Movie What's the last movie you saw? (5)

GG.exe

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HahnPremium , my IMDB review of DIE WELLE (2008)

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Die Welle (2008) is a very well made movie that everyone should find entertaining as entertainment goes, as well as meaty enough to get the brain juices flowing and have post-movie debates and discussions over, but not overcooked to be pretentious and trying to (failing to) grapple with too many topics.

The main thing that stands out is the great array of characters (types), and the wonderful story-telling that gives all the characters their own individual arcs. It's not just one main character, or a couple of main characters, that have been given actual arcs, but pretty much every single character in the movie -- be they small role or large role. It's quite an accomplishment by the writers to achieve this.

The acting isn't the best. Some of the actors do a fantastic job. Some of them are average. Some of them are bad. So it's really the story itself, the writing, the plot points, that is the driving force of this movie.

The story is an adaption of the famous book and real-life story, but I think the movie is a better adaption than the book itself. Better plot points, specific acts that occur, and the ending is much better.

Having it set in Germany gives it a bit more clout. But it really didn't need to do that. Because the core question of whether Fascism could rise again is redundant because Fascism has NEVER gone away, has RISEN in the USA for the last x decades, among other countries, and really it won't ever go away.

So it's not like it breaks any ground topically-speaking. There's nothing shocking about the turn of events. This kind of thing happens constantly in communities, states, and countries....where hardships arise, cliques form, a leader is born, an ideal is expressed, and it boils over to a fascist nature.

In the wash-up, the movie is good and entertaining and worth your time. It isn't some kind of masterpiece. It isn't a stinker.

GG Rating: 5/10

(based on a yes/no for each of the ten categories below)

cinematography - story/synopsis - editing - acting - script - directing - music/sound - fx - originality - je ne sais quoi
 

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HahnPremium

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HahnPremium , my IMDB review of DIE WELLE (2008)

-----------------------------

Die Welle (2008) is a very well made movie that everyone should find entertaining as entertainment goes, as well as meaty enough to get the brain juices flowing and have post-movie debates and discussions over, but not overcooked to be pretentious and trying to (failing to) grapple with too many topics.

The main thing that stands out is the great array of characters (types), and the wonderful story-telling that gives all the characters their own individual arcs. It's not just one main character, or a couple of main characters, that have been given actual arcs, but pretty much every single character in the movie -- be they small role or large role. It's quite an accomplishment by the writers to achieve this.

The acting isn't the best. Some of the actors do a fantastic job. Some of them are average. Some of them are bad. So it's really the story itself, the writing, the plot points, that is the driving force of this movie.

The story is an adaption of the famous book and real-life story, but I think the movie is a better adaption than the book itself. Better plot points, specific acts that occur, and the ending is much better.

Having it set in Germany gives it a bit more clout. But it really didn't need to do that. Because the core question of whether Fascism could rise again is redundant because Fascism has NEVER gone away, has RISEN in the USA for the last x decades, among other countries, and really it won't ever go away.

So it's not like it breaks any ground topically-speaking. There's nothing shocking about the turn of events. This kind of thing happens constantly in communities, states, and countries....where hardships arise, cliques form, a leader is born, an ideal is expressed, and it boils over to a fascist nature.

In the wash-up, the movie is good and entertaining and worth your time. It isn't some kind of masterpiece. It isn't a stinker.

GG Rating: 5/10

(based on a yes/no for each of the ten categories below)

cinematography - story/synopsis - editing - acting - script - directing - music/sound - fx - originality - je ne sais quoi
Fair and accurate critique. Its the central idea that is interesting rather than the movie as a piece of art. Would have been something to have been in the classroom of Ron Jones. If I remember correctly (bit hazy on the details) the actual event ended as he announced a meeting that all should attend to broadcast to the world the manifesto of "The wave". Then duly announced it was all just an experiment. Its ballsy teaching but an extremely risky proposition as the film depicts in its version of events. One has to really question was it good ground breaking teaching? Or was it serving the ego of the teacher in believing he was conducting radical thought provoking education? Young keen minds can learn a lot or forever be shattered. Either feeling let down, duped or even ashamed of their behaviour.
Thats the most interesting point for me of the story of Ron Jones.
 

GG.exe

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Fair and accurate critique. Its the central idea that is interesting rather than the movie as a piece of art. Would have been something to have been in the classroom of Ron Jones. If I remember correctly (bit hazy on the details) the actual event ended as he announced a meeting that all should attend to broadcast to the world the manifesto of "The wave". Then duly announced it was all just an experiment. Its ballsy teaching but an extremely risky proposition as the film depicts in its version of events. One has to really question was it good ground breaking teaching? Or was it serving the ego of the teacher in believing he was conducting radical thought provoking education? Young keen minds can learn a lot or forever be shattered. Either feeling let down, duped or even ashamed of their behaviour.
Thats the most interesting point for me of the story of Ron Jones.
you are right there. the story of the teacher himself and the risks he ran. i dont think he ever truly lost control tho like the teacher in the movie did. thats why i like the movie adaption better because the teacher actually lost the plot, got swept away by his own experiment.
 

HahnPremium

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you are right there. the story of the teacher himself and the risks he ran. i dont think he ever truly lost control tho like the teacher in the movie did. thats why i like the movie adaption better because the teacher actually lost the plot, got swept away by his own experiment.
True. I thought the portrayal of the teacher character a bit over the top. But hey, its a movie. In the reality, I think Ron Jones was extremely fortunate. You dont have to lose control but if you set certain wheels in motion it can become beyond your control.
 

GG.exe

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True. I thought the portrayal of the teacher character a bit over the top. But hey, its a movie. In the reality, I think Ron Jones was extremely fortunate. You dont have to lose control but if you set certain wheels in motion it can become beyond your control.
well said there....jones created a situation that went beyond his control, or out of control in itself. the real life story is fascinating for that reason. the movie version kind of "has to" make the teachers arc one where he loses himself in what he created just like all the students did before he reeled himself back....but it was still too late, as real death occurs.....why i like the movie version better....the arcs
 

HahnPremium

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well said there....jones created a situation that went beyond his control, or out of control in itself. the real life story is fascinating for that reason. the movie version kind of "has to" make the teachers arc one where he loses himself in what he created just like all the students did before he reeled himself back....but it was still too late, as real death occurs.....why i like the movie version better....the arcs
Dont think Ill bother viewing the sequel "The last Wave".
Directed by Rian Johnson and the dead student comes back as a force ghost fascist and the teacher escapes from jail and being a bundle of conflicting emotions dons an eerie mask.
 

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Blue Arrow

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Priest (2011)
Basically a western/sci-fi set on an alt Earth where vampires have been defeated by ninja priests and want to restart the war.
Retired priest comes back to rescue an abducted relative and save the world while he is doing it.
Nothing great but it has good action sequences and Maggie Q so worth a watch.
 

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Priest (2011)
Basically a western/sci-fi set on an alt Earth where vampires have been defeated by ninja priests and want to restart the war.
Retired priest comes back to rescue an abducted relative and save the world while he is doing it.
Nothing great but it has good action sequences and Maggie Q so worth a watch.
Talk about mixing genres!
 

GG.exe

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Certainly sounds like it's based on Wages of Fear. One of the greatest films ever made. Not sure that it needed a remake.
Finished watching this movie last night. Here is my IMDB review of it....(will watch Sorcerer tomorrow night and compare)....

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The Wages of Fear (1953) can essentially be broken into two parts. The opening half of the movie is an amazing, sprawling work of art, as the film delves into the day to day lives of the people of Las Piedras. The town is an isolated dead-end in the middle of a desert, filled with impoverished locals, as well as down and out foreigners who ran out of money and got trapped there. There is no work, people are struggling just to get food, and they all mingle with each other to pass the time, waiting for an opportunity to find a way out. Essentially, they are all literal prisoners in a literal jail, serving what seems a life sentence.

This first part of the film is incredibly well-written, with fantastic camera work, long continuous shots, intermingled with fast editing, as the camera essentially sweeps thru the town, from conversation to conversation, introducing us to all the myriad of people, their relationships, interactions, struggles, tensions, and humor. In today's cinema, you just don't see movies made like this anymore. Where there's confronting dialog, scenes, and very extensive delicate time taken to fully flesh out a whole community of characters. For some, they may find this first half of the film a little boring, as they wonder "Where's all this leading to? Hurry up with some action". But truly, that whole first half of the film is not at all boring despite the lack of action. There is so much wonderful throwaway lines, conversations, and day to day scenes going on that is very fascinating. It's all a character-driven process that is very important for setting up the second half of the film.

The second half is about four characters who get their opportunity to break out of the town on a dangerous mission, and we follow them as they try to get thru all the ordeals and obstacles. There's a lot of interesting dilemmas thrown at them, and it's very suspenseful and thrilling to see how they conjure up ideas and ways to get by them. As the characters journey thru this second half, there's a little bit of character arc happening, but not really. I felt the writers let the film down in this stage of the film by not focusing on developing the characters and giving them interesting arcs...especially after spending so much time and effort in the first half of the movie setting them up. Instead, the focus tended to be more on the obstacles themselves, the stunts/danger. None of the characters, bar one, go thru any sort of change, or evolution/devolution.

Also, the film is a quintessential French film. Typical heavy spoonfuls of Existentialism thruout. Typical French of that period. Viewing it today, it just smacks of pretentiousness. For example, near the end of the film when they talk about a fence in a suburb they both know from their youth. The fence ends up a metaphor for the divide between life and death, and what is there beyond the fence? "There is nothing!". Typical French (thumbs down). Gimme a break.

That's the very purpose of the film/story -- very Albert Camus "Myth of Sisyphus". The whole first part of the movie is like that is planet Earth, we're all just prisoners in some meaningless life, finding things to amuse ourselves with to get by, filling our heads with hopes and dreams, filling our days with petty drama. But the second half of the movie is like four men take a journey beyond the confines of life/Earth, into a realm close to death, and thus come out of it enlightened, realizing there is nothing at all -- no honor, no glory, no salvation, no point.

Given how much I loved the first half of the movie, for being character-driven. I found the second half of the movie a bit of a let down for not making something of that -- role reversals, great personal trials, tensions between interchanging members of the four men, etc.

I watched this film in lieu of watching William Freidkin's remake of this movie "Sorcerer", so as to compare. So I will follow this review up with a review of Sorcerer.

GG Rating: 6/10

(based on a yes/no for each of the ten categories below)

cinematography - story/synopsis - editing - acting - script - directing - music/sound - fx - originality - je ne sais quoi
 

charcoalchicken

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Black panther - probably the worst of the marvel films i have seen so far, this was boring, real boring. Apparently captain marvel gives it a run for it's money in being worse so i think i just won't bother with that one
 
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GG.exe

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Finished watching SORCERER tonight, and here's my IMDB.com companion review of it to go alongside THE WAGES OF FEAR review....

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A re-make, or better, a re-adaption, of the 1953 French film "The Wages of Fear". But the two films starkly contrast in tone and theme, and many plot points.

Where The Wages of Fear was more of an Existential thesis, with a lot of humor, and human interaction,"Sorcerer" charts a much grittier realm -- full of political essay, economic truisms, and an exploration of the theme of fate/karma. Highlighting more the sheer darkness in humans and humanity, nothing at all celebratory. Whereas a river of hope and personality ran thru The Wages of Fear.

Sorcerer is essentially split into three parts. The first part of the movie introduces us to each of the four main characters, showing us a quick glimpse of their backstories, and what led them all to the same hell-hole and predicament. The four main characters, unlike TWOF, are terrible humans, criminals. They each are forced to flee their lives in various countries when their pathetic lives are at risk. They are all cowards, selfish to the core. Not a redeeming quality about them.

The second part of the film focuses on their lives in the god-forsaken place they have ended up, an impoverished backwater town in the jungles of Latin America. Unlike TWOF, Sorcerer's place is far graver and dangerous. There is no charm in the streets, no community. The town is essentially a prison, and the four main characters are slave-laborers with no hope of ever drumming up the cash to find an exit. They are basically serving penance for their life of crime.

The third part of the film like TWOF focuses on their suicide-mission delivering dangerous goods thru dangerous terrain 200 miles away. TWOF pit the four men against a desert terrain. Sorcerer pit them against a swampy jungle terrain.

The ending of Sorcerer is a lot better and sensible than the ending of TWOF. Again, it's all about fate and karma, a real dark shadow following these men. Whereas in TWOF, it was a lighter-hearted spoof on the meaningless of the human condition Albert Camus-style.

It was very interesting to see (the few) things that Sorcerer imitated from TWOF, and to see all the many ways it differed. Both films have their pros and cons. TWOF had a wonderful vista of life, of human interaction, and had more interesting obstacles and challenges that the men faced on their journey. Sorcerer in contrast was a lot more action packed from the get-go, was a lot darker and a genuine "thriller". Whilst Sorcerer didn't have as many different obstacles, the rope bridge scene was epic. Considering the entire film was all done with real-life effects and stunts, it gave their journey a more hellish tone and a real sense of danger/risk compared to TWOF.

TWOF spent too much time setting up the vista of life/community, as interesting as it was, with great camera work, acting/writing, but it is true it was laborious per se from a viewing perspective.

Sorcerer's script was superior in terms of how the story was pieced together. The writers got straight to the point. Introducing the four men in vignettes which were packed with action and intrigue. The dark sordid glimpses into their backstories was thus more appropriate and impactful with the story picking up in a literal hell-hole prison-like existence, and thus better capturing the desperation that would lead such men to take on a suicide mission just to find a way out of their wretched situations.

TWOF characters were more like charming European types with spirit and humor, debonair and social, and us not knowing anything about their former lives, why they're here. Sorcerer however introduces us to four fleeing rats, puts them in a cage, and then offers them a treacherous maze for freedom.

I thought both films failed tho in terms of the character arcs and development, during that whole truck driving journey. Both films could've done so much better, done so much more, with evolving and devolving the characters as they journeyed thru all the obstacles. Having the two teams interact more, role-reversals, them talking about their lives/memories, things coming out about them that endangers the mission, etc. TWOF did a slightly better job of this, but both failed really. Missed opportunity.

Sorcerer's truck journey was much quicker and less obstacle-packed, much shorter run-time, so the film kind of hurried too fast to its conclusion. This could be partly due to the problems that the film's production faced during the shoot -- way over-budget, tensions and fights among the director and crew, needing other studios to bail the project out. But regardless of that, it's still a problem with the movie.

All up, both films have their pros and cons, neither one is significantly better or worse than the other. One focuses on existentialism, the other on karma. One is charming and light-hearted, the other humorless and unforgiving. But if I had to pick one, I'd give the edge to Sorcerer simply because it's more thematically impactful, more consistent within itself, has a much better script structure with the vignettes etc, and more of an actual "thriller" with action, stunts and intrigue flowing thru it, and will stand the test of time forever.

GG Rating: 7/10

(based on a yes/no for each of the ten categories below)

cinematography - story/synopsis - editing - acting - script - directing - music/sound - fx - originality - je ne sais quoi
 

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A low budget Netflix movie set in London. A teenage boy (Bill Milner) gets shot and the bullet fragments in his brain give him supernatural powers to go after the crims. Supporting cast included Maisie Williams (Arya from GoT), Miranda Richardson (Queenie from Blackadder) and Rory Kinnear. Quite enjoyed it.

6/10.
 
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