Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: John Logan, Dante Harper
Sequel to: Prometheus
Prequel to: the Alien movies
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz
Seen on: 23.5.2017

The Covenant is a spaceship that carries colonizers who hope to find a new habitable planet. But before they reach their chosen destination, there is a malfunction that requires Walter (Michael Fassbender), a robot in charge of the ship, to wake the crew from cryostasis. As they are dealing with the aftermath of the damage, a transmission reaches them, a call for help that brings them off their intended path and down to a planet that seems to offer perfect conditions for colonization. But as soon as they land, things start to become weird.

Alien Covenant failed to leave much of an impression with me. The first half was pretty good, but the second half turned pretty boring and was simply too clichéd to work.

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20th Century Women (2016)

20th Century Women
Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Mike Mills
Cast: Lucas Jade Zumann, Annette BeningElle FanningGreta GerwigBilly Crudup
Seen on: 26.4.2017

Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) lives with his mother Dorothea (Annette Bening) who raised him all her own. They share their home with photographer Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and handyman William (Billy Crudup) and as often as Jamie’s best friend, the slightly older Julie (Elle Fanning), stays over, you could say she lives there as well. As Jamie tries to navigate puberty, his mother tries to make sure he becomes a good man, while Jamie is more interested in convincing Julie to have sex with him.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Beginners and unfortunately, 20th Century Women didn’t really blow me away either. The cast was good but as so often, the film focuses on the wrong guy. With emphasis on the guy part.

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Jackie (2016)

Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Cast: Natalie PortmanPeter SarsgaardGreta GerwigBilly CrudupJohn HurtRichard E. GrantCaspar PhillipsonJohn Carroll LynchBeth GrantDeborah FindlayCorey Johnson
Seen on: 31.1.2017

A year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson), his widow Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) gives an interview to a journalist (Billy Crudup) about the difficult path she had to navigate in the time since. Weighed down by her own shock and grief, she still has to make sure she upholds the Kennedy’s reputation and her own husband’s legacy.

Despite a great cast and a great look, Jackie did not work for me. It continuously bored me and I just could not get into the story, the film or the characters.

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Spotlight (2015)

Director: Tom McCarthy
Writer: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Jamey Sheridan, Billy Crudup
Seen on: 13.3.2016

Robby (Michael Keaton) runs the Spotlight department of the Boston Globe, meaning he and his team – consisting of Mike (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha (Rachel McAdams) and Matt (Brian d’Arcy James) – do in-depth research to uncover the big stories while not getting bogged down in the day-to-day business of writing news articles. When the Globe hires Marty (Liev Schreiber) as the new editor-in-chief, Marty asks the Spotlight team to dive into the story of child abuse by a catholic priest. The more they dig, the more they start to uncover until it becomes clear that the problem runs much deeper than just one priest.

Spotlight was an engaging film with great performances and about an important topic. I don’t know if you can say that you enjoyed a story about systematic abuse, but watching Spotlight it’s probably the closest you’ll ever gonna get to that.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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Eat Pray Love (2010)

Eat Pray Love is Ryan Murphy‘s adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s autobiographical book, starring Julia Roberts, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, James Franco, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins.

Liz (Julia Roberts) drifts from relationship to relationship, first her husband (Billy Crudup), then a new boyfriend (James Franco). But she never seems to find what she’s actually looking for until she decides that she will interrupt her normal life to go on a year long trip to Italy (because of the food), India (because of an Ashram) and to Bali (because she’s been there and an old medicine man told her that she would be back).

I didn’t expect much from Eat Pray Love, but I like travel stories and I thought that the movie would at least entertain me. It didn’t. It dragged and dragged and dragged and sprinkled above it all was so much esoteric shit that not even the eye-candy (both the landscapes and the guys) could keep me interested. In short: I am so very happy that I didn’t spend any money on this.

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Public Enemies (2009)

Public Enemies is a movie directed by Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, Christian Bale and Billy Crudup [and Faramir David Wenham and Giovanni Ribisi in mini-roles].

Public Enemies follows the last years in the life of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), famous bank robber who managed to be highly popular with the general public because he seemed like Robin Hood to them.

The movie was incredibly disappointing. Such an amazing cast and then what’s left is a confusing pile of explosions and shoot-outs. Half of the time I didn’t know what was going on and the other half I was bored.


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Watchmen (2009)

Watchmen is the adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (Here’s my review of that), directed by Zack Snyder and starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Patrick Wilson.

In a parallel world, it’s 1985 and Nixon is still president of the United States. In the 40s, actual masked vigilantes appeared, which led to a ban in the 70s. Now, most of the vigilantes are retired. The story follows several of these more or less retired figures, namely Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman), Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
The Comedian is murdered and Rorschach, the only vigilante left, who is not retired and doesn’t work for the government is convinced that someone is killing off their old group. His investigations lead him deeper and deeper into the problematic world of the “superheroes”.

I was afraid that movie would suck because the original material is just so complex and layered and it’s hard to get this into one movie that still makes sense. But Snyder and his writers (David Hayter and Alex Tse) did a very good job, changing the right things, while still sticking close to the original. Though there are weaknesses in writing where they deviate from the original material. Despite some cringe-worthy scenes, it’s definitely a movie that I enjoyed.



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