IMDb member since May 2011
    2019 Oscars
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    9 years


The Comey Rule

More current than ever
At this point I basically watch everything that has Jeff Daniels in it because he is just a great actor, proving that in "The Newsroom, The Looming Tower" and "The Comey Rule" is no exception. Even though these roles are all very similar Daniels brings a certain gravitas to the roles and believable embodies the leader that Comey was. Brendan Gleeson delivers a spot on Trump Impression even though sometimes the rolling R of the the actor from Ireland slips in here and there. But the facials, the cadence you can see he studied Mr. Trump intensely. Great performance as well. Now as the review headline says the story is unfortunately more current than ever, showing the vindictiveness of soon to be Ex-President Mr. Trump. Once you don't obey to him you are gone. Even even if obeying would mean breaking the law. Law and Mr. Trump always had a very loose relationship. That makes it a story worth telling and it does so very detailed with good performances by the two leads but also a good supporting cast. Now the one nit pick is that there a very few situations where the show isn't impartial and just knocks Trump by making fun of his mannerisms. Things like eating ice cream like a for year old. The thing about Mr. Trump is that even though you could mock him for the obvious things like being the most orange man in the world you don't need to do that. Because what he does is outrageous, dangerous, irresponsable, criminal and cartoonish enough of itself that you don't need to accentuate or exaggerate that. It is a nit pick, great show, highly recommended.

Blue Jay

More of this please
Every once in a while you discover diamonds like this movie. Minimalistic, a script and just two actors who play their heart out. They have to be good because it is just them for every minute of the movie but boy do they succeed.

Mark Duplass acting that conveys the loneliness that his character feels but still making it seem so natural. You just believe him and I think it is combination of good dialog and brilliant actors that you never actually think they are delivering lines. It feels very organic.

Not to take away anything from Duplass but Sarah Paulson is carrying this. She is able speak just with facial expressions and looks. She will just change a look or tilt her head slightly and you will know what she thinks or wants to say and Duplass Character knows that to. In a way the audience is him trying to get as much as we can from the wonderful Amanda played by Sarah Paulson.

I Am Greta

Inspiring on every level. Wake the hell up!
This documentary shows you the inside of a person that is so deeply concerned with the world and what will happen with it that she basically abandons here childhood for that.

When you see here crying on a boat in the middle of the atlantic, waves crushing against it just because it is against here principle to fly and you hear her crying, saying that this all to much for her you will know how committed she is and that she is real.

She repeats that this is not her job but since grown ups fail to it she feels she has to. And all those small-minded people who will criticize her for how she looks or that she has asperger syndrom or that she does that for fame only proof that Greta is right that they have learned nothing yet. There are people actually sending death threats to that child! Climate change was real even before Greta was born and our children will pay for our recklessness if we don't do something. Wake the hell up!


There is good movie buried way too deep in artistic bragging
This movie is the epitome of a director so wrapped up in this technical tools that the movie suffers. Although there are some beautiful shots for more than an hour it is basically a montage where you will get dizzy because the camera is tilting, panning, spinning zooming non-stop always with the red and blue color scheme while you get bombarded with song after song after song. I just wanted to scream: "Slow down". The most precious toy is the 360 degree camera pan which you will get again and again. The idea in a movie is that the camera, sound, costume, set design and so on compliment and underline your story. They should never become the story. So for more than an hour it was almost unwatchable because of the theatrics basically watching a music video. Then they considerably turn down all of that stuff and you actually get real scenes with real actors, good ones and good acting as well. What a novel concept. If the director would have decided to to the movie that way it could have been great but actors become the second lead overshadowed by theatrics.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

A star is born: Robert Schuch
Remember when almost nobody knew who Christoph Waltz was? And then everybody watched Inglourious Basterds and the rest is history. With Robert Schuch who plays one of the main characters it will be the same. Every actor in this movie is very good but he is acting circles around the others. You are glued to the screen every time he is on screen and he has a lot to play with since his character changes a lot during the movie. And the more we realize what he does with the character we can't help to be in awe with this troubled character.

Even though I would say watch the movie just to see Schuch's performance Berlin Alexanderplatz is a great movie. I didn't know anything about it. Just saw the trailer and my jaw dropped when I saw that is 3 hours long. But the trailer already kind of told you that this is something different. To be honest you could tell this story probably with 30 minutes less but it definitely needs to be long because you watch the journey of two men even though one is supposed to be the focus. The cast is great, the music is chosen well and it is shot beautifully. They create this world that our characters live in which by the way has nothing in common with reality but it isn't supposed to. It is full of colorful characters some of them very over the top. It is big, it is loud and you will have the full range of emotions. You will laugh, you will be scared in some scenes anticipating bad to happen, you will feel sorry for people, you will be angry at them and also love when they love.

20th Century Women

Watch the a game of acting
20th century woman is a showcase for all it's actors where they can shine because they play this wonderful characters. Everybody here is good top to bottom but Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning are really standing out and even more so the absolutely incredible Annette Bening. How this was a "only" a Golden Globe nomination and not one for the Academy Awards is beyond me. In every scene she is just so believable but giving you a performance where you feel like you have not seen that before. After 4 Oscar nominations and performances like this one or in "Film Stars don't die in Liverpool" and "Mother and Child" she truly deserves the golden statue. As for this movie it his great written characters, great actors a very unique score and the setdesign and locations are so gorgeous that you wish you could live there. It is about finding one's own identity and place in live, about pain, growing up and a mothers relationship to her son and vice versa. A great peace of art.

Queen & Slim

As if George Floyd would have happened already back then
Life is ironic sometimes. I had this movie on my list since it came out. When I started watching it I remembered what the premise is and thought how crazy this is. A cop just killed George Floyd a few weeks ago which let to riots and the BlackLivesMatter movement. And here is a movie that came out before that hitting right on that topic of police brutality ans racism. Admittedly this is not the he first movie that tackles the topic but is for sure on of the best ones. David Kaluuya Jodie Turner-Smith are incredible. Their acting is so unbelievably great but not just them separately but the chemistry they have together. It is working right from the start and as they get closer we are just in love with them being in love. Despite it being kind of a thriller and kind of road movie and kind of a drama it is above all a love story. You will also notice how beautifully it is shot. Now I gotta say I hated the ending. Not how it ends because this was clear from the start but the way it happens is too convenient. But it is still a great movie carried by the two leads.

The Only Living Boy in New York

Well constructed story about fathers and sons
I wish there would be more of those movies. Right from the get go you feel a certain tone a certain mood that is different from your patterned "Hollywood" flick. This movie does what good movies do it focuses on story and characters and both are tremendous. I have never seen Callum Turner in anything but he does a pretty good job as our main character torn between doing the right thing and doing what he feels. Kate Beckinsale with her very monotone and lifeless line deliveries is still cast well because she is mainly there to be the attractive and seductive one and she is very good at that. Brosnan who I like to see but never surpasses a certain level has one of his best performances of his career. But they are all outshined by Jeff Bridges which is no knock on them. Bridges in one of those actors that like a good wine get's better and better which each year he ages. The story is the second big star. Starting of very slow but building up until all the dots are connected and all the themes that were established come full circle. So if you are looking for a movie that is outside of the box that feels like something that you have not seen a hundred times give that one a try.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Efron is in way over is head
There are two major flaws in this movie that just can't be overcome. The first one is Zac Efron. He fails again to show me that there is more to him than just being the pretty one. His performance lacks any nuance. I'll never get menace from him. The Only thing I new about Ted Bundy is that he was a serial killer. So if the scenes that are documented like the televised trial are played accurately I can't tell you. Maybe Bundy was that slick without any depth to him. But I don't believe him either when he is with Lilly Collins who he has horrible chemistry with. And I never believe him in any other scene either. There is just one tiny moment when the judge reads the verdict, where there is a slight glimpse that he can be more than a mediocre actor.

Second thing wrong with the movie that it has no focus on anything. It can't decide if it is about Bundy, about his wife, about the crimes, about the absurdity of the trial the absurdity of his "groupies". So the tone shifts back and forth and the cruelty of the crimes which should be such a strong factor get just a brief window and you never get the menace that should make you angry.

Lilly Collins and Efron like I said have no chemistry when they are together. At least when Collins is alone we feel her pain. I like her in general but after "To the bone" she should stop picking those roles of the constantly suffering character before it becomes the thing she is cast for. To end on a high note there is actually one good thing about this movie. John Malkovich plays the judge and that role fits him so perfectly that it is sad that the part is so small. The best actor in this movie has the shortest screen time. The worst but most marketable actor in this movie get's the most screen time. No coincidence.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

The definition of out of the box
This astonishing movie brakes with every major rule of storytelling. There is no character arc no big obstacle to overcome no real conflict in the story or between the characters. The dialog is very flat the pacing very slow not twists and turns. But that is the brilliance of this movie. This is on purpose and it is ok to break rules in art in order to serve a purpose. It makes the story of Autumn extraordinary played by Sidney Flanigan totally believable. We are following her on her painful path and we feel like we what we are witnessing is real almost like a documentary. Talia Ryder playing her friend also gives such a breakout performance that there is no doubt in my mind she will go on to be huge star. The subtlety in both their performances make this not just a movie about teenage pregnancy but also a story of deep and meaningful friendship.

Ordinary Love

Honest and heartfelt
Neeson and Manville have a chemistry that I have rarely seen. Their banter their body languague everything is so believable and relatable. They share a love that is in the little things. They don't have to talk about love you can see it in the way they spend their time together. Watch them go through the worst of times always knowing that they have each other. A great movie about sacrifice, love, loyalty and hope. Honest in it's pictures and performances.

Human Capital

What an odd movie!
I saw the trailer and I thought it looked interesting but I couldn't tell what it is about. Well now I watched the movie and I still can't tell you what it is about. On IMDB it it is tagged with the genres crime and drama. I would say roughly 15% of this movie is crime and that part is neither thrilling nor interesting. The other 85% of this is a drama told in three stories or rather three perspectives. The first one is pretty boring even though it is funny to see Live Schreiber as a family dad. The other two perspectives are very well acted dramas carried by the performances of the still lovely Marisa Tomei an Maya Hawke. The problem is when it all comes together there isn't really a point to any of this. It is teased as a battle between between to families from social classes but it never really get's there. Basically the movie never decides what it wants to be.

So if you see the movie do it for the performances of Tomei, Hawke and Alex Wolff and for the actual good drama parts. If you are looking for a thriller or crime this isn't the movie for you. And don't expect a payoff or a message to take away from it.

Honey Boy

You can feel Shia's pain
I saw a lot of interviews of LaBeouf leading up to this. That he wrote this wonderful movie and how this is about him and his dad. If you watch Shia in his more personal interviews you can see he is hurting and he will even tell you. So I was so anticipating this movie to finally get a release in Germany. All my expectations were met. You can feel Shia's pain you can hear his voice talking to you through script and actors. You want to help and protect his younger self played amazingly by Noah Jupe. And sometimes you wanna hit Shia's father played by Shia himself and then you feel sorry for him because he probably suffered the same when he was young and it all becomes a vicious cycle.

The movie is well directed got some beautiful shots and montages jumping eloquently between the two timelines. It will touch you and show you that Shia after American Honey, Fury, Borg, Man Down and Peanut Butter Falcon again delivers a strong performance. We are proud of you Shia.


The tragedy of childhood trauma
Sleepwalking is dealing with the trauma caused by bad parenting passed on from generation to generation and it does so in a very convincing and well crafted way. But be warned that some of the scenes are really hard to watch.

I thinks that actually everything in this movie works. It is a good script well directed. Charlize Theron is good, Hopper is outstanding. AnnaSophia Robb was 15 at the time and deservedly went on to do big things. But the true surprise is Nick Stahl. I have rarely seen him in anything and if I did he never caught my attention. Well he does here. His performance is so subtle. He is one of those actors who can show their emotion with just his eyes. He is outstanding in this movie. Go watch him and go watch this wonderful movie.

Little Fires Everywhere

Leaves you speechless
I just finished that amazing show. Watched in two days. It is beyond me how this doesn't have a better imdb rating because everything about this exceptional from the script to the actors to the score. The writing of this is so clever. It explores the themes of racism, mothers and daughters, expectations and how lies effect life., Kerry Washington and Witherspoon deliver incredibly layered performances. But we also get some great young actors making a mark like Megan Stott who played Izzy and Lexi Underwood who plays Pearl. If you have not watched it yet be sure that you are in for some hard times because this drama has a lot of very emotional and painful scenes in it and this get's extreme in the last two episodes. This show is exceptional and moving on every level.

To the Stars

Why did you focus on the wrong character?
This movie makes some very odd choices but by far the oddest choice is the choice of the lead character and actress. It is baffling that Liana Liberato's character isn't the focal point of the movie. It is the far more interesting character with the far more interesting story and played by the far better actress.

I don't wanna be mean to Kara Hayward but she is just miscast. The way she plays her role feels so unreal. Slouching your shoulders, lowering your head and looking shy is not enough tell us your pain and fear. Doing the old cliche of just wearing thick dark glasses won't help either. Her character is flat anyway and we mostly get her misery by watching good actors interact with her like her mother played by Jordana Spiro who is exceptionally good as well as Shea Whigham even though his part is tiny and Adelaide Clemens who is also great doing so much with so little.

Long story short this movie could have been absolutely great with a focus on the right character. The first half is hard to watch and when it finally get's to Liberato's side of the story everything clicks until near the end when we get stuck with Hayward again. Missed opportunity.


Steven Soderbergh aka Nostradamus
So 9 years ago they made movie about a pandemic and they got it all right. The masks, social distancing the conspiracy theorists, no funerals, empty stores and even that it starts in China and so much more. For everyone who watches that know it will have to effects. Number one it will feel very uncomfortable because you know that can happen. Number two is that although we have people dying and businesses and people going broke it could be even worse if the infection and death rate was higher.

So it is an accurate movie but is is it also good. Yes, it even was before the pandemic but it is even more know. This is not a Hollywood style movie. It is presented to you as clinic and scientific as the topic is. Straight to the point, realistic and unpleasant. It is the wonderful opposite of movies like Outbrake.

A Rainy Day in New York

Welcome to the Fanning Chalamet show
I never got what the appeal of a Woody Allen movie is but this one at least was quite easy to watch only for two reasons Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning. I think neither of them is capable of anything less but a good performance and most of the times they are great like they are here. Everything else is just the pattern of a Allen movie. New York, piano music, art, some good and some very bad dialog. If you like Chalamet and Fanning, watch it, otherwise skip it.

Official Secrets

A story that needed to be told
Most of the movies we get to see in the bigger movie theaters and streaming services are produced to attract the biggest audience possible. So naturally they try to have a mass appeal and there are certain topics that don't fit that mole, political topics being one of them. Luckily some people decided to tell this story anyway. Now usually I prefer that to tell stories like that you choose a documentary because they have more credibility. But not everybody watches these and so I am glad that there are movies like this who bring it to the attention to people who without it would never know this happened.

Official Secrets tells a story that it is so gripping that you basically need no screenwriter. Let's talk about the actors. Keira Knightly is an odd choice for the lead. I consider her a good actress but I don't necessarily see her as this tough woman fighting for her believes. Of course as an actress she can convince me otherwise but she didn't. She is not bad in any way. I believe anything she does on the human side when it comes to her conscience, her fear and her boyfriend. What I don't believe is her as a government spy or as the tough woman standing up to authorities. I think this movie profits from a great supporting cast. Ralph Phinnes, Conleth Hill, Matthew Goode and Rhys Ifans even though his character and acting feels way to over the top for this movie it is still entertaining.

I could have lived with a little less cliched depiction of the intelligence services and also I feel like this story didn't dramatizing with they way it is shot and lit but these are just minor issues. This movie is carried foremost by an incredible story that needed to be told.

The Lucky Ones

Uninspired and unoriginal
I just finished what turned out to be a 115 minute long army commercial. I will skip the critic of that being another "you can be miserable but your life gets purpose by fighting for your country" nonsense just because it says nothing about the quality of the movie. If everybody involved beliefs in that and that is your message, fine, even if I don't agree with it. So let's talk about the craftsmanship of this movie. It is the epitome of bad screenwriting because it is way to long for what It wants to tell you and every situation from the first moment is so unbelievably contrived that it is cringe worthy.

I have seen good performances from all of these three actors so I have no clue why they would sign up for a script that is that bad. The direction is as blend as the music that plays between the dialog scenes. Nothing is surprising, nothing is original. Every scene is shot with the most obvious camera choices. It is just a poorly crafted movie in every department.

And when three soldiers drive down the highway and look irritated because there is car with some Arabic looking people passing them that just sends a terrible message.

First Girl I Loved

Finding ones true idendity
With some movies you just know right from the get go, that you will like them. It can be as little as the combination of a certain font used for the credits combined with a moving score. First Girl I Loved is one of those movies. Even though all 3 main characters are portrayed nicely by the actors it is Dylan Gelula who carries the movie. We can see how she feels at any given second, her confusion, uncertainty and fear. I know that some people will call this an LGBT film but I will not. Because it would limit what this film is. It of course is about that but it is also a coming of age story. A story of finding your true self whatever that encapsulates. The feelings of all of our main characters at that point in life where you have to figure out who you are and we have all been there and can relate.

This movie is directed very well cutting some scenes short that will get revealed later but it will be at its best when it reaches the climax. A scene where the stakes are so high and emotions burst. It will be hard to watch but it is in my opinion the most powerful scene which also finally gives Pamela Adlon a well deserved moment to shine. The can be never enough that send a message of who and however you are, you are ok.


It is true that true art stands the test of time
I will always have soft spot for Ralph Macchio because I am from that generation that saw him in the original iconic Karate Kid. And even though I have that soft spot I basically never saw any other good performance of him. Then I stumbled over Crossoards browsing on Netflix. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Macchio delivers an Oscar performance here but somehow it seems that if you pair him up with an older actor that it creates a certain power dynamic between those two.

Karate Kid is a movie about a boy mentored by an older man that is kind of a father figure that teaches him a craft but also teaches him about life. Crossroads does exactly the same just in another context. I was in awe that this movie worked from the first second even though it is from 1986 and I am 39 years and I have never seen it. Is a really a testament of how good it is. It has some wackiness about it at the end but it is just a well told story about two men and their amazing journey.

Just Mercy

You have seen that movie but it will still move you
First of let me get two things out of the way. There can never be enough movies against the death penalty. There can never be enough movies against racism. That being said you have already seen that movie and not just once. So from a story and directorial perspective there isn't really anything new. It will go to all of the usual steps that this subgenre has presented before. But even though it is always great when you put a new twist or perspective on something there is still nothing wrong presenting a story that is worth telling in a way that has to be proven successful. You will still be moved and there is particular one barbaric scene that will grab you but see for yourself.

I have been a fan of MIchael B. Jordan since his "Friday Night Lights" Days and even from "The Wire". He is good here but I noticed a familiar pattern here. He likes to act very small. He delivers emotions mostly through his eyes and that makes his acting feel a little stoic a little wooden at times because there is no body language, always keeping his very straight posture. But I have no doubt he will get his academy award some day. Brie Larson I don't know what went wrong here. She is given nothing. She doesn't really get a character and is basically just there to give files to Michael B. Jordan and give a quick pep talk. Jamie Foxx is really good in his role but neither him nor Jordan are the standouts here. Rob Morgan and Tim Blake Nelson deliver exceptional performances . There parts are small but they make the most of it. So if you want so see something that has worked before go see a pretty solid movie. If you are looking for something new, something innovative this is not the movie for you.

The Half of It

The power of good directing and screenwriting
Netflix suggested that movie and even in the trailer I thought that looks promising. Little did I know that this would be an overachiever. It is cleverer than the usual coming of age and finding yourself stories.

The power lies in the writing and in the direction. I don't wanna knock the cast they are all fine but they are not the strength of the movie. It is the writing with a very clear constructed story with very well established themes and a well formed character arc for our protagonist that is also reflected in the supporting cast. This is not about sexual orientation it is about finding your true self in life and standing for what you are. It is about the sacrifices and work that you put in the relationships with the people you care about.

Good writing and very well constructed scenes make this movie easy to watch, and to live vicariously through these characters. To remember what it was like when you were at that odd place in live where everything is "messy".

White Girl

A star in the making
I found the movie on Netflix due to hidden category "independent drama" which I love and I was pleasantly surprised. It is very gritty and dark and you kind of experience the movie through the eyes of the main character as she stumbles from party to another and from one mess into another.

But honestly no one would remember this movie if it wasn't for Morgan Saylor. She plays her heart out. Maybe because such a small movie is not widely recognized but for me this should have been an Oscar nomination. Morgan is able to get lost in a scene in the good way. She is willing to not be pretty, willing to take chances, to be provocative, vulnerable all at the same time. She steals the show in every scene even though I want to point out that Brian Marc even though he is much less screentime does a fine job.

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