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Review: The Good German

Jan. 19, 2007by: Tim Goernert

A war correspondent goes to Berlin near the end of the war to cover a peace conference, where allied leaders will determine what is to be done with the rest of Germany. While covering the conference, the correspondent gets mixed up in a murder mystery involving his personal driver and former lover. Intrigue, mystery, corruption, cover-ups and a little bit of romance...all ensue!

There were quite a few things that I really dug about this movie and a couple of aspects that I didn't like. Is it a good movie? Yes. Does it look good visually? Yes. Was the acting good? Yes. Was the story good? Sorta. The story was probably this film's weakest point. It wasn't terrible or anything, it just felt kinda simple with no "oomph". I dunno, I can't really put my finger on it cause the premise was good, but it felt liked they played it safe.

As for the acting, it was excellent! Clooney, who plays the correspondent, looked good and acted well, but it seems to me like he's always playing himself lately. It's working for him now, but I hope that in the future, he can act in something completely different from what we're used to seeing him in. Cate Blanchett, who plays a "lady of the night" and former lover to Clooney's character, can be summed up in one word...wow! She looks and acts like a Starlet right out of the golden age of Hollywood! Loved her accent! She was perfect in this role! Even Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) was good! He played Clooney's driver and the perfect prick. You know the kind that really rubs you the wrong way? That's him and it was good to see him do something different too!

I loved the direction Steven Soderbergh took with this film! The whole look was the best part of the movie. I liked that it was Black & White and very film noir-ish! The lighting, the make-up, the wardrobe...even the sets made it feel like I was watching another version of CASABLANCA or a movie from that time period. In fact, without giving away too much, there was a scene in the movie that was very similar to one from CASABLANCA (you'll know when you see it!). Oh yeah, the score was also quite perfect. Again, it followed the similarities of movies made back in the forties with a hint of Hitchcock mixed in for kicks. Visually, the movie was just stunning! The pacing was good, I was never bored and was always interested as I wanted to figure out the "mystery". My only beef was the story, I'll say it again..."no oomph".

I don't think this is the one where you have to rush out to the cinema. It makes for a good rental, but I do recommend it to anyone who enjoys the other aspects of a movie other than its storyline (just for the record, it's not a bad story). And visually, it's authentic "old school"!

Apocalypto (8/10)
Blood Diamond (7/10)
Borat (9/10)
Crank (8/10)
Deja Vu (6/10)
Eragon (4/10)
Flushed Away (4/10)
Grudge 2 (5/10)
Harsh Times (7/10)
Last King of Scotland (6/10)
Rocky Balboa (7/10)
Stranger Than Fiction (7/10)
The Departed (9/10)
The Holiday (6/10)
The Nativity Story (7/10)
The Prestige (8/10)
The Pursuit of Happyness (6/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

Source: JoBlo.com

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