• India's Most Wanted (2019)

    India's Most Wanted is a gripping thriller based upon true events that follows a team of five Indian undercover agents who try to track down a Pakistani terrorist who hides under a false identity in Nepal.

    If you expect a gripping action movie, you might get disappointed as the film only includes a few explosions and brief car chases. The film is however a very tense thriller that portrays the administrative struggles involving three countries and a desperate team left on its own. The five agents don't know who to trust, where to go and how to proceed in order to survive and accomplish their mission. Especially the last third of the movie is quite realistic, tense and unpredictable in that regard.

    Obviously, India's Most Wanted is a quite patriotic movie. The Indian guys are the brave, intelligent and resilient ones while the Pakistani are vile, scared and manipulative and the Nepalese are basically caught between the two sides. Even though this approach is somewhat stereotypical, it is partially justified by the historical events that this movie is inspired by. It wouldn't be a surprise to learn that most of the surprisingly low ratings for this very good film come from Pakistani viewers and have rather patriotic than cinematographic reasons.

    One more thing that must be pointed out are the stunning locations. Some scenes take place in Pakistan and India but about three quarters of the film take place in Nepal and these natural locations are absolutely breathtaking.

    In the end, India's Most Wanted should appeal to fans of dramas and thrillers who are interested in Indian and Nepalese history and politics. The movie convinces with tense atmosphere, intriguing characters and an unpredictable plot. The harsh ratings don't do this very entertaining movie justice.

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  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

    Three years ago, Shin Godzilla was the most mature entry in the franchise that surprised with a surprisingly realistic plot, lots of political drama and intriguing characters. But that was a Japanese movie while Godzilla: King of the Monsters is an American film that rather follows the gloomy Godzilla released five years earlier that was overall convincing despite a few lengths. This movie here rather compares to the shallow Kong: Skull Island and offers a brainless but entertaining spectacle.

    To be honest, this new film is rated so positively because the special effects are astonishing, the pace is breathtaking and the monsters look amazing. Godzilla gets defeated on two occasions but always manages to come back stronger than before. The return of King Ghidorah is spectacular and the monster convinces as giant antagonist. Rodan is also featured in a few scenes but far from being the most spectacular monster. Mothra's appearance is somewhat disappointing as the legendary character only appears for a few scenes and fails to impress.

    The story however is insultingly ridiculous. It features many plot holes and the characters are constantly making stupid decisions. One can't expect performances worthy of Academy Awards of course but the characters in this film are particularly irrational, shallow and unlikable. Especially the Russell family is quite annoying. The mother is willing to sacrifice humanity because she can't cope with the loss of her son. Her daughter follows her blindly, constantly risking her own life and those of others around her. The father is arrogant, grumpy and headstrong as he ignores orders and thinks he is cleverer than anyone else. One couldn't care less about such antipathic characters.

    In the end, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the kind of film that invites to switch your brain off and enjoy a colourful, effect-ridden and fast-paced spectacle. This film is great for what it is but might only be memorable for young audiences and those who aren't familiar with the legendary franchise. Some of the old Japanese movies were also quite silly but the original Godzilla: King of the Monsters which was released sixty-five years ago is still more thought-provoking, realistic and dramatic than this high-budget Hollywood flick. Hollywood should leave this Japanese franchise alone and Western cinemas should have the courage to show films like Shin Godzilla in the future.

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  • John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum (2019)

    John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is the most spectacular film of the franchise that will obviously carry on beyond this movie. It shows how the hunter has become the hunted as professional hitman John Wick gets chased around the globe and must reconcile with allies from the past to save his life. The story gets some more depth towards the end as a web of conspiracies, intrigues and lies unfolds and offers a few minor surprises and twists.

    The action sequences are even grittier than in the two convincing prequels. The body count in the first fifteen minutes alone is very elevated and will keep the audience on the edge of its seats. The characters don't only use weapons like pistols and daggers but also martial arts techniques inspired buy jiu-jitsu and judo in particular. Other memorable action scenes include a fast-paced escape on a horse, a motorcycle chase and the final scene on a rooftop. Let's also point out that two dogs have some quite remarkable appearances in this film that can be considered highlights of the franchise.

    The locations are also quite intriguing this time around. Aside of locations familiar from the first two films, we discover a Russian theater linked to John Wick's past, an elegant skyscraper made of glass and the city of Casablanca in Morocco as well as the nearby desert. The combination of stunning action scenes, beautiful locations and a few plot twists keep the film entertaining from start to finish.

    In the action film genre, the John Wick franchise is the best thing you could watch these days. This is what the Expandables franchise should have become like as Keanu Reeves faces some prolific actors of the action film genre like Marc Dacascos and Yayan Ruhian. If you analyze the fascinating universe the three movies of the franchise have put together, the sum can even be considered greater than its parts. The only reason why this movie doesn't get a higher rating is because it remains very formulaic, predictable and traditional beyond its entertaining values.

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  • Bundesliga 2019/2020

     

    1. Borussia Dortmund  79

    2. Bayern Munchen  75

    3. RB Leipzig  67

    4. Bayer Leverkusen  63

    5. TSG Hoffenheim  58

    6. VfL Wolfsburg  55

    7. Eintracht Frankfurt  53

    8. Schalke 04  52

    9. Werder Bremen  48

    10. Borussia Monchengladbach 46

    11. FC Koln   42

    12. Hertha BSC Berlin  40

    13. FSV Mainz 05  38

    14. SC Freiburg  35

    15. Union Berlin  33

    16. Fortuna Dusseldorf  31

    17. FC Augsburg  28

    18. SC Paderborn  22

     

    2. Bundesliga 2019/2020

     

    1. VfB Stuttgart  68

    2. Hamburger SV  63

    3. Karslruher SC  62

    4. VfL Bochum  58

    5. Hannover 96  57

    6. Dynamo Dresden  52

    7. Greuther Furth  49

    8. Holstein Kiel  45

    9. 1. FC Nurnberg  44

    10. 1. FC Heidenheim  41

    11. SV Sandhausen  40

    12. FC St. Pauli  40

    13. VfL Osnabruck  38

    14. DSC Arminia Bielefeld  35

    15. Darmstadt 98  33

    16. Wehen Wiesbaden  32

    17. Jahn Regensburg  30

    18. Erzgebirge Aue  24

     

    3. Liga 2019/2020

     

    1. Eintracht Braunschweig  78

    2. KFC Uerdingen  72

    3. FC Ingolstadt  67

    4. Hansa Rostock  65

    5. 1. FC Kaiserslautern  63

    6. Chemnitzer FC  58

    7. TSV 1860 Munchen  57

    8. Hallescher FC  55

    9. 1. FC Magdeburg  53

    10. SpVgg Unterhaching  50

    11. Preussen Munster  48

    12. FC Bayern Munchen II  46

    13.  Waldhof Mannheim  44

    14. SV Meppen  41

    15. Carl Zeiss Jena  40

    16. Sonnenhof Grossaspach 38

    17. FSV Zwickau  37

    18. Wurzburger Kickers  35

    19. Viktoria Koln  32

    20. MSV Duisburg  28

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  • Cloven Hoof - Who Mourns for the Morning Star? (2017)

    After a decade of silence, New Wave of British Heavy Metal legend Cloven Hoof has come back in strength with the beginning of the new millennium and the quintet's seventh studio record Who Mourns for the Morning Star? underlines the group's qualities on a high level.

    The band plays with rejuvenated energy and especially the mid- to fast-paced riffs are truly vivid while the numerous melodic guitar solos are executed with passion and care. The thunderous rhythm section is also above average and especially the drum play is quite creative at times. The vocals find the right balance between energy and melody and perform convincingly in higher and lower registers. New singer George Call seems to have great chemistry with the rest of the band and he even brought his bandmate Danny White from Aska who has become the new drummer. 

    Among the highlights, one needs to cite the powerful opener ''Star Rider'' that doesn't take any prisoners and convinces aggressiveness, precision and speed that most younger heavy metal revival bands can't compete with. Another outstanding song is certainly ''Go Tell the Spartans'' that might be the record's most creative and diversified song with numerous dynamic changes of pace where the vibrant bass guitar and clever drum play convince particularly well. Album closer ''Bannockburn'' is at times atmopsheric, epic and melodic but doesn't forget to intensify the performances and quicken up the pace at the right moments.

    In the end, Cloven Hoof's Who Mourns for the Morning Star? certainly doesn't reinvent traditional heavy metal but is performed with so much accuracy, grit and playfulness that it can be considered a genre highlight. Heavy metal fans should certainly rather check out this legend that has aged very well instead of the numerous exchangeable heavy metal revival bands. Especially the beginning and end of the record are very convincing and show that the legend is still alive and kicking.

    Final rating: 82%

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