2021 – starting with Doctor Sleep

Well, this year did start quite strange, after a few days at home, I’ve spent the first day at work, was fully engaged and felt fit – just to spend the 5th at home with an upset stomach after a rough night.

That said, with the three plush-cuddle-roughnecks everyday is a real pleasure. seeing them growing up quickly is heart warming and so incredible joyful.

Back to topic, after sleeping most of the 5th, I’ve started into the day with an ingenious Stephen King (Cosmos/Lovecraftian horror) inspired movie, Doctor Sleep, the official Shining II with Evan McGregor and I loved it. Rebecca Ferguson makes an excellent villain and the whole set is out to creep slowly into you, not harmful, but pleasantly inspiring a setting that seems real and could happen anytime. One of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a while, captivating, inspired and quite diverse. 9/10 precognitive points, but you know that already, didn’t you?

So, happy new year, let’s have a look if 2021 is a blogging year for me.

Tron Legacy 3D

Zur Info – dieses Review ist mitunter ein Spoiler und bezieht sich auf meine persönliche Meinung zu Tron Legacy.

Gestern war’s also soweit, nachdem ich eine geschätzte Woche meines Lebens damit verbracht habe, Tron zu sehen. (Vorzugsweise bei meinem Vater alle paar Wochen als ich jünger war. Neben Star Wars und Asterix war es für mich der Film schlechthin.) Es ist der Nachfolger im Kino. Eigentlich wäre der Start in Österreich ja schon am 07.01.2011 geplant gewesen wurde dann aber verzögert und nach hinten verschoben. Die Details dazu hatte ich mir nie angesehen – kam mir eigentlich gelegen, ich wußte bis zuletzt nicht was ich davon halten sollte, dass Tron eine Fortsetzung bekommt. Warum so skeptisch? Nun, ich bin kein großer Freund von Fortsetzungen die mehr kommerziellen Charakter haben und je besser der erste Teil, desto schwerer eine würdige Fortsetzung zu finden.

Beispiele für missglückte Endloskommerzialisierungen sind Pirates of the Carribean (mir persönlich hat nichts davon den ersten Teil erreicht der mit Witz, Charme und Elan überzeugen konnte), Predator (was genau hatte der zweite Teil?), in einem Land vor unserer Zeit (kam nicht ansatzweise an #1 ran), Terminator (insbesondere die Teile 3/4 sind fast untragbar),

Beispiele für geglückte Fortsetzungen waren für mich Shrek (die Nachfolger konnten das hohe Niveau des ersten Teils halten), LotR (okay das ist imho aber auch eher ‘ein’ Film der auf drei gesplittet wurde) – sonst eher rar. Egal kommen wir zum eigentlichen Teil. Continue reading Tron Legacy 3D

Dante 01 and Babel (2 movie reviews)

First it started not too bad, when a friend of mine proposed the Midnight Movie at the UCI-Kinowelt in Vienna. Even the description of Dante01, did not read that bad. But in the end – it was not the best science-fiction movie out there…


Everything starts quite promising. We’ve the genuine theme of human experimentation in the “future” or past of a high-tech world. We got a thrilling package of a psycho-prison for inhuman scumbags – and we have a selection of (in my humble opinion) quite good actors in excellent characters.

One of the problems I saw with this film was, it starts thrilling – but reaches no climax – it constantly tries to create a dense atmosphere but does not make good use of this environment. For my part I am not a particular “fan” of the fantasy and religion subset in the movie, but they are both ok.

But then – after all these minutes – still no climax and a quite boring end of the movie. One scene takes roughly a few minutes but shows one and the same S-FX just from different angles – the turning of the inferno into some “earth” or -like planet. It just lacks a proper ending. From my side I would give Dante 01 3.5/10 points for excellent characters, a good cast and a good idea which was unfortunately not taken to its limits.

FInally I found some time this weekend – and I had the pleasure to watch a great movie on DVD –


 Thanks again Mischa, this film was a great experience and I will try to give a short review without too much of a spoiler (like e.g. the Wikipedia entry does).

Babel is the third and last part of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Trilogy of violence, death and the abysmal human character. But it is (again imho) a true masterpiece.

The movie takes four approaches:

  • Two maroccanian brothers, who have to protect goats with a newly bought M70 rifle.
  • A deaf japanese daughter who is trying to stand against her father.
  • A couple on vacation enjoying a bus tour.
  • Two kids attending a mexican marriage.

I admit this is the roughest of summaries without telling too much, but these four angles give a genuine view of violence and these darker sides of everyone’s soul – it pictures stress situations and overall draws not only from the actors’ talents but seemingly lives from the insightful views of everyday lifes turned into chaos within mere seconds / minutes / hours.

Perhaps it was the contrast to Dante01 that made me enjoy this one that much – there was constant variation of the thrill-levels, ranging from calm moods to dense and thrilling action. The ending itself (ok, without telling the amount of happy ends in this – I think there were too many happy ones with only a few not-so-happy ones) – but this again is probably Hollywood. Still the ending was ok and enjoyable.

General conclusion: Babel is great. 8/10 points

Battle of Kingdoms

Battle of Kingdoms

This might sound like another chapter in the rpg section of this blog, but behold – it is not *smile*.
Battle of Kingdoms, also known as Muk Gong is a wonderful, film based on an old legend, located in the heart of Asia.
As for the storyline, it’s around 400 BC in China, and the lands are divided – at war. The nations Zhao and Yan march against each other and in the middle there is the small kingdom Liang…
This film is about treachery and treason, about tactics and quite a nice display of martial arts, it’s a little about the terror of war and the mistakes in life. Main actor Andy Lau gives a very sympathetic Ge Li and contributes a large part to give this movie a bit more of – everything.
As you can imagine it is quite hard to pack an epic story of war, an incredible battle of wits between strategical masterminds into a bit more than 2 hours (~130minutes)…
Still, it is more than just a few minutes of action and inspires emotions of disgust for treason and treachery, pity for unfulfilled love, hate for immediate injustice, passion and compassion for a few congenial characters that twist and turn within normal bounderies.

For the roleplaying gamers, it is an incredible resource for game masters and players alike – get yourself inspired by daredevil characters, watch a prince overcome his pride (though your first impression will probably be “eeks” when you see his behaviour) – and enjoy a movie that is meant to remember.

My personal rating is 4.5 of 5 points for a good mixture of action, tragedy a great storyline behind the scenes and congenial and genial actors and characters. Enjoy!

Azumi [de]

Wir hatten einen durchwegs amüsanten Abend gestern.
Er begann mit Azumi I [die furchtlose Kriegerin] und endete mit Azumi II [Death or Love].

Eigentlich könnte man den Zweizeiler so stehenlassen, aber es wäre nicht Warnung genug. Nein, ehrlich die beiden Filme haben wir als derartig schlecht empfunden… Ich verstehe beim besten Willen nicht wie der Film soviele Auszeichnungen bekommen hat (ok, most popular actor, nachdem ein Japan-Pop Starlet die Hauptrolle spielt) – es handelt sich um eine Manga-Verfilmung mit Computerspiel Flair. Das sagt wohl schon alles – für mich waren die Kampfchoreographien und Kameraeinstellungen teils sehr ansprechend und die Rolle des Bijomaru Mogami (einem narzisstischem, in Frauenkleidern herumlaufenden “Endgegner”…) war gut besetzt.
Nachdem wir mit Teil I fertig waren, haben wir die Magic Karten ausgepackt und Teil II nebenbei angesehen – mehr wäre mit Sicherheit nicht erträglich gewesen.
Ich denke einer der schlechtesten Filme ever – wären nicht ein paar humorvolle Auseinandersetzungen (ein am Ende vor Begeisterung schreiender Bijomaru Mogami, der Azumi applaudiert als sie durch die Menge schlachtet und absolut verzückt ist, als er das erste Mal in seinem Leben parieren muss…) – und die drei Banditen die am Anfang auf die Gruppe angesetzt werden hat auch einen Hauch Humor.
1 von 10 Punkten.

Lars and the real girl – The delusive love story

What a nice coincidence, after yesterday’s work my best friend and my girlfriend convinced me to join them in one of the local shopping malls…
…after too much food, hot white chocolate drinks and a piece of apple-pie we met Dani and Sarah, who planned to attend the sneak preview (like in older times I’ve done quite often on wednesdays…)
Ok so our choice was – Sneak Preview, Saw 4 or Rambo 4 with the later two voted out due to our girlfriends – which made the choice more a fact *smile*.

Needless to say we bought the tickets and – well everything started with quite a lot of action – the trailers of TheDarkKnight (Batman), 10.000BC and at least one more trailer I do not remember… And before this there was a strange “28 days to war” trailer, I couldn’t find anything on this horror movie – it at least seemed like one.
Then the main movie started “Lars and the real girl”.
(First impression – “Oh no, not another heart-breaking romance only – movie!”)
The beginning five minutes were not very promising, everything takes place in a small village, a sister trying to convince her brother Lars to join them to their breakfast/dinner… Lars at work trying to avoid every contact from people, especially women. [This was the one weakness I really didn’t like about this film, you see Margo + Lars and can figure the ending within one moment there]. But then it starts with a creative mix of humor and the real girl (a lifelike doll) is shown on the monitor of Lars’ colleague.
6 weeks later a quite large box is delivered by UPS (perfect product placement there) and everything unfolds. Lars goes over to his brother and sister-in-law and announces he’s got a woman over at his place. He would like to come to dinner and like her to sleep at their place in the pink room (because she’s quite religious and stuff).
Well without spoiling everything in the film. It is a good choice for a nice evening – maybe not a movie to watch more than once (within a few years) but definitely a great choice for a film that has all a movie needs. It’s quite sophisticated, has a lot of humor and still a lot of seriousness. The actors did an outstanding job and according to IMDB it’s already nominiated for an Oscar and has gotten several awards.
It’s not perfect and probably not for everyone, but it’s combinations of light-heartedness, psychological relevance and sophistication (probably the worst words I’ve ever used for a review) make this film special. I’d give it 9 of 10 points.

Tai Chi (Masters)

Finally a new film – I mean an old film but a new one for me to report on…

Lately I had the possibility to watch Tai Chi Masters (in German this film is just called Tai Chi). And I really enjoyed it. The plot is quite straight-forward – of two kids in the shaolin monastery – Jun Bao (Jet Li) is a bit more advanced in mental ways, while Chin Bo (Siu-hou Chin) is a bit farther in martial ways. The film pictures (in a very positive way) the confrotation of rage and striving to achieve victory at all costs and wages it against calmness and a more taoistic approach. Of course the later one is more effective after a time. While one might work hard on himself – ignoring all things (and friends) around him
costs dearly in the end.

As usual I’m working hard on not spoiling the film – therefore only a few words on it.

The martial arts choreography is party very good and on the other hand quite funny. It’s a typical eastern style fighting with a few very efficient manoevers but a lot of comical style moves. The overall performance of the actors is not outstanding but gives a good evening of entertainment.


I’ve heard from this film a while ago – bought it via play.com and had it for several weeks (if not months) lying around. But yesterday I finally found some time after a quite tiring business-trip and it kept me awake – over a time even thrilled.

Serenity is interesting – a science-fiction movie very much like a combination of Star-Trek and Babylon 5. The dark and partly cruel culture of Shadows (Babylon 5) are the so called Reavers that dwell in the outer space territories – the Earth Alliance (Babylon 5) would be very much the same alliance in Serenity, too.

I very much liked the beginning of the movie, with a cruel, devoted antagonist that has some interesting sides and I think is one of the reasons you might watch the film.

Secondly the crew and plot-outline are quite creative and give you a good laugh, a quick depression, a lot of action and a few deeper thoughts every now and then. So you get a good mixture of emotions served on a silver plate.

River tends to be interesting in her decisions – as well as the captain who is confronted more often with situations of harsh words and needed decisions than Kirk and Picard in the whole series of Star Trek movies.

So final conclusion: Sci-Fi-wise there has been a lot of material already and you should not expect that Serenity is the ultimate innovation – for it makes good use of factions and elements that have been in other films and other places before. Still these were converted very interestingly and serve for a good motion-picture and might give you a good entertainment for an evening.

Paycheck / A Scanner Darkly

Staying on the topic of cyberpunk – I recently acquired two new dvds…

Paycheck is one of them and after watching Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in quite creative roles, I have to admit this was one of the better science-fiction films lately. The film itself tells the story of Michael Jennings who sells time of his life as (reverse) engineer. Working on extremely high security projects and in highly confidential areas he get’s his paychecks for work of up to eight weeks, after those he sells even his memories – when his friend Shorty removes his memories – it all is very much the same as before – he just lack’s a few weeks of time. (Erasing the short-term memory)
But this changes very much when he get’s a very attractive offer and a possibility to get a final paycheck for three years of work…
(Director John Woo is quite well know for action – so count on it – you get action with this one)
A Scanner Darkly turned up when I was searching through the web on Philip W. Dick, the author of Blade Runner… It was another one short-story put into motion picture – but this one -is- different. First of all it’s a bit autobiographic for it is quite well know that the author did a lot of drugs… But no only the story is interesting (though it might be on several occassions that one figures a bit long-winded) but Keanu Reaves, Rory Cochrane, Robert Downey Jr., Mitch Baker and Winona Rider give you a ride on a story that fits perfectly into a mixture of a Big-Brother World and drug problems in the future. Bob Arctor in the movie (Keanu Reaves) is addicted to Substance D, he is working as special covert agent Frank (with a special suit that makes it impossible to uncover one’s true shape and voice) and everything is going to change when he is ordered to shadow his real self… With a special developed rotoscopic process they turned the real pictures very much into a comic film – this gives the film a special edge – and leaves quite an impression – it manages to develop a lot of emotions and special, unique views in the film. To my own surprise, I really liked it – especially for the plot and for the creative pictures.

Starcraft II and Rambo IV

It’s pretty nice what one can find if he is reading through various archives on the web – and this Web 2.0 hype is doing quite a thing to add to the fast spreading of news these days. I like this, really.

First interesting news of the day (for me) was
Starcraft II
is coming. For those of you that don’t know what Starcraft was or is – maybe you want to do a little research on Google. It is one of the most popular RTS (real-time strategy) games around. It is still played in various leagues (even though it’s around 9 years old), and it started an unmatched aera of online competitions around the world. As far as I know there are still very high prices on Starcraft games especially in Korea. It was famous for being the first game with an exceptional well balanced style even though there were three completely different races (the so called Protoss aliens, Zerg aliens and Human).
If you’re into RTS games, this is probably the thing you have been waiting for.

Have a look here.
Secondly another interesting newsline,
Rambo IV
is coming – I mean, do you remember Rambo? You probably know John Rambo, the one man that hardly spoke more than a few lines in a movie, but it was some kind of “cool” all way long. It was in midst of the cold war back then, and especially in Rambo III one could feel the open hatred for the russians. It seemed to me a bit like a vent for the Americans to let go of the frustrations of war. Might be they need that just now – again. Read through the pages of imdb to get a few hints on the storyline. I have to admit – I’m looking forward to it – besides the fact that I like Silvester Stallone, I’ve always liked the easy-going and action-filled war movies more than the deep-going and stomach-turning real anti-war movies. (Like Apocalypse Now…) There’s already a preview trailer available with around 3 and a half minutes of preview.