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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Re-Watch: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Based on: J. R. R. Tolkien‘s novel
Sequel to: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Cast: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Craig Parker, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, Bernard Hill, Brad Dourif, Miranda Otto, Karl Urban, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Sean Bean
Seen on: 6.1.2022

Content Note: racism

Plot:
The fellowship of the ring is no more. Sam (Sean Astin) and Frodo (Elijah Wood) are heading towards Mordor with the help of Gollum (Andy Serkis). Meanwhile Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) are chasing after Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) who were taken by orcs under the command of Saruman (Christopher Lee). Things are coming to a head.

The Two Towers does have a couple of blunders that really haven’t aged well, but other than that, it is still an excellent film (though it is only my second favorite in the trilogy).

The film poster showing headshots of the main characters arranged vertically next to a tower.
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9 Dead Gay Guys (2002)

9 Dead Gay Guys
Director: Lab Ky Mo
Writer: Lab Ky Mo
Cast: Glen Mulhern, Brendan Mackey, Steven Berkoff, Michael Praed, Vas Blackwood, Fish, Simon Godley, Carol Decker, Raymond Griffiths, Abdala Keserwani, Karen Sharman, Leon Herbert, Steven Woodhouse
Seen on: 9.12.2018
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Content Note: ableism, homomisia, antisemitism

Plot:
Byron (Brendan Mackey) and Kenny (Glen Mulhern) are two Irish guys in London who make their way through the gay scene there. To make some cash, they dabble in sex work. But one night, their customer Queen (Michael Praed) ends up dead. Rumors of a cash-filled bed abound and more men end up dead as Byron and Kenny hope to get to the cash in the bed.

9 Dead Gay Guys is what happens when somebody decides that the trouble with “politically incorrect humor” is that it simply doesn’t have enough gay guys. I thought it was a catastrophe.

The film poster showing the outline of a guy hanging from a noose.
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Mou gaan dou [Infernal Affairs] (2002)

Mou gaan dou
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Alan Mak
Writer: Alan Mak, Felix Chong
Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng
Seen on: 7.8.2018

Plot:
Chen Wing Yan (Tony Chui-Wai Leung) has been working for the Hong Kong mafia for a decade and has managed to keep it a secret that he is actually a police officer and keeps feeding information back to him. But he has been doing this for so long, there is practically nobody in the police force left anymore who knows that he is undercover and anyway, he’s ready to come back home. At the same time, Lau Kin Ming (Andy Lau) has been working for the police for a decade as well, when actually he is a member of the mafia. He got used to his life as a police officer and would rather turn his back on the mafia once and for all. Both men are tasked with finding each other and so the hunt begins.

Infernal Affairs is a tense, well-made thriller that managed to draw me in, telling a good story that’s grounded in its characters.

The film poster showing Andy Lau's and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung's eyes in super close-up.
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Re-Watch: Two Weeks Notice (2002)

Two Weeks Notice
Director: Marc Lawrence
Writer: Marc Lawrence
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Alicia Witt, Dana Ivey, Robert Klein, Heather Burns, David Haig, Dorian Missick, Katheryn Winnick
Seen on: 29.12.2017
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Plot:
Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a lawyer – a good one – with a passion for social activism. That activism has put her at odds with the Wade Corporation on several occasions. When she meets George Wade (Hugh Grant) of said corporation, she is not taken with his charm as the women he ususally surrounds himself with are. Nevertheless when he offers her a job as his lawyer, she accepts, hoping that she can affect change from the inside. But soon Lucy is pretty much responsible for everything in George’s life – and that is more than she signed on for.

Two Weeks Notice is an absolutely pleasant film. It’s light and fluffy and cuddly and utterly inconsequential. There are many worse things a RomCom can be.

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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Director: Kelly AsburyLorna Cook
Writer: John Fusco
Cast: Matt Damon, Daniel StudiJames Cromwell
Seen on: 13.08.2015

Plot:
Spirit (Matt Damon) grows up in a herd of wild horses and as he grows, he becomes their leader. But one day men, white soldiers and settlers, turn up in the horses’ territory. Spirit tries to save everyone and ends up getting captured himself and brought into a fort where the Colonel (James Cromwell) tries every trick in the book to tame him. But Spirit won’t be broken and even manages to escape with the help of native Little Creek (Daniel Studi). The Colonel doesn’t give up that easily though.

When I was a kid, I was a horse girl. I went horseback riding for many years; I read countless horse books; I nearly broke my jaw when I fell off a horse once (not the only time I fell) and decided I had to rent that particular horse permanently for a while. That’s how obsessed I was. But I was just a little old for Spirit – it came out when I was 17 and pretty much past the horse thing. But my niece has the DVD and in a moment of nostalgia, I decided to watch it. I think if I had seen it 20 years ago, I would have loved it. But now, while the horses are cute, I am not really sold on the film.

Spirit_Stallion_of_the_Cimarron

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Darkness (2002)

Darkness
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writer: Jaume Balagueró, Fernando de Felipe
Cast: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini, Fele Martínez, Stephan Enquist
Seen on: 01.04.2015

Plot:
Regina (Anna Paquin) and her family – mother Maria (Lena Olin), father Mark (Iain Glen) and her little brother Paul (Stephen Enquist) – have just moved to Spain. Her father used to grow up there, but left the country when he was a child. His father Albert (Giancarlo Giannini) is still there, though, and looking forward to his grandchildren. But there is something about the rather remote house they’re living that doesn’t seem quite right. And it doesn’t take long until mysterious things start happening.

Darkness has its moments, but it also has an insistent and incessant sound design that annoyed the hell our of me and surprisingly weak performances by its cast.

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28 Days Later… (2002)

28 Days Later…
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston
Seen on: 01.03.2015

Plot:
After a group of animal rights activists tries to free monkeys that have been infected with a rage virus, all hell breaks loose. But Jim (Cillian Murphy) knows nothing of that – he wakes up in hospital 28 days later to find an apparently empty world. Looking for an explanation and narrowly avoiding the infected, he finds Selena (Naomie Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley) who fill him in. Together they take up the fight for survival.

I have heard many good things about 28 Days Later… and so my expectations were very high. While the film is solid and good, it couldn’t quite match those expectations. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it.

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Murder by Numbers (2002)

Murder by Numbers
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Writer: Tony Gayton
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt, Agnes Bruckner
Seen on: 23.02.2015

Plot:
Richard (Ryan Gosling) and Justin (Michael Pitt) are at opposite ends of the high school feeding chain, but they are equally brilliant and equally bored by their lives. So they hatch a plan to commit the perfect murder and actually carry it out. Homicide detective Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) and her new partner Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin) are put on the case and Mayweather soon realizes that something is fishy. Quickly she finds herself in a dangerous game with Richard and Justin.

Murder by Numbers is nothing revolutionary, but it is a nice watch, especially for Cassie Mayweather who is a pretty great character and the generally good performances.

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Heaven (2002)

Heaven
Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone, Stefania Rocca

Plot:
British Philippa (Cate Blanchett) has been trying and trying to get the Italian police’ attention regarding her husband’s death but was continuously ignored. So she decides to plant a bomb in the office of the man she holds responsible for her woes. Only that things go bad and she kills four other people instead. She is arrested quickly and demands that her interrogations are held in English, not Italian. A young officer (Giovanni Ribisi) takes over that duty and falls in love with Philippa, deciding that he has to help her.

I saw the cast of this film and knew that I had to watch it – which meant that I went in without really knowing much about it. It did take me on a quite surprising voyage through twists and turns that I really didn’t expect. And I enjoyed every second of it.

heaven

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