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.

maggiesplan Continue reading

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.

thebfg Continue reading

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.

insideout Continue reading

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.

trainwreck Continue reading

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.

thedisappearanceofeleanorrigby Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Men in Black III (2012)

Men in Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Etan Cohen
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Sequel to: Men in Black, Men in Black II
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader, Emma Thompson, Will Arnett, Michael Chernus, Alice Eve, David Rasche

Plot:
Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), one of the most dangerous criminals in the universe, manages to escape from Lunar prison, where he was sent by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) many years ago. With his mind set on revenge, he finds a way to travel back in time to 1969, where he kills Agent K before he can arrest Boris. That is not only tragic on a personal level, but puts the entire earth in jeopardy. Fortunately, Agent J (Will Smith) somehow still remembers K and travels back in time, too, to save his then young partner (Josh Brolin).

I did not have very high hopes for this film, but it turns out that it is actually quite nice. While it is not quite as good as the first film, it has its heart in the right place, it’s entertaining and it manages to steer clear of the sexism that ruined the second one. I’d say that’s a win.

Continue reading

Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil (2011)

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is the sequel to Hoodwinked. It was directed by Mike Disa, written by Mike Disa, Tony Leech, Cory Edwards and Todd Edwards and stars the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Cheech Marin, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Martin Short, Brad Garrett, Andy Dick, Danny Pudi and Heidi Klum.

Plot:
Red Riding Hood (Hayden Panettiere) started training with the Sisters of the Hood to learn the sacred art of kung fu bakery and left The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Granny (Glenn Close) to take care of the bad guys by themselves. That doesn’t really work out that well. While trying to save Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), Granny gets kidnapped and Red Riding Hood has to rescue her. At the same time she also has to figure our who stole the recipe for the supertruffel from the Sisters.

I liked Hoodwinked a lot. But Hoodwinked Too was pretty disappointing. A huge factor of this disappointment was that the German dubbed version was the only version I could see (legally). For a film that relies so much on puns, that’s pretty much a death-sentence right there. But the translation didn’t change the inanity of the plot, nor did it produce the fat-hatred that was casually inserted into the movie.

Continue reading