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Remember (2015)

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Summary

With the aid of a fellow Auschwitz survivor and a hand-written letter, an elderly man with dementia goes in search of the person responsible for the death of his family.

Genre : Thriller/Drama
Country : Canada/Mexico/Germany

Cast :
Christopher Plummer : Zev Guttman
Martin Landau : Max Rosenbaum
Dean Norris : John Kurlander

Director :
Atom Egoyan

My opinion on “Remember”

“Yes, I must finish.
I must.
After all, this is the man who killed our families.”

Remember” is a movie you should know as little as possible about before watching it. So I’m not going to tell too much. This drama, which gradually turns into a thriller, shows how the 86-year-old Jewish man Zev (Christopher Plummer) is searching throughout America and Canada for a former Nazi officer who was a blockführer in Auschwitz. Zev’s friend Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau), who’s staying in the same rest-house, discovered with the use of old documents that certain SS officers escaped by stealing the identity of killed Jews. Zev is being sent to seek a certain Rudy Kurlander and kill him. And this as a revenge because he’s responsible for the death of Zev’s and Max’s family. Unfortunately, Zev has to be reminded of this because he’s in an advanced stage of the dementing illness Alzheimer.

What a surprising denouement.

The film thus shows mostly Zev searching for this person. Armed with a Glock and a handwritten letter from Max, he pays a visit to every Rudy Kurlander who’s currently living in the U.S. And Canada. The letter is his guide because everytime he awakes, he has no idea where he is and why he’s there. He even forgets about the death of his wife Ruth. Hence the note with a pen on his arm to remind him to read the letter over and over again. “Remember” is captivating. “Remember” is thrilling. But “Remember” is also a moving movie. A film about people who have to deal with a trauma. How they need to carry an intense sadness. And the deeply rooted feelings of revenge. And I must say that the denouement is one that will stay in your mind for a long time. The only thing I could say was “No way!“. It’s been a long time since I couldn’t predict the ending of a movie. It took me by surprise this time. Trust me, you’ll remember the end forever.

Brilliant actor!

Needless to say that Christopher Plummer’s acting was sublime. A scarred, elderly person who tries to do the job faultless as assigned to him. Zev isn’t only scarred by his past, but also by the present because of the loss of someone dear and a memory-consuming disease. The desperation and helplessness Plummer displays is lifelike at times. The encounter with John Kurlander (Dean Norris who’s the spitting image of Jack Nicholson) is a masterful scene with an excellent acting Plummer. You feel pity for Zev who suffers a moment of outright fear. After this scene the movie changes from a diligent search into a ruthless thriller.


Luckily it’s no “Sound of Music”

Despite his age, this star still knows to touch a nerve. More than when he played the well-known Captain von Trapp in “The sound of Music“. A movie that makes me sick to my stomach as if I ate a poorly baked Wiener Schnitzel. The film is always shown on television around Christmas and New Years eve. Probably to worsen the hangover. Still find it strange I didn’t recognize him immediately. The last time I saw Plummer was in “The Forger“. But that part wasn’t so memorable. Here the staggering and surprising end will leave a lasting impression. An absolute recommended movie.

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

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Action

Crawl: A Nerve-Racking Horror In Which The Perfectly Computer-Generated Alligators Scare You

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You’re not my coach anymore, dad.
That top predator crap doesn’t help.

Did you think the last “Lake Placid” episode from the eponymous franchise was downright worthless, stupid and nonsensical (like I did)? Well, let me put your mind at ease. Despite some laughable facts, this reptile-horror “Crawl” isn’t bad at all. You can even call it exciting at times. And compared to “Lake Placide“, the bite-sized animals are frequently in the picture and the CGI ensures that they look frighteningly realistic. You just have to use the same ritual as with “Hobbs & Shaw“. Namely, give your brain for safekeeping when entering the movie theater. It’s not of the same absurd level as “Sharknado“, but if you don’t do that, you will be annoyed about multiple idiocies.

 

Crawl

 

How stupid can you be?

There are of course many “How stupid can you be?“-moments. For example. You can’t blame the day-trippers in “Jaws“. They were just enjoying the summer sun on the beach and the refreshing water. Did they know that this giant white shark was planning to consume a few splashing bathers? It’s a pity they ended up as lunch. But, you can’t say the same about Haley (Kaya Scodelario), who, after a disappointing swimming performance, comes up with the grandiose idea to see if everything is okay with her father Dave (Barry Pepper). Nothing earth-shattering, were it not for her to enter a restricted area controlled by the authorities because of a destructive hurricane of category 5. Even a roadblock by the local police didn’t stop her.

 

Crawl

 

It doesn’t take long before the suspense begins.

The advantage of “Crawl” is the short playing time (87 minutes). Nowadays it’s perfectly normal for decent films to exceed the 2-hour limit. It seems that quality nowadays depends on the total duration of a film. Fortunately, there are exceptions to that rule. Not that “Crawl” is of high quality, but an advantage is they don’t spend too much time to bring the necessary suspense. After around 20 minutes, Haley and her father are already in a difficult situation in the basement of the parental home. Dave is badly injured. And three giant alligators are impatiently waiting for their feeding-time. Time for the second “How stupid can you be?” moment. What would you do if you had to leave your safe hiding place to recover a lost item? In any case, after getting hold of the trinket, I would return to that safe place again. Logical reasoning is certainly not Haley’s strongest characteristic. She does the opposite, with all its consequences.

 

Crawl

 

Not a complicated film.

Let’s not make it too complicated!“. That’s what the creators of “Crawl” thought apparently. Everything takes place at one claustrophobic location. And the entire film is carried by just two main characters. Occasionally, a few additional characters appear. But their function is limited to playing live fish food. In other words, they usually do not remain intact for long. And for the lessons “Logical reasoning”, these good-for-nothings didn’t get high grades either. And the way in which they involved the alligators in the story is also simple. A hurricane that causes rising water and you are stuck with a whole swarm of those bloodthirsty monsters in your backyard. Only the discovery that Haley made in the basement wasn’t 100% correct in my opinion. Coincidentally there was a pregnant alligator who used the flood to shamelessly dump her eggs in Dave’s basement at lightning speed. Well, in this way there was also an explanation for the aggressive attitude of the nest of primitive reptiles.

 

Crawl

 

A nerve-racking horror.

There were a few things in the movie that really annoyed me. First, there was the contrived and corny father-daughter relationship. They are both sitting there with torn limbs and shattered bones, and still, they need to philosophize about what went wrong in the past. I also thought it was a bit unbelievable how they endured the brutal attacks (with the necessary injuries) and apparently afterward had absolutely no problems with this. Even after a heart massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing, one jumps back into action in a short time. And I will never bet my money on a swimming competition between an alligator and a trained swimmer. I’m sure that the streamlined body of the reptile will ensure that it wins effortlessly. Even without a swim cap and aerodynamic Speedo swimming trunks. But still, “Crawl” is a nerve-racking horror in which the perfectly computer-generated alligators scare you. Most original in the film I found the bathroom scene. Believe me, after this film, hearing the song “See you later Alligator” by Bill Haley will scare the hell out of you.

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Crime

In the Shadow of the Moon: You Get That Feeling That You’ve Seen It All Before

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If you kill me now…
the world as you know it will end
in a very short time.

Yeah. Once again a movie about time traveling. Always interesting to see how they incorporated the paradox of time travel. And there’s always going to be someone who claims something isn’t right. Not that I really care about that because I still don’t know anyone who has actually traveled through time to provide proof whether changes in the past may or may not affect the future. Perhaps that would provide proof of whether the grandfather paradox is plausible or not. So, for me, it’s still pure Sci-Fi. And that results in enjoyable films such as “About Time“, “I’ll follow you down” or “Predestination“. And this Netflix Original certainly wasn’t that bad either.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Not a complicated movie.

This film differs enormously from one like “Predestination“. And this in terms of simplicity. It’s not all that complicated. Don’t expect such an immense “mindfuck” as in the latter. You don’t need an immense manual or walk-through here. And furthermore, it’s a pleasant mixture of detective-movie and Sci-Fi. The tracing of a serial killer (active in Philadelphia) by the ambitious police officer Locke (Boyd Holbrook) is the common thread throughout the film. The apparently randomly selected innocent victims, die a terrible death in which decomposing brains are the cause of the sudden death. Locke discovers that all the victims have scars in the neck area. Soon it’s said that an isotope is the cause of them ending up dead in a rapidly spreading blood pool. And when a fourth victim manages to give an accurate description of the person, a massive search is being conducted. Locke ends up face to face with a young, colored teenager (with a thorough knowledge of combat techniques) in a blue jogging suit (Cleopatra Coleman). The biggest shock for Locke is that she knows a lot of facts about Locke. Facts she couldn’t have known. And before you know it, it’s 9 years later …

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Not a typical detective story.

The film is divided into time periods of 9 years. Starting in the year 1988. The year that the first murders happen. It’s actually the most action-rich part. And also the most realistic. The way in which a cook, concert pianist and female bus driver meet their end, has been portrayed enormously realistic. Don’t expect an ordinary cause of death. It’s pretty bloody. And in the case of the bus driver, quite spectacular. But when the phenomenon of the returning teenager reveals itself and you finally begin to understand what’s going on, realism slowly but surely fades away and gives way to pure fiction. And gradually you realize that this isn’t a typical detective film, with inspectors (like in “Se7en“) chasing a crazy serial killer. No way. It gradually transforms into a thoughtful sci-fi and then ends in a corny drama about family issues.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Excellent acting by Holbrook.

To be honest, I thought the acting performance of Boyd Holbrook as the wayward Locke wasn’t bad at all. Perseverance and drivenness were exceptionally well portrayed. Because of his obsession to solve the mystery, he loses control of reality. It destroys his family relationships and interferes with his work. Gradually Locke turns into an unkempt tramp, without work and living in his car. Therefore, let me praise the make-up department of this production. And although Holbrook’s acting was outstanding, you can’t say he out-sings the rest of the cast. They weren’t bad, but you can’t speak of spectacular interpretations either. Only the action-rich fight scenes with Cleopatra Coleman as an unleashed fury pleased me as well.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Well worth a watch.

No, “In the shadow of the Moon” certainly wasn’t a disastrous film. Although the story was essentially not too original. And you get that feeling that you’ve seen it all before. Probably because of that, the denouement wasn’t really surprising. Perhaps the opening scene was too revealing as well. The question of whether you can avoid disaster by drastically changing something in the past is and remains fascinating. I bet that the event they tried to undo, will be the subject of discussion once again. Just look at the politically charged opinions on other websites. Even the word “propaganda” is used all too often. The patronizing tone and the explanatory nature of the film was no obstacle for me to enjoy this film. Don’t expect a groundbreaking movie. But it surely was entertaining enough. So, it’s definitely well worth a watch, this Netflix Original.

You can watch “In the Shadow of the Moon”  on Netflix now!

 

My rating 6.5/10
Links: IMDB

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HORROR

Aterrados: A Spooky Story Full Of Terrifying Images And A Creepy Atmosphere

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AterradosThey were human voices.
What did they tell you?
That they were going to kill me.

In Argentinian, they say “Aterrados“. It’s “Terrified” in English. And yes, some will be terrified while watching this masterful horror. I can’t really describe why it is such an excellent horror. However, there are no earth-shattering new ideas being introduced. If you look at it as a whole, it seems like a fusion of different topics from other horror films. Take specific scenes from “[Rec]“, “The Conjuring” and “Paranormal Activity“. Shake these all up a bit. Dip it all in an Argentinian sounding sauce. And you get the end product “Aterrados“. The biggest difference with the random list of horror films (with possessed houses as the central subject) is that “Aterrados” isn’t about an isolated case. No, it isn’t. The terrifying phenomena occur in several houses at the same time.

 

Aterrados

 

Not an ordinary horror.

I had never heard of this movie. It’s a coincidence that I came across it while searching through the offer of horror-movies on my Netflix account. I wasn’t really expecting much of it. And when one of the women in the film started to complain about voices she heard in the sink, I was already afraid that it would be such an absurd film as “Deep Dark“. Well, I was really wrong about that. Before I knew it, I was watching such a shocking scene, that I couldn’t help using the rewind function. Magnificently portrayed and provided with sound effects that appeal to the imagination. You hear, as it were, the smashing of limp, dead flesh including accompanying sounds of shattering bones. At that moment I realized that “Aterrados” wouldn’t be just an ordinary horror. And believe me, from that moment on it’s a rollercoaster of shock moments and paranormal events.

 

Aterrados

 

Once again no explanation.

However, don’t expect an explanation about the events. Or an explanation of the creatures that make life hard for both Clara (Natalia Señorales), her husband Juan (Agustin Rittano), and neighbor Walter (Demián Salomón). When the three scientists start investigating the houses to find evidence of paranormal phenomena, they come up with a not too meaningful explanation. Something with dimensional surfaces, slices of orange, and water. It won’t really make you any wiser. The fact that the events take place at different locations was an asset. You can see it as the three “The Conjuring” films, each with their own haunted house, compressed into one film. This provides the necessary variety in terms of shock moments and creepy entities popping up.

 

Aterrados

 

It’ll scare you to death.

Anyone who has already seen a huge amount of horrors about paranormal activities and haunted houses (“Poltergeist“, “Paranormal Activity“, “The Amityville Horror“, “The Entity” … Too many to mention) won’t be blown away by this film. And this because the movie resides in familiar territory. But the way in which it’s portrayed and the subtle build-up of tension can certainly be called commendable. The pace is generally very high (except it slows down a bit halfway) and the jump scares follow each other at rapid speed. And it’s especially the timing that is just perfect at moments (the subtle little movement of the boy at the dinner table, for example). “Aterrados” is a spooky story, full of terrifying images and a creepy atmosphere. Perhaps it is narratively difficult to follow and you’ll probably Won’t really know what’s going on (Is it about paranormal events or simply things that everyone experienced because of a certain fear?). And perhaps you might not really like the open end. But in the end, “Aterrados” only tries to accomplish one thing. And the film certainly succeeds in that task. And that is, making sure that you are sitting in front of your screen scared to death. I bet you won’t dare to look under your bed that same evening!

You can watch Aterrados on Netflix now!

 

 

My rating 8/10
Links: IMDB

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