Rick (Christian Bale) is a screenwriter living in LA. He moves from party to party, woman to woman. He seems to be looking for something, but who knows for what?
[Actually the first note I wrote down for this film is: “I don’t think I could write a plot description for this film”, so you’ll have to live with that little bit.]
I don’t like Terrence Malick movies. I decided to watch this one anyway because Cate Blanchett! Christian Bale! Natalie Portman! And so many other actors I love. But it turns out that Knight of Cups is everything I hate about Malick movies turned up to 11, while nothing I used to still like about them works for me anymore.
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li) have just freed former Expendable Doc (Wesley Snipes) from prison and are headed to Somalia now to take down an arms dealer. Said arms dealer – Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) – turns out to be another former Expendable, a founding member in fact. The fight quickly turns extremely personal and Barney, worried that they are all too old for the job, decides to find younger fighters to get rid of Stonebanks once and for all.
It might have been the overexposure because of the triple feature (I doubt it) but Expendables 3 didn’t blow me away. It wasn’t as funny as the second one and the host of new characters the throw at you is seriously displaced.
Peninsula Flight 2549 is in trouble. So instead of going to Mexico, they are flying circles above Toledo, waiting for a specially prepared landing strip. The crew has sedated the tourist class and now has to deal with the increasingly worried and extremely eccentric business class. With the help of drugs and gallows humor, everything is quickly revolving around sex.
Los amantes pasajeros is for the most part pretty funny. But it also drags on, is chock full with stereotypes and has two rapes that are treated not only as a joke but also as the romantic start of a relationship, so I can’t really give it a pass.
Calvin (Paul Dano) wrote a critically acclaimed bestseller when he was very young – and has been stuck ever since. He can’t really write anything, he’s afraid that he won’t live up to his own reputation. But then he starts writing about Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan) – the perfect girl for him – and literally falls in love with his own creation. That is, until she actually shows up in his kitchen. At first, Calvin believes that he’s finally cracked, but other people can see her, too. And so Calvin doesn’t question it, instead starts enjoying their relationship. But how long can anybody remain perferct?
Ruby Sparks is the perfect take-down of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. And not only that, it is also a wonderfully charming, touching and funny movie with an extremely excellent cast.
Mallory (Gina Carano) works for Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), a private contractor who leases his people to the government for special assignments. But during the last job, something went wrong and suddenly Mallory finds herself on the run. At a small rest stop, her former partner Aaron (Channing Tatum) catches up with her but she kicks his ass and gets away with Scott (Michael Angarano), a rather willing hostage whom she tells her story to.
I really, really enjoyed Haywire – I was actually surprised by how much. It’s an engaging, intelligent and stylish thriller with good fight scenes and a really cool soundtrack.
Puss (Antonio Banderas) is a talented thief who has set his eyes on the magic beans, currently in the possession of the criminals Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris). But when he tries to steal them, he crosses paths with the mysterious Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). Kitty is working with Puss’ former best friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) who is obsessed with the magic beans – and the goose that lays golden eggs to which the beans lead. And so the three of them throw their lots together to best Jack and Jill.
This movie could and should have been better than it actually was. It was not totally bad but it left me with a vague sense of unfulfilment.
Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) is a renowned plastic surgeon who is currently working on only one patient, Vera (Elena Anaya), who he keeps locked up in his private hospital where Robert illegally experiments on Vera with an especially fortified skin transplant. The only other person in the house is the housekeeper Marilia (Marisa Paredes) who has been with Robert since he was a child. Marilia is convinced that Vera has the face of Robert’s dead wife. And there is something else in Vera’s and Robert’s past that connects them.
Almodóvar has made quite a few changes from the book and most of them don’t really work for me. Generally the plotting is quite weak here. But apart from that, it’s a beautifully crafted film.
Shrek (Mike Myers) should be happy – he has everything he ever wanted. He married the love of his life, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), he has three kids. His best friend Donkey (Eddie Murphy) comes over regularly. But the routine of it all, and the tourists on Star Tours, wear Shrek down. Out of desperation he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) – Shrek gets one day as a regular, frightening oger, and Rumpel gets one day from his childhood. But Rumpel has ulterior motives, of course, and takes the day Shrek was born – which means that he was never born at all. Now Shrek has only 24 hours to find Fiona, make her fall in love with him and share true love’s kiss to break the deal.
There is nothing technically wrong with Shrek Forever After. But something crucial seems to be lacking from the film. And in the end, it leaves you feeling a little unsatisfied.
In the background lurks Che Guevara (Antonio Banderas), Evita’s creepy stalker, turning up at various points in her life to make catty remarks and remind her of her impending death. In real life, the two never met, though the young Guevara did once write Evita a letter asking her to buy him a jeep. It was a joke. Probably you had to be there.
Look, I’m in no way suggesting that Evita is a great movie – Madonna was obviously not a good cast, especially not when protraying the young Evita. Their history was ill-founded, and very one sided. I like the music, although you can bitch about a few things.
But Ché (Antonio Banderas‘ character) is the best thing about the musical, a stroke of genius and IN NO WAY meant to be Che Guevera – he’s Ché, a particle in Argentinian Spanish that is something like “Hey, you!” [and btw. a rather popular (nick) name]. Ché is supposed to be “us” – the people of Argentina. And the way that concept is implemented is wonderful.
[I’m sorry I put this up here, but I can’t comment on the Guardian blog itself.]