Bullet Train (2022)

Bullet Train
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Zak Olkewicz
Based on: Kōtarō Isaka‘s novel
Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Logan Lerman, Zazie Beetz, Masi Oka, Karen Fukuhara, Channing Tatum, Ryan Reynolds
Seen on: 12.8.2022

Content Note: whitewashing

Plot:
Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is an assassin who as recently taken some time off after a bit of an existential crisis because he is so unlucky. But after some therapy, he is ready to get back into the game. His first job seems simple enough: just snatch a suitcase from the high-speed bullet train and get off the next station. But it turns out that he is not the only assassin on the train. Duo Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) also have a mission to fulfill on the train. And there is The Prince (Joey King) who lured Kimura (Andrew Koji) on the train for her own plans. As all of their plans collide, things become chaotic. Ladybug may yet regret his return to work.

Bullet Train is a fast-paced, entertaining film despite some problems. If you like action comedies with a touch of gore, you’ll have a good time with this one.

The film poster showing the main characters arranged along a Japanese dragon.
Continue reading

The King’s Man (2021)

The King’s Man
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Karl Gajdusek
Based on: Mark Millar’s and Dave Gibbons’ comic
Prequel to: Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Alexandra Maria Lara, Rhys Ifans, Daniel Brühl, August Diehl, Tom Hollander, Stanley Tucci, David Kross
Seen on: 14.1.2022

Plot:
Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) is an important advisor to King George (Tom Hollander). When his wife Emily (Alexandra Maria Lara) is killed while they are inspecting whether rumors of concentration camps in South Africa were real, he promises her that he would keep their son Conrad (Harris Dickinson) away from violence. In the years since Emily’s death, Orlando has worked to establish a spy network with Shola (Djimon Hounsou) and Polly (Gemma Arterton), trying their best to avoid violence with their work. But now Conrad is grown, and war is coming to Europe – a war Conrad is desperate to join and Orlando is desperate to keep him from.

Oh boy, The King’s Man is one hell of a mess, constantly standing in its own way. It really doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing or what story it’s telling and squanders any potential of finding back to the good roots of the Kingsman franchise.

The film poster showing the main characters of the movie, most with some weapon.
Continue reading

Tenet (2020)

Tenet
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Fiona Dourif, Michael Caine, Himesh Patel, Dimple Kapadia
Seen on: 31.8.2020

Plot:
A special operative (John David Washington) is captured in a mission that goes very wrong. He manages to swallow a suicide pill – only to wake up recruited for a very special program. A program he knows nothing about except that there is something weird going on with time and he has one code word to find information: Tenet. Things soon point him to arms dealer Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) and his wife Kat (Elizabeth Debicki) – but that’s only the beginning.

Nolan has made some good movies, but Tenet isn’t one of them. It’s pretty much incomprehensible drivel that’s much too preoccupied with its own coolness. If you’re looking for an example of style over substance: this is it.

The film poster showing the Protagonist (John David Washington) twice, mirrored along a diagonal line, once facing forward, once backward, once wearing a suit, once a uniform. Both times he is aiming a gun.
Continue reading

A Million Little Pieces (2018)

A Million Little Pieces
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Writer: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sam Taylor-Johnson
Based on: James Frey‘s memoir/novel
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Odessa Young, Charlie Hunnam, Juliette Lewis, Giovanni Ribisi, Billy Bob Thornton, David Dastmalchian, Dash Mihok, Ryan Hurst
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 11.9.2018

Plot:
After falling from a balcony because he is so high, James (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is finally admitted into a rehab center in Minnesota by his brother (Charlie Hunnam). As James slowly starts to work through is own issues and becoming clean, he gets to know his rehab colleagues, above all Lilly (Odessa Young) whom he feels very drawn to, his roommate (Giovanni Ribisi) and Leonard (Billy Bob Thornton) who becomes something like a guide for him.

A Million Little Pieces is a strong film that interestingly enough puts the body front and center, drawing on dance as a form of expression and is much more serious and less sensationalistic than I expected after the book’s history. I was much more impressed by it than I thought it would be.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the film.
Continue reading

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals
Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford
Based on: Austin Wright‘s novel Tony and Susan
Cast: Amy AdamsJake GyllenhaalMichael ShannonAaron Taylor-JohnsonIsla FisherEllie BamberArmie HammerKarl GlusmanRobert AramayoLaura LinneyAndrea RiseboroughMichael Sheen
Seen on: 29.12.2016

Plot:
Art gallery owner Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) receives a package in the mail. It contains the draft of her ex-husband Edward Sheffield’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) new novel and the information that he is in town and would like to meet her. Susan hasn’t spoken to him in almost 20 years and she is surprised by the novel and the meeting, but she starts to read the novel that was apparently inspired by her. It tells the story of Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal) who goes on a roadtrip with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) and daughter India (Ellie Bamber) – a roadtrip that turns violent when they get into trouble with another car and its passengers.

Nocturnal Animals is a highly polished film that tells a story that goes under the skin. It’s definitely not a film that lets go of you easily, even if not everything about it works without a hitch.

Continue reading

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett JohanssonJames SpaderAaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Linda Cardellini, Claudia Kim, Thomas Kretschmann, Andy Serkis, Julie Delpy, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 26.04.2015

Plot:
The Avengers – that is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – have become quite a team. In their most recent take-down of Hydra men, they managed to get back Loki’s scepter. Before Thor can take it back to his world, Tony and Bruce ask to analyze it and they discover a form of intelligence inside of the scepter. They decide to use it to try and create an AI as a defense program. They succeed and said program – Ultron (James Spader) – comes to life. Unfortunately he has his own vision of what a safe world looks like and the Avengers have to face Tony’s and Bruce’ creation.

I really loved the last Avengers movie, and this sequel has many of the same strengths. Unfortunately it also has a lot more problems than the first one, especially when it comes to plot and character development. Nevertheless I really enjoyed myself.

avengersageofultron[SPOILERS] Continue reading

Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein
Based on: Gojira
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ty Olsson

Plot:
Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) used to work at a nuclear power plant in Japan until an accident claimed Sandra’s life and left Joe convinced that there was something more to it. As he tries to figure out what it could have been, it’s his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who suffers for it. Years later Ford is again called to Japan to help with his father who doesn’t care about the legality of his research that much. And it turns out that Joe was right all along and suddenly Ford finds himself in the middle of a fight against monsters.

Godzilla has beautiful special effects and a good cast but unfortunately also bland characters and a stereotypical story. It just couldn’t hold my interest.

Godzilla Continue reading

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Kick-Ass 2
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Wadlow
Based on: Mark Millar’s and John Romita Jr.’s comic
Sequel to: Kick-Ass
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lyndsy Fonseca, Morris ChestnutClaudia Lee, Donald Faison, John Leguizamo, Jim Carrey, Iain Glen

Plot:
After the events in the last film, Hit-Girl aka Mindy (Chloe Moretz) now lives with her father’s best friend Marcus (Morris Chestnut) and pretends to be a normal high school girl. But instead, she’s fighting crime and training Dave aka Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). But Dave is dreaming of a superhero-team-up. And when Chris, formerly know as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), decides to become the world’s first supervillain The Motherfucker, a team-up seems to become absolutely necessary.

I was really looking forward to this film. But I spent most of it in horror at the way they twisted the characters and the story and left the movie quite disappointed. It’s not that bad per se, but it rubbed me the wrong way in so many things.

kick-ass-2

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Re-Watch: Kick-Ass (2010)

Kick-Ass
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Based on: the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage, Lyndsy Fonseca
[Here is my first review.]

Plot:
Dave (Aaron Johnson) is a normal teenager who likes to read comic books and gets beat up a lot. But then one day he decides that, actually, nothing is keeping him from donning a superhero suit and changing the world for the better. This seems to work fine for about 30 seconds and then Dave is in over his head.

Damn, I had forgotten just how fricking awesome this film is. I still have a couple of issues but I left the film absolutely hyped. It’s fantastic.

kick-ass

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Albert Nobbs (2011)

Albert Nobbs
Director: Rodrigo García
Writer: Glenn Close, John Banville, Gabriella Prekop
Based on: George Moore‘s short story
Cast: Glenn Close, Mia WasikowskaAaron Taylor-Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Brendan Gleeson, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Mark Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Part of: The film will be shown on June 6th in Vienna as opening film of the identities Festival.

Plot:
Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) has been working as a butler since about forever and in all this time nobody ever suspected the truth: that he is actually a woman. But then zie gets an impromptu roommate in Mr Paige (Janet McTeer) who turns out to be a woman as well. And not only that, she is even married! So Albert gets it in hir head that zie could get married, too. Especially since zie’s been in love with Helen (Mia Wasikowska) since about forever. So zie starts courting her, despite the fact that Helen is going out with Joe (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

I liked Albert Nobbs a lot – right until the ending, which sucked. But it had amazing performances and interesting characters. So that’s at least something.

albert-nobbs

Continue reading