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'Quatsch' premiere at Kino in der Kulturbrauerei theater

Benno Fuermann - 'Quatsch' premiere at Kino in der Kulturbrauerei theater at Kino in der Kulturbrauerei movie theater - Berlin, Germany - Saturday 1st November 2014

Alexander Scheer, Susanne Bormann, Benno Fuermann and Rolf Zacher
Alexander Scheer, Susanne Bormann, Benno Fuermann and Rolf Zacher
Alexander Scheer, Susanne Bormann and Benno Fuermann
Alexander Scheer, Susanne Bormann and Benno Fuermann
Alexander Scheer, Rolf Zacher and Benno Fuermann

In Darkness Review


Excellent
Based on the true story of Polish Jews who hid in the sewers of Lvov for 14 months, this film can't help but grip us tightly for nearly two and a half hours. Fortunately, the filmmakers deepen the characters and situations beyond movie conventions.

Poldek (Wirckiewicz) works in the Lvov sewers with his young sidekick Szczepek (Skonieczny). When the Nazis begin to systematically clear out the Jewish ghetto, either murdering them or shipping them off to the camps, a handful of Jews escape into the sewers, where Poldek and Szczepek agree to help them for a price. But as the months go on, Poldek becomes increasingly involved in their lives, causing stress with his wife (Preis) back home and making him very nervous around his soldier pal Bortnik (Zurawski).

Continue reading: In Darkness Review

In Darkness Trailer


Leopold Sucha lives in Poland during the Second World War. The country has been occupied by the Nazis and as such, the Jewish population are in mortal danger. Leopold isn't a Nazi but he is anti-Semetic.

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Jerichow Review


Good
Unable to spare a few extra bucks for a bottle of liquor and a pack of cigarettes, Thomas (Benno Fürmann) is heading home with the bare essentials in groceries when he witnesses a car swerving off-road and onto the banks of a river. Coming up to the scene, he finds the driver, drunk and bloodied, who asks him to help get the car back on the road. Thomas covers for the driver, whose name we find out is Ali (Hilmi Sözer), when a cop threatens to suspend his license and a few days later, Ali offers him a job. It seems like a godsend, seeing as Thomas' only other choice is earning small bills as a cucumber harvester. That is until Laura (Nina Hoss), Ali's wife, enters the picture.

That is, more or less, the setup for Christian Petzold's Jerichow. It is the second film released stateside by the German director and it is, in every possible way, a superior piece of filmmaking compared to Yella, Petzold's previous work. Written by the director, it spins the sort of atmospheric noir that elicits much of its dark lustfulness and crafty beguilement through the patience of its imagery and a deep devotion to natural sound.

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Mutant Chronicles Review


Unbearable
She's become something of an icon in the worst possible sense. Glowering in the background, her face a mask of fury, her eyes piercing and yet remote, this young woman is almost always adept in both samurai-styled swordplay as well as gymnastics skills that rival anything seen on Earth. She speaks little, never dates, and almost always has a torturous family history. You've seen her kicking her way through almost every futuristic action film to hit screens this decade -- from The Matrix to The Chronicles of Riddick. Meet the new sci-fi femme fatale. She's been exclusively designed by Tinseltown engineers to whet the appetites (and other parts) of the largely male, Internet-based fanboy universe.

And God is she getting dull.

Continue reading: Mutant Chronicles Review

having drinks at a terrace inside SonyCenter during the German premiere of "Shrek 3" at CineStar movie theatre

Benno Furmann - Benno Fuermann, Justin Timberlake and guests Friday 8th June 2007 having drinks at a terrace inside SonyCenter during the German premiere of "Shrek 3" at CineStar movie theatre

Anatomy Review


Good
I've never trusted physicians. Probably never will, and for good reason: Rising above tepid slasher fare, German import Anatomy shows just how gruesome hospitals, doctors, and all their trappings can be.

Starring Run Lola Run's Franka Potente, the story recalls Extreme Measures (though skewing younger), a tale of a secret society of doctors and med students that disavow the Hippocratic oath, instead opting to do grotesque experiments on living, often perfectly healthy, patients.

Continue reading: Anatomy Review

The Order Review


Terrible
The Brian Helgeland repertory company of Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, and Mark Addy returns in The Order, following their 2001 feature A Knight's Tale. Helgeland has reassembled his crew for the crappy supernatural thriller some talented directors seem to need to get out of their system. Roman Polanski had to do The Ninth Gate before he could grab as Oscar for The Pianist; earlier this year, Lawrence Kasdan exorcised Dreamcatcher. Helgeland has written some good films (L.A. Confidential, Blood Work) and directed one of the better Mel Gibson vehicles (Payback). Making one bad horror movie isn't so bad; in fact, good career horror directors can find themselves mired in shlock for years. Doubtless Helgeland will move on to better projects.

Perhaps he should seek to expand his cast of players before that time comes. As nice as it is to see a writer-director and group of actors getting along so swimmingly, one reason The Order never quite makes it out of the gate is a stunningly inert ensemble. Heath Ledger is a member of a new class of young actors handsome enough to be mistaken for leading man, when, really, they would be better served by character parts (Josh Hartnett and Vin Diesel, feel free to jot this down). Ledger, despite his grizzle here, looks too young to play a rogue priest investigating the death of a member of his obscure order. His character is given a complicated, traumatic past, but he looks more tired and bored than haunted. Mark Addy contributes a dash of levity as another member of the order, but his character disappears for long stretches, only to materialize for the occasional dire injury.

Continue reading: The Order Review

The Princess and the Warrior Review


Grim
German auteur Tom Tykwer downshifts from the frenetic pace of Run Lola Run, landing solidly back in first gear -- if that -- with The Princess and the Warrior, a glorified and conceited film school project if ever I've seen one.

Tykwer reunites with Lola star Franka Potente, casting her as Sissi (the princess, presumably) a troubled mental ward nurse who probably ought to be a patient herself. After a morose 20-minute setup wherein the players are cryptically introduced, we find Sissi lying near death under a semi truck, run down in a city street. To her rescue comes the unlikely hero Bodo (the warrior?), played by the Gary Oldmanesque Benno Fürmann (also Potente's Anatomy costar), a two-bit crook who indirectly caused the collision in the first place. Bodo saves Sissi's life by giving her a homemade tracheotomy, and after a long recovery, the already unstable Sissi soon finds herself obsessed with her savior.

Continue reading: The Princess and the Warrior Review

The Order Review


Grim

The Catholic church has been a source of inspiration for a whole slew of scary movies -- everything from goosepimpling tales of possession like "The Exorcist" to fact-based stories of institutionalized horror like the current art-house hit "The Magdalene Sisters."

But mostly these scary movies have not been all that frightening. In fact, mostly they've been forgettably cheap-fright thrillers that make up their own mythology, then dress it up in cassocks and clerical collars for mock-credibility, much like "The Order."

This dark supernatural thriller about a brooding young man of the cloth (lumpy-featured heartthrob Heath Ledger) in the midst of a major crisis of faith (there's this girl, see...) is loosely based on an archaic con offered to ex-communicated sinners on their deathbeds in Medieval times: Someone calling himself a "sin eater" would perform a ceremony in which, for a price, he would assume all the dying person's transgressions and guilt so he or she would be free to enter Heaven.

Continue reading: The Order Review

The Princess & The Warrior Review


Weak

The second collaboration between German writer-director Tom Tykwer and his muse, actress Franka Potente, "The Princess and the Warrior" couldn't be a further departure from "Run Lola Run," the influential and groundbreaking piece of kinetic, adrenaline-fueled pop cinema that put them both on the map.

In that 1999 hit, Potente played a boyishly sexy post-modern alt-punk trying to save the life of her petty criminal boyfriend, who lost a cash delivery for his gangster boss. Set to Tykwer's own rave-styled soundtrack and edited to match, "Lola" followed Potente as she marathoned across Berlin seeking desperate last-minute solutions before the scheduled money drop. It's not quite an all-out assault on the senses, but it's nothing if not hyperactively energetic.

By contrast, "The Princess and the Warrior" is eerily serene, deliberately paced (135 minutes to "Lola's" 84), deeply reflective and intensely psychological.

Continue reading: The Princess & The Warrior Review

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