The Queen (2006)

The Queen (2006)Helen Mirren plays HM Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears “The Queen” and she does it particularly well, so well in fact that she won an Oscar for it for best actress in a leading role and deservedly so.

I was skeptical about the biographical part of the movie at first but you come to realize quite quickly that this movie is not about being absolutely accurate but rather telling a story of a queen and a grandmother, whether it is heartfelt or not. Whether Queen Mum has her daily Gin or goes and has encounters with a majestic stag is not the core of the matter here.

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Fearless (2006)

Fearless (2006)

Fearless” (2006) is Ronny Yu’s latest martial arts movie featuring Jet Li as the Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia (1869-1910). The biggest difference to all the recent martial arts movies is that the fights are far more realistic and as such much more intense, esp. since they all happen inside some sort of arena.

Jet Li portraits Huo Yuanjia and his journey to find his inner self, challenging foreign fighters to defend the nation’s honor and eventually becoming the founder of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.

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A River Runs Through It (1992)

A River Runs Through It (1992)Head on over to my DVD review of “A River Runs Through It” (Deluxe Edition) at or read on for the movie review.

“A river runs through it” is the Academy Award winning screen adaptation (1992, Best Cinematography) of Norman Maclean’s memoir directed by Robert Redford. Starring Brad Pitt, Craig Sheffer, and Tom Skerritt in an American family drama set in the 1930s in a beautifully shot rural Montana. The father, a Presbyterian minister, played by Tom Skerritt, raises two sons of opposite nature; the one reserved the other rebellious. The former, Norman Maclean, is played by Craig Sheffer and the latter, Paul, by Brad Pitt. The story covers the life and history of the family and as such the movie is heavily focused on dialogue intertwined with the breathtakingly beautiful Montana landscape.

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Cinderella Man (2005)

cinderella_manIf you do not know anything about the man then judging from the title alone, you’d never guess what “Cinderella Man” is about. If you have never heard of Jim Braddock before then even better. Go see this movie, don’t read up on anything, don’t google for the name, just don’t. Go see it without knowing anything about it (like me). And don’t look at the poster! Oh no… too late!

OK, so you want to know more! Fine! It has Mr. enfant terrible Russel Crowe in it and Miss Chainsaw can’t act for a Massacre Renée Zellweger, which might make it even worse. “Miss?” Yes, that’s right, thanks to “legal language”, Renée no longer is married (or rather never was) and what is more, she was in “that” movie and what a performance she gave; nothing much has changed since then. The only time I thought her well cast was in “Nurse Betty” and I wonder why… but let’s not get sidetracked and rather focus on Braddock: the hero of New Jersey back in 1935.

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Blow (2001)

blowI have successfully avoided Blow for a long time until yesterday. I knew I would hate it for being a “Hollywood” version of the truth.
George Jung, the drug dealer portrayed in this movie is sitting in a prison right now, waiting for his daughter to come visit him. He will be waiting until 2015. Or will he?

Johnny Depp’s performance is excellent and the rest of the characters are very well cast also. Kid grows up in a middle class family, mother is a fuck up, leaves serveral times because there’s no money but always comes back, father is glorified, kid swears never to be poor or become like his parents (can’t escape destiny, we all are images of our parents, scary huh?), kid grows up and goes to California where all the girls are pretty and everyone gets stoned.

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Xiao cai feng (2004)

Balzac and the Little Chinese SeamstressXiao cai feng” (“Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”) is most memorable for its beautiful scenery and while the story itself is told with skill and ambition it still lacks proper pace at times. Less would have been more here.

Also it seems that as the movie nears its end the writers had a hard time thinking of a artistically pleasing ending and by doing so overdid it just a bit. The underwater scene at the end, while having a melancholic touch, did come across as rather forced for an otherwise “natural” film.

The characters are all believable, amicable, intriguing and make you all the more interested in the story, which takes place during the Chinese cultural revolution. Do not expect historic facts since this is no documentary but a tale of love found and lost. A wonderfully poetic one, too.

A highlight of independent film making.