Tag Archives | movie

Bamboo.

Bamboo.

Anji produces 12 million commercial bamboo poles annually, ranking first nationwide. It also has China’s largest bamboo nursery. The Anji Bamboo Garden is acknowledged by scholars within and outside China as containing the widest variety of bamboo to be found. It was formerly a bamboo grove research base that combined scientific research with teaching, and has received many foreign experts and scholars and officials from the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. (Wikipedia)

Movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House Of The Flying Daggers were partly shot here.

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John Rabe: Some photos from the shoot.

John Rabe Shoot Shanghai Feng Shui Backlot 20

In October 2007, I had the chance to join the JOHN RABE movie team in Shanghai and took it immediately. What followed were almost 4 months full of excitement, pain and so much learning and experience. It was the best time of my life. And now, the movie finally started running in german cinemas. It will probably also start running in China on April 29th. I can’t wait to see it.

John Rabe Shanghai Nongtang Shoot 28

I started working in the VFX department under the command of Joachim Grüninger. He taught me an insane amount of things and gave me many chances to learn how shooting a movie works, what the rules on a set are, and, and, and… Thank you so much, Jo!

The rest of the crew were super nice people, too… The director Florian Gallenberger was very nice and calm, the assistant directors were very nice, too, and the rest of the international crew also. We had germans, french, chinese and japanese working in the team. And our 2nd unit director was from India, how cool is that. I love it when so many cultures work together.

John Rabe Shanghai Nongtang Shoot 48

Now that the movie has opened and many people will hopefully go and see it, I think it’s time to publish all the photos that I took during the shooting of the movie. Some were censored, due to contracts and stuff, but most of them are online now. I hope you enjoy them and the look behind the scenes that they offer.

We shot the movie in Shanghai, Wuxi, Baixian, some photos in Wenzhou… My wife and I were also working as Extras in some scenes – in one scene with John Rabe himself, played by Ulrich Tukur, and in another I was sitting right next to Steve Buscemi, who plays an doctor in the movie. I have no idea if they made it into the movie, though – I only now that my name should be listed in the credits at the end of the movie. Yay!

If you have seen the movie, please leave a little comment about it and how you liked it. Thanks.

Now enjoy the photos sets:

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Sex And The City: The Movie or How To Destroy 6 Seasons in 148 Minutes.

Marriage makes you do things you never thought you’d do. Like watching TV series such as Sex And The City or Desperate Housewives. But, as it is normal in a relationship, you compromise. My wife watches testosterone filled action movies with me every once in a while and I watch female movies that make me want to rip my eyes and ears out in return.

But I’d be lying if I’d say that I didn’t enjoy Sex And The City.

10 minutes or so into the first episode of the very first season, I was tempted to stand up and throw myself out of the window. But as we continued with the second and third episode, I slowly started to like it and to got rid of my hate. If you look over the boring fashion stuff in the series – as a man, of course – it’s quite an interesting show with more and more deep characters. And you can learn oh so much about women, seriously, it’s helpful.

Sex And The City Over the seasons, all the characters are faced with realistic problems and their friendship gets them through it. While it’s sometimes too american with all the emotions and stuff, it keeps on getting better and bigger, introducing more and more characters and poking fun at a lot of things. One episode, where Carrie has to fix her Mac even got me laughing real hard… Well done.

So, when the DVD with the movie finally got out in Shanghai two days ago, I immediately bought it and watched it that very same night with my wife, who had been looking forward to see it since I teased her with the first released trailer.

During the opening credits, I already got a bad feeling. They actually tried to introduce the most important characters of the show in two minutes or so, showing some snapshots of the seasons – but not really telling anything at all. You got the names, alright. But try to explain Samantha in 25 seconds. Her character is way too complex to be explained in that short amount of time. Or the hardships that Charlotte or Miranda went through in those six great seasons.

Wouldn’t it have been better to just say nothing, so that people who don’t know the series at all can build their own idea of them?

And then, this dump of a story started. Carrie wants to marry Mister Big, Mister Big wants to marry Carrie… And on the wedding day, Mr. Big doesn’t get out of his car? And Carrie leaves him? Huh? What did just happen?

Right there, after that scene, we should have taken the DVD out and burned it on the spot. But we didn’t, we continued to watch the movie and watched how it destroyed all the things the series build up in such a long time. Now it is one thing to have a bad story. But to change characters completely to get some dramatic story line going is just way out of borders. It’s not fair towards the fans.

Why in the hell would Mr. Big not get out of the car? The whole series, he has been the one chasing Carrie, he was the one who always knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. Carrie would maybe not get out of the car, but Mister Big? Are you kidding me?

Well, from then on, everything felt fake. And characters like Harry, who were really cool in the series, were completely left out and got like 5 scenes totally. What the hell. But I guess to show a horny dog eff the hell out of pillows is funnier.

But the very worst of it all is that they actually pulled off to show the ending of the movie, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen this year so far. I wont spoil it, but damn, Hollywood. It’s an insult to anyone with a IQ over 50.

Director and writer Michael Patrick King really managed to mess everything up in 148 minutes. It’s a mystery to me why they accepted this screenplay in the first place and why they didn’t let Darren Star, the TV series writer, edit it. But I guess all the brands featured in the movie payed really well and none of the actors are getting any younger…

Let’s just hope they don’t make a second movie, as the rumors tell…

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Review: CJ7.

Stephen Chow gained international fans with his last two movies, namely Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle – especially teenage fans and people in their twenties. CJ7 is his attempt to gain access to a even younger audience, as it really is a children movie – what a pity!

CJ7 PosterTo be brutally honest, CJ7 is Chow’s more crazy interpretation of Disney’s Blubber or Flubber or whatever the name of that Robin Williams comedy was. Of course CJ7 features a more asian humor, but it’s way more family-friendly than his previous works. Chow plays a poor construction site worker named Ti, alone with his son. To provide a better future for his child, he spends every cent earned for an expensive private school for him. No money is left for toys, but lucky Ti finds a big gum ball on a trash site while searching for goods in the middle of the night. This ‘toy’ eventually finds his way into the hands of his boy, who is even able to ‘activate’ it into an cute alien being – chaos and fun start.

CJ7 AlienThe biggest problem this movie has is it’s running time: Just when the movie is about to find it’s right pace and speed, it’s already over. It takes too long for CJ7 to finally appear alive and kicking on the screen, and Chow makes too little use of the lovely thing in various scenes. There are maybe three jokes that make you laugh out loud, but mostly you will just giggle here and there a bit. It’s a little bit funny to see Chow quote his own older movies every once in a while, but isn’t it also a bit too early for that? In 2010, Kung Fu Hustle 2 is supposed to be released – by then, most of us will have already forgotten about CJ7…

Conclusion: Too short, too childish fun. ** out of *****.

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John Rabe – Little Report, With Video!

When Ben commented to my last post about the pictures from the movie John Rabe, I just headed over to YouTube to see if anything had been released there – officially or not. Sadly, I found no trailer – but a little report! DW, Deutsche Welle, was on the set reporting and seemed to have been allowed to capture some stuff with their cameras.

Now the bad side: The video is almost half an hour long and over 60 megabyte big.

But I watched through it and the John Rabe part is right at the beginning! So just watch it until the report of John Rabe is finished, the rest has nothing to with it anymore.

Here we go:

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Official John Rabe(约翰拉贝) pictures.

Most of my friends know what I’ve been doing during the last three months: working with the VFX team on the german movie John Rabe. Sadly, no trailer has been officially released yet so I don’t really have anything to show. But! ‘Majestic Film Verleih’, the company who will bring the movie to german cinemas this year (or so I hope) released 8 official press pictures.

So here you go, a little something to feed your appetite in regards to this movie. 8 pictures!

Dr. Georg Rosen (Daniel Brühl)

Dr. Georg Rosen (Daniel Brühl), employee of the german embassy, tries to handle the threat in regard of the chinese civilians in diplomatic ways.
(Picture: Majestic / Ruggero Rossi)

Dr. Robert Wilson (Steve Buscemi)

Dr. Robert Wilson (Steve Buscemi), leader of Nanjing’s hospital, fights tireless for the survival of the people.
(Picture: Majestic / Tomoko Kikuchi)

Valérie Dupres (Anne Consigny)

Valérie Dupres (Anne Consigny), leader of the International Girls College, can’t enjoy the festivities – she’s worried about her students.
(Picture: Majestic / Tomoko Kikuchi)

Werner Fließ (Mathias Herrmann)

Nazi Werner Fließ (Mathias Herrmann, 3.v.l.) is supposed to take John Rabe’s (Ulrich Tukur, 5.v.l.) place as the leader of the Siemens branch in Nanking.
(Picture: Majestic / Ruggero Rossi)

John Rabe (Ulrich Tukur)

John Rabe (Ulrich Tukur) is desperate, the uncertain future worries him.
(Picture: Majestic / Jörg Gruber)

Members of the international Committee

The members of the international committee for creating a safety zone (Ulrich Tukur, Anne Consigny, Steve Buscemi, Christian Rodska, Daniel Brühl, Shaun Lawton) don’t know how to handle the rush of 250.000 people at once.
(Picture: Majestic / Ruggero Rossi)

Dora Rabe (Dagmar Manzel) and John Rabe (Ulrich Tukur)

Dora Rabe (Dagmar Manzel) tries to convince her husband John (Ulrich Tukur) to leave Nanking.
(Picture: Majestic / Jörg Gruber)

Langshu (Zhang Jingchu, 张静初)

Schoolgirl Langshu (Zhang Jingchu, 张静初), a student of Valérie Dupres, takes pictures of the japanese war crimes in Nanjing.
(Picture: Majestic / Tomoko Kikuchi)

Well, that’s it. As soon as Majestic releases more pictures and / or a trailer, I’ll post it.

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Bluetooth-posters for Tarantino’s Death Proof in Germany!

Death Proof Bluetooth PosterSo Tarantino’s part of the Grindhouse series titled Death Proof finally reaches Germany. They are going to show Death Proof in cinemas first, and Rodriguez’ part Planet Terror one or two months later. Since there are no Matinee-cinemas in Germany it makes kind of sense – you have to adjust to your audience, not the other way around. Anyway, german distributer Senator must have found a quite creative publicity team for handling Death Proof, as a impressive PR-email reached me today. Here’s a rough translation:

Tarantino’s Death Proof will be advertised in a quite unique way between July 16th and 23rd: 39 City-Light-Posters with Bluetooth-technology will be used in 39 different places. This is a pilot-project in this kind of advertising. Cell phones with bluetooth can retrieve in a couple of minutes cell phone wallpapers, the tv ad and the trailer of the movie. It’s called a ‘beamzone’.

Pretty cool, right? So while you stand there waiting for your train or subway, you can open up your bluetooth and start enjoying some free stuff from the movie. I think that’s really neat. The only problem is that right now, there are only five of these posters and all of them hanging in the city Hamburg. But, oh well, I guess they are also checking out how well this is received, how many people log on. For sure this isn’t the cheapest way of advertising…

Reminds of a another extremely cool advertising I saw when living in Frankfurt a couple of years ago: 20th Century Fox was advertising for the big budget Will Smith movie I, Robot. They placed posters of the movie on the main street of Frankfurt – but on moving walls! These walls were connected to a small device that had tires and was driving slowly around. As soon as it reached a wall or a step down or up that it couldn’t cross, it would stop moving in that way and turn around. So a driving robot system made advertising for a robot movie… Also cool.

What do you think about these kinds of advertisements?

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