Where Hands Touch (2018)

Where Hands Touch
Director: Amma Asante
Writer: Amma Asante
Cast: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay, Abbie Cornish, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Goodman-Hill, Alec Newman, Will Attenborough
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 9.9.2018

Plot:
Leyna (Amandla Stenberg) is a German bi-racial teenager. When Hitler rises to power in Germany, she gets caught between the lines: her German-ness is disputed because of the color of her skin, no matter how hard Leyna fights for her place. Lutz (George MacKay), on the other hand, is just what the nazis like: blond, German, member of the Hitler youth and son of a high-ranking SS officer (Christopher Eccleston). When the two of them meet, they are drawn to each other, but they are in the worst position to live their love.

Where Hands Touch tackles a really interesting topic that hasn’t been looked at a lot (at least in popular media): what happened with and to black Germans in World War Two? Unfortunately, the way it goes about it, is a little clumsy.

The film poster showing Amandla Stenberg in front of a building with nazi flags and airplanes flying over it.
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Macbeth

Macbeth
Director: Polly Findlay
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Christopher Eccleston, Niamh Cusack, Luke Newberry, Raphael Sowole, Edward Bennett, David Acton, Mariam Haque
Seen on: 11.4.2018
[Here are my reviews of other takes on Macbeth.]

Plot:
Macbeth (Christopher Eccleston) and Banquo (Raphael Sowole) just fought successfully for King Duncan (David Acton) and are finally on their way home. In the woods, they meet three witches who predict, among other things, that Macbeth will become King. Spurred on by that prophecy and uncontent to just wait for it to come true, Macbeth and his wife (Niamh Cusack) hatch the plan to help things along when Duncan comes to visit. But murder comes with moral consequences – and it might not be the only thing necessary to make Macbeth King.

This take on Macbeth is interesting and mostly well done, but it doesn’t work in all regards, ultimately turning out weaker than I had hoped and expected from Findlay.

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Legend (2015)

Legend
Director: Brian Helgeland
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Based on: John Pearson‘s book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins
Cast: Tom Hardy, Christopher Eccleston, Emily BrowningTaron Egerton, Colin Morgan, David Thewlis, Chazz Palminteri, Duffy, Paul Bettany, Paul Anderson
Seen on: 21.1.2016

Plot:
Reggie (Tom Hardy) and Ronnie (Tom Hardy) Kray are notorious, at least in the East End of London. Officially night club owners, their main business isn’t so legal which brings them under the scrutiny of police officer Nipper Read (Christopher Eccleston) who has yet to find something big that sticks. When Reggie has to go to prison for a while,  Ronnie – who is not exactly mentally healthy – starts to get out of hand.

Legend tells a good story with a fantastic cast in a pretty clunky way. Tom Hardy is amazing though in both roles, so if all else fails, there is that.

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28 Days Later… (2002)

28 Days Later…
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston
Seen on: 01.03.2015

Plot:
After a group of animal rights activists tries to free monkeys that have been infected with a rage virus, all hell breaks loose. But Jim (Cillian Murphy) knows nothing of that – he wakes up in hospital 28 days later to find an apparently empty world. Looking for an explanation and narrowly avoiding the infected, he finds Selena (Naomie Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley) who fill him in. Together they take up the fight for survival.

I have heard many good things about 28 Days Later… and so my expectations were very high. While the film is solid and good, it couldn’t quite match those expectations. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it.

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor: The Dark World
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: Stan Lee‘s, Larry Lieber‘s and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Sequel to: Thor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Zachary Levi , Jaimie Alexander, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jonathan Howard, Chris O’Dowd, [SPOILERS] Benicio Del Toro, Chris Evans
Part of: Marvel movies

Plot:
Ever since the events in Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has done his best to ensure the peace across the realms, while Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is locked up on Asgard. Which means that Thor doesn’t have time for Jane (Natalie Portman) who is still waiting for him. But when Jane stumbles on the Aether, an ancient weapon, Thor comes to her aid, just as Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) comes for the Aether, planning to destroy the universe with it.

As much as I love the first Thor movie – and I do – I have to admit that it doesn’t quite reach the heights that Thor: The Dark World reaches. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard in a movie, especially an action movie. It does almost everything completely right and it’s just plain great.

thor-the-dark-world

[SPOILERS]

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer: Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett
Based on: the toys
Cast: Channing Tatum, Christopher Eccleston, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Byung-hun Lee, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Dennis Quaid, Arnold Vosloo, Brendan Fraser

Plot:
McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) is the world’s biggest arms dealer and he has just created a new kind of bomb based on nanotechnology. Duke (Channing Tatum) and his army squad, are supposed to transport it to NATO. But en route, they are attacked by The Baronness (Sienna Miller) who happens to be Duke’s ex. Duke does his best, but ultimately he and the bomb are saved by the Joes, a super secret elite army team. And Duke decides that he wants in with them.

I never watched G.I. Joe because all I heard about it was how freaking bad it was – in fact, so bad that it crosses so bad it’s good territory and is just plain boring. Turns out that that is completely untrue. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a good film. But it is a hell of an entertaining one.

gijoetheriseofcobra

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Song for Marion (2012)

Song for Marion
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Writer: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast: Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston

Plot:
Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) and Arthur (Terence Stamp) have been married for a long time, despite being opposites: Marion enjoys life to the fullest, while Arthur’s main hobby is being grumpy. But now Marion is slowly dying of cancer. She still spends a lot of her energy in the local seniors’ choir though, led by Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) and tries to reconcile Arthur and their son James (Christopher Eccleston). After Marion dies, Arthur at first risks to fall into complete social isolation. But somehow he ends up taking over Marion’s hobby, singing in the choir.

I went into Song for Marion expecting a fluffy piece of entertainment, with nice music and some good laughs. And I got all that. But what I didn’t expect, but ended up having anyway, was a crying fit (in the best of ways) – I basically started during minute 2 and only stopped when the credits started rolling.

Song-for-Marion

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Amelia (2009)

Amelia is the story of Amelia Earhart. It was directed by Mira Nair and stars Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Joe Anderson and Mia Wasikowska.

Plot:
Amelia (Hilary Swank) wants to be a pilot, and not just any pilot. With the help of publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere) she manages to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic (even if “only” as a passenger). From then on, she continues to challenge herself and set new records, while trying to encourage women everywhere to become pilots themselves.

After the abysmal reviews Amelia has been getting (and it didn’t even saw a cinematic release in Austria), I didn’t expect much from this film. [But how could I not watch a movie that featured both Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston?] But I was really pleasantly surprised. It’s actually a really nice film.

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Various TV Related Things

  • After my initial hesitation, Dollhouse won me over. It started with them having The Middleman (Matt Keeslar) [OH MIDDLEMAN, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DIE?] on the show (Episode 2) and in a role that’s quite the opposite of his Middleman role. And then, at some point in Episode 3 they really had me, which is mostly due to Dichen Lachman and the way the overarching plot is going.
  • I finally caught up with Doctor Who (I tried not to watch Season 4 too quickly because then I’d have to be longer without any of it). And people, people… I’ve cried my eyes out! [SPOILER] How could they get rid of Donna Noble (Catherine Tate)? She was the coolest of the companions EVER! And then not even let her remember any of it? That hurts, that really, really hurts! [/SPOILER]
    But after the bumpy start I had with David Tennant (because I’m just a Christopher Eccleston fan), I’ve grown to really, really love him and will sorely miss him and now the next doctor is going to have a bumpy start. And the circle continues.
  • I watched the first episode of Castle. It has potential, but it starts off rather clichéd. If they can give it a bit more of a twist, it can be really good. Because Nathan Fillion is one of the few people who can do saucy (and I love him for it).
    Although it’s another one of those shows where they have the rational woman teamed up with the quirky man.
  • I also watched the first episode of The Mentalist. I don’t think that this one will keep me watching. I’m not much for police shows and you really have to give me characters I love to keep me watching (see The Closer). I don’t think that this will be the case here. But I might give it another try.
    And again, it’s a show with the rational woman and the quirky man teamed up…
  • I started watching Lost… I’m at the beginning of Season 1 (Episode 9) and have been for a while and I seem to be missing something – I don’t see the greatness that is supposed to be this show. Does it get better? Does it have a slow start? Or should I save myself time and stop watching?
  • In not so newsy news: I finished Black Books and oh, why does it have to be so short? How I Met Your Mother continues to be awesome. 30 Rock continues to be awesome. Are their any other shows along those lines? SitComs, which are actually funny?

Okay, that’s it. You know now that I spend WAY too much time watching TV shows. Anything you can recommend or would like to warn us about? Comment away!