Tag Archives: Werner Herzog

Why Are We Creative: The Centipede’s Dilemma

German filmmaker Hermann Vaske spent 30 years working on various projects, but always returned to the fundamental question asked in the title of this documentary. As he meets one celebrity after the other while traveling all over Europe and the U.S., these undeniably creative people are sometimes startled to be asked that question and try … Continue reading Why Are We Creative: The Centipede’s Dilemma

Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

The scene above made the Swiss actor Bruno Ganz immortal. After the premiere of the masterful Downfall in 2004, countless YouTube parodies were made of this scene, each one with new, creative subtitles. Hitler’s rage (in a foreign, incomprehensible language, as long as you didn’t speak German) served as a hilarious comment on whatever subject you … Continue reading Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

The Wind Rises

In 1920s Japan, young Jiro Horikoshi dreams of building planes and heads to an engineering school in Tokyo; his work will also take him to Nazi Germany… What was originally called Hayao Miyazaki’s last film before retiring is not for children, but an animated biography of the man who built the fighter planes that Japan … Continue reading The Wind Rises

Life Itself: Ebert’s Four-Star Journey

THE ONLY THING ROGER LOVED MORE THAN THE MOVIES. I first approached this film because of my interest in movies and as a fan of Roger Ebert as a film critic. Would it appeal to someone who didn’t care about movies or was this simply an experience for a very small crowd? I didn’t care, … Continue reading Life Itself: Ebert’s Four-Star Journey

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans

THE ONLY CRIMINAL HE CAN’T CATCH IS HIMSELF. Six months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans cop Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), who’s hooked on painkillers (among other drugs), starts looking into who killed several illegal immigrants from Senegal. This film, which has nothing to do with the 1992 Bad Lieutenant, really could have ended either way. … Continue reading The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans

Penguins of Madagascar

THE MOVIE EVENT THAT WILL BLOW THEIR COVER. The four penguins from the Madagascar movies break into Fort Knox and face an enemy from the past whose name they can’t for the life of them remember. The wonderfully enterprising penguins already had a TV series of their own, but this 3D spin-off stands independently. Their … Continue reading Penguins of Madagascar

Jack Reacher

THE LAW HAS LIMITS. HE DOES NOT. When Pittsburgh police arrest a man they believe shot and killed five people, he has only one request – that they contact Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), a mysterious former Army investigator. Cruise goes Clint Eastwood in this first adaptation of one of Lee Child’s pulp novels; he may … Continue reading Jack Reacher

Rescue Dawn

A TRUE STORY OF SURVIVAL… DECLASSIFIED.  In 1966, U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler’s (Christian Bale) plane is shot down over Laos and he’s soon captured by a Pathet Lao militia group; there are other American prisoners in their camp and Dieter plots an escape… Director Werner Herzog previously chronicled Dengler’s experiences as a POW in … Continue reading Rescue Dawn

Nosferatu the Vampyre

Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) goes to Transylvania to negotiate a house deal with the mysterious Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski); the anemic gentleman wishes to buy a house close to Harker and his wife (Isabelle Adjani). Director Werner Herzog found a perfect project for himself and his favorite actor/foe, Kinski – a remake of F.W. Murnau’s … Continue reading Nosferatu the Vampyre

Grizzly Man: Blinded by Love

IN NATURE, THERE ARE BOUNDARIES. ONE MAN SPENT THE LAST 13 YEARS OF HIS LIFE CROSSING THEM. Canadian naturalist Charles Russell wasn’t too happy about Werner Herzog’s depiction of his friend Timothy Treadwell, a documentary filmmaker and bear enthusiast who was killed in 2003 by an unusually aggressive and hungry grizzly bear. Russell wrote, “Most … Continue reading Grizzly Man: Blinded by Love

What Dreams May Come

AFTER LIFE THERE IS MORE. THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING. Chris and Ann Nielsen (Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra) lose their children in a car crash and eventually Chris dies as well, arriving in heaven… where he learns terrible news about his wife. Another mushy Williams drama, but this one is reasonably substantial. Williams’s character … Continue reading What Dreams May Come