• A Color Print of Edo

    A Color Print of Edo


    Marriage mechanics greased with short bursts of action, yet in the end this seems to be more interested in the mechanics themselves rather than in the fighting. The fact that the former mostly come down to a zero-sum-game - an elderly guy arranges the wrong marriage, and then his meddling has to be undone without hurting his feelings - might be partly the point, because it allows for inserting bits of emotional expressivity into a fast-moving plot. Anyway, well-made all around.

  • Herz – modern möbliert

    Herz – modern möbliert


    From the stage to domesticity - a familiar trajectory for German post 1933 comedies, yet here it is treated a bit differently, because domesticity is treated as another kind of stage. Complete with props, choreography and mistaken identity comedy routines. The routine back and forth still grows a bit stale over time, and Gustav Fröhlich proved once again completely unbearable; yet I liked both female leads, Hilde Krahl and Gusti Huber quite a bit, and as a film about two…

  • The Out-Laws

    The Out-Laws


    Most relaxed Happy Madison joint of 2023. As expected, the action part is trash - more practical effect work than expected, though, and in the end it does not matter anyway because, like all of Spindel's films, at heart this is about translating American middle class lifestyle into unhinged farce. Adam DeVine proves pretty much the perfect medium for this, in his full-on, unselfconscious commitment to mainstream idiocy. A guy who stumbled into all-American suburban respectability without ever having to…

  • Jew Süss

    Jew Süss

    Rating is even more random than usually I guess, because how to even rate this "as a film". I mean, "as a film" it is mostly terrible, too - way too talky, crammed sets, mugging for mugging's sake etc - and yet the few somewhat evocative, borderline poetic scenes all are connected to the especially ugly soiling of the Aryan beauty plot. There's just nothing to gain here, aesthetically, and the political damage it has done can probably only be…

  • Karneval der Liebe

    Karneval der Liebe


    Also advertised as an "operetta", but this on stays much closer to the revue formula than Martin's stronger MASKE IN BLAU from the same year. At least there's once again a great Moser performance, and like in MASKE, at times it feels as if Martin is eager to hand over the whole film to him, inserting him into scene after scene, often without all that much narrative motivation. It is kind of sad though, too, to see Moser being used…

  • Der weiße Traum

    Der weiße Traum


    This is supposed to be one of the few German revue movies with decent dance choreography, mostly because main actress Olly Holzmann was a master figure skater and because producer Karl Hartl gave free reign to choreographer Hedy Pfundmayr, who had excelled in both classical ballet and modern dance productions. Indeed, the big ice finale is quite marvelous and, in its carefully calibrated artifice, worlds apart from all those bizarre showgirl parades capping off most other revue films. Unfortunately it…

  • Sex-Business: Made in Pasing

    Sex-Business: Made in Pasing


    Brummer oozes homely sleeziness and, beneath a thin veneer of everthing-is-business cynicism, just seems to feel immensely blessed to be able to make a career out of his fondness for "folkloristic" dirty jokes. Clearly not everything will be as friendly and playful once the curious intellectual and his camera leave, yet this probably really still is a mode of production most participants can walk away from at the end of the day without much damage. Brummer might just try to…

  • Silent Night

    Silent Night


    Tears, bullets... haters gonna hate, yet to me this is Woo's best since WINDTALKERS, and his purest since maybe even HARD BOILED. We probably will not be this blessed, but if this turns out to be the start of his late-career direct to streaming madness phase, I for one am all in.

    Of course in terms of sheer intensity this is to THE KILLER what a meager music box melody is to a full-blown Cantopop tune. The smaller scale this…

  • Perfect Days

    Perfect Days


    Like mentioned on here before, this is basically a(n almost too) well-made Jarmusch film, except probably for the very nice scene shortly before the end by the water. And I guess to me that gentle and slightly awkward miniature, by way of handing over the film to the character's self-expression for once, elevates the whole thing from vintage poseur cool to something genuinely touching.

  • Liebespremiere



    Rabenalt tries to sleaze up the revue film formula here and there, and even manages to sneak in a short topless scene; what's more, the whole romantic push and pull has a frivolous note to it that sets the film apart from its peers (certainly very much so from the Rökk films). An attempt to escape from the sanitized, "healthy" erotics of NS cinema, towards something more French and decadent... a good idea in theory, and yet, musically this just does not deliver, and the cast is on the bland side, too. Terrible line reading especially.

  • Mask in Blue

    Mask in Blue


    Feels more like an Weimar operetta movie than like a Nazi era revue film at times, indeed some scenes like the window to window to window backyard song are quite obvious throwbacks to the pre 1933 Ufa style. Martin manages to keep things moving nicely enough, the songs seem to be at least partly taken from the Fred Raymond source operetta and generally, the music is much better than in most revue films. So, the difference once again mostly comes…

  • Godzilla Minus One

    Godzilla Minus One


    Given that Godzilla was about trauma all along, centering the new one rather completely around a war trauma storyline can be described as the series re-entering its own discourse. While in older films, the monster was a potent metaphor because it banded together an existential threat and its eventual vincibility in one body, freeing the film up to projecting all kinds of fantasies onto it, here it appears as an answer to another, individualized trauma, which defines and also somewhat…