Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway
Seen on: 4.8.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is currently in a Russian prison. But after another agent (Josh Holloway) gets killed, his team, consisting of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton), breaks Ethan out of there and together they try to infiltrate the Kremlin to find more information about “Cobalt”, who is connected to the agent’s death. But the mission fails spectacularly and suddenly, the three of them plus data analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) have to clear the entire IMF’s name.

Much as I remembered it, Ghost Protocol was one hell of an entertaining film. It’s far from flawless, but at least it’s straight-forward fun.

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Livide [Livid] (2011)

Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Chloé Coulloud, Félix Moati, Jérémy Kapone, Catherine JacobChloé MarcqMarie-Claude Pietragalla, Béatrice Dalle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Review by Maynard Morrissey.]

Lucie (Chloé Coulloud) just started as a trainee care giver and tours through various houses with Catherine Wilson (Catherine Jacob) where they visit and take care of old people. One of them is Madame Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla) who has been in a coma for years. Madame Wilson tells Lucie about a supposed treasure at the house, which Lucie passes on to her boyfriend William (Félix Moati) and his brother Ben (Jérémy Kapone). William decides that they should go and look for that treasure. Despite initial hesitation, Lucie goes along with the plan. But what they find in the house is very different from what they expected.

I absolutely loved Livide. The aesthetics, the story, the atmosphere, the attention to detail – it was really great.

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Your Sister’s Sister (2011)

Your Sister’s Sister
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mike Birbiglia
Part of: Framing Reality

Ever since his brother Tom’s death, Jack (Mark Duplass) has been off, continuously spiraling out of control. So his best friend and Tom’s ex-girlfriend Iris (Emily Blunt) orders him a time-out. Alone. In the family cabin. But when Jack arrives there, Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is also there, recuperating after a break-up with her girlfriend. To overcome the initial weirdness, the two of them get drunk together and promptly sleep with each other – only to be surprised by Iris the next morning. As all of them have something they’re hiding, they go through all the shades of awkwardness together.

I have seen three Lynn Shelton movies so far and I honestly loved all of them. I would be hard-pressed to say which one was my favorite. As with the other films, Your Sister’s Sister combines issues and emotional content with a light, sweet sense of humor. I could have watched it for hours more.

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Re-Watch: Serbuan maut [The Raid] (2011)

Serbuan maut
Director: Gareth Evans
Writer: Gareth Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais, Doni Alamsyah, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhian, Ray Sahetapy, Verdi Solaiman
[Here’s my first review.]

Rama (Iko Uwais) is a young police officer whose unit is going on a raid of an appartment building that is firmly under control of the gangster Tama (Ray Sahetapy) and filled with his armed to the teeth henchmen. At first things seem to go rather well and the first few floors are taken without much of a fuzz. But then the alarm gets raised and the shit hits the fan.

When they showed The Raid as the surprise film at the /slash a few years ago, I was unprepared. I hadn’t heard about the film before and I got an action masterpiece. But it’s easy to surpass expectations when there are none and everything is new. So I was worried that it might not hold up to a second screening. But I need not have worried. No matter how many times you see it, it is a fantastic film.


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The Rescuers (2011)

The Rescuers
Director: Michael King
Writer: Anthony Edward Valletta, Michael King
“Cast”: Stephanie Nyombayire, Martin Gilbert
[Screener Review. You can watch it on iTunes.]

Rwandan genocide activist Stephanie Nyombayire and British historian and holocaust researcher Martin Gilbert are looking at the role of diplomats in situations like World War 2 and the Rwandan genocide. In WW2 there were some diplomats who risked their positions or lives by breaking the rules to save people. But why didn’t everybody do that? And who were the people that did?

The Rescuers tackles an interesting topic and one that hasn’t been talked about much yet in the millions of documentaries about WW2. But there were several things about it that I didn’t like.


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Re-Watch: Thor (2011)

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
Based on: Stan Lee‘s, Larry Lieber‘s and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Clark Gregg, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Jaimie Alexander, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner
Part of: Marvel movies
[Here’s my first review.]

After yet another attack by the Frost Giants on Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) loses his cool and together with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) pays them a rather violent visit. Their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is less than happy about this and decides to ban Thor to Earth until he’s learned his lesson and is less rash. On Earth, scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) stumbles upon Thor and doesn’t really know what to do with him. And if it wasn’t challenging enough for Thor to try and return to Asgard, a shitload of trouble is brewing with Loki.

Even on re-watching, Thor is an absolutely entertaining and fun-filled film with a great cast and really good pacing. I enjoyed the hell out of it again.


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First Position (2011)

First Position
Director: Bess Kargman
“Cast”: Aran Bell, Rebecca Houseknecht, Joan Sebastian Zamora, Miko Fogarty, Jules Jarvis Fogarty, Michaela Deprince, Gaya Bommer Yemini

First Position is a documentary that follows a few young dancers as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix – the world’s largest international ballet competition that promises scholarships and work contracts. Already just getting there takes a lot of work, commitment, training time and money.

First Position is an excellent documentary that manages to show both the passion, hard work and love that goes into dancing and, seemingly in passing, the economic, physical and emotional downsides as well. It’s interesting, entertaining and there’s dancing – which makes it pretty much perfect.


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You’re Next (2011)

You’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

It’s been a while since the Davison family came together but they do so to celebrate the parents’ anniversary. It’s Crispian’s (AJ Bowen) opportunity to introduce his new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson). But as they sit together and go through the usual tense “we don’t much like each other but we are family” routine, they come under attack from men in masks who set out to kill them one by one.

You’re Next comes with a lot of accolades to back it up and I have to say that I do believe it’s been severely overhyped. Maybe I would have liked it if my expectations hadn’t been so high, but in this case I left it with a decided feeling of meh.


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Rabitto horâ 3D [Rabbit Horror aka Tormented] (2011)

Rabitto horâ 3D
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Takashi Shimizu, Sôtarô Hayashi, Daisuke Hosaka
Cast: Hikari Mitsushima, Takeru Shibuya, Teruyuki Kagawa
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Kiriko (Hikari Misushima) and Daigo (Takeru Shibuya) live with their withdrawn father. The two of them are really close, despite the fact that Kiriko is about ten years older than Daigo and doesn’t speak at all. One day when the two of them go to the cinema, a stuffed rabbit flies out of the screen and into Daigo’s arms. That rabbit drags Daigo into another world and opens a door into their family’s past.

The movie starts off promising but then it switches gears and suddenly becomes another movie entirely. A movie I didn’t care for at all and that didn’t make sense.


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Hail (2011)

Director: Amiel Courtin-Wilson
Cast: Daniel P. Jones, Leanne Letch
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Danny (Daniel P. Jones) was just released from prison and surprises his girlfriend Leanne (Leanne Letch) who is more than overjoyed that he is free again. They live through a short period of everything going right – with their relationship and Danny finding a job. But it all starts to crumble quickly and ends in quite a mess.

Hail is an artsy film, and if you heard artsy in a deragatory inflection, you heard in the tone I meant it. It’s boring, the camera work is annoying and it just tries way too hard to be deep.


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