Serena (2014)

Serena
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Christopher Kyle
Based on: Ron Rash‘s novel
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys IfansDavid Dencik, Charity Wakefield, Sam Reid, Toby Jones, Sean Harris, Blake Ritson, Christian McKay
Seen on: 04.01.2015 [cornholio suggested I add that info to my posts, let me know what you think.]

Plot:
George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) has a successful timber business and things seem to work out perfectly when he meets Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) on a trip. They fall in love and get married quickly and when George brings Serena back home, she immediately gets involved in the business, into which she has some insight. But not everybody is so happy about the new alliance and the intensity of George’s and Serena’s relationship also proves difficult.

Serena starts off well enough but then it pretty much implodes, leaving me feeling like it didn’t actually know what story it wanted to tell in the first place.

serena Continue reading

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

The Five-Year Engagement
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writer: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Lauren Weedman, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer, Jacki Weaver, Jim Piddock, Brian Posehn

Plot:
Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) are a very happy couple. Especially when Tom proposes, everything seems perfect. But before they can actually get married, life pretty much gets in the way of things. So they postpone the wedding and move to Detroit, where Violet got a job. And then they keep on postponing the wedding. But will there ever be the perfect time to get married?

I didn’t expect very much from this film – just a nice, shallow RomCom. But the movie was so incredibly funny, it not only had me laughing out loud, it actually had me in stitches on several occasions. Respect.

Continue reading

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man
Director: Marc Webb
Writer: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Chris Zylka

Plot:
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) grew up with his aunt (Sally Field) and uncle (Martin Sheen) since his parents had to leave him because of his father’s science research. By now, Peter is an adolescent and struggles with the usual teenage problems, like being in love with Gwen (Emma Stone). But then he stumbles upon his father’s notes which in turn leads him to the research of Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). While in Connor’s lab, Peter gets bitten by a weird spider and soon finds that he has developed superpowers.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not the world’s greatest Spider-Man fan. I had hoped that this movie would give me another fresh chance to fall in love with the character, but unfortunately it was way too dumb for anything like that.

Continue reading

Anonymous (2011)

Anonymous
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: John Orloff
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, David Thewlis, Edward Hogg, Xavier Samuel, Sam Reid, Jamie Campbell Bower

Plot:
Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans) is the Earl of Oxford and as such it is very much frowned upon that he writes plays, even though the aging Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) loves (his) plays very much. But Edward has the idea of letting the rather unknown writer Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) take credit for his plays. But instead the obnoxious actor William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) puts his name to it – and that is only where the trouble starts for Edward.

Holy crap, this movie was bad. I mean, I expected it to be bad, but I also expected it to be entertaining with it. But when I wasn’t headdesking, I was bored. Not what I think of as a good time. It does have its moments, but they are few and far between.

Continue reading

Mr. Nice (2010)

Mr. Nice
Director: Bernard Rose
Writer: Bernard Rose
Based on: Howard Marks‘ autobiography
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Chloë Sevigny, David Thewlis, Crispin Glover, Jack Huston

Plot:
Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans) is a Welsh small-town nerd who manages to get into Oxford university. But as soon as he hits the big city, he quickly gets tangled up in drugs. And since he doesn’t really do things half-assed, he is not content in smoking pot, but he starts his own successful drug business as Mr. Nice, together with IRA member Jim McCann (David Thewlis). But there’s only so many drugs a person can sell until the police will get involved.

I have to admit that I didn’t really research this film before going in. I just saw the cast and thought that I wanted to see it. If I had known more about it, I might have been better prepared. But I don’t think that I would have enjoyed the 60s-drug-dealer-romanticism any more had I known that it was coming.

Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is – as you all probably now – Number 7 in a series of seven books by Joanne K. Rowling. It was made into two movies, this here is Part 1, which was directed by David Yates and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, (continuing in no particular order) Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Julie Walters, Bonnie Wright, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham-Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Imelda Staunton, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Jamie Campbell Bower, Timothy Spall, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis, John Hurt, Miranda Richardson, Warwick Davis and Michael Gambon.

Plot:
[Hell, if you don’t know what Harry Potter is about, you might not want to start here. Anyway.]
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) leave school to find and destroy the horcruxes that keep Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) alive. But the search is more difficult and dangerous than they anticipated.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I think both the books as well as the movies have reached their peak with number four (though The Prisoner of Azkaban is a close second). HPatDH1 did nothing to change my point of view on that. The pacing’s bad, the direction is worse and there’s no reason to drag this out in two films, since nothing really happens in this one anyway.

Continue reading

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

[Viennale.]

Exit Through the Gift Shop is Banksy‘s first film project. It’s a kind of documentary, narrated by Rhys Ifans and featuring Thierry Guetta, Shepard Fairey, Space Invader and many more street artists.

Plot:
Thierry Guetta is a French emigrant living in the US. He’s obsessed with filming everything and through his cousin – who happens to be Space Invader – gets into the street art scene. He starts meeting all the big street artists and follows them around for a while with his camera. And one day, he even gets in touch with Banksy. But Banksy finds Thierry the more intriguing subject of a film.

I loved Exit Through the Gift Shop. You get to see loads of good art, it’s totally funny, extremely intelligent and afterwards you can speculate with your friends about which parts of it are real.

Continue reading

Greenberg (2010)

Greenberg is the newest movie by Noah Baumbach, written by himself and Jennifer Jason Leigh, starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Chris Messina, Merrit Wever and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Plot:
Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) just finished his therapy at a psychiatric facility and returns from New York to Los Angeles. Until things look differently, he stays at his brother’s (Chris Messina) house. His brother, in the meantime, is on holiday. With only the family dog for company, Roger tries to reconnect with his old friend (Rhys Ifans) but in the end only finds some form of human connection in Florence (Greta Gerwig), his brother’s personal assistant/house keeper.

I know I’m probably losing all of my indie cred and any reputation I have built up as a film critic on this here blog but, dammit all: That movie was fucking boring. Yes, the cast was excellent but there’s only so much you can do without an actual plot.

Continue reading

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010)

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is the sequel to Nanny McPhee, directed by Susanna White, written by Emma Thompson and starring Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Ewan McGregor, Bill Bailey, Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith.

Plot:
Mrs. Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has a rather difficult life: Her husband (Ewan McGregor) is at war (and hasn’t sent a letter for quite some time). Her brother-in-law (Rhys Ifans) is pressuring her to sell her half of the farm they own. She works for the elderly Mrs. Docherty (Maggie Smith) who shows signs of dementia but doesn’t recognise it. Her three kids (Asa Butterfield, Oscar Steer and Lil Woods) are really wild and especially nervous since their cousins (Eros Vlahos and Rosie Taylor-Ritson) are about to come live with them to escape London in the war. That’s when the magical Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) appears, to make Mrs. Green’s life a little easier, but mostly to teach the five kids five lessons.

If you’ve seen the first Nanny McPhee film, you know what to expect: adorable entertainment for the whole family. Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang does not disappoint at all. Quite to the contrary, it might even be more spectacular and even sweeter.

Continue reading

The Boat That Rocked (2009)

The Boat That Rocked is the new movie by Richard Curtis, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Norrington Jack Davenport and Tom Sturridge.

Plot:
Carl (Tom Sturridge) is sent to his godfather’s Quentin (Bill Nighy) boat because he messed up in school and his mother thought that it would be a good idea to have him live with some men. Unfortunately, Quentin’s ship is a pirate radio station, inhabited by the eccentric radio DJs. At the same time, Minister Dormandy (Kenneth Brannagh) tries to shut down the radio piracy, with the help of his assistant Twatt (Jack Davenport).

While the movie has a wonderful soundtrack and a good cast, the rest was unfortunately highly offensive to me as a woman and as a thinking human being. Most of the jokes were, as we say in German, “unter jeder Sau” (which might be translated to “beneath every sow” and means abysmal). At one point, I was about to walk out of the theatre and I have never done that before. If you wanna know why, read on. If you don’t want to read me rant again, you better skip the rest of the post.

the-boat-that-rocked1

[SPOILERY SPOILERS]

Continue reading