The Good German details
|Starring:||Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, Beau Bridges, Dominic Comperatore, Tobey Maguire|
|Studio:||WARNER HOME VIDEO|
The Good German
|Run time:||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Rental release:||05 Nov 2007|
|Subtitles:||English, Arabic, Hebrew|
|Hearing impaired subtitles:||English|
By Tom Charity from LOVEFiLM
Cate Blanchett and George Clooney star in this thriller set in post-war Berlin.
Most helpful review
GrippingBy a customer from London , 11 Mar 2007
[Highly rated reviewer]I have always been pretty impressed with Soderbergh (aint seen Oceans 12 so dont hold that statement against me, please); I think Clooney has a lot to offer even if he isnt the greatest actor on the planet; and Im a minor Tobey Maguire fangirl, I dont think we have seen all that he is capable of and he makes interesting choices. Im not a fan of black and white films, nor film noir particularly. Have never been able to sit through The Maltese Falcon of Double Indemnity, for example, so I wasnt mad to see it for that reason.
Now, the general critical consensus seems to be that The Good German is a brave attempt, an interesting experiment that has missed its mark. I say: poppycock. The Good Soldier gripped me the whole way through and I enjoyed it much more than expected. Its much more than an interesting experiment, it is quite genuinely A Very Good Film. The layers of the mystery peel away in a measured and tantalising way; there are wry laughs; twists and gasps; great locations; sharp attitude; wonderful music and it looks absolutely ravishing.
And, to those who would compare this to Casablanca or The Third Man, again I say: poppycock. Its no more relevant than comparing Unforgiven to High Noon. Using that logic we would never have had Chinatown (which would make a great double bill with The Good German, by the way). And if you hold that the only point of making a black and white film using period-appropriate technology in 2007 is to make it better than before: Soderbergh has proven that there are only two kinds of film: good and bad. Whether the film is black and white or colour; shot on location or sound-stage; filled with pyrotechnics and special effects or a couple of alley brawls; 120 minutes or 190 it makes no odds if the heart isnt there. The Good Soldier may not have the lasting appeal and cultural impact of Casablanca, but its a darn sight more enjoyable, creative and provocative than hundreds of colour films on general release this year or last.
One bum note potentially controversial I do not rate Cate Blanchett. Shes just another big ham, shes all cold technique and no emotion, she keeps the characters she plays at arms length and telegraphs all the shes up to. She just does not do it for me. Having said that, her style suits this picture remarkably well. Shes melodramatic and bereft of any humour and quite self conscious but it does work. However, she uses a dreadful super-deep femme fatale voice which is like a bad French & Saunders parody saying things like you can nefah leaf Berlin in tones dredged up from her boots.
Lastly, I would say it might take the first few scenes to get used - if you like - to the idiom and the visual language of the whole thing, because it looks so spot-on that the temptation is to think of it as a piss-take but get over that and youll be sold.
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good, but not the easiest watch...By a customer from Exeter, England , 16 Feb 2010it dragged slightly
didn't really have much momentum
there were some scene's of some real footage which was good but it was pretty average to me
Saved by Blanchett's performanceBy a customer from Cotswolds , 15 Feb 2010I get the whole arty thing of filming it in black and white, and there are some beautifully contrasted scenes because of it, but so many scenes in almost complete darkness! Why can't we see what's going on? The text at the end is not on screen long enough to be able to read it without freeze framing. I think if you are going to make such a strong statement as to film in b&w then every detail should be perfect. Blanchett's perfomance is superb and without it I would not have made it to the end!
Tedious ToshBy Domfront74 (4 reviews) from York , 13 Feb 2010A waste of an evening I'm afraid. Pretentious tosh with dreadful pacing, awful cinematography and a terrible script. The book is fantastic - this shares little more than the title with it.
Particularly annoying were the attempts to recreate 1940s film. The effect is so distracting as to break the 4th wall and throw you out of what little story there is. The pathe-news style dramatic incidental sound-effects are so overly melodramatic in the current age that it's almost amusing. When you're looking to crank up the suspense, having dun-dun-DUH!!! music in the background makes it appear more like parody.
slow but okayBy a customer from stirling , 30 Jan 2010Found this a bit slow, but it turned out okay although nothing special. Not really sure why the decision was taken to film it in black and white in the 21st century though.
Lost in Berlin? Go to Vienna.By Skaffen (2 reviews) from Coulsdon , 26 Jan 2010A previous reviewer has said that you either couldn't or shouldn't compare this movie with Carol Reed's 'The Third Man'. I'm sorry, but it's impossible not to. The main protagonist (Clooney/Cotten) arrives in a just post-war occupied city (Berlin/Vienna) rife with corruption and black marketeering in search of lover/friend, and becomes embroiled in circumstances they were completely unprepared for, and are ultimately betrayed. However, The Good German is not a good conspiracy story, or an action movie, or a love story or an examination of the human condition in the extreme circumstances of war. Though let's be honest, as it flails about looking for a sense of purpose, it tries all of these hats on. None of them fit desperately well. Much the same can be said of the casting of the major roles. Clooney looks uncomfortable throughout, as if he's being held back from actually saying or doing what he'd like to do. The frustration is shared by the viewer. Cate Blanchett, who I think is an excellent actress in most things puts in a restrained/constrained 'wooden' Marlene Deitrich impersonation, and Tobey Maguire just isn't credible as the wiley street smart 'Tully'. The supporting cast, including Beau Bridges, are actually much better, And it looks really good. The B/W adds atmosphere and allows the archive Potsdam/Berlin footage to neatly dovetail without jarring. It's difficult to spot sometimes which is which! To sum up? Stick to 'The Third Man'. One question. What is a Scotsman doing running a bar in post-war Berlin?