Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

29.12.10

A couch in New York


Ever feel like watching a lackluster romantic comedy? Well, you never know, once in a while you might. For example, to watch some stars you liked in other films.

This was the reason I recently checked out Un divan à New York (1996, German title Eine Couch in New York, i.e. A Couch in New York) with Juliette Binoche – co-star of Johnny Depp in Chocolat (2000) – and William Hurt, who had impressed me in The Accidental Tourist (1988).

Hurt plays a New York shrink on the brink of a nervous breakdown who decides he needs a change of scenery and trades homes with Binoche, who is an I already forgot what in Paris. Binoche's chaotic place in France's capital is too much of a change of scenery for Hurt (who gets attacked by pigeons, broken pipes and a jealous ex-lover of Binoche's), so he returns home after a few days, only to find that Binoche has taken over treatment of his patients, committing numerous psychology no-nos in her consultations. Strangely though, these broken rules render happy patients, something the good doctor has failed to achieve in all his years as a famous psychotherapist. He becomes a patient on his own couch...

That's how this love story with a complete lack of chemistry begins. But no, wait – it's already begun in Hurt's head while reading Binoche's intimate diary at her place (it looked rather like one of the paperback poetry books from Gallimard). If that ain't another no-no.

How about the acting qualities displayed here? Well, Hurt walks around with a permanently insulted look on his face – could also be a liver problem or constipation –, while Binoche comes off as a likeable airhead. I supppose that's meant to be French esprit.

So, if you're in the right mood for tepid romance and stuff borrowed from perhaps a dozen other movies (American and French), go ahead and watch this one.

2.1.09

Agents secrets / Im Fadenkreuz des Todes

Heute Abend lieh ich mir Agents secrets aus – hauptsächlich, weil ich nach Malèna mehr von Monica Bellucci sehen wollte.
Dieser belgische Film von 2004, bei dem Frédéric Schoendoerffer Regie führte, erwies sich als ein schnörkelloser Spionagestreifen, der sich durch seinen Realismus und seine Unterkühltheit angenehm von der typischen Hollywood-Ware abhebt.
Er hinterlässt insgesamt eher ein Gefühl von Melancholie und überrascht durch eine subtile Geschichte von Loyalität und Liebe in einer Umwelt, die hauptsächlich von eiskaltem Kalkül und Zynismus geprägt ist.
Bellucci ist schön wie eh und je, hat jedoch keine Gelegenheit, in einer durch Desillusionierung mit ihrem Beruf als Geheimagentin gekennzeichneten Rolle nennenswerte Bandbreite zu zeigen.

Ein Thriller, der eher düster als aktionsgepackt ist. Nur zu empfehlen.
Zu haben im DVD-Verleih oder im Handel, z.B. bei Amazon.

23.2.08

A historical perspective

These are a few things that happened on February 23s a while ago (courtesy msn encarta):

1847: About 5,000 American troops commanded by General Zachary Taylor defeat some 15,000 Mexicans under General Antonio López de Santa Anna near Buena Vista, Mexico.

Way to go, Santa Anna:

Heave her up, and away we'll go
Heave away, Santianna!
Heave her up, and away we'll go
All on the plains of Mexico

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1870: Mississippi is formally readmitted to the Union.

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1934: Casey Stengel, who had previously been the team's coach, becomes the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Hhmm ... don't see the historical significance of that, but then I've never been that interested in the Brooklyn Dodgers ... or any baseball team for that matter.

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1940: The Walt Disney animated motion picture Pinocchio, about a wooden puppet who longs to become human, is released.

Pinocchio, as I noticed last night, also puts in guest appearances in Shrek (2001).

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1945: U.S. Marines capture the highest point on the island of Iwo Jima and raise the American flag for the second time that day.

Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) tells the story of the battle from the perspective of Japanese soldiers who fought in it.

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1997: Scottish scientists announce what they have kept secret for seven months: that they have cloned adult sheep DNA and produced a healthy sheep who they have named Dolly.

Dolly, who was apparently named after Dolly Parton, lived from 1996 to 2003.

8.12.06

2day & 2morrow

"What if there's no tomorrow? There wasn't one today."

- Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

When I watched this 1993 film again last night (after many years), it struck me how young and smooth Bill Murray looked in it compared to more recent movies like Broken Flowers and Lost in Translation.

By the way: Broken Flowers seems like an extension of Lost in Translation in making the actor play a persona that's even more silent and closed up in himself.

Those who haven't seen
Lost in Translation: go see it. A marvelous portrayal of alienation. And hearing Bill Murray do a karaoke number on More than this by Roxy Music alone is worth it.