- Glorious, funny nonsense. Nuff said.
- One Hour Photo
- A movie with a blond Robin Williams that has other surprises as well: although it's a suspenseful film surely headed towards some kind of showdown, nobody is actually killed, nor even intended to be killed. The main character veers between nice and sad, but ready to boil over when pushed hard enough. Robin Williams engagingly shows what he was capable of.
- The Death of Stalin
- A satire about the days following Stalin's death and the ensuing struggle amongst the Soviet leadership for survival, influence and succession. There's lots of dark humor; if there are no circumstances under which you would consider the death of an innocent person funny, then this movie is not for you. Some Pythonesque moments occur, not least courtesy of Michael Palin as Molotov, while Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev is hilarious. My kind of humour :-)
- Zwei Herren im Anzug
- A family saga covering 3 generations of a Bavarian family through the tumultuous 20th century, the movie depicts the story as father and son tell it to one another after the mother's funeral. As long repressed or forgotten memories are aired, sometimes for the first time, some unusual cinematography helps make it more than a father/son talk. I liked it, but it's not easy fare, not the least because of the heavy use of Bavarian dialect.
- Arthur & Claire
- An Austrian man and a Dutch woman who are both about to commit suicide happen to meet, and spend what is supposedly the last night of their lives together. It works out differently, but the journey is full of dark humor (Josef Hader, who admittedly has more of the better lines than Hannah Hoekstra, doing what he does best), and shows off the many sides of Amsterdam. Not exactly a comedy, but the film has its fair share of laughs amidst more somber moments.
- Game Night
- This was great fun. A game night amongst friends goes very wrong when the game is hijacked not just once, but twice. Enjoyable confusion results about which events are tied to which layer, which harkens back to The Game of 1997. The film does not take itself too seriously, allowing for hilarious moments amidst the ensuing carnage. It also introduces a new problem-solving approach: WWVDD as in What Would Vin Diesel Do?
- Berlinale 2018
- The Bookshop tells the story of a woman pursuing her dream of opening a bookshop in an English seaside village in 1959. But the powers that be don't want her there, and despite her best efforts, ultimately prevail. Though a sad story, humanity shines throughout the film in small ways, and give hope for the future, even if not for her.
- SPK Komplex is a German documentary about the WikiPedia:Socialist_Patients'_Collective in Heidelberg in the early Seventies, a psychiatrist's approach to mental illness based on the concept that nobody is mentally ill, but rather that society makes people ill, and so people's societal context needs to be changed rather than people themselves be treated. Part of the group took this a step further by trying to change society forcibly, and drifted towards the terrorism of the WikiPedia:Red_Army_Faction.
- Dovlatov chronicles six days in the life of Russian writer WikiPedia:Sergei_Dovlatov in Leningrad in 1971. Everything and everybody in the Soviet Union seems stuck, even the weather, but the artists and writers find ways to carry on, even if they can't publish or exhibit. It's heavy on dialogue, and I suspect something is lost in translation of the subtitles, but it's still an interesting in-depth look at a bleak place and time.
- 7 Days in Entebbe dramatizes the events leading up to WikiPedia:Operation_Entebbe, an Israeli military operation to end an aircraft hijacking in Uganda in 1976. The film does a good job of showing the differences of goals and tactics of the Palestinian and German hijackers, as well as the divergent opinions within Israeli government as to how to respond, and exposes the muddled revolutionary thinking so prevalent amongst German left-wing terrorists at the time. To the director's credit, the audience is spared a big Tom Clancy-style shootout at the end.
- Unsane is the story of a woman involuntarily being committed to a mental institution where a previous stalker of hers is apparently working. Starting out as the story of a troubled young woman, it develops into a fast-paced psycho thriller as the death toll rises. Shot entirely on an iPhone (and featuring a cameo by Matt Damon), this is another great film by director Steven Soderbergh.
- Museo tells the real-life story of a break-in into the Mexican Museum of Anthropology in 1985, where numerous valuable Maya artifacts were stolen. The film looks at the family lives of the perpetrators, their attempts to sell the loot, up to the eventual return to the museum. The plot is rolling along nicely, but doesn't really engage the viewer. Watching the two young men, mostly disaffected from their lives, go through it all seems a bit pointless.
- Wind River
- Life in Indian reservations can be nasty, brutish and short, all of which is on display here. A young FBI agent investigates a murder in an Indian reservation, and recruits a local hunter to help her. After lots mental and physical violence they succeed, thanks to the hunter sniffing out all human prey. Not easy to watch, but a reminder of how grim conditions still are in those reservations.
- Loving Vincent
- An animated movie consisting of tens of thousands of paintings, done in the style of Van Gogh and bringing some of his best-known pictures to life, while exploring his life and death. While different from what I expected, it was thoroughly enjoyable. I only wish I'd checked out some of the paintings he made of his friends and acquaintances beforehand, so I'd have been better prepared.
- The Philadelphia Story
- While the story of a society girl who suddenly discovers inner values after several men tell it to her like it is just before her wedding isn't particularly appealing, it's well acted by a superb cast to good comedic effect. Allowances have to be made for the fact that the script is from 1940 - times have changed since then.
- I remember that I consciously avoided this one when it came out, but having seen it now, I can't for the life of me say why. Most likely I wasn't a fan of horror back then, but it's really more of a comedy - I laughed a lot.
Movies I've seen in the past: MoviesIn2017