The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Writer: Adam CozadCraig Brewer
Based on: Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ short stories
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Margot RobbieSamuel L. JacksonChristoph WaltzDjimon HounsouSimon Russell BealeJim BroadbentBen Chaplin
Seen on: 7.8.2016

Plot:
Years ago the man known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) became John Clayton once more and returned from Congo to his home country of England with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Now he’s trying very hard to leave his wild past behind him. But then George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) turns up in London, accusing a Belgian/Congolese mining company run by Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) in the name of King Leopold of slave trade. He needs John’s help to prove it, so reluctantly, John agrees to return.

I didn’t expect Tarzan to be very good and it wasn’t. But it did surprise me in some of the ways that it was bad. That’s… an achievement, I guess.

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The Giver (2014)

The Giver
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writer: Michael Mitnick, Robert B. Weide
Based on: Lois Lowry’s novel
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Swift, Emma Tremblay

Plot:
Jonas’ (Brenton Thwaites) final year-ceremony is approaching – which is especially exciting because all kids get their community assignment at that point. That means that they’ll finally find out what their role and duty will be in their community. Contrary to many other kids, Jonas has no idea what he is suited for. But he certainly did not expect to be announced as the new Receiver of Memories – he doesn’t even know what it is the Receiver (Jeff Bridges) does. When he starts his apprenticeship, the role of the receiver is far from the only thing he learns though.

I generally liked the book but wasn’t particularly blown away by it. The same pretty much goes for the film. Some things were nicely done, others I didn’t care much for – especially where the film deviates from the book.

thegiver

[SPOILERS]

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Disconnect (2012)

Disconnect
Director: Henry Alex Rubin
Writer: Andrew Stern
Cast: Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Michael Nyqvist, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skarsgård, Max Thieriot, Colin Ford, Jonah Bobo, Haley Ramm

Plot:
Ben Boyd (Jonah Bobo) is a bit of an outcast in school, especially Jason Dixon (Colin Ford) picks on him and even goes so far as to create a fake facebook profile of a girl in love with Ben. Meanwhile, Jason’s dad Mike (Frank Grillo) investigates the identity theft that happened to the Hulls after Cindy Hull (Paula Patton) chatted with somebody about the loss of her child. Nina Dunham (Andrea Riseborough) is also involved in chatting – with young sex worker Kyle (Max Thieriot) who she’s trying to win for a story for her news station.

Disconnect thinks that it’s a film about the disconnect caused by technology. But as technophobia gets the better of it, it loses coherence and works against its own point.

disconnect

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The East (2013)

The East
Director: Zal Batmanglij
Writer: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij
Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Macdonald, Hillary BaackJason Ritter, Julia Ormond, Patricia Clarkson

Plot:
Sarah (Brit Marling) works for a private security company. Their newest client is worried about ecoterrorist group The East, so Sarah gets the assignment from her boss (Patricia Clarkson) to infiltrate them. After a long search, Sarah meets Luca (Shiloh Fernandez) who brings her into the group which is (unofficially) led by Benji (Alexander Skarsgard). Even though it isn’t easy to get in at first, Sarah quickly finds herself in deeper than she ever thought.

The East is exciting, interesting and well acted. It asks many smart questions and though the way it ultimately resolves those questions was a little unfortunate, especially since it tries not to resolve anything too clearly for the first 112 minutes (runtime: 116 min). But it is still excellent.

the-east

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What Maisie Knew (2012)

What Maisie Knew
Director: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Writer: Nancy Doyne, Carroll Cartwright
Based on: Henry Jamesnovel
Cast: Onata Aprile, Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Alexander Skarsgard, Joanna Vanderham

Plot:
Maisie (Onata Aprile) lives with her mother Susanna (Julianne Moore), an aging rock singer and her father Beale (Steve Coogan), a workaholic business man. While Margo (Joanna Vanderham) watches Maisie most of the time, Susanna and Beale are separating, their divorce growing increasingly uglier. When Beale marries Margo, Susanna tries to keep up by marrying Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard). Through all of that, it is Maisie though who gets almost lost.

What Maisie knew is a pretty damn wonderful film. It’s sweet and touching and has a perfect cast. More movies should be like it.

What-Maisie-Knew

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Battleship (2012)

Battleship
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber
Based on: the game
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Peter MacNicol, Hamish Linklater, Tadanobu Asano

Plot:
Alex (Taylor Kitsch) and his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) are like night and day. Stone is in the navy, responsible and earnest, while Alex is perpetually drunk, chasing women and in trouble. But after a particularly bad incident during which Alex meets Samantha (Brooklyn Decker), he tries to get his life in order and joins the navy as well. A while later Samantha pushes him to ask her father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), for her hand, just as a huge naval war game exercise is about to begin. But then aliens hit the earth right in the middle of the exercise and Alex finds himself not only fighting for his maybe-father-in-law’s recognition, but for the earth itself.

I expected so much of Battleship. I thought it was going to be one of the most entertaining movies of the year. And it does deliver – in everything but the action scenes. But since they comprise most of the film, the whole thing starts to drag a bit.

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Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia
Director: Lars von Trier
Writer: Lars von Trier
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Brady Corbet, Jesper Christensen, Udo Kier

Plot:
It’s Justine’s (Kirsten Dunst) wedding day. But even though she should be the happiest person alive, apart from her husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), she is haunted by dreams and visions of the end of the earth, when the planet Melancholia collides with ours. Her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) tries to hold it all together, but is ultimately helpless against the overwhelming presence of Melancholia – both the planet and the mood.

After Antichrist, I was very reluctant if I actually wanted to see Melancholia. But the cast and the trailer’s aesthetics drew me in. In the end my fears that it would be the misogynist disaster Antichrist was, proved to be unnecessary. But I still only liked the first half.

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Metropia (2009)

[Anilogue.]

Metropia is Tarik Saleh‘s first fiction film, starring the voices of Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgard and Alexander Skarsgard.

Plot:
2024. After using up the world’s ressources, Europe is in shambles. A huge underground network connects all the subway lines of the major cities, controlled by the Trexx corporation. Roger (Vincent Gallo) tries to avoid the subway as much as possible, going so far as biking to work (which is illegal). But when his bike is broken, he enters the subway station, starts hearing a voice (Alexander Skarsgard) in his head and suddenly sees Nina (Juliette Lewis) – the girl from the shampoo commercial and his dreams. Nina kinda leads him down the rabbit hole into a huge conspiracy.

Metropia has a strange aesthetic, an interesting premise and great voice acting. Unfortunately the animation itself is not that great and it loses itself a bit in the plot.

[Slight Spoilers]

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