The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Terence Winter
Based on: Jordan Belfort‘s book
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Shea Whigham

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of making a whole lot of money on Wall Street. At first this seems rather impossible, especially since the stock markets crash right when Jordan gets his broker’s license. But then Jordan finds a way to make it big, even if it’s not entirely legal. He enjoys the money way too much to care about that. Even when the FBI gets involved, he can’t stop.

The Wolf of Wall Street was one of the most uncomfortable movie experiences I had in recent times. It was not only the content, but also the length and the audience that had me cringing.


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Re-Watch: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Only Lovers Left Alive
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi
[Here’s my first review.]

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) have been a couple since about forever. And since they’re vampires that really is a long time. But recently they lived seperately – Adam in Detroit and Eve in Tangier. Adam is struggling with depression, so Eve comes to join him in Detroit. Their happy bubble is burst, though, when Eve’s volatile sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) comes to visit as well.

I don’t know when the last time was that I saw a movie in the cinema twice. But Only Lovers Left Alive had to be watched again, now it got its regular release here and so I did. And it was still brilliant.


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La vie d’Adèle [Blue Is the Warmest Color] (2013)

La vie d’Adèle
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writer: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
Based on: Julie Maroh‘s comic
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche

Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is in high school when she meets art student Emma (Léa Seydoux) and falls in love immediately, despite never really suspecting before that she might like women. And Emma, even though she has a girlfriend, really likes Adèle, too. Emma is comfortable and very out, as opposed to Adèle, but opposites obviously attract and the chemistry between the two of them is quite explosive.

Here’s what I took away from this movie: 1) lesbians have sex too (surprise, surprise). 2) 3 hours is really, really long. 3) there are many different ways you can look wistfully into a camera. In other words I didn’t care much for this movie.


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The Butler (2013)

The Butler
Director: Lee Daniels
Writer: Danny Strong
Based on: Wil Haygood’s article
Cast: Forest WhitakerOprah WinfreyDavid Oyelowo, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Nelsan Ellis

Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) grew up on a cotton farm where he officially wasn’t a slave anymore but he practically was. When he was old enough, he left there and after a period of hardship was lucky enough to find employment. Bit by bit he works his way up to becoming a butler and finally gets recruited into the White House. But racism is still a major issue.

The Butler has a great cast and the time passes rather quickly when you watch it, but it’s a manipulative film (which I was prepared for and which isn’t generally bad) that is so sweet that it leaves you in desperate need of insulin to manage it. And that was just too much.


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Re-Watch: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Director: Jim Sharman
Writer: Richard O’Brien, Jim Sharman
Cast: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray

Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) just got engaged and decide to visit their former teacher in whose class they met. But on the way there, they get lost and a flat tire and so they end up at a weird manor where strange things are going on. Not only is there a strange celebration, but the host, Dr Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) has announced that what they’re celebrating is that he built a man.

Looking objectively at it, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not a particularly good movie. The acting isn’t very good, the dialogues are cheesy, the special effects aren’t great. But none of that matters the slightest because it is one of the best movies ever. It knows what it is and what it wants and it takes it with a sense of humor and an excellent soundtrack. Also, Tim Curry’s legs just deserve their own film.


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Heart of Obsidian (Nalini Singh)

Heart of Obsidian is the latest novel in Nalini Singh‘s Psy-Changeling Series. [Here are my other reviews.]

Kaleb Krychek is one of the psy council. Or he was when that still existed. He is definitely one of the most dangerous people in the world. He’s been looking for Sahara for years. She has been missing, kidnapped because of her abiliteis. Now he finally found her, though he is not sure how much of her mind is actually still there. If it turns out that she was destroyed, Kaleb knows he’ll make the world pay for that.

Heart of Obsidian had a couple of things I didn’t like so much but most of it was awesome. I flew through the book and would have no trouble reading and enjoying it again.


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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Director: Ben Stiller
Writer: Steve Conrad
Based on: James Thurber‘s short story (which you can read here)
Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Adrian Martinez, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) works for Life magazine, handling their photo negatives. It’s not the most exciting job and Walter has a tendency to drift off in daydreams. Recently his dreams have been dominated by Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). And then Life gets taken over. For their last issue they are supposed to have star photographer Sean O’Connell’s (Sean Penn) self-proclaimed best photo on the cover – but Walter can’t find it. So he makes his way through the world to track Sean down.

The Scret Life of Walter Mitty was an incredibly sweet, funny and nice film that won me over with its sense of humor and its beautiful images.


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Filth (Irvine Welsh)

Filth is a novel by Irvine Welsh. [I reviewed the movie adaptation here.]

Bruce Robertson is every bad stereotype of a police man: he’s a misanthropic, sexist, racist, power-obsessed asshole who is supposed to investigate the death of a black journalist. Instead he’d rather think about how to get the promotion to Detective Inspector, even though he doesn’t actually like doing his job. But Bruce is not only an asshole, all is not right with him in general. As his convoluted intrigues become ever more complicated, his mental state continues to deteriorate.

Bruce Robertson is an intriguing character and Welsh really gets inside his head. Which meant that it wasn’t always easy to read Filth, but it was a rewarding read.



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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Based on: J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, and other books of his
Sequel to: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Prequel to: The Lord of the Rings
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam BrownOrlando BloomEvangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Manu Bennett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mikael Persbrandt

The dwarves and Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) have come quite a way under the leadership of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Thorin (Richard Armitage), but they still have a long way ahead of them until they will reach the dragon. As they reach Mirkwood, Gandalf has to leave them and the group soon finds itself in the clutches of the wood elves and King Thranduill (Lee Pace).

I already enjoyed the last Hobbit movie but this was one was even better. The pacing works more smoothly (even if it could have been a little shorter), the characters are awesome as usual and it has brilliant moments (and moments of none-brilliance).


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La montagna del dio cannibale [The Mountain of the Cannibal God] (1978)

La montagna del dio cannibale
Director: Sergio Martino
Writer: Sergio Martino, Cesare Frugoni
Cast: Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach, Claudio Cassinelli, Antonio Marsina
Part of: /slash Filmfestival Christmas special

Susan Stevenson (Ursula Andress) travels to New Guinea to find her husband who went missing after going on an unsanctioned expedition into the jungle there. So she enlists Edward Foster’s (Stacy Keach) help to find him. Together they, and Susan’s brother Arthur (Antonio Marsina) head into the jungle themselves. But the jungle is a dangerous place.

The Mountain of the Cannibal God is a pure exploitation movie. It’s racist and sexist and quite frankly ridiculous. It features an inordinate amount of actual animal killings. But as such it is so incredibly absurd, I could barely take my eyes off the screen.



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