Reviews (10,442)

  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Mit fünfzig küssen Männer anders" (ugh! the title already "Men aged fifty and above kiss differently") is a German television movie from 1999, so this one is already over 20 years old. One thing that has not changed since then is that these films almost always run for 1,5 hours or actually minimally under and this is also true for the outcome here. When ARD Degeto and Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion are both part of a film (one is enough already), you can already be assured that what you are about to watch will only reach the lowest quality imaginable. And even if you keep your expectations low for this one here, they will most likely be disappointed. It may sound harsh, but yes, this is indeed how bad this movie is. It is also a case of too many cooks spoiling the brother. We have three writers here. Dorit Zinn wrote the novel this is based on and even if I have not read it, I am positive that the outcome there is as poor as this movie. So probably a good thing this is the only work from the writer that got turned into a movie. Martin Henning was in charge of the screenplay here. You could definitely wonder why because he has only written one other screenplay before that and that was over a decade earlier, back when I was barely born. And he also did not write anything afterwards, which is probably a good thing too if we are looking at the quality here and that youth is not an excuse for him because, as I just stated, he already worked in the industry considerably earlier. Alistair Beaton is a mystery too. No clue what is up with him here. He may have been prolific and experienced by 1999, but really only with British projects, so no idea why he was a part of this at all. Or if he even was or if he is in here because he wrote this earlier for some British film. Cannot find something like that though.

    The big name here is definitely director Margarete von Trotta. I have seen a lot from her and I cannot say anything positive whatsoever. I absolutely do not think this is the one film that stands out negatively from a decent body of work, but it is one film where she sucked just as much as she did with almost everything else from her body of work. Or maybe a bit more because this film was truly abysmal at times. But von Trotta is an incredibly overrated filmmaker that really only stands out because she maybe the most known female German director in her early years. Yet to see something though that warrants this status. She has nothing on her ex-husband for example and I don't even consider him on the samel level as the other defining folks back then such as Herzog, Wenders and Fassbinder. But back to this film here now: Let's take a look at the cast. von Trotta being on board helped them to get some fairly big names. Or "big" names. lead actress Senta Berger for example is also vastly overrated. Ulrich Pleitgen I felt pretty bad for with how his character was written. So uninspired. May he rest in peace. Konstantin Wecker is definitely a better musician than actor. Heinrich Schafmeister I had no clue why he was in this movie. I kinda have a soft spot for him, but with career decisions like this it's tough to keep liking him. His on-screen partner here is Tina Ruland? IHm really? Anyway, I struggle to call her an actress. Weisgerber some could recognize. Not much to say about her. Edgar Selge is always easy to identify, but his role here is really small. Daniela Ziegler has been in many Regina Ziegler films, I wonder if this is still a coincidence. Simon Verhoeven has a really small role in here, probably because he is Berger's son. And a filmmaker himself now by the way, but only with a so-so body of work at best too.

    The one element that, once again with Ziegler and Degeto, overshadows everything from a negative perspective is the anti-male message. I understand that these films are mostly for female audience, but the way men are elaborated on in here, is absolutely disgusting and disgraceful. If a man in such a movie only dares to find another woman attractive than his partner, he is immediately depicted as really unlikable and not one bit worthy of the woman in his life. But what if it is the other way around? All good. The woman can do with as many men whatever she wants and the one to blame is always the husband/partner because either he did not took good enough care of his partner or the woman simply finds true love elsewhere and she is still charming and likable and simply wonderful. Only men can be despicable cheaters. I don't really understand it, but it must be the same like with how Black people cannot be racist. Anyway, let's not drift away too far here. There are still many moments for which this can be considered an awful movie. Another inclusion that fits the description is how all men are constantly drooling over Berger's character. And they are all younger. between her and Pleitgen, there were five years. Between her and Wecker, there were more than five, but admittedly Wecker looked ten years younger and between her and Feifel, there are over 20. Yep, that's right. Berger has men considerably younger being all crazy for her. Of course she does. She is a distinguished woman. And of course she also does not have sex this fairly handsome and much younger guys like Feifel's character. She does with Wecker's though or is about to before that hilarious moment during which they talk about showering before sex. Of course, once again, Berger plays a character too much of a self-confident woman to accept the man's wish. Sigh. And in the end, Pleitgen's character can be so happy again that his wife wants to be with him again, no matter how she kept cheating and making sure he is off for the weekend, so that she can go on a hike with her lover. With him and his car by the way we also see again how incapable and short-tempered men are depicted in these films.

    One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the aspect of art. Berger plays an aspiring painter, but she may not have found her perfect approach yet because so far her pictures are only good, but the thing that sets her apart from everybody else is missing. of course, this changes also eventually because in the end, her cheating resulted in her finding the missing piece and we see she is at an exhibition where her works are put on display. Same nonsense pseudo feel-good happy ending as usual with Degeto. By then, I was only glad it was over really. It was all such a joke and not a good one. I normally say that I applaud every female that sees through this mess, but here the opposite is the case really. Any person with an IQ over 60 must see through the outcome here. It is all so unrealistic, so unauthentic, so fake. The anti-males message also continues during other scenes, for example when they are outside having barbecue or something and there is a huge flame when the men are in charge and the women watching. This shows us how in the filmmakers' eyes here the men want to be kings, but are really pretty incompetent and if the women really treat their men like kings, then this is because they are queens themselves and know it's best to make them think so. Kinda unreal that the screenplay here is really coming from two men. Not surprised at all that the novel is from a women. And of course, as I said very early on, von Trotta manages the impossible here to make things even worse. She is not talented at all as a filmmaker.

    So also aside from Berger and her protagonist this is a really weak movie. For example, take the trip to the mountainside. There the instructor screams like crazy military-style at one of the people who take part because he whispered something to somebody else and that guy he treats like he is worth nothing. No offense, but this instructor would have lost his job a long time ago. He is making a lot of money there. Would you pay anything when you are insulted like that? Nope, you would maybe even sue. Also, when said instructor is finally getting put in his place by somebody else, he does not stantd up for himself, but says something appreciative like how he is glad that the fella stood up for himself. Besides, pretty good idea to drink beer during such a mountain tour. Will certainly help you sense of orientation and balance. Besides, this alpha-male who stood up for himself was played by Heinrich Schafmeister. Already difficult to picture him dating somebody like Tina Ruland's character (and her being crazy for him), but H.S. acting like a boss there is absolutely nothing that fits the actor or character. It felt all wrong. No matter where you were looking with this movie, it all turned into failure. The title already should have kept me from watching this one, but maybe I can at least warn some others this way. I think this is enough now. Almost impossible to find something positive here, maybe one thing would be that back in 1999 they were not yet shoving horrible loud soundtracks into our ears already (except very early on) the way it became a huge thing to make up for lack of a convincing story. Not that the silence here is any better. There was not a single moment where I thought this could be a weak and not a terrible films. Major thumbs-down. Highly not recommended. If we take this movie as an example of how the old millennium ended television film-wise, then it is as low as it gets. The sad thing is that Degeto's negative peak in quality may be here already, but in terms of quantity way worse times were about to happen. Skip everything this company has been a part of burning billions for absolutely unwatchable films. Like the one we got here. Boycott von Trotta as well.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is "Leonhards Traum", which means "Leonhard's Dream", a German television film that aired briefly before Christmas back in 2019 for the first time, which means this film is over one year and one month old now. Today I watched it on national television and the title they were going with was "Eine Almhütte für Zwei" ("An Alpine Cabin for Two"). Maybe this is a better title contents-wise because the two protagonists are basically on the same level in terms of inclusion frequency, plots and screen time. Maybe the female is even more at the center of it with her pregnance plot. Also the idea of the male protagonist having some kind of defining dream is not as much in this film as you could think it is with such a title. Anyway, this runs for 1.5 hours, minimally under, and the director is Benedikt Roeskau, a prolific writer (Nordwand is kinda famous, apart from that mostly television projects) in fact, but this one here is his very first full feature film as director and he also only worked on one short film in the past as a director. Pretty late change of career for somebody who turns 60 this year and if we take a look at the outcome here, perhaps not the wisest choice. He was even more prolific in the sound department. Of course, he is a writer here as well, which puts even more blame on him. The original idea is by Sylvia Leuker. Cannot say too much about her. Her body is nothing good either though. Very weak projects included in this one and I am not only talking about the terrible series "In aller Freundschaft" with which she launched her career over two decades ago. By the way, I know you should not speak disrespectfully about the dead, but sadly it is the truth that she does not seem particularly creative to me and this film here, her final credit as she died over half a year before the release, is just more evidence of that.

    As for the cast, things look slightly brighter, but also not a lot. Lead actor is Tom Beck and I have never seen a lot of talent in him at all, especially with his "Alarm für Cobra 11" background. Anna Drexler, the female lead, I am not familiar with at all, but I also don't think she was ready for the character here. Went ham way too often and over the top. Too challenging of a role for her. Admittedly the writing was not helping one bit either must be said. I doubt many could have made this character work. I see Drexler has been for slightly over five years only in the industry, but then again it makes sense because she is still pretty young. The positivity I talked about earlier mostly came from Annette Frier and Martin Brambach. Frier is an actress I have always had a bit of a soft spot for. Well, more of a comedian to be honest. But this appreciation has also gotten less lately because she has been in quite a few really weak and uncreative films like this one here. As for Brambach, there is something about him I have always liked, probably just subjective taste. And I guess I will always like him. He may not be the most versatile guy on the planet either, but he is definitely better than what he could show us here. He was really wasted. At least Frier (his partner here and they are the parents of the female protagonist) has some moments she could have turned into quality. Which honestly she didn't either, but sometimes made things worse, like during the scene when the daughter says something like she is not allowed to have a kid because she is disabled and the emotional outburst there did not work out at all. At least not the way it was depicted. That's pretty much it for the cast. Some other cast members that are also enjoying successful careers, but no other familiar faces. Oh yeah, I think the woman on television was pretty attractive. In that commercial or something. I think it was Stephanie Marin.

    You can see from my really low rating that I did not appreciate the watch here by any means. I though the outcome was highly disappointing. But then again, this is an ARD Degeto production, so nobody can really be surprised as they are honestly a definite contender for the worst thing ever happened to German television. German television films to be more precise. There are many weak scenes and moments in here. I already mentioned how this film came very short when going for emotions, but it is also nonsense from the comedy perspective. The the almost identical approach from the two key characters when it comes to what they think about certain currencies, certain coins. This was supposed to show us how they are both awkward and different, but still the same if we compare them to each other. I thought this introduction could not have been any worse. It felt so fake and for the sake of it that it wasn't even funny anymore. Could not have been any more unrealistic and unauthentic. Another scene would be the one when they buy these horses, so they don't get killed. This scene was mostly there to show us how much Frier's character cares for and loves his daughter, which is nice and sweet, but the scenes they used to display this really all felt wrong and over the top. Such a pity. The statement that sometimes less can be more is something that absolutely applies to this film here. I wish they could have kept it more subtle. Oh yes, I already said that this is Degeto. How can I even be surprised. Another really weak inclusion here was the female protagonist's speech near the end that seemed so staged and fake and absolutely like nothing the female character with her mental capacity would have said there. And please don't tell me that this speech showed how well she understands emotions and everything going on around her. Again, a highly for-the-sake-of-it inclusion.

    One thing that almost all of these films have in common is the strong anti-male component. These films are mostly for women and as the writers are rarely capable of writing strong and interesting female characters, they just unleash completely against the male character. This is also true for this film here. Just take the scene early on in which the female protagonist finds her boyfriend cheating with another girl. Disable or not doesn't even matter. It seems though he had a soft spot for them. It continues with the utter idea of attraction. I mean the two are similar, especially with their malfunctions, which may explain why they are turning into a couple, but let's be honest here. Beck is a heart-throb and even with them doing their very best here to have him not appear utterly handsome, he is still far more attractive than the lady he is attracted to. And she is pregnant with a child from another man. And there he is saying, he will take care of her, help her with the child. A dream scenario for her, also with the aforementioned difference in looks. And what does she do? Push him even further and talk about how he must fulfill some really strict requirements to be only allowed to be with her and help her with the child. Sure thing. I think I don't have to say anything else about that. It's self-explanatory. I applaud every audience member, especially every female, who sees through this mess and sees it for what it is. I must also say that I was fairly disappointed with the nature recordings here, in terms of both animals and mountains etc. At least from that perspective, it could have been an alright watch, but Degeto really once more gets it wrong. All of it.

    Then it is also the small moments during which it was a weak film. I mentioned some examples already, but here's some more. The scene very early on with the two tourists who are initially fascinated by the man, but then run away from him as he gets out his axe. I do believe this could have been really funny indeed with better execution, but it all feel so shallow, so limited in terms of talent and craft that it was really an embarrassment. Oh yes, the inheritance. gain, very much for the sake of it. When was the last time you and your partner received a big inheritance within days, one or both of you became a parent etc. This is the opposite of an authentic film. In addition, the female lead performance makes it even unwatchable at times. Again, less can be more. This applies to everything involving Drexler, not just the final pep talk. Of course, the man obeys while absolutely not standing up for himself. Oh yes, I forgot about that, he is also pretty rich now. More reason to humiliate him. I don't even want to think about all the poor men whose women watched this film and, as a consequence, thought it was justified to treat their partners like that. These ladies deserve to be left. Just like the one in here. But of course she is not. She gets all she wants despite because she is such a strong dedicated female and her disability does not take anything away from that. I call all this nonsense. It is not a touching film, not a funny film, not a good character study and the worst thing is not that it isn't, the worst thing is that you could really feel how hard they were trying to be all that, but the talent was not there. Tom Beck's Bavarian accent was solid if I had to look for anything positive, but it is pretty telling that he is among the best aspects from a film because he is also pretty limited. But almost everything/everybody else here is worse. There are many other weak scenes and moments I haven't mentioned yet, such as the scientists they meet. And the dialogue writing is painful on the ears from beginning to end. That's all. Lowest rating possible from me here. Highly not recommended and it really sucks that this will be in national television for another decade, probably longer even.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Ein Sommer auf Elba" is a German television movie from 2021. Yep, from this year. To be precise, this movie had its television premiere tonight on ZDF. The title means "A Summer on Elba" and this makes it obvious that these under 1.5 hours here are another entry to the "Ein Sommer..."/"A Summer..." series to which there are like two or three new films every year and that take place in rather sunny regions of the world. This is what they have in common. The previously mentioned running time they got in common too. And most of all, these films have in common that they are almost always unbearably bad and really painful to watch at times because there is so much cringe to them. Uninspired stupid kitsch romance movies with pseudo drama. This is what they all are and also this newest installment. If you know a but about geography, you will maybe know that the island/region mentioned in the title is an Italy. Europeans will probably know this more often than Americans, but as I rathed expect Europeans to show up on this title page, many will know I assume. By the way, the one thing these films almost always have in common too is that they are entirely German productions. This already shows you that all the filmmakers planned on doing here is arrive get the film done with not many expenses (even if they were literally bathing in GEZ money like Dagobert Duck) and also keep the contact to locals to a minimum. That's also why you won't find Italian actors in here, even if the characters are Italian. This applies to the male protagonist as much as to his daughter. Not a big issue as they are the smallest problem this film has. One supporting actor's name sounds Italian, but he is Bavarian. The outcome is as expected. Nothing about it is worth seeing. The saddest thing is really that this film will not even get you in the mood to spend your holidays in the Italian sun. The first shots from the location were still okay, even if the music sucked, but that's all the positive in terms of how this film can get you in the mood to travel. It can't.

    Now, let's talk a bit about the basics: Director is Jophi Ries from Hamburg, who turned 60 not too long ago. "Interesting" body of work here. I see no talent though. This man is mostly an actor and has been for years and back in the 90s he started directing short films. Five years ago, in his mid50s already, he started directing these "A Summer" films all of a sudden and this one here is already his third, also the third on a hot island after Spain and Greece. Devastating body of work for a filmmaker. As for his acting career, that is not over yet, but also a collection of projects in which you will rarely come across good quality, most of the time not even mediocre quality. And as he is not a spring chicken anymore, I doubt there is hope for improvement, no matter if we are talking about his work in front of the camera or behind it. He only wrote the very early short films himself, so no surprise that they got another writer here. That would be Birgit Maiwald. Not too much to say about her. She is 20 years younger than the director and her body of work is slightly better, but also not exactly a revelation. Also this is not her first "Ein Sommer" kitsch movie either. She was on Cyprus before. As for the cast, Swiss experienced actress Regula Grauwiller is the biggest name here and also plays the central character as you can see from the title of my review. I think she was terrible here and also not good in other films I saw her in. Cannot say too much about Schupp. At least his character felt a bit Italian, so this was maybe a success. Janek Rieke was so-so. Henry Horn was unwatchably bad and he really should be having a film career as a grown-up. No talent and I am not surprised he was in the abysmal "Teufelskicker" as a child back in the day. Emelie Kundrun is pretty attractive, but cannot say too much about her as an actress. You could say for every character really that the script was so poor that not even the best performers could have made it work. But Grauwiller and Horn were the only ones who made things even worse and for that it sure takes a special absence of talent.

    Now let me talk about a few references and scenes and inclusions that, in my opinion, made this such a terrible movie. I already mentioned the entire background of these "A Summer" movies and how there is not even ambition to come up with something good. It's the film equivalent to mass processing. Make as many films as possible with pseudo important plots and allegedly deep characters and hope for as many fools out there (especially females) fall for this charade and make sure nobody realizes that all the GEZ money goes elsewhere. And definitely not into objective news reports either as we have seen on ZDF (and ARD) for years now. The really bad thing is that this mess of a movie will probably be on national television for another ten years at least, probably fifteen. We have a separated couple with children and they still go on holidays together for the family aspect and that the kids have lots of contact with both parents. This does not go so well because the kids are only on their mobile phones all day and daddy can't relax either, but uses his laptop all day. Mother (Grauweiler) is not amused and just leaves on her own, but not before putting out the internet cable. What a cool move from her wasn't it? Who cares if daddy was maybe working on something important or the young son reaching a new highscore. She did the right thing. No doubt about it. Basically, the first scenes are about nothing but showing us how her folks do not appreciate the beautiful island one bit. And also how they are incapable of fulfilling the simplest tasks without her. The fridge is empty and on one occasion, when they are in the city, they are so lost that they almost keep screaming her name.

    Mother is far away though. Where is she? Meeting a local man who she keeps bumping into on so many occasions and the result is sunglasses constantly falling down and into some liquid. Cute. So these meetings with the guy (Schupp) were ridiculous enough already, also how she keeps bumping into him and I mean this literally. Must be a small island. Or fate? You decide. I myself call it nonsense. As the film progresses, in the absence of the mother, the three male family members also get going eventually. Daddy spends some time with the younger son and again daddy is exposed for being pretty clueless. We must be 100% sure he does noot deserve his ex-partner. Men are almost always fools in these sexist films. Also Grauwiller's character's new man as we find out towards the end. But let's stay with the middle of the movie now. Then there is the older son (Horn). What does he do? Meet with Schupp's character's daughter. Oh yes, a really small island. Unreal they truly thought what they were doing here was authentic and that some audience members even fell for it all. No hope for those. I know I already said it, but Kundrun's looks were nice. The film had so little positive to offer that I can repeat myself without any worries. And of course her character was looking for a photographer the exact same time as she meets the young man and she knows literally nothing about him, but hey who cares? Let's still employ him. Back to the two lovebirds: Grauwiller's character randomly finds out (of course, she would never snoop around) that her potential man of choice is losing his eyesight. When she went up to him and confronted him with the diagnosis and the really complicated medical term, it was so bad that I had to laugh hard how they absolutely shamefully showed us here how much of a smart woman she is. Unreal moment.

    Near the end, we also get a clean dose of pseudo drama. Kids running away and worried parents are frequently a thing with these movies. It also fits the description here, but not 100%. Levis Kachel's character is with the man who cannot see too well anymore. What happens next? The boy rolls around some steep gradient. Not sure this is the right word, but you know what I mean. Of course, he is alright. At the same time, mother Grauwiller rushes to the scene because she suspects her son forgot his medication because he is allergic to wasps. So more potential pseudo drama here with a potential fall from the reckless group members and also an allergic reaction for the boy. Neither happens luckily. And I don't say this because I want them healthy. I say this because it would have been more pseudo drama nonsense. By the way, is it realistic that there are only these wasps in one specific area of the island? I guess our caring mother did not care when she simply took off on her own without thinking about her family one bit. Very strange. And don't tell me it was because they were inside and busy with their mobile phones anyway and nothing could happen there. Anyway, the boy of course has his medicine with him and what does this tell the audience? Not that mother is a relentless control freak. But that she did a fine job raising him and teaching him about responsibilities. Absolutely.

    In the end, there is farewell time. Mother managed to inspire her ex-man and children to finally go out and enjoy the island. She did everything right of course. Her ex-man talks to her in a way where it feels he fell in love with her again. Her new love's daughter is really grateful to her and in the end, there may not be as much farewell as you might think because the filmmakers trick us into thinking she is on the plane leaving, but nope: She surprises her man and the audience (those fools who care) that she is still on the island. No worries, he sure has room for her and if she decides that she wants to give him a chance, then he has no other option than to agree. Of course, he has been drooling over her for the entire film anyway. His most cringeworthy moment was probably the Berlusconi story. Enough now. This is a terrible movie. Highly not recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Wen die Liebe trifft..." is a German television film from 2005 and I am not sure what is the bigger disappointment here for me: that this film even got made and released or that, over 15 years later, it is still on national television. But first things first: This is another ARD Degeto production of course and just like they always do, this one here runs for 1.5 hours or minimally under. The directo is Dagmar Damek who launched her career back in 1970, so she would have had her 50th anniversary last year, but she stopped making films quite some time ago, which is probably a good thing, especially if we are taking a look at all she did in the first decade of the new millennium, which is all absolutely terrible. May sound harsh, but it is true. I cannot say anything about her early works really, but the more recent stuff is highly unwatchable and this is one example. She is in her mid70s now and was born in Poland by the way. For approximately half of her works, she wrote the screenplays herself, especially early in her career, but not this time. For that, they got Nicole Walter-Lingen, apparently not related to Theo and it makes sense because he was really good and talented and she is the exact opposite. Rosamunde Pilcher adaptations. Utta Danella adaptations. Marienhof. Eine Liebe am Gardasee. I think I have made my point. This woman has probably never achieved something of good quality in her writing career, but all she does is cash in on everybody's GEZ money. Truly despicable. Utter absence of talent when it comes to her and compared to her Damek is a goddess really. Sad thing is NWL is still working these days, still gets hired to write screenplay. Unreal stuff. Then again, you can't really blame her. She makes solid bucks despite sait absence of writing talent. The ones who choose her are the ones to blame even more.

    Back to this one here now: The cast includes some people that are still fairly known over 1.5 decades later. Franziska Petri is probably the actress whose character is at the center of the story the most. I am a bit undecided with her if she is attractive or not attractive at all. But she is definitely not on a level where handsome men would tell her they cannot sleep, they cannot eat etc. What was that? Her sister is played by Bettina Zimmermann and on her I have crushed for quite some time. Maybe still do a little bit. But I won't be blind here. She may be stunning, but she is not a good actress either and her body of work is pretty self-explanatory. I am more surprised that Petri is in this film and not that Zimmermann is, but maybe I rated Petri too highly too. And then there is Diana Amft. Not a lot to say about her. If you have seen her once, you have seen it all. Utter absence of talent and her characters are almost always linked to some sexual component, like with in this film here shhe keeps kissing and licking a guy's nipples. Most of the time, her characters are likable and this film here is the closest she comes to being an antagonist. Still her character has her nice moments like. I will come to one example later on. Erol Sander was the male lead or biggest male supporting player and he managed the impossible to make the terrible writing to his character seem even worse with his unwatchable performance. Noe excuse there. Fritz Karl is an actor who has been successful for a long time. Here he has little to work with, also dialogue-wise and his character has almost nothing to say and seems also quite a bit younger than the actor was in 2005 already. Still kinda ironic that here he has Zimmermann or her character as his partner, while in real life he is with an even less talented and more over-the-top actress that does not possess 1% of Zimmermann's looks. Verhoeven turned into a successful filmmaker himself later on. And finally, Hanns Zischler plays the father. Which makes me a bit sad. He is so much better than this film and really should not have accepted the part.

    Now a few words on the story. It is basically a lost cause from the start. I will just do some brainstorming about scenes and inclusions that I still remember. Not chronologically. A definite contender for worst scene is when we have Petri's and Sander's character's talk and he makes a reference about Tai Chi, about men and women and then realizes as a consequence of that that he is late for a wedding. And runs off. And if that was not terrible enough already, we find out during the next scene that it is his own wedding. He is the groom. Sure thing. This is also where I can mention the act of kindness by Amft's character. No bicycle orgasms this time, but when she hears somebody say something mean to her grandma, she steps away from the altar and goes back to the audience and comforts the old woman. That was indeed nice, but also very unrealistic that such a situation already arises during a wedding and of course, exactly when they are supposed to say "Yes". We find out quickly that this marrie is not a happy one and the only valid question is why they even married. He does not really seem to love her. She is having an affair too. Makes very much sense to get married then. However, this is where things get really complicated. Let's summarize: Amft is married to Sander. Sander and Petri fall for each other. Petri is Zimmermann's sister. Zimmermann is with Verhoeven. Verhoeven is Amft's affair. (I leave out "'s character", so it is easier to understand). So messed-up really and all nonsense. Also how the two people who get married early on literally run into each other cheating in the park. Must be a truly small village. Realism is absolutelly not existent in this film. You can also take the situation how quickly the two lovebirds/protagonists see each other again on the occasion of the porcelain negotiation. Yep, of course the characters here (the two women) are from a distinguished family with an old traditional business and love drinking chammpagne as well. At least, Zimmermann's character does on one occasion. This is also where further lack of realism comes into play when some of the aforementioned romantic shenanigans get in the way of important business contracts.

    This is not all yet. Not even close. Zischler's character also gets an amazing moment when his character all of a sudden has a heart attack, utterly for the sake of fake drama, after he finds out his daughter is pregnant from a man who left her. But no worries. Only minutes later he is already out of the hospital and walking around as if nothing happened at all. A heart attack filler material huh? A good film could have used this one plot inclusion to construct a quality movie around it, but here we have the exact opposite of a quality movie of course. As I stated earlier, pretty ridiculous that this is still on national television. Oh and as always with Degeto, the ending is 100% happy for our beloved characters. While Amft's character has to dance with an old chubby guy, Zimmermann's character is pregnant and with a doctor who finally tells her that he loves her although they have really not been with each other for a long time. And who also accepts her to soon give birth to somebody else's baby. What happens next? They marry. Of course, they do. Not rushed at all. Petri's character (somehow I keep thinking the actress is Austrian) on the other hand has her dream guy too (Sander). And what happens next? They marry too. Are you kidding me. Zimmermann's character's rushed marriage would have been too absurd already, but they do it twice. This is really where they were giving the audience the middle finger. Unreal. The sad thing is some people probably really perceived this film as a realistic character study on strong independent women. I feel bad for them. But I applaud everybody, especially every woman, who sees through this charade instead of drooling over Verhoeven's rain-soaked topless body. And treat the outcome the way they should. By switching it off at minute one. An absolutely unwatchable film with so many terribly uninspired moments. And yes, this also includes the "cute" hiccup. Highly not recommended. And please Robbie Williams, go sue the makers here for copyrght reasons and this way keep this film from ever being shown again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Prinz Himmelblau und Fee Lupine" is a German television film from 2016, so this one will have its fifth anniversary this year, but still eleven months to go because this is of course one of these many fairytale movies they recently made and they always aired first around the Christmas holidays. And like almost all of the others, this one also runs for minimally under an hour. The director is Markus Dietrich and he is still certainly most known for his movie Sputnik from three years earlier. Watched that one too back then and I kinda liked it. In general, you can say that the majority of projects he has been a part of was mostly for younger audiences and this is of course also the case with this movie here. The title is a bit difficult to translate I guess. It is about a prince and a fairy and the prince's name is Himmelblau, which means "blue as the sky" and the female's name cannot be translated. In the French version, they simply said blue (i.e. blue) for the name of the male protagonist. The title makes it very obvious we have a fairytale here too. It is not a particularly known tale, also because it is not from the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen and this may explain why they made many, many other fairytales into films first for this series. Not really a series though obviously. No connections between the tales and characters except that some have the same writer. As for this one here: Christoph Martin Wieland was the one behind the key story back then, centuries ago already, while Anette Schönberger was responsible for coming up with the screenplay. Her massive involvement with "Verbotene Liebe" (trashy German soap opera) had me doubtful this could become a quality watch and in the end it is sadly true that the outcome is not really worth seeing.

    If we take a look at the cast, we weill see some familiar names. The women may seem more familiar, but the males also all have successful careers. Just take lead actor Jonathan Berlin. Not familiar with the face or name, but he seems to be in demand, even if I must say he did not impress me here. Normally, they take less experienced young actor for the key players, but here the two central actors are also fairly known. Ruby O. Fee sure is. And no surprise either that she was chosen to play a fairy character with her name. "Fee" means fairy in Germany. I must still say I do not like the actress at all. I have heard her music and not liked it at all and when I saw her act, not only in this film here, I see no talent either. However, not a big surprise probably, but I am also a bit biased there because her relationship with Schweighöfer, maybe Germany's most overrated actor (even you have to blame those that go to the movies for him even more), does not really say anything positive about her either. At least, they are probably a good match with their absence of range and versatility. Normally in these films, the supporting players are more known actors. Definitely the case here. We have this Tatort Münster duo, Großmann and Kempter, and they also share the screen quite a few times, especially in the first half. About Güldenberg and Hesse, I cannot say a lot, simply because I don't know/remember the actors, but their careers seem to be thriving too. Good for them!

    As for the story, one key struggle I have here is again very subjective. Or at least partially. It is really tough for me to accept that Kempter plays an evil withc here and Ruby O. Fee the desirable fairy. Yeah right. Kempter is just so infinitely more attractive and interesting than Ruby and there is even this scene in which the witch (haha nice rhyme) in the second half asks the male protagonist to marry her, but he of course only wants his Lupine. I mean I can get it that Kempter's character is really unlikable and evil too, but still. For me, it was very unrealistic. As for Kempter's character and Großmann's (she is also always easy to recognize), you could wonder for quite some time who will be the main villain, especially when the queen (played by Großmann and no husband in sight for her character) has the witch taken back to prison after she did as ordered. The witch could have been out of the picture there. But no, The queen returns to the prison quickly and is tricked by the witch, who is definitely the smarter from the two. So Kempter plays a dark, smart and stunning character? Exactly up my alley. I take her. Always had a soft spot for her despite the blonde hair and me usually going for dark-haired girls. The idea of the two lovebirds being unkind to each other because of the spell that changed both their characters and looks in some kind of rotation was a good idea and I think this is also an essence from the original tale. So good moments were certainly present here. I also liked the two aides to the queen, they were kinda funny with their behavior and they are really getting away with the over-the-top approach here to please the queen.

    What nobody is really getting away with are the last 20 minutes. Before that I even thought I could give it a thumbs-up, but the ending scenes turned out a major disappointment. This refers already to the scene in which Kempter's character is about to reverse the spells if she gets what she wants and also immediately afterwards when the two make it more difficult for her. But this was far from the worst. Things go even further south when we see the death of the witch. I mean the pure idea that these chants are painful for her to listen to because they are personified good is alright, but that she really literally explodes or implodes from the pain was just too much. At least the way it was shown to us here. I guess this is also handled like that in the original story, but it felt so fake and forced here that I cannot approve one bit unfortunately. Already with how they all came out of nowhere. Besides, the witch seemed really powerful with how she is able to bring on stasis to any creature so easily, so we are supposed to believe this is how she dies? This easily? Nah. We also find out that the mother is not this evil and finally sees her faults. Did not feel credible either. I mean she agreed to have a dangerous witch turn her son into a cold-blooded person and into an ugly person. Okay, he was not thaaaaat ugly. Not exactly mother-of-the-year material from any perspective. And finally, there is this lengthy sequence in which Lupine almost gives her own life to revive her seemingly dead prince and this was supposed to be an emotional highlight, also with how the queen would now accept her after this act of kindness and love, but this was not even elaborated on. But the act of revival did almost nothing for me either, which once again may have had to do with Ruby O. Fee. But the other fairies suck too in the end. When we see them dance and all the glitter in the air, it could have been a pretty nice closing shot, but it turned out the exact opposite. Feel-good for the sake of it and not beautiful at all. Not visually stunning.

    So I think that overall this was not a good watch unfortunately. Some of my thoughts may be subjective, but I tried to make myself clear that some of it is also objective. There are more inclusions that felt weak for me in terms of both acting and writing, such as the blossoming romance between the two people closest to our heroes and in the end there the guy also tells the girl he is attracted to her, so a double happy ending or triple happy ending even if we see how both title characters survive or maybe even a quadruple happy ending if we also include that the witch died and the mother has accepted his son's relationship. Which is not stated exactly, but implied. This is not an animals-based fairytale and these I usually like more, which is another subjective reason for me to not like this film that much, but I know it's more difficult to turn these into good films. Especially if they come short with the humans only as they did here. There's still a crow depicted in here and if you pay close enough attention, you will also see a horse here and there. Some small moments also made no sense, like how the female protagonist in her ugly (or uglier) state hides her face before entering the tent, but then steps out with it fully uncovered seconds later. That is all now. I give this film a thumbs-down and I think there are many other tales from recent years that you might want to check out before you give this one a go. It may not be a failure, but I was still glad it was this short. Not recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Für kein Geld der Welt" is a German television film from 2011 and the title means "For no amount of money in the world". The German original title may already be bad, but the French title is way worse even. It means "Love me like I am". Sigh. Okay, basics first: This film runs for under 1.5 hours as they always do and the director is Stephan Meyer. He seems retired nos in his 70s and this film from ten years ago was among his final career efforts. definitely not going out on a high note. I mean his body of work since the early 1970s already is not great or anything, but everything he did in the final decade of his career is just horrible and this includes this movie here. The writer is Claudia Matschulla. She started as an actress back in the 1980s, but recently focused more on writing screenplays. She turns/turned 60 this year and looking at her body of work, which is terrible for both writing and acting, it is ridiculous (in the most negative sense possible) that she is still getting picked as a writer. Most recently for the Tatort series, but everybody with a clear mind know anyway that Tatort has always been the pond scum of German film and television. As for the cast, we have some familiar names and faces here. Lead actress Teska I cannot say a lot about. She is attractive that's it. Just like Koeberlin, Meyer and the others, she has been part of many really weak films and with this writer here (Matschulla) in charge of an ARD Degeto production, we kknow what direction we are heading this time. Deep down on the quality scale. Franke and Zirner are too established and experienced to show up in films like this. Clearly they were just cashing in on the GEZ money. Sad. And Saskia Vester of course, a contender for queen of nonsense movies here in my country. When she is part of a project, you almost always be sure that the film is going to suck. No talented bone in her body. Also pretty funny how we are supposed to accept her here as a renowned public prosecutor when everything about her is so simple, not just the looks (no matter what kind of clothes they put her into), but most of all the complete absence of talent.

    Let me elaborate further on the story now: The conflict between daughter and love interest for Zirner's character is depicted as cringeworthy as it gets from the very start. Take the chair scene and the running scene. i want to get those out of my head as soon as possible. Oh and our protagonist Isabella (Teska) also loves getting into cars with boys, but not with everybody as we find out. And the car talk with Koeberlin's character shows us they were really having a connection right? Later on, we also get charming statements like "My workshop belongs to me, with everything inside." This also includes the female protagonist and the statement was made when somebody else hit on her. What an alpha male here played by Koeberlin. Shame the actor also has no talent at all. Oh and yes, hydraulics may be a challenge for sure, but not to our heroine whos ees right through it and they fid they car so quickly and of they go our two lovebirds. Of course, the car works really well again and everybody is cheering and applauding. Thing big. Even if you have no filmmaking talent. Speaking of cars, we also find out that Vester's character is a woman who, despite her profession, knows how to drink and party when there is a reference to her blood alcohol level. This quote was linked to an utterly unfunny running gag about the information how lng alcohhol stays in the system. Man, this was cringeworthy to watch. But let's stay chronological: Our saint Isabella also steps up when daddy is about to sell part of the company to some evil investor. And when does she do so? Seconds after finding out she confronts her father. Oh I guess this is how new employees act these days. Ket alone, how they are even informed about something like that which happens five layers above them on the company structre scale. What a dedicated young woman. Beautiful!

    If we are talking about the struggles between the two women again from early on, the grave scene is the worst this film has to offer, already with how the dog is near Vester's character's man and son early on (what a coincidence), but also how the two women meet there later on. They meet again as a coincidence, just like with the jogging. And we find out about the sob story. Man, Vester is already horrible with light material, but when she goes all in here emotionally and dramatically, it is literally unwatchable. Or how she talks to Zirner's character: "You loved your wife" "You still have your child". I don't even. The pseudo important music was also not helping at all in these scenarios such as the graveyard scene. The worst music moment was maybe early on when Teska's character is about to tell her dad she goes back to Japan. Oh and The Calling (especially this song) is not quality music by any means. Sometimes equally bad films at least have good songs, but even there this one comes truly short. Why are films like this even made? Why are they shown many years later still? Unbelievable. Outrageous. I guess the answer is that the simple-minded and easily-influenced mistake it for quality and depth. Pathetic. The actress who plays the friend at work and colleague was also unwtachable on many occasions, although her character really did not have a lot of screen time. Take the balcony scene. Take the "prince with the heart of iron" comment. Her line delivery there was a catastrophe. I don't even. The only thing missing to mmake this film even worse would have been her being secretly a couple with the foreign dude. I don't even want to talk about him and his laughable competition prize inclusion. And what was up with this gay artist character? Did he have any purpose at all? Filler material of the worst kind, maybe to show us the protagonist is not a homophobe?

    As for the two lovebirds, it all felt fake too, like how they were barely together and then we get some pseudo drama immediately. Felt really pathetic and unrealistic. Or how the protagonist wants to solve some stuff in the company when it comes to how women with children are treated. This is discrimination by the way. Illegal. It needs no solving unless we are in a parallel universe where this film seems to take place. But i wanted to talk about the couple. Her alias was a big thing there as well with how Koeberlin's character finds out. She forgot her cell phone and it was stuck in the sofa. Happened a hundred times to all of us. Okay. Apparently, she also did not realize? Hmm. And this is how it came out because daddy called and he took the call and found out it is the wrong name. Of course Isi is not to blame whatsoever because she wanted to tell her man about it the very same night. Instead, Isi blames daddy. I mean how dare he call her and say his real name and ask who accepted the call. What a vile, vile man the father is really! We must think so because she asks daddy why he does stuff like that and tells him that he destroyed everything and she is a female, so she is always in the right, no? Let's forget for a second she lied for weeks. The cringe continues with pseudo romantic quotes like "I don't want to live in another world without you". He drives off with loud music and the pseudo drama continues. Will they ever see each other again? Sure thing. One scene and second later they are together, daddy, Isi and lover, and discuss technical aspects while revealing a crime of manipulation. And Koeberlin's character accepts her joyful kiss. Sure thing. As if nothing happened before that. Anti-male as always. He must be happy to have her, no matter what she does (to him). Dramatic music kicks in again.

    As for this manipulation idea, they messed up once again. Big surprise, I know. Passwords are cracked within five seconds haha I don't even and Meyer's character is an evil hypocrite all of a sudden. Public prosecutor Vester is also on the phone there. Maybe she could have told them about the concept of an unlwlful search (who's the criminal now?), but this would have been too challenging for the target audience of this movie. Teska has her worst acting moment of the entire film with the "große Glocke" quote. Nobody's watching this in English anyway. Maybe she is really all about the looks only. She was younger than I thought in this movie. Oh yeah, and when you once again thought this film could not get any worse we have this "funny" talk sequence in the car with the driver. Absolutely. Again, unwatchable, especially with the playful music there. They made sure that nobody forgets they also messed up the comedy here, not just the drama. No talent all along. Koeberlin's character is of course too late for the crucial final meeting in which the bad guy is exposed. Nobody cares though, maybe he spent the night with the boys again? He is important enough luckily. He also gets the keye when the bad guy is about to be thrown out. Terrible scene and acting there from Meyer and especially Zirner. And daughter Isi gets to join the board of directors as she desired from the start. Happy endings all along. Just saying. As for the real ending, it is embarrassing to see how the alarm is used for a personal "important" statement. And Zirner hits rock bottom again with his speech on how he failed back then as a simple undercover worker decades ago. Of course, everybody is around for that highlight. Yep, Vester's character too. So random. How come? I guess the important lawyer is not really needed at the office right now. She delegates, no? But order must be restored and everybody back to work. The one who said so looked like an old Elisabeth Moss. And before the closing credits roll in, we also get an explanation why the film is called like this (cringe is real) and the passionately-awaited liplock. Enough now. Absolutely do not watch this film! Major thumbs-down.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Bauernprinzessin II - Kopf oder Herz", which means "Farm Princess II - Head or Heart" (cringe is real already with this title), is a co-production between Austria and Germany in the German language. This is a sequel to a movie from three years earlier as you can see from the "II" in the title. Director is again Susanne Zanke at the end of her career almost and the writer is once again Susanne Rasser, who has never worked on anything else film-related other than these movies. Which is probably a good thing. Oh yeah, and Zanke is also credited as a writer this time. The running time is once again under 1.5 hours. The cast once more includes Sissi Wolf playing the key character and supporting players here are Knizka, Halmer and Mangold, although you can probably make an argument for Knizka being lead as well. They got all the major cast members back from the first film and there are not really any new inclusions. Those who returned ought to be ashamed though because by then there was not a valied excuse anymore. They must have known how terrible the first film was and this one here is not any better. I willonce again do some brainstroming abbout specific scenes and moments that stayed especially in the mind for me and for all of them the reasons were almost entirely negative. It may cound harsh, but this is a really weak film. And even more shameful that this is still on national television almost 15 years now after its initial release. And what's even worse is that they made a third film. That was not on today though. Luckily. One "Bauernprinzessin" film would have been one too many. The pseudo important stuff continues here with quotes like running away (why would he even at this point) unexpectedly is as bad as showing up unexpectedly.

    The film already starts on a bit of a low note with the scene of the three women in the car singing and showing us their harmoney. Or shoving it into our faces you could say too. At least, lead actress Sissi Wolf looks more attractive than hín the first film, maybe because of the different hair. Not too attractive either though. But at least it is remotely believable now that she would be with the fairly handsome Knizka. Or that he is with her I should say. So yes, Bogdan is back in town. Why? Because love prevails obviously. Who cares if he did not send a card or anything the way he would have in reality if he really cared. But he is not the biggest problem here initially. The biggest joke is that we are supposed Anna is with Gerhard now and there was zero romantic interest from her side in the first film, so how did that happen? Please don't say it is all about the business relationship that turned into affection. Oh and this time we don't get cute goats to distract from the abysmal writing, but a baby kitten on one occasion. Great idea too to feet her with all this food for humans. Real animals lovers we got here also with these scampi references at the end. So our Anna is still an independent woman fighting for the good cause as we see when she agrees to have a group of struggling teens at her place. Of course she does. She is not so social though when it comes to Gerhard and she keeps pushing him away when he tries to get physical with her. She is too good for him anyway, so he must have deal with it when she says she is too tired. The man should be grateful anyway that she gives him an apology and explanation. I hope you are getting the irony here. If it was the other way around, it would be totally unacceptable. And the woman has the right to fall for somebody else if her partner does not want her sexually anymore. I applaud every female who sees through this travesty we got here.

    Luckily, handsome Bogdan is back to give Anna what she needs. He also gets slapped in the face right away, but he has to accept it to have her. And who cares, if she is with another man because Bogdan gets a passionate hug right away. And what happens next? That's right: The two have sex the following night. This is getting better and better. Who cares if Anna is a cold-blooded cheater, she is still a really likabble protagonist, isn't she. In the first film already she was not exactly faithful, but this is taking things really to the next level. Shameful stuff. For me, she was an antagonist here. Nothing else. Grandma is of course also giving her great judgment again by looking in an evil manner at the guy who actually likes Anna and giving a bright smile to the other one, the man who left her for years. So Granny definitely would approve of Anna Gerhard away again as if he did something wrong. And what is Bogdan doing in the meantime? That's right, he starts working at the farm again without being asked and happily lies to Gerhard with Anna's approval as they don't mention the sex. Oh she is so kind that she does not hurt Gerhard. This is all that happens early on. Anna's mother is pretty much out of the movie for the first 20 minutes. But the time was needed for the elaboration on Anna and her men. That much is safe. Also how dare Gerhard say he will end the business relationship if Anna starts something with Bogdan again. Blackmail! Outrageous! Snna is a victim of the situation again without having done anything wrong. Cough. It also became very obvious here that lead actress Sissi Wolf does not have much talent or versatility. The fact that I did not know her before this film certainly is absolutely not my loss. For once, no irony. It is pretty embarrassing though that her name is Sissi because she does not have 1% of Romy Schneider's aura. The opposite is the case.

    But back to the story: Anna of course is also not happy that Bogdan had other women when he was gone, but how dare he. I mean it's oaky if she starts dating her boyfriend's brother of all people, but nobody else is allowed to do something like that. Man, this is such an uninspired movie. The first film was already so terrible with the idea that her partner wants to move away with her, wants her to leave the countryside, but they did not even try to come up wth a new story. The only difference now is that the guy who made her stay in the first film is now the one who wants to take her with him. Unreal. Utterly uncreative. And they also did not only screw up with the key characters, but also with the mother I mentioned a little earlier. When she is for once seen again, she is randomly sitting in a restaurant with a male suitor (we get no explanation where that came from) . Of course, the man is needy and wants to be close(r) with her, but she pushed him away (it's again nly okay if women do it, the other way around he would be an ungrateful and undeserving narcissist) because she is an independent woman too and has other priorities. Who cares that the guy is far more attractive than her too? Holy moly, they really got it all wrong in their attempts to depict strong female characters here. Honestly, they could not have gotten it any more wrong. All of it. Back to Bogdan for a few words: What did he do when he was gone? Well, he may have been a farm boy, but now he was working at the International Court of Justice as an interpreter or something. Yeah right, within three years? And despite his accent? I don't even. But no matter how successful he may be, he will always have to deal with Anna giving him femina errr. feminist speeches after sex. Sigh.

    For more pseudo drama, we have granny fall down the stairs then. The build-up there was exactly how you'd expect from a film like this with the lights going dark and her shrugging her shoulders and going further down the stairs. Actually, this was depicted just as poorly as the old man's death in the first film. 100% pseudo drama without authenticity and all for story purposes. Nothing explicit or graphic, but 100% cringe, but at least Bogdan can carry her around again now, like how she says that Knizka's character can carry her to bed now. The fact that Halmer's character (not a spring chicken either) just did and that he is her son is immediately forgotten. And what is Anna doing in the meantime? Lashing out at Gerhard for being nice to a female friend. Let me remember you: Anna has been sleeping around for a long time already. But while Anna is struggling with the guys, the argument between her and said female friend is forgotten immediately and the two bond right away two minutes later. Women are gods in these movies. The lengthy conflicts must always involve men. And don't even get me started on how Anna/Sissi goes from being teared-up to joyful laughter. Terribly written and acted. Unwatchable. In this scene, there were still doubts which man she could pick, which was a good thing, but this did not last long either. Be with the guy who spontaneously left you for half a decade. Go for it. Enjoy further humiliation. Cool ladybug pajamas though. Oh yes and then there is the scene with the rope and the teens I mentioned early on. What was that. Roman jumps on the rope and shows us he is a real man. The scene was bad already, but the talk between Anna and the group leader was even worse ("he is priceless"). So now Knizka is supposed to sacrifice his awesome career to work on the countryside? Of course. Or the revelation from Mangold's character? And the tears? And how they make up? Or the "I belong here" "and I must go" between our lovebirds? Such a poor delivery. In the end, the situation is exactly the way it was before the film. The ending was worse than a happy ending, no matter where they would have stayed together. This is all nonsense. Do not watch this film under any circumstance. Ugh for the third.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Bauernprinzessin", which means "Farmer princess", is an Austrian German-language television film from 2004, so this one is already over 15 years old. These under 1.5 hours were directed by Susanne Zanke, an experienced filmmaker who started in the early 1980s already and is now in her mid70s. She retired a few years after this film and this is one of her later career efforts. She returned for the two sequels though. Gonna get to those later on. The writer is Austrian Susanne Rasser from Austria and these three films are her only movie writing credits, even if she has been prolific in other areas of writing. The photo here on imdb is pretty misleading because it does not depict one single key character. On the left is Günther Maria Halmer, probably the most famous cast member, but he also only plays a relatively irrelevant supporting character and, let's be honest here, the fact taht he acts in films like this one is just another piece of evidence that his role selection has been terrible for decades now. The only thing I kinda remember here is the sarcastic applause early on when the will is read and he gets nothing than a chest filled with wood. The other cast members are almost completely unknown to me and as I am a pretty big German(-language) film buff, that says a lot. Take lead actress Sissi Wolf. Knizka admittedly I have seen on other stuff. Erni Mangold was getting closer to 80 back then already and is now in her 90s and still acting and has been in the industry for over 70 years already because she started in the late 1940s right after WWII. We'll see if she can make it to 75. Aglaia Szyszkowitz's sister is on board. She is German, but there are several Austrians on board here. This applies to Wolf, Mangold and also Toni Böhm, who sadly died not too long after this film and the fate was similar compared to the character he portrays in here, even if the cause of death was entirely different. Kinda surprising how long Mangold is with us and how early Böhm had to go. Also a surprising cause of death for somebody easily under the age of 60.

    Let's move on to the film. I will just do some brainstorming about all kinds of stuff that came to my mind when watching. The very basic summary of the story is we have the premise that the owner of a farm dies and three women related to him have to take care of it now. Major focus is on the youngest of them and also her blossoming romantic relationship with a man that starts working on the farm. That one is a Muslim and we see him pray with his carpet very early on, which did feel a bit strange. I mean I am all for freedom of religion, but how he ends up in the mountainside coming from Eastern Europe and with his religious background does feel a bit for the sake of it. You can also say that cute animals are included here, but not too many, just goats basically and I love goats, but they did not even get a lot of screen time sadly. The only occasion where you see them for a while is when we see Knizka's character's shenanigans with them and how he challenges the alpha goat. Shame he did not get injured while holding his horns. He should have been fired for that. Grandma finds it funny of course. Her scenes with Knizka's character are embarrassing to watch anyway with how she likes him so much that she starts talking again in the "Good morning" moment, but also how he carries her around early on. So the cute animals had the task to make the audience forget about the lack of a good story. The simple ones may fall for it. The terrible soundtrack had the same task. And like so many other times with this kind of movies there is a lot of anti-male narration in here: Men are fools. The old one dies because he is reckless and stubborn and he never took his beloved partner to Italy despite promising all the time. The anti-Muslim guy is a racist. One character dares to hit on his brother's girlfriend. Halmer's character is evil anyway and wants to sell the farm. The aforementioned boyfriend dares to not sacrifice his dream of Canada for his girlfriend. How evil to have a different life plan! And then sets it all on fire instead of helping his girl with the farm. And the new man also leaves her behind eventually. This is what they do when they fail and are not capable of writing actually strong female characters. Just turn all guys into scapegoats.

    But the writing is also poor from every other perspective, such as the "surprise" that Anna inherits the farm because the old man changed hos last will and testament briefly before his death. But it is understandable as we see when she cries so hard next to the old man's corpse. The only one who did. By the way, you can see how this film lacked focus completely when we have the executor start rambling about allergies and that he is happy to live in the city where there are no pollen. It's not the big story where the movie fails, but also the small moments. Again, I must mention the emancipation moment. This is at its worst when we have Anna (Wolf) meet Knizka's character for the first time and give out instructions to him like a boss. At the same time, when she leads him around, we are supposed to see there is chemistry between these two through eye contact and clumsy behavior. Okay. Written so poorly. Or how the (initially) silent grandma is treated like an authority who sees and hears everything. On one occasion, Knizka's character Bogdan asks something like isn't it dangerous with three goats running around and this "joke" was the film's understandfing of comedy and metaphors because indirectly he was talking about the three women. I don't even. So no surprise with men like him, there is a strong anti-male agenda with this movie. Take Anna saying something like "You guys are all the same." And at the same time we are supposed to feel sorry for her with her whining that she gets up at five, goes to bed exhausted and nobody's helping with the work and that everybody says she should sell the farm. I applaud every woman who sees through this nonsense. By the way, the scene in which the two men meet, boyfriend and farm hand, is also pretty cringeworthy, especially with the quick music, and I don't mean the way it was intended by the filmmakers.

    As for the small and "witty" inclusions, take the idea how granny won't smile at the boyfriend, only at the new man. Of course, the latter is also super good with children and by the way the line delivery from this male child actor was absolutely terrible. So exactly spot-on for this film. These are some of the embarrassing routes the film took in manipulating the audience into thinking Knizka's character is the right one for her. Let's completely ignore the fact that our lovable Anna is an unfaithful cheater and it is not only her kissing the new guy while she is still in a relationship with her boyfriend. It's okay if women do it in these films. Double standards galore. Of course, the guy she wants to be with has to be physically strong and he is as we see when he defends himself against the one who wants him to drink some alcohol. The spacy soundtrack was so painful to listen to honestly also in this scene. Same applies to the following scene in which there is a bit of a brawl in a pub/restaurant after a complete stranger tries to kiss Anna. What is wrong with the people who made this movie? Anna wants her strong dude of course, so she rejects nice guy Gerhard and says that Bogdan is there to help her. The fire I mentioned earlier is also pseudo drama of the worst kind. Thank God topless Bogdan is around to oppose the flames. Haha, this is like Twilight. The "smells like gas" comment was of course really deep and meaningful showing us this was not an accident, but planned. Mute Granny is also there to give us her suspect right away. You could say that this was the kind of pseudo drama we always see 15 minutes before the film ends and it is partially true. But it was really only included for Anna to haver a real justification to end things with her boyfriend without putting any blame on her. Also pay attention to how the boyfriend only gets a quick kiss on the cheek there. Anna's real affections are elsewhere. And of coruse the boyfriend would immediately admit it was him. Let him pick jail over Canada if he wants to, but he must be honest to his beloved super desirable girlfriend of course. Music again horrible for these scenes.

    Also pay attention to how Knizka's big arms are constantly seen. He is a wild brute! If there is anything positive to say, then maybe that the actor's accent wasn't too bad. Have to look deep here. Halmer can't give me anything because his character has basically disappeared for the second half. Oh and to loser her other suitor Gerhard (her boyfriend's brother), Anna just makes sure he dances with another girl and is also really unfriendly towards him although he did not do a thing. Charming young lady. As I just mentioned Halmer, his character shows up eventually with the big revelation that Bogdan betrayed people during the war. What? Where did that come from? More randomly pseudo-important filler material. More suffering for Sissi's character here, pretty embarrassing the actress has this first name because there is not 1% of Romy Schneider's class to her. As for the suffering, it already happened way earlier when she got slapped in the face by her mother. What a family we got here! They really went all in to show us how this young woman was struggling and suffering so hard and that we in the audience must really want that she finds happiness, especially with how she is alone in the end again and screams out the guy's name into the mountains. This could have have been a good scene to end a good movie, but here it just added more embarrassment. I will be honest here: I don't like unrealistic happy endings, but unrealistic unhappy endings are just as bad because with the one here, the writer knew exactly there will be more films. Highly not recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Zwischen uns steht ein Salat", which means literally translated "Between us, there stands a salad", is a German live action short film from 2017, so just one more year until this one has its fifth anniversary and most of you probably will show up here after 2021, perhap it happened already. The writer and director of these slightly over five minutes is Alice von Gwinner from Hamburg and she had her 30th birthday that year. Of course, this is also in the German language. For von Gwinner, this is the third of so far four short film works and we will see if she ever managed to release a full feature film. She is young and the ambition is there, so why not. I just hope she can improve a bit then from the quality in this film. We have an estranged couple sitting at an incredibly long table.

    It is certainly no coincidence that early on the two paintings are closer to each other than the two humans. Interesting scenario. However, all that followed afterwards did not really win me over. The changes in salad size and the size of the spice mill (not sure if it was pepper) may have had symbolic relevance reflecting the emotional distance between the protagonists, but for me personally these symbolisms did not work convincingly I must say. The way in which everything is solved towards the end with the two being close again and also a happy ending for the paintings was more tolerable, but also not as good as I would have liked it to be. A bit of a pity. You can see that the ambition was there with von Gwinner, but the execution and the general vision was not (yet) on a level where I would give the overall outcome a positive recommendation.

    Cannot say anything about the four cast members here, two actors and two voice actors. Oh wait, I see one of them was even in the Oscar-winning "The Reader". Now that I did not expect. And one of the others was in "Hindafing", a fairly successful series too, so I may have been a bit harsh on the cast here. Their (voice) acting is certainly not the film's biggest weakness. Still I must say, with a little play on words linked to the name of the director here, this film may be a Gwinner, but it is not a winner. Go watch something else instead. Also I was pretty surprised this was on MDR minutes ago in the middle of the night.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Mutter auf Streife" is a German television film from 2015, so this one is alreaydc over five years old and probably much older if you show up here and read this review of mine in a few years because I am sure this film will still be on national television here in Germany for years to come. Which is absolutely not a good thing at all. Like most other ARD television films, this one runs for minimally under 1.5 hours. The director is Jan Ruzicka and he was in his mid50s when he made this film. Pretty prolifi filmmaker since 1990 already, so he had his 25th career anniversary when this came out, but while you will find really a lot of quantity in his body of work, the one thing you will not find is quality. Saw some other stuff from him like "Die Fischerin", which is admittedly not as poor as this one here, but still weak, and I cannot say his body of work is even remotely inspired. The opposite is the case. The writer here is Norbert Eberlein, who was slightly older even than the director when this got made, but he started his career even later, namely around his 40th birthday, if the numbers and inclusions here on imdb are correct. Not a lot of quality to his body of work either. Mostly series, but also some films. The lead actress here is Mira Bartuschek and I think she is so-so at best. Don't really remember here from anything else, even if I certainly have seen some of her projects. I guess she just isn't memorable and this film here also makes me question if she is lead actress material, but then again the writing is so low at times that probably not even the most talented actresses could have made this work. In any case, Bartuschek plays the title character here and is the one and only lead in this film.

    As for the supporting cast, some familiar faces there too. Max von Thun and Martin Feifel are really prolific and experienced actors, also the former despite being a little younger and not even 40 when this got made. Eleonore Weisgerber, who plays von Thun's character's mother started acting in the late 1960s. Enough said. Golo Euler, even if his role is minimal, I also remember from other projects. His name is probably easier to remember than his face with the unusual first name and the owl reference in the last name. Alexandra von Giese is a stunner, but does not have a lot of material either here. Unfortunately, there is not one of them that I can say something positive about when it comes to this film. von Thun plays the husband. The dentist to a woman who is known to everybody as "the dentist's wife" because she did not really show the ambition or talent to create something on her own. This was a recurring idea, but it already felt for the sake of it the first time. And really all about von Thun's character does as well. Like the idea how he does not support his wife and her goal to become a police officer one bit. I mean it is alright they included him like that, but the writing there was so stereotypical and uninspired that it was almost impossible to watch. Cringe is real. As for his mother (Wesigerber), she was maybe the worst. The scenes in which Pink Floyd music was running and she was totally stoned or in which she sang Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang" were so poor that I just wanted to turn it off. And this was supposed to be funny? And we are supposed to believe she was an aspiring singer once? Oh please. Really progressive also to smoke weed with your granddaughter, isn't it and she just gets away with it. Unreal.

    As for Feifel's character, he had his weak moments too. I did not buy the entire story honestly about him being the ex-cop with his inner demons. But it's also the small moments where his character's story is simply horrible. Take the test where he wants the protagonist to get angry at him because he is constantly on his phone instead of helping her although she paid him. This was supposed to be some lesson she should learn to allow her aggressions when she is treated with disrespect. In general, a good idea. But the exact execution of this lesson was simply horrible. Or take the man's tear-filled eyes when his new student tells him that she will return to being a housewife after her daughter got caught by the police when spray-painting a wall and afterwards she was lmost hit by a train when running away. Yeah, right. people almost get hit by something here many times. Just take the protagonist's friend who is almost hit by the car on one occasion. And how this friend hit on Feifel's character was also pretty embarrassing to watch. Not because they succeeded in depicting her as needy, lonely and shallow there, but because they tried so hard to depict her like that, but it all felt fake. So yeah, with Feifel's character, this tear-filled scene was almost unwatchable. It came out of nowhere. They wnated us to think the two had such a strong connection already that it broke his heart to see her go back to her former self. Which would have made sense. The only problem was that there was not the slightest bit of connection created between these two by the because the talent, especially from those behind the camera, was simply not there. Emotions for the sake of it. The desire is there, the depth is not one bit. And by the way, the exact exercises for Bartuschek, the ones we see, are ridiculous. This is what she needs a coach for? Are they for real?

    I already made a slight reference to the ending because we have the protagonist go back to her daily life after her daughter causes this mess, but this is not it of course. In the highly expected turn of events, she changes her mind once again and goes back to preparing for the police exam. Of course she does. The only thing missing to a 100% happy ending here is that we find otu she succeeded. It's an open ending. But it just did not feel realistic at all. This already starts with her not only randomly finding out about the burglary that takes place, but knocking out one of the intruders even. Really ridiculous and another failed attempt by the writer and director here at showing us what the woman is capable of if she has the chance. It just did not feel authentic. Especially with the police officer (Euler) saying she reacted really nicely by calling and being in control of the situation. The fact that she knocked the fella out was not crucial for his recommendation that she could start trying to become a police officer. By the way, with that one it also felt a bit strange. Like do they make these recommendations to everybody who acts accurately in such a situation? Or how is he exactly the one that also deals with the protagonist's daughter when she is caught in the scenario I mentioned earlier. Of course, the daughter was also not the initiator, so she is let go right away. They always keep it harmless in films like this.

    Okay, that is pretty much all there is to day about the outcome here. Not a good film. So many question marks in the negative sense. i feel pretty sorry for people who actually (think they) see a strong female character and performance in here. This film is actually pretty despicable for playing with female audience members' own potential feeling of unfulfilled lives. If it gets any of them to step up and do something and follow their dreams, then it's a good thing, but honestly the last thing i would call this film is inspired or inspiring. For those who may see it this way are actually also those where I am sure they forget about the film really quickly, but still think it is deep and meaningful. And funny. Which is really the last thing this is. Every single shot at comedy (and there were some, not too many) felt try-hard to me. Nothing effortless in here. By the way, the translation of the title would be "Mother on duty" in the sense of police duty, so yeah, it is not a good title at all and at least the German version feels and sounds exactly the way you'd expect from an ARD Degeto movie. These udner 90 minutes suck from almost every perspective. This includes the key plot and the small moments. It's almost impossible for me to say something positive about the outcome here. I mentioned von Giese's looks already. I guess von Koch's are also not too shabby.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot: This film also once again gets in some anti-male references, most of all with how the husband is described and how he acts towards his wife. And, even more specifically, on one occasion when the friend says something really disrespectful about men when they are talking on the fence. Annd this friend is one we are supposed to like. You can also take the argument between the protagonist and her best friend after the latter is hitting on Feifel's character and this argument could have turned into a lengthy dispute, but instead it is fixed right away and the two drive off as friend instantly again. Why? Because nobody other than von Thun's character must be seen as the obstacle here. I honestly feel really sorry for men whose partners maybe watched this movie and projected von Thun's character on their own partners and husbands. With which I don't mean that men should not encourage their wives. On the contrary. But it works both directions. Pretty shameful from von Thun too to play such a character. No sympathy for him. He agreed to be part of this project although it was doomed from the start if take a look st the script. So yeah, massive thumbs-down obviously for the outcome here. Highly not recommended, oh and I remember another positive thing: They never made a sequel in terms of a movie or series, which really could have happened given the ending and story in general. Let's hope it stays that way. Six years are a long time, but not necessarily long enough to rule out a sequel 100%. Okay, that's it. Stay away from this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is "Love Me Like You Hate Me", a ten-minute live action short film from 2020, October 2020 to be precise, so the outcome here is only three months old now. The director is award-winning filmmaker Luke Turner and he has worked with actor Shia LaBeouf on several occasions in the past. You can check out his body of work if you care what they collaborated on. Many hashtags included. No surprise anyway that LaBeauf also plays the male protagonist in this mix of movie and music video. The song we were listening to by the way did not really do a lot for me, so I will not elaborate on it any further. It wasn'd bad either though, but I doubt it will still be in my ears and head a few days from now. Probably almost nothing from this one will be. The female part here is played by Emmy-nominated actress Margaret Qualley. A bit of an unlucky name as the word "Qualle" in German means jellyfish. She is nothing like that though. Very stunning young woman. The fact that you see literally everything from her body at the very start, but also later on, may be the reason why this is too explicit for Youtube. Go to Vimeo. Intercourse is also implied and we see LaBeauf constantly naked too, even if they did his best to hide his genital. The scene on the bed is okay and the shower scene is also pretty nice. Cannot lie there as a heterosexual male.

    By the way, they used a split screen here for this one. One half on top, the other below. I did not like this creative choice very much, but I can see why it's vital for the tale with the acting in the top half basically being right there where it was at the start in the bottom half. And is again in the end for the bottom half as well, namely with the two lying on bed together having sex. Between this identical opening and closure, there is a lot more action and movement going on though. This is again where the music video component comes into play. It is all choreographed and the arguments the characters are having are displayed in an exaggerated form that feels like from a stage play or ballet performance. So there we have another parallel to what LaBeouf did in this video with Maddie Ziegler (and Sia). Cannot lie that I like that one a little more than this one here. But who knows, maybe this one will also grow with time, even if I doubt it a bit. The one thing that cannot be said here is that the protagonists took a nice risk here. Shia continues his path of slightly unusual, but inspired career choices, while Qualley went fully naked down to her pubes here, which is always a bold move for any actress. But then again, let's be honest here: She 100% has the body for that.

    Now I see Labeauf and Qualley were a couple at one point, most likely also when this got made. This may explain it and I wonder if they ended up together before or after this one. Okay, that is all then. It's a tolerable watch at times, but overall it could not win me over, which had least as much to do with the song where the lyrics feel a bit empty to me as well as with the slightly pretentious video. I am glad it was this short. Thumbs down. Not recommended, even if was a by no means a bad watch. Just not good enough.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Die Erfinderbraut" is a German television film from 2013, so this one is moving closer to its tenth anniversary now. I am not sure though if this is a date to be proud of, an anniversary to be proud of because it's pretty embarrassing that pretty much eight years exactly after the first time it was shown, this is still on national television in the afternoon. But I shall get to the quality later on. Let's start with the basics first. This runs for under 1.5 hours, slightly under, just like the vast majority of German small screen movies, especially if the abysmal ARD (Degeto) and Theaterkunst (Theater"kunst" GmbH) were involved with the production. Films like this are were billions of GEZ money went. Unreal. The director is Thomas Nennstiel, very prolific filmmaker since the early 1990s and thus the epitome of quantity over quality. This film here is the perfect example and same applies to works like "Nicht mit mir, Liebling", "Entführ' mich, Liebling!", "Moppel-Ich", "Gefühlte XXS - Vollschlank & frisch verliebt" and "Bei manchen Männern hilft nur Voodoo". Shameful stuff really. I have seen some other films from him, but honestly with titles like these it is not even necessary to watch them and you still know the quality here is terrible. Normally I would say the writer is more to blame than the director, but here we got no excuse with such an amount of trashy films like he's got them. If he is the director, it is almost always a safe indicator for a film to suck. Natalie Scharf is the writer and I think her body of work is slightly better than the director's, but this is only because it does not need a lot to be better honestly. It's not great either, not even good, some weak projects there as well as she has worked with Thomalla on other occasions too, but also some tolerable stuff like "Dschungelkind".

    I just mentioned Thomalla already and with that I mean Simone of course and not her equally untalented daughter Sophia. Simone Thomalla is in my opinion of the worst German actress in existence. The only reason why I would still probably rank her behind Neubauer for example is that Thomalla has not been as prolific. But she is still younger, so who knows. Maybe she can close the gap one day. It may sound harsh, but yes, she is really this bad. This film is the perfect example of everything she has done throughout her career: i.e. trashy ARD Degeto movies in which she plays tough independent women, that still magically end up with guys in the end and every time the guy has to be really patient and fight for her for quite a while. No range and absolutely no versatility to her, three different face expressions max that she shows in every movie. Let's not get too general here now though and instead move on and talk a bit about the other cast members. Obviously, they could not make their parts work either because of the horrible writing. Many familiar faces in here though, even if almost all of them regularly appear in nothing but these abysmal Degeto films. This applies especially to Schubert and Flemming who plays friends/antagonists in this film. Paula Schramm is a cutie no denying, but this is also all she is, at least in this movie. Ulrich Noethen has been in several spectacular films, so I have no clue why he would agree to appear in trash like this to be honest. Just for the easy money I suppose and he is not doing himself any favors at all this way. Sattmann and Schümann are also pretty experienced, but there is not much more to say about them. Sattmann for example played key romantic interests in films like this too, but not here. And finally, Ken Duken's sister is also on board.

    The film starts pretty messy right away. Thomalla's protagonist Alexandra Fuchs is moving into a new apartment and in order for us to see what a smart and witty and creative woman she is, namely an "inventor bride" (I don't even), she come sup with a little application that makes t much easier to move the big cardboard boxes. The guy supposed to carry them is awed immediately and of course, she could always have him our wonderful Alexandra. How did she get into this situation? Well, we find out later on that her man left her and the kids, chose to have no contact anymore and also could not pay any money because he was in debt. Sure thing. Never in doubt as these ARD Degeto films in their attempts to turn the female protagonist into perfection almost always show strong anti-male tendencies. No difference here either. Take a literal quote from Schubert's character it was I think. The hatred is also there against other male characters. It is just not as obvious at times. Noethen's character is there to (not literally) drool over Thomalla's since the moment he enters the picture and also make sure she has financial success. But only by supporting her with his connections and knowsledge, not with his money because our Alex is a very independent woman. Sattmann's character is her boss and he is of course crushing on her too and not too happy when he finds out she may be dating another man. But he is still kind and friendly. At the same time, Super-Alex has to deal with her two children that she takes care of on her own as well. The young boy is not a problem, but the teenage daughter is struggling through puberty and causing a lot of trouble this way. But in the end, this is fixed too because she returns to school (hey how easy it is to get in and out within days) and why does she do so? Because she had a miraculous change in her mind that she does not want to disappoint her mother. Sure thing.

    This is also a key aspect in all these ARD Degeto films that all the troubles that may seem so gigantic 20-30 minutes before the end of the film are miraculously solved in the end. Everybody is getting along well with everybody else. All the financial issues are solved. The girl is not only back to school, but even finding a boy friend who is new at this school as well. Of course, she literally bumped into him the minite she is back. More realism. And he still a good guy, at least her best friend is drooling over him too, probably because he has virtually no screen time for the writer to turn him into an evil male too, but she already started it with Thomalla's "many men are nice at the beginning" speech. Poor Gregor. I think the fact that he touches the girl's buttocks near the end may already be a tendency. Super-Alex likes it though. But then again, you cannot really blame him with how hot Paula Schramm is. Oh yes and another thing you find in this film (for once no children running away from home, even if the troubles with them are there too), is dogs and cats. The frequently try to deliver through cuteness and there is no denying the canine and feline in here are pretty nice, but the shameful thing is they are doing this for people to not recognize how empty this movie is at its very core in terms of the story, the acting, the direction and everything else. It's tough to find anything positive to say here. I guess Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" during the closing credits is an okay number, but this has nothing to do with the filmmakers and also does not mean they are more creative. The contrary is the case. As for the animals I already mentioned, there is also a bit of sob story here, really cheap and uninspired, at the very start when we find out she has to take the dog to the shelter because it is not allowed at the new home. Oh and this is fixed too at the very end when the dog is back with them.

    Everything is fixed. Noethen's character eventually gets his well-deserved liplock too, especially after rejecting and exposing the liar. Come on, Flemming is so much more attractive than Thomalla. And the invention aspect gets closure as well. There was this eviil, evil other woman that Alex thought was a friend and she dared to take that invention idea Alex came up with and say it is her own when it was about to become a success while telling Alex that they did not like the idea. But yeah, Alex finds out and as she is a fighter and has a great helper in Noethen's character, they manage to get things straight and a great amount of money is coming our protagonist's way. I cannot put into words how happy I was for her. No seriously, I feel pretty bad for people who see these Thomalla films as movies with realistic statements about strong independent female characters because this films are so void of authenticity, realism and creativity that it is not even funny anymore. The worst is that these films pretend to be all that, that they are about stories and characters that could exist like this exactly in real life. It's pretty sad and I applaud everybody who sees through this, especially the ladies that do. But far too many don't, which is also proven by the fact that Thomalla was picked to appear as a regular in the Tatort series. Which by the way is also extremely overrated. But this is another story. Millions and millions of people watching these utterly generic films every Sunday is just evidence of incapacity or confession of failure. Make your pick. But back to this one here: Of course, there is no other choice for me here than to give the outcome a truly dedicated thumbs-down. Just like almost everything else that Thomalla has been a part of, it is an unwatchable movie for the most part. Highly not recommended. Don't even get me started on the radio show at the end. A real lowpoint errr. "highlight".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Piedone d'Egitto" or "Plattfuß am Nil" or "Flatfoot in Egypt" is an Italian, mostly Italian-language film from 1980, so this one just had its 40th anniversary and the half-centennial is not even a decade away anymore, probably considerably less depending on when you show up here to read this review of mine. This film is of course part of a quadrology of films in which Bud Spencer plays Inspector Rizzo. The first of these films was from 1973 and this, the final installment, is from seven years later. In the thirs film, Spencer's Rizzo was already in Africa, so they had to some up with a different title because he stays on the continent, but moves up north where the locals have lighter skin, so it does not feel too much of a copy of the third film You also see Egypt's trademark sights on the photo here in the background. I am of course talking about the Pyramids and the Sphinx. The former are not featured too much in here, but there is a funny comment on the Sphinx from Rizzo on one occasion here referring to her missing nose. Almost had a touch of Obelix there. The proportions fit as well. But it was not really what he said, but the words he used that made it one of the funniest moment. Like he called the nose a cucumber I think. It's not too funny when I say it now, but with Spencer's voice, it was pretty hilarious. Of course, I was watching the German version again. I read that even in the Italian originals Spencer got dubbed pretty frequently, but in this film here, for once, you can actually hear his real voice. Interesting.

    The poster is a lot of fun anyway. The crocodile reference is also interesting because this is where it makes sense that Spencer was a former Olympic swimmer, so he swam to safety from a crocodile in this movie and he did not beat it up as you could guess from the title. And once more his words afterwards are hilarious when we have him make a reference that the crocodile needs to swim faster for such a big breakfast. Hilarious. In a good way. But aren's crocodile fast runners too? Surprised to see it swim away then, but it's okay. This is no biology documentary. Also of course this inclusion is interesting if we take a look at the German title of the Spencer/Hill film "Das Krokodil und sein Nilpferd" from the year before. Also on the poster you can see Enzo Cannavale and Baldwyn Dakile. Namely on the right. Cannavale was in all the Rizzo films as some kind of hopeless sidekick and his character is everybody's punching ball really and this does not change here. Even the little African boy played by Dakile uses the man as a punching ball, like when he talks to him in the end when Cannavale's character is in danger of dying when all this sand is coming down on him. Dakile was also in the previous film of course, this is where they met him. I must say I did not like this character too much honestly. He felt a bit annoying to me all in all. In this film here and in the one before. I preferred the silent Asian kid from the second movie. But that one was even younger I think and we also know nothing about what happened to Dakile in real life. He quit acting quickly.

    The director is once again the really prolific Steno and he is also one of the three writers here. Not a given because this was not the case for all Rizzo films. His co-writers have interesting bodies of work here too, especially Bolzoni with his Eastwood film, but also Franciosa, who was probably not too far away from an Oscar nomination for his most known work. By the way, it says here on imdb that this film runs for 95 minutes, but this is certainly not the only version out there because there is at least one other and that is approximately ten minutes longer. As for the rest of the cast, Robert Loggia is a bit of a big name here for sure and I personally am always happy to see Riccardo Pizzuti, a regular on Spencer films. Karl-Otto Alberty is an antagonist here and this German actor is still alive today and in the third Rizzo film, there were so many blond villains and here he is the only one, even if he is not the main antagonist. But he is still alive today at almost 90. Was born the very year Hitler came to power. Man, it's been so long. Another mention goes out to Cinzia Monreale. Don't know anything about her as an actress, but she was pretty stunning and easily could have played a Bond girl too for example. Maybe the most beautiful actress from every Spencer movie or at least a definite contender and if I say so, as somebody who is not into blondes usually, that means something. Speaking of Bond movies, these Rizzo films sometimes feel as if they have an ounce of 007 to them too and I never really recognized this before. You can see that during those days when they got made, Bond was already a really big thing. Even if somebody else was getting the aforementioned potential Bond girl here.

    But it is not just that these films are set all around the globe and that the protagonist takes out dangerous villains and sometimes gets a little help from locals, but it is also the bad guys. They slightly feel like villains from the Bond film series at times. This refers to the blond fella I already mentioned, the main antagonist who almost manages to kill Cannavale's character (again this one is really an obstacle, also how he was captured at the carpet store) and also this little dude really reminded me of Hervé Villechaize's character at times. Not just the size, but also his speed and how there was some unintentional(?) comedy to him. But he showed us he is dangerous when he almost kills one character before he can give out important information to Rizzo. This scene in the carpet store was also among the best, even if the dialogues were all over the place and we heard people talking when not even their mouths were moving. Surely a bit strange. But the funniest moment also involves the fella whose life is saved by Rizzo, but already early on in this scene when he tries to kill Rizzo himself, but is knocked out and after taking care of the dwarf, Rizzo takes a look at him again and sees that he is still alive and what he says there right before checking was again really hilarious. Again, impossible to get the comedy through by writing only, but I liked it a lot and laughed quite a bit there. "Let's see if he still has electricity." and then he steps on the dude's foot and that one screams loudly. Well, Flatfoot's feet are really nothing you'd want on your feet, that mush is safe. So it was also how over the top it all felt, for example with the Tarzan scream from the little dude there and that is a crucial difference compared to 007 movies. Also that we almost always hear music to keep things lights. And nobody is really killed. The key story here includes an important scientist who got abducted by the bad guys and this is why Rizzo returns to Africa to free him. Always with him Caputo (kinda fitting he sounds like "kaputt") and little Bodo (isn't this a German name?), who always manages to sneak in still, like when he is hiding and eating all these meatballs. This scientist looked a bit like Einstein to me with his hair and beard, not sure if this was a coincidence.

    Anyway, in the previous films, especially the first two, drugs were a key issue in terms of what the bad guys did. In the third as well, even if there was as much focus on stolen diamonds. But with this one here, we only have one very brief drug reference early on, unless I missed out on it. It is really about a specific insect that was able to find petroleum which made it really priceless and this aforementioned scientist is the man who found it and the evil guys, really rich ones too as the main villain seems to be a figure of authority, want the scientist to tell them his secret and make sure they get access to this insect and, as a consequence, also to the oil. Oil has also been a big thing already at the end of the third film, so nothing entirely new here, even if the connection is a bit vague because in that previous movie, it was really more about coincidence. So I already mentioned some of my favorite moments from this film here and there are others too. Overall, I don't think this was a step back in quality, but I am generally not the biggest fan of the Rizzo films. This one here is a good as the previous ones I would say, but if we talk about everything Spencer did, then he has quite a handful better films than those from the Rizzo quadrology. But this one here is definitely not bad or anything. No hesitation for me in giving it a positive recommendation too. Scenes like the one with the snake and the music or the one inside the carpet store and several others make this a rewarding watch as well. It could even be my favorite from the series. The fun component is there too, especially when Buddy once again takes care of the disguised locals (some of them are with the bad guy) and their swords and knives can't save them. Most of the time, his fists are enough, but here and there he also picks up a wooden table to make thinks more entertaining. I suggest you go for the watch here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Von Mäusen und Lügen" is a German German-language television film from 2011, so this one will have its 10th anniversary in summer this year and, unless you show up here right after I wrote this review, it probably happened already. Just like the vast majority of other German small screen releases, this one here runs for minimally under 1.5 hours, especially if we are talking about ARD movies. There it is almost always the case. This may for once not be a Degeto movie, at least no such inclusion here on imdb, but sadly this does not stop the film from being just as bad as these hundreds of ARD Degeto films. A look at the trio who made this one makes it obvious really quickly. Director Sibylle Tafel has worked on so many terrible projects over the last 25 years (then 15 years) and the only exception are her fairytale films that were sometimes semi-watchable. The writers are Bahmann and Hertwig. The former launched his career earlier, namely in the last 1980s already, Hertwig a little later, and you can say about both that what they did early on may not have been great, but it was definitely better than what they made afterwards. For Hertwig for example it all went south when he started penning some of these highly forgettable Donna Leon crime movie adaptations. Kinda fitting that he is working right now for the of the South German SOKO series and these are really the low point in terms of German crime television. I feel sorry for everybody who sees some quality in those. But maybe this is where Hertwig belongs. This film here makes it pretty obvious. Also it is not unusual at all that he collaborated with Bahmann here because these two have really worked together on many projects in the past, some full feature films, several of those for rather young audiences, and also many television episodes. Bahmann is also part of the aforementioned SOKO series. This is where our GEZ money goes, folks.

    As for the cast here, the man you see on the right of the photo here on imdb is Ulrich Noethen of course. I think I liked him more in the past than I do now because honestly with highly uninspired projects like this one here he is not doing himself any favors. It also feels as if he knows because to me it seemed as if he was really lackluster with his performance here. What a joke that he got nominated for an award nonetheless for his portrayal here. But then again, Til Schweiger won a key awards during that ceremony too. Enough said. As for Noethen, guess he was just cashing in on the pretty decent salary that came from GEZ money of course too. The female lead is played by Melika Foroutan this time. Not too much to say about her. I think she is not unattractive, but a particularly good actress she isn't. I will elaborate a little more about the key characters later on. Heio von Stetten is another familiar faces and German film buffs will definitely recognize several cast members here. von Stetten, however, also has been in many, many of these really terrible ARD releases in the past. I cannot go easy on him here. As uninspired as it gets. His character here was also very forgettable. At least you can say about Noethen that he has been in some really solid projects in the past, also convincing big screen releases. And back in 2011 he had been in the industry for 20 years exactly it seems, so a bit of a round anniversary. The rest of the cast is not really worth mentioning. Not too familiar with most of them, even if some had successful acting careers by then already and even I as a German film buff am neither familiar with the names or faces, even if at least Vanessa Krüger's face is on the cute side. But that does not make her material better either. She is playing the daughter who is not too happy that her father is not getting together with her mother again. By the way, the title means translated "Of mice and lies". That even rhymes. But it makes really no sense at all and has almost no connection to the story, even if you assume that "mice" in this context refers to money as we say it here in Germany.

    There were simply too many weak and unrealistic scenes, plus the usual cringeworthy approach where 20 minutes before the end all seems lost and then all is magically fixed again eventually. Who cares about authenticity. I will just mention a few scenes and inclusions now that felt really fake all along and just part of the film for the purpose of entertaining the audience, which they also didn't because they were simply not funny and at the same time not relevant in terms of the story either, even if they tried so hard to make them seem relevant. By the way, it's always sad to see more than one filmmaker mess up a script like it happened here. I mean you'd really expect that they spot each other's mistakes here, but the truth is they just seem to be bringing out the worst in each other and it is ridiculous they are still getting employed to write screenplays. It may sound harsh, but the quality here is indeed so bad, that it is a valid approach to seeing things. Maybe the only valid one. Nobody can like this film from the story perspective if they have the slightest bit of taste in movies. Now for the scenes: There is the scene with this intruder down there who keeps switching on and off the light. The pseudo-dramatic music in this sequence haha. But this was still better than some of the others. Like the scene with the construction workers out there was maybe the most cringeworthy of them all. I mean the two protagonists were just talking and they are there making these gestures? What the heck? They would have been fired a long time, already for looking inside the apartments instead of working, but this was really when the film hit rock bottom. Or actually it got even worse when they are attacked with the bucket by Noethen's character. Sigh.

    What else? Ah yes, the scene(s) with the children's mother. Now that was really pseudo drama of the worst kind and also how it extended beyond with what the daughter said and did that I mentioned earlier. It's kinda tough to remember everything because I really lost interest in this film during the watch. Oh yes, the ceiling crashing down. Sadly about this I have not forgotten yet. Sorry, but stuff like that does not happen in real life constantly as this film tries to convince us. The talk about the free apartment early on escalated more quickly than I thought too, but if you see this as somewhat accurate, which you can from the perspective that she wants to be independent, then there is no justification for her changing her mind so quickly about said apartment. The beginning of the film by the way made me think this could be going into a completely different direction with the grumpy old man, but then it turned into nothing but forgettable romance kitsch eventually. But this beginning also feels unrealistic. Of course, the elderly can be moody, but still difficult to believe that all of a sudden he won't accept the place they agreed on and also that the old man is really harsh when telling Noethen's character to go. And that the old man dies immediately afterwards is one thing, which came as a surprise, but that the granddaughter moves in there (is that even legally accurate?) and Noethen's character falls for her quickly, is just too much. So they key plot is a gigantic mess. There is no other way to put it. And the ridiculous explanation why he is at the hospital apparently they found so creative that they included it twice. Of course, it is not the woman to blame for hitting him, but his partner or also he is himself to blame. But no surprise here either, ARD have a long history with anti-male movies. The women are desirable, the men are fools, even they are at the center of the story, which Noethen here definitely is more than Foroutan's character. No positive words on the intimidation inclusions either, such as the rope rabbit. It's all so bad. From every perspective.

    What the people said to each other was also written relatively poorly I must say. There are many examples, but I will just mention one that was maybe the very worst for me from all of them. On one occasion, Noethen's character is very upset with another character and what does he tell him? He says that he has medical equipment in his apartment up there that can cause terrible damage when used the wrong way? Now that is what I call a worrying threat. The shocking thing is they were really serious with that and nonetheless, at the very same time, the way how exaggerated this scene was, in terms of Noethen's voice and everything, it was still at least partially meant for comedic reasons. But it simply isn't funny. There are so many moments when this movie realls sucks. So many scenes. Just take the one with the mailbox. You will know what I am talking about when you see said scene. ut you really shouldn't. What you should do is skip this film 100%. If I remember correctly, 2011 was pretty much among they years where they dished out one terrible television film after the next and the fact that probably even premiered at prime time says it all. Right now, even if they take more GEZ money than ever, things look a little better. Not in the sense that they are finally using these billions to come up with quality movies, but I think the sheer quantity of terrible films from ARD (Degeto) is by far not as high anymore as it was ten years for for example. So yeah, I think all is said about this one here. Major thumbs-down. Highly not recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Piedone l'africano" or "Plattfuß in Afrika" (I guess they did not expect that there would be another film with Rizzo in Africa) or "Knock-Out Cop" (so basic, they clearly did not care anymore for English-speaking audiences by then, its basically the almost exact same title as for another film from this series) is a co-production between Italy and West Germany from 1978, so this film is already way over 40 years old and it runs for 95 minutes the version I have here. I am not sure if this is an error here on imdb or if there are several versions out there because the only one listed here comes close to the two-hour mark. Anyway, not too important. It includes enough fun with both running times I'd say. The director is Steno and despite having written screenplays for 50 more projects than he directed, he is not one of the writers here, which is especially surprising because the amount of writers, namely four, is pretty high here. One of them is Reiner Brandt and he is not only German, but from my city Berlin and this is not the only Bud Spencer film he has worked on. His inclusion here may be one reason why this is a West German co-production. There is also Werner Pochath in here whose character has a Greek name, but he is Austrian, a really prolific actor that certainly died way too early. Rita Ehlers also seems German to me. But yeah, this is not an African co-production, even if this is where the movie is set.

    And now Bud Spencer (Carlo Pedersoli). He must be mentioned of course because he was such a huge star here in Germany and almost everybody still know him. No surprise either that this film is another one that managed to reach Golden Screen territory, the really high amount of viewers that justifies receiving this prestigious award. It is all about the numbers here. Of course, this movie is from the series of Flatfoot/Rizzo films. It is the third of four entries we got here. I must admit that while I love Spencer and always will, these films, maybe the longest-running series during his peak, are not among my biggest favorites from him. This was the case for the first two already and surely also applies to this one here. I will watch the fourth and final installment tomorrow and I will see how much I like that one. Would surprise me if I like it less or more than the other three. The problem I have a bit with those is that they usually focus a bit more on realism and authentic crimes stories, but it stays the attempt most of the time in my opinion. Spencer is at his best when he is just pointless fun really. I wish this movie could have been as much fun as the poster is. Him in the middle of everything and everybody dishing out punches is really as good as it gets. By the way, Enzo Cannavale is also back here for this one and he is really in it only for the comedy component. Nobody takes him seriously really, not even the little African boy. That one is played by Baldwyn Dakile and he also appeared in the sequel and in another German movie afterwards, but it is not known what happened to him afterwards. Anyway, this film here takes us to Africa and there we also stay for the final film, even if a completely different region, after the first two films took place on other continents.

    The key crime is the same though. Initially it seemed to be more about animal abuse and diamond theft, but eventually we see it is drugs once again just like in the first two films. Not too big on that. What I did like, however, was the very beginning in the bus that got attacked by these criminals and how Spencer's character here is introduced as the bus driver was pretty funny. Also he is not on his own this time. This was a bit of a prologue, but the real action follows afterwards. That one dangerous blond guy was also interesting and there was a bit of a mystery to him as if he was from some James Bond movie. I am not talking about Pochath's character. There were really many people in here with fake blonde hair on the villain side. That much is safe. Pochath's character also had a moment that felt like from a 007 movie, namely the scene when one wrestler basically throws another wrestler into the audience, but Rizzo is smart and fast enough to get out of the way and the wrestlers as well as Pochath's character get their fair share quickly afterwards. Don't get Rizzo angry. He can also be a bit on the plaful side though. Take the scene in which he traps Pochath's character with the little boy and then acts as if he was his savior. Or was it meant to get closer to him? In any case, this did not work for long because they were trying to kill Rizzo not much later.

    And, almost as usual, we have Spencer fly an airplane in this film too. It seems it was not really him, but still the man was a passionate aviator in real life as well, so it felt fitting. One thing that hurt this film from me from a subjective perspective was that I did not really like the little Black kid too much and the boy seemed more annoying to me and I am also not too happy he will be back for the final film. I can still understand why Rizzo took care of him with what happened in the scene when he met his dad early on and it is fairly tragic. It was his dad, wasn't it? Again, a touch of Bond. Reminded me immediately of a scene when some guy Bond talked to also gets killed, even if there it was a blade that did the job and here it was a bullet. Or the brakes that are not working. But let's stay with this film now: Cannavale I already mentioned and I wonder if he could have gotten away with the Blackface makeup in 2020. Probably not. Which is sad. Political correctness is so embarrassing at times. here it was funny how he got recognized and called by his name nonetheless. And that Black guy who recognizes him sure did not complain about (alleged) racism. Anyway, I did not find Cannavale too funny here. The only mildly entertaining moment came from Rizzo when he was talking about Cannavale's character in short pants.

    Another slightly unusual thing you could say about this film and Spencer's character is that he had a bit of a female suitor that keeps showing up again and again, even if it is coincidence apparently. She was not stalking him. But she clearly liked the big bear. Even some dancing involved here. Then again, maybe it is not a huge surprise becase ladies magnet Terence Hill is not in this movie and they did not seem to want to keep women out of it completely and as women are never really antagonists in Bud Spencer films, this was the only way. Still it is nothing explicit or so and it is also always a bit on the funny side to see Spencer's characters interact with women because he can be really clumsy there. Big contrast to how dedicated he is when taking out dangerous criminals. Okay, I think I shall leave it at that then. You also get to see some animals in here of course, which should surprise nobody because it is often the case in other Spencer films and they would not miss out on the opportunity here to show the audience cats of prey. And birds. And other animals. I am still not the biggest Rizzo fan if I compared these films to other stuff in which Spencer appears as the lead actor, but this is just because those are very good and this one here is "only" good. If you have not seen anything else with Spencer, I think there are better choices to start with, but at some point when you have seen a lot, this also deserves to get checked out. I give it a thumbs-up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Si può fare... amigo" or "Der Dicke in Mexiko" or "It Can Be Done Amigo" is a co-production between Italy, France and Spain from 1972, so this film is really close to its 50th anniversary now and unless you show up in the coming weeks and months here, perhaps it happened already. Even if there are other production countries involved, the inclusion of lead actor Bud Spencer shows you here that this is a film in the Italian language in the original. The director is Maurizio Lucidi and he is not a name you usually associate with Bud Spencer, but then again Spencer is not really too known anymore today for his western movies, even if the comedic tough here is also undeniable. Lucidi was pretty prolific nonetheless, also in other areas than direction. Here and there, for example he also wrote screenplays, but not this time. Instead they gut Ernesto Gastaldi and Rafael Azcona. Gastaldi is still alive today apparently and getting closer to 90 and he wrote way over 100 screenplays in his career. Azcona also managed to get past this crucial mark. So I am sure that film buffs in Italy will still recognize the names of this trio maybe. As for the cast, I already mentioned Spencer. And you can see from the poster how popular he was back then already, even if it was before his breakthrough next to Terence Hill. Also you can see from the German title that they promoted the film heavily with Spencer. He's the man. Alwys has been, always will be. May he rest in peace.

    Anyway, the Italian title also has these ... and this is something they did with several Spencer films in the original title, not sure if with many other Italian films as well. The English-language title sounds a bit clumsy though and the only thing really telling there is the Hispanic background from the word "Amigo". The film is set in Mexico of course, but you can see that America is not exactly what they were focusing on, even if there were so many other English titles for this one here and also the one I mentioned is not the only one for Germany. Another one would be "Halleluja... Amigo" and there's more in German. As for the cast, Jack Palance also deserves a mention here for sure. At that point, he was already an Oscar nominee, but not yet a winner. This happened twenty years later, roughly also the same time span as between 1972 and his first nominations. It's a bit difficult to put into perspective, but maybe knowing that this film happened less than three decades after the end of WWII is something that gives you an ounce of how old this film already is. The western genre was also slowly dying back then. Anyway, this film here is of course in color, which was not a given for 1972, but still very often the case. I cannot really elaborate a lot on the rest of the cast here. Maybe some Italians with a soft spot for old films can, but Sal Borgese is of course an actor who is always easy to identify because he has been in several Spencer films. And Pizzuti is also on board once again. May these two, both in their 80s now, still live on for a few years hopefully. I like them, no point in denying.

    As for the film itself, I already stated that I felt it got worse in the second half. maybe without Spencer on board I would not have given it three stars out of five, so perhaps people who like the man less than I do, will have a more difficult time to appreciate this film. But for me he is always fun. Although, even if this is a western, they did all they could to keep it as family-friendly as possible. The scene in which we have one character die after he sends Spencer's character Coburn on a mission was maybe the funniest of the entire film with how the dying kept opening his eyes after Coburn closed them already. That was almost dark comedy and I loved it. So yeah, this was one of the most serious moments of the film, but they treated it really lightly. Same applies to all the gun action in here. Yes, bullets are fired, but nobody is really shot and killed. Most of the time they fire shots to open belts and have pants fall down or to strike other guns with the bullet and make dangerous situations go away. So it is a film that also younger audiences can check iut if they want, especially because one of the key characters is a little boy. Nothing new for Spencer. He was with little Asian and African boys as Rizzo and even with an alien kid on two other occasions, but the one he has here is very human looks like a slightly rougher version of Little Lord Fauntleroy you could say. And with kids, Spencer's character always has a good conenction. Like here he even says on one occasion that he will not take it if somebody abuses children or so.

    Jack Palance I also have to mention. I like Buddy, but Palance was almost a scene stealer in here. His performance here made me curious about other movies that has has appeared in. May he rest in peace too and it is a bit unusual that a character is at least slightly on par with Spencer's character in films like this. Hill did it and here Palance as well. he cannot just be a thug. Too big of an actor for that. He even saves Coburn's life on at least one occasion because he needs him alive to marry his sister that he assumes was romantic involved with Coburn. And the latter is also ready to get shot by Palance's character after the wedding. But then a smart move from the kids gets in the way and saves the man's life. Oh and one thing pretty unusual for this film here was also that Spencer was wearing glasses on several occasions. The explanation why he did was also interesting from a fight tactics perspective and something you do not really hear in his other movies. They are more about knocking out the bad guys, but here we get a little bit of insight in terms of why he does what he does. Interesting. One scene I also found funny here, or just a quick moment, was when we find out how the protagonist is struggling when it comes to dancing because of his big feet. Kinda cute. I feel you. The camera work I also liked with this film. It is not an all-time great western or anything, for that the overall plot was simply too weak, but I think they still did a lot right this time, such as the sceneries, the costumes, the sets, the make-up etc. Another reason why this movie deserves a thumbs-up, even if it is not an utterly enthusiastic one. Oh and horse lovers will also have a nice time here. Some really beautiful and stunning studs and mares to see here. I mean okay, this is a western, so you won't be surprised, but still it can be said and should not be taken as a given.

    At 85 minutes, this is definitely among the shortest Bud Spencer films out there and still he has a bit of a romance story here, okay he keeps running from it, but still. Otherwise, these stories usually belong to Terence Hill's characters, but, as I stated earlier, that one is not yet here, so Spencer's character has to deal with these unwanted affections this time and he sure does not seem to be in the mood, completely aside from the fact that they could cost him his life. But of course he is not killed here. I mean it's a Bud Spencer film. Of course he survives in the end and I am not even surprised when he and Palance are in the end almost buddies with some hate-love relationship. Okay, "love" is too much, but still, they respect each other at least and know what they are capable of. I mean look at the scene when Palance's character ends up in the dirt and seeing his injury there and how it gets treated may be a bit on the harsh side for sure. Some nice and interesting characters in here for sure and the only one with more than one scene of screen time that did not really do anything for me was the old fella with the wild hair and beard. He caould have been omitted for all I care, but it's okay. No need to stay beyond 80 minutes as well, even if I would not have minded. This is enough now I think. I give "Si può fare... amigo" a positive recommendation, although it is certainly not the best choice if you haven't seen any other Spencer films yet. It's not one of his trademark films, so go for the others first unless western is your favorte genre and/or you really like Jack Palance. I wouldn't blame you. I am still surprised how many reviews we have for this one compared to the number of ratings. It must be because of Palance or because it is a western movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Einmal Sohn, immer Sohn", which means "Once a son, always a son", is a German television film from 2018, so this is neither really new, but also not particularly old. But dated it is you could because every negative association out there fits in nicely with this movie that stays slightly under the 1.5-hour mark. It may sound harsh, but yeah it is this bad. The director is Thomas Jauch, not related to Günther Jauch I think and he turned 60 the year this movie got made. But his body of work is nothing to be proud of at all. All quantity over quality in terms of almost everything he worked on since the mid90s. On the level of "Doppelter Einsatz". The only interesting thing about him is really that he was born in Italy. Still he never worked on Italian movies. Good for Italian movie-goers perhaps. And also he was part of coms international projects too very, very early in his career like "Enemy Mine" and "Die unendliche Geschichte", but look where he is now with this recent movie we got here. However, the writers are at least as much to blame here. Just take Kurzawa, who is even older than Jauch and his body is only minimally better I would say. In any case, it is better than all the writing credits for co-writer Hardi Sturm. He started as an actor way back in the old millennium when he was still in his 20s and still acts here and there nowadays, but in the new millennium he has been more busy with writing. Definitely not a good idea judging from this film we have here. The rating here on imdb is also way too high. Now a few words on the cast. On the left of the imdb photo you see Austrian actress Christiane Hörbiger. She turned 80 the year this film got made. I always thought her to be absolutely overrated. I cannot really say a lot about her very early weeks from many years ago, but what she has been a part of in the 21st century in terms of ARD Degeto movies lacks creative ambitions entirely and that is why it is an absolute travesty how the actress wants to be seen as some kind of distinguished grande dame of German film. The opposite is the case. Her range and versatility scale towards zero by now, she plays the same pseudo-important classy characters in really every film she is in and the good thing here is that she wore shades for more than half of this film, so at least it wasn't too obvious that she also cannot act with her eyes one bit, which is maybe the biggest challenge for actors and makes the difference between the good and the great. Hörbiger of course also cannot act with everything else, no matter how gigantic her body of work maybe and nowadays the inclusion of her in the cast is a sure indicator that you are about to watch a film that is not even remotely good. This is also the case here, but the fact that this is another Degeto production (luckily they are getting fewer nowadays) is also another safe indicator. The man on the right is actor Sebastian Bezzel, who plays Hörbiger's character's son in this film. I mean I kinda like him. His Eberhofer cop comedies are absolutely delightful and funny at times, but other than that his role selection is also where the (GEZ) money is and nothing really to be proud of. A bit of a pity honestly. Julia Brendler I have always been more of a fan of her looks than her range really because there is not a great deal of range, but at least she tries to keep it essential and does not go all-in. This is also a key reason why she was not among the worst components from this film here. And even in her mid40s, she is still pretty gorgeous. Katja Danowski is also not forgotten, partially because of Herr Lehmann, but her role here is minimal. Jasmin Gerat I definitely liked more in the past than in the now and for me she will always be more of a (Bravo TV) host than an actress, even if this happened 20 years ago. Hannes Jaenicke was in this movie? Blink and he is gone. And finally, Mario Adorf. He is 90 now, so was already in his late 80s at that point too and basically the only inclusion with him here was to have scenes together with Hörbiger as some kind of way to united to icons of the German film history. That was especially sad honestly to see how they wasted Adorf like that. He has some screen time, but literally no material at all. He is just there. Thats it. And the worst is that he is ten times an actor and performer than Hörbiger has ever been and will ever be. Probably 30 times, so the parallel between these two actors was absolutely not fitting at all. Yes, I know I sound harsh in terms of Hörbiger here, but she will have to deal with it. I mean she got cast for decades for lead roles despite not being a versatile actress at all. Good for her I guess. Terrible choices from those in the casting departments and the viewers have to deal with it. Then again, many deem her talented and the probably do not deserve otherwise.

    The mess starts at the very beginning here. We find out Hörbiger's character was an icon of the feminism and emancipation movement through a littke video she watches herself in the car. So cringeworthy, especially with the voiceover lauding her this much. It feels so wrong. The only positive thing you can say there is that the character also turns 80, so they did not make her much younger than the actress trying to tell us she is 70 only. But it is still incredibly weak with how full of itself this film is in praising Hörbiger. This is never about her character. And the most cringeworthy moment is probably when, during this introduction, we see her on a photo with Merkel. Sigh. It continues like that. There are stories and plots about other characters, but at the film's core it is never about anything other than showing us how great Hörbiger is. Not even her character. This is also a really unrealistic movie. I mean take the thingey that went wrong with the operation although the likelihood was under 1%. Take Brendler's character meeting an old love and Hörbiger's finding out about it. I'm just glad they did not turn this into some absurd jealousy story beyond the one scene in which it was featured. More examples out there, also that she meets Adorf's character unexpectedly. In terms of political correctness, the film elaborate a bit on the protagonist's grandson who may or may not have a soft spot for guys rather than girls. It's not entirely clear. He seems to lack passion during a play when kissing a girl and near the end he shows up with another male kid, but in the last scene he is shown with the young woman again. They probably did not want to be too specific here in order too not offend anybody. Older audiences, for whom this film is mostly made with Hörbiger, may still have not entirely modern views there. But it doesn't matter anyway what it was about at its core. Truth is it is just poor writing all along and apparently neither of the two writers here was remotely capable of pointing out each other's mistakes. I did not expect it from Sturm, but with Kurzawa it disappoints me a bit. Anyway, one thing that these films always have in common is the happy ending. Like very unrealistically happy ending. 20 Minutes early all is about to fall apart usually, but then it is all fixed like a miracle. Also the case here. Hörbiger's character out of nowhere bonds with Gerat's, bonds with her son, all of a sudden sees the son's happy marriage and is willing to admit her mistakes etc. At the same time, the son also wins a prestigious achitect prize without even handing in a model and everybody else did that. Yeah, right! With Bezzel's final speech, I could also feel the cringe. I stated earlier that I like the man and it is true, but this was just too much now with him of course thanking his mother in the end after you could be annoyed (if you are really simple) that he did not mention her and he says that his mother did not do everything right, but always had the right intentions. Well, I am not so sure about that. More pseudo closure, just like the young (potentially gay) man showing up with another male kid there and also being close to the female friend from early on. His kissing scenes with her are also highly cringeworthy the way they were built up (or weren't built up) while some loud "romantic" and meaningful music is played to make us forget about the lack of depth and substance there. Or everywhere else with this film. I mean take the moment in which Hörbiger's character calls somebody else something like an evil witch or when she says she can do something on her own and then one second later whines that nobody helped her or when she shows Brendler's character her true self and that she can see again and only wants to stay to make sure she can create tension between her son and his wife. That was the moment really when Bezzel's character really should have sent her away, but hey, not with somebody like Hörbiger, we are still supposed to see her as a likable character. I don't even. And don't tell me I saw her as unlikable because acted so well. This is absolutely not the case. Okay, I think this is really (more than) enough now. You probably understood how I think about this film. It was really, really bad. No hesitation for me here in giving the outcome a massive thumbs-down. It is also not just the key plots (that feel like filler material at times) that suck the most, but also those small moments like the destroyed model or Gerat on TV. But again, they mostly involve Hörbiger, like take the gesture she makes with her hand to tell everybody to leave the room at the very end. What a leading figure this woman is. Irony off. That is it. Absolutely skip this film 100% and one can only hope they will not make a sequel. It may not seem too likely with Hörbiger's age, but she still seems to be healthy and prolific as an actress, so who knows. This one here get an utmost negative recommendation from me. Unwatchable at times and still pretty weak during its better moments. Shame on them for using Johnny Cash songs for such a travesty.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Aber Doktor" is an East German television movie from 1980s, so this one had its 40th anniversary last year and it was shown really early that year for the first time, it also already had its 41st anniversary this year. It runs for minimally under 1.5 hours, which is also the usual running time for new small screen releases from my country Germany, but it was maybe not entirely different back then. Of course, this is in color, but this is pretty much a given for 1980. This film came out slightly under five years before I was born. The title means "But Doctor", but there is not a huge amount of purpose to translating the title here into English because with the political background back then, this was rather a film that got shown in Eastern Europe. So kinda fitting that the only other title we have here on imdb is what the film was called in Hungary. The director here was Oldrich Lipský and this film is certainly from the late stages of his life and career already, even if he was not super old when he made it. He is also credited as a writer here, one of no less than four writers, which is definitely a lot, especially as this was not a really long movie as I stated earlier. I think GDR movies were never extremely long. Anyway, as for Lipský, you already may have guessed from his name that he was Czech (or Czechoslovakian as it was called back then) and this film is also the exception in his body of work, his only German film I think without looking really closely. Anyway, kinda fitting that in Brodský and Brejchová he also got too very experienced Czechoslovakian actors on board here. They seem to have a thing with accents on the final letter. Brodský is of course mostly known for plaing the central character in what many people consider the best GDR film ever made and that one even managed to score an Oscar nomination back then. Brejchová is still with us and she turns 81 this week. Just like her male co-lead (the one I just mentioned who is probably more lead than everybody else, also plays the title character), she also has a decent history with German(-language) movies, had also won a German Film Award for Best Actress and was nominated for another. Oh and Julie Juristová (again the accent!) deserves a mention too, she was really easy on the eyes in here and that means something coming from me as I am not that much into blondes. Her character here is the love interest to a character played by a man called Henri Hübchen. That's right, it is him indeed. I saw it before watching the film and I wonder if I had recognized him otherwise. Interesting inclusion nonetheless and he was in his early 30s here. And then I can also mention Udo Schenk now. I think "In aller Freundschaft" is really terrible, but he deserves the mention as well. With the other cast members I am not familiar here, but surprises me a bit to see that some are only credited with their first names. definitely more common back than then it is today, especially with child actors. Today their parents make 100% sure that the full name is displayed during the closing credits. Or the agent even. Many young actors already got one. Oh and I found it nice to see here that we saw during the closing sequence the names with the faces. Actually, this is something I would like to see in modern films again too, but I guess it is really a thing of the past. Pity. Oh and I almost forgot Agnes Kraus. How could I! I think Schwester Agnes is still remembered by many. She played the same/similar character in several films as the caring nurse with her heart at the right. One is even named after her and that one I saw pretty recently too and also there was a tribute to the actress on the other night with many guests and interviewees, so she was pretty beloved back then it seems and is not forgotten today either. I think this cast I just summarized may be one key reason why this is not one of many GDR films that have been totally forgotten. On the contrary, it is still shown on national television here and there, today even during prime time. So ignore the under 30 votes here on imdb. There are more than you'd think that still remember this film.

    As for the story here, it is nothing too special. You can read right away that the protagonist is a doctor, but it is never really about medical conditions at all. Conditions of the heart yes, but more from a romantic perspective. Doc for example falls for the coach of a promising young ice skater. These two are the Czech actors I mentioned early on. The ice skater is played by Juristová the cutie. By the way, all their names in here are German and I am also not sure if they spoke themselves or got dubbed. It seemed as if they did not change the voices afterwards, which surprises me a bit because there was not the slightest accent with any of them, so not sure if it can be seen as realistic. In any case, if they got dubbed, the did a pretty fine job. I already mentioned that one character is an ice skater and that is the background behind many scenes taking place on the ice. Sadly, they do not really add anything to the story. On the contrary, it looked like a sports broadcast at times there. definitely not what I want to see when I go for a movie, no matter how nice the pirouettes may be. Unfrozen ice was a crucial factor here as well because there are many scenes on the water. Those were slightly better and more entertaining and it was a bit of a running gag that the protagonist couldn't swim. Or could he? Did he learn it as the film progressed? A bit unsure. I still wonder how Agnes knew he couldn't swim. But seeing her direct and cheer on those hunks pulling in one scene was pretty funny. Although it maybe wasn't even meant that way. So not sure if this was unintentional GDR comedy or actually well done. The funniest scene for me and really the only one where I considered giving this film a thumbs-up and positive recommendation was the one in the department store. We have again the main character there ending up in situations where he seems a bit on the sleazy side, but it was all bad luck. The outrage when they look into the changing room was pretty hilarious though, also all before that. This was the best part of the entire film. Shame the rest was not on par. Also I felt a bit sorry for the voluptuous lady in these scene who got humiliated in front of everybody's eyes, even if doc took the beating immediately afterwards. This female character really got it here and I think she ended up in tears at one point in the second half as well, again through no fault of her own and when the situation was clear once again that she as a married woman was getting busy with another guy. Okay, that is pretty much it. So here and there, we get a funny inclusion, but it just isn't enough for a(n almost) 90-minute movie, especially because both romance plots involving the ice ladies were not on the cute or inspired side. Those needed to be better for me to give the film a positive recommendation. By the way, the title "Aber Doktor" (the absence of a "Herr" already shows that he is not a man who gets respect really) or "But Doctor" was included in quotes on several occasions here, also at the very end, and I think nurse Agnes had these comments more than once, even if he was her boss. The title song has the same name and this one came from the late Karel Gott, a man quite like still and who will always be remembered for his Biene Maja song of course. Who would have thought that a children cartoon song turned into his biggest hit. He was also from Czechoslovakia, so no surprise he got included here, even if honestly his musical contribution this time was not exactly something to be proud of. The song was probably even weaker than the movie. Not that it was a horrible movie or anything. Maybe, if I see it once or twice again in the future, I could even give it a positive recommendation. We shall see. For now it's a thumbs-down and I suggest you skip the watch here, even if there is more female nudity in this film than you'd expect from a GDR movie. Not recommended. Oh and it seems difference in age was not an issue there either. With the young couple it was almost a decade, with the older fellas 20 years even. Of course, I am talking about the actors here because we do not know the characters' ages.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Nicht ohne deine Liebe", which means "Not Without Your Love", is a German German-language television film from 2002, so this one is really close to its 20th anniversary and probably it happened already unless you really check out this review fairly soon after I wrote and submitted it. The movie runs for slightly under 1.5 hours and that is basically the standard running time for small screen releases here in my country, especially if we are talking ARD and all their smaller channels and ZDF too. The director is Sigi Rothemund who is really as prolific as it gets. And has been since he launches his career back in the 1960s, so he has been in his profession for over half a century now, even if there was apparently a break of almost a decade after his first project (according to imdb). Still, even if we count the mid70s as his launching point, it is such a long time. Most recent project is from 2019 now, which means he may not even been retired despite being in his own mid70s now. Also a really colorful body of work with school comedies, Gottschalk/Krüger films, softcore adult movies, Der Clown, Katie Fforde adaptations and a lot more. The only thing really missing in his body of work is decent quality. Sometimes the man also worked as writer, but not for this film here, which is not a huge surprise because he has always been more of a director and only was in charge of the screenplays for like 20% of his works. The writers they hired here are Adamczyk and Simon. For Gregor Adamczyk, it was the fist career effort and only one more should follow. That one is also from 15 years ago, so chances are minimal he will return to screenwriting one day. Annette Simon is certainly more experienced. However, if you take a look at all the pretty weak films she made since she started her career at the same time the new millennium began you will know that you should not expect quality here. her most recent work is from 2017, so maybe she is retired now as well. Would probably not be the worst decision with the massive absence of good quality in her filmography. As for the cast, there we only have two familiar faces from my perspective, i.e. the perspective of a German film buff and that says quite something. Of course, I cannot rule out that some of the other were still more famous and popular back then, but today they are now, which is especially surprising in Heikko Deutschmann's case. He did act a lot in the last 20 years, but in all the wrong projects. And same applies to some of the others too I assume because there are more pretty experienced performers in here, just not anybody you will recognize in terms of face. the two exceptions I mentioned are those that play the couple at the center of the story. Robert Atzorn and Suzanne von Borsody are no bad actors or anything. Absolutely not. It may be their talent that kept this film from being a real failure as there are some moments even, partially thanks to them, partially thanks to the script that would have deserved more than four stars out of ten. But here and there, we also have moments that deserve only two. I will elaborate a bit on those in the next paragraph.

    As for a brief summary, here we have a film in which a man has a really dangerous disease that could cost him his life eventually. But he could get lucky because an ambitious relatively young doctor comes up with the idea of using a new gene therapy that could make him healthy again. So a great deal about this film is about morals. Professional morals most of all because said therapy is really new and not entirely safe and has only been tested on lab animals so far. But this is also a bit where the absurdities begin, like how the disease is not named because it does not exist in reality. Or how the doctor who eventually performs the operation does so and immediately afterwards feels the consequences when he is fired from his job. In reality, they would have interfered long before he could have done the operation, even if he had agreed to do it, which probably almost nobody would have. Add to that, some pseudo drama that the doctor says he won't be available to perform the operation and then you see from the standpoint of authenticity and realism why I am giving this film a thumbs-down. There's more of that. The second key story is the relationship between the two central actors I mentioned earlier already. This feels sometimes right, sometimes not so much. Telling us a bit about their difficulties by how the man gets a different birthday present for the daughter than they agreed on or how he tells somebody ells about his condition before he talks to his wife felt alright, but also not perfect. I mean that the other man who knows about it talks to the wife and this is how it comes out is something they often do in films, but it never works or feels realistic. But maybe it is just me thinking so because I would never speak to anybody else about it before my significant other. Anyway, I do not want to sound too critical here. The film still had its good moments. The suffering from the protagonist was well-acted and well-written I would say. It was a bit touching and easy to feel for him there. Pity that these better moments, even if they were depressing, got frequently interrupted by weaker moments again, such as the idea of von Borsody's character of how it feels so vital for her to be there and support him in his pain, more vital than anything else strangely enough. Maybe also love. Is it love? In any case, when he seems cured near the end and they are doing more again as a family, it feels right and realistic again how their relationship struggles are also a thing of the past. At least, it felt better than von Borsody's character basically breaking up with her man when he was at his worst because of how cruel and an egomaniac he was. That did not feel right. The ending, even if it was depressing again, I liked as well. We find out the therapy was only a temporary success and the illness is back and it seems very likely he will die from it. We don't find out because the closing credits roll in, so it is a bit of an open ending in terms of the health perspective, even if the tendency is clear and not optimistic, but also a somewhat open ending in terms of how these new developments will have an impact on the couple's relationship again. I do think it was realistic decision though and also adds a new interesting point to the discussion if it was right what the doctor did by agreeing to go for it and use this new therapy despite insufficient test results. The hug between the two men was fine too by the way and a bit on the heartfelt side. I liked Atzorn here, did not really have him on the radar anymore, but I could check out more from him in the future. As for this film, the weaknesses are still more frequent than the strengths, so I give the outcome a thumbs-down, even if it is not a failure by any means. The title, however, is terrible, sounds like some cringeworthy Rosamunde Pilcher adaptation. I think 2002 was still a year before the time in which ARD (Degeto) kept dishing out really week romance-focused films for the small screen one after the other. So the sad news is that the quality went down considerably for the rest of the first decade of the new millennium in terms of television releases here in Germany. This one we got here is not good, but also not too bad. I still suggest you skip the watch. Not recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Eine Hochzeit platzt selten allein" is a German television film from summer 2019, so this one is approximately 1.5 years old and still relatively recent. It runs for slightly under 1.5 hours as they usually do and this is another ARD movie, which means it had its premiere on ARD and is now shown on several occasions on the smaller ARD channels like One where it ended a few minutes ago. The director is Lancelot von Naso, who started making full feature films in the late 00s, so a bit of an anniversary for him here. Not one to be proud of if we see this film as some kind of celebration. Yes, it was a really poor watch. I will explain why later on. Let's stay with the basics for now: von Naso sometimes also wrote the screenplays for his films, but not so this time. The got Jürgen Werner and Christoph Sonntag for that here. As for Sonntag, this is his first writing credit. He is a successful comedian and being a co-writer here was a completely new area of expertise for him and I genuinely hope that, if he ever returns to screenplay writing, he will step up his craft. He also acts in here by the way. Also hasn't happened too often before. As for Jürgen Werner, definitely the key writer here, he is far more experienced. But his body of work makes it pretty obvious what to expect here, namely the opposite of convincing quality. So, what has he been a part of? Inga Lindström. Tatort. Das Traumschiff. Kreuzfahrt ins Glück. Herzflimmern. Okay, I think this is enough. You get the message. It is embarrassing that he still gets employed for new screenplays and movies. An absolutely abysmal body of work to be honest. And finally, let's move on to the cast. I am a bit undecided there. There are so many characters in here that it is really impossible to say we have one lead or anything. It's an ensemble performance, but not a good one. Inka Friedrich is first credit and her I have seen in several other films and I think she is almost completely free of talent. The good news is that, as I just stated, she is not really at the center of this movie. Nobody is. Her love interest is played by Oliver Wnuk and this is already difficult to believe, not only because he is ten years younger, but also because he looks younger than he is, so it feels more like 15 years or even more. I know Wnuk from Stromberg of course and I loved that show, but in him I never see much. Maybe that fact that his character there is pretty unlikable is also something subjective for me why I don't really like him in anything else. His role selection is not exactly something to be proud of either, but maybe he is not to blame here and he just is not getting any better offers. Could be true today, but I am sure he could have appeared in better films directly after Stromberg. Oh well, at least he got really lucky in terms of his partner in life. Herbert Knaup is an actor I almost always like, but still it must be said that he is not doing himself any favors to appear in films like this one. They are written so poorly that not even he can make an impact here and change the film for the better. Child actress Ella Lee I am not too familiar with. I see she was in Dark as well, a really successful recent series. Haven't watched that one (yet). Brandner has been in some pretty decent films, props to him, but he was also wasted here like pretty much everybody else. And finally Ludger Pistor is an actor I like quite a bit and I also think they could have done more with him here. Really a pity. I mean he acted in a Bond movie and several other good films in the past. Why is he so wasted here. Oh yeah, Udo Schenk, a bit of an antagonist here, has been part of the In aller Freundschaft team for a long time. It's a terrible show, so cast members from that one being a part of this film here is nothing exactly to be proud of, even if you can still say probably that Schenk is not among the worst from that show. Besides, they also got some people to play themselves like the news lady, but also a pretty familiar face from the ARD comedy/satire branch. Don't remember the name now, but I am talking about this lanky, light-haired felly you will immediately recognize when you see him. Pierre M. Krause. There you go. Never thought he was funny at all, so no surprise he would show up in low films like this one here. Apart from him/that, these news broadcast reenactments were also pretty much on the try-hard side and felt fairly fake.

    Now the problem with this film here is that it really tries to be a lot and ends up being nothing basically. Good focus is missing entirely from beginning to end and luckily it is not a 100-minute movie or something. This movie constantly feels all over the place. There are so many characters in here that they could have used them all for a miniseries or something, but pretty much not a single character here gets the prope elaboration they deserve. The exception are maybe Lee's and Knaup's characters, but these are not a vital part of the story. They are just there to inform the audience about all that went on. Well, Lee's is. Knaup's has even less purpose. He just finds out what was going on at the exact same time as we don. So this framework in the now feels like filler material overall and is still among the better aspects of this film, which says basically all about the quality here. This is of course also once again an ARD Degeto film and means more GEZ money gut burned for this project. It is never funny although it tries so hard to be entertaining. It's just messed up. Another component that falls really flat, which is maybe even more crucial, is that nothing about this film makes sense. It already starts with the idea that apparently millions of people watched this girl's recording, while in reality it would have been hundreds. If at all. Probably not and only her friends could have seen it and not even all of them either. But what are they telling us here? This turns into an international money crisis. Yeah, right. Is this some kind of financial butterfly effect? Well, that's what they want us to believe here at least, but it just feels absolutely unauthentic and unrealistic. And as I said earlier, it is not even fun. Not one bit. This was just as bad. Knaup's character as some really influential official may not have been part of the plot really (so he had basically no reason to even be in this movie and for that they waste such a decent actor) also did not feel too credible during this interrogation. The milkshake running gag is not funny at all and neither is that the owner of the place wants cash in the end. Of course, mother (Friedrich) also shows up randomly there. So the real question is, why did they not go to the girl's home, maybe talk to her in the presence of her mom? So strange where this took place. But maybe it's okay because at least the unwatchable Friedrich was not part of the interrogation scenes this way. And what was up with the final question from Knaup's character that she can always contact him if she wants to make an internship at his place. But of course or cool little girl businesswoman is too cool for that. Sigh. I did not say yet that there are also some slightly more serious romance-related plots here about a man cancelling a wedding right before it takes place, a surprise pregnancy, Friedrich's character's relationship fears etc. I stated earlier already that this film really wants to be so much: dramatically relevant, funny and entertaining, a decent satire and that is maybe not even all of that. Pity though that with almost everybody involved here the talent is considerably too small to make this project work and this especially applies to the two writers. This is a film you definitely wanna skip. The okay moments weren't even too rare for me to call it just a weak movie. Reality is that what we have here is a film that is so poor that it never should have been made. Massive thumbs-down. Oh and I almost forgot: The use of music here was also not utterly creative. Pink Floyd's "Money" is an amazing song, but really too obvious and too much for the sake of it here, especially if they use it twice. Johnny Cash I like, but his inclusion also doesn't do too much for me. And the German song, oh well... So yeah, not even in this department it was a good watch. Or listen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Die Sache mit der Wahrheit", which means "The thingey with the truth", is a German television film from 2014, so this one is easily over five years old already now and if it takes you a little longer until you read this review of mine, maybe even close to ten years. The director of these under 1.5 hours is Sibylle Tafel from Munich. I think a single look at her body of work is self-explanatory here to make clear that she is all quantity over quality with what she has done since the late 1990s. Absolutely disappointing filmography. The only things somewhat tolerable in there are her fairytale movies and this is probably also only because the base material was too good to be turned into atrocity the way it happened with almost everything else she came up with. Admittedly, you can say in her favor that she is a filmmaker that rarely wrote the scripts for her movies, so the fault may at least be partially elsewhere. With this film here, however, she did and the outcome is equally disappointing as those films where she was not in charge of the screenplay. Her co-writer here is Claudia Matschulla, who has been a prolific actress since the 1980s already, but recently focused more on writing. Looking at all she has come up with in both departments, I am anslo not one bit impressed and this is really the most gentle way to put things. Perhaps, a third area of expertise is what she should try. If it isn't too late as she already turned 60 not too long ago. But now back to this movie here. You see Christiane Paul on the right of the poster here and she is still a really known actress in Germany. I am always a bit undecided on her. Certainly not a fan and she has a tendency to play the same characters again and again in films because she simply does not have a lot of range, but normally she pulls off the likable part of her characters well and she also has some recognition value. Still a bit sad to see what her career has turned into (i.e. films like this one here) if we see how she was among the most promising German actors in her early years. Also no international breakthrough as one could have expected. Nonetheless, she is ten times better, probably more, compared to Jule Ronstedt, the woman you see on the left side of the poster. I have seen her in other films too and not only does she also play the same character over and over again, but she seems simply not capable of hitting the right notes whatsoever in films, especially when the characters have slightly more challenging scenes. Pretty ham and never authentic. The consequence for me is that the actress is so poor that I find her characters pretty unlikable at times too. Almost always. But they are meant to be likable. In this film here too. A bit surprised to see her this far behind in the cast list for the movie at hand, but I guess nobody from the production company really got in some order here. Of course, she should be (at least) second. Then again, I cannot be surprised because the film also lacks attention to detail and instead they shove one groundbreaking plot twist after the next into our faces. For the easily entertained. I will give you some examples later on. For now, also a quick look at the rest of the cast. No really big names here, but Duryn and Zeiler are at least actors you may have come across in other projects if you are not completely new to German films. Cannot say too much about Duryn. He is of course the lead actor in "Der Lehrer" and that show is pretty successful I think. He also looks much younger than he is. Zeiler is an actor who has been in some projects that contain much better quality than this one here, so he really should not have stooped so low and accepted the part here, especially with how ridiculous (in a bad way) and pseudo-important his character was written.

    Now, as for the story itself, we once again have the same key problem that so many other ARD releases have or films that are still regularly shown on ARD's smaller stations: They are putting way too much in far too little. Consistent and convincing elaboration is not existent. What do we have here? A woman who is a pathological liar poses as a stewardess and in reality works as a waiter. Her boyfriend shows up at the place where she is working and she has to hide, so he does not find out. Also he wants to move in with her. Later on, she is pregnant and he makes her a marriage proposal. The woman sees a psychiatrist to deal with her lies, but quickly runs away when things become uncomfortable. She has an accident where she loses her memory or doesn't. You never know when she is lying again. In any case, her memory returns unrealistically fast. A miracle! At the same time she serves as the mentor to the son of a woman who is her friend. By encouraging him to pursue his dream of music and perform in front of an audience for a concert. I mean you hear him in the end and of course he must pursue this because he is talented. Guess what? He is not. Unbearabe to listen to, just like this film was unbearable to watch. But hey, it's all about the art of make-believe. Don't think yourself and you can deal with these ARD (Degeto) films very well. Just suck it all in. Like the Tagesschau etc. It's all paid by your GEZ money anyway, so you have no right to complain. Okay, so much for that. Now, let's talk about the other woman and how realistic she is. Her man is one who, as we find out, is in the closet and he has an affair with another man despite being married. Sigh. Of course, it all comes out. So again this film is another ARD movie with really strong ati-male tendencies. How are the men described here? One has to be really needy and treat Paul's character like a queen, even if she lies to him day in and day out. The other is the poor victim who is cheated on. Guess what, the cheating may not be right, but looking at the way she treated her man throughout the entire film, also long before the secret comes out, he should be glad to get away from her, no matter if he is with another man or his own. The only slightly acceptable thing coming from her were those attemps to convince him to spend time with each other. In the mountains for example. Also you can imagine very well what thinks would have been like if a male character had been a pathological liar in a film like this. He would be as low as it gets and the female protagonist would leave him immediately because of his permanent dishonesty. Not so here. Paul's character is just sick, even if she does not see it, so she must be desired nonetheless and met with the utmost amount of understanding about her situation. Guess what? I disagree. The words she said when talking to the shrink were really accurate. She is just sick in the head. Or maybe not because it also implies an illness. She just has no self-confidence and should work on that and not lie to the people most important to her. Or maybe they are not even that because then she would be honest with them. She is probably a narcissist that loves nobody but himself. What a likable character indeed, ARD. Worst scene of the film? Too many to choose from. I might be going with the one in the first half of the film when the two woman are standing there on the stage together singing. That was even worse than the cringeworthy errrr. lauded performance from the young man in the end. Of course, there is also a great deal of pseudo conflict in this film, like how we have a massive argument between the two female protagonists, but, also as always with ARD films, it is fixed effortlessly in the end again and the happy ending is there. The girls get along well with each other again and Ronstedt's character seems to be more positive too again and she does not need a man anyway to be happy in life. I don't know what else to say here. This was a very weak film, truly unwatchable at times. Highly not recommended. The only good thing about this film is that they never made a sequel and by now too much times has passed I suppose, so it's not gonna happen in the future either. Skip the watch 100%. Tafel at her worst.
  • 17 January 2021
    Warning: Spoilers
    "8 Minutes" is a live action short film from Georgia that is also in the Georgian language with the exxeption of one or two sentences in English from the biggest female character. This one runs for 13 minutes, so a pretty quick watch, but the premise is kinda interesting enough to turn this into a full feature film. I wonder if it ever happens. The approval seems to be massive for this one if we look at the rating here on imdb, even if it was under 600 people at this point who rated it. A 9 left of the comma is still pretty big. You can watch the film on Youtube by the way with English subtitles. The director is Giorgi Gogichaishvili and this is his only filmmaking effort. In the closing credits he was also credited as the writer in contrast to this imdb page we got here. I trust the credits there at the end of the film, also because the imdb page in terms of cast seems a bit confusing. The order I mean. The first credit here may be the most stunning cast member, but definitely not the mist crucial. The key writer, however, seems to be Zaza Koshkadze and he is more prolific than the director. There is no awards recognition credited with this film here, but it is just missing I think. Take a look at the photos and you will at least see some of it and even more film festivals where this movie was shown. I think it also played in Cottbus here. Not entirely sure about that though. As for the story, we have the dark (no pun intended) setting that the sun is about to stop giving light to the Earth. Early on, you do not now if this is an apocalyptic scenario or actually you don't know through the entire film, especially if the man says he would have liked to find out more about the female character he is on the phone with which sounds a bit like farewell, but in the very end we see that the light is gone, but they are still alive. So civilization is not erased apparently and the planet turned into a gigantic ball of ice. It's an interesting movie I'd say. Makes you wonder what you would do in these last minutes of light. Very creative idea we got here with what the father does to/for his son. It's maybe even easier to appreciate this film if you speak Georgian, but it's also okay with subtitles. I enjoyed the watch, but I would not say I saw greatness here as the average imdb rating suggests and many people did apparently. I think they could hae maybe kept it a bit shorter early on and, as a consequence, under ten minutes in total. Many people who rated this with a perfect score were probably biased because of the great ending and as a consequence they forgot some of the mediocrity before that altogether. The build-up was okay at best. And how come, the girl all of a sudden has a caller telling her what happens when it happens? This felt slightly unrealistic to me. So there are flaws here, but nonetheless I give the overall outcome here a positive recommendation. Go watch it. Thumbs-up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Die Liebe hat das letzte Wort" is a German television film from 2004, so this one is already over 15 years old. The title is not too easy to translate into English because it is not meant verbally or anything. Can you say "Love has the last word"? Or "Love makes the last sound/noise"? I kinda doubt it. It basically means that in the end there is love. The film runs for slightly under 1.5 hours and this it has in common with the vast majority of other small screen releases from my country. The connection to love of course too. This is a German German-language production, even if the company behind it is Graf Film. Then again, they are located in Munich too, just Klaus Graf (not Dominik, who is bad too, just not that bad) is the one behind it and he is from Austria. If you take a look and everything else Graf Film did, especially these many, many Lilly Schönauer adaptations, you already know that you should absolutely not expect the slightest bit of quality. If you take a look at who wrote and directed this film, then the last bit of doubt (if there was any) is also gone for good. Director is Ariane Zeller. She launched her career in the early 90s with the abysmal GZSZ and it seems there is no worse filmography possible for a director than what Zeller did between 2000 and 2010. So this is from her "peak". The writer is Mónica Simon. I wonder if this accent is real or if she just added it to her name to appear slightly interesting because here in Germany we put focus on the "Mo" anyway with this name. But it kinda fitting and perfect really to describe her also from the professional perspective as a screenwriter: Pseudo important while not making an impact at all. What has she worked on over the years? Well, she was still relatively new to the industry when she made this film, so you could say that maybe she just needs some more experience and is not that terrible. But then check out her works and look into the abyss of "Sophie - Braut wider Willen", "Sturm der Liebe" and Rosamunde Pilcher adaptations. Enough said. This women will most likely never in her career be part of a project that could get a positive recommendation from me. She happily takes everybody's GEZ money, but does not deliver one bit of quality. This also applies to Sabine Vitua, who plays the biggest female character in here. And maybe also gives the worst performance from the entire film. The most cringeworthy thing to watch about her is really that she was written as an Italian and I am not sure if the actress herself has Italian blood in her veins, but it doesn't even matter. What is very obvious is that she absolutely did not possess the range or versatility to make these dolce vita moments seem realistic, like when she talks in Italian, uses random Italian words (so fake) or starts singing in the car in the Italian language. That was actually one of the most cringeworthy scenes of the entire film, especially when the boy and man join in. The man is Günther Maria Halmer and I still think it pathetic that, after "Gandhi" and "Sophie's Choice", these are the films that he played in for the second half of his acting career. Then again, nobody forced him to accept and while I kinda like his aura, it makes me difficult to accept him as a remotely talented actor. Role selection is vital. He also just seems to cash in. Ruth-Maria Kubitschek does not have many scenes here, but I also think she is a very overrated actress, so I am glad I do not have to see more from her. The quote with the parallel between a river without water and a man without children was pseudo important enough already. Christian Kohlund is one who is always easy to recognize, even if you don't remember the name. He was wasted too with his role. I will mention it later on. And finally, the child performance comes from Jeremy Mockridge. This young man has actually stayed in acting, also as an adult now. No adult acting obviously, that's not what I meant. I think I have seen him in other stuff lately, but don't really remember and honestly in this one here, his character is so exaggerated and over the top (and this includes both the writing and his performance) that I have zero motivation right now to check out his body of work.

    I think child performances are always a good indicator of how strong a movie is because it requires a lot to write a young chraracter credibly in terms of what (s)he says in particular, but also in getting the kid to deliver these lines credibly and realistically. They got it all wrong in both these departments. And in basically every other department too. Be it the idea that the female protagonist has to leave all of a sudden or that she has to leave the boy with Halmer's character, nothing feels authentic and real at all. But what is even worse is her spontaneous decision to quit the job that really felt only there for her to make a deal afterwards with which she agrees to stay not even five minutes later. Crucial decisions rushed in to dumb down the audience. It may sound harsh, but it is the truth here. Absolutely ridiculous. Of course, the kid's father who was supposed to pick up the boy the next day has an accident and ends up in the hospital (how convenient!), the Halmer's character has to deal with the boy a little longer. And these were still the better parts. I was actually glad that Vitua was out of the film and I hoped she would not return until the last five minutes or so, but of course she does, so they can get in the love story between her character and Halmer's that you can read about in the title. By the way, Halmer these days has his very first performance in a Rosamunde Pilcher movie. Yeah, no respect for him, no matter if he watches these films or now. How can he? So with this movie here, it was the key plot that sucked, but also the small moments really, like we have Halmer's character throw away his ice randomly on one occasion. What was up with that? He had to rush to something more important of course and that involves the boy as the two were slowly forming a bond. Apart from that, the usual. In these films, we always have kids run away at some point and this is also the case here and the dramatic search ensues, but as always everything is fine. Also as always, the female suitors in these films have more men interested in them and this is where Kohlund's character comes into play, even if he has also other ambitions. These from the financial/housing perspective result in more fake drama near the end, but of course, again as always, no matter how severe the drama may be and how much everything seems lost, there is always a solution waiting and everybody is having the utmost happy ending. As we see here when the two touch each other as the closing credits roll in. Of course, these are also distinguished people that love white wine and lobster. Oh and the boy only gets a juice or something. How funny! I found the kid annoying, not gonna lie. Then again, with this annoying mother, how couldn't he be? Just take the scene when they make all this noise early on and don't care about the fact that Halmer's character needs quietness becase he has to work and when he shows up and tells them, all he gets is a half-hearted excuse and then they basically laugh about him. Honestly, I wish he would have thrown these two intruders out of the house. But the opposite is the case of course. Take the scenes near the end in which he constantly apologizes to the woman. He has to act needy towards her and always treat her like his queen before she is finally vaguely interested in being with him. Of course, she has no interest in Kohlund's character before that. Okay, I think I made mysellf clear here. This was an absolutely terrible movie. There may have been no Degeto or Regina Ziegler involved with this one, but the quality is the same. If you know a bit about German films, you have heard of those two. Major thumbs-down here. The first decade of the new millennium was really absolutely horrible for German small screen releases and this is one of many examples. Absolutely not recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Ein vorbildliches Ehepaar" is a German television film from 2012, late 2012, so slightly under two years until this one will have its 10th anniversary now. It runs for the usual 1.5 hours, minimally under, like most other small screen releases from my country. This is story-wise based on a French film from 2001 that probably even fewer people have seen than this one here. This also explains the inclusion of the two French writers in the credits here. The "real" writers are Jaspersen and Püschel and a look at the bodies of work from these two makes me almost sick. Physically. Absolutely terrible what these two have come up with since the end of the last millennium and I am not just talking about the abysmal "Anna und die Liebe", but also everything else pretty much. I refuse to name it, go check out their bodies of work if you care. Or better don't. Accept this suggestion from somebody who did. Kinda shocking they are still getting hired, but I am not shocked at all that it is for stuff like "In aller Freundschaft". So a bit surprising that the two writers are females here because the film is at its very core about two male characters. The director is male though. Ben Verbong turned 70 already not too long ago and he is from the Netherlands and this is also where he started his career, but quickly switched to German projects a long time ago. Also worked with lead actor Ochsenknecht in the old millennium already, so this film here is a bit of a reunion. There I mentioned one of the two lead actors already. Ochsenknecht is the one on the right on the photo here on imdb. The other, the one with the dog, is Heino Ferch. Both are very famous here in Germany. Ochsenknecht is probably the one with the better body of work, especially if we are looking at his earlier years. And while I do think that he is a bit overrated, he is nowhere near as bad as his sons, who honestly have no business being cast for movies because they simply have no talent, just a big name. As for Ferch, I never really liked him. He has a tendency to always play the same character in every film honestly, but this made it somewhat interesting to see him here because for once he is more of a shy guy and not the ruthless alpha male. I wish he would take risks more frequently really when it comes to his role selection. The female character, the three that have a major impact, are not even close to being as known as the guys. von Kessel I have come across in other projects and I don't really like her, but Kuhl, even if she has been in some (pretty famous) films that I have seen, and Abraham, who plays the mother and seems retired now, I am not familiar with at all. A bit fitting that these two also have no profile pictures.

    Now, let's dive into the story. I think the weaknesses are more frequent than the good aspects, so two out of five is still a bit more on the generous side. I would even say far more frequent. It's not just the key plot that makes not much sense with the two men thinking that if they start seeing and manipulating each other's partners, then this will convince the women to return to them. It is also the small moments. Like how they kiss the other's ex the exact same night really. But also how Ochsenknecht's character, who cheated many times, apparently found his real love or something. As for the key plots, honestly the entire idea that one character's mother thinks her son is gay now is so absurd. I mean not that she thinks it from what she sees, but all the small things that lead her to thinking so. Really for the sake of it and not authentic at all. Equally bad how his ex gets the same idea from said mother and how the ex and Ferch's character are talking outside and both mean something different. Not too funny, but rather cringeworthy. I hope they handled this better in the French original. Also why does von Kessel's character still treat his ex's mother? I mean that could be explained with the long time they knew each other, but they can't even seem to stand each other. As for the good moments, I have to dig a bit deeper. I think you will find some truths about women in this movie, especially from Ochsenknecht's character, so I am not even sure if they wnat us to see those words a the truth because he is not treated too nicely from the two female screen writers. And there is this scene when one character says that women are almost always going for the challenge in men, even if it means that they get treated badly. This is not untrue at all. So there is some depth and truth in here on some occasions, but not just on too many and honestly with the two screenwriters we have here and what they have worked on in the past, I kinda doubt they came up with any of the quality here, but just took it from the original film. Then again, we can still be glad perhaps that they did not remove it to turn this film into an even bigger mess. As weak as the outcome here may be all in all, it is still one of the best works from Jaspersen and Püschel I assume. Cool names though. The former sound almost like one of these many talented Danish filmmakers these days and the latter rocks anyway. Definitely better than Verbong, although Wiebke and Aglef make up for it on the other end of the scale. Okay, what else can I say here. The title translated means something like "An examplary married couple" and the French title just said couple, so they changed it a bit into something that does not even make sense. So even if they wanted to get in the allegedly romantic connection between the two men here, then they are still not married or anything. Stupid title. And if it is realistic that von Kessel's character really believes that her ex is all of a sudden into men is also a valid question to be asked. Or if it is gigantic nonsense. I go for the latter. The more I am thinking about this movie, the weaker it gets. I am pretty close now to taking away another two stars now, but let's be generous. Just don't expect depth or authenticity in this film and take it for the (not too often) pointless fun. One thing that alsol bothers me here is that, like many, many other German television films, the anti-male component is impossible to overlook. Ferch's character must still want his wife back although she cheated on him. Not once, but even had an affair. I mean it is the man's fault that he did not show her anymore he loves and desires her right? On the other hand, we have Ochsenknecht's character who cheated on his wife several times. And the only reason he is not treated like personified evil in this film, although he sometimes is, is that it is Ochsenknecht and he is liked by many. But there is no way his wife would ever take him back. I mean the only difference between the two cheaters is how often they did it. Or maybe not even that. Just how many times they did it. And the needy ones are still always the men. And what has to happen for Ferch's character's wife to take him back? (Yes, she is the one who decides, although she did the cheating.) Ferch's character must sleep with another woman. Let's not even get started on the face expressions there. Cringe is real. That was Schweighöfer level. And he must also punch the alpha male played by Ochsenknecht in the face with bloody consequences. Charming. I actually felt a bit bad for the latter on some occasions. Ochsenknecht should not accept roles like this. Overall, I think this is just a weak and not a terrible movie, but honestly, it gets pretty close to the latter too at times and if I ever watch it again, but I doubt it, then maybe I will not be as generous with my rating as I was now. In any case, I give it a thumbs-down overall. Not recommended. It's just too absurd on many occasions. Also that none of the two men get and stay together with their new acquaitances despite kissing them. Little makes sense here. Which would be more acceptable if the film was actually funny. But it is not. Skip it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Hannas Entscheidung" is a German televvision film from 2012, spring 2012 actually, so not too long anymore until this one has its 10th anniversary, just slightly over a year. The language is also mostly German here, but the film itself was made in Austria. Director Friedemann Fromm (love the name!) and writer Benedikt Roeskau have been active in the industry for decades already, also for over/almost 20 years back in 2012 when this came out, so you can certainly say that they are both pretty experienced. Their bodies of work are alright I suppose. I've seen way worse from other small screen filmmakers on many occasions. Not that I am realy impressed by their bodies of work either. But at least Fromm needs to be respected here for directing a somewhat tolerable performance out of Neubauer here because she is almost always absolutely horrible and sinks every movie she is in, especially if the plays the central character, which she does here as well. I am still not sure what her character's decision here is exactly. There is not one decision that really stands out compared to the others and definitely not one crucial enough for the film being named after it. Maybe it is that Hanna in the end decided to leave her husband, but it's not too important either. The movie runs for 1.5 hours by the way, just like the vast majority of other small screen releases. A few words on the cast now: I already mentioned Neubauer and what I think of her. I would say that in this film it was the much more talented male actors that somehow pulled her through in these scenes with her. I am mostly talking about Edgar Selge, about whom I am also not always sure if he is a good actor, but he was good enough here. August Schmölzer also deserves a mention. he is the main antagonist here and he played his part well as always. It's kinda impressive to see the names of the films he has been a part of already. Some really big players there. Thumbs-up for him. He should be much more famous than he actually is. And finally, one of the younger actors here is Sebastian Bezzel, although not that young either. He was also 40 already when this got made, but he always looks younger to me. Kinda surprise to see he is almost 50 now already. There is always some youthful charm to his characters, even if they are really similar, and I quite like his crime comedy films. Those are very entertaining and lots of fun in my opinion. So it made me a bit sad to see him wasted in this film here. He had almost no screen time at all and when he did, then his character had almost no impact on the story at all. So much for the cast. There are other very established actors like Morzé or Samarovski, but I don#t really wnat to go into detail about those now too much. You can always check out their bodies of work if you care.

    Instead, let's talk a bit about this film we have here and some specific scenes and plot inclusions. This was linked closely to World War II because the protagonist's husband returns from war and brings a lot of trouble. The real trouble about this film, however, is once again Neubauer and how her character is written like a struggling saint with the heart in the right place, so basically the way her characters are always written and it is so cringeworthy enough. Also, even if she was not as terrible here as she is in every other movie, she was also far from good enough to play the lead here, especially with the emotional impact to her character. She could not pull it off and never will be good enough to do so. Maybe you can really applaud the director (as I already did) and writer here because the latter's screenplay was good enough that Neubauer's shortcomings did not feel too obvious. However, she also has the "talent" to make the most simple scenes come off as cringeworthy. This already applies to the very first scene when she does nothing but run. Her random smile (almost a laugh) in this scene was hard to stomach and also made no sense. Maybe the actress was just happy to have scored another lead role in a film that is way above her. There's again those moments when she is full of herself and shouldn't be, like the idea how she gets attacked by her husband and how she has to act scared. Or how we have another character say that she is a better carpenter than her husband already. Or how she has to take that test, mathemtics or something, at the cupboard and fails and next we get a sexist speech from one of the professors. Or there always needs to be some kind of sexual impact to Neubauer movies. The good news is we do not have five younger men being interested in her romantically this time as it happened before in other films, but completely without that component they could not get through it seems as we see during the scene when her and her husband get physical for the first time after his return. Also I am not surprised at all what they included in the script here for her husband's libido. This is exactly what I expected from a Neubauer movie. The men are not man enough for her. As for the overall quality, I already made my point. Neubauer is not good, but also not as horrible as I am used to perceive her, but it was mostly the actors that she shared the screen with that made this film watchable at times. You heard the names. One thing I definitely could have done without here were those skull findings. That was definitely too much. Of course, our incomparable heroine uses these to (try to) expose the Nazi crimes from the mayor or the town, who treated her unfairly anyway, so he must be rotten. Of course he is. Let's not think small, let's make him a cold-blooded killer. This got really pathetic though when they randomly throw in a killing by Selge's character, which was self-defence though. Of course it was when Hanna says so. And as her husband would not manage to survive a lengthy criminal prosecution and trial, she has to accept a compromise when dealing with the bad guy. So she still protects her man despite what he did to her. But then again, he is also just a victim of what he went through while being a prisoner of war. Somehow I expected a story here where Neubauer's character would get together with a new man, but then the previous man shows up. I mean, after all this is Degeto AND Regina Ziegler, so the two worst companies from the German televison landscape combined, but luckily the writer picked a more realistic route here and also in a typical Degeto movie, Schmölzer's character would have been arrested in the end or forced to flee whatever, but the actual outcome witout 100% justice felt much more authentic here. This is also a key reason why I give two stars out of five and not two stars out of ten. The script is really alright at times and makes it easy to not pay too much attention to the weaker moments like the fire in the end that feels for the sake of it or how Hanna reacts to her husband's decision that she must never return and also must sacrifice her son and also that her daughter must not return to see her father. Although we do not know if this decision is final. But Selge's character seemed very determine to pull through with it all. So yeah, I think this could have been a way worse film with Selge's character for example accepting his wife's talent and the two working together as equals. I actually like it that the film did not focus too much on the concept of emancipation here. It succeeds from other perspectives. Not enough for a postive recommendation though, even if the exact ending and last shot were alright too. I think that maybe with a more talented lead actress I could have given a thumbs-up here even. But I have no words for the awards recognition for Neubauer here at all, especially from Asian bodies. What were they thinking honestly? Finally, sets and costumes are not bad, bust also nnot really great. I think they could have done better in that department given the background. Alright, that's it. Watch something else instead I say.
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