Monday, June 14, 2010

Reviews you can use, should you so choose

After years of avoiding it, I finally saw this film:
I avoided it for many years because it was part of the wave of films by German filmmakers that hit our shores in the late '80's. Some of those films I saw and I hated them so I unfairly lumped this movie in with them. And I can say, after finally seeing it, I was stupid to have avoided it for so long.

It's a sweet little slice of life film about a German woman who is abandoned by her pig of a husband in a desert town near Las Vegas. At first she is too timid to interact with all the oddballs at the motel/cafe where she stays but as time goes on she opens up and makes friends with them and they in turn adopt her as one of their own and they all benefit as a result. Yes, it's one of those 'magical white people' movies where the a nice white lady transforms the lives of the black folks around her, but it's a sweeter version of that genre of film.

Marianne Sägebrecht steals the movie in her role as the sweet plump German dumpling who finds herself adrift in an American wilderness. CCH Pounder is bit one note in her performance but as the film progresses she opens up and ultimately she turns in a winning performance as well. According to Ms. Pounder, Jack Palance, creepy as all get out in this movie, was supposed to do a love scene with his Ms. Sägebrecht but he refused to even consider it because he found her unattractive due to her weight.

I highly recommend this movie. It's a sweet airy light confection of a film.

In other entertainment media involving Germans, I just finished this novel:

It's well written and highly entertaining novel of alternate history. In this version of World War 2 the Nazi's has come up with a fighting force of battery powered super men and women. They are nearly indestructible so long as their batteries are intact. Once the Brits get wind of them, they spring into action and they enlist the aid of warlocks to war effort. Things progress pretty much as you would expect them to and the supermen and women end up in a big pitched battle with the warlocks and their allies. It's all very interesting finding out all the stuff that takes place leading up to the big battle and what happens in the aftermath.

Mr. Tregillis is one of those rare authors who is both a good writer and a good storyteller. I highly recommend this book, especially to World War 2 buffs, science fiction buffs, and to anyone who like a good read.


CDP said...

It's been a very long time since I saw Bagdad Cafe, but I remember liking it.

Snad said...

Trivia: the haunting theme song to Baghdad Cafe (Calling You) was sung by Jevetta Steele, a Minneapolis musical institution along with her siblings, known collectively as The Steeles.

Yes, there will be a quiz.