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  • Birdman

    Birdman 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 04 Nov, 2014

    Almost feeling like a lighter, funnier and more playful version of “Black Swan”, “Birdman” is a highly entertaining look on artistry, obsessiveness, the desire to be relevant, self-doubt, (self-)delusions, the clashing of divergent personalities, and so much more… – all offered up with an incredible, frantic level of energy, stellar performances from an all-star cast, and many hilarious scenes. One of it’s most remarkable (and oft-cited) features is the impression that it consists of only one long take. That doesn’t…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 22 May, 2015

    I wasn’t quite as smitten with “Mad Max: Fury Road” as many (or most?) others were. It’s a very good movie, but it didn’t manage to thrill me from start to finish.

    I had two main issues with the movie. The first one, unfortunately, is the recasting of Max. I guess that I would have liked “Fury Road” more if they would have shot the exact same movie 10 years earlier, with Mel Gibson in the role. Think of him…

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash 2014

    ★★★ Watched 04 Nov, 2014 1

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Of all the screenings that I went to at last years Viennale, “Whiplash” by far got the most cheers and applause. The audience seemed to be in a real frenzy afterwards. Me? I’m afraid I wasn’t quite as taken by it as many others were. It’s a good movie, but I also had some issues with it.

    My main problem with “Whiplash” definitely lies in its ending, and the message it entails. This is one of those movies where a…

  • The Shining

    The Shining 1980

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 01 Oct, 2014

    Not a review, but a note: This rating refers to the US-version. I prefer the (shorter) international cut, which is a 5/5 for me.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Apr, 2015

    It’s true: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” isn’t quite as fresh, funny, and delightful as the first one. It misses the appeal of seeing all these superheroes fighting together for the first time. Ultron, while a competent baddie, isn’t quite as charming a villain as Loki. After two features that at least partly broke with the regular superhero movie formula (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”), this again is far more familiar – and ordinary – territory.…

  • Ex Machina

    Ex Machina 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Apr, 2015

    After writing the scripts for – among others – “28 Days Later”, “Sunshine”, “Dredd” and “Never Let Me Go”, Alex Garland finally decided to make the jump to the director’s chair, filming his own, original screenplay. And given the end result, I sincerely hope that he’ll return as both script writer and director frequently, providing us with many more fascinating, original, intelligent and thoughtful science fiction-films like “Ex Machina”.

    Watching the movie, you’d never guess that it was shot by…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin 2014

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 10 Oct, 2014

    “Under the Skin” is no slight movie fare, and it’s most definitely not for everyone. I, however, found it absolutely stunning. Despite the fact that I’ve seen it twice now, I’m still a little reluctant to talk about it in too much detail. “Under the Skin” is not simply a movie, it’s art… and like every piece of art it works a little bit like a mirror. What you see in it depends greatly with what you bring to it.…

  • Jurassic World

    Jurassic World 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Jun, 2015

    Since I didn’t find the time to re-watch (and thus review) the trilogy, let’s do a short recap: “Jurassic Park” is a masterpiece, and Steven Spielberg’s last perfect blockbuster (10/10). “The Lost World” is a delightfully distinct movie with some tremendously gripping scenes (like the trailer) and a great ending (yes, I’m actually one of those who really liked the ending in San Diego), but which still falls short of the original (7/10). And “Jurassic Park III” can be found…

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner 1982

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 10 Feb, 2012

    "Blade Runner" is a cinematic masterpiece that in the almost 30 years that have passed since its original release has lost nothing of its appeal, allure, and workmanship. It offers impressive, groundbreaking visuals, great performances (especially by Harrison Ford, Sean Young and Rutger Hauer), a gripping story that asks some heavy questions about morals and humanity, a hauntingly beautiful score by Vangelis, countless memorable and unforgettable scenes, and a truly moving (and, on first viewing, unexpected) finale. My only gripe…

  • The Imitation Game

    The Imitation Game 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 19 Feb, 2015

    “The Imitation Game” is an interesting mixture of biopic, drama, thriller, and (historic) war movie. By far my favorite part was the third act, after Alan Turing finally broke the Enigma code, and the question arises how – or even if – they’re supposed to react on the information that the machine gives them. Which attacks to prevent and which to allow. It’s a fascinating moral dilemma, and I wouldn’t have minded if the movie would have elaborated even further…

  • Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Kingsman: The Secret Service 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Mar, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Since the excellent “Stardust” – still one of the very best fantasy films coming out in this millennium that doesn’t have “Lord of the Rings” in the title – I’m a huge fan of director Matthew Vaughn. His brilliant “Kick-Ass” (which I still consider the best movie that came out in 2010) only reinforced my admiration for him. “X-Men: First Class”, while a huge step up for the franchise after the “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”-debacle, actually was a slight step down…

  • It Follows

    It Follows 2015

    ★★★ Watched 26 Sep, 2014

    “It Follows” reminded me a little of “The Ring” (or the Japanese original “Ringu”), only that in this case, the threat is not about some video tape, but works more like an STD. You screw, you’re screwed. Which might sound like the most classic and clichéd horror film rule, but here, it comes with a twist: If you have sex with another person, you pass the curse on to them. A nice concept in theory, but I had some problems…