Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad
Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Based on: various comic characters
Cast: Will SmithMargot RobbieJay Hernandez, Jai CourtneyAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeCara Delevingne, Joel KinnamanKaren Fukuhara, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, David Harbour, Jim Parrack, CommonScott Eastwood, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 23.8.2016

Plot:
With the rise of superheroes and metahumans, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is convinced that the USAmerican government needs to fight back with metahumans that they control or they will be lost. She has come up with a plan to force a team of arrested metahumans in her employ in exchange for taking years of their sentence. When she stumbles on a way to control the archaeologist June Moon (Cara Delevingne) who was possessed by the millennia old Enchantress, Waller knows that with her, soldier Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) and metahuman Katana (Karen Fukuhara), she has a weapon strong enough to keep the involuntary team together. So she gets started with Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Chato Santana aka El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Slipknot (Adam Beach).

I really did not expect Suicide Squad to be any good, but it did manage to surprise me in the many ways it wasn’t good. Yet, I admit that there was a kind of hypnotic “can’t look away from this train wreck” vibe about it, and every once in a while it really did strike gold. So, I guess, I’m giving this film a more positive review than I thought I would? [Which is not to be confused with me saying that it’s any good.]

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Trumbo (2015)

Trumbo
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: John McNamara
Based on: Bruce Alexander Cook‘s biography of Dalton Trumbo
Cast: Bryan CranstonMichael StuhlbargDiane LaneHelen MirrenAlan TudykLouis C.K.Sean BridgersAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeElle FanningJohn GoodmanDean O’GormanChristian Berkel
Seen on: 17.3.2016

Plot:
Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) is an immensely successful screen writer and at the height of his career – when his affiliation with the Communist Party means that he gets caught up in a political witch hunt and is finally imprisoned and put on a blacklist. And he’s not the only one affected – his family suffers, too, as do quite a few colleagues who also get branded as communists. Unable to work officially, he devises a plan how he and his colleagues may ensure their livelihoods.

Trumbo is pretty much how you’d expect it. It’s expertly crafted and tells an interesting story very well. But it plays everything so safe, it’s hard to get excited about it.

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Concussion (2015)

Concussion
Director: Peter Landesman
Writer: Peter Landesman
Based on: Jeanne Marie Laskas‘ article Game Brain
Cast: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O’Malley, Eddie Marsan, Hill Harper, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Moyer, Richard T. Jones, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson
Seen on: 22.2.2016

Plot:
Dr. Bennett Omalu (Will Smith) is a pathologist, specialized in neuropathology. He works in Pittsburgh where he is known for being thorough but maybe also a little strange. One day, a former football player’s body – Mike Webster (David Morse) – comes to Omalu. As he conducts his autopsy, Omalu is more and more intrigued by the case: Webster went from fame and glory to absolute destitution, apparent psychosis and suicide in only a short amount of time. And Omalu suspects that brain damage is the reason for his behavior – damage that he got from playing football. But the NFL is not only not interested in hearing his concerns, they are trying to prevent him from finding out more about it.

Concussion tells an interesting story and it does tell it rather effectively. It is hampered by the fact though that it is a very recent story and that obviously they were trying very hard not to scratch too much at recent wounds.

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Annie (2014)

Annie
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Will Gluck, Aline Brosh McKenna (script), Greg Kurstin, Sia (new music)
Based on: the play written by Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music), Martin Charnin (lyrics) which is in turn based on Harold Gray‘s comic strip Little Orphan Annie
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas, Cameron Diaz, Michael J. Fox, Patricia Clarkson, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Rihanna, Sia
Seen on: 23.01.2015

Plot:
Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) is an orphan and lives with the difficult Ms Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) and several other foster children. She dreams of finding her parents and whenever possible she passes her time coming up with ways she could find out more about them. But her life takes an abrupt turn when she is saved from getting hit by a car by the self-involved businessman Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who is running for mayor. Stacks’ PR person Guy (Bobby Cannavale) sees the perfect opportunity to make Stacks more likeable and convinces him to take in Annie, despite the misgivings of Stack’s assistant Grace (Rose Byrne). But Annie is not just a passive thing to be used – she makes her own life.

I don’t know whether I have actually ever seen the film from the 80s and I know for a fact that I didn’t see any of the other adaptations of this. And as practically an Annie virgin, I really enjoyed the film, even if it had its weak spots.

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Pompeii (2014)

Pompeii
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson
Cast: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Joe Pingue, Kiefer Sutherland, Currie Graham, Sasha Roiz

Plot:
Milo (Kit Harington) is known as The Celt, a gladiator and the last of his people. Due to his good fighting, he is brought from Britannia to Pompeii where he is supposed to put on a good show. But as Vesuvius rumbles ever louder, Milo gets drawn in the affairs of Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) who has his eyes set on Cassia (Emily Browning). Cassia herself though is more impressed by Milo.

I don’t know what happened but it’s been a while that I brought alcohol to the cinema. In this case it was an absolute pity – because Pompeii would have been the perfect movie to get drunk to. While it doesn’t quite reach the craptacular dimensions of I, Frankenstein, they do play in the same league.

pompeii

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor: The Dark World
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: Stan Lee‘s, Larry Lieber‘s and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Sequel to: Thor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Zachary Levi , Jaimie Alexander, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jonathan Howard, Chris O’Dowd, [SPOILERS] Benicio Del Toro, Chris Evans
Part of: Marvel movies

Plot:
Ever since the events in Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has done his best to ensure the peace across the realms, while Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is locked up on Asgard. Which means that Thor doesn’t have time for Jane (Natalie Portman) who is still waiting for him. But when Jane stumbles on the Aether, an ancient weapon, Thor comes to her aid, just as Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) comes for the Aether, planning to destroy the universe with it.

As much as I love the first Thor movie – and I do – I have to admit that it doesn’t quite reach the heights that Thor: The Dark World reaches. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard in a movie, especially an action movie. It does almost everything completely right and it’s just plain great.

thor-the-dark-world

[SPOILERS]

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer: Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett
Based on: the toys
Cast: Channing Tatum, Christopher Eccleston, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Byung-hun Lee, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Dennis Quaid, Arnold Vosloo, Brendan Fraser

Plot:
McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) is the world’s biggest arms dealer and he has just created a new kind of bomb based on nanotechnology. Duke (Channing Tatum) and his army squad, are supposed to transport it to NATO. But en route, they are attacked by The Baronness (Sienna Miller) who happens to be Duke’s ex. Duke does his best, but ultimately he and the bomb are saved by the Joes, a super secret elite army team. And Duke decides that he wants in with them.

I never watched G.I. Joe because all I heard about it was how freaking bad it was – in fact, so bad that it crosses so bad it’s good territory and is just plain boring. Turns out that that is completely untrue. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a good film. But it is a hell of an entertaining one.

gijoetheriseofcobra

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The Mummy Returns (2001)

The Mummy Returns
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer: Stephen Sommers
Sequel to: The Mummy
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold VoslooPatricia Velasquez, Oded Fehr, Freddy Boath, Alun Armstrong, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Shaun Parkes, Dwayne Johnson

Plot:
Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evy (Rachel Weisz) are still working as archeologist, though by now they are bringing their 8-year-old son Alex (Freddie Boath) with them. When they stumble upon the bracelet of Anubis that is connected to the legend of the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson), they soon discover that they aren’t the only ones after it. In fact, it’s again re-awakened Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) who plans on using the bracelet. And that’s just the beginning of their troubles.

[I actually thought that I had already seen this film when it came out, but it turns out, I haven’t. Oh well.]
The Mummy Returns was a lot more entertaining than a sequel actually has any right to be. But I’m not complaining – it was again really enjoyable.

The-Mummy-Returns

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