REVIEW: Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle [The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser] [1974]

“I want to be a gallant rider like my father was before me” If any true story of mystery and perhaps madness were to align itself with Werner Herzog‘s sensibilities, that of young Kaspar Hauser is it. Here was a seventeen-year old boy found standing in Nuremburg clutching a note addressed to the cavalry captain. No one knew how he got there or where he was from until he was ultimately taught to read, write, and think enough to get by in normal day-to-day life. This is when tales of…

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REVIEW: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, Wrath of God] [1972]

“Meat is floating by” Talk about the heart of darkness. It’s completely unsurprising that Francis Ford Coppola would admit to using Werner Herzog‘s Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, the Wrath of God] as inspiration for his Apocalypse Now because they epitomize the stark moral depravity of warped conquering “heroes”. The quiet rage underlying every action as greed overtakes loyalty and hubris replaces strategy are all too real against the serene jungle settings hiding hidden antagonistic forces to complement the ones waging war inside these soldiers’ minds. For Conquistador Don Lope…

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REVIEW: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World [2016]

“Did you get the ‘G’?” Documentarian Werner Herzog‘s latest film Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World peers into the longer than expected history of our uncontrollable phenomenon known as the internet. The word uncontrollable doesn’t, however, allude to this network having created an artificial intelligence—although, as one subject states, who’s to say an AI hasn’t already been born that simply refuses to make itself known? No, the internet’s unchecked power stems from humanity’s present-day reliance upon it to literally survive. It’s become an extension of who we are…

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REVIEW: Unbroken [2014]

“If you can take it you can make it” Universal Pictures has possessed the rights to Louie Zamperini’s life story since 1957 with good cause considering its scope spanning a troubled childhood, Olympic glory, and POW torture at the hands of the Japanese during WWII. Only when Laura Hillenbrand‘s mouthful of a book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption came out in 2010 was traction finally found assumedly in large part due to her previous adaptation at the hands of Hollywood, Seabiscuit, earning seven Oscar…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2013: ‘Only God Forgives,’ ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Fruitvale Station’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Welcome to the heart of the summer folks—where giant robots, faux Native Americans, retired CIA operators, and mutants come out to play. It’s a tough time of year for true…

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REVIEW: Jack Reacher [2012]

“Weird to meet you” It appears it was only a matter of time before author Lee Child—or Jim Grant to his parents—saw the sole protagonist of his life’s work on the big screen. Jack Reacher is the type of character audiences adore; one easily catered towards the sequel model paved by Tom Clancy‘s Jack Ryan if and when Tom Cruise finally gives up action flicks. An ex-Army Military Police Major who spent his childhood abroad before a stint at West Point led to thirteen years in the service, he now…

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REVIEW: Plastic Bag [2009]

“My cold, her warmth” It is impossible to watch Ramin Bahrani’s film Plastic Bag without thinking about the scene in American Beauty of Wes Bentley videotaping a lone bag as it flew through the air and swirled with the wind. That moment of beauty could be seen as every human being’s goal—to be absolutely free of burden and earthly concerns; to just move and journey unencumbered. What Bahrani does in his short film, however, is to add a narrative to the life of that bag, giving him his birth into…

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REVIEW: Woyzeck [1979]

“You always look so hunted” **Spoilers** Let’s just say that it is good to watch something as potentially inaccessible as Werner Herzog’s Woyzeck with friends who know something about the work for which it is based. As someone unfamiliar with Herzog’s and Klaus Kinski’s film work—this is my first look at their tumultuous yet epic cinematic partnership—and clueless on the story this movie portrays, a post-screening discussion was much appreciated. Especially since the group I watched with is putting on an abstracted, and most likely absurdist, performance of the play,…

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REVIEW: Rescue Dawn [2007]

“Little Dieter needs to fly” Werner Herzog is a legend in the film world. Having made around 50 films, whether fiction or documentary, he is known for grueling shoots and a take no prisoners attitude. One of his early films actually had a group of people carry a ship up a mountain; the guy gets what he wants and as a result usually has some great stories or even a film about the making of his epics after their completion. Supposedly his new narrative tale, Rescue Dawn, is no exception.…

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