Bernd Eichinger

Bernd Eichinger

Bernd Eichinger Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS

World Premiere of 10.000 BC held at the CineStar on Potsdamer Platz

Bernd Eichinger and his wife Katja - Bernd Eichinger, his wife Katja Berlin, Germany - World Premiere of 10.000 BC held at the CineStar on Potsdamer Platz Tuesday 26th February 2008

Filming on set of 'Baader Meinhof Komplex' on the Bismarckstrasse route in Charlottenburg

Bernd Eichinger Friday 10th August 2007 Filming on set of 'Baader Meinhof Komplex' on the Bismarckstrasse route in Charlottenburg Berlin, Germany

The Calling Review


Weak
Movie cliché #207: All bad kids are possessed by the devil!

Or else they are the devil, as this virtual clone of The Omen shows us. The Calling, a direct-to-video scare flick, is so faithful to its obvious source material that after about an hour I began to wonder where it would diverge. Sure enough, it's right there at the end, when mom (Laura Harris) can't take it any more and decides to off her Satanic son (Alex Roe-Brown) for real. Never mind the cultists (including her husband, Richard Lintern) -- a group that makes up virtually the entire populace of the Isle of Man, the odd choice for the setting of this picture.

Continue reading: The Calling Review

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Review


Terrible
Like chugging a $200 bottle of pinot noir while feeding a steady methamphetamine habit, Tom Tykwer's take on Patrick Suskind's perverse classic Perfume takes out all the novel's dark teases and replaces them with his patented conniption-fit editing streaks and flashy color sweeps.

Since birth, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (newcomer Ben Whishaw) has had a curiously strong sense of smell, bordering on superhuman. Born and continuously dropped-off under bad signs, Jean-Baptiste eventually makes his way to Paris where he becomes the apprentice of Baldini (Dustin Hoffman), an elderly perfumer who was once famous for his flourishing scents. Baldini wants to be able to compete with modern perfumers, but Jean-Baptiste has loftier ambitions. After murdering a young fruit girl, Grenouille becomes obsessed with cultivating the scent of women by any means possible. He leaves Baldini and heads for Grasse, the supposed kingdom of scent, where he encounters Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman) and his fiery, redheaded daughter (Rachel Hurd-Wood). It is here that Grenouille perfects away of capturing the scent of women and begins collecting the 12 women that will compose his ultimate scent... by paying with their lives.

Continue reading: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Review

Last Exit to Brooklyn Review


OK
A little meandering, a little lost, and a lot grim, Uli Edel's cult classic tells a handful of stories against the backdrop of World War II and massive corruption in New York City. The centerpiece of the story is a hooker/conwoman (Jennifer Jason Leigh in an infamous role) who falls in love with one of her customers, an army guy who's about to ship out. Her personal struggle with detachment and her horrific past (and inevitable future) make the rest of the film -- which features rioting and a somewhat out of place vignette about one character's hidden homosexuality -- fade away.

Downfall Review


Weak
Is it possible to make a film about Hitler and his regime's final days without humanizing the Nazis? Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall (Der Untergang) proves to be a harrowing recreation of the Nazi elite's last stand trapped underground by the encroaching Red Army, but on the issue of depicting its notorious cast of characters - and the gangs all here, from Hitler and the Goebbells family to Himmler, Eva Braun, Albert Speer, and Hermann Fegelein - the film is unable to avoid sentimentalizing what is, for most of the modern world, a distinctly unsentimental moment in 20th century history. One can recognize the dramatic necessity of attempting to portray such monsters with more than a blunt brushstroke, and often, Hirschbiegel's impressively expansive drama (adapted by Bernd Eichinger from both Joachim Fest's Inside Hitler's Bunker and Traudl Junge and Melissa Müller's Until the Final Hour) eerily captures the hysterical, delusional fanaticism that gripped the Nazis - and Hitler in particular - up until the very end of April 1945. But if the sight of crying Nazis and "brave" SS soldiers is the price to be paid for such a riveting portrait, one must wonder if this well-intentioned enterprise - the first German-produced film to directly confront Hitler in nearly 50 years - doesn't sabotage its own portrait of the appalling empire's collapse.

After a brief prologue that finds Hitler (Bruno Ganz) choosing Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) - the woman who would later become the subject of the 2002 documentary Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary - as his secretary, Hirschbiegel's film whisks us away to 1945 Berlin, where der Fuhrer and company are vainly attempting to keep the Aryan dream alive from a concrete bunker deep underneath the battle-ravaged city. Hitler remains convinced, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the war remains winnable, and Ganz - an actor whose strength is usually found in contemplative silence - superbly brings the horrific fascist to maniacal life, balancing an exhausted, stooped posture and twitching left hand (always held behind his back) with sudden delusional tirades of mouth-frothing madness. Surrounded by increasingly cynical military officers, an unrepentant Hitler is agitated, desperate, and unable to relinquish the belief that his Nazi army will re-mobilize for a final, fatal strike against the Russians. Meanwhile, absurd and surreal last-gasp mini-dramas play out throughout the bunker, from Junge and her fellow secretary's attempts to remain optimistic and Albert Speer (Heino Ferch) and Heinrich Himmler's (Ulrich Noethen) eventual desertions to, most chillingly, Magda (Corinna Harfouch) and Joseph Goebbels' (Ulrich Matthes) plans to exterminate their six children should National Socialism crumble.

Continue reading: Downfall Review

The Mists of Avalon Review


Grim
The story of King Arthur as you've never heard it before -- long, boring, and from a woman's point of view. The Mists of Avalon, a TNT miniseries come to home video and DVD, focuses on the character of Morgan le Fey (here Morgaine, played by Julianna Margulies), sister to Arthur and enchantress in training. The film has reasonably good production values (though some of the costumes are on the cheesy side), but the performances are uninspired (and the dude cast as King Arthur is just wrong for the part) and the story is overly drawn out to its miniseries length, full of pregnant pauses, lengthy narration, and unnecessary exposition. Overall, it's just too tedious for any but the most dedicated Arthurphile, though I don't really remember the threesome scene in the original legend...

The Calling Review


Weak
Movie cliché #207: All bad kids are possessed by the devil!

Or else they are the devil, as this virtual clone of The Omen shows us. The Calling, a direct-to-video scare flick, is so faithful to its obvious source material that after about an hour I began to wonder where it would diverge. Sure enough, it's right there at the end, when mom (Laura Harris) can't take it any more and decides to off her Satanic son (Alex Roe-Brown) for real. Never mind the cultists (including her husband, Richard Lintern) -- a group that makes up virtually the entire populace of the Isle of Man, the odd choice for the setting of this picture.

Continue reading: The Calling Review

Wrongfully Accused Review


Unbearable
One sad sad spoof (of The Fugitive) that I could have lived without.

The Name of the Rose Review


Weak
Franciscan and Benedictine monks are dispatched to a remote monastery to resolve a dispute over doctrine in The Name of the Rose. When William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his novice Adso (a very young Christian Slater) arrive, they find the discussions have been stalled by the death of a young, talented scribe. The resident monks are all atwitter, wringing their hands and worrying that the murder is a sign of the apocalypse. Their fervor reaches a fever pitch as more of their brethren begin to turn up dead, describing some choice passages of Revelations. So William fires up his logic, ceaselessly name checks Aristotle and begins to piece together a mystery that involves secret secular knowledge, a labyrinthine library, and a struggle between wild religious superstition and cold reason.

Based on Umberto Eco's dense and demanding bestseller, The Name of the Rose, is basically a love letter to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Unfortunately, the film version never passes up an opportunity to remind us of that fact.

Continue reading: The Name of the Rose Review

Bernd Eichinger

Bernd Eichinger Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS