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A Missed Opportunity
If you're going to portray a What if...? scenario, go all the way or don't go at all. This film makes very minor surface changes to actual history for no other reason than to create an excuse to have Adolf Hitler interacting with the one-armed Jewish art dealer, Max, who is not a particularly interesting man deserving of his own film.
What could have made this work is if Germany had broken the stalemate in 1916 and won the war before the Americans could sneak their way in. No stab in the back, no communist uprising, no crippling war debt, no treaty of Versailles - then speculation of what may have become of the unknown Austrian painter becomes worth exploring. With no impetus to join and lead a revolutionary party, to what cause or ambition would he gravitate towards? What if Hitler became the grand architect of the victorious Germany, creating a futurist utopia with Germany's unhampered industrial might that garners the jealousy of the rest of the world, resulting in a second world war in which Germany is the victim rather than the instigator?
But of course we don't get anything like that. For a film that revels in the subversive potential of art, it sure plays it safe.
As for the portrayal of Hitler, it's just embarrassing. As is typical, he is shown to be a completely insane, ugly, ranting midget. All he does is shout, feel sorry for himself, and make a fool of himself, yet we're supposed to believe this unlikable ogre of a man won the hearts of millions of ordinary people. Bruno Ganz is the only actor to have done a decent job playing Hitler, mainly because he doesn't make him out to be a one-dimensional cartoon villain.
To top it off, the plot is pretty much non-existent - it's just a bunch of directionless scenes strung together with no emotional pay-off or thoughtful outcome. There are no stakes, nothing of interest happens, no characters undergo dramatic changes, and nothing is resolved (owing to the lack of anything to be resolved). The result is sheer boredom for the viewer and nothing of substance to mull over afterwards except to ponder "what could have been" if only the script had been more daring.
Home Sweet Home (1981)
Last night me and my fellow film students decided to watch this film just for fun. It starts off brilliantly with one of the funniest murders I have ever seen in a film. Then it went downhill till it hit rock bottom. The lighting was the worst I have ever seen. Half the time you can't see a thing. When you can it's obvious that someone is just shining a torch on them. The acting is so bad it's not even funny. The characters themselves are seriously bizarre. The guitar playing idiot kid with his face painted white you would imagine is going to be the weirdest character in the family. But no! It turns out that the whole family is messed up. A bunch of alcoholic nymphomaniacs who can't get enough Valium. Then there's the killer. We are given that he is an escaped mental patient. He also happens to be a bodybuilder who can't help but laugh hysterically when he murders people. I've watched a lot of bad movies but I couldn't bring myself to watch this to the end. This is seriously not worth watching.