Movies of the Weeks #46 #47 (2018)

The Perennial Nazi Cravings

  • Overlord (2018): The trailer raised my expectations to untenable levels, with its Wolfenstein-esque vibe and brutal gore. While holding the standard for the violence went alright, the story is just a rehashed version of the nazi-zombies oeuvre, with the crazed Germans going about their villanous affairs with relentlessness. Add to that the cardboard characters, heavily influenced by many other movies you will know, and you might get an idea of why some genre purists disliked Overlord. Yet, it succeeds in creating some strong visual set-pieces, with the opening ten minutes stealing the show for a while and the uncompromising gore splashing enjoyable on the big screen. So a 6/10 from me. 

Shooting One’s Hat Off

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018): A fresh Western anthology seems like an unlikely endeavour, even for the Coens. Or maybe it is particularly for them that it seems not. Regardless, they’ve put together a solid crop of stories, with small twists that lets each stand out, as they paint an entertaining and witty picture of human nature. Death is to be encountered in all, yet feeling different each time around, thanks to the fleshed-out characters and their very particular predicaments. It’s never a joke, but it does occasionally look like an ironic semicolon. 8/10 

Celebrity Curse Part I

  • My Dinner with Hervé (2018): I had not seen a biographical movie in a while, so this proved an adequate change of pace. Peter Dinklage sells the story of Herve Villechaize, „the most famous dwarf” until Dinklage himself, perhaps. My recollection of Fantasy Island, the series that made a staple of the French actor, is sparse, yet I do have an inkling to have seen episodes of it in the 90s. Covering the latter days of Villechaize’s life, MDwH retells his story through the eyes of a reporter, the to-be writer and director of the movie, interpreted unconvincingly by Jamie Dornan. Still, there’s some factual curiosities and just about enough emotional heft to it, to keep thing interesting, mostly thanks to Dinklage and his performance. 7/10

Celebrity Curse Part II

  • A Star is Born (2018)One of the most acclaimed movies of the year, the Bradley Cooper directed re-imaging of the classic A Star is Born feels like a real sucker-punch – or several, strung after one another. With the emotional brutality of Requiem for a Dream and several passionate musical numbers led by Lady Gaga and Cooper himself, ASiB is certain to not leave you indifferent, making up for the familiar story.  8/10

This is Not Time Travel

  • Source Code (2011): The thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi repeat-a-thon was the last good movie made by director Duncan Jones (whose previous credits included Moon (2009)). It is set in a universe so far away, that early on one character asks another whether their phone has the internet. This never ceases to amaze me, so many contrived plots would be rendered pointless in the smartphone age. This one too, I guess, but Source Code goes truly sci-fi and plays its mystery card well, thanks also to the strong cast that it boasts. 7/10