• Catch Me If You Can
    • Netflix to the rescue in pandemic times, here's more catching up with old movies as ever fewer new films come out. A great cast comes together for bringing to life a story based on true events. It's still baffling to me that check forging, and being able to make a living with it, actually is (or was) a thing - the whole concept of checks is so outdated, although the US doesn't seem to have noticed. But the movie makes for enjoyable watching. Also, Christoper Walken!

  • Black Swan
    • Psycho thriller about the star of a ballet company who gets to turn in the performance of a lifetime in Swan Lake, but has to battle numerous enemies within and without her, some real, some imagined, to get there. Ballet seems to be a place that exacts great physical and mental tolls on many of its practitioners.

  • Hidden Figures
    • The movie is based on the true story of a group of female black mathematicians, or "computers" back then, that did essential calculations for various US space programs, especially WikiPedia:Project_Mercury, the first to involve human space flight. Enduring, and fighting against, everyday racism and sexism, they made significant contributions that were publicly recognized only long after the fact. The film is a bit predictable in how it plays out, but still enjoyable. For the "male" view on the same events -naturally about flying, not the math behind it- see The Right Stuff.

  • Dark Waters
    • This real-life story of a how chemical company DuPont buried toxic waste in a landfill, and how a lawyer battled for 20 years for justice for the victims is a courtroom and personal drama -no company goons trying to silence witnesses here- where the lawyer and the case take center stage. For thousands of people, the decades-long effort to hush up medical problems was all too effective.

  • On the Rocks
    • Bill Murray goes all in for his daughter, even though, in a rather too sappy end, it turns out to have been pointless. Still, he works on the father/daughter relationship, and in the end everybody has certainty. All the while he is his usual highly watchable self.

  • Jean Seberg
    • The film recounts the life of actress WikiPedia:Jean_Seberg when she started supporting the WikiPedia:Black_Panther_Party and related causes, consequently became a target of the FBI's WikiPedia:COINTELPRO program, and the impact this had on her personal and professional life. It's depressing to contemplate that the work is still not done; these days it seems the entire US administration, not just the FBI, is fighting against BLM.

  • Ghostbuster 2
    • This time it's all about a river of slime running underneath NYC, and a 500 year old count bent on living forever by reincarnating in a baby. Basically, more of what part 1 was like, although maybe a bit less funny.

  • The Current War
    • A journey through the 1880s and 1890s illustrating the competition to light up the USA, featuring WikiPedia:Thomas_Edison, WikiPedia:George_Westinghouse and WikiPedia:Nikola_Tesla. The cinematography is fast-paced and at times annoying, but the gist of the story comes across, and there is much to be touched upon, including the development of AC and DC (the band came later), the Chicago World Fair of 1993 and the development of the electric chair. Westinghouse, who wins the race for power distribution with his AC-based system, comes across as the most likeable protagonist, Edison the most ruthless, and Tesla as brilliant but quirky.

  • Appointment with Death
    • Another Hercule Poirot film starring Peter Ustinov, this one is set in the good old days, as Poirot films should be (in contrast to Murder in Three Acts set incongruously in the 1980s). While the murder victim antagonizes everybody in sight, making for plenty of suspects, the solution is still a surprise.

  • Suzi Q
    • A documentary of the life and music of WikiPedia:Suzi_Quatro, whose hits from the 70s many will recognize, even if not be able to name them without hearing them by now. I like her music, and was surprised in which directions musical directions she branched out later, that she was frequently mistaken for WikiPedia:Joan_Jett -and vice versa-, and what familial issues she had to overcome on the way to her success.

  • 101 Dalmatians
    • While wanting to watch the animated film, we ended up with this human-based version. I'm normally not a fan of real-person adaptations of comics, but this is a surprisingly funny take with a nicely evil Glenn Close destined for failure (and the dogs destined for survival).

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • I avoided this film when it came out, just because there was a 200m long ad for it on a floating dock in Hamburg's harbor that annoyed me terribly. But it's fun to watch, with many well known actors enjoying themselves for being in a different kind of flick than they normally do.

  • The Addams Family
    • Another flick I intentionally avoided when it came out. Catching it now in the days of Netflix and Corona, it turns out to be quite my kind of humor. And Christopher Lloyd is always worth watching.

  • In the Heat of the Night
    • With no new movies coming out, we're working through a backlog of old ones. While the casual and wilful debasement (and worse) of blacks is no longer as prevalent in the US as it was in 1967, it's good to recall what they had to go through, especially in the South. Steiger and Poitier give credible faces to both sides of the story, even if the transformation of Steiger's character at the end is a bit unbelievable.

  • A Beautiful Mind
    • The biopic of WikiPedia:John_Forbes_Nash_Jr. brilliantly takes the viewer into the troubled mind of the famous mathematician, where it's not always clear what is reality and what is not. The explanation of the WikiPedia:Nash_equilibrium on how (and how not) for a group of men to approach a group of women is accessible and fun. I consciously avoided the movie when it came out, but am glad to have seen it now.

  • Being There
    • Further catching up on Peter Sellers movies, in this 1979 film he is there, and he makes an impact quickly with his gardening wisdom. It can happen because he isn't just anyone, and Life is a State of Mind, as the tag line has it. Similarities to Der Experte and the novella DeWikiPedia:Kleider_machen_Leute abound.

  • The Man in the White Suit
    • Commercial pressures, both from manufacturers and workers, are applied to keep a revolutionary fabric from seeing the light of the day, and a young Alec Guinness must fight vigorously to overcome them. While the movie is dated, the subject still rings true today.

  • Arrival
    • An interesting alternative to the prevailing "aliens attack the earth" scenario, the movie focuses on how (and how not) to communicate with a species that may have very different concepts and understandings of how the universe works. No battles with aliens here, just battles of the mind, along with a narrative structure which ultimately turns out to have deceived the viewer.

  • Hitchcock
    • A look at the lives of Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma -who contributed quite a bit to his film-making- in the run-up and during the making of Psycho. Apart from personal struggles, encounters with studio bosses, actors and actresses, censors and just about everyone else, are on display. The creative process has rarely looked so combative.

  • The Gentlemen
    • Fast-paced mix of crime and action, a lot of it narrated by a Hugh Grant we haven't seen before like that. Rough guys from the hood, bad guys with style, bad guys without style and journalists trying to uncover it all come together to deliver a lot of dead bodies. Entertaining not so much in a comedic way, but in the way the story is told, shot and cut.

  • Men in Black 2
    • A rather weak sequel, which throws in a talking dog agent before Tommy Lee Jones can be fully reactivated in order to take charge.

  • Emma
    • A protagonist that seems more scheming than good-natured, compared to the same character played by Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996. The same goes for her father - Bill Nighy is even more detached from the various goings-on, and says much more with a wrinkle of his wrinkled face than with words. The screenplay has more small funny moments than its predecessor, making this, along with the more scheming Emma, a more enjoyable film to watch than the overly sweet 1996 version.

  • The Roads Not Taken (at the Berlinale)
    • A day in the life of a man afflicted with dementia, showing the difficulties of daily life, the unquestioning support of his daughter, and the memories that come to him triggered by the reality he lives in. This is a great movie with humanity and compassion, giving Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning much opportunity to shine. (That likely means winning the Competition is out of the question...)

  • Favolacce (at the Berlinale)
    • The lives shown during a hot summer in the suburbs of Rome are a slow-burning fuse in search of a train wreck, to mix some metaphors. There is some nasty behavior on display by the adults, with their children casually disregarded or debased. The character with the least going for him -intellectually and financially- has the most positive attitude. When the explosion of the train wreck finally arrives, it's from an unexpected direction. Did I mention that this is not exactly a comedy?

  • Knives Out
    • A great ensemble cast centered around Daniel Craig -who clearly enjoys being very different than James Bond- and a fantastic Ana de Armas as a sort of hero/villain/suspect/victim. All the dirty family secrets come out after the rich patriarch dies, whose money everyone could use, and they'll fight to keep the riches in the family when it seems to slip away from them. A great story line, compellingly told and shot, or as Craig's character puts it: A donut hole in the donut's hole. But we must look a little closer. And when we do, we see that the donut hole has a hole in its center - it is not a donut hole at all but a smaller donut with its own hole, and our donut is not whole at all! This is truly must-see cinema.


Movies I've seen in the past: MoviesIn2019 - MoviesIn2018 - MoviesIn2017 - MoviesIn2016 - MoviesIn2015 - MoviesIn2014 - MoviesIn2013 - MoviesIn2012 - MoviesIn2011 - MoviesIn2010 - MoviesIn2009 - MoviesIn2008 - MoviesIn2007 - MoviesIn2006 - MoviesIn2005 - MoviesIn2004