Newest Reviews
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
  Rubinrot Time Teens
Year: 2013
Director: Felix Fuchssteiner
Stars: Maria Ehrich, Jannis Niewöhner, Veronica Ferres, Uwa Kockisch, Katharina Thalbach, Florian Bartholomäi, Laura Berlin, Anna Böttcher, Sibylle Canonica, Sofi de la Torre, Justine de la Corte, Levin Henning, Gottfried John, Gerlinde Locker, Jennifer Lotsi
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Sixteen year old Gwendolyn Shepherd (Maria Ehrich) is a German girl living at her grandmother's house in London with her mother Grace (Veronica Ferres) and kid brother Nick (Levin Henning). It becomes apparent to Gwendolyn that her family harbour some strange secrets. Most of the family regard Gwendolyn with contempt yet dote on her cousin, Charlotte (Laura Berlin) who suffers from a unique genetic defect that leaves her prone to fainting spells but possessed of a mysterious power. Charlotte has spent a lifetime training as part of a secret order for a special destiny. One day, out of the blue, Gwendolyn finds herself briefly catapulted back in time to the 19th century. It turns out she , not Charlotte, is “Ruby Red”, the one with the special gene enabling her to travel through time. Now she must take Charlotte's place, partnered reluctantly with handsome seasoned teenage time traveller Gideon de Villiers (Jannis Niewöhner) for a series of missions to uncover the biggest secret of their family's history, buried somewhere in the past.

Following the global success of Twilight (2008) and The Hunger Games (2012) Hollywood has not been alone in pursuing the lucrative teen fantasy market. Time and again the German film industry has proven they have the resources to produce blockbusters as slick as those made in the USA, e.g. We Are the Night (2010) or Vicky the Viking (2009). Having got in on the act early, cashing in on the Harry Potter phenomenon with gothic fairytale Krabat (2008), now Rubinrot (Ruby Red) marks Germany's attempt to launch an enduring fantasy franchise. Adapted, as is so often the case, from a bestselling trilogy of novels written by Kerstin Gier, the film gets off to an arresting start with a pacy period prologue involving two characters whose significance to the plot grows more apparent later on. Thereafter, despite the occasional lull caused by the filmmakers' tendency to verbalize rather than visualize Gier's admirably dense, complex plot, the story unfolds with an endearing amount of humour, intrigue and charm that lend it a distinct identity amidst the overcrowded teen fantasy film market.

It is no great surprise why films like these are so popular with young people. The thrust of almost all their plots is to enable insecure kids to realize those things that make them feel awkward and out of place will eventually serve as their greatest assets later on in life. Gwendolyn sees herself as a freak when in fact, as one character points out, she is “unique, precious and special.” Sure enough, feisty, outspoken Gwendolyn ends up questioning the order's ancient, implacable laws, challenging her crusty old tutors, thawing her initial frosty relationship with the dreamy Gideon and, naturally, transforms from plain Jane into an attractive, confident superheroine. On the one hand this plays to established teen fantasy tropes with ancient destinies, love triangles involving hot guys and sulky, sarcastic heroines with dark hair that might be put-upon outsiders but are special in ways no-one yet knows. Yet the film has fun exploring its central time-travel concept. Gwendolyn's second time jump enables her to meet her long deceased grandfather who reacts casually to her presence and becomes a mentor of sorts. Later on she bumps into future self only in the 18th century and ends up rescuing herself. Throughout the time-twisting story ancestors from the past entertain and do business with visitors from the future, which is a novel and amusing concept.

Like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games the heroine hones her powers in an environment that serves as an allegory for the high school experience placing adolescent angst within an epic conflict between good and evil. There is also a vague attempt to draw an allusion between her powers and the menstrual cycle involving a time machine powered by a drop of her blood. Some of the script's attempts at trendy teen speak come across a tad embarrassing though it is worth pointing out the English dubbed version imparts a cartoonish tone not evident in the performances of the German cast. Lead actress Maria Ehrich proves an especially strong and endearing presence as the plucky but insecure Gwendolyn. There is some welcome ambiguity about the plot as both Gwendolyn and Gideon ponder whether they are actually serving the cause of good or evil yet despite the odd exciting action set-piece the film knows enough about appealing to its target audience not to climax with an epic battle but with hero and heroine sharing a moment at the school dance. It ends with a lot of unanswered questions liable to frustrate some but leaves one eager to see part two: Saphirbleu (2014).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2247 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (1)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: