But I mean that in a good way. I've only seen two other films of his, "Grizzly Man" and "Encounters
at the End of the World", which were documentaries. After viewing the fictitious "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" my suspicions of his wicked sense of humor are confirmed.
This film is similar to the original 1992 "Bad Lieutenant" (directed by Abel Ferrara, starring Harvey Keitel) in that it profiles a totally corrupt, drug abusing police lieutenant. However, while the original "Bad Lieutenant" contained no comedy and sends Keitel progressively downward from bad to worse to things can't get any worse than this... Herzog's "Bad Lieutenant" is full of a variety of comic styles from dark humor to absurd humor to plain old silliness. (In one scene, Nicolas Cage (the bad lieutenant) asks "what are these iguanas doing on my coffee table?" and the scene suddenly switches to the point of view of an iguana. The scene is almost entirely silly and pointless. I'm out of room now.
I expected something good from writer & director of "The Invention of Lying" Ricky Gervais after
having seen his BBC series "The Office"... which spawned the American version of the same show. But I also expected something bad from what appeared to be a romantic comedy starring Gervais and Jennifer Garner. For some reason I just automatically think that anything Garner is in will be frivolous fluff. The romantic storyline of the film is frivolous fluff (Garner grows from her superficial attraction to Rob Lowe to instead love Gervais) and the comedy is overall fairly mediocre but the movie also includes a sub plot which body slams religion. One person left the theater while I was there, obviously offended that anyone would challenge the validity of religious dogma. I applaud Gervais for sticking up for rational thought in an insane world but razz what I see as a lazy effort at comedy. He can do better.
Pandorum runs through various tired old SciFi cliches ... the crew waking up from suspended
animation; the old LOST IN SPACE plot element, and the mysterious deadly ferocious creatures gone wild scenario. And others. But if you pay attention to the last 15 minutes or so of the movie, it's really a unique idea overall. Cool and clever, even. I see Pandorum as a great idea that was poorly executed. I recommend seeing it if you're a science fiction fan. If not, you won't appreciate it.
This film helped me realize that the only reason nonlinear (out of chronological order) films exist
is because if it WAS in chronological order, the film would be even less interesting than it is when shown out of order.
In this story, the climax comes near the chronological beginning. So the filmmaker tells the story in a nonlinear format, switching from the past to the present to the past to the present, etc., leaving out the climax until the end of the film. This way, the viewer has a mystery to ponder during most of the movie.
We're also presented with a morality puzzle... that being, a character who is a multiple murderer living under an assumed identity but made to appear in a sympathetic light.
The story is not that interesting, it's not intellectually stimulating at all, and there is absolutely no comedy so I rate this film a D.
The Baader Meinhof Complex is about a German terrorist organization that operated from the late
1960s to the mid 1970s. During this time frame I was a child and recall many of the events from the film being discussed on television news programs. My child's mind never fully understood these events so I enjoyed this film for clearing up the details I missed in my youth. I just hope it's historically accurate. If you weren't there you really never know who's telling the whole truth about what happened.
This German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, claimed to be fighting fascism. But they trained with Muslim terrorists (early Al Queda?) and seemed more self-serving than fighting for a cause. They murdered judges and attorneys who prosecuted them. One can't help wondering, which side were these people really on? In any case, this is a well done dramatic action film that holds your interest and gives you something to think about.
Crank High Voltage
The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Limits of Control
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New...
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