The Room (2003)

The Room
Director: Tommy Wiseau
Writer: Tommy Wiseau
Cast: Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Danielle, Greg Sestero, Philip Haldiman, Carolyn Minnott, Robyn Paris, Mike Holmes
Seen on: 26.1.2018
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Plot:
Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is successful, rich and has a beautiful fiancée, Lida (Juliette Danielle). With his tight circle of friends – tightest of all being Mark (Greg Sestero) – he has a happy and pretty much carefree life. His wedding is fast approaching, but something is happening with Lisa: she seems to take a sudden interest in Mark. And Mark can’t withstand her manipulations.

The Room is famous for being one of the worst movies ever. It’s so bad that it has garnered a cult following. You’ve got to see it to believe it – and I have to say that seeing it is an absolute experience, especially when you’re watching it with a crowd.

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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Director: Donald Petrie
Writer: Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers
Based on: Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long’s comic
Cast: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse, Adam Goldberg, Thomas Lennon, Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow, Robert Klein
Seen on: 21.1.2018
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Plot:
Andie (Kate Hudson) writes a How to-column for a magazine and she’s in need of a new idea, especially since she wants to write something of more substance. She may get the chance to do so if she writes a column on how to lose a guy in 10 days. Meanwhile ad executive Ben (Matthew McConaughey) has to prove that he knows what women want. He proposes a bet, promising to make any woman fall in love with him. His colleagues accept – and point to Andie as the object of his plot. As they both work towards opposite goals, their dates are quite tumultuous.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was suprisingly charming and didn’t veer into the condescending romantic direction that movies about covert bets usually do. It’s not a revolutionary film, but I enjoyed it.

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Selma & Sofie (2003)

Selma & Sofie
Director: Mia Engberg
Cast: Camilla Carlsson, Sara Lindkvist
Seen on: 15.10.2016

Plot:
Selma (Camilla Carlsson) meets Sofie (Sara Lindkvist) at the pool and feels immediately drawn to her. Despite her boyfriend at home, Selma finds herself actively searching out Sofie.

Selma & Sofie concluded the “Lesbian porn first” special I saw, being the first Lesbian porn film (by and for women) that actually showed explicit sex (the lack of which arguably makes Shadows and Airport not even “real” porn). Despite the explicit sex, the film is more focused on the romance of the story and it’s very sweet indeed. It may not work as well as a porn, but as a love story it’s nice.

Exploration (2003)

Exploration
Director: Joerg Burger
Seen on: 28.03.2015

Plot:
Two women are talking in what is quickly revealed as a psychiatric setting. But who analyzes whom?

Exploration is an interesting short film, but I did call the big twist rather early. Nevertheless it was fascinating to watch.

[SPOILERS]

explorationIt turns out that Exploration is footage of an actual psychiatric training talk, with a psychiatrist playing a patient, and a younger trainee trying to figure out what’s wrong with her. So first the trainee tries to evaluate the performed mental health, than the doctor tries to evaluate the trainee. I thought that would be the case pretty early on, so I leant back to enjoy the acting performance of the doctor – because she was frankly amazing. I do wonder if she would be up to shooting a film. That would be great.

But apart from that performance the film remained too much of a sterile concept, though one that is not without effect.

Summarizing: Interesting.

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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Fear X (2003)

Fear X
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn, Hubert Selby Jr.
Cast: John Turturro, Deborah Kara Unger, James Remar, Jacqueline Ramel

Plot:
Harry’s (John Turturro) wife Claire (Jacqueline Ramel) was shot and killed. Nobody knows why or by whom. Harry spends all his spare time looking at security footage and trying to piece everything together. He is haunted by visions of Claire which are slowly but surely pointing him in a certain direction. So Harry starts investigating even harder and finds a trace that leads him to Kate (Deborah Kara Unger) and the murderer.

Fear X is an idiosyncratic movie. It’s beautiful to look at, with a mesmerizing performance by John Turturro but it won’t fit any mold easily.

fearx

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2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

2 Fast 2 Furious
Director: John Singleton
Writer: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious
Cast: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Ludacris, Thom Barry, James Remar, Devon Aoki, Amaury Nolasco, Michael Ealy,
Mark Boone Junior

Plot:
After what happened in The Fast and the Furious, Brian (Paul Walker) now makes his money with illegal car races. At least until the police grab him and suggest that he could do some undercover work for them again. So Brian chooses a partner, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) who he grew up with and together they infiltrate the crew of drug dealer Verone (Cole Hauser), joining Monica (Eva Mendes) who has been undercover there for months.

2 Fast 2 Furious was actually pretty boring. I didn’t care much about the plot or the characters and since I don’t care for cars, either, there was nothing, really, that could have sold this film to me.

2fast2furious

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Re-Watch: Oldeuboi [Oldboy] (2003)

Oldeuboi
Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Jo-yun Hwang, Chun-hyeong Lim, Joon-hyung Lim, Chan-wook Park
Based on: Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya‘s comic
Part of: The Vengeance Trilogy
Cast: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh, Byeong-ok Kim

Plot:
Dae-su (Min-sik Choi) is a drunk who is thoroughly screwing up his and his daughter’s life when he’s kidnapped. After 15 years of imprisonment for reasons unknown to him, he’s released. Still having no clue what happened, he slowly tries to figure things out, find his daughter again and take revenge on whomever imprisoned him.

I remember watching Oldboy for the first time. I was alone at the movies (at the time that was still a rare thing for me) and I practically ripped the armrest out cause of all the tension. When I left, I never wanted to see the film again. But it didn’t let go of me, so I decided to give it another go. And it’s still amazingly good, even if I am a little more jaded.

oldboy

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Beyond Borders (2003)

Beyond Borders
Director: Martin Campbell
Writer: Caspian Tredwell-Owen
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Clive Owen, Teri Polo, Linus Roache, Noah Emmerich

Plot:
Sarah (Angelina Jolie) who recently married Henry (Linus Roache), led a generally very sheltered life among the upper class. But that world is pretty much shattered when Nick (Clive Owen) turns up at a charity event. Nick works as a doctor in a refugee camp in Ethiopia from where he dragged a starving boy to London. Nick rants against the charity which just stopped funding his refugee camp and impresses Sarah a lot, as much with his demeanor as with his speech. Inspired, she decides to help herself and organizes a giant care package that she accompanies to Ethiopia herself.

Beyond Borders is kitsch as kitsch can. Seriously, this is pure cheese. It’s basically a Nicholas Sparks novel in front of a humanitarian background. And as such, it is strangely entertaining.

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Re-Watch: X2 (2003)

X2
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: David Hayter, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Kelly Hu

Plot:
The Mutant Registration Act is still a very distinct possibility and threatens the mutants’ existence. And then a new mutant – Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) – attempts to kill the president and almost succeeds, adding further fuel to the debate. The retired Colonel Stryker (Brian Cox) is leading among the people against mutants and uses the assassination attempt as an excuse to attack Professor X’s (Patrick Stewart) school with knowledge he gained from drugging Magneto (Ian McKellen).

X2 is the rare case where the sequel is actually better than the first film (even though the first film wasn’t bad). It’s enjoyable as hell.

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