• Giallo (2009)

     

    This thriller attracted my attention because of its beautiful location in Torino and the big names of director Dario Argento and actor Adrien Brody. I shouldn't have trusted in those names as this movie is a completely ordinary thriller in every sense of the word. The killer is a poor and isolated guy that has been pushed around and bullied in his childhood and hates beautiful women that he kidnaps, tortures and kills to destroy their fatal beauty. The inspector is also an isolated guy with a dark past that desperately tries to find the murderer. The sister of one of the kidnapped young ladies follows his and they are soon somewhat forced to work together. Honestly said, we have all seen such a story line somewhere else and in a better way.

    On the positive side, the movie is entertaining enough to watch it until the very end. Adrien Brody acts very well and convinces as an inspector with a dark past. The location of Torino is well chosen and gives a certain kind of charm to the movie.

    On the negative side, this movie is highly predictable. The identity of the killer is revealed to fast. There also some flagrant lacks of logic in the movie. The inspector acts in the most stupid way in the hospital to attract the attention of the inspector. The inspector acts in a disturbingly slow and stupid way and the sister of one of the victims even has the better ideas than him. Why didn't he try for example to contact the taxi organizations of the city to ask them to make a list of the drivers that have been working at 9:30 a.m. next to the fashion centre? He could have also asked them about a strangely acting guy with a yellow skin instead of acting strangely at a nearby hospital where he meets the killer because of a strange and not really convincing coincidence? At some point, I also have the impression that the director didn't know in what kind of direction his movie should go. In the beginning, the brutal scenes with the Japanese are cut off but in some other scenes, there is suddenly a higher amount of brutality. Another completely illogical scene is that one of the victims suddenly gets back to life and is able to talk quite a lot before she dies. After being cut all over the body, being washed in a high amount of bleach and put into a well isolated plastic bag, this event is nearly impossible. The most stupid thing about the movie is its ending. If they would have cut off the very last scene, the movie would have finished on something more original but the way it eventually really finishes is stupid and doesn't let us know anything about the final development of the main characters and also seems quite pointless.

    I am really generous if I still give five points to the movie as it didn't have much action, tension, dark humour or anything special. It simply is an ordinary but somewhat entertaining movie with an acceptable acting and an interesting location to underline the positive points. You can watch it once but I wouldn't suggest a purchase at all.

     

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  • Unknown (2011)

     

    This intriguing psycho thriller really offers nothing quite interesting or new to any one that has seen "XIII", "The Bourne Trilogy", "Wrong identity" and similar movies. A man suffers from amnesia and is looking for his identity and it is quite quickly obvious what his secrets are if you happen to know the mentioned movies.

    This being said, the movie is still very entertaining and well acted even though there are many clichés. The rich professor must be helped by a poor illegal immigrant girl and the bad boys seem always to be perfectly organized and chase the haunted without pity. The usual car chases and execution scenes underline the lack of originality of the movie. The only thing that distinguishes this movie from many others is the fact that it takes place in Berlin and that many well known and promising German actors got a few roles in this movie and take their chances to convince a larger public. As I happen to be from Germany, I found it interesting to see such a polished psycho thriller take place at famous and infamous locations of the German capital and the movie gives a very little glimpse at the culture of this city by showing its beautiful and ugly sides. This movie creates a certain wanders lust to go and discover the city and makes a good publicity for the country.

    After all, once you accepted the weak and ripped off story, you really get well entertained and see a solid acting and nice shooting places. I wouldn't suggest to go to the cinema for this movie as it is quite overrated and I wouldn't buy a copy of it in a couple of months, but I would really suggest to rent this movie for a night if you feel for it and in that way, you won't be disappointed if you slow your expectations down as I did. If you found the main idea interesting but you didn't like the movie, go for the ones I have mentioned in the beginning that are fairly better.

     

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  • Blue Velvet (1986)

     

    "Blue velvet" is probably the movie that is the easiest one to approach by still coming quite close to the typical trademarks of David Lynch's art of directing. It reunites the accessibility of "Dune" and "Wild at heart" with the weird surrealism of "Lost highway" or "Mulholland Drive". This movie is one of the rare ones by David Lynch that is possible to be understood with the first try even though there are some mysterious and uncovered hints and elements throughout this interesting flick.

    This movie gives us already a glimpse at what we could later on expect from David Lynch as the movie is settled in a small town where many strange people live beneath the surface of peaceful boredom just like in "Twin Peaks". The movie has almost the approach of a thriller and gets quite fast interesting in comparison to the rather slow paced approaches of most of David Lynch's movies. This movie isn't as intense, surreal and surprising as many of his other works are, but it is filled with tension and dominated by a strong acting by Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan and especially the legendary Dennis Hopper. The charismatic acting of those three cornerstones of the movie makes this flick work and makes me pardon the fact that the movie is not as imaginary as one should expect from such a great director. Some secondary actors like Laura Dern or Jack Nance also do a great job as usual.

    To sum it all up, this is a rather weak movie considering the other works of David Lynch and a little bit too general and mainstream orientated but it is nevertheless an entertaining psycho thriller with some stunning acting. I would recommend this movie to any fan of psycho thrillers without any hesitation. But I wouldn't recommend this movie to someone who would like to enter the universe of David Lynch as there are surely better choices such as "Mulholland Drive".

     

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  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

     

    This movie is very difficult to find where I live but after I have fallen in love with the brilliant series and all the other works that David Lynch has done, I was really looking forward to watch this prequel that many professionals had heavily criticized. Many people said that the movie didn't have the same charming way of the life in a small and mysterious town, many people commented that the characters weren't as intense and believable as in the series and some people regretted that some of the series's characters like Audrey Horne or Harry Truman didn't appear in this movie and that some other main characters like Dale Cooper only had small roles.

    But I think that those people didn't understand the intention of this movie. It is sure that a movie of two hours and fifteen minutes can't develop the characters as much as a series with almost thirty episodes. It is also sure that this movie is about the last days of Laura Palmer and that's why characters like Audrey Horne have not much to do with this movie as they had no closer connection to the main character. This movie has a faster development than its series, it is straight forward and maybe less mysterious.

    But this movie is intense in every sense of the word. It is frightening, has a very dark and desperate atmosphere, it is horrifying and it is brilliantly played by Sheryl Lee and we get a true insight of the character of Laura Palmer and her everyday life along side her strange father, her weak mother, her many different friends and especially boyfriends. This movie shows in a very straight and hard way the wasted life of a beauty that has lost its youth and innocence. This movie is about sex, drugs, violence, crime, murder and fear and how to get drowned in a circle of desperation. The scene were Laura and Donna are in the discotheque is one if the most intense moments ever filmed in cinema's history with its strange music, weird light effects, ugly sex and violence scenes and the feelings that evolve from there. You feel hypnotized and desperate about the characters. The scene where Laura and her father are in their car and surprised by a strange one-armed man is strange, disturbing and extremely weird. The scene where Laura meets the strange Bob in her sleeping room is spooky, haunting and could create nightmares. The scene where Laura finally faces her destiny is brutal, uneasy and pervert. The conclusion and final scene of the movie is the only part where you feel a little bit of piece and hope in a very transcendent and spiritual way.

    David Lynch plays with your emotions and your wildest dreams and drowns you from one feeling to the other. While watching this movie I was frightened, I was almost crying, I was disturbed, I was delighted and I was absolutely impressed. I never thought that this movie would mess up with the best series in history but this flick is absolutely at the same level even if it is different because of its intensity.

    But even though this movie is straight and heavy, there are still many mysterious details and typical trademarks of the series from time to time like the weird introduction of the case by Gordon Cole and the dancing lady, things that only a genius could have invented. The weird scene with David Bowie is also one for the ages and extremely cool. There are also many little hints to discover that concern the fate of other characters of the series for example the scene where a bloody Annie sleeps next to Laura and transmits her a strange message.

    A sure thing is that this movie is no easy stuff and more scaring than any horror movie I have seen in my life. That's why this movie hasn't been a success for the masses and its very particular style is in fact very charismatic and different from anything you might expect. The point of desperation is that you know what will happen if you have seen the series and that you know that the characters are damned or even lost and the frightening about all of this is that you know that there is no escape and that you don't exactly know how or when it might happen. I really felt with the characters in this movie and this is something that has been developed in the series over several episodes but in this movie, I had the same feeling only after a couple of minutes. I have never seen or felt something as intense and strong concerning a movie in my whole life.

    I always thought that David Lynch's masterpiece concerning a movie is "Lost highway" but after watching this flick I am no longer sure about it. This is a masterpiece, a mysterious, weird, scaring horror movie with some dramatic elements. This movie doesn't need much blood or gore effects to frighten you, it's all about the atmosphere. This movie is so intense that you simply don't have the time to miss Audrey Horne and all the others that I have liked so much throughout the series. That is something brilliant and unexpected that only David Lynch could create and it's a shame but as well typical for the mainstream masses that they didn't accept this style at the time and that there haven't been any more movies about Twin Peaks. At least, the legacy found its end on an absolute climax.

    I would recommend this movie to anyone that likes movies and has a little sense of genius and is open-minded enough to accept the flick's very unique style. It is probably my favourite movie of all times or comes at least quite close to it.

     

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  • Sans laisser de traces (2010)

     

    This is another well done French film noir with a rather dramatical touch. But instead of presenting us ugly events or the worst case scenario, the movie plays in a very intelligent way with wrong expectations, fatal illusions and terrible fears. The philosophy of this movie is shown at its very end and is a rather unconventional style for a film noir which makes this flick somehow stand out in comparison to the usual genre flicks.

    What I liked about the movie is that it was always a very realistic and addicting flick without any unbelievable sex or gore scenes. The main actor didn't fell in love with the young student. He didn't kill his old best friend out of his despair. The movie didn't need a dose of extra blood as it worked very well in a psychological way. The movie didn't constantly build up pressure and tension but there were rather reoccurring ups and downs, moments of despair and then moments of relatively tranquillity which was an interesting development.

    The reason why this movie didn't get a higher rating was the fact that I was somehow missing a punch or a twist in the end of the movie. I think it is original and unconventional that there wasn't one in the end but it would have addicted me more to the main actor and whole storyline and so I didn't completely get into the whole movie as the actors didn't do more than a good job but not an as convincing one as for example Attal and Cornillac in the brilliant "Le serpent". This distance to the actors and the story rate this movie eventually a little bit down.

    But if you like a rather unusual film noir, I would suggest you to rent but maybe not buy this flick.

     

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