Camp Death III in 2D! (2018)

Camp Death III in 2D!
Director: Matt Frame
Writer: Matt Frame
Cast: Dave Peniuk, Angela Galanopoulos, Darren Andrichuk, Emma Docker, Chris Allen,
Starlise Waschuk, Terry mullett, Cynthia Chalmers, Gerald Gerald Geraldson, Hans Potter, Katherine Alpen, Jason Asuncion, Andrea Bang
Seen on: 6.1.2019
[Screener review.]

Plot:
Camp Crystal Meph was the scene of a horrific bloodbath by the killer Johann Van Damme (Terry mullett). But a few years later, Todd (Dave Peniuk) is ready to give it another try. His uncle Mel (Darren Andrichuk) owns the camp ground and Todd has set up a new camp concept. Together with his camp counselors Rachel (Angela Galanopoulos) and Barry (Chris Allen), they are ready to welcome their group. But soon after their arrival, people start dying – again -, murderous squirrels run wild and nobody has any clue what is actually happening

Camp Death III in 2D! is a parody of Friday the 13th Part III in 3D that has some nicely silly ideas, but unfortunately overdoes it a lot of the times. Plus, it is just so ableist that I really wanted to scream.

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3 Tage in Quiberon [3 Days in Quiberon] (2018)

3 Tage in Quiberon
Director: Emily Atef
Writer: Emily Atef
Cast: Marie Bäumer, Birgit Minichmayr, Charly Hübner, Robert Gwisdek, Denis Lavant, Vicky Krieps
Seen on: 25.4.2018

Plot:
Romy Schneider (Marie Bäumer) has withdrawn to a spa hotel slash rehab center to attempt to get her life under control again. Her friend Hilde (Birgit Minichmayr) comes to visit and support her, as she always does. Joining them are two journalists from the STERN magazine, Robert (Charly Hübner) and Michael (Robert Gwisdek) who want to interview Romy. Over the course of three days, they try to get past the surface while Hilde tries to shield Romy from their invasive questions.

3 Tage in Quiberon has an amazing cast and a good story, but I nevertheless had trouble staying with the film sometimes. Still, I did get the sense that those three days were a very special event.

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Ready Player One (2018)

Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Based on: Ernest Cline’s novel
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch
Seen on: 14.4.2018

Plot:
Wade (Tye Sheridan) spends every possible second in OASIS, virtual reality world where he can be Parzival and kick ass. When one of the creators of OASIS, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, it is revealed that he left OASIS to whoever is able to find three hidden elements in it that could be anywhere. Obsessed with OASIS and Halliday as Wade is, he figures, he will give it a shot. But he’s not the only one trying to get it.

Ready Player One is really, really bad. It’s insufferable, illogical and generally induces eye-rolling until you’re sore. At least there’s Lena Waithe to make things a little better.

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A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet Place
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski
Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
Seen on: 14.4.2018

Plot:
Earth has been overrun by monsters who can hear the slightest sound and use it to hunt humans down. The Abbotts are desperately trying to survive in the apocalypse, with father Lee (John Krasinski) and mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) trying to keep their children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) safe. The family has an advantage because Regan is deaf and they therefore know sign language. But it’s unlikely that they can go on much longer as they have been.

A Quiet Place pulled me in and didn’t let me go. And it isn’t just a strong, emotional film, it’s also a great example of how to represent disability in films, which makes it even better. I’m happy to say that it is a film that deserves its hype.

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Annihilation (2018)

Annihiliation
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Based on: Jeff VanderMeer’s novel
Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Tessa Thompson, Benedict Wong, Oscar Isaac
Seen on: 7.4.2018

Plot:
Biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) joins a mission into Area X, an area where nature shows strange behavior that nobody is able to explain, after her husband (Oscar Isaac) went missing there. The expedition, led by Dr Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), is supposed to find out more. Anything they can, really. The five women – Lena, Dr Ventress, Josie (Tessa Thompson), Anya (Gina Rodriguez) and Cass (Tuva Novotny) – set off and are soon faced with phenomena that are even stranger than anticipated.

I was very excited about Annihilation, having recently read the books and loved them and having mostly enjoyed Garland’s previous films. But I have to admit that Annihilation was a bit of a let-down for me. It might have been different if I hadn’t read the books, but I’m not sure.

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Die letzte Party deines Lebens [Party Hard Die Young] (2018)

Die letzte Party deines Lebens
Director: Dominik Hartl
Writer: Robert Buchschwenter, Karin Lomot
Cast: Elisabeth Wabitsch, Marlon Boess, Markus Freistätter, Michael Glantschnig, Valerie Huber, Antonia Moretti, Hisham Morscher, Thomas Otrok, Chantal Pausch, Alexandra Schmidt, Ferdinand Seebacher, Fabian Unger, Nikolaas von Schrader, Edita Malovcic, Michael Ostrowski
Seen on: 5.4.2018

Plot:
Julia (Elisabeth Wabitsch) and her classmates have finished school and as is increasingly common in Austria, that means that they’re packing their bags and heading for a week long party trip on an island off the coast of Croatia. It’s supposed to be a week of drinking, bathing and partying. Instead things turn sideways very quickly and Julia’s classmates start dying.

Die letzte Party deines Lebens is a classic teenie slasher that, unfortunately, has nothing much to recommend it. I was hoping for more from director Hartl.

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The Mercy (2018)

The Mercy
Director: James Marsh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Buchan, Simon McBurney, Ken Stott
Seen on: 3.4.2018

Plot:
Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) is an inventor and a dreamer. He hasn’t always had the best luck with his business, but he still dreams big. When he hears about a race to sail alone around the world without stopping, amateur sailor Donald decides to go for it, hoping that the cash prize will finally mean financial security. He throws everything he has and more at the project, designing his own boat and getting ready. But everything takes longer than he planned and despite the problems and the increasing worries of his wife (Rachel Weisz) and children, Donald sets off delayed and with an unfinished boat to try and win anyway.

The Mercy is an impressive film with a stellar cast and a healthy dose of criticism of the “if you just work it hard enough, you can have it all” notion. It’s tough to watch but mostly worth it.

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Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writer: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons
Based on: the video game series
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost
Seen on: 29.3.2018
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Plot:
By birth, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is very rich, but since her adventurer father (Dominic West) disappeared, Lara doesn’t want anything to do with the estate. Instead she makes her money as a bike courier, a job that plays into her adrenaline seeking tendencies. But then Lara gets an elaborate puzzle box that sets her on the path of her father’s last adventure. Even though she goes against his wishes with her decision, she decides to retrace his last known steps and figure out what happened.

My first thought after leaving the cinema, was “well, Tomb Raider is a film I have seen now” and that still pretty much captures the level of excitement and fun the film achieved. But at least it never got really boring.

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Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Justin Haythe
Based on: Jason Matthewsnovel
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciarán Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons, Sergei Polunin
Seen on: 28.3.2018
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Plot:
Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a promising ballet dancer. Or rather, she used to be until an injury cost her her career. Instead she is recruited by her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) for the Sparrow School, a school designed to make spies. Training is hard, but Dominika makes it through. The target of her first mission is CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) who appears to have a Russian informant – and Dominika is supposed to find out who the informant is. But she and Nate gravitate towards each other – and that may threaten both of their missions.

I didn’t expect much of Red Sparrow, I have to say, but I filed it under “the things I do for Matthias Schoenaerts” and watched it anyway. I shouldn’t have – and neither should you.

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Winchester (2018)

Winchester
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writer: Tom Vaughan, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Cast: Jason Clarke, Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Finn Scicluna-O’Prey, Emm Wiseman, Angus Sampson
Seen on: 21.3.2018
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Plot:
Eric Price (Jason Clarke) is a psychiatrist whose addiction to laudanum is starting to compromise his career. When the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren) asks him to come to her house and prove that she is not insane – despite appearances – he accepts, trying to escape his own life and past. But the Winchester estate, constantly under construction, is not only a weird place, something more is going on there. Something that probably won’t end well.

Winchester is a middling film that builds too much on jump scares and too little on characters. It mostly lives of the house itself and while it is a cool house, it’s not enough for the film they made of it.

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