42 (2013)

42
Director: Brian Helgeland
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick BosemanHarrison FordNicole BeharieChristopher MeloniRyan MerrimanLucas BlackAndré HollandAlan TudykHamish Linklater
Seen on: 20.4.2017

Plot:
It is 1946. Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is an excellent baseball player, but confined to the underfinanced, underrecognized and generally looked down upon Negro League due to the color of his skin. But Jackie is also not somebody who accepts things as they are, so when he is approached by Brooklyn Dodgers exec Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) to play as the first black player in the Major League, he takes the chance. But unfortunately not everyone sees Jackie’s potential, most of the people only see the color of his skin – and they are not happy about it.

Baseball is not really my thing, but learning about racism is definitely something I’m trying to do, so I decided to give 42 a chance. And it is a decent, albeit not groundbreaking and surprisingly white film with a fantastic Boseman in the lead.

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Wet Hot American Summer
Director: David Wain
Writer: Michael Showalter, David Wain
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian BlackMolly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Sussman, Judah Friedlander
Seen on: 7.9.2015

Plot:
The last day of Camp Firewood puts the various councelors under stress to complete their open business that they’ve been pushing off for the rest of the summer. And camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) has to try and keep everything together. Which is easier said than done when you’re dealing not only with various romantic entanglements, a cook suffering from PTSD (Christopher Meloni) and a deadly piece of NASA equipment hurtling towards them. Oh, and of course, the talent show that is planned for the end of the day.

Wet Hot American Summer is a loud, silly and enjoyable movie with a cast that parodies everything that doesn’t get out of the way fast enough. I had fun.

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Frank Miller
Based on: Frank Miller’s comics
Sequel/Prequel to: Sin City
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Josh BrolinEva Green, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher MeloniJeremy PivenChristopher Lloyd, Juno TempleStacy KeachMarton Csokas, Jamie Chung, Julia GarnerJaime King, Lady Gaga, Bruce Willis

Plot [with SPOILERS for the first film]:
Basin City is called Sin City for a reason. A town full of crooked politicians, even more crooked cops, murderers, sex workers and pretty much everyone who was thrown out everywhere else. Marv (Mickey Rourke) spends most of his time when he isn’t fighting with somebody in a strip club where Nancy (Jessica Alba) dances. Nancy is still hung up on Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) suicide to save her and tries to kill Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) who is to blame and regularly plays poker at her club. He always wins, of course, until Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) shows up. But the Senator can’t have people beating him. Dwight (Josh Brolin) is also at the strip club a lot. He is still obsessed with his ex Ava (Eva Green) who suddenly shows up in his life again and severely disrupting it in the process. Now he needs Marv’s help.

I couldn’t tell you what the difference was between the first film and the second since it looks equally great, has an equally good cast and tells equally problematic stories. But in Sin City everything works. In Sin City: A Dame to Kill For I spent very long stretches feeling very bored.

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Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: David S. Goyer
Based on: Jerry Siegel‘s and Joe Shuster‘s comics chararcter
Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Kevin Costner, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne, Tahmoh Penikett (for about five seconds)
Part of: DC movies

Plot:
The planet Krypton is dying. Jor-El (Russell Crowe) tries to convince their leaders to save their race by exploring space, when Zod (Michael Shannon) stages a coup. In desperation, Jor-El and his wife Lara (Ayelet Zurer) send their son Kal-El towards Earth on his own, just with a data stick that contains the most important info about their people. Kal-El manages the voyage, while Zod’s rebellion is subdued and they are sentenced to imprisonment just before Krypton is finally destroyed.
Kal-El grows up to be Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), son of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) who happens to have superpowers on Earth. But Jonathan cautions him to keep that side of him hidden for fear of what humanity will do to him. And Clark does, until Zod catches up with him.

When the trailers for this film came out, I started to become cautiously optimistic that maybe we’d get a Superman movie that doesn’t suck (the first since the Christopher Reeve movies started to spin out of control [don’t worry, babies, I love you anyway]). I shouldn’t have bothered getting my hopes up.

Man-of-Steel

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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: John Krasinski
Based on: David Foster Wallace’s short stories
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton, Chris Messina, Max Minghella, Dominic Cooper, Will Arnett, Christopher Meloni, Denis O’Hare, Josh Charles, Bobby Cannavale, Rashida Jones

Plot:
Sara (Julianne Nicholson) recently broke up with her boyfriend Ryan (John Krasinski). To cope with the ensuing funk she starts an interview project she wants to use for her dissertation where she interviews various men or records conversations she overhears. The subjects of these interviews are varied but mostly they revolve around sex.

I thought that the film’s set-up was a little weird, focusing away from the interviewee’s and on to the interviewer as it does. That just didn’t work that well for me. But the cast was good and most of the respective interviews very nicely done.

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