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Old 10-01-2009, 07:32 AM   #1
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Jul 2007
Germany Phantomschmerz / Phantom Pain

Matthias Emcke's Phantomschmerz a.k.a Phantom Pain (2009) is set to be released in Germany on December 31.

Pop-scored montages do most of the heavy lifting in "Phantom Pain," a well-made but wearyingly conventional piece of inspirational uplift about a cad who loses a leg in a bike accident. Predictably enough, amputee status forces him to confront his many issues -- he drinks too much, he loves the ladies but can't commit, he's a lousy father with daddy issues of his own -- which pile up so fast, one can scarcely see the character for the cliches. Teuton uber-star Til Schweiger reps the pic's best selling point outside Germany, where it opened modestly in April.

His hair long and unkempt, charming drifter Marc (Schweiger) loves riding his bicycle -- not least because it's an easy way to flee responsibility -- but everything changes when he collides with an oncoming car one night. With help from his friends and young daughter (Schweiger's own kid, Luna), all more supportive than he deserves, Marc revives his long-dormant writing talent while voiceover reminiscences of his troubled relationship with his dad flood the already overworked soundtrack. Auds will know Marc's a changed man when he finally gets a haircut, but by then it's too little, too late.
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