Post Grad (2009)

Post Grad
Director: Vicky Jenson
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Bobby Coleman, Carol Burnett, Rodrigo Santoro, Catherine Reitman, Mary Anne McGarry, J.K. Simmons, Craig Robinson, Fred Armisen
Seen on: 28.5.2021

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism

Plot:
Ryden (Alexis Bledel) is just about to graduate and she knows exactly how things are going to go from there. She will get her dream job at a big publishing house and live in an awesome apartment. She has both lined up already. Her best friend Adam (Zach Gilford) is less sure about what to do, but he knows that he would like to romance Ryden, but she is not interested. But after Ryden does not get the job, and she has to move back home with her eccentric family (Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Bobby Coleman, Carol Burnett), she needs to rethink her life entirely. Maybe with the help of her hot neighbor David (Rodrigo Santoro)?

Post Grad is not a great film, but it is cute and funny and light. There’s really nothing weighing it down, not even particular emotional depth. If you want to just float through 90 minutes, it’s the film you should choose.

The film poster showing Ryden (Alexis Bledel) wearing a graduation cap askew, looking worried.
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Nothing Personal (2009)

Nothing Personal
Director: Urszula Antoniak
Writer: Urszula Antoniak
Cast: Lotte Verbeek, Stephen Rea
Seen on: 18.5.2021

Plot:
A young woman (Lotte Verbeek) is traveling alone through Ireland. She just separated from her partner in Amsterdam, and has no interest in connecting with the people in Ireland. She just wants to keep moving. When she stumbles upon a lonely, very remote house, she wants to stay. The house’s owner, Martin (Stephen Rea), offers her food if she works with him in his garden, which she accepts – under the condition that they will exchange no personal information.

Nothing Personal is a minimalist film that is all about living in the present, but with none of the exhilaration that usually comes with that sentiment. It’s a thoughtful film that unfolds as much after you watched it as during.

The film poster showing Anne (Lotte Verbeek) spooning Martin (Stephen Rea). She is naked, he is covered completely by a white sheet.
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Rise of the Gargoyles (2009)

Rise of the Gargoyles
Director: Bill Corcoran
Writer: Andy Briggs, Steve Horvath
Cast: Eric Balfour, Caroline Néron, Justin Salinger, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Nick Mancuso, Tanya Clarke
Seen on: 22.12.2019

Plot:
Professor Jack Randall (Eric Balfour) is in a rut. His last publication on gargoyles has been widely discredited by the scientific community and ever since, he hasn’t been able to write or publish anything. His friend Carol (Tanya Clarke) tries to get him out of the hole and brings him to a church taht is currently being renovated. There in the basement, workers have uncovered something that she hopes will make Jack excited about his work again. But as they quickly find out: the discovery is neither historical nor theoretical.

Rise of the Gargoyles is a schlockfest that, I think, was just a little too serious to achieve Sharknado-like quality. It’s not good in any sense of the word, but there is some entertainment to be had here.

The fil poster showing a street from above with a monster-shaped hole in it.
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Re-Watch: Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray
Seen on: 24.11.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
In the near future, there are barely any people left – most of them have been turned into zombies. Among the survivors are Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) who stumbled upon each other by chance and decided to stick together for a while, though the obsessive and anxious Columbus and the toughtalking, explosive Tallahassee don’t have much in common. When they run into Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the girls first rob them, but later on, they throw their lot together, hoping to reach a place where they’re safe.

When I saw Zombieland for the first time (almost a decade ago), I was utterly cahrmed by it. Re-Watching it now, I have to admit that it lost a bit of its sheen, but it’s still pretty entertaining.

The film poster showing Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), all with weapons in their hands.
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Thee Wreckers Tetralogy (2009-2018)

Thee Wreckers Tetralogy consists of four animated short films made between 2009 and 2018, starting life as music videos for Thee Wreckers. They are supplemented by a documentary about the films and the band.
The four short films are: No Place Like Home (2009), Lonely Bones (2013), Splintertime (2015), Reruns (2018)
Director: Rosto
Writer: Rosto
The documentary is: Everything’s Different, Nothing Has Changed (2017)
Director: Joao MB Costa, Rob Gradisen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
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I hadn’t heard of Thee Wreckers and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into with these films, but I admit that I found the films, the animation, the music of the short films pretty mind-blowing. The animation’s aesthetics, the music and the dreamlike narrative style caught me just right and I really managed to lose myself in them. Even though each installment of the tetralogy is very different, they go together very well and make for an all around beautiful body of work.

Poster for the tetralogy showing the animated version of the band.

Read a little more about each of the short films after the jump.

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The Ugly Truth (2009)

The Ugly Truth
Director: Robert Luketic
Writer: Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner, Eric Winter, Nick Searcy, Jesse D. Goins, Cheryl Hines, John Michael Higgins, Yvette Nicole Brown
Seen on: 21.1.2018
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Plot:
Abby (Katherine Heigl) is a producer of a morning show. Due to faltering ratings of said show, her boss hires Mike (Gerard Butler), whose claim to fame is hosting The Ugly Truth, a show that tackles matters of relationships in a very male, if not misogynistic way. Abby is outraged at this choice of host. But since she herself doesn’t do very well in matters of relationships either, pining after her neighbor Colin (Eric Winter) who she thinks of as the perfect man, she strikes a deal with Mike at his suggestion: he will help her reel in Colin, and she will work with him.

The Ugly Truth is absolutely horrible. It bowled me over with its hatred masquerading as some good old fun. It’s sexist and misogynistic. It’s so bad, it even makes a case that misandry does, in fact, exist. I hated it.

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The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a good editor and she loves her job. She is not so much a good boss as her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows from his own experience. When the Canadian Margaret is confronted with the fact that she might be deported because her visa expired, she pressures Andrew into marrying her. But the immigration officer Mr Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) isn’t convinced, so they can’t just leave it at the formalities. That’s how Margaret ends up at Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. With his welcoming family and the two of them in a decidedly unworklike environment, their relationship starts to change.

The Proposal is cute, if you manage to ignore a lot of things about it (heteros are exhausting). I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it won’t become a favorite or a film I’ll revisit at all.

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The Rebound (2009)

The Rebound
Director: Bart Freundlich
Writer: Bart Freundlich
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Andrew Cherry, Kelly Gould, Lynn Whitfield, Kate Jennings Grant, Rob Kerkovich, Sam Robards, John Schneider, Joanna Gleason, Art Garfunkel
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Sandy’s (Catherine Zeta-Jones) live fell apart after she discovered that her husband of many years cheated on her. Now she’s living in a new apartment above a coffee shop with her kids and tries to get a fresh start in life. Aram (Justin Bartha) who is a barista in said coffee shop may be much younger than Sandy, but his life is at a low point as well. Having just got out of a relationship that turned out to be a green card scam, he doesn’t really know what he wants to do with his life. When Sandy ends up hiring him as a babysitter, they become closer and even start dating. But are they really just rebounds for each other?

I liked the idea of The Rebound, what with the older woman dating a younger man and it not being portrayed as cougar-like predatory behavior. Or at least that’s what I expected. But The Rebound is so quintessentially male in its perspective, I could barely stand it.

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Re-Watch: Coraline (2009)

Coraline
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Henry Selick
Based on: Neil Gaiman’s book
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn FrenchKeith David, Robert Bailey Jr.
Seen on: 8.12.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) moves with her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) to a new house. Her parents are always busy so Coraline is left to explore things alone. One day she discovers a hidden door in her house and when she goes through, she meets her Other Mother, who is everything a child could hope for and more. But her Other Mother has buttons for her eyes. She wants Coraline to stay, but for that, Coraline will need to give up her eyes as well…

Coraline is a sweet and very beautiful film, although not unproblematic in some things. I liked it, but with a little more reservation than the first time round.

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Whip It (2009)

Whip It
Director: Drew Barrymore
Writer: Shauna Cross
Based on: her own novel Derby Girl
Cast: Ellen PageKristen WiigZoë BellEveDrew Barrymore, Andrew Wilson, Juliette Lewis, Marcia Gay Harden, Alia ShawkatCarlo AlbanLandon Pigg, Jimmy Fallon
Seen on: 17.9.2016

Plot:
Bliss’ (Ellen Page) mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden) has been raising Bliss to participate in beauty pageants. But Bliss has no interest whatsoever in being pretty or in pageantry. That becomes even clearer to her when she discovers roller derby. On a whim she goes to a match, and falls in love immediately. After talking to team captain Maggie Mayhem (Kirsten Wiig), she decides to try out for the team herself. Despite the fact that her parents can’t know about it or that she isn’t the required 21 years old yet. So she dons skates and starts practicing, findig her place in the team and the world.

Whip It is a sweet film, with a lot of fun moments and it wouldn’t surprise me if it made at least half of its audience fall in love with roller derby. There’s one big draw back though – and that’s the fact that they didn’t dare to make this a queer story. But other than that I enjoyed it a lot.

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