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Jackie Brown * Quentin Tarantino * 1997

I saw this film in the cinema 5 years ago. It isn’t quite the best Tarantino film but especially on TV good enough to watch some time. “Jackie Brown” is about the stewardess (Pam Grier) with the same name who smuggles the money of weapon-dealer Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson) from Mexico to the USA. Ordell has the idea to sell weapons until he has 1 million dollars so he can live on the money for the rest of the days. He thinks himself highly popular and takes in Louis (a wonderfull part of Robert de Niro) and lives with his “blonde surfgirl” Melanie (Bridget Fonda).

Anyway, Jackie is caught, offered a deal and tries to think of a way to stay out of trouble but to get a part of the money for herself. The whole film deals with Jackie’s ‘cooperations’ with the police, Ordell, her new boyfriend, etc. Of course things go out of hand and people get killed.

However “Jackie Brown” is by far not as violent as other Tarantino-films it does contain the typical cynical kind of humour and ‘strong language’.
A nice film to just watch some time.

Jackass: the movie * Jeff Tremaine * 2002

No I didn’t go to the cinema to watch this, I got a copy on VCD. Well, I can be short with this one. If you like the series, you can safely watch the film, if you hate the series, this film will make you go berzerk. Another thing, “film” is a big word, actually it is just a long Jackass consisting of numerous shorter and longer films. The guys had a bigger budget for this film (which mostly went to insurance-companies) and some films were shot in Japan. Anyway, from hilarious jokes to sick and painfull experiments. Overall just as the series, sometimes funny, sometimes not at all.

Intimacy * Patrice Chéreau * 2000

From the director of the brilliant “La Reine Margot” comes this “explicit and confronting” film. I suppose that most of you have heard of it. However it got good critics almost allover, some people thought it to be ‘too explicit’ for a ‘normal’ film, while what you hear about it most is that it is a ‘sophisticated sexfilm’. So what is my own conclusion? “Intimacy” is very much like ‘that other’ film “Une Laison Pornographique”. The story for both films is about two people who meet solely for sex. In the French film the two people first grow towards eachother but later split, in “Intimacy” Claire is looking for nothing more than sex while Jay goes out to find who Claire is in normal life. Not too interesting stories in either film, so what about that other thing? Maybe “Intimacy” is a bit more explicit, but only in the sense that you sometimes see genitals which is unlike most other ‘normal’ films, but there isn’t that much sex in it in general and I suppose if you expect that or are looking for that, you better focus your attention on another kind of film.
Overall I had hoped “Intimacy” to be more beautiful and also a bit more of content would have been nice.

Intolerable Cruelty * Joel + Ethan Coen * 2003

What do you get when the brothers Coen (“Blood Simple”, “Raising Arisona”, “The Big Lebowski”, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”, “The Man Who Wasn’t There”, etc.) make a deal with a real Hollywood producer and get the disposal of a real Hollywood budget? Well: “Intollerable Cruelty”! And are we happy with the combination? Yes, we sure are! Besides partially the well-known Coen-crew (George Clooney, Billy-Bob Thornton, but no John Goodman or Frances McDormand) we get the very nice Coen sense of humour and a no-average film which will probably will fall good with a wider audience.

“Intollerable Cruelty” is a romantic comedy in which top-notch divorce-lawyer Clooney falls in love with Catherine Zeta Jones who only wants the fortune one rich man to become partially hers by way of a very short marriage. The result is a wonderfull romantic comedy with a nice story, wonderfull acting and a great sense of humour. The film opens with the greatest animation of little cupidos shooting darts at the rhythm of the music (it has been a long time since I had to laugh this hard) and the first sence of Clooney making a phonecall while his teeth are being cleaned is in one word brilliant. If you like Coen-films, don’t worry about the big budget, you are going to like this film. If you don’t know the Coen films, just have a try a see this nice, but not everyday romantic comedy. <11/11/03><4>

Insomnia * Christopher Nolan (2001)

This new film of Christopher Nolan (Following and Memento) has been long awaited. Quite a strange story with the release here. It ‘premiered’ in the Netherlands on the filmfestival Vlissingen, but the official premiere would be a month later. In the meantime it played in Vlissingen and one other city. Now it plays in only three. This is strange, because Memento did well and there are some nice names on the list here, Al Pacino to name the best-known.

Insomnia is a re-make of a film with the same name from Erik Skjoldbjærg from Norway (1997). I have seen this one a long time ago, at least, I think so, because the whole time I had the idea that I already saw the film and this isn’t really possible, so I suppose I have seen the Norse version.

Besides that I find the fact of the remake quite cheap of a man who wrote the brilliant script of Memento himself, Insomnia isn’t as good as it’s predessor. Insomnia is nice -though- but totally different. It is a thriller about an LA-cop who is sent to Alaska to solve a murder. The first 45 minutes remind a lot of Twin Peaks. The atmosphere is strange, there is a brilliant cop coming to a small town solving a murder. Because it is always light, Will Dormer suffers from insomnia and he gets strange ‘visions’. Further he has got internal affairs on his back searching for a mistake of his. His partner seems to want to cooperate and either by mistake or on purpose Dormer shoots him in an exiting scene when a bunch of cops are chasing the killer in the fog.

Anyway, Insomnia is a nice film for an American audience who don’t like films in another language. Further it is virtually the same as the original and not really a good follow-up for Memento. Still a very nice film though!

În Fiecare Zi Dumnezeu Ne Saruta Pe Gura * Sinisa Dragin * 2002

This film is best known by the English title “Every Day God Kisses Us On The Mouth”. This Romenian film tells the story of Dumitru who is both a slayer of animals (butcher) and slayer of men (because of his bad temper). We follow him when he goes drinking and gambling with his friends, his family-affairs and later how he goes looking for his father. It is a strange film. The story has large holes, but the scenes are quite slow. This gives a bit an idea of fast-slow. Because of the hopeless situation, drinking and violence, the film reminded me a bit of “One Were Warriors”. Shot in nice brown-colours making it an alright drama from a country you don’t get to see too much films from.

Im Toten Winkel * André Heller + Othmar Schmiderer * 2002

Not really a film, but a documentary, at least, that is how this film is presented. Actually this is not really a documentary in the normal sense of the word either. “Im Toten Winkel” is an interview with Traudl Junge (or Gertraud Junge) “Hitlers sekretärin”. Well, this isn’t 100% true either. In fact this documentary is a compilation of three interviews with Junge. One of two shot years ago and later Junge got to see the images again and sometimes has extra comments.

Anyway, the fact being that Junge was one of Hitler’s four secretaries is an interesting starting point. Junge speaks about Hitler’s personality in great detail and how she and those close to Hitler experienced the period between WWI and Hitler’s suicide. Not really a pleasure to watch, but highly informative. I saw this film without subtitles which was quite hard at times. Also I don’t know if this film is for sale or just for TV-stations. But if you are interested in a more in-depth view of the man Adolf Hitler and you get the chance to see “Im Toten Winkel”, don’t hesitate.

This documentary/interview was the basis of the popular film Der Untergang.

The I Inside * Roland Suso Richter * 2003

“The I Inside” starts as a “Memento” rip-off. A guy in the hospital has lost his short-term memory and has to figure out his life again. Then he starts jumping back and forth between the years 2000 and 2002. In both years he has been in the same hospital and it seems that he lost his memory of those two years. The film gets better when a few things become clear. Then new twists and turns are added and eventually there is a very weak conclusion. The idea obviously comes from “Memento” and there are elements from other popular themes in nowadays films. All in all not too bad, especially the middle part is enjoyable. Too bad about the weak conlusion.

Identity * James Mangold * 2003

I don’t think I knew this film until my girlfriend picked it out in the videostore. Mangold, the director of “Girl, Interrupted” and “Kate and Leopold” took the term “psychological thriller” very literary. The film starts with very short and speedily assembled scenes showing how different people end up in the same motel. Bad weather and most of all: bad luck. Then those people start to die one by one. Not too original you may think, but as a matter of fact, Mangold did (in my opinion) something very original. Unfortunately he gives away the clue about halfway the film, but still manages to keep “Identity” interesting and entertaining. I think the dark and rather grim atmosphere of the film adds to this. A very nice script and a good idea to make a not very original fact (people in the same place dying one by one) into a good film. -5/9/05–4-

I am Dina * Ole Bornedal * 2002

As a young girl Dina accidentally causes her mother to die a horrible death. Being blamed by her father and virtually banished in her own village and from the shock what has happened, Dina because a psychotic little girl with visions of her dead mother. When her father finally realises that this is no way to let a young girl grow up, he hires a teacher and Dina lives up again. Still she has but little control over her emotions and especially her above normal physical power. Especially when she doesn’t get things her way somebody has a problem. Later Dina gets married to a much older friend of her father and with better and worse period she grows up to be a woman.

“I am Dina” is a nice drama with a very pressing atmosphere which makes the film almost a thriller. Visions and flashback are brought nicely and even though the story is not too appealing, the final result is a film that I can suggest.