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Member's Reviews

Lola rennt, a review by goodguy

  Lola rennt (DE 1998, AKA Run Lola Run)
Written & Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Starring: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu
DVD: R2-UK Columbia TriStar (2000)

My rating:

Cover Blurb: Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), who works as a small-time courier for a big-time gangster, is in huge trouble. He has accidentally left the cash from a mob deal on the subway, and he has only twenty minutes to deliver the 100,000 marks to his unforgiving boss. Desperate, he calls his girlfriend, Lola (Franka Potente), the only person who can rescue him form certain death.
As the seconds tick away and the tiniest choices become life altering, Lola must try to reach Manni before the line between fate and fortune begins to blur. One story told from three different perspectives, Run Lola Run is a veritable maze of intriguing plot twists and heart-stopping suspense in a high-octane thrill ride about one woman's desperate attempt to save her lover.
review, I decided to round up. Frankly, Jon's reaction surprised me, because "Run Lola Run" bridges the gap between experimental arthouse cinema and mainstream with a postmodernist approach that is not entirely unlike the early movies of Tarantino. Of course, Tykwer is less violent, a little more philosophical, a lot more puristic, and his hommages (which are actually just little nods) to other movies show a better taste.

Now, is RLR the best video game adaptation without being based on any actual game, a cross between "Groundhog Day", Godard's "Breathless" and "Wonder Woman", a philosophical meditation on fate and chance, or a portrait of the reunited Berlin, completely in flux?

Well, it is all that and probably more, but while the movie certainly isn't without depth, it also works on a strict surface level as a fantasy of wish fulfillment that is pure Hollywood. Add to that an iconic female lead, true love that conquers all and a few thriller elements, and you are in for a fun ride.

Right from the start, the prolog ironically alternates between both choices. T. S. Elliot versus Sepp Herberger, a narrator waxing philosophically only to be dismissed by more football platitudes from a guy in uniform.

The plot and the backstory are given in the initial phone conversation between Lola and Manni that gets more and more hysterical until Lola's first glass-shattering scream. Then it's mission time for Lola. 20 minutes to get the money from her banker dad and to get to Manni before he robs a supermarket. Game on and Lola runs through Berlin to frantic techno music with spoken lyrics, Anne-Clark-style. If at first you don't succeed, repeat. Three times.

That's pretty much all that happens. There is no narrative ballast, no character motivations, no further explanations, only encounters and exchanges, although the repetitions cleverly interlock, expand and, of course, change the happenings until the final outcome is achieved. That minimalist narrative is of course what makes RLR interesting, because while it keeps the basic framework of an escapist mainstream fantasy, it throws away all the exchangeable fillings.

Tykwer uses different techniques and even different film materials to organize his story. Lola and Manni are shot on normal 35mm film, the flashbacks of Manni's initial backstory are in black and white, any scenes not involving those two are shot on video. As Lola runs into various people on her mission, a sequence of photographs shows flash-forwards to their future as generated by the ripple effect of Lola's actions. There is animation, there are split screens, an almost codified use of colors, dazzling camera moves that create a hyperkinetic visual style. The pacing and editing is flawless and the rhythm precise with ironic counterpoints and full stops, such as the sudden soap opera of Lola's dad and his mistress in the bank office.

Each segment starts with the same scene Lola leaving the apartment (and her distracted mother). Then it turns into a cartoon of Lola running down a staircase and passing a guy with a dog on the way. That's her first obstacle and the first difference between the segments, with a strong hint how the segment will play out. The song lyrics do so as well. In the first run, she is determined, but she just passively reacts. In the second run she fights head-on, with no regards for herself or the people around her. In the third run she becomes completely in tune with what is happening around her, causing her to succeed.

The final ending cannot be anything than a happy one, albeit again with a slightly ironic touch. Also, if you didn't pay attention to the bank security guard, you might have missed something.

I'm glad Jon caused me to rewatch this; I had almost forgotten why I liked Tykwer once. I also posted a few remarks directly in response to Jon's review.

And for a Berlin film that is the complete antithesis to RLR, I recommend Maria Speth's "In den Tag hinein" (AKA The Days Between).

(From goodguy's Watch Log on July 19th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

The Hurt Locker, a review by samuelrichardscott

The Hurt Locker (2008) United Kingdom Blu-ray (rental)

From visionary filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker is an intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When renegade Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner - 28 Weeks Later, The Assassination of Jesse James) takes command of a highly trained bomb disposal unit, he frequently risks the lives of himself and those around him with his suicidal methods and a complete disregard for danger. Caught in the middle are his subordinates Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie - Half Nelson, We Are Marshall) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty - We Are Marshall, Jarhead), who can only watch as their leader descends further into addiction: an addiction to war.

My Thoughts:
I was a little skeptical of this one because my old man said that he didn't like it as much as he thought he would. Usually this wouldn't mean anything to me, but he was a bomb disposal technician for his full Army service of over twenty years serving in the Gulf for over a year and Northern Ireland during some etchy times. Thankfully, he completed his full service just before the current war started and he now works for a private defence company. Despite this, I'm glad I did watch it because I enjoyed it. Not working in the field, I don't notice some of the technical stuff he was banging on about and instead I focused on the story which had me gripped. Bigelow manages to make the movie tense and suspenseful in all the right parts with a perfect spraying of both drama and action. Great stuff. 4.5/5

(From Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews) on May 29th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's Random Reviews, a review by Tom


Title: Sam & Max: Freelance Police: The Complete Animated Series
Year: 1997
Rating: NR
Length: 300 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Stereo

The adventures of 'SAM & MAX: FREELANCE POLICE!!!' is an edgy and often irreverent, impudent, insolent, impious and silly series about a pair of likeable law enforcement types who don't take crap (oops! we mean guff) from anybody. It's about the timeless struggle between good, evil and snacktime; the weekly mishaps of a six-foot dog-Sam and a three-foot rabbity-thing (though he prefers the term 'lagomorph')-Max-who have a mirthful time trying to resolve only the weirdest criminal cases of the day. Really.

For your own good, and the good of mankind, enjoy 'SAM & MAX: FREELANCE POLICE!!!'

Based on Steve Purcell's enormously popular underground comic. Original package illustrations by Steve Purcell.

Disc 1:
1. The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It
2. The Second Show Ever / Max's Big Day
3. Bad Day On The Moon / They Came From Down There
4. The Friend For Life / Dysfunction Of The Gods
5. Big Trouble At The Earth's Core / A Glitch In Time
6. That Darn Gator / We Drop At Dawn
7. Christmas, Bloody Christmas / It's Dangly Deever Time

Disc 2:
8. Aaiiieee, Robot / The Glazed McGuggin Affair
9. The Tell Tale Tail / The Trouble With Gary
10. Tonight We Love / The Invaders
11. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang / Little Bigfoot
12. Fools Die On Friday / Sam & Max vs. The Uglions
13. The Final Episode

My Thoughts:

Not as much fun as the game but worth the 18 bucks I spent. The dialog between Sam and Max has its highlights. A wonder is, with what they could get away with in a show, which is supposed to be aimed at kids. For fans of Sam and Max definetely worth checking it out.


(From Tom's Random Reviews on March 30th, 2008)