"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Posts Tagged ‘German cinema’

Sixty Minutes

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

SIXTY MINUTES (60 Minuten) is a really impressive new addition to the Netflix library of international action, this one hailing from Germany. It feels very modern in the execution of its hard-hitting martial arts action, but it’s classical in its simplicity. A straight forward set up, an easy to understand goal, an emotional underpinning.

Here’s how it works. Octavio Bergmann (Emilio Sakraya, Warrior Nun), nickname Octa, is an MMA fighter successful enough to have his own gym in Berlin. He has a fight scheduled for today but it keeps getting delayed, and his team are trying to keep him warmed up, but he’s preoccupied because it’s his daughter Leonie (Morik Heydo)’s seventh birthday and he wants to make sure not to miss her party.

It must be said that this man is a bit of a fuck up. No one seems to think he’s been there enough for his daughter, who he had when he was 19 and didn’t stay with the mother, Mina (Livia Matthes, “Model,” CHARLIE’S ANGELS). On phone calls both his daughter and his ex don’t seem to believe he’ll really show up. And it’s implied that it was out of his control, but somehow he agreed to a fight on her birthday. The English title could’ve been DEADBEATDOWN. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Neverending Story

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

I guess this is a weird reason to revisit a family fantasy classic that’s treasured around the world, but I felt like after spending so much time on WARRIORS OF VIRTUE I had an ethical duty to review another first-English-language-movie-by-an-internationally-acclaimed-director, THE NEVERENDING STORY. I saw it in the theater 39 years ago and I remembered it enough to know WARRIORS kinda ripped off its kid-picked-on-by-bullies-given-large-leatherbound-book-magically-connected-to-a-fantasy-world format. I did not remember that in this one the kid just reads about the fantasy world, he doesn’t go there. But there was another detail that did stick in my brain, one that I had to question because it seems so fucking crazy: could it possibly be true that there are no kung fu animals in this one at all? Believe it or not, that is true. What the fuck kind of lunatic wants a story without kung fu animals to never end!? It’s absurd! But somehow they make it work.

Watching it again, I laughed at how quickly it gets into it – not the fantasy world, but the theme song. Limahl and Beth Anderson crooning “The Neverending Stoooor-ryyy, ooo ooow ooh oooowoo ooh, the Neverending Stooor-ryyy…” over Giorgio Moroder synths and footage of clouds. One thing this opening sequence gets across very clearly is that if you want to see a movie called THE NEVERENDING STORY, you came to the right place.

The kid is named Bastian, played by Barret Oliver (Kid #2, UNCOMMON VALOR). We don’t see too much of his life, but we pick up on a few things. His mom died fairly recently. His dad (Gerald McRaney, MOTORCYCLE GANG) is emotionally distant and tells him to keep his head out of the clouds, which the credits already told us is the opposite of what you gotta do in a neverending story. (read the rest of this shit…)