Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is the newest film by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, written by Dan Fogelman, starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon and Josh Groban.

Plot:
Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have been married for quite a while and the heat is pretty much gone. And then Emily asks for a divorce. Cal is heartbroken and loses all sense of orientation. That is, until womanizer Jacob (Ryan Gosling) finds him and takes pity on him. Jacob basically gives Cal a make-over and shows him how to pick up women. But will that make either of them happy?

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a wonderful romcom. It’s sweet, it’s actually funny, the performances are good and really did surprise me. An evening very well spent.

Continue reading

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger* is the newest film by Joe Johnston, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on the comic books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Richard Armitage, Toby Jones and Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot:
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) dreams only of one thing: he wants to be able to do his duty for  his country and fight in WW2. Unfortunately, he is small and sickly and is never accepted into the army, unlike his best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan). During one last attempt to sign up, he meets Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci). Erskine is convinced he sees the right morality in Steve to take part in his experiment: Erskine is trying to develop a supersoldier. Steve jumps at the chance – but that’s only the beginning of his journey.

After the buzz Captain America got, I was expecting a movie that was actually good – and was surprised how craptastic the film actually was. I was still entertained very much. But there were many moments of entertainment out of ridiculousness.

Continue reading

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Cowboys & Aliens is the newest film by Jon Favreau, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on Scott Mitchell Rosenberg‘s comic book, starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano.

Plot:
Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert, without his memories but with a weird bracelet on his arm that he isn’t able to remove. He makes his way to the town of Absolution where he is recognised as a wanted fugitive when he gives Percy (Paul Dano), the son of the local head honcho Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), his due. Before things can go really bad, Absolution is attacked by space ships and many of the town inhabitants are abducted, among them Percy and the town’s barkeeper Doc’s (Sam Rockwell) wife. That’s when Jake’s bracelet kicks into action and shows some really special features. So, a search party heads out to find the missing people, including Jake, Woodrow, Doc and the mysterious Ella (Olivia Wilde).

Cowboys & Aliens is a well paced action flick with a good sense of humor and a very good cast. I liked it a lot.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Dead as a Doornail (Charlaine Harris)

Dead as a Doornail is the fifth book* of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris. [Here’s my review of the other books.]

Plot:
Somebody is shooting shapeshifters in the area: A young woman dies, Calvin Norris ends up in the hospital and Sam is shot in the leg. To keep Merlotte’s going, Sam asks Sookie to ask Eric to lend him bartender. Eric complies and sends Charles Twining, his new bartender to Bon Temps. Which is a good thing, since Charles, together with Claudine, saves Sookie’s life right away when her house is burnt down by a member of the Fellowship of the Sun. And then the leader of Alcide’s werewolf pack is killed and Sookie gets pulled into the search for a successor.

The book feels like preparation, building up of backstory for books to come and I can only hope that it really turns out to be that way because I could do with a strong plot for once.

*Pro-Tip: If you read the short story Fairy Dust before delving into this book, Claude’s introduction won’t be that much of a surprise.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Dead to the World (Charlaine Harris)

Dead to the World is the fourth book of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris. [Here’s my review of the other books.]

Plot:
On New Year’s Eve, Sookie stumbles upon Eric who is running in a panic close to her house. It is quickly obvious that Eric lost his memory. Pam, Eric’s second in command, explains that there is a new witch coven in town who tried to take over Eric’s business. When Eric refused to hand it over, they cursed him. Pam asks Sookie to take care of Eric while they figure it out, to which Sookie reluctantly agrees. But then Jason disappears and Alcide’s werewolf pack gets involved and things are much bigger than they first appeared.

As in all of these books, I couldn’t care less about the general plot of things – I’m really only reading for the relationship stuff. And since this book focusses on my favorite guy, I liked it a lot. In short: I loved the Eric-centerdness of this book. You can never have enough Eric.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Homies [HipHop Express] (2010)

Homies is a music film by Adnan Köse, written by him and Andrea Kriegl and starring Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht, Sabrina Wilstermann, Ismail Deniz, Ali Murtaza, Selina Shirin Müller, Günther Kaufmann and Detlef D. Soost.

Plot:
Marvin (Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht) would have his life cut out for him, working in his mother’s real estate agency and earning a whole lot of money. But all Marvin really wants to do is become a rapper, just like his big idol DW Court (Günther Kaufmann). After a magical encounter with the dead Court, Marvin stumbles upon a crew of poor kids who have thrown their lot together under the tutelage of Osman (Ismail Deniz). To fit in Marvin pretends to be poor, impresses Osman with his rapping skills and falls in love with Stella (Sabrina Wilstermann). But Osman – who has his eye on Stella himself – grows suspicious of Marvin’s story.

I didn’t expect this film to be good. I only watched it because it was my nephew’s birthday and he’s a huge Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht fan (he is seven. It shall be forgiven in time), so I invited him to the cinema. Anyway. Even though I didn’t expect the film to be good in the first place, I was still surprised how bad it really is.

Continue reading

Club Dead (Charlaine Harris)

Club Dead is the third book of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris. [Here’s my review of the first two books.]

Plot:
Since Bill started working on a secret computer project for the (vampire) Queen of Louisiana, he and Sookie have become a little distant. And then Bill disappears and a werewolf tries to kill Sookie. She is saved by Bubba who was sent by Eric. Eric suspects that Bill is in Mississippi where he shacked up with his maker Lorena. Since Mississippi belongs to its King, Eric asks Sookie to go there to investigate. Despite Bill’s apparent betrayal in going back to Lorena, Sookie agrees. So Eric sends her the werewolf Alcide and together they go to Jackson and start trying to find out what’s going on.

Club Dead is probably the best book in the series so far, even if that doesn’t make it stellar. That book has some issues. But it helps that for the most part, there is no Bill, but a lot of Alcide.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Living Dead in Dallas (Charlaine Harris)

Living Dead in Dallas is the second book of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris. [Here’s my review of the first book.]

Plot:
A vampire went missing in Dallas and Sookie is recruited by Eric to travel there (together with Bill) to use her skills to find out more about it. She soon discovers that the new vampire hating church The Fellowship of the Sun seems to have something to do with the disappearance. At the same time Sookie discovers that the world is fuller with supernatural creatures than she ever expected: she gets attacked by a maenad who wants to send Eric a message and makes the acquaintance of a few werewolves.

The plotting in this one is a complete mess and even though there are not many parts of the book that I liked, it was a good read in general. Most of that is due to Eric and Eric’s awesome, though part of the credit also goes to Sookie who I simply like.

[Slight Spoilers]

Continue reading

Re-Read: Dead Until Dark (Charlaine Harris)

Dead Until Dark is the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris and the basis for the TV show True Blood. [Here’s my first review of it.]

Plot (shamelessly copied from myself):
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in Bon Temps, a small city in Louisiana. And she’s also very SPESHUL, as she can hear people’s thoughts, which drives her crazy. Then along comes Bill – he’s a vampire and Sookie can’t hear a thing he’s thinking. Which of course means *snip* romance! With all the romancing, you almost forget that there’s a killer on the lose – killing girls, who slept with vampires.

The first time round I wasn’t very excited about the book. But then a boxed set lured me in and I had the first eight books of the series at home and I figured now that I bought them, I can read them as well and decided to start again with the first book. And this time round, I liked it much better.

Now on with the review that is much less of a comparison with True Blood and much more of a review than that first one.

Continue reading

Frequency Festival 2011

It’s now almost a month ago, but I finally get around to writing about the Frequency Festival of this year. [Here’s 2010. Here 2008.] My partner in crime was deadra, as usual.

Thursday

We started on Thursday, just like the festival. We had originally planned to stay at deadra’s uncle’s place to avoid the camping (what can I say, we’re suckers for showers and comfort). But her uncle thought that his cellar wasn’t good enough to us and wouldn’t listen when we said that, really, our alternative was sleeping in a tent in the mud, we’d take anything. He still wouldn’t be persuaded. Instead he got us a room in a small inn a few kilometers outside of St. Pölten, where the festival was. It was really sweet of him, even though the inn itself could have easily been used to shoot a horror film. Perpetually empty and there was a cross-stitched cat above the bed. Anyway. We had a warm room, an excellent shower and a bed – pure luxury.

After moving into our room, we headed straight to the festival. We were rather early, so we had enough time to re-acquaint ourselves with the area and starting to sweat in the delicious summer weather.

Continue reading