|Reviews & Columns|
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search|
Customer Service #'s
Unfortunately Sinan Akkus and Anno Saul's Kebab Connection (2005) might very well be one of the biggest flops I saw this year as I could hardly endure its ninety minutes of poor humor and tasteless action. The only thing that kept me from fast-forwarding this bourek was the fact that top German-Turkish director Fatih Akin (Gegen Die Wand a.k.a Head-On) kindly agreed to contribute to the script.
The story of Kebab Connection follows a young ethnic Turk (Denis Moschitto) living in Germany who dreams of shooting the first German kung-fu picture. Penniless Ibo convinces his uncle to lend him a small amount of euros to shoot a commercial that will promote the family's restaurant business. Instead of a commercial however what Ibo directs is a short kung-fu story which somehow manages to promote a big piece of tasty kebab (hence the title of the film). The uncle is upset, the local youngsters are impressed, and so is a small time independent producer.
In the meantime Ibo is told by his girlfriend that he is soon going to be a father. The news causes some serious disturbance amongst the boy's religious parents and he is officially disowned by his father. The reason: a Turk must marry a Turkish girl, not one of them Germans.
It isn't difficult to tell why Kebab Connection fails to impress! Tiptoeing between been a smart comedy with a spicy ethnic twist and a serious drama tackling some difficult for Germany issues this ambitious, at least on paper, project hardly gets anything right! The humor is full of overused clichés, the acting is far too static, the "serious" themes just plain ineffective. And what should have been the core of Kebab Connection, the hilarious kung-fu action, occupies no more than ten percent of the story.
Indeed, there is something cheesy here that even those with plenty of tolerance for second-grade filmmaking will have a difficult time swallowing. While watching Kebab Connection I could not stop thinking how close some of its parts come to its much more successful Swedish neighbor Jalla! Jalla! (2000). Certainly the ethnic element was there and so were a few of the mandatory jokes.
However just as the beef Ibo's family sells is second grade so is the final result in Kebab Connection. As ironic as it may sound the only entertainment I found here came from what admittedly this story should have glorified: the kung-fu action. Sadly the German producers opted to use it as pretext for what I assume they thought would be an edgy comedy with a twist. Kebab Connection is anything but that!
How Does the DVD Look?
This DVD release appears to be nothing more than a quickly put-together package meant to generate a few extra dollars. Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 but strangely enough left without anamorphic enhancement Kebab Connection has most certainly been sourced from a PAL-master (a good bet would be the German disc). The picture quality is mostly well-above average as contrast is strong and colors are lush but the overall "feel" is indeed very, very rough. The lack of that smooth look which anamorphic enhancement provides is indeed obvious. With this said, there isn't any print damage here so perhaps if you are dying to see the film you could endure its ninety minutes of tasteless action on a regular tube. As far as I am concerned you should simply spend your time on something better-produced and at least slightly more engaging.
How Does the DVD Sound?
The only track provided here is a basic German 2.0 mix with optional English subtitles. It serves the film rather well (even though a more elaborate track is available on the German release) and the English translation is without any notable gaffes. The actual audio quality is acceptable as music and dialog are well separated (dialog is very easy to follow) and I did not detect any issues of concern (drop-outs/hissing).
I must be lacking a sense of humor as I have no idea why anyone as talented as Fatih Akin would get involved with such a "funny" turkey. Poor script, a pile of (ridiculous) clichés, and a disc presentation that leaves plenty to be desired should keep you away from Kebab Connection. Spend your time on something better and more meaningful!!