Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Writer: J.K. Rowling
Prequel to: Harry Potter
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan FoglerAlison Sudol, Colin FarrellSamantha Morton, Ezra MillerFaith Wood-BlagroveJenn MurrayCarmen EjogoJon Voight, Ron PerlmanZoë KravitzJohnny Depp 
Seen on: 26.11.2016

Plot:
Newt (Eddie Redmayne) studies and keeps magical creatures. But the political situation in the UK is becoming more and more difficult for them, so he makes his way to the USA where he hopes to find them a new life, even if it means hiding the creatures from immigration in a magic suitcase. But magical creatures aren’t the only one affected by politics – in fact, there’s only a very tentative peace between the non-magical and the magical world. Everything could be going easily, but Newt takes the wrong suitcase and it’s baker – and decidedly non-magical human – Jacob (Dan Fogler) who walks off with the creatures, while Newt gets arrested by the recently demoted auror Tina (Katherine Waterston). Chaos ensues – chaos that is more closely connected to the political uproar than it first appears.

I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan myself (read all the books and saw all the films though), so the news of Fantastic Beasts didn’t leave me very excited – and neither did the film itself. It’s sweet and I was entertained, but if it wasn’t connected to the Harry Potter phenomenon, I doubt that it would be a film that stays with people.

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The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin FarrellRachel Weisz, John C. ReillyBen Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Jessica BardenAshley Jensen
Seen on: 15.2.2015

Plot:
David (Colin Farrell) was recently divorced. As a single person, he has to check into the Hotel and find a new suitable partner in 45 days. If he doesn’t, he will be turned into an animal – like his brother was turned into a dog – and if nobody is there to take him in, he will be set loose in the woods surrounding the Hotel. So David tries to find somebody who is like him, but that’s easier said than done.

My history with Lanthimos’ movies has been mixed so far but The Lobster might be his best film yet. It’s certainly his most accessible film, although it is still very, very weird and not easy to get into, and my personal favorite.

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Solace (2015)

Solace
Director: Afonso Poyart
Writer: Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Abbie Cornish, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Farrell
Seen on: 5.1.2016

Plot:
Psychic John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) used to work for the FBI a lot, but he hasn’t done so in years. But then Joe Merriweather (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who used to work closely with John, and his partner Katherine Cowles (Abbie Cornish), who is more the sceptic about John’s abilities, knock on his door: a serial killer has been evading them and they need his help. John agrees and soon realizes that the killer can also see into the future – and much better than John himself.

I feel like Solace is one of the stupidest films I have seen in a long while. The script is atrocious, the cast is squandered, the story doesn’t make any sense and the entire thing is only bearable if you have alcohol.

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Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin FarrellRuth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Kathy Baker, Rachel Griffiths

Plot:
Despite her trepidations about it, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) agrees to work on a screen version of her Mary Poppins novel for Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). She just really needs the money. But Mary Poppins is more to her than just a fictional character and she wants to make certain that Disney does justice to that. So she flies to L.A. to try and ensure that, while at the same time working through her own family history.

There are many things to enjoy about Saving Mr. Banks and some things that I didn’t enjoy very much. But it’s certainly a film that I liked watching.

Saving_Mr._Banks

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Winter’s Tale (2014)

Winter’s Tale
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Writer: Akiva Goldsman
Based on: Mark Helprin‘s novel
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, William HurtJennifer Connelly, Kevin Corrigan, Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths, Scott GrimesKevin Durand, Graham Greene, Will Smith

Plot:
Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) didn’t have it easy in his life so far. He’s an orphan who didn’t go through the best part of the system and ended up living with and working for Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) as a thief. When the two of them have a falling out, Peter runs, aided by a mysterious and magical horse, and ends up robbing Beverly Penn’s (Jessica Brown Findlay) place. But only until he sees her: Peter immediately falls for her. But Beverly is dying and only a miracle could save her. A miracle Peter might just have in himself.

I don’t think I read one good word about Winter’s Tale and I do understand why. The film has issues. But nevertheless I really enjoyed it, sometimes in the way the movie intended and sometimes laughing about the film.

winterstale

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Epic (2013)

Epic
Director: Chris Wedge
Writer: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, James V. Hart, William Joyce, Daniel Shere
Based on: William Joyce‘s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Aziz AnsariChris O’Dowd, Christoph Waltz, Beyoncé Knowles, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Judah Friedlander, Steven Tyler

Plot:
M.K.’s (Amanda Seyfried) mother just died so he moves back in with her father Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), a very confused professor who is convinced that there are tiny people living in the woods and taking care of it. A theory that got him laughed out of every scientific community. But then M.K. discovers that he was right and finds herself caught in the middle of a struggle between the Leafmen who let the things in the forest grow and the Boggans who let them rot.

Epic was funny, totally sweet and very entertaining. I was very pleasantly surprised by the entire thing.

Epic

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Dead Man Down (2013)

Dead Man Down
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Writer: J.H. Wyman
Cast: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper, Isabelle Huppert, F. Murray Abraham

Plot:
Victor (Colin Farrell) works for criminal Alphonse (Terrence Howard). Alphonse has been receiving threating letters from an anonymous person, the last one attached to the body of one of his employees, and Victor’s best friend Darcy (Dominic Cooper) is supposed to find out who is sending the letters. What he doesn’t know is that Victor is the one sending the letters, enacting a complicated revenge plan. Victor’s entire life revolves around this plan until he is contacted by the woman who lives in the apartment across from him, Beatrice (Noomi Rapace). Beatrice was in a car accident and has a scarred face. Now she also wants revenge and thinks that Victor can get it for her.

Dead Man Down creeped up on me. There was practically no marketing, it only got a limited release and it was barely mentioned anywhere. And I really don’t get it. Not only does it have a good cast and a director who made a name for itself (which is very marketable) – the film was absolutely fantastic.

DeadManDown

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Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Seven Psychopaths
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Linda Bright Clay, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Pitt, Harry Dean Stanton, Kevin Corrigan, Zeljko Ivanek, Gabourey Sidibe

Plot:
Marty (Colin Farrell) is trying to write a screenplay. He has a title – Seven Psychopaths – and a rough idea for a first psychopath. But apart from a drinking problem, he doesn’t have much else. His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) tries to help, but is mostly caught up with the dognapping business he runs with Hans (Christopher Walken). But when Marty’s girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) kicks him out and Billy naps the beloved Shi-Tzu of the crazy Charlie (Woody Harrelson), everything unravels pretty quickly.

The marketing for this film is completely off. And when I say completely off, they decided to take away the movie’s selling point to make it look like a pretty standard action comedy. But it’s not – instead it’s an exercise in meta – and I loved it.

seven_psychopaths

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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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London Boulevard (2010)

London Boulevard
Director: William Monahan
Writer: William Monahan
Based on: Ken Bruen‘s novel
Cast: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Ben Chaplin, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Stephen Graham, Ophelia Lovibond, Jamie Campbell Bower

Plot:
Mitchel (Colin Farrell) was just released from prison (where he spent time for grievous bodily harm) and now tries to leave his old circle. But his friend Billy (Ben Chaplin) who set him up with a place to stay, would rather see him with himself in the money-lending business. But Mitchel declines and finds himself a job as a handyman/bodyguard for the reclusive actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley) and her business manager Jordan (David Thewlis). Unfortunately, Billy’s boss Gant (Ray Winstone) isn’t really willing to let Mitchel go.

London Boulevard should be entertaining. It has an impressive cast and I do enjoy these gangster stories. Unfortunately, the whole thing is much too muddled to really achieve its potential.

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