Air – The big hit
Annett Scheffel: A sports drama set in offices. Ben Afflecks fifth directorial work is a corporate biopic about a team of Nike employees trying to sign basketball prodigy Michael Jordan in the 1980s. A mixture of “Moneyball” and “The Social Network” – only with a lot of eighties nostalgia, colorful tracksuits and ill-fitting wigs. As the whimsical company boss, Affleck himself delivers his best comedic performance in years, and his old companion Matt Damon delivers the most passionate sales pitch in recent film history.
The Super Mario Bros Movie
David Steinitz: Year and day ago, the Nintendo hero Mario already had a Hollywood appearance – but the real film was so terrible that a thirty-year cinema break followed. Now plumber Mario returns with full use of the plunger, luckily this time in an animated film. This genre does more justice to the platforming aesthetic of the video game template, and Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath approach their animation project with a lot more “Minions” anarchy than Disney squareness. Funny Family Easter Movie.
The Cairo Conspiracy
Sonja Zekri: A venerable college in turmoil, a novice struggling for his life – “The Cairo Conspiracy” celebrates Harry Potter and Umberto Eco while set at the heart of Islamic theology. The fisherman’s son Adam comes to Azhar University in Cairo, where a power struggle has broken out. Tarik Saleh, Swedish-Egyptian director and screenwriter, has made a religious thriller with spectacular pictures and a wonderfully depraved secret service. And by the way a declaration of love to Egypt.
Martina Knoben: Do ballet girls have to be white? The youth film Ramzi Ben Sliman tells of the racism in the art of dance that twelve-year-old Neneh experiences when she is admitted to the ballet boarding school of the Paris Opera: as the only black person, from the banlieue, surrounded by nothing but white, skinny, well-bred ballet girls. The story may be predictable in many ways – Oumy Bruni Garrel as Neneh is compelling. There is also a fairly realistic impression of the drill in a ballet boarding school, the preparation of the bodies.
Josef Gruebl: The times when television comedians were drawn to the cinema are actually long gone. Nevertheless, Olaf Schubert tries again. A few years ago he played a wannabe dad, now he’s becoming a wannabe son. In this mockumentary by Heike Fink he claims Mick Jagger is his biological father. He has no proof, only a few confused assumptions – regardless of which he orders DNA comparisons or reports maintenance claims. You can find that insanely funny or insanely annoying, but that once again reveals the comedian-in-the-cinema problem: fans might like it, the rest probably won’t.
The Pope’s Exorcist
Fritz Goettler: Never before has exorcism, usually a devilishly foul and dirty job, been as relaxed as in the film by Julius Avery. Father Gabriele Amorth – who really existed and who wrote a number of books on his exorcisms, some intended as practical advice – cruises on his Vespa to his assignments in the service of the Church of Rome and calmly engages in witty dialogues with the satanic Demons that take possession of poor people. Then his greatest assignment takes him to a Spanish monastery inherited by an American family and chosen by the devil as one of the centers for his world conquest. Russell Crowe is Gabriele and Franco Nero is the Pope, two buddies who have to prevail against a crowd of bureaucrats who, unfortunately, also run the Vatican.
Nicola’s friend: Irina emigrated from the Ukraine to the Czech Republic with her son Igor and is trying to build a new life in the foreign country. When Igor is found half dead in the stairwell, suspicion falls on a group of young Roma. A solidarity march is quickly organized for the victim, in which right-wing extremists also want to take part, and the mayor of the small border town also senses her chance to make a name for herself as a helper in need. Without judgment and with a clear view, the director puts it Michal Blaško reveals the obvious and hidden structures of discrimination and xenophobia in his debut feature film, which is well worth seeing.
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