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

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.