Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Billy Ray
Based on: Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty’s book
Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Catherine Keener, Max Martini

Plot:
Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) has been a container ship captain for a while. But during his recent trip, things start to go wrong when their ship is being followed by a group of Somali pirates, led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Phillips can thwart their first attack, but then he finds his ship taken over. And that’s just the beginning.

Captain Phillips starts off very well but then it all got a bit much for me. But Greengrass never lets it get boring and Tom Hanks hasn’t impressed me as much since about forever.

captain_phillips

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The Fifth Estate (2013)

The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Josh Singer
Based on: Daniel Domscheit-Berg‘s book and David Leigh and Luke Harding‘s book
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, Michael Culkin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Carice van Houten, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, Alexander Siddig

Plot:
When Daniel (Daniel Brühl) meets Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) he is more than excited: Daniel has been keeping track of Julian’s hacking work and the WikiLeaks site he instated: a perfectly anonymous option for whistleblowers. Daniel wants to work with Julian and Julian lets him in, reluctantly at first. But soon their project gets bigger than they ever expected.

The Fifth Estate was an entertaining movie with a few lenghts and a disturbing subtitle-phobia. The cast was absolutely awesome, though.

FifthEstate

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Richard II

Richard II
Director: Gregory Doran
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: David Tennant, Nigel Lindsay, Sean Chapman, Michael Pennington, Oliver Rix, Jane Lapotaire
[No, I didn’t go to London again, I saw the live broadcast at my local cinema. I’m really happy about all this theater in the cinema, btw. It’s a wonderful development and we’re getting more and I love it.]

Plot:
Richard II (David Tennant) has been king for pretty much ever, but when the Duke of Gloucester is murdered and Richard’s cousin Henry Bolingbroke (Nigel Lindsay) accuses Thomas Mowbray (Antony Byrne) of said murder and squandering royal money, the first cracks appear in Richard’s claim to power. He banishes Henry and Thomas both, instead of seeing die in a duel, but Henry isn’t satisfied.

Richard II is just like theater should be. The cast is great, the set design brilliant, the play is wonderful. Gave me goosebumps all over and made me realize I really have to read more Shakespeare. In short, it’s a full success.

richardII

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Upstream Color (2013)

Upstream Color
Director: Shane Carruth
Writer: Shane Carruth
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Kris (Amy Seimetz) is drugged by a man (Thiago Martins) with something based on a worm that makes her entirely susceptible to his suggestions. He uses that to give her nonsensical instructions while he clears out her accounts. After that Kris is summoned to a pig farm where the worm is drained out of her. When Kris wakes up from her state, her life is destroyed. It is only when she meets Jeff (Shane Carruth) with whom she forms an immediate, pretty much metaphysical connection that she starts to piece together what happened to her – and him.

Upstream Color was the last film I saw at this year’s Viennale and simultaneously one of the films I looked forward to the most, having heard only good things about Primer (which I have yet to see). Unfortunately things didn’t really go my way.

Upstream_Color

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About Time (2013)

About Time
Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths

Plot:
When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that he has the ability to travel in time. Disbelieving at first, Tim finds out that it’s true and decides that this might finally be the thing to allow him to find a girlfriend. But things aren’t easy, not even when you have such abilities and when Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) he finds that out for himself.

About Time was sweet, funny and utterly charming. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

abouttime

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Erica Rivinoja
Based on: Judi Barrett‘s and Ron Barrett‘s characters
Sequel to: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal

Plot:
Flint (Bill Hader) and Sam (Anna Faris) have just gotten things under control with the FLDSMDFR, when The Live Corp, headed by Chester V (Will Forte) swoops in to take over the clean-up and to offer Flint a job. Since Chester V has been Flint’s idol since about forever, he accepts gladly. But it soon turns out that The Live Corp has nefarious plans for the FLDSMDFR and the foodimals it started producing.

I very much liked Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but this sequel was extremely disappointing. Aside from the (partly excellent) punning, there’s practically nothing to it.

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2

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Jimmy P. (2013)

Jimmy P. aka Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Writer: Arnaud Desplechin, Kent Jones, Julie Peyr
Based on: Georges Devereux‘ book Reality and Dream: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric, Gina McKeeMichelle Thrush, Larry Pine, Misty Upham
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Jimmy Picard (Benicio Del Toro) returned from the war a changed man. His panic attacks have his sister Gayle (Michelle Thrush) worried, so she takes it upon her to find a good doctor for him. They’re referred to a hospital where the doctors think it best to involve an anthropologist, Georges Devereux (Mathieu Amalric), who might be able to tell if Jimmy is actually schizophrenic or just an “Indian”.

Jimmy P. had an excellent cast and the story is really interesting, but everything else was rather “eh”.

jimmyp

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Camille Claudel 1915 (2013)

Camille Claudel 1915
Director: Bruno Dumont
Writer: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Jean-Luc Vincent
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Camille Claudel (Juliette Binoche) was and artist, the sister of Paul Claudel (Jean-Luc Vincent) and a lover of Auguste Rodin. But after the break-up with Rodin, her family had her commited to an asylum where she now spends her days amidst people with mental disabilities, convinced that people are trying to poison her. When she hears that her brother plans a visit, she puts all her hope in him releasing her.

Holy crap, Camille Claudel 1915 was booo-ring. Despite Binoche’s wonderful acting, it didn’t take long for me to wish that the movie would turn out to be a short film. But it wasn’t and so I suffered.

camille-claudel-1915

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor: The Dark World
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: Stan Lee‘s, Larry Lieber‘s and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Sequel to: Thor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Zachary Levi , Jaimie Alexander, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jonathan Howard, Chris O’Dowd, [SPOILERS] Benicio Del Toro, Chris Evans
Part of: Marvel movies

Plot:
Ever since the events in Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has done his best to ensure the peace across the realms, while Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is locked up on Asgard. Which means that Thor doesn’t have time for Jane (Natalie Portman) who is still waiting for him. But when Jane stumbles on the Aether, an ancient weapon, Thor comes to her aid, just as Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) comes for the Aether, planning to destroy the universe with it.

As much as I love the first Thor movie – and I do – I have to admit that it doesn’t quite reach the heights that Thor: The Dark World reaches. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard in a movie, especially an action movie. It does almost everything completely right and it’s just plain great.

thor-the-dark-world

[SPOILERS]

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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Based on: Scott Thorson‘s and Alex Thorleifson’s memoir
Cast: Michael Douglas, Matt DamonScott Bakula, Debbie Reynolds, Cheyenne Jackson, Dan AykroydRob Lowe, David Koechner, Garrett M. Brown

Plot:
When young Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) meets Liberace (Michael Douglas), he is impressed – by his lifestyle, his money and status, his talent. Liberace, whose relationship with Billy (Cheyenne Jackson) is in its last moments, also takes to Scott and Scott quickly finds himself in Billy’s place. But living with Liberace sure isn’t easy.

Behind the Candelabra was entertaining and funny, had a great cast and awesome make-up. It probably isn’t the best movie of all times, but it is extremely enjoyable.

behind-the-candelabra

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