Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Sequel to: Ant-Man
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 27.7.2018

Plot:
Scott (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for going to Germany and helping out the Avengers. At least that gives him a lot of time to spend time with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Meanwhile Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank (Michael Douglas) are trying hard to find a way into the quantum realm where they suspect Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) to be. The only other person who ever made it there is Scott. When Hope and Hank manage to briefly create a tunnel there, Scott receives a message from Janet. That quickly, he finds himself back in the Ant-Man suit, skirting the last days of his house arrest and trying to help.

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a whole lot of fun and definitely worked better for me than the first Ant-Man film. It still feels like a sideplot in the entire MCU, but a very entertaining one.

The film poster shwoing the main characters of the film.
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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables
Director: Adam Brazier
Writer: music by Norman Campbell, book and lyrics by Don Harron
Based on: Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel
Cast: A. J. Bridel, Susan Henley, George Masswohl, Katie Kerr, Aaron Hastelow, Marlane O’Brien
Seen on: 23.7.2018

Plot:
Siblings Marilla (Susan Henley) and Matthew Cuthbert (George Masswohl) have decided to take in a foster child. A strong boy who can help them with the work on the farm – work that has become harder for them as they grew older. But when Matthew goes to the train station to pick the kid up, he finds a girl – Anne Shirley (A. J. Bridel). Not knowing what else to do, he takes her home anyway. And before they can clear things up, Anne has wormed her way into their hearts as much as the hearts of all of Avonlea.

I caught this musical version of the novel pretty spontaneously and it was nice and entertaining, but it didn’t win me over as much as the novel did.

The stage just before the show starts.
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Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery)

Anne of Green Gables is the first novels in the series by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Finished on: 23.7.2018

Plot:
Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert have decided to take in a foster child. A strong boy who can help them with the work on the farm – work that has become harder for them as they grew older. But when Matthew goes to the train station to pick the kid up, he finds a girl – Anne Shirley. Not knowing what else to do, he takes her home anyway. And before they can clear things up, Anne has wormed her way into their hearts as much as the hearts of all of Avonlea.

I never read Anne of Green Gables as a kid but when I went to Canada (including Prince Edward Island) myself, I figured, I’d give it a read. I didn’t expect great things, but turns out, I absolutely loved the novel.

Book cover showing a drawing of a red-haired girl on a bridge over a small river.
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Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013)

Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Director: Jeff Barnaby
Writer: Jeff Barnaby
Cast: Devery Jacobs, Glen Gould, Brandon Oakes, Roseanne Supernault, Mark Antony Krupa, Cody Bird, Nathan Alexis, Kenneth D’Ailleboust, Kent McQuaid, Katherine Sorbey
Seen on: 17.7.2018

Plot:
It’s 1976 and by law, all First Nations children under 16 have to attend residential schools. For the Red Crow Mi’kmaq that means being locked up at school and at the mercy of the sadistic truant officer Popper (Mark Antony Krupa). So it’s not surprising that Aila (Devery Jacobs) tries to keep herself away from school, like many other First Nation families. So far she managed to pay Popper off by selling weed with her uncle Burner (Brandon Oakes). But when her father (Glen Gould) comes home from prison, things become unbalanced.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls takes on a difficult subject with a lot of understanding and creativity for a full emotional impact. It’s really strong.

Film poster showing a cowering naked girl from behind with the film title written across her back.
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Brown Girl Begins (2017)

Brown Girl Begins
Director: Sharon Lewis
Writer: Sharon Lewis
Cast: Mouna Traoré, Nigel Shawn Williams, Shakura S’Aida, Emmanuel Kabongo, Measha Brueggergosman, Hannah Chantée, Alli Chung, Rachael Crawford
Seen on: 17.7.2018

Plot:
Toronto 2049: The rich have barricaded themselves in the city, exiling the poor to an island called The Burn. Ti-Jeanne (Mouna Traoré) is one of the inhabitants of the island, set to follow her grandmother Mami (Shakura S’Aida) as the priestess who leads the island people. But that succession includes a possession ritual – and that very ritual killed Ti-Jeanne’s mother. So it doesn’t seem suprising that she would rather run away with Tony (Emmanuel Kabongo). But one can’t really run away from one’s legacy – especially when it takes the form of Papa Legba (Nigel Shawn Williams).

It probably can’t get more low-budget than Brown Girl Begins and that’s pretty visible. But it’s also entirely irrelevant because the film tells a good story and it tells it well. You don’t need more than that. It’s innovative and traditional at the same time – and definitely creative.

The film poster showing Mouna Traoré in front of a blue background witjy sjy and a city skyline.
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Proud Mary (2018)

Proud Mary
Director: Babak Najafi
Writer: John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal, Steve Antin
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Neal McDonough, Margaret Avery, Xander Berkeley, Rade Serbedzija, Erik LaRay Harvey, Danny Glover
Seen on: 17.7.2018

Plot:
Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a contract killer and a damn good one. She never had any problems with doing her job but after she shoots Marcus Miller, she discovers that he has a son, Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) – and she finds that she can’t let him go, watching him from afar. Danny’s circumstances haven’t become better since his father’s death. He lives on his own and became involved in drug dealing, working for Uncle (Xander Berkeley). But when things go south on one of his deals, Mary steps in and takes Danny under her wing. The thing is that she does so by upending the entire balance of Boston’s underworld.

I was really looking forward to Proud Mary – and disappointed that it never made it to cinemas in Austria. Now that I’ve seen it, I understand why it was buried, though. It really doesn’t work.

The film poster showing Taraji P. Henson's face in pink-and-white, with characters and scenes from the film arranged around her head to make an afro, also in pink-and-white.
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Turning Point (Steph Swainston)

Turning Point is a collection of short stories set in the Fourlands, written by Steph Swainston.
[Here are my reviews of the other books.]
Finished on: 15.7.2018

Turning Point collects four short stories set in the Fourlands told from different perspectives and about different people, plus there are two maps and a family tree to provide more details about the Fourlands. It’s a very nice collection for fans of the Fourlands.

The book cover with the letters of Turning Point stretched out over the entire page in front of a red background with black smoke. The Ns are facing the wrong way.

Read more about each of the stories after the jump.

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Skyscraper (2018)

Skyscraper
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han , Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell, Hannah Quinlivan, Kevin Rankin
Seen on: 12.7.2018

Plot:
Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) used to work for the FBI and he is a veteran, but now he leads a calmer life, assessing the security of skyscrapers. His last assignment brought him, his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and their children( McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell) to Hongkong to inspect the world’s tallest building – The Pearl. A passion project of Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), the building boasts everything you could possibly hope for on a staggering 225 floors. But just as Sawyer is about to clear the building, fire breaks out. Sawyer’s family is trapped inside and Sawyer himself is blamed. He now only has a very limited time to save them, clear his own name and find out who is trying to gain from the fire.

Skyscraper keeps its promises, as I have come to expect from Dwayne Johnson movies: that is, it’s a fun action movie with a decent amount of explosions and quips that sets out to entertain and it does.

Filmposter showing Dwayne Johnson jumping from a crane towards a burning skyscraper.
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A Discovery of Witches (Deborah Harkness) – DNF

A Discovery of Witches is the first novel of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.
Quit on: 12.7.2018

Plot:
Diana Bishop has spent her entire life with science. History of science to be exact. Anything to escape her own heritage: because Diana is a witch. That she really doesn’t want to be one, becomes irrelevant though when she stumbles upon an old manuscript that was thought to be lost. Her discovery leads her to Matthew Clairmont, a vampire who has spent his not inconsiderable lifespan looking for that manuscript. As Diana has to come to terms with her own magical powers, she also has to come to terms with her attraction to Matthew – a connection that is not allowed in the magical world.

I quit reading A Discovery of Witches after around 300 pages or so. I just couldn’t take it anymore. It’s not that it was unreadable – in fact, it was pretty well written – but it was basically an endless succession of exhausting, hateful tropes.

Book cover showing a historical building in black and white and red smoke or maybe silk bands in the sky above it.
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Love, Simon (2018)

Love, Simon
Director: Greg Berlanti
Writer: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker,
Based on: Becky Albertalli‘s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Cast: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Logan Miller, Keiynan Lonsdale, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Talitha Eliana Bateman
Seen on: 12.7.2018

Plot:
Simon (Nick Robinson) could and should be living a care-free life. He has a nice family (Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Talitha Eliana Bateman), great friends (Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and school is going pretty well, too. But there’s one thing that is weighing on his mind: Simon is gay. He has never told anyone. When another boy comes out as gay under the pseudonym “Blue”, Simon starts messaging him – an exchange that has far bigger consequences than he ever thought.

Love, Simon is a cute, feel good movie that would be pretty run of the mill if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s about a gay teenager. It could have been more revolutionary, but we also need the sweet, inconsequential stuff in queer and not just in straight, so I definitely enjoyed it.

Film poster showing Nick Robinson in front of a red background.
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