Unbroken (2014)

Unbroken
Director: Angelina Jolie
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson
Based on: Laura Hillenbrand‘s book
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Miyavi, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, Ross Anderson, Alex Russell
Seen on: 19.01.2015

Plot:
Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) was a troublemaker as a kid until his brother Pete (Alex Russell) had the idea to channel his energy into running. And it pays of – Louie is sent to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. A few years later, thought, he finds himself fighting against Germany and Japan in World War II. When his plane is shot down over the sea, somewhere close to Japan, and only Louie, Phil (Domhnall Gleeson) and Mac (Finn Wittrock) survive the crash, things don’t look too well. And it only becomes worse, when they are captured by Japanese soldiers and end up prisoners of war. But Louie doesn’t give up easily.

Unbroken is okay as a film. It’s a little formulaic and a little too on the nose, but it’s solid filmmaking that just doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights it’s aiming for.

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Carrie (2013)

Carrie
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, Judy Greer

Plot:
Growing up with her ultra-religious, mentally ill mother (Julianne Moore), Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an outcast at her school who lacks vital information. Like what a period is. So when she gets it, she’s understandably distressed, a fact her classmates use to bring the bullying to the next level. But what they don’t know is that Carrie also has strange powers that she’s slowly getting the hang of.

Carrie has a strong, tense first half, but especially the showdown really doesn’t work anymore.

carrie

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Chronicle (2012)

Chronicle
Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Max Landis
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw

Plot:
Andrew (Dane DeHaan) comes from a difficult family situation, with an abusive father (Michael Kelly) and a dying mother, and his only real social contact is his cousin Matt (Alex Russell). But other than that, he seems to be a rather normal teenager. That is, until he, Matt and Matt’s friend Steve (Michael B. Jordan) stumble upon a mysterious thing in a hole in the ground. Shortly afterwards, they discover that they develop telekinetic powers. And since teenagers are, well, teenagers, things soon get out of hand.

Found footage movies can go so wrong so quickly and I usually don’t like them a whole lot. Fortunately, Chronicle doesn’t fall into that category. Tough the ending gets a little out of hand, it is a really cool film.

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