The House That Jack Built (2018)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay) Jenle Hallund (Story)

Starring: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Hallon Hogan, Sofie Grabol, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies

 

Plot: The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long & Dull

 

Story: The House That Jack Built starts as we meet Jack (Dillon) who is confessing his kills to Verge (Ganz) he goes on to tell him about five different murders he has committed, first was a stranded lady (Thurman) who constantly goes on about him being a serial killer. Second more daring, taking on a lady (Hogan) in her own home.

As Jack starts to see his OCD become less of a problem, he starts taking more risks when it comes to his kills, the more daring he becomes the easier they feel to him.

 

Thoughts on The House That Jack Built

 

Characters – Jack is a serial killer, he has killed dozens of people, with his acts becoming more daring as he becomes more confident in his skills to kill. He is confessing his actions to a priest, which gives us his mindset for each of his kills. Verge is the priest who is hearing the confession that is listening to the stories as he is learning whether Jack is the man he claims to be. We have plenty of victims which offer Jack plenty of different styles of kills, though none of them are very memorable.

PerformancesMatt Dillon is the only highlight in the film, where even he struggles to keep the attention of the audience, he is in nearly every scene which means he needs to be the best, only he doesn’t deliver well enough. The supporting cast is mostly forgettable because they are just the victims.

StoryThe story here follows Jack as he is confessing his murders to an unknown presence who feels like a priest. The story is told in chapter form which allows us to see each different murder and mindset which caused him to go through with his actions all while having an ending which will only leave you more confused from what we did see. The pacing of this film is awful, as it does drag on and on before getting to the point of the conversation, we could easily skip one of the chapters that offers up nothing to the main story. this is also meant to be a story with a lot of controversy, though I struggled to see just what that could have been.

Comedy/HorrorThis is classed as a comedy? I struggle to see why, but maybe there is something in this people could see being funny, the horror is a serial killer that likes to play with his victims, which are slowly waiting for him to do something, the way the story is told holds up the impact though.

SettingsThe film takes us to many different settings which each play into the hands of the killer waiting for his chance to kill, he uses his environment to select how he gets the job done. There is one final location which will confuse though.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic the kills are basic we don’t go over the top with them, though the final sequence is heavier on the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
The final sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Pacing is annoyingly bad.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor serial killer movie that lacks pacing skills and engaging characters.

 

Overall: Boring horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – D – Downfall (2004)

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Writer: Bernd Eichinger (Screenplay) Joachim Fest, Traudi Junge, Melissa Muller (Book)

Starring: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Kohler, Heino Ferch

 

Plot: Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator’s final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.


Tagline – April 1945, a nation awaits its…

Runtime: 2 Hours 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful & Revealing

 

Story: Downfall starts as we see Traudi Junge (Lara) hired by Adolf Hitler (Ganz) to be his next secretary, she would stay in this role for 2 and half years, as we pick up the story as the Nazi’s soldiers are facing the battle to keep Berlin, one of their last strong holds in Europe.

In the final days we see how Hitler is losing the loyalty of the ones he trusted most and is finding himself facing certain defeat, but he isn’t going down without fighting.

 

Thoughts on Downfall

 

Characters – The characters in this movie are based on real people, any discussion is only about how they are depicted in this movie, my opinions are not being discussed here. Adolf Hitler is the leader of the Nazi’s they have been at war with Europe for years, not the battle looks like it will be ending, he has lost faith in the people he trusted to lead for him and no he is cleaning up the people that betrayed him, preparing for defeat, but never giving up full hope in recovering. This version of Hitler is like any dictator that is about to lose, he has given everything for his own belief and demands loyalty through even the worst times. Traudi Junge is the final secretary for Hitler, she is one of the only non-military people to know what Hitler was thinking, how he was acting in those final days. We do meet plenty of the people closest to Hitler, family and military in the final days the ones that stood with him and the ones that betrayed him.

PerformancesBruno Ganz is fantastic in this leading role, he gives us multiply memorable moments even though he is playing such a hated man in history. Alexandra Maria Lara is great in her role while the cast in the whole does nothing wrong all giving us great performances through the film.

StoryThe story here shows the final days of Hilter’s reign of terror over Europe, now this isn’t going to be something that everyone will want to see, because we know how diabolical the actions of the Nazis were. Withdrawing myself from any personal connection to this story, we are left with a very interesting take on how a fallen dictator will be taking everything before the battle is finally over, how the people closest to him would act, be it fear of him, fear of the consequences or even the reality they could now be free from his power. The chaos is clear to see, the betrayal he feels is shocking to see for someone that is meant to be so feared by his own side and the relief for the innocent is clear to see. This story isn’t going to be easy to watch, but the story is essential for any war historian.

Biopic/HistorySeeing the final days of Hitler before facing his impending defeat is interesting to see unfold the biopic and historical side of the film shows this in an accuracy unheard of before.

SettingsThe film does take us to what feels like a realistic setting for the whole film, the middle of battle at times and in the last strong hold Hitler held.


Scene of the Movie –
Protecting the family.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is very long over 2 and half hours.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most essential historical viewings of any movie, it shows the defeated dictator facing his reality while the high ranking generals etc doing whatever it takes to serve or betray him to survive.

 

Overall: Must watch historical drama

Rating

 

 

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

nosDirector: Werner Herzog

Writer: Werner Herzog (Screenplay)

Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor, Walter Ladengast

 

Plot: Jonathan and Lucy live in Wismar and the Count wants a house there. Varna is a port on the Black Sea, close to Dracula’s castle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Dracula

 

Story: Nosferatu the Vampyre starts when Jonathan (Ganz) must travel to Transylvania to meet the reclusive Count Dracula (Kinski) who wants to buy a home in Jonathan’s village of Wismar.  When Dracula gets drawn to Lucy (Adjani) Jonathan’s wife he heads to Wismar leaving Jonathan battling his own health but also wanting to save Lucy from the evil country Dracula.

With Dracula in Wismar we see how the people of the town start coming down with the plague like symptoms as it is up to Dr Helsing (Ladengast) to try and stop Dracula taking Lucy away.

 

Thoughts on Nosferatu the Vampyre

 

StoryWe all know the Dracula story right, well this is the same only that they travel back to Wismar rather than London, it is a classic tale but I found myself disappointed because I watch the wrong version of this film.

HorrorWe get a lot of horror like images thrown towards us through this film which is fine but you never find the Dracula character as scary as he could have been in this world.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all known from the books with the main focal point being on Count Dracula who is obviously the most famous part of the film. The performances are all good making you believe in the peril throughout the film.

SettingsWE have excellently created settings used throughout the fil which put us in the time in question as well as seeing the different worlds Dracula is from to where he ends up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very good version of Dracula with some very dark imagery throughout but in the end it is just another version of the story that has been told way too many times.

 

Overall: The darkest and most twisted version of Dracula that I have seen.

Rating75

 

 

Michael Fassbender Weekend – The Counsellor (2013)

counselorDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: Cormac McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Bruno Ganz, Rosie Perez, Ruben Blades, Brad Pitt, Goran Visnjic, Edgar Ramirez, Dean Norris, Sam Spruell

 

Plot: A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wow this was Boring

 

Story: The Counsellor starts with one of the most awkward scenes I have seen in film as the Counsellor (Fassbender) is in bed with Laura (Cruz) talking uncomfortable dirty. The Counsellor is working on a one of drug deal with Reiner (Bardem) and Westray (Pitt) as he learns all the tricks of the trade to make this deal happen.

The Counsellor finds himself in the middle of a much bigger picture which involved a drug lord, law authority agencies with undercover agent which will put his life and his fiancée’s wife in danger.

The Counsellor is a crime thriller that is so empty of actual story you are left wondering what you just watched. We never learn any of the character’s motive to be involved in the deal or what they are actually doing. I really can’t explain just how boring this film really was to watch with nothing happening at all.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Fassbender: Counsellor is a lawyer who is trying to get involved in a drug, he finds himself having a connection with each side of the dealing and when the drugs go missing he finds himself the prime suspect. Michael is solid and really struggles to make an impact in this film.fassbender

Penelope Cruz: Laura is the love interest of the Counsellor she isn’t involved with the drug deal but finds herself being seduced into a darker side by Malkina and in danger thanks to the drugs going missing. Penelope is ok with the few scenes she has in the film but you will almost forget what happened to her.

Cameron Diaz: Malkina is the girlfriend of Reiner, she comes off seductive in every way be it controlling her drug lord boyfriend or teaching Laura the bad ways. Cameron does well but doesn’t do enough to make is either like or dislike her.

Javier Bardem: Reiner is the drug lord that the Counsellor wants to go and make a deal happen with, he uses his experience to show him just what he can do if he gets screwed over. Javier is good in this role where he gets to be his eccentric self.

Support Cast: The Counsellor has a supporting cast that doesn’t do enough to make us know what their character is doing.

Director Review: Ridley ScottRidley is a director we would expect greatness from but what is this?

 

Crime: The Counsellor has a crime story I just didn’t really know what it was.

Thriller: The Counsellor doesn’t pull us in to this story at all.

Settings: The Counsellor tries to use pretty settings but nothing that makes us know what is going on.
Special Effects
: The Counsellor has solid effects with the kills only.

Suggestion: The Counsellor is one to stay well away from. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Don’t make me laugh.

Worst Part: Everything.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $17 Million

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 18 Minutes

Tagline: Sin Is A Choice

 

Overall: Dreadfully boring film that goes nowhere.

Ratingcard