Monday, August 30 2010
After a kind of disappointing Sunday and general lack of sleep, you always get some case of the Muuundies (like in “Office Space”). In short: you don’t think it’s getting any better and you are dead tired. But even the sixth day of the festival had some surprises…
The Experiment (USA 2010)
The German original movie may not have been the masterpiece so many people wanted it to be (especially considering the success it had in German cinemas, but then again… German cinemas usually don’t have a lot of good German movies anyway). But it was a decent movie.
Now I don’t have anything against remakes, especially if there’s a good cast involved and the production values are higher. Only this time around it didn’t work. The first 5 minutes or so made me hope for a very good movie, as it showed different videos from the wildlife animal territory and then in contrast how people “interacted” with each other (that is in war or just plain violence). Maybe not the subtlest approach, but then again it set the tone… or so I thought. Unfortunately there never was any real connection to the characters, if “good” or “bad” guys. What was even more disappointing was the acting of Forest Whitaker. I’ve seen a couple of films with him (like “The King of Scotland” or Jarmusch’s Samurai flick), but here it looked more like overacting and, in my opinion, a bit ridiculous. Sure he wanted to portray a man who was held under by his society (that is his mom) and environment and now going wild, but the transition didn’t go smooth and it wasn’t very convincing. The movie lacked characters and a bit of coherence or even suspense, so that no matter what people did to each other, there was a strange way of not feeling anything for them. And of course the ending was a bit lame in comparison to the German version. All in all not worth the 8.0 (or more) it got on imdb… which is funny because after the film festival (that is now) it has a 6.3.
Vampires (Belgium 2010)
The biggest surprise was that one of the actresses, Alexandra Kamp, showed up on stage. I haven’t really seen any movies with her, only thing I knew about her was that she starred in a couple of TV shows. She was the only German in the otherwise French-speaking cast, so it was a bit strange that she promoted “her movie” (her own words) on her own. But then again she seemed to be a nice enough person on stage, and she didn’t suck (no pun intended… or maybe yes) in her small part.
Usually I’m not a big fan of documentaries, and this was one of them. But a good one. There were some pretty original ideas (like people offering themselves for dinner and how vampires ordered their coffins) and it had some especially nice comic scenes (like the children’s game “Who’s Afraid of… The Black Man? (in German it’s called that) where the victim has to stand at the wall and count… and if he looks around everyone has to stop. Of course in the end it doesn’t matter because one of the vampires gets him anyway). Only problem was maybe the running time of nearly 90 minutes. Especially near the end it became a bit of a drama, and these elements were drawn out. Otherwise a recommendation.
The Silent House (original title: La Casa Muda) (Uruguay 2010)
I feared the worst (that is anoher rip-off of the annoying “R.E.C.”), but thought it’s only 79 minutes long, and I was intrigued by the idea that it was filmed without any cuts. Well, the best parts of the movie were the silent parts, because I could get some uninterrupted sleep. Maybe I was really that tired (after all the other movies and not much sleeping) or the movie was really that boring and bad.
It was definitely a remarkable performance of the actors, especially the main actress, to do their thing in one take, but then again it was more or less going through rooms, falling over stuff and… well, a bit of a dialogue. Okay, maybe the title itself wanted to prepare you for what it was: You see what you get, or the other way around, you hear what you get.
The ony remedy was the ending which didn’t save the movie from being bad, but at least from being amazingly bad. At least nothing to be scared about, and it was definitely better than the constant screaming and shaky camera movement of “R.E.C.”.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (UK 2009)
After a good evening’s sleep (“The Silent House”) it was time for the last movie, which was surprisingly well done. Of course it didn’t give anything new to the genre of captivity movies, but the acting was pretty good, the twists were alright, and it just never felt boring. Actually there’s not much more to say than: An enjoyable little movie with some funny and not so funny scenes.
A typical Monday: You feel tired, the movies are either bad or okay… and it holds some surprises, not only the last movie… because I also won my first movie painting! Usually I’m pretty bad at those QAs, or I’m just too slow or don’t care. This time I felt good… The question was: “Which movie from Belgium in 2008 won the Fresh…” and before the question was concluded with “Blood Award?” I shouted the answer (luckily I was not very far from the first rows, because I was a bit late): “Ex-Drummer!”… Ah well, the good ol’ times with some very good movies.
And this is what I got:
What I didn’t think about was that I had to carry it around for the rest of the night… well, at least it was the last movie and only 4 hours or so ’til my first train home.
Ah well, one of those Muuundies…