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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Delphinsommer [Dolphin Summer] (2004)

Delphinsommer
Director: Jobst Oetzmann
Writer: Regine Bielefeldt
Cast: Anna Maria Mühe, Samuel Finzi, Sophie Rogall, Tino Mewes, Birge Schade, Lena Stolze, Rainer Sellien
Seen on: 5.7.2022

Content Note: domestic violence, religious sects, suicide

Plot:
Nathalie (Anna Maria Mühe) moves with her mother Caroline (Birge Schade) and her step-father Gregor (Samuel Finzi) to Berlin. It’s a big change for them, not only because they were in a small town before. It will be the first time that Nathalie attends a mixed school as her religious family had made sure so far that she attended only girls’ schools. As they are welcomed by the Berlin chapter of their congregation, Nathalie is determined to adhere to her religious principles in Berlin, too. But she can’t help to start questioning things.

Delphinsommer is a TV movie and that does show at times. At times it’s a bit shorthanded, at times it’s a bit on the nose. But it is interesting enough to watch.

The film poster showing various stills from the film.

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Taking Lives (2004)

Taking Lives
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: Jon Bokenkamp
Based on: Michael Pye’s novel
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland, Gena Rowlands, Olivier Martinez, Tchéky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Paul Dano, Justin Chatwin
Seen on: 24.5.2022

Plot:
When French police uncover a case that point to a serial killer, they ask FBI profiler Illeana (Angelina Jolie) for support, much to the annoyance of leading detective Paquette (Olivier Martinez). By chance, they find a new lead. Artist Costa (Ethan Hawke) was witness to an attack by the killer and can give a description. But this also puts him in the crosshairs. As the investigation intensifies, Illeana finds herself drawn to Costa. But will this attraction compromise her abilities?

Taking Lives is okay. The idea isn’t bad and the cast good, but the movie tries to surprise where its obvious and Illeana is filtered through the male gaze a whole lot which makes it a little tedious.

The film poster showing Illeana (Angelina Jolie) with a hand wrapped around her wrist, close to her neck.
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Re-Watch: 13 Going on 30 (2004)

13 Going on 30
Director: Gary Winick
Writer: Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis, Kathy Baker, Phil Reeves, Sam Ball, Marcia DeBonis, Christa B. Allen, Sean Marquette, Mary Pat Gleason
Seen on: 4.5.2021

Plot:
After being humiliated at her own 13th birthday party, Jenna (Christa B. Allen) wishes that she was 30 years already – and it seems that the birthday present she got from her best friend Mattie (Sean Marquette) grants her her wish. For the very next day, she wakes up an adult (Jennifer Garner), in a fancy apartment and working the job of her dreams as an editor at Poise magazine. It’s not easy to get her bearings in her new life, though. Jenna looks for Mattie to help her, but adult Matt (Mark Ruffalo) informs her that they haven’t been friends for a while. And when Jenna realizes more and more that her adult self isn’t a nice person, she decides to make a change.

I must have seen 13 Going on 30 when / shortly after it came out and I had very fond memories of it. Re-Watching it now, those fond memories were proven right: it is a cute, fun film and exactly the kind of thing I want to see when I am watching a RomCom.

The film poster showing Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wearing a nightgown and a jacket as she walks with the skyline of New York behind her.
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A Cinderella Story (2004)

A Cinderella Story
Director: Mark Rosman
Writer: Leigh Dunlap
Cast: Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray, Dan Byrd, Regina King, Julie Gonzalo, Lin Shaye, Madeline Zima, Andrea Avery Ray, Mary Pat Gleason, Paul Rodriguez
Seen on: 4.1.2020

Plot:
Sam (Hilary Duff) divides her time between school and the diner that her stepmother (Jennifer Coolidge) inherited from her father. Her stepmother is rarely there herself, which is just as well, as all she sees in Sam is cheap labor. Fortunately, there’s Sam’s best friend Carter (Dan Byrd) and Nomad, a guy she met online and with whom she has kept up a regular correspondence. He goes to her school as well – and he really wants to meet her. So she suggests that they meet at the school’s Halloween dance. There she learns that Nomad is Austin (Chad Michael Murray), the school’s most popular guy. He, on the other hand, doesn’t learn who Sam is – but she loses her phone and he finds it and tries to find her through it.

Look, a fairy tale retold as a teenage RomCom will very rarely win points for originality, and if a plot that surprises you is what you’re looking for, you should skip this A Cinderella Story widely. But I thought it was a pretty sweet take on a familiar story with some nice touches in the way it modernized the story.

The film poster showing Sam (Hilary Duff) riding piggyback on Austin (Chad Michael Murray).
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Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004)

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed
Director: Shola Lynch
Seen on: 22.1.2019
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Content Note: racism, sexism, misogynoir (all framed critically)

“Plot”:
In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected in the US Congress. Four years later, she was the first Black woman to run for President of the USA for the Democratic Party. But her candidacy wasn’t just a remarkable achievement, it was also greeted by a lot of resistance, and she had to face obstacles that a white, male candidate never had to face.

I have to admit that I had never even heard of Shirley Chisholm before this documentary, so it was a very welcome way to fill that gap in my historical knowledge. That being said, I thought that the documentary could have been handled a little better.

The film poster that is all red with Chisholm's face on it in black.
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The Perfect Score (2004)

The Perfect Score
Director: Brian Robbins
Writer: Mark Schwahn, Marc Hyman, Jon Zack
Cast: Erika Christensen, Chris Evans, Bryan Greenberg, Scarlett Johansson, Darius Miles, Leonardo Nam, Tyra Ferrell, Matthew Lillard
Seen on: 2.1.2018
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Plot:
Kyle (Chris Evans) really wants to study architecture, but his SAT score just isn’t good enough. And he isn’t the only one who needs to up their score – by any means necessary. It’s lucky then that Francesca (Scarlett Johansson) has connections to the building where the SAT is made. Teaming up with an unlikely group of more or less struggling students, Kyle gets ready to pull off a heist to increase all of their scores.

The Perfect Score could have been nice but unfortunately they chose a sexist narrator and tried to go for a moral ending that just didn’t fit the rest of the film. So the film misses its mark and becomes mostly boring.

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Seed of Chucky (2004)

Seed of Chucky
Director: Don Mancini
Writer: Don Mancini
Sequel to: Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky
Cast: Brad DourifJennifer TillyBilly BoydRedmanHannah SpearrittJohn Waters
Seen on: 21.9.2017
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Plot:
Before Chucky (Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) were vanquished, they had a son, Glen (Billy Boyd). Glen is everything his parents aren’t: gentle, kind and completely murder-free. He’s curious to meet his parents, and so he resurrects them, hoping for a family reunion. The reunion does happen, but takes on a very different form of what Glen expected, as they first hit Hollywood where Chucky and Tiffany’s story is currently turned into a film starring Jennifer Tilly (Jennifer Tilly).

Seed of Chucky suddenly turns very meta and that’s a thing I always enjoy. Especially since it really proves that Jennifer Tilly is the best thing that has happened to the series. Despite some of the same issues as with the other films of the series, this is definitely my favorite part so far (together with the first).

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Somersault (2004)

Somersault
Director: Cate Shortland
Writer: Cate Shortland
Cast: Abbie CornishSam Worthington, Anne-Louise LambertErik ThomsonLeah Purcell, Lynette CurranOlivia Pigeot
Part of: 7.1.2017

Plot:
16-year-old Heidi (Abbie Cornish) runs away from home after being caught when her mother’s boyfriend kisses her. She ends up in a small town in the mountains where she tries to connect with people. With men, that mostly means sex, though that doesn’t really end well. She finds a motherly friend in Irene (Lynette Curran) who offers her a place to stay; and she finds a job. And then she finds Joe (Sam Worthington) and kind of falls in love with him. But Joe is withdrawn and rough and is still trying to figuring out his own sexuality.

I hadn’t heard much about Somersault before seeing it, I basically bought it because Abbie Cornish is in it. What I got was an emotional, engaging and beautiful film with a wonderful ending.

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Cellular (2004)

Cellular
Director: David R. Ellis
Writer: Larry CohenChris Morgan
Cast: Chris EvansJason Statham, Kim BasingerJessica BielNoah EmmerichWilliam H. MacyMircea MonroeLin Shaye 
Seen on: 27.12.2016

Plot:
Teacher Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) finds herself being held captive by Ethan (Jason Statham), who is actually looking for her husband. As Jessica is locked away in the attic, she applies her science knowledge to use the smashed up phone their. The catch is that she can’t really control the dial. Quite by chance she ends up calling carefree surfer dude Ryan (Chris Evans). Ryan doubts Jessica’s story, but she manages to convince him – and it’s up to him to help her out of this very bad situation.

I didn’t expect much from Cellular – some mindless action. Which is what I got, but in a surprisingly charming and humorous package.

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