Re-Watch: Swan Lake Reloaded

Swan Lake Reloaded is a dance show by Fredrik Rydman. It’s a combination of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake with modern street dance. [I saw it a second time: here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Based on the classic Swan Lake, the show gives the old tale a new spin: A young prince who has grown tired with his partying lifestyle falls in love with a whore who is being controlled by her pimp through drugs.

The second time around this show was just as brilliant as the first time around though interestingly enough in a completely different way for me. It’s fascinating how these things go sometimes.

Swanlake_reloaded

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RoboCop (2014)

RoboCop
Director: José Padilha
Writer: Joshua Zetumer
Remake of: RoboCop
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Samuel L. Jackson

Plot:
OmniCorp are a robotics company who have been trying to get their robots on the ground in the USA as well. But people there don’t trust the judgement of robots. So when police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured by a bomb that was attached to his car, OmniCorp jumps at the opportunity. They ask Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), to take the parts of Alex that are still functional and build a half-human, half-robot police officer with it. But that combination isn’t easily pulled off and even after it is, there are still problems to be encountered.

There were some things that I liked about the film but in fact the most entertaining thing about it was standing around with my friends for an hour afterwards and bitching about all its failures. And there were plenty of those.

robocop

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RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Cast: Peter WellerNancy AllenDan O’HerlihyRonny CoxKurtwood SmithMiguel FerrerRobert DoQuiRay WiseFelton PerryPaul McCrane

Plot:
Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) just started in Detroit’s police force – an extremely dangerous job, considering the state Detroit is in. But he gets along well with his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) and they are quickly right in the middle of things. But as they confront a street gang though, everything goes wrong and Murphy is shot dead. Which makes him the perfect subject for a new project by OmniCorp, a huge robotics corporation. They take Murphy’s body and rebuild it with robotic parts, creating the RoboCop who takes on crime in Detroit, firmly under OmniCorp’s thumb.

RoboCop is probably one of those 80s action flicks you have to grow up with to appreciate them fully (like Die Hard or Terminator). I didn’t and watching RoboCop now certainly didn’t make me see its greatness.

robocop

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Nebraska (2013)

Nebraska
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Bob Nelson
Cast: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach

Plot:
Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is old, alcoholic and shows signs of dementia. So it’s no wonder that he actually believes the bogus letter informing him that he won the lottery and needs to come to Nebraska to pick it up. When his family doesn’t want to go with him, Woody tries to walk there. Several times. Until finally his son David (Will Forte) gives in and goes with him on a trip to Nebraska in the hopes of calming Woody. On the way there they are also confronted with the life Woody used to have.

Nebraska was so not my film. I was bored out of my mind for most of it and annoyed for the rest. There was nothing there for me, despite the good performances.

nebraska

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Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writer: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
Based on: Ron Woodroof’s life
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Rankin

Plot:
Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) loves the rodeo, to fuck women and to drink and take drugs. When he’s checked at the hospital after a work accident, Ron is told that he has HIV and about 30 days to live. First, Ron tries to ignore that, then he tries to get his hands on AZT, the new super-aggressive drug in trial for use against HIV. When nothing works, he heads to Mexico to see a doctor there who helps him. And so Ron decides to take back the medication to the US and sell it there. But that’s only the beginning of what is to become a successful Buyers Club.

Dallas Buyers Club picks an interesting and not that well-known part of HIV history and tells a good story with an excellent Matthew McConaughey and a very nice supporting cast.

dallas-buyers-club

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Blick in den Abgrund [Profilers, Gaze Into The Abyss] (2014)

Blick in den Abgrund
Director: Barbara Eder
Writer: Barbara Eder
Interviewees: Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm, Helen Louise Morrison, Roger L. Depue, Robert R. Hazelwood, Stephan Harbort, Gérard Labuschagne

Plot:
Blick in den Abgrund is a documentary about six different profilers and criminial psychologists. It takes a look at their work, their process and thinking and the toll the work might take on them.

Much is made of the professional Profiler in popculture. In movies they make Holmes-worthy deductions, narrowing down the list of suspects until there’s only one left who just has to be the pychopath. Eder’s movie comes from that awe. But instead of giving you a realisitc, but still admiring look at the profession, for me it had an almost discrediting effect.

blick-in-den-abgrund

[Slight Trigger Warning]

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Deadgirl (2008)

Deadgirl
Director: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel
Writer: Trent Haaga
Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, Eric Podnar, Jenny Spain, Michael Bowen

[MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS]

Plot:
Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) decide to ditch school and explore the local abandoned mental hospital (as you do). In the basement of said hospital they stumble upon a chained, naked woman (Jenny Spain) who isn’t dead, much to their surprise. Or at least nor really. JT sees the perfect opportunity to acquire a sex slave, while Rickie is a little more hesitant.

Deadgirl could have been an interesting comment on rape culture and the (sexual) objectification of women. Unfortunately instead it tries to be clever without actually understanding what it is about. And that just means it sucks so much there are hardly any words for it.

Deadgirl

[SPOILERS]

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The Station Agent (2003)

The Station Agent
Director: Thomas McCarthy
Writer: Thomas McCarthy
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Richard Kind, John Slattery, Joe Lo Truglio, Lynn Cohen

Plot:
Fin (Peter Dinklage) lives a very quiet life working in a model train shop. Until the shop owner and Fin’s only friend Henry (Paul Benjamin) dies and leaves Fin an abandoned train station in the middle of nowhere where Fin decides to move to. There Fin is found by Joe (Bobby Cannavale) who runs a foodtruck for his sick dad and then Fin is almost run over – twice – by Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), a painter going through a rough time. All three are obviously lonely and struggle with human contact in very different ways. But somehow that seems just the perfect recipe.

The Station Agent was a really sweet, entertaining and pretty much wonderful film. There is nothing not to like about it.

thestationagent

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Coriolanus

Coriolanus
Director: Josie Rourke
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Mark Gatiss, Deborah Findlay, Hadley Fraser, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Alfie Enoch, Jaqueline Boatswain, Peter De Jersey, Elliot Levey, Helen Schlesinger
[Somehow I managed to not review this. Don’t ask me how. But better late than never.]

Plot:
Caius Martius (Tom Hiddleston) is a celebrated general, even though he is not particularly popular with the people of Rome who are starving because the rations go to the military instead of them. Caius Martius fights his blood-enemy Aufidius (Hadley Fraser) in Corioles and is victorious, which gives him enough leverage to run for consul. Even though Caius Martius isn’t completely sold on the idea, his mother (Deborah Findlay) pressures him and he finally caves. But not everyone is a fan of Caius Martius and he quickly finds himself in trouble.

This is a great Coriolanus version. An excellent cast in an interesting set that makes the play shine. Not everything worked for me but it was always interesting to watch.

coriolanus

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My Brother the Devil (2012)

My Brother the Devil
Director: Sally El Hosaini
Writer: Sally El Hosaini
Cast: James Floyd, Fady Elsayed, Anthony Welsh, Amira Ghazalla, Nasser Memarzia, Aymen Hamdouchi, Arnold Oceng, Saïd Taghmaoui
[I was sent a screener of this film, you can catch it on iTunes.]

Plot:
Mo (Fady Elsayed) adores his big borther Rashid (James Floyd) and follows him wherever he can. But Rashid doesn’t want him along when he’s working because his work isn’t legal at all. Their neighborhood is generally rough and Rashid is in a gang dealing drugs. When Rashid’s best friend and fellow gang member AJ (Arnold Oceng) is killed, Rashid tries to turn his life around – which also means confronting his own sexuality and disillusionment for Mo.

My Brother the Devil was a fantastic film. Thoughtful, touching and beautiful it might not tell the newest story but tells it from an unique point of view.

My_Brother_the_Devil

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