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Top 5 past English CineSneak Previews @ the CineStar Metropolis in Frankfurt

I’ve been watching the English CineSneak screenings on Mondays at the CineStar Metropolis in Frankfurt for the past few weeks as it’s a great way to watch new English movies at an equally great price. Of course with sneak previews you never know what you get but so far none of the movies disappointed in the least. So with five movies watched in a bit more than five weeks (they skipped weeks a few times) I thought it’s time for a top 5.

Number 5: Contagion

A large ensemble of high profile actors and a beautifully shot vision of an epidemic with a high budget and convincing plot to make the unimaginable seem reasonably real, this reminded me of L: Change The World1 The third Death Note movie, based on the comic of the same name., just on a larger scale and sans the shōnen manga drama. Deadly viruses are a recurring motif in Japanese comics but this Hollywood take on the subject by Steven Soderberg brings it awfully close to a realistic scenario, which is mostly thanks to the money he was able to spend on this movie.

Number 4: The Change-Up

Body switch comedies are overdone, there’s not much to do with the genre anymore but still every few years a new one gets made. In this case the actors were convinced by the creative team of writer and director who worked on some of the more interesting comedies to make an impression on  movie audiences during the last few years. When you go watch a sneak preview weaker entries are bound to appear as well and I expected this to be an example of this statistical fact but it ended up being quite enjoyable and even orginal. A fresh and warm hearted take on the genre which isn’t that bad after all.

Number 3: Another Earth

What I liked about this one was that it is essentially a sci-fi (or rather a fantasy) movie with almost no special effects. Instead this story about an encounter of planets is told as an encounter of people and puts its actors before the surreal sci-fi plot. Same as the recent Melancholia the base idea of planets meeting reminded me of similarly anthropomorphized heavenly bodies coming up in video games which I wrote a series of articles about (in German). And I think it’s no coincidence that the two people encountering each other in Another Earth are having a match of some kind of Wii boxing at one point in the movie. A great subdued take on the reality of the virtual.

Number 2: Friends with Benefits

This is the first movie I saw at the sneak preview and the only one I saw coming. It was scheduled to start screening on the following Thursday and I really wanted to see it and would have gone even if it hadn’t been in the sneak. I love romantic comedies, I love Justin Timberlake, both as a singer and recently as an actor in The Social Network, and I loved Mila Kunis in That Seventies Show and in Black Swan. This movie totally delivers and is one of my favorites in the genre, hands down.

Number 1: 30 Minutes or Less

First thing to tell you what you’re in for in this comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg is the fantastic hip hop soundtrack, and everything else about the movie just works together to drive the viewer without ever giving them time to rest. The first scene already cleverly shows Eisenberg’s character Nick failing to keep the title’s promise but with such perfect timing that we still understand that he has the skill to pull it off even when he fails. Great dialogue and characters (both Nick’s Indian friends and the goofy villains) make it an enjoyable ride from beginning to end. I was positively blown away by the well written narrative that doesn’t ever resort to cliché instead betraying the viewer’s expectations which gives the humor the necessary oomph to match the booming soundtrack.

 See you in five when I’ll return to this list which then will have grown into a top ten!

  1. The third Death Note movie, based on the comic of the same name. []
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