Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red
Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein
Seen on: 21.4.2016 (totally missed to review this one, so a late addition)

Plot:
Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) lives a rather quite life with his family on their farm. But then he meets Mae (Jenny Wright). She’s beautiful and mysterious and he falls for her head over heels. Happy with any way that means spending time with her, he offers her a ride home. As dawn is fast approaching on their ride, he asks her for a kiss – but Mae bites him instead, turning him into a vampire. Before the sun rises, Caleb finds himself with Mae and her group, facing a completely new life that is much more than he bargained for.

I had never seen Near Dark, so when the Filmmuseum showed it, I jumped at the chance. But this might be another instance where you have to have seen the film in younger, more formative years to really fall in love with it. I enjoyed it, but not much more.

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Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler
Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake GyllenhaalBill PaxtonRene RussoRiz Ahmed

Plot:
Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is smart and hungry for success. All he needs is an in to make his luck. When he witnesses a traffic accident being filmed by a freelance news crew headed by Joe Loder (Bill Paxton), Lou is convinced he has finally found the way to make a whole lot of money. He gets a camera and a police scanner and sets off to capture the perfect image. But with the first success comes the hunger for more and the necessity to blur lines to get everything he wants as quickly as he wants it.

Nightcrawler not only has the amazing Jake Gyllenhaal, but also a smart, insightful script and perfect pacing. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

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Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Christopher McQuarrieJez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Based on: Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need Is Kill
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton

Plot:
Humanity is at war with aliens and slowly losing. William Cage (Tom Cruise) is the face of the United Defense Force. But just the face – until he is sent into combat by General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson). Cage practically has to be dragged there and is promptly killed by an alien – only to awake again about 12 hours before his death. Together with the war heroine Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) who has been through the same thing, he tries to put an end to the aliens.

Edge of Tomorrow is an exciting film with great special effects. It leaves no action movie cliché unfeatured, but it does so most charmingly. If you’re able to accept that this film will give you only tried and true tropes, storytellingwise, you’re in for a really good time.

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Aliens (1986)

Aliens
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Sequel to: Alien
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein

Plot:
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back on earth, only to find out that she’s been in hypersleep for quite a while and in the meantime, the planet where they found the aliens in the first place, has been colonized by people from the Wayland Corporation. Ripley tries to warn the company and its representative Burke (Paul Reiser), but they don’t really believe her. That is, until contact with the colony is lost. That is when the Company enlists Ripley (and a group of marines) to head back there to figure out what’s happening.

Aliens is a good sequel but it doesn’t quite achieve the greatness of Alien. Nevertheless, Ripley is still kick-ass and the film generally really enjoyable.

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Re-Watch: Titanic (1997)

Titanic
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Cast: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, Bernard Hill, David Warner, Victor Garber, Jonathan Hyde

Plot:
Over 80 years after the Titanic has sunk, Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) is sifting through the wreck, looking for a diamond that was lost with the ship. But the closest he ever got to it was when he found a drawing of a girl with that diamond around her neck. And then that same girl, Rose – by now an old woman (Gloria Stuart) – gives him a call and comes to their ship to tell him about what happened on the Titanic: how the young, rich Rose (Kate Winslet) fell in love with poor artist Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and how it came to the sinking of the Titanic.

Of course I saw Titanic when it came out. I was even one of the people who saw it in the cinema twice (not because I was so in love with Leo – in fact, I thought Bill Paxton was way more attractive – but because I had promised two different friends that I’d go with them and couldn’t manage to get them to go on the same day. The scheduling conflicts of the 13-year-olds). And I even saw it a couple of times since (though not in the last ten years or so). But until I saw it in the cinema again this time round, I never realized that Titanic is actually a beautiful, if kitschy and excellent movie.

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Haywire (2011)

Haywire
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Mathieu Kassovitz, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas

Plot:
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.

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