It Chapter Two (2019)

It Chapter Two
Director: Andy Muschietti
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Sequel to: It
Based on: Stephen King’s novel It
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden LieberherJeremy Ray TaylorSophia LillisFinn WolfhardChosen JacobsJack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Xavier Dolan, Stephen King
Seen on: 9.9.2019

Content Note: fat hate, homomisia

Plot:
It has been 27 years since the Losers Club – Bill (Jaden Lieberher/James McAvoy), Richie (Finn Wolfhard/Bill Hader), Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer/James Ransone), Stanley (Wyatt Oleff/Andy Bean), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor/Jay Ryan), Beverly (Sophia Lillis/Jessica Chastain) and Mike (Chosen Jacobs/Isaiah Mustafa) defeated Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). It’s an episode they have all relegated to the realm of childish fantasy. Now all of them but Mike have left town, living their adult lives elswhere. Until they all receive a call from Mike, asking them to come back – because so has Pennywise.

It Chapter 2 is alright. The horror parts were a little disappointing, and the film was about an hour too long, but I did enjoy the character dynamics, albeit more in theory than in practice.

The film poster showing Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) from the eyes up, with most of the image just white from his giant forehead.
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Toy Story 4 (2019)

Toy Story 4
Director: Josh Cooley
Writer: Andrew Stanton, Stephany Folsom
Sequel to: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, June Squibb, Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Carl Reiner, Bill Hader, Patricia Arquette, Timothy Dalton, Flea
Seen on: 28.8.2019

Plot:
Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and Andy’s other old toys have found a good home with Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw). When Bonnie starts kindergarten, she crafts a new toy from some trash, Forky (Tony Hale) who promptly comes to life and joins the entire family. But Forky is not ready to be a toy – he believes himself to be trash. Woody has his hands full just to make sure that Forky doesn’t throw himself away. And if that wasn’t enough to deal with, Woody actually catches up with Bo Peep (Annie Potts) on the family trip. She was sold years ago – and has a very different outlook on the world now than Woody.

Toy Story 4 was really great. It was definitely worth the wait (almost ten years have passed since Toy Story 4 after all) to get this emotional and funny film.

The film poster showing Woody tipping his hat. In the background we can see a fair.
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Maggie’s Plan (2015)

Maggie’s Plan
Director: Rebecca Miller
Writer: Rebecca Miller, Karen Rinaldi
Cast: Greta GerwigEthan HawkeJulianne Moore, Travis Fimmel, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Wallace Shawn, Fredi Walker-Browne
Seen on: 12.8.2016

Plot:
Maggie (Greta Gerwig) wants a child and she doesn’t want to wait until she meets the right man for her, she wants it now. So she asks old acquaintance Guy (Travis Fimmel) if he would be willing to give her his sperm and he agrees. But right around this time, she meets John (Ethan Hawke) and falls for him – and he for her. John leaves his wife Georgette (Julianne Moore) and the two move in together. A few years later, Maggie has a lovely daughter, but her love for John has cooled substantially. So she hatches the plan that maybe she could get him back together with Georgette.

Maggie’s Plan is an absolutely adorable, wonderful, funny and sweet film. It proves that a light film doesn’t necessarily have to be stupid.

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The BFG (2016)

The BFG
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison
Based on: Roald Dahl’s novel
Cast: Ruby BarnhillMark RylancePenelope WiltonJemaine ClementRebecca HallRafe SpallBill Hader
Seen on: 26.7.2016

Plot:
Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) lives in an orphanage that isn’t exactly the best place. One night Sophie watches as a huge person in a cloak runs through the city of London. And then that person sees her watching and simply grabs her. Soon, Sophie finds herself in the country of giants, the mysterious cloakwearer turning out to be a giant himself. Fortunately for Sophie, he’s the smallest and only friendly giant which is why she calls him the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). But when Sophie hears what the other giants are up to every night, she knows that she has to do something.

The BFG is in many things a very nice adaptation of the book, although it does lack a bit of the novel’s magic. Nevertheless I enjoyed it a lot.

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Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out
Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Writer: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlanFrank Oz, Flea, Rashida Jones
Seen on: 4.10.2015

Plot:
Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and her parents (Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan) have to move to San Francisco. Being uprooted that way causes quite some chaos inside Riley, where Joy (Amy Poehler) desperately tries to keep Riley happy. But Sadness (Phyllis Smith) keeps messing things up and who needs sadness anyway? In her attempt to make things right, Joy and Sadness find themselves a long way from the command center, where Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) are left to try to keep things together, to keep Riley together. But that’s not so easily done.

Inside Out took its time to make its way to Austria – but it was worth every minute of the wait. It was cute and hilarious and very, very touching.

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Trainwreck (2015)

Trainwreck
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Amy Schumer
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie LarsonLeBron James, John CenaVanessa Bayer, Randall ParkMike Birbiglia, Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton, Daniel RadcliffeMarisa Tomei, Method Man, Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, Chris Evert
Seen on: 18.8.2015

Plot:
Amy (Amy Schumer) doesn’t believe in relationships. She’d rather have sex with random guys while dating Steven (John Cena) who is nice to look at but not exactly a rocket in bed. But then Amy has to do a story on sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader) for the magazine she works at. Amy has as little interest in sports as she has in monogamy, but Aaron is actually a nice guy. And he likes Amy. He even asks her out, forcing Amy to take a long hard look at her life and to decide whether it’s really the life she wants to lead.

I’m not a huge fan of Apatow (though I did love Freaks and Geeks), so I usually give his movies a wide pass. But I had heard good things about Amy Schumer, and since Trainwreck is also written by her, I decided to give it a try. And I have to admit that the movie worked pretty well for me.

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014)

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
Director: Ned Benson
Writer: Ned Benson
Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Jess Weixler

Plot:
Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) used to be the perfect couple. But something happened and now they’re not. Eleanor is distant and doesn’t want any contact with Conor and Conor has trouble respecting that boundary. But Eleanor isn’t as done with Conor as it might seem at first and the question remains whether they can find back to each other or not.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was good but not as great as it could have been. I expected a little more from the concept – TDoER: Them is a cut based on two films, TDoER: Him, which tells events from his perspective, and TDoER: Her, which tells them from hers. But the splice generally feels a little uneven.

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Her (2013)

Her
Director: Spike Jonze
Writer: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin PhoenixScarlett JohanssonAmy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Bill HaderOlivia Wilde, Soko, Brian Cox

Plot:
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has been leading a rather solitary life since he separated from his girlfriend Catherine (Rooney Mara), mostly occupied with work – writing personal letters for other people. Then he gets a new AI OS for his phone. And that OS – Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) quickly becomes a huge part of his life to the point where Theodore falls in love with her.

Her is a beautiful movie with great performances though I wasn’t quite as blown away by it as I expected to be. Nevertheless it is rather wonderful.

her

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Erica Rivinoja
Based on: Judi Barrett‘s and Ron Barrett‘s characters
Sequel to: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal

Plot:
Flint (Bill Hader) and Sam (Anna Faris) have just gotten things under control with the FLDSMDFR, when The Live Corp, headed by Chester V (Will Forte) swoops in to take over the clean-up and to offer Flint a job. Since Chester V has been Flint’s idol since about forever, he accepts gladly. But it soon turns out that The Live Corp has nefarious plans for the FLDSMDFR and the foodimals it started producing.

I very much liked Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but this sequel was extremely disappointing. Aside from the (partly excellent) punning, there’s practically nothing to it.

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2

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Monsters University (2013)

Monsters University
Director: Dan Scanlon
Writer: Dan Scanlon, Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson
Prequel to: Monsters, Inc.
Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Alfred Molina,
Tyler Labine, Nathan Fillion, Aubrey Plaza, Bonnie Hunt, John Krasinski, Bill Hader

Plot:
Ever since he was a little kid, Mike (Billy Crystal) dreamed of becoming a scarer. Even though he’s not particularly scary, he applied himself and got into Monsters University. But competition is fierce and there are just some scarers who seem more naturally suited to the task – like Sully (John Goodman). The two of them quickly become rivals, until circumstances force them to work together.

Monsters University was nice. It was not as good as the first one, but the sequels rarely are. And it had enough good things to keep you very entertained.

MonstersUniversity

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