Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Resident Evil: Afterlife
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, Shawn Roberts, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Boris Kodjoe, Kim Coates, Spencer Locke, Sienna Guillory, Kacey Clarke, Norman Yeung, Fulvio Cecere
Seen on: 10.9.2022

Plot:
Alice (Milla Jovovich) is still on her mission against the Umbrella Corporation. When she has finally dealt them a harsh blow, she heads to Arcadia, supposed safe haven, to catch up with her friends. But instead of paradise, she finds Claire (Ali Larter) in a bad state and with some amnesia. Returning to LA, they receive a call for help from a group sheltering in place in an abandoned prison, surrounded by zombies. The group does have news about Arcadia, but no way out. Unless the mysterious prisoner Chris (Wentworth Miller) speaks the truth. But can they risk it?

Resident Evil: Afterlife is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from this movie series. That is: it’s okay, but not great, with some good action and some questionable narrative choices. But to really love the movies, you’ll probably have to have played the games and I didn’t.

The film poster showing Alice (Milla Jovovich, with two guns pointing upwards. It's raining.
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Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Resident Evil: Extinction
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Ashanti, Christopher Egan, Spencer Locke, Matthew Marsden, Linden Ashby, Jason O’Mara, Mike Epps
Seen on: 24.8.2022

Plot:
After basically the entire world was overrun by zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is making her way through the desert, always looking for survivors that may need help, and simply surviving herself. Also making their way through the desert is Claire (Ali Larter) and her convoy that includes Carlos (Oded Fehr), looking for food and fuel wherever they can find it. Meanwhile, Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) is experimenting at the Umbrella corporation, hoping for a way to capitalize on Alice and on the zombies. All of their paths are bound to cross.

Resident Evil: Extinction is, I think, my favorite of the Resident Evil movies so far (this is not an endorsement). That’s not because it is particularly good, but it is a decent, albeit uninspired genre exercise that plays nicely with what came in the series before it.

The film poster showing Alice (Milla Jovovich) walking in the desert, two automatic weapons in her hands.
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Blood Red Sky (2021)

Blood Red Sky
Director: Peter Thorwarth
Writer: Peter Thorwarth, Stefan Holtz
Cast: Peri Baumeister, Carl Anton Koch, Alexander Scheer, Kais Setti, Gordon Brown, Dominic Purcell, Graham McTavish
Seen on: 5.8.2022

Content Note: (critical treatmen of) racism against muslims

Plot:
Elias (Carl Anton Koch) and his mother Nadja (Peri Baumeister) are flying to the USA. Nadja is sick, and a doctor there has promised to be able to heal her. Everything seems to be going well until their plan is hijacked. As things turn more and more tense and outright bloody on board and Muslim passengers like Farid (Kais Setti) get singled out by the hijackers for some reason, Elias tries to hide. As the hijackers turn their attention to him and Nadja, it becomes apparent that there is more to Nadja’s illness than appeared at first.

My expectations for Blood Red Sky weren’t particularly high, but they were disappointed anyway as it is a vampire movie that is just no fun, despite the nice idea.

The film poster showing Nadja (Peri Baumeister) holding Elias (Carl Anton Koch) in an airplane seat. Her reflection in the plane window shows a creature with a bloody mouth.
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Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Director: Alexander Witt
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Thomas Kretschmann, Sophie Vavasseur, Razaaq Adoti, Jared Harris, Mike Epps, Sandrine Holt, Matthew G. Taylor, Zack Ward, Iain Glen
Seen on: 4.8.2022

Plot:
Raccoon City seems to be just getting back to its feet after what happened at the Hive, when the next catastrophe strikes and the city is overrun by zombies. Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes in the hospital amidst the chaos as one of only a handful of people still in the city and not yet zombified. To contain the zombies, a bomb is supposed to be dropped in the city, and if Alice doesn’t find a way out by then, she will surely die. Teaming up with other survivors, they look for an escape. But zombies aren’t the only thing that the Umbrella Corporation experimented with – and there are more surprises to come.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is actually a little better than Resident Evil, not that that’s saying much. But there are some good action moments, the male gaze is dialled down a bit and the plot is a little more coherent.

The film poster showing Alice (Milla Jovovich) walking through a destroyed city wrapped in a towel and carrying a semi-automatic weapon.
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Resident Evil (2002)

Resident Evil
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Cast: Milla Jovovich, James Purefoy, Eric Mabius, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Salmon, Martin Crewes, Pasquale Aleardi, Heike Makatsch, Jaymes Butler, Jason Isaacs
Seen on: 14.7.2022

Plot:
The Umbrella Corporation runs a sophisticated laboratory where they do secret experiments. But something goes wrong. Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself just outside of the laboratory without her memories, but with a man, Spence (James Purefoy). Both are quickly picked up by a military unit who are trying to get into the research facility to stop whatever is happening there that seems to have to do with a supercomputer going rogue. Whether Alice and Spence want to or not, they are along for the ride.

I have never seen anything in the Resident Evil franchise, and I decided to give it a go. If I am correctly informed, the films get better after the first. It is hard to imagine that they can get worse in any case.

The film poster showing Alice (Milla Jovovich) with a giant gun and Rain (Michell Rodriguez) in a fighting pose.
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Jurassic World Dominion (2022)

Jurassic World Dominion
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Based on: Michael Crichton‘s book (plus sequel)
Sequel to: Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Isabella Sermon, Campbell Scott, Omar Sy, BD Wong, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill
Seen on: 22.6.2022

Plot:
In a world where dinosaurs have started to roam the earth freely, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) live in a rather isolated location, and with good reason – they are hiding Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon). She is a clone and who knows what would be done to her if she was found. When Maisie is taken along with raptor Blue’s baby, Owen and Claire are desperate to get her back. Meanwhile, Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) enlists the help of Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to investigate strangely mutated locusts. Both Maisie’s disappearance and the locusts point back to the company BioSyn.

The last two Jurassic World films were already rather disappointing affairs, but I’m a sucker for dinosaurs, and when you throw Laura Dern on top, of course I couldn’t resist (despite Chris Pratt’s reactionary self). Was it worth it? I’m honestly not sure, but leaning towards no – Jurassic World Dominion is definitely not good.

The film poster showing the central characters grouped around the iconic Jurassic Park logo: a dinosaur skull against an amber background.
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Lightyear (2022)

Lightyear
Director: Angus MacLane
Writer: Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich, Jason Headley
Spin off from: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4
Cast: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin, Uzo Aduba, Bill Hader
Seen on: 22.6.2022

Plot:
Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) and Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) are space rangers, and they are damn good at their job. Despite this, they and their spaceship are accidentally stranded on a rather dangerous planet though. For Buzz, the new mission is clear: he has to find a way to get them all off the planet and back home. For that, they need to rebuild the fuel crystal – which is easier said than done. Especially when it becomes obvious that he is not the only one interested in that fuel.

Lightyear is a charming, emotional film that tries very hard to capture a nostalgic feeling. I don’t think it quite managed that, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have fun along the way.

The film poster showing Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) in a space suit.
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Michael Waldron
Based on: the comic character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Sequel to: Doctor Strange
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Xochitl Gomez, Elizabeth OlsenChiwetel EjioforRachel McAdamsBenedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Hayley Atwell, Anson Mount, Lashana Lynch, John Krasinski, Patrick Stewart, Charlize Theron, Bruce Campbell
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 15.5.2022

Plot:
Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has been having strange dreams. During the wedding of his ex-girlfriend Christine (Rachel McAdams) those dreams come crashing into his world in the shape of a monster chasing after a teenage girl, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). America has the ability to jump between multiverses but she can’t really control it. She’s still hunted for it, though. Stephen seeks out Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) to help with America’s abilities. But things take a different turn that sends them through the multiverse.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a special effects celebration that is entertaining to watch, although it sometimes tries to be too many things at once.

The film poster showing Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) surrounded by flying shards of glass that show reflections of the characters in the film.
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Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Adam McKay, David Sirota
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Chris Evans
Seen on: 14.5.2022

Plot:
Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is an astronomer who works on her PhD under the supervision of Randall Mindy (Leonard DiCaprio). One night, Kate makes a harrowing discovery: there is a life-destroying comet heading straight for earth. Kate and Randall do everything to make the world aware of this fact, but things don’t go exactly as they thought they would.

I was debating with myself whether I wanted to see this film. From all I had heard about it, I was pretty sure that it would be a film that drops its good points into a sea of smugness. Ultimately, though, my curiosity got the better of me and I can now definitively say that my suspicions about it were confirmed.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film, all looking up.
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The Adam Project (2022)

The Adam Project
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener
Seen on: 11.5.2022

Plot:
Adam (Walker Scobell) is twelve years old and a bit of a nerd. Since his father (Mark Ruffalo) recently died, he lives alone with his mother (Jennifer Garner) on a remote bit of land, dreaming of becoming cool. Or at least not bullied anymore. That’s when a space craft crashlands close to his home. And out of that spacecraft steps nobody else but himself – only 30 years older (Ryan Reynolds). Older Adam is on a very important mission. And he needs Young Adam’s help to finish it.

The Adam Project is fun enough. I like time travel stories in general, and this one is very sweet, albeit not terribly creative or ground-breaking. But it comes with a solid emotional core that makes it quite touching.

The film poster showing close-ups of the main characters in front of a space background.
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