Category Archives: Movies

Sophie Scholl

This is German film based on a true story about three student resistance group members caught in Nazi Germany for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets.

It is gripping stuff from start to end and had superb performances, especially from the leading actress who unsurprisingly received the award for best actress at various European award ceremonies. Everything else about it was just as good, I can’t really think of any criticisms at all.

The court scene where Sophie, her brother, and a friend were tried was a fantastic scene, it showed just how twisted and sick the Nazis were. I was reading about the judge in that trial, and he was a seriously evil man who met his fate in the last year of the war when his courtroom was bombed, although it would have been preferable if he was himself tried in front of the allies after the war.

The very last scene was brief but utterly depressing and shocking, I wasn’t expecting it.

Sophie Scholl is now a national hero in Germany, and was voted as the fourth most important German of all time.

A hard film to watch, but worth it nonetheless.

Date watched: April 13th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 28

Hacksaw Ridge

I always like to watch films about World War Two as I have an interest in WW2 history, so I was looking forward to this.

And it was pretty good stuff, especially as it was based on a true story, and apparently most of it was accurate. Mel Gibson directed, and I must say he did a good job. It was slickly made and the action sequences were very well done, and it did not use a lot of CGI trickery, Mel wanted to keep it real. He had a budget of 40 million bucks, with the film making 175 big ones at the box office, so he will be in the film studio’s good books again. His next project is a sequel to The Passion of the Christ.

My only criticisms would be that perhaps the portrayal of the Japanese soldiers was a bit stereotypical, and that it got just a bit too sappy at times. The ridge in question in real life was a whole lot smaller than in reality, but Mel knows a thing or two about spectacle.

There are better war films, but this is still a very good watch.

Date watched: March 31st
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 27

Star Wars: Rogue One

James and I wanted to see this again after seeing at the film theatre last yaer.

The best thing to do would be to read my first review as it all still holds true.

Briefly though, it is a fantastic addition to the Star Wars universe, entertaining from beginning to end, and the short scene of Darth Vader going berzerb with his lightsaber is most excellent.

Date watched: March 31st
Score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 26

Bubba Ho-Tep

I had seen this many years ago, before this blog started, but I wanted to see it again as I had forgotten a lot of it and anything with Bruce Campbell is always pure gold.

The story was slow moving, but Bruce’s portrayal of Elvis Presley held the whole thing together, as well as Ossie Davis as a fellow who thought he was John F. Kennedy. Add in an Egyptian mummy who is slowly picking off the old people where Elvis and JFK live by sucking their souls out through their behinds and you have quite a unique story at least. The story is also about growing old and just how much it sucks, as well as the pitfalls of fame.

I haven’t seen many films about Elvis, if any, but I would say that Bruce’s portrayal of him is the best ever and will never be topped. He was in no way mocking Elvis, and his Elvis accent was spot on. One of the greats is Bruce.

The film cost a million bucks to make (and made 1.2 million), but it did not feel too much like a low budget film. It was shot well and the supporting cast were not B-grade actors. The only disappointment is the mummy which just looked like a zombie wearing a cowboy outfit.

Another classic Bruce film, not his best, but still well worth a watch.

Date watched: March 30th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 25

Arrival

This is a film I have been looking forward to watching as I like films about aliens visiting Earth to tell us of their superior ways, or to kill us.

Right from the start to the end this was an excellent story of a woman put in charge of trying to figure out an alien language, and to ask them what it is they want with us inferior beings. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner were both excellent in their roles. And I liked the aliens and their spaceship, I thought they were very well done.

I could complain that the story used the usual idea that the military always gets involved in alien visitations, resulting in them just itching to start shootin’ when they don’t get results quick enough, even though the science boffins think they can communicate with the aliens with more time. But, this whole premise was central to the story, so I am not complaining.

Personally, I am of the opinion that aliens do not visit Earth, and probably never have. The distances they would need to get here are immense, and even if they could travel at the speed of light it would still take a very long time to get here. And don’t get me started on anal probes.

Date watched: March 23rd
Score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 24

Logan

I have not really been into Marvel films lately, they have been a bit disappointing. But not this one which I would rate as one of the best I have seen so far, along with Deadpool.

The story was different to most comic book films. It was a pretty depressing story most of the time showing a superhero falling apart and basically ready to give up. The other characters in the story were pretty much in the same boat, and if it wasn’t for the introduction of the new breed of super-duper heroes it would have been a real downer of an action film.

Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart were great in their roles. Hugh had been playing the part of Wolverine since X-Men in 2000, quite a run. The role was originally written for Russel Crowe, but Russell suggested Hugh for the part, a wise move. Patrick Stewart also started his portrayal of Charles Xavier in the X-Men film.

Dafne Keen who played Laura was great in her part, and she was only 12 years old. I can’t find anything on the interwebs as to whether she will be in future Marvel films. She is currently in filming for a comedy with Andy Garcia.

Good stuff, I liked it.

Date watched: March 17th
Score: 8.5/10
Film count 2018: 23

The Lives of Others

This is another film I have seen before, sometime before I started this blog. I had actually forgotten I had seen it, but as I watched it I realised I knew the story. Not to matter as this is an excellent film well worthy of another watch.

It is about a Stasi operative who is monitoring a playwright who is suspected of subversiveness. He has the playwright’s apartment thoroughly bugged and is constantly listening in for any dirt he can dig up. But, in the process he starts to feel that what he is doing is wrong and attempts to have the operation stopped.

It is an extremely well-told film, and is on the whole quite dark and depressing, I don’t think there was a single scene which was anything but. I don’t remember anyone laughing in the film at all, it was just a tale of paranoia, desperation, suicide, and unending dread, yet it was gripping and the acting was top notch. The fellow playing the Stasi operative was actually born in East Germany and worked as a border guard before turning to acting. He died from stomach cancer in 2007.

From what I have read on Wikipedia about this, the film actually does not go far enough when portraying the oppressiveness of the Stasi, and that the operative in the film would not have been able to get away with what he did because he too would have been constantly watched. Still, the film showed us just what a terrible regime it was.

This was the director’s first film, and unfortunately after his next film, The Tourist, he did not make another film until just recently. He has a film called “Werk ohne Autor” coming out this year, another film about East Germany. Hopefully it is released outside Europe.

This is not for those who like to be happy when they watch a film, because the whole thing is an excellent thought-provoking bummer.

Date watched: March 12th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2018: 22

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