The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Director: John Madden
Writer: Ol Parker
Sequel to: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Cast: Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Penelope WiltonDiana Hardcastle, Dev Patel, Tena DesaeLillete DubeyVikram Singh, David Strathairn, Tamsin Greig, Richard Gere
Seen on: 9.4.2015

Plot:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is doing well with its permanent senior residents. So well, in fact, that Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) decide that they want to expand. But for that to work, they need an investor. They travel to the USA to talk to Ty Burley (David Strathairn), CEO of a chain of retirement homes there. Burley announces that he will send somebody to check out the hotel and make his decision based on that. But that’s not the only thing going on in the hotel: Sonny is getting married to Sunaina (Tina Desai), his mother (Lillete Dubey) keeps butting in – or at least that’s what Sonny feels. Two new guests arrive (Richard Gere, Tamsin Greig) and the old ones (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle) all have their own issues to deal with.

Much like the first film, the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was mostly fluff. It was funny, sweet and rather enjoyable, if you don’t expect too much of it and just want to see great actors in an entertaining film.

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Pride (2014)

Pride
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Stephen Beresford
Cast: Ben Schnetzer, George MacKayFaye Marsay, Joseph GilgunPaddy Considine, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Russell Tovey

Plot:
Mark (Ben Schnetzer) is not only gay, but a big supporter of the miner strike and wants to do his part, especially because he feels that there is a certain kinship – the miners struggle under Thatcher just as much as the homosexuals struggle. So he decides that he will start to raise funds for them, with the help of new to the scene Joe (George MacKay), big-mouthed Steph (Faye Marsay) and flamboyant Jonathan (Dominic West). But it turns out, it’s surprisingly hard to get miners to accept “gay donations”, until finally a Welsh village accepts, not really knowing what they’re in for.

Pride was funny, cute and most charming. It probably isn’t the most complex analysis of the situation, but it gave you an impression while being very entertaining.

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Skylight

Skylight
Director: Stephen Daldry
Writer: David Hare
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy, Matthew Beard

Plot:
Kyra (Carey Mulligan) works as a teacher and lives in a small, pretty crappy apartment – but she likes it. She is surprisingly visited by Edward (Matthew Beard) whose nanny she used to be. Edward feels lonely and abandoned by Kyra, especially since his mother died, but mostly he struggles with his father Tom (Bill Nighy) and hopes for help from Kyra which she can’t really give. After Edward leaves, Tom shows up himself, wanting answers, reconciliation, a fresh start. After all, Kyra left the family when Tom’s wife discovered that Tom and Kyra had an affair. But a lot of time has passed and it is unclear whether such a fresh start is possible – or even desirable.

Skylight is an excellent play and the production we saw is fantastic. It was absolutely captivating.

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I, Frankenstein (2014)

I, Frankenstein
Director: Stuart Beattie
Writer: Stuart Beattie
Based on: Kevin Grevioux‘s comic, which is in turn based on Mary Shelley‘s novel
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Caitlin Stasey, Mahesh Jadu, Kevin Grevioux

Plot:
Shortly after the death of his creator, Frankenstein’s creature (Aaron Eckhart) is attacked by demons who seem to need him for something. The creature is saved by Gargoyle Angel Warriors who see his potential as a fighter and want to recruit him for their order. But even though the Gargoyle Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto) gives him his name – Adam – and treats him more like a human than anybody did before, he is not persuaded. But when things continue to get worse, Adam has a choice to make.

I, Frankenstein is an incredibly bad film. But it hits the exact sweet spot between bad and good: the spot of craptacular, shitmazing and so bad it’s good. If you have any love for bad films, I, Frankenstein will give you exactly what you need.

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About Time (2013)

About Time
Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths

Plot:
When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that he has the ability to travel in time. Disbelieving at first, Tim finds out that it’s true and decides that this might finally be the thing to allow him to find a girlfriend. But things aren’t easy, not even when you have such abilities and when Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) he finds that out for himself.

About Time was sweet, funny and utterly charming. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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The World’s End (2013)

The World’s End
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy ConsidineMartin Freeman, Rafe SpallEddie MarsanRosamund PikePierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, Michael Smiley, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe, David Bradley, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Ben Whishaw (at least I’m pretty damn certain it was him)
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy
[Here are my reviews of the other two movies in the trilogy.]

Plot:
When they were still young and living in Newton Haven, Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his friends Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Ollie (Martin Freeman) and Steven (Paddy Considine) tried themselves at a pub crawl and came short. 20 years later, Gary is still obsessed with the idea of finishing and convinces the old gang to come. But things are a little weird in Newton Haven – weirder than in other small towns.

Since I love both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I was very worried that it this film wouldn’t be able to fulfill my expectations. But fortunately it did. It was awesome.

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Re-Watch: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick FrostKate AshfieldLucy Davis, Dylan MoranPenelope Wilton, Peter Serafinowicz, Rafe Spall, Bill Nighy, Jessica Hynes, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Matt Lucas, Chris Martin, Rob Brydon, Joe Cornish, Mark Gatiss, Michael Smiley, David Walliams, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy

Plot:
Shaun (Simon Pegg) spends his life between his dead-end job, his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). Liz is frustrated with his complacency. But things get severely shaken up when there’s a zombie outbreak. As soon as Shaun realizes, he tries everything to save the ones he loves.

Shaun of the Dead is not only one of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen, it’s just one of the best movies ever, period. And this re-watch proved it to me again.

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Re-Watch: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick FrostTimothy DaltonJim BroadbentPaddy ConsidineRafe Spall, Olivia Colman, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Joe CornishAlice Lowe, David Bradley, Bill Bailey, Stephen MerchantJulia Deakin, Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, Peter Jackson
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy

Plot:
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is London’s star police man. But his success makes the rest of the service look bad, so he is reassigned to the small town of Sandford, where he’s partnered up with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Sandford might officially be the safest town in the UK, but Nick’s investigations soon turn up some weird things, when a series of freak accidents start.

Man, I really love this movie. It’s funny, fast-paced and riddled with cameos (some of which I only just learned about, like Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett). It’s just an absolute joy to watch.

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Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

Jack the Giant Slayer
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie, Dan Studney
Based on: the fairy tale
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Eddie Marsan, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy

Plot:
Jack (Nicholas Hoult) has always dreamed of giants, but his life is stuck more in reality. That is until he stumbles upon Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) and her knight protector (Ewan McGregor) at a play and saves her, then trades in his horse for a few magic beans and then Isabelle – who has been promised to the shady Roderick (Stanley Tucci) – shows up alone on his doorstep, looking for adventure. And suddenly Jack finds himself with his hands more than full, a magic beanstalk leading to the giants’ country in his garden and a mission to save the princess.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a movie of almosts. It is almost smart in the way it adapts the tale. Isabelle is almost an actual character. Nicholas Hoult almost actually acts. Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci are almost enough to make this movie worthwhile. But in the end, it just falls short of everything.

jack-the-giant-slayer

[Slightly spoiler-y, I guess.]

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Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Remake of: Total Recall
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Nighy, John Cho

Plot:
Douglas Quail (Colin Farrell) would be happily married to Lori (Kate Beckinsale), if it wasn’t for a recurring dream about a mysterious woman. He decides to confront this dream by going to Rekall Inc., a company that provides real-seeming memories of unreal events. But before the Rekall treatment actually occurs, Doug finds himself surrounded by police and discovers that the memories of his life are pretty much all fake: he is not who he thought he was. With several people on his tail, he tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

Total Recall, much like Prometheus, is not a movie that makes particularly much sense, but it is very pretty to look at. Unlike Prometheus, though, I found it really very entertaining.

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