Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Countefeiters

Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign film, "The Counterfeiters" tells the little known true story of Jewish prisoners forced to counterfeit money for the Nazi's.

The film is seen through the eyes of Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch, the "King of the Counterfeiters". Sally is living the good life in Berlin until he is arrested and sent to a concentration camp. When the Nazis learn of his skill, he is transferred to Sachsenhausen where along with other prisoners of similar skills, he is put to work forging English pounds and American dollars in order to weaken the allied economy.

The film is grim and utterly realistic. It recreates a horrible period when people would do anything to survive. The acting is amazing, especially Karl Markovics, who plays "Sally". His gaunt frame and dark demeanor suit the character perfectly. Mr. Markovics is so convincing in the role, you'll think you're watching an actual documentary, rather than a scripted story.

This is a remarkable story of survival that should not be missed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Bank Job

Sorry for the lag time between reviews, dear readers, but there just isn't a lot of quality out there right now worth my time or money (or yours for that matter). However, "The Bank Job" is definitely worth a look.

Based on a true story about a very infamous British crime, the film stars Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows. The rest of the cast is made up of British acting regulars mostly unknown in the US. Fans of Mr. Statham's action films may be a bit disappointed by the lack of the car chases and fights he is known for but he still has a great screen presence and carries the weight of the film solidly on his back.

There is a good bit of humor sprinkled throughout and lots of suspense as things get even more complicated after the robbery. Director Roger Donaldson does such of great job of creating a 70's retro feel, you'd think the film was actually made in 1971. The acting and script are solid although the dialog is very distinctively British.

If you miss it in the theaters, definitely rent it on DVD. You won't feel robbed.