Something New (2006)

Something New
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Writer: Kriss Turner
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Golden Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Mike Epps, Donald Faison, Alfre Woodard, Earl BillingsBlair Underwood
Seen on: 23.1.2016

Plot:
Kenya (Sanaa Lathan) knows exactly what she wants and what she wants her life to be. At the moment this means that she is focused on her career while dreaming of the perfect black guy to marry. But after spending yet another Valentine’s Day working long hours, she agrees to a blind date. Much to her surprise Brian (Simon Baker) turns out to be white, but also damn charming. Still Kenya doesn’t want to deviate from her plans, so all she does is hire Brian as her landscape architect. But will she be able to keep her distance?

Something New is a charming little film that strengthens its romance with a discussion of racism and racial relations. It’s not particularly subtle about that, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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See No Evil (2006)

See No Evil
Director: Gregory Dark
Writer: Dan Madigan
Cast: Glenn JacobsChristina VidalMichael J. PaganSamantha NobleSteven VidlerCecily PolsonLuke PeglerRachael TaylorPenny McNameeCraig HornerMikhael WilderTiffany Lamb
[/slash colleague cornholio reviewed it as well.]

Plot:
A few years ago police officer Williams (Steven Vidler) stumbled upon the scene of a horrific crime, finding a woman who had her eyes removed. The perpetrator is still there and Williams loses his hand to him. Now he works as a guard in a Juvenile Detention Center. They just started a new social work program and a group of delinquents is supposed to clean up the old Blackwell Hotel. But they are not the only ones at the hotel.

See No Evil was not particularly good. I could see potential in the concept but there was too much that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. At least the gore isn’t bad.

seenoevil

[SPOILERS]

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Hatchet (2006)

Hatchet
Director: Adam Green
Writer: Adam Green
Cast: Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Kane Hodder, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joel Murray, Joleigh Fioravanti, Tony Todd

Plot:
Ben’s (Joel David Moore) girlfriend just broke up with him. He’s crushed so his best friend Marcus (Deon Richmond) takes him to Mardi Gras in New Orleans to take his mind off of it. But Ben would rather go on a haunted swamp tour than party. But that tour turns out to be a lot scarier and more dangerous than anticipated.

Hatchet is fun sometimes, but it’s also sexist and offensive and it didn’t do much for me in general.

hatchet

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious; 2 Fast 2 Furious
Cast: Lucas BlackNathalie KelleyBow Wow, Brian Tee, Sung Kang, Zachery Ty BryanBrian Goodman, Vin Diesel

Plot:
After getting into mostly car-race-related trouble repeatedly, Sean (Lucas Black) is sent to Japan, where his father (Brian Goodman) is stationed. But even in Tokyo, he manages to get in trouble quickly: he falls in love with Neela (Nathalie Kelley) who is dating yakuza D.K. (Brian Tee), he starts racing again, though he doesn’t know how to drift. That’s when Han (Sung Kang) finds him and takes him under his wing.

So far The Fast and the Furious movie have been okay. The first one was fun, the second one not so much anymore. But this one just plain sucked. And its connections to the entire franchise are strenuous at best.

tokyodrift

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Museums in Berlin

In January, I went to Berlin again for a couple of days with my parents. Mainly to visit my sister and her family, but also to get away for a bit. Plus, we crammed culture in that trip like it’s nobody’s business.

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Re-Watch: Unknown (2006)

Unknown
Director: Simon Brand
Writer: Matthew Waynee
Cast: Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Jeremy Sisto, Barry Pepper, Joe Pantoliano, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Stormare, Chris Mulkey, Clayne Crawford, Kevin Chapman, Mark Boone Junior

Plot:
Five men wake up one by one in a locked warehouse. None of them can remember who they are or how they got there. The first to wake up is Jean Jacket (Jim Caviezel). As he looks around he sees a guy with a broken nose (Greg Kinnear), one tied to a chair (Joe Pantoliano), one handcuffed to a rail in obviously very hurt (Jeremy Sisto) and one apparently simply passed out (Barry Pepper). While everybody else is still out cold, Jean Jacket wanders around and receives a phone call through which he fakes his way through. But it is obvious that something shifty is going on and Jean Jacket and everybody else have to figure out what it is and what side they’re on.

I started this movie under the impression that I hadn’t seen it before, but about five minutes in I realized that I had, actually. I couldn’t remember practically anything about it, though – it’s that kind of a movie.

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Re-Watch: Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale
Director: Martin Campbell
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Isaach de Bankolé, Jesper Christensen

Plot:
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is a special agent who just recently graduated to 00-status. And in his first mission, he has to take on Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), banker to the upper leagues of terrorism. Le Chiffre is about to play a high-stakes game of poker; and if Bond can beat him and take his money, they will have him cornered. So Bond’s boss M (Judi Dench) sends him and accountant Vesper (Eva Green) to Montenegro to win at poker.

Casino Royale is an extremely satisfying action movie that also holds up to second viewing. Daniel Craig is a cool bond and the whole thing is very entertaining.

[SPOILERS]

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When a Stranger Calls (2006)

When a Stranger Calls
Director: Simon West
Writer: Jake Wade Wall
Remake of: When a Stranger Calls
Cast: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty, Clark Gregg, Derek de Lint, Kate Jennings Grant

Plot:
While everybody else in her school is partying, Jill (Camilla Belle) has to babysit at the Mandrakasis’ place: a gorgeous lake house in the middle of nowhere. But as soon as Jill is alone in the house with the kids, strange calls start coming in, the house alarm goes off and Jill feels less and less safe.

The film takes the first 20 minutes of the original and turns them into a full length film. And while they did have some nice ideas to modernize the whole thing, they can’t really keep the tension up.

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Old Joy (2006)

Old Joy
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writer: Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond
Based on: Jonathan Raymond‘s short story
Cast: Daniel London, Will Oldham
Part of: Real America

Plot:
Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham) are old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while. When Kurt invites Mark on a weekend camping trip, Mark gladly accepts, if only to get a break. As they spend time together, they slowly reconnect, even though they are at completely different places in life.

Oh boy, that film was way too boring for anything. It’s not even 80 minutes long but it felt like it was three hours, at least. Three boring hours. I didn’t connect with either of the characters and I just couldn’t care less about it in general.

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