I was stunned from the first minute and 81 minutes later, I'm still exhilarated. "Run Lola Run" is a wildly stylish German thriller that takes the visual thrills that were presented in this year's "Go" and takes that kind of energy down to the essentials. From the opening frame, the movie never stops. Music pounds away, urging it onward to an almost unreal pace.
The plot is simple and we're thrown into it from the very begining - Lola (Franka Portente) recieves a call from her boyfriend Manni that he lost a bag with 100,000 marks that he was supposed to deliver. If he doesn't come up with the money in 20 minutes, he's dead. The movie screams at you; throws almost every trick in the book at you, even shows sequences as cartoons.
And so Lola begins her run - faster and faster, with an incredibly surreal and wonderful style cutting the pieces together. When Lola bumps into someone, we see (via snapshots) what happened to that person after she bumped into them. Potente makes a fantastic lead actress - there is an urgency in every word, every emotion, that makes us want her to win in the end. The story has alternate versions of what could happen as it spins around on itself, thrusting forward yet again. "Run Lola Run" is unlike anything I've ever seen - it's a rush of energy unlike anything in film in the past couple of years, and I think it's really one of the best films of 1999.
Tristar does it again - a fantastic looking anamorphic transfer letterboxed at 1.85:1 that has wonderfully clear images and displays excellent detail. Some of the movie was shot on different film mediums and although they don't look quite as sharp, they still remain strong. The movie has a fairly pale color palette, with the exception a flare of bright color that pops up, mainly of Lola's bright red hair, which looks vibrant and rich as she speeds throughout the city. Although the movie flies by, the picture is sharp enough to appreciate the architecture of Berlin, even if only for a passing moment.
There really aren't any flaws to speak of that I saw - this is an incredibly clear and sharp looking image with no shimmering or other similar problems. Aside from maybe one or two very tiny marks on the print, this is a beautiful looking transfer. Fantastic work from Tristar. A full-frame edition is also included on the flip side.
SOUND One of the main elements of the movie is the pounding techno soundtrack and it's also the main highlight of the sound mix, coming through wonderfully, sounding intense and dynamic, with good bass. There's also some very good uses of the surrounds on occasion. Both the German and English sound mixes are included and I found it kind of interesting to watch the English version and watch the subtitles to see what the original version is. Dialogue sounds clear in either language. Again, the music is really the highlight and it really powers the movie along.
MENUS:: Stylish but non-animated menus that are easy to navigate.
EXTRAS: Commentary: This is a commentary track from actress Franka Portente and director Tom Twyker. What I enjoyed most about listening to it was how much fun the two seemed to be having discussing the movie and how energetically they offered comments about the picture. It's really quite an interesting commentary and as I finished up watching the movie itself for the first time I was particularly excited to hear the two talk about how they made a lot of the movie.
I definitely wasn't dissapointed. Although the commentary has a fairly relaxed feel, the two manage to discuss much of what I was looking for - the director offers a lot of particularly fascinating notes, mainly amount how a lot of the film's visual effects and camera tricks were achieved. He also talks about the importance of music in the picture and how the concepts for the film's music were brought to life. The actress talks a lot about how experiences in the film, mainly about how she had to run ...and run...and run. A lot of scenes of Lola running had to be shot more than once from more than one angle, exhausting for the actress. She also points out, along with the director, a lot of the German actors who star in the picture and their history. Some commentators spend too much time pointing out who's who in the film (such as the Farrelly Brothers on both of their commentaries) and thankfully, the two commentators don't do that here. In fact, I found a lot of the tidbits that were pointed out about the various actors to be quite interesting.
Again, I really liked this commentary. The two are energetic and sound like they're having fun talking about the picture. This is my first time seeing the movie and I really found it highly enjoyable - I look forward to future films from both of them.
Also: Music video, trailers for "Run Lola Run", "Orlando" and "Dreamlife Of Angels" as well as talent/production notes.
Final Thoughts A must see.