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Member's Reviews

Manhunter, a review by addicted2dvd

Title: Manhunter
Year: 1986
Director: Michael Mann
Rating: R
Length: 122 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, English: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: N/A

William Petersen
Kim Greist
Joan Allen
Brian Cox
Dennis Farina
Stephen Lang

FBI Agent Will Graham (William Petersen) has captured the diabolical Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox), nearly losing more than just his mind in the process. But when Graham is called out of retirement to hunt the psychopath known as "The Tooth Fairy" (Tom Noonan, in a role Entertainment Weekly calls "one of the freakiest madmen Hollywood has ever given us") he must once again confront the horrors of "Hannibal The Cannibal." If Will Graham enters the mind of the serial killer, can he ever come back?

Joan Allen (THE CONTENDER), Dennis Farina, Kim Greist and Stephen Lang co-star in this shocking thriller directed by Michael Mann and adapted from the novel RED DRAGON by Thomas Harris. But be warned: Fans and critics alike consider MANHUNTER to be far superior to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS ... as well as one of the most unnerving serial killer movies ever made.

Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Production Notes
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:
This is my first time seeing this movie. I went in with fairly low expectations since a friend of mine said they didn't care too much for this one. But I enjoyed it quite a bit. The story is good... I liked the cast... the movie kept my interest from beginning to end. I have to admit... I didn't even recognize William Petersen (CSI) in this movie. I didn't realize it was him till the movie was basically over.  Anyway... as I said... I definitely enjoyed this one. Glad I finally got around to watching this one.

My Rating:
Out of a Possible 5

(From The Movies From Within My Lifetime on April 3rd, 2011)

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.

A rating of 4½ would be probably more adequate, but since Jon was so dismissive in his recent 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 TV Reviews

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd

Season 6: Disc 1

1. Bargaining  (Parts 1 & 2)
The gang resolves to bring the Slayer back from the dead - and succeeds, despite being hindered by a band of biker demons.

My Thoughts:
I can't remember how this aired on TV... but on the DVDs it plays as a double length episode. I think they did a good job on bringing Buffy back. This was of course the first episode to air on the new channel. Was a decent episode.

2. After Life
As Buffy adjusts to life after resurrection, a shadowy presence menaces her sidekicks - a side effect of the spell cast by Willow to bring the Slayer back.

My Thoughts:
Another good episode... They now need to deal with the repercussions of bringing Buffy back.

3. Flooded
A trio of young wannabe-big-bads cause trouble, while Buffy shoulders grown-up responsibilities such as running a household.

My Thoughts:
Another decent episode... and when I say decent episode I mean nothing really bad... but at the same time nothing really stands out as being special in the episode. I have mixed feelings about the trio... first of all... how can you take them seriously on them giving Buffy such a hard time... but at the same time they are just so fun to watch... they are just plain hilarious.

Season 6: Disc 2

4. Life Serial
The Slayer struggles to readjust to life in Sunnydale by attending classes with Willow and working with Xander, while the Geek Trio test her abilities with a secret campaign of harassment.

My Thoughts:
Once again... a fun episode. The trio each taking turns to see how much they can mess with Buffy's head gives us plenty of fun hijinks to watch. I have to admit... I loved the mummy hand that Buffy had to deal with in the magic shop... that was about as fun as it could get for me. I enjoyed every minute of this episode.

5. All the Way
Dawn sneaks out on Halloween and gets into a dangerous situation with a teenage vampire.

My Thoughts:
If I am not mistaken... this is the last Halloween episode of Buffy.... at least I don't remember a Halloween episode in the final season. It was a fun episode... and I have to admit... Anya looked might fine in her Charlie's Angels costume! Another episode I really enjoyed.

6. Once More, With Feeling
A mysterious force impels the Scooby Gang to burst into song, revealing their true feelings.

My Thoughts:
OK... my asbestos suit is on... don't you all flame me at once... but I HATE this episode! Of course that could have something to do with the fact that I do not like musicals at all!

7. Tabula Rasa
Despite Tara's misgivings about her overindulgence in magic, Willow does a spell that goes awry and gives the gang amnesia.

My Thoughts:
This one was a lot of fun too... enjoyed the episode... but I must say at this point they must be running out of ideas for the demons... whats with a guy with a shark head for a loan shark... yes I get it... he is a loan shark... but come on! LOL

(From Buffy the Vampire Slayer Marathon on November 26th, 2007)