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RIP Bernd Eichinger

Bernd EichingerVia David Hudson, I’ve learned that probably the best known German film producer here in the United States died suddenly from a heart attack in his Los Angeles home last night. He was 61.

Also a writer and director and the owner of Constantin Film, Bernd Eichinger’s diverse roster of productions includes the excellent, spectacular historical dramas “The Baader-Meinhof Complex” and, most famously, “Downfall.” The acclaimed film about Hitler’s final days is both an excellent movie and the source of all those funny Hitler videos I’m so fond of. (How awful the phrase “funny Hitler video” must read to someone whose never seen one.) As always, our condolences to his family and friends.

Eichinger has an impressive 95 producer credits on IMDb. English language films included “The Name of the Rose” and even “The Fantastic Four” and “Resident Evil.” Other internationally known films include “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” “The Neverending Story,” and “Smilla’s Sense of Snow.” Below, courtesy of Jahsonic, is the German-language trailer for “Baader Meinhof,” which he cowrote with director Uli Edel. There are no subtitles but, not speaking a word of German, there’s plenty for me to get.

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Some slightly belated holiday and geek related thoughts from Hitler

My hurried blogging for today continues with two of those gosh-darned Hitler/”Downfall” videos I stumbled over. Yes, I never get enough of the things though I encourage you all to check the very serious actual film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Bruno Ganz, with the correct subtitles

I like to think of these as yet one more delightful aspect of the world’s victory over Hitler and Nazism in 1945.

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All the movie news that fits my schedule

With Cannes starting to wind down — or with people probably starting to leave in the manner of Hollywood folk at lengthy fests much in the way Los Angelenos leave sporting events early — maybe the news will start to slow down a bit as well. In any case, it’s looking like I won’t be around to cover it tomorrow, and then comes the weekend movie preview, so this will have to tide you over for a bit.

Megan Fox in * Our top story tonight, however, is far away from anything likely to screen in, or even out of, competition at the world’s most famous film festival. Seems that Megan Fox, who you might remember compared director Michael Bay to Hitler some time ago, will not be returning in “Transformers 3.” Apparently Bay has finally realized there are lots and lots of unnaturally attractive young women in Hollywood and some of them can act a little.

In any case, Nikki Finke brings you a crash course on the apparent Fox/Bay hate affair, while AICN’s Merrick reminds you of some of those other unnaturally attractive women.

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Hitler is right!

Yes, this avid and genetically predisposed consumer of matzoh balls and knishes knows a strong argument when he hears it. And, while I usually like to consider the source, as the saying goes, even a racist genocidal maniac is right two times a century, or something like that.

Anyhow, in case you haven’t heard about it yet, Constantin Films, the company that released the excellent historical drama, “Downfall,”  has been going after those often extremely funny videos drawn from that film in which the great German actor Bruno Ganz as Hitler reacts — as only a fascist with serious, serious anger issues really can — to all kinds of pop cultural events.  PopEater summarizes the situation quite nicely.

Of course, we’ve already seen the inevitable meta-rants in which Hitler complains about all those videos of him saying stuff he surely would never say and caring about things he would never care about. Yesterday, the usually very cool Karina Longworth was apparently so tired of this ‘net meme that she all but sided with that particular “Downfall” Hitler and the cutting-nose-to-spite-face tactics of Constantin.

Anyhow, today she returned to form and saw the sweet reason of an argument posed by, of course, Adolph Hitler, who really describes the situation far better than I can.  Let’s see how long it stays up. (I’m hoping they’ll keep the audio up at least.)

I’m sorry, but at least 50% of these make me laugh quite a bit. Guess I’m a sucker for a Hitler joke.

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Just a couple of things… (updated)

I’m going to be spending this extremely rainy So-Cal MLK day doing some catching up with various movie-watching obligations, including some awards-type flicks I’ve been criminally behind on, but first a couple of random left over things.

* I expected a bit more fall-out, perhaps, from Ricky Gervais’s more-mean-than-funny gag at the expense of Paul McCartney and his recent divorce, but I guess I wasn’t alone in my mixed reaction to last night’s festivities as a show. Of course, my mixed reaction has nothing on the sheer, predictable venom of Nikki Finke’s nevertheless readable “live snark” of the event. She does have a point, exaggerated though it likely is, in underlining that — even among big show business awards — the Globes aren’t exactly known for their uncompromising integrity. Certainly, last night’s win by Robert Downey Jr., as talented and committed a performer as he is and has been for decades, does seem to follow her statement that “Stars win in direct correlation to their glamor quotient.”

One great line that a lot of us missed from the pre-show activities came courtesy of who else but the wondrous Tina Fey, remarking upon the unstereotypical Southern California weather last night: “No, it’s not rain. It’s God crying for NBC.” The rain, by the way, is expected to continue all week. I guess we know Who Else might be on Team Coco.

Also, one thing I forgot to say last night. “Sofia Loren.” I’m just impressed to see her, anywhere. Time may wear on, but that face is eternal.

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UPDATE: I forgot to add that the ratings for last night’s telecast were up from prior years, and I suspect Gervais’s presence did not hurt.

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