horror movie without actual horror.

After that, the wonderful feature-length documentary “Death Metal Angola” was shown. It’s a movie about an Angolan orphanage, which wants to held a “rock” concert. But their definition of rock is mainly (death) metal. The film gives a lot of insides to the characters’ wishes and dreams while interviewing them and showing their various lives. Also, the third act gets really funny as the danger of the festival not happening/ not being a success becomes more and more clear.

DthMetalAngola1After the feature film, the short film block was shown. The first movie didn’t work, so it was postponed for later. The second movie, “Love in times of the EU” was again an avante-garde film, so I didn’t like it very much. Then there was a short documentary about life in Syrian refugee camps, which was made special because of the interaction between the characters and the camera. Then there was an animation film about workers with big hands. After that, the film “Electric Indigo” left a great impression on me. The movie is about a girl who is raised by her to heterosexual but married-to-each-other fathers. Their uncommon life-style gets severely disrupted when the girls insane mother returns. Then the would-be-first movie was shown again, and this time it works. The French movie is called “Where were you when Michael Jackson died“, and it is about two strangers who meet one night and dream about their sexual desires this encounter has generated. The movie, which would later win the audience award (after a long discussion), stars Denis Menochet, who also played in “Inglorious Basterds“.

Where-were-you-when-Michael-Jackson-died-1-880x495Saturday, 20th – Risse im Beton

I skipped the second day, but returned on Saturday for the talk with script writer Petra Ladinigg, who had written the screenplay for the movie “Risse im Beton“. She talked about ho she got into screenwriting, how she came to know Umut Dag, director of “Risse im Beton” and how the screenwriting process and financial process works.
After that, there was a screening of the movie, which is currently also out in regular cinemas.

Story:
Ertan has just been released from prison, and all he wants to do is getting his life in order, so that he won’t go to the bad ever again. He also wants to be near his son Mikail, who he has never met.
Mikail on the other hand only dreams about becoming a famous rapper like his idol Azaad, so he can leave the hopeless ghetto he and his family are living in. In order to do so, he contracts a lot of debts with very dangerous people.

Review:
The movie is another kind of Austrian film. It doesn’t have big stars (besides rapper Azaad, who is playing himself in a cameo), and stars almost exclusively people with migration background. The actors are great, and the chemistry between them, especially the two leads, is excellent. It’s a serious tale of redemption, hope, and having someone to care for/ about. It’s a coming-of-age drama about responsibilities.

Risse im Beton” is a great movie, and I urge everyone to go see it.

Sunday, 21st – “Endzeit” and festival ending

At 11am, the feature film “Endzeit“, a German postapocalyptic movie about a bunch of survivors trying to find something to keep living in the mountains was shown. The movie was shot in Carinthia, and has got a beautiful mountain landscape setting. The cast is excellent as well, and doesn’t need many words to be convincing. It’s rather their mimic that outlasts the movie.

The opening and ending sequence is made by papercut animation (because of a tight budget), and brings another layer of aesthetics, especially in terms of lost childhood, to the film. The first half of the film is a road trip in the mountains, while the second half is a chamber drama in a farmer’s hut. Throughout the movie, the theme of loss and death is constantly hanging over the protagonists’ heads like a Damocles’ sword, leaving the viewer in wonder when it will fall and cut.

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After the movie, Carinthian film producer Klaus Graf talked about producing a TV-movie, and what the differences are to cinematic movies.

At 4pm, the short film favourites ware shown for the audience award. Besides the winner “Where were you when Michael Jackson died“, the other two movies were “Crocodiles without saddles“, a coming-of age- documentary about a German girl with African roots, and how she sees herself, and “Symphony #42“, a collection of obscure animated scenes about the meaning and obscurity of life.

After that, the grand prize of the jury went to a film I haven’t seen. (And I have no idea what it is called) With that the festival has ended. I’ve seen a lot of great movies, and am looking forward to next year.

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HIMYM: The Good, The Bad, and The Mother

You may have noticed, but the popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” has recently ended its run after 9 successful years. The show was about Ted Mosby, who tells his kids in the year 2030 the story of how he had met their mother all those years ago, while living his life in NYC, accompanied by his best friends Marshall, Lilly, Barney and his great love Robin.

After 9 seasons of fun, quirky, intelligent humor and memories, the series eventually ended on March 31st, and the finale left the viewers… divided, to say the least. Many people hated it, some liked it. I was also torn, and can really understand why people dismiss it. With this post I want to give my opinion on the finale, its merits and its flaws. There will be spoilers, as the is a discussion of the show’s finale. If you don’t want to be spoiled, skip reading and watch the show instead.

It's going to be legen...wait for it...dary

It’s going to be legen…wait for it…dary

It’s been a long and difficult road, but we finally got there…

The ninth season of HIMYM took place over the course of one weekend mostly. There were a few episodes that took place before or after, but those were exceptions. It also wasn’t an ordinary weekend, as it was the weekend of womanizer Barney’s wedding with Robin. The very same wedding where Ted would finally meet his soul mate, the titular mother (Cristin Milioti).

This timely setting was a huge risk, and in my opinion the season should have been much shorter than 24 (!) episodes! And while there are some bad ones (“Last time in New York“, “Broken Code“, “Sunrise” !!!!!) there are other episodes like “Knight vision” and “Slapsgiving III – Slappointment in Slapmarra“, which revived the show’s past high points. Also, there episodes that were just fantastic, and belong to the best episodes of the entire series: “Lighthouse“, “Platonish“, “How your mother met me” and “Vesuvius“. I’ll talk about those episodes in a moment.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHERSeason 9 also introduced us to the mother, Tracy McConnel, and we finally got to spend some time with her. Sadly it was too little time, as you will see. And she is totally loveable. Most viewers fell in love with her the instant she appeared on-screen (which she actually did at the end of season 8). Even though I have to admit that she is merely a female version of Ted, and just too good to be true, she seemed to be everything he – and we – ever yearned for.

The final minutes of season 8 are one of the best season endings in my opinion. You see a montage of all the character’s heading towards Farhampton. Everybody has got stuff in their minds. Barney and Robin are excited about their wedding and marriage, Lily is excited about going to Rome, Marshall is anxious because he hasn’t told Lily about taking a job as a judge instead of going to Rome, and Ted is planning to move to Chicago. And at a train station, a girl with a yellow umbrella is buying a ticket to Farhampton… The course for a bumpy future and ninth season is set.

Why the “greatest love story he’s ever heard of” wasn’t…

In season 5’s “The Window“, future Ted talks about the second greatest love story he ever heard of. It’s the story of the perfect girl next door, who eventually fell for the perfect guy next door. This leads to the assumption that the greatest love story he ever heard of was his own. But honestly, for the most part of the remaining seasons I was very doubtful about how that would work. But then, season 9’s “Platonish” has aired, and I got my answer. In this episode, it is revealed that it was Tracy who had convinced Barney to go after Robin one last time. With the helping aid of Ted, it worked, and they came together. It seemed perfect. Ted and Tracy both created the very circumstances that would get them to meet in the end.

Last Forever Part One

…on a downtown train…

I thought there would come some realizations to the characters that this was meant to be, and that this back story would help in the forming of their relationship. That it was Tracy, who has helped Barney (and Robin, and Lilly, and Marshall) was sidelined or not even mentioned.

And that was also the case for their relationship itself. We may have already seen their first date, their almost encounters, the proposal and the birth of their second child. But we haven’t seen the relationship-moments, those moments that were the show’s biggest selling point – close-to-real interpersonal relationships. Though the show’s finale show’s some moments in the flash forward scenes, though still leaving out their first true encounter (a very clever move, I have to tell), you are not that immersed. In scenes like the group learning about Barney’s and Robin’s divorce, she’s clearly the fifth wheel. You never see any scenes that show much friendship interaction between these characters. To be honest, that what the finale’s plot was about: friendships evolving, ending, and renewing. But it was done kinda sloppy. Which just resolves in having too little time to shove it all under.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHERBut back to Ted’s and Tracy’s relationship: Essentially, you just didn’t know her that well. So you couldn’t win affection in the relationship, and you couldn’t have this affection when it was revealed that she had died. The episode “Vesuvius” teased a terminal illness, that would eventually kill Tracy. This little sidenote promised an in my opinion perfect ending to the series. The mother dies/ has died. Ted can’t get over it, and even though he promised Tracy not to live in the past, he does exactly that by telling their kids the story of how he met their mother. To share his inner most trauma but also to show them how life can be beautiful, adventurous and full of surprises. It is a rather sad ending, that’s true, but it would only prove that it is just life. In the finale itself, well, they kill her off offscreen, and have it only mentioned vaguely, as a sidenote quasi. The handling of her character was done very poorly, as it also showed that the show’s creators didn’t care enough about her to give The Mother a proper send off.

TracyMemeAs for future Ted, well, it is revealed that he didn’t tell the kids the story of how he met their mother to tell them about how he met their mother, but to tell them about his being in love with Robin. Yes, that’s right, they killed off the titular character in favor for bringing the two characters together that have met in the first episode. To quote my friend Wolfgang from flipthetruck, that’s a “Fuck you to the audience.” (note by the author: the link doesn’t bring you to a review of HIMYM, just to flipthetruck’s review site. They never made a review about HIMYM!) Because no one really ever did give a thing about Ted and Robin, because, as it was revealed in the very first episode, she is NOT the mother. They were not meant wo be. Everybody was annoyed by the constant “Ted’s not over Robin-thing”, but I understood that it was necessary to show it to make it more clear, that it would be eventually Tracy who wins his heart, and heals him from his obsession over Robin.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find the way they ended the show bad per se. But, once again, the handling was done really really poorly. Due to the fact that those major events, Tracy’s death and the revelation about Ted’s love for Robin, happened within a few minutes, you never saw the time that had passed between them. Maybe you could have witnessed the slowly regaining of affection for Robin, and it wouldn’t offend that much that they eventually cam together. The way they really handled it just makes Tracy look like a rebound girl, the one Ted gets because he didn’t get the woman he apparently truly loved.

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…and that’s how I met your mother.

HIMYM is great show, and alway will be. I just think it’s sad, that instead of ending on a high note, it just ended in a “meh”-way. There were a lot of deleted scenes that I would really like to see, maybe they will bring more emotion into play (there was a funeral scene, a scene after the wedding, a scene after Ted and Robin coming together etc).
The final season DVD set contains an alternate ending. One in which the mother doesn’t die. Even though it had some very good concepts and many people seem to like it as the better ending version, I find it a lazy effort that was quickly made as an afterthought, and just made to please everybody.

I find it very sad, that the show didn’t get the perfect ending it deserved, but we have to move on now. There are a lot of HIMYM clones on they way, including the spin-off “How I met your dad” and “A to Z“, starring Cristin Milioti.

ho

 

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Christian Mingle – Trailer

Thanks to Cracked.com, I stumbled upon the trailer for a new movie called “Christian Mingle“, which is a 90 minutes advertisement for the upcoming dating site “Christian mingle.com”. It’s a romcom starring people looking for their big breaks in the acting business. And boy, is it hilarious! There is so much wrong with it, and subsequently also the movie. I know you shouldn’t really judge a movie based on its trailer alone, but the trailer already tells us the entire plot of the movie, including the ending. Cracked.com has already analysed the trailer, but  I will do my own analyse in this post.

Christian Mingle” tells the story of a young, successful, attractive woman, who’s got the big everyday problem of being unable of finding the right man. Because everybody knows how hard it is for attractive people to find true love. Anyway, she decides to do online dating, and registers on the titular website. The only problem: she’s not Christian. And as a consequence of meeting handsome [INSERT RANDOM MALE NAME], a lot of shenanigans happen until the protagonist learns the values of faith.

Where do I even begin? First of, the movie is an ad for the website, as possibly well as Christian faith/ lifestyle, even though its writer/ director and ChristianMingle.com claim otherwise. It’s a try to brig more christianity into movies, because God knows Hollywood isn’t prude enough yet.

Let’s look at the clichés and stereotypes the movie uses: There’s the young, attractive female lead, who’s got a super successful career as [INSERT GREAT JOB]. She’s got three ultra feminine girlfriends, all white of course, who always try to give her men-advice, like in split screen telephone conferences (wouldn’t they use Skype today? It’s definitely cheaper). And they like to go shopping, walking in a line like the female leads in “Sex and the City” did.  And she also got a sassy black female boss, who is even more interested in her love life. And then there seem to be one or two fatherly figures who give really helpful relationship/ life advice. Because everybody knows men are much more focused and interested in other stuff than women, who only like to go shopping and men.

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And then, since she started looking into the believing thing, she becomes a better person. She’s regularly going to church, participating in her new boyfriend’s faith and also quitting her wonderful job in favor for an African charity/ missionary project. This may be the possible worst part, in making her changing every part of her lifestyle to please her boyfriend/ the Lord. It falls under the exact same trope most other movies about a successful (business-) woman: It doesn’t matter how complete your life feels now, you must quit your job and any other career-paths to fill your potential hole and be truly happy.

Working-Women_large

This may be one of the most sexist movies in recent years.

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Short Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in this Sci-Fi-War version of “Groundhog Day“.

edge_of_tomorrow-wideStory:

In the near future, humans are battling alien invaders. During the final battle, Major Cage (Cruise), a deserter, gets killed, only to wake up the day before, reliving the same events over and over again. With the help of fellow soldier Rita (Blunt), who has had the same experience, he uncovers the true nature of his new abilities, and also must train in order to save himself, and humanity.

“I got you, babe.”

In my opinion, the “protagonist trapped in a timeloop”- plot – trade is not done to death. In fact, I’d like to see more of this, because it brings new possibilities for actors and storytelling. There is one scene that is just acted perfectly, and you can clearly see the drame the characters go through each new “day”. Both Cruise and Blunt do a terrific job in portraying the characters, and it is good to once again see Cruise not as a typical action hero, but a cowardly, selfish character who has to prove himself to become a hero. But despite all his combat training, it may be his skills as a propaganda-recruiter that could save the day.

It’s also good to see that Blunt does not portray your typical love interest or damsel, but acts more like a mentor and later partner to the protagonist. There’s only one instance during the third act, where the filmmakers lose/ forget their premiss. It may only be a short moment, but sadly it destroys much of the fresh character-development in favor for classic character-arc-telling.

ALL YOU NEED IS KILLVerdict

Despite its flaws, “Edge of Tomorrow” is a good sci-fi-action movie, with solid acting, drama, humor and great effects.

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Farscape of the Galaxy – Episode M: The Firefly Chronicles

I’m back with much new content to write about. I still have to give my impressions of “Godzilla“, “X-Men- Days of Future Past“, “Edge of Tomorrow” and more. But first, let’s talk about Marvel’s new and most original movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy“.

836617606920114728Story

Directed by “Super“-director James Gunn, “GotG” tells the story about a bunch of interstellar criminals and outlaws, you could say they are rebels, who team up to fight against the evil Kree-fundamentalist Ronan (Lee Pace), partner to the galaxy’s emperor, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Ronan is looking for another infinity stone, Marvel’s mcguffins, and wants to use this doomsday weapon to destroy a planet. Wait, this can’t be right, this is the basic premise of Star Wars.

Where every movie has gone before

I mean, this is Marvel’s most original movie (according to the marketing!). And because of its space setting, it clearly has to take some plot threads from Star Wars, for it may be the reason movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” can even exist. And it’s not like they are using the very same plot structure (like “Eragon“) or characters. The team-constellation is most unusual and original: a quirky, pop culture-orientated white male earthling,John-Crichton-farscape-21175094-1798-2560a hot female alien, who has been working for the villainous empire but is now on the good side,ClaudiaBlack032013a warrior from a simpler minded race, who is seeking revenge against the villainous empire,

ec389dd1df13cc89dcd45ec6ccaf3f1225d53a9fb2b9da29b13a6b64efd146192ac12be9dd8700656fa813f8de3bed9abf4833f18b3dc84025b7d363e46f32aba small egoistic alien creature who has been suffering from injustice,farscape_rygel2and a humanoid plant.HeyFarscape032013That’s a collection of strange creatures that has clearly never been seen before!

Totally original team-up

Totally original team-up

But it’s not only “Star Wars” and “Farscape” ripping off, apparently there are also some parallels to Joss Whedon’s “Firefly“. There’s a smuggler’s space ship, full of outlawed, despicable people you normally would despise. But in the end, they are nice and turn out to be heroes. And yes, that’s also the point with the crew of the Serenity. But the main difference is, while the guardians are from various alien species, Whedon’s protagonists are all human. (which is a kind of original idea, given that the show takes place in space, and the future.)

firefly cast 364700I think It has been made clear, that “Guardians of the Galaxy” isn’t that original movie that the marketing had claimed it to be. Also, the other marketing slogan that it is “a risky move to introduce new characters no one has ever heard before” is kinda stupid when you consider that EVERY other movie does that.
But enough about the marketing. How does the movie itself hold up?

The movie is quite entertaining. It this kind of tongue’s cheek action comedy, and in this regard it mostly works. There are some parts in which the humour doesn’t work, because either the jokes are too predictable and or too bad, or because the scene is just too heavy-handed to be made more lighthearted.

The characters are unique in their own ways, and the highlights are Rocket, the raccoon with a special sense of humor, Drax, the muscular warrior with no sense of metaphoric, and Groot, the talkative tree. These are the most memorable and likeable characters in the film. In case of the other two members, well… Starlord (aka Peter Quill) is your typical Han Solo rip off. He is the witty outlaw with a heart of gold. His contradicting behavior can be experienced in the film’s beginning: When he’s a little boy, he would fight against other boys for hurting his little frog, while a few minutes later, the grown-up Peter Quill kicks some harmless alien creature just for fun. (Remember kids: Ugly characters/ creatures aren’t real, that’s why you can always hurt or kill them just for fun.)

And then there is Gamora (Zoe Zaldana), your token space amazon girl. She kicks hard and is supposed to be an ultra assassin working for the big bad Thanos/ Rhonan. But in reality she’s secretly betraying him and also deep inside very vulnerable (because, you know…women). She also has got the worst possible character-introduction, when she and her stepsister Nebula (Karen Gillan) have to declare their degree of relationship towards each other, after having grown up together.

"I, Nebula, am a daughter of Thanos as you are a daughter of Thanos, my sister Gamora."

“I, Nebula, am a daughter of Thanos as you are a daughter of Thanos, my sister Gamora.”

In space no one can hear you breathe…

In two scenes characters are seen floating or flying in space, without a ship, a suit or any other protective gear. I have since found out that it theoretically could be possible to survive a VERY short amount of time in the vacuum of space (and also that James Gunn acts kinda like a dick, two of his explanations are just made up.), but still I found these scenarios highly implausible and disturbing, a they rip the viewer out of the immersion of the movie.

As for the plot and the setting of the movie: There is another doomsday device again, and once again, a power-hungry maniac wants to destroy a planet, which’s inhabitants of course look like humans. But the biggest question no one dared to ask was, why didn’t the Asgardians do anything to help? Since they are the somewhat royal rulers of the universe (9 realms at least, each realm seems to be a galaxy. It seems to be very contrived that this galaxy shouldn’t be one of them. ), and have the ability to see everything thanks to the universe’s biggest Peeping Tom, Heimdall, why couldn’t they spot Ronan attacking the world of Xandar.

This film just seems like it does barely belong in the Marvel cinematic universe, at least it absolutely overcomplicates it.There is so much more going on in the universe, to such extent that you may ask yourself why you should even bother to be interested in Earth. What place in the Marvelverse the guardians will eventually have is yet to be revealed.

firefly-guardiansVerdict

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a typical Marvel action movie, who brings nothing really new to overall story. But it is quite entertaining and has got distinguishable, memorable and mostly funny characters. The villain is boring in his back story and scheme, but the movie has got good action and some few but nice variations to various scenario-stereotypes.

In the overall Mavel-movie-rating, it may be the fourth best, ex equo with “Thor“, but behind “Iron Man I“, “The Avengers” and “Captain America – The Winter Soldier“.

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Lost in Vienna, Austria – SPOILERS a non-arthouse arthouse trash movie / Cold

After seeing the brilliant documentary “Robert Tarantino – Rebel without a crew” by Austrian director Houchang Allahyari, I just had to experience Robert Tarantino for myself. But wait, I may have gotten too far ahead. Robert Tarantino, aka Wolf Morrison (his musician name), is actually called Wolfgang, and he is an Austrian “filmmaker”. In the Ed Wood kind of way. And because he is such a great fan of both Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, he just gave himself that pen name. To avoid confusion, I will henceforth call him Wolf Morrison.

And as you can imagine, his “movies” suck. Big Time. But in a kinda hilarious way. The documentary follows Morrison, as he makes his second-to-last movie “Blood City Massacre“. Sadly (well, sort of), I haven’t seen this masterpiece of awfulness. But I had the chance to see his latest movie, “Lost in Vienna, Austria“, a David Lynch-like drama/thriller about the real life death of his girlfriend, who had committed suicide. But even though this is a very serious topic, Morrison almost manages to make one of the most artsy trashfilms since “Rubber“.

ARTSY!!!!!!

ARTSY!!!!!!

As usual, beware of spoilers. Though, dunno, in this case it wouldn’t matter I guess.

“Story”

Wolf (“played” by Morrison himself) meets the girl of his dreams, Julie (That girl from “Das Werwolfspiel” came back to haunt me I guess). But her love only lasts so long, until the melancholic girl commits suicide. Wolf wants to know why and investigates. And he soon seems to discover the source of her depression: Her abusing boss (“Julie told me that you would be an asshole. But now that I’ve met you, I see that she was right“). But the reason why she killed herself is still missing. Maybe the tape that somehow lands in Wolf’s hands holds the key to that (SPOILER: it does). After some walking montages, 2 extremely long dream sequences and the probably most awesome parents-children talk ever the villain is finally put to justice (it means: he dies). But that doesn’t mean the film is over, as we get to know how Wolf’s music career is going (Gee, everybody wanted to know about that!), watch a videotape containing his final film, learn that he has died off-screen, learn that he has not died, witness his encounter with Julie’s twin sister (no kidding!), watch as they fall in love, scrap our heads as we learn that she is evil, and find out that her twin never really existed. Well-played, Wolf Morrison, well-played.

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Review

Honestly, the movie is as bad as “Das Werwolfspiel“, at least, but it is so much more enjoyable. It’s hilariously bad. It’s a rare case of overacting underperformance. As his other movies, the language is English, but due to the fact that he always casts non-actors, who he doesn’t pay, he also gets people who can’t speak English at all, like in “Vampire City 2“, in which the main bad guy speaks German (or some variation of it). But stuff like that results in the aforementioned parents-scene: Wolf pays a visit to his parents’ home in Lower Austria. Being a rebel as he is, his parents understand neither him nor his way of life. Seemingly literally, for he keeps on talking in English, while they’re speaking German.

The camera work is surprisingly ok-ish. I mean, it’s not good, by no means, and it’s in fact very bad, but it’s not like in “Das Werwolfspiel“. Even though it breaks the 180° rule frequently [author’s note: 180°-rule, basic description: see the viewer’s perspective (which the camera provides) as a fixed point in a scene. The viewer is a third person in a room who watches the other two people talking. The viewer’s point of view cannot be altered. If it is altered, then you have broken the rule]

"Wrong" is Morrison's middle name

“Wrong” is Morrison’s middle name

But the best part of the movie is definitely Humungus. The Austrian wrestler is a recurring actor in Morrison’s movies, and apparently always the villain. He is constantly over the top, and it  is enjoying watching him in his scenes. In this film, he only has a small role with a few appearances, and he surprisingly does not play the villain.

Every movie needs more Humungus

Every movie needs more Humungus

Instead, he plays Wolf’s manager, who once made a crappy sex movie with him (?) Yeah that kind of stuff comes up in the last third of the movie, which is really all over the place. If you think the movie ends with the bad guy dead (which many people would have hoped) you would be proven wrong. The movie still goes on for at least another half an hour, and it is nonsensical. Morrison wanted to be like David Lynch, a director he also idolizes.

Whether the whole movie was a dream, a wish of a lonely person or did really happen, is left rather ambiguous. But definitely the movie was made by a  person, who copes with his loneliness by making himself the hero everybody adores.

Since I’ve started writing this article, Morrison has edited his movie and released a 20 minute version called “Cold“. It lacks the hilarious parents’ scene, and also everything else (no Humungus either 😦 ), and is, like the main feature, not to be recommended.

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The Winter Soldier – A Missed Opportunity?

SPOILERS ahead for Marvel’s “Captain America – The Winter Soldier“.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-2014-Movie-Banner-Poster

With the release of “Captain America – The Winter Soldier“, Marvel has made some changes to its universe. As I have stated in my review, the movie is pretty good, but still has major problems. The main issue is the titular Winter Soldier. With this post, I will explain, why his characterisation is flawed and why he is a missed opportunity for a great villain, like the Joker.

In the course of the movie, we learn that the mysterious Winter Soldier, a legendary mercenary who has never been officially confirmed, is none other than Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers’ presumed dead ally and best friend from WWII. You already see a lot of potential here: Both characters are from the same area (NY), the same time (1940) and due to experiments, equal strength and abilities. They could be two sides of the same coin.

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But, as it turned out, Barnes wasn’t a complex anti-hero/ antagonist but rather a puppet for the true villain. He is a brainwashed soldier with amnesia, which is the copout solution for the studio to make him a possible hero in future installments. And also it’s the worst possible character trade for him.

There would have been much more potential to make the Winter Soldier a compelling antagonist: By simply having him have chosen the kind of live he leads. After his apparent death in the first Captain America movie he could have been found by Russians and resurrected and improved. He could have started out as a special weapon for the Russians, acting out certain assignments against the US, and then later could have gone his own way. That even wouldn’t even be out of character, as it has turned out that SHIELD (and half the government) of the US had been infiltrated by HYDRA! So the Russian espionage agency could have found out about that, and Barnes would have decided to destroy HYDRA by assassinating certain political figures.

captain-america-winter-soldier-artDuring the events of “The Winter Soldier” he would have crossed paths with his old buddy Steve Rogers, but upon seeing him working for SHIELD, he assumed that Captain America was also working for HYDRA (which he kinda unknowingly did for a while, if you think about it). Their final confrontation ould have been a rather ideological one (as they used different means to achieve their goals). This battle would be about trust and friendship, and working out their differences.

Instead we got a copout villain. Does this make it a bad movie? No, but it sure denies it any chance to be a great movie.

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