Movie preview

  • 2004-11-25
This week - Open Water - Resident Evil: Apocalypse - Schultze Gets the Blues

Open Water

Director: Chris Kentis

"Open Water" is by no means a good movie, but it surely is very creepy. A married couple goes on a Caribbean holiday to save their shaky relationship, when they are accidentally left behind during a scuba diving excursion. This low-budget independent movie delves into an arsenal of primal human fears. It's cheesy and fun even though the beginning is a little long. The real question is: Is it frightening or isn't it? And yes, it is. Hair-raisingly, spine-chillingly frightening. At least for those of us with raving galeophobia. However, if you're not bothered by the thought of being stranded in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by sharks, and an overwhelming sense of despair and loneliness, you probably won't get what all the fuss is about. (JulIe Vinten)

Based on true events, this ultra lowlow budget indie, made for $170,000, has already earned an astonishing $40 million. Billed as a thriller, the movie's trailer is more than misleading, it's downright dishonest. This reviewer was waiting for something unexpected to shock him out of his seat; but nothing really bloodcurdling takes place for the entire sluggish 79 minutes that go by. Two workaholics, played by a couple of unknowns, have decided to take a vacation. One of the activities is to go scuba diving. The location is never mentioned, though it turns out to be somewhere in the Bahamas. The only scary thing about "Open Water" is that people are willing to fork out big bucks to watch two actors pointlessly splashing around in the Caribbean Sea. (Laimons Juris G)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Director: Alexander Witt

This movie is more brain-dead than the zombies in it. The story is a pathetic nonsense and the few plot-elements that are sporadically thrown in here and there are hopelessly disjointed. The whole thing feels like some uncompleted first draft of the screenplay. This is nothing but mad zombie-slashing, which would be okay, had the action not been such a load of unentertaining bollocks. The performances are awful and dialogue such as "We're expendable assets and we've just been expended" is just unbelievable. Amazingly, this flick is worse than the first installment, but a sparsely dressed Milla Jovovich with a loud gun will surely make it worth watching for some. Others will find Milla's line "We thought we had survived the horror, but we were wrong," to be sadly true. (JulIe Vinten)

"Resident Evil" introduced us to the villainous Umbrella, the largest and most powerful commercial entity in the world. Their scientists released a deadly T-virus, creating flesh-eating zombies as difficult to eradicate as Soviet communists. Endowed with super powers, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is back and ready to kick more ass. Based on the tremendously popular video game of the same name this second installment is spellbinding. It may not be as slick as the original, but it's a lot more exciting to watch. The plot is lame, perfunctory and ludicrous but necessary for the extravagant action. Jovovich acts as the hard glue that expertly holds this entire bundle of chaos from being just another throwaway forgettable. All the confusion and stupidity disappear every time the Kiev-born actress flashes across the screen. (Laimons Juris G)

Schultze Gets the Blues

Director: Michael Schorr

After the elderly Schultze gets fired from his longtime job of a miner, he realizes how deeply dissatisfied he is with his life, which has been monotonous and uneventful. When he coincidently hears some Cajun Zydeco music on the radio, he is grabbed by the sounds in a way he never felt before, and he starts playing the music on his accordion. This German film is intimate and in many ways moving with an amusingly understated humor and a good eye for quietly odd and lovable characters. Like Schultze's life, the film has a slow pace and dwells on every frame, and it does take a lot of patience to sit through, but it's otherwise an unpretentious and sweet portrait of a man finding a meaning to his life and a dream to follow. (JulIe Vinten)

This is a ridiculously inept debut feature from Michael Schorr. A series of scenes are strung together without any continuity or logic. The so-called editing is minimal, as well as sloppy. The storyline is so vague it's practically nonexistent. Schultze (Horst Krause) is an overweight pensioner who apparently has lost his job or has retired. Without reading the production notes, it's never entirely clear what exactly is going on in this slow and tedious melodrama. The only certainty in "Schultze Gets the Blues" is that the German director has found the surefire cure for insomnia - just try watching this and keeping your eyes open. One minor highlight is the lively zydeco music, but there isn't enough of it to salvage this movie from being a total waste of time. (Laimons Juris G)