Tracks (2013)

Tracks
Director: John Curran
Writer: Marion Nelson
Based on: Robyn Davidson‘s autobiographic book
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Rainer Bock

Plot:
Robyn (Mia Wasikowska) dreams of getting away. And not just any kind of getting away but crossing the Australian desert with nothing but a couple of camels and her dog. But it is not easy to do that or to get any support from anyone from it, especially not as a young woman. But Robyn is persistent, manages to find her camels and funding (even if that funding means that she has to be confronted with photographer Rick (Adam Driver)) and is off across the desert.

Tracks tells an interesting story about an interesting woman. It has some pacing issues but it is good to watch.

tracks

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Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann [The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window and Vanished] (2013)

Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann
Director: Felix Herngren
Writer: Felix Herngren, Hans Ingemansson
Based on: Jonas Jonasson‘s novel
Cast: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander, David Wiberg, Mia Skäringer, Alan Ford

Plot:
It’s Allan’s (Robert Gustafsson) hundredth birthday but he’s not interested in celebrating in the retirement home he lives in. Instead he stages a break-out and goes on a journey that takes him much further than expected and makes him recall the most important stops in his life. And while Allan certainly isn’t the smartest person, there are many stops in his life that are important to European history in general.

The Centenarian… is basically the European attempt at Forrest Gump. Only that it didn’t work quite as well.

centenarian

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Ahoy from the Baltic Sea

The Easter Holidays saw me going to the Baltic Sea with (some of) my family, including three of the many dogs in the family. We rented a small house on the island Usedom and spent a little over a week there, exploring the area and the wonderful beaches. Consider this post a suggestion that you should totally go there. At least if you like beaches like this:

usedom

The beach in Karlshagen

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Pandemonium (Daryl Gregory)

Pandemonium is Daryl Gregory‘s first novel.

Plot:
When he was a little boy, Del was possessed by a demon – a not-uncommon occurrence since the 1950s. The demon was finally exorcised but then Del, now adult, gets into a car accident and that seems to shake something loose in his head. Something that’s desperately trying to get out. It seems that the exorcism didn’t work that well after all. But that just puts Del on the map for the Human League who are trying to rid humanity of the demonic epidemic.

Pandemonium honestly surprised me. I expected a different book than what I got. One that wasn’t as smart or as good. Surprises like this really should happen more often.

gregory_pandemonium

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A Long Way Down (2014)

A Long Way Down
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Writer: Jack Thorne
Based on: Nick Hornby‘s novel
Cast: Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Sam Neill

Plot:
Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides that he’s had enough. On New Year’s Eve he heads to Topper’s House to throw himself off the roof there. But Topper’s House is a popular spot for suicide and so he meets Jess (Imogen Poots), J.J. (Aaron Paul) and Maureen (Toni Collette) who have had the same plan. Instead of following through, circumstances let’s the four of them make a pact that they’ll wait until Valentine’s Day with it.

A Long Way Down is sweet, even if a little inconsequential. But it does have its heart in the right place.

alongwaydown

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Divergent (2014)

Divergent
Director: Neil Burger
Writer: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor
Based on: Veronica Roth’s novel
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet

Plot:
In Beatrice’ (Shailene Woodley) world, people are divided into five castes according to their strengths – Abnegation are the selfless, Erudite the intelligence, Candor the truthful, Dauntless the brave and Amity the peaceful. Until their 16th birthday, kids just live in the caste of their parents, but then there’s an aptitude test and they have to choose their own place. For Beatrice that means ending up to choose Dauntless, while her brother (Ansel Elgort) chooses Erudite – much to the shock of their parents who practically lose them both since they remain in Abnegation. Adapting to the new caste is a challenge for Beatrice, now Tris, and having a crush on her instructor Four (Theo James) doesn’t help. But there are even bigger things at stake.

I’m already not a huge fan of the book series but the film was even worse. Flat, boring and pretty much wasting the (supporting) cast.

divergent

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The Lego Movie (2014)

The Lego Movie
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Writer: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Cast: Chris PrattElizabeth BanksMorgan FreemanLiam Neeson, Will ArnettNick Offerman, Alison BrieCobie Smulders, Jonah HillChanning Tatum, Will FerrellWill Forte, Charlie Day, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal

Plot:
Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary lego worker, spending his days joyfully building things, though he is also a bit lonely. Everything changes though, when he sees Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), gets identified as the most extraordinary person and involved in the rebellion against Lord Business (Will Ferrell) whose main goal is to have everything in its place, chaos and with it diversity be damned.

The Lego Movie was a whole lot of fun, stitched together from references and meta jokes that nevertheless manage to form a coherent role with a rather surprising end, even if it sometimes runs a bit empty.
lego

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Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders (Gyles Brandreth)

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders is the first novel in the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, a series of books about Oscar Wilde as a Sherlock-Holmesian detective by Gyles Brandreth.

Plot:
Robert Sherard tells the story of how Oscar Wilde happens on the naked body of a young boy and decides that he has to solve that murder. Especially after the body and all trace of the crime disappear. With the help of Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle takes up the case that leads him through public clubs to secret societies.

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders was a quick and enjoyable read but I did have some issues with it as well.

ow_candlelight

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Noah (2014)

Noah
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Based on: the bible and other religious/mythological texts
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, Kevin Durand, Marton Csokas

Plot:
Cain’s descendants industrialized and ravaged the earth, while Seth’s descendants try and live a harmonious life with nature. Noah (Russell Crowe) is one of the latter and he and his family are the last ones.That’s when God sends Noah a message: he will send a big flood to renew the Earth and only Noah, his family and the animals of the earth are supposed to survive. But Cain’s descendants, led by Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) don’t think much of that plan.

I was serisouly let down by Noah. I’ve loved Aronofsky’s work so far but this film is not only boring over long stretches, it shows severe misogyny.

noah[SPOILERS]

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Her (2013)

Her
Director: Spike Jonze
Writer: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin PhoenixScarlett JohanssonAmy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Bill HaderOlivia Wilde, Soko, Brian Cox

Plot:
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has been leading a rather solitary life since he separated from his girlfriend Catherine (Rooney Mara), mostly occupied with work – writing personal letters for other people. Then he gets a new AI OS for his phone. And that OS – Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) quickly becomes a huge part of his life to the point where Theodore falls in love with her.

Her is a beautiful movie with great performances though I wasn’t quite as blown away by it as I expected to be. Nevertheless it is rather wonderful.

her

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