Babyteeth (2019)

Babyteeth
Director: Shannon Murphy
Writer: Rita Kalnejais
Cast: Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Eugene Gilfedder, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn
Seen on: 1.11.2020

Plot:
Milla (Eliza Scanlen) meets Moses (Toby Wallace) quite by chance and is immediately drawn to his reckless way of approaching life. Moses, on the other hand, sees Milla as a good opportunity to maybe get some cash off of her. But when Milla gets a nosebleed, he helps and they end up spending the day together. When Milla brings Moses home for dinner, her parents Anna (Essie Davis) and Henry (Ben Mendelsohn) are horrified. Intensely protective of their daughter, because she is young and she is very sick, unkempt Moses seems like the biggest threat. And when Moses steals some drugs from them to sell them, their fears are confirmed. But Milla is unwilling to let go of Moses. No matter what her parents or even Moses say about it.

Babyteeth was my last cinema visit in this year of the pest and I could have definitely chosen a worse film to complete the cinema roster this year. It is a sweet film that manages to find some fresh new aspects to a story that isn’t all that new anymore.

The film poster showing Milla (Eliza Scanlen) sitting next to a pool, wearing a wig, looking up at the sky.
Continue reading

Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Writer: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Based on: Roy Thomas and Gene Colan‘s character
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg, Stan Lee, Don Cheadle, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 11.3.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Vers (Brie Larson) is one of the warriors on the Kree planet Hala, led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). They are fighting against the Skrulls. Vers is a skilled fighter, but she struggles with keeping her emotions in check and she also lost her memories, some of which may or may not be haunting her in her dreams. After yet another skirmish with the Skrull, Vers crashlands on Earth where she draws the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., in particular Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Together they try to find out about Vers’ past, but also to find a way to fight the Skrulls that keep coming.

I am very content with Captain Marvel. It may not be the best of the Marvel movies but it is very good and a Marvel film with a woman at the center (and a woman directing) was more than overdue anyway. More of this please.

The film poster showing Vers/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in her Captain Marvel outfit, energy flowing through her.
Continue reading

Robin Hood (2018)

Robin Hood
Director: Otto Bathurst
Writer: Ben Chandler, David James Kelly
Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan, Tim Minchin, Paul Anderson, F. Murray Abraham, Ian Peck, Cornelius Booth
Seen on: 20.1.2019
1-gif-review

Content Note: racism

Plot:
Robin (Taron Egerton) is a lord with good money. He’s also in love with Marian (Eve Hewson), a commoner. His life would have been fine if he hadn’t been drafted to fight in the crusades. Once there, he is not willing to accept his commanding officer Guy of Gisborne’s (Paul Anderson) cruelty, so he gets sent home again. Back home Robin realizes that the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) had him declared dead, seized his property and is ruling the city with an iron fist. But there is also resistance brewing, led by Will (Jamie Dornan) – and Marian who is with Will now. Just when Robin is about to call it a day and disappear, Yahya (Jamie Foxx) shows up, offering to train Robin to take the fight to the Sheriff.

Robin Hood looks like it has the potential to be delightful trash. Unfortunately it takes itself way, way too seriously and it’s just not good enough to fit the bill of a good film, becoming a rather dreary film instead.

The film posters showing the main characters surrounded by arrows.
Continue reading

Ready Player One (2018)

Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Based on: Ernest Cline’s novel
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch
Seen on: 14.4.2018

Plot:
Wade (Tye Sheridan) spends every possible second in OASIS, virtual reality world where he can be Parzival and kick ass. When one of the creators of OASIS, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, it is revealed that he left OASIS to whoever is able to find three hidden elements in it that could be anywhere. Obsessed with OASIS and Halliday as Wade is, he figures, he will give it a shot. But he’s not the only one trying to get it.

Ready Player One is really, really bad. It’s insufferable, illogical and generally induces eye-rolling until you’re sore. At least there’s Lena Waithe to make things a little better.

Continue reading

Darkest Hour (2017)

Darkest Hour
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Anthony McCarten
Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Lily James, Ronald Pickup, Stephen Dillane, David Strathairn
Seen on: 25.1.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) just became Prime Minister of the UK and he already has a huge decision to make: should he enter into peace negotiations with Nazi Germany or should he refuse any kind of arrangement with them, even if that means waging war against them? With less than enthusiastic support from the most powerful people around him, Churchill tries to make his decision.

To put it plainly, Darkest Hour is not a good film. Maybe it would have stood a chance with another (better) script, but what we got is just insufferable

Continue reading

Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones, Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Warwick Davis, Michael Smiley
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 18.12.2016

Plot:
There are rumors that the Empire is building a great new weapon, called the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance has caught wind of that and hatches a plan to steal the plans for that weapon as they heard that there was a structural weakness that they may use to destroy it. They believe that Jyn (Felicity Jones) may be the key to success as her father (Mads Mikkelsen) seems to be involved with the planning. But Jyn hasn’t seen her father in 15 years and she’s also not all that interested in helping the Alliance. But they do reach a deal and Jyn finds herself accompanying pilot Cassian (Diego Luna) on the mission.

I will probably never be super excited about Star Wars – it’s just not my franchise. But I did enjoy Rogue One a whole lot, despite a couple of lengths it suffered from.

Continue reading

Slow West (2015)

Slow West
Director: John Maclean
Writer: John Maclean
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPheeMichael FassbenderBen MendelsohnCaren PistoriusRory McCannKalani Queypo
Seen on: 11.8.2015

Plot:
Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is on a mission: he has to find the love of his life, Rose Ross (Caren Pistorius), who has found a new home in the Wild West. Jay is all alone, which is not without dangers. When Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender) stumbles upon him, he practically forces himself on Jay as a guide. Together they make the track West. But there seems to be more to the story than just simple romance and to Silas’ motivations than pure kindheartedness.

I’m not a huge fan of Westerns in general (though I do find myself starting to appreciate the genre), but quite apart from genre considerations, Slow West is a beautifully crafted, well executed film that I enjoyed a lot.

SlowWest

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Lost River (2014)

Lost River
Director: Ryan Gosling
Writer: Ryan Gosling
Cast: Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Saoirse Ronan, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Reda Kateb, Barbara Steele
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2015
[Reviews by Maynard and cornholio.]

Plot:
Billy (Christina Hendricks) lives alone with her two kids in a mostly abandoned neighborhood. When he’s not busy dreaming about his neighbor Rat (Saoirse Ronan), Billy’s older son Bones (Iain De Caestecker) tries to support them by stealing copper from the empty houses around them, which draws the ire of local thug (Matt Smith) who claims all the copper for himself. Threatened by foreclosure, Billy accepts a job offer from Dave (Ben Mendelsohn), her bank manager who has a little business at the side at a strange night club.

Lost River is not a perfect film. But it is an enchanting, strong debut that I won’t mind watching again.

Lost_River Continue reading

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

The Place Beyond the Pines
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writer: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder
Cast: Ryan GoslingBradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose ByrneDane DeHaanEmory Cohen, Ben MendelsohnBruce Greenwood, Mahershala Ali, Gabe Fazio, Ray Liotta

Plot:
Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a motorcycle stunt driver. But when he finds out that Romina (Eva Mendes) – with whom he had a fling a year earlier – had his son, he decides to give up his job and stay near them and take care of them. But since he lacks the resources to do so properly, he starts to rob banks which puts him right in the path of Avery (Bradley Cooper), a young and ambitious police man.

I loved Blue Valentine and the cast of this movie is pretty damn good, so I expected big things. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. The Place Beyond the Pines is boring, clichéd and way too long.

theplacebeyondthepines

[Major SPOILERS]

Continue reading

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Sequel to: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (1st review, 2nd review)
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway,   Morgan Freeman, Burn Gorman, Ben Mendelsohn, Matthew Modine, Aidan Gillen, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson

Plot:
Batman (Christian Bale) disappeared after taking the fall for Harvey Dent. But while Gotham City is getting cleaned up by the regular police now – and quite successfully so – a new threat is rising in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy). And when Bruce Wayne himself gets robbed by a Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar, he decides that it might be time to come out of the retirement and face the world again.

I had very high expectations for this film (I mean, who hadn’t?) and while the film did not surpass them, it fulfilled them extremely well and was a very good ending to the trilogy.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading