Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast & Furious
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Gal Gadot, Shea Whigham, Sung Kang

Plot:
Dom (Vin Diesel) has been on the run outside of the US for a while when he gets the message from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) that his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has been shot and killed. So he returns to the US to track down the killer. Which brings him directly into the investigation of by now FBI-agent Brian (Paul Walker) as they both try to infiltrate the organisation of drug dealer Braga.

After the utter drag that was Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious was fun again. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t perfect, but it was fun.

fast_and_furious

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious; 2 Fast 2 Furious
Cast: Lucas BlackNathalie KelleyBow Wow, Brian Tee, Sung Kang, Zachery Ty BryanBrian Goodman, Vin Diesel

Plot:
After getting into mostly car-race-related trouble repeatedly, Sean (Lucas Black) is sent to Japan, where his father (Brian Goodman) is stationed. But even in Tokyo, he manages to get in trouble quickly: he falls in love with Neela (Nathalie Kelley) who is dating yakuza D.K. (Brian Tee), he starts racing again, though he doesn’t know how to drift. That’s when Han (Sung Kang) finds him and takes him under his wing.

So far The Fast and the Furious movie have been okay. The first one was fun, the second one not so much anymore. But this one just plain sucked. And its connections to the entire franchise are strenuous at best.

tokyodrift

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Maria Bill

Maria Bill is an Austrian/Swiss singer. She’s currently touring with a program called “Maria sings Bill“, basically a Best of.

I went to this concert with and for my mom (it was a birthday present from three of my sisters and me – we spent the day with her, went to a pottery class and to the concert) without knowing any of Bill’s songs (not even her biggest hit I mecht landen). And I was rather doubtful that it would be my thing. But I did enjoy myself surprisingly much.

mariabill

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Albert Nobbs (2011)

Albert Nobbs
Director: Rodrigo García
Writer: Glenn Close, John Banville, Gabriella Prekop
Based on: George Moore‘s short story
Cast: Glenn Close, Mia WasikowskaAaron Taylor-Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Brendan Gleeson, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Mark Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Part of: The film will be shown on June 6th in Vienna as opening film of the identities Festival.

Plot:
Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) has been working as a butler since about forever and in all this time nobody ever suspected the truth: that he is actually a woman. But then zie gets an impromptu roommate in Mr Paige (Janet McTeer) who turns out to be a woman as well. And not only that, she is even married! So Albert gets it in hir head that zie could get married, too. Especially since zie’s been in love with Helen (Mia Wasikowska) since about forever. So zie starts courting her, despite the fact that Helen is going out with Joe (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

I liked Albert Nobbs a lot – right until the ending, which sucked. But it had amazing performances and interesting characters. So that’s at least something.

albert-nobbs

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Epic (2013)

Epic
Director: Chris Wedge
Writer: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, James V. Hart, William Joyce, Daniel Shere
Based on: William Joyce‘s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Aziz AnsariChris O’Dowd, Christoph Waltz, Beyoncé Knowles, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Judah Friedlander, Steven Tyler

Plot:
M.K.’s (Amanda Seyfried) mother just died so he moves back in with her father Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), a very confused professor who is convinced that there are tiny people living in the woods and taking care of it. A theory that got him laughed out of every scientific community. But then M.K. discovers that he was right and finds herself caught in the middle of a struggle between the Leafmen who let the things in the forest grow and the Boggans who let them rot.

Epic was funny, totally sweet and very entertaining. I was very pleasantly surprised by the entire thing.

Epic

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I Am a Woman Now (2011)

I Am a Woman Now
Director: Michiel van Erp
Cast: April Ashley, Colette Berends, Jean Lessenich, Marie-Pierre Pruvot, Corinne van Tongerloo
Part of: The film will be shown on June 12th in Vienna as part of the identities Festival.

Plot:
I Am a Woman Now is a documentary about the first generation of transsexual women who got operated on in the 50s, 60s and 70s by Doctor Burou in Marocco. Among these women are Coccinelle and April Ashley. The documentary looks at the lives of these women today, as they try to reconnect with the time around their surgery.

I admit that I know practically nothing about the history of transgendered people. So this was a fascinating possibility for me to get a bit of information about it. And it’s generally a very nice look at the topic.

iamawomannow

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Pariah (2011)

Pariah
Director: Dee Rees
Writer: Dee Rees
Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra Mellesse, Kim Wayans
Part of: The film will be shown on June 15th in Vienna as part of the identities festival.

Plot:
When 16 year old Alike (Adepero Oduye) is out with her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), they go to lesbian clubbings and try to get Qlike her first kiss. But at home, she has to hide her sexual orientation, though her parents do suspect something’s up. Her mother (Sahra Mellesse) tries to get her out of Laura’s influence in the hopes to change things, while her father (Charles Parnell) doesn’t want to get involved much.

Pariah was a well made, engaging film that doesn’t tell a very easy story (even if it’s not the newest) but tells it with a lot empathy and sensitivity, and a good cast.

pariah

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2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

2 Fast 2 Furious
Director: John Singleton
Writer: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious
Cast: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Ludacris, Thom Barry, James Remar, Devon Aoki, Amaury Nolasco, Michael Ealy,
Mark Boone Junior

Plot:
After what happened in The Fast and the Furious, Brian (Paul Walker) now makes his money with illegal car races. At least until the police grab him and suggest that he could do some undercover work for them again. So Brian chooses a partner, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) who he grew up with and together they infiltrate the crew of drug dealer Verone (Cole Hauser), joining Monica (Eva Mendes) who has been undercover there for months.

2 Fast 2 Furious was actually pretty boring. I didn’t care much about the plot or the characters and since I don’t care for cars, either, there was nothing, really, that could have sold this film to me.

2fast2furious

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The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Based on: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprioCarey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Adelaide Clemens, Amitabh Bachchan, Callan McAuliffe

Plot:
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) decided to get into the bond business. He moves into a little house just outside of New York and reconnects with his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) who lives nearby after getting married to Tom (Joel Edgerton) who comes from a whole lot of old money. Nick’s next door neighbor is a man called Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is filthy rich as well, but from new money. Gatsby celebrates grand parties every weekend. When Nick is invited to one, he finds out that Gatsby and Daisy are somehow connected.

Unfortunately I didn’t love the movie as much as I loved the book. It wasn’t that bad but there were also a few issues, making the movie work only half of the time.

The-Great-Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

The Great Gatsby is probably F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s most famous novel.

Plot:
Nick Carraway decided to get into the bond business. He moves into a little house just outside of New York and reconnects with his cousin Daisy who lives nearby after getting married to Tom who comes from a whole lot of old money. Nick’s next door neighbor is a man called Gatsby, who is filthy rich as well, but from new money. Gatsby celebrates grand parties every weekend. When Nick is invited to one, he finds out that Gatsby and Daisy are somehow connected.

I pretty much loved Gatsby. It’s beautifully written and tells an interesting, many-layered story. And you can read it pretty quickly.

fitzgerald the great gatsby

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