Film reviews

Looking to jump away from the train wreck that has become international, national, and state politics these days? A movie provides anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes of low-cost escapism.

Here are some reviews of movies I have recently seen:

Identity: The movie begins with the aftermath of road accident (which we later see in full detail). Due to this and other instances of bad luck, ten people eventually find themselves together at a creepy Nevada motel in a rainstorm. One by one, they all start dying various gruesome deaths. But the killer isn't who you think it will be. A pretty intense movie - watch it with the ligths out. The ending, though, is a bit anti-climactic and cliched. John Cusack turns in a good performance. Horror/psychological thriller fans should see it.

Rating: *** (out of 4)

Solaris: A complete fucking disaster. Steven Soderbergh drops a turd in the toiletbowl of film history. Soderbergh stated that it was not a remake of the 1972 production of the Stanislaw Lem novel by Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky, and rightfully so. Tarkovsky's film was a masterpiece - intellectual and absorbing, with first-rate futuristic (at least for the early 70s) scenery and settings (such as the 10-minute drive along the freeways and through the tunnels of the city, before the mission to Solaris). The new Solaris strips all of this way, reducing Lem's science fiction to nothing more than a backdrop for a second-rate romance which, to make matters even worse, involves George Clooney. Avoid this film like the plague.

Rating: This movie was so bad that I am giving it a negative rating: -2 (out of 4)

Good Bye, Lenin!: The DDR (East Germany) falls apart in 1989. A young man begins his new life in the unified Germany working as TV equipment installer. Right about this time, his mother wakes up from a coma she fell into right before the collapse of the DDR regime. The doctor tells the guy that his mother is terminally ill and can't have any excitement or stress, or she may die right away. So he, his entire family, and family friends go through a series of riotous charades to convince the mother that East Germany is still in place. A brilliant and hilarious movie. I saw it in German; look for it when it comes out with English subtitles.

Rating: 4 (out of 4)

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