Voltage Pictures, Zanuck Independent, Zephyr Films,

Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis, Peter Stormare, Ben Whishaw, Rupert Friend

Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) is a computer geek in a strange futuristic society. He travels to a cubicle daily to do his work moving data around, but longs to work from home because of a call that he received a long time ago. The call was interrupted, and he’s sure they will call back, but he must be home to receive it. Qohen is a messed up guy, but of course the stress of what he does, and the wacky world in which he lives would probably drive anyone crazy. His supreme boss is called Management (Matt Damon) and Quhen is sure that Management would have the answers to his burning question. This futuristic and colorful adventure is sure to turn your world upside down.

When I completed watching this film (in one sitting), I thought for sure I HATED it. Then as I though about it, I liked it more and more the longer I thought about it. Now that a couple days have passed, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps I really liked it. It’s weird. It’s a Terry Gilliam film, so that says a lot. For those not familiar with Terry, he was the “American” in Monty Python and also the one who drew the very strange animation pieces in the middle of the programs. Terry has a weird outlook on life and if you keep that in mind you get more out of this story. First, the sets and locations are outrageously colored. The advertisement is everywhere and it’s constantly beat on you trying for force you to listen. It’s psychedelic and much like real life pictures of the animations that Terry did. It’s a crazy world. The fact that the cast lists Matt Damon and Tilda Swinton first is odd, as well, as these are two of the lesser characters in the film. Neither has much screen time. This is really the Christoph Waltz show, and boy does he nail it. His character is borderline insane. You might think it odd to see this listed as a comedy, but it’s very funny, although it deals very deep subjects and foremost the question of the entire film is the meaning of life. In fact, as you come to learn what the Zero Theorem is, you can see how Qohen’s madness comes from the fear that it all means nothing at all. It’s a really artful film, and it may go over the heads of many people who just won’t get the meaning out the madness, but I can see that is one film that stayed with me, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked what I had seen. Certainly if the “Ministry of Silly Walks” or the most dangerous animal in the world, the “Clever Sheep” entertained you, and you got it, you’ll probably find a real gem in this film. On the other hand, if you’re one of those (and there’s nothing wrong with this) who find Monty Python and the Holy Grail to be pure nonsense and a complete waste of time, you’re probably not going to like this very much either. In the end, I’m really glad I saw it. In the beginning, though, I wondered what the heck was going on in front of me!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Desperate Pictures, Orange Studio, Why Not Productions,

Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane

Kat Conner (Shailene Woodley) is a 17 year old girl, living at home with a Mom and Dad who don’t get along. Her mother, Eve (Eva Green) constantly bickers and belittles her father, Brick (Christopher Meloni) who just puts up with it. Kat’s only escape is her boyfriend Phil (Shiloh Fernandez) and her friends. Her Mother seems to be getting more and more disconnected when suddenly one day, she simply disappears. As time passes there is no trace of her and Kat is now off to college. On a break at home, Kat finds her father is moving on, finally, but she’s just not ready to let go.

This was a touching movie. The time frame is supposed to be late 80’s. Shailene sure picks some difficult projects to work on, but she’s done another great job in this performance. Her situation is really sad, with parents who have checked out, and a boyfriend who’s not really much help or support. This is a stark film. It doesn’t pull punches, and there’s a lot of realism in the storyline. Characters are well developed, and the story holds a few surprises. The story is told by Kat, who’s the narrator, and so we get the pieces from her point of view as she sees them. If another character were the focus, it could have been a wildly different story, but I think they filmmakers did an excellent job of getting the teen angst down right, and we can certainly feel for Kat and the difficulties she has to deal with on her own. This is not for the squeamish, as, like I said, it’s a stark realistic look at life, but I thought it was very well done, and I enjoyed it very much.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Rommel Film, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF),

Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Krusehttp://www.edsreview.com/movie-review-wetlands-2013-nr

Helen (Carla Juri)is an unflinching young woman with hemorrhoids. Her Mom is a bit over protective, so she’s rebelled and has no respect for normal things like hygiene. She also has no inhibitions. When she ends up in the hospital for surgery due to a bad shaving accident, she take a liking to male nurse Robin (Christoph Letkowski) she tortures him all the while flirting with him with improper questions and discussions, and entertains him with her raunchy stories whether real or fantasy. Yes, Helen is certainly a strange young lady.

This is a German film, and the audio is in German with English subtitles. This is a challenge for some people. I have not viewed so many German films, and this one is a bit of a stunner. European films (and TV) have a lot more guts than we do, and they jump into subjects that are really taboo here in the states. They do love to laugh at our “Puritanical” takes on sex and other adult subjects. This film is in your face like a typical European film, they don’t hold back, but it’s more a gross out film than a sexy film, so don’t look to it for that kind of stuff. This is based on a book, and Helen narrates the story from start to finish. Helen is an outsider and she has no fear. Her relationship with a best friend and neighbor Corinna is in your face as well. Corinna is definitely repressed, and Helen spares her no mercy in that department. But the bigger story is Helen’s loneliness and unhappiness that she overcomes by acting out. She’s not such a bad girl, really but crying out for what she needs. It was a different experience watching this. I guess I tend often to listen to movies more than “WATCH” them, and with the subtitles, I had to watch every scene or miss the lines. My German is pretty weak at this point, nicht wahr? So I may have caught a lot more out of this film that I would if it had been in English because off the need to read the screen. The story is intense, I liked the ending, although some may call it abrupt, but I’ve seen too many films that leave you hanging, so I’m glad to see a resolution in this one. Essentially, this is a straight in your face drama of a young woman facing her issues and making bad choices time after time while struggling to find something worthwhile. I felt it was worth my effort to watch this, but please remember that you have to read the subtitles.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, IM Global,

Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Ray Liotta, James Badge Dale, Brooklyn Decker, David Hasselhoff, Shaun Toub

Stretch (Patrick Wilson) is a limo driver with a gambling problem. He’s in real trouble if he doesn’t pay them back immediately. To assist him, he hijacks a really rich client who offers to pay off his bills if he can meet all the demands of this eccentric passenger. Meanwhile he’s been haunted by the ghost of his nemesis, perfect limo driver Karl who recently offed himself, but decided to hang around to torment Stretch.

This is an off the wall comedy that has its funny moments. Patrick Wilson is demented enough to play this troubled soul whose life is derailing around him and still try to pull it all together. There are some funny cameos here as celebrities, playing themselves, show up to make a little fun of their celebrity. The Hoff does a pretty good job of lampooning himself, in particular. All in all, though, the story is a bit on the silly side, and is a little bit over the top. The comedy is just not all together on target. Sometimes it is just a little bit over the top and a bit too frantic. As I said, it’s got its moments, and some of it is really good, so it wasn’t bad that I could catch this for free streaming, as the DVD is not even on Netflix yet, but I have a hard time recommending it as I know it could be a pretty big disappointment for many. It was a nice try, but just not enough for a recommendation.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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IFC Midnight, Motion Pictures, Joyplex,

Tammin Sursok, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Bonrepaux, Jade Tailor, Russell Geoffrey Banks

Allie Westbrook (Tammin Sursok) is backpacking through Thailand. She’s staying at an apartment in Bangkok with a number of other foreign students, and she makes friends with some of them. She’s introduced to a computer “game” played by other residents in the building where they can log into a site called Cam2Cam and face chat with other people. But Allie has an ulterior motive for coming to Bangkok so it’s not a coincidence. But in trying to solve her mystery, she soon finds out that no one in the building is who they seem to be, and it’s a deadly game. In trying to find the truth, she may have sealed her own death or disappearance.

This movie, unrated for a purpose, is all about trying to shock you. The trouble is that in 2014 its hard to shock an audience. Yes this film is full of lies and betrayals, double crosses, and treachery, but there’s just not a whole lot going on here. When you finally put together all the pieces and figure out what really going on, will you care? I doubt it. There’s very little suspense here. Though they’re trying to make you really worried about Allie’s future, you don’t really get so into her story to believe enough to really care. The setting is exotic, but it’s certainly not got much of the beauty of Thailand in it, other than the opening montage, it’s mostly back streets of garbage and ugliness. This is not a travel film that will make you want to explore Bangkok by any means. Whether Allie makes it out or not is not really important. I probably couldn’t remember the ending anyway, and it’s just been a few days since I’ve watched this. This is a very forgettable flick, or perhaps it’s because of my age, that I can’t really identify with the young folks that are wasting their lives out adventuring on their own. For me I would say, skip this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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