Book Club (2018)

Book Club
Director: Bill Holderman
Writer: Bill Holderman, Erin Simms
Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Ed Begley Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Wallace Shawn, Alicia Silverstone, Katie Aselton, Mircea Monroe, Ravi Kapoor
Seen on: 14.9.2018

Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have had a book club for decades. They each take turns picking the books they read and this month it’s Vivian’s turn. Her choice is 50 Shades of Grey, much to the dismay of the other women. But as they start reading, they all start wondering about their own sexual and romantic lives: widowed Diane meets Mitchell (Andy Garcia); perpetual single Vivian reconnects with Arthur (Don Johnson); Carol rekindles the sexual side of her relationship with her husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson); and divorced Sharon braves online dating.

Book Club is rather inconsequential but it’s fun and it captures something of why the 50 Shades series was such a big success, despite the problematic bits. But ultimately it doesn’t have any big insights.

The film poster showing  DIane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen around a table.
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Incredibles 2 (2018)

Incredibles 2
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Sequel to: The Incredibles
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, Isabella Rossellini, Barry Bostwick
Seen on: 3.8.2018

Superheroes are illegal but that’s not keeping the Parr family from still doing their best ot help everybody. But the Deavor siblings (Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk) have hatched a plan on how to rehabilitate superheroism. To that purpose, they ask Helen Parr aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) to become the public face of the campaign. That leaves Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) in charge of the kids at home. While Helen takes on her new role with gusto, Bob struggles as a stay-at-home dad.

Incredibles 2 is alright. It’s not a great film and at times it becomes a little too long, but it’s entertaining enough and has some very funny moments.

Film poster showing the "Incredible" family and Mr. Freeze in action mode.
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The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi
Seen on: 27.12.2017

Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a good editor and she loves her job. She is not so much a good boss as her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows from his own experience. When the Canadian Margaret is confronted with the fact that she might be deported because her visa expired, she pressures Andrew into marrying her. But the immigration officer Mr Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) isn’t convinced, so they can’t just leave it at the formalities. That’s how Margaret ends up at Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. With his welcoming family and the two of them in a decidedly unworklike environment, their relationship starts to change.

The Proposal is cute, if you manage to ignore a lot of things about it (heteros are exhausting). I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it won’t become a favorite or a film I’ll revisit at all.

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Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Director: Brian Gibson
Writer: Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Sequel to: Poltergeist
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein, Will Sampson, Julian Beck, Geraldine Fitzgerald

After the recent events surrounding the Freelings, they have left their house and moved in with Diane’s (JoBeth Williams) mother Jess (Geraldine Fitzgerald). In a new location they hope to find a little more peace and to rebuild their life. But Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein), the medium who helped the last time, has a dream that everything might not be quite as over and dealt with as they had hoped. She sends her friend Taylor (Will Sampson) to help the Freelings who find themselves yet again followed by evil forces.

Poltergeist II unfortunately couldn’t keep up the quality of the first film, even if the Freelings continue to be a wonderful family.

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Re-Watch: Poltergeist (1982)

Director: Tobe Hooper
Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth WilliamsDominique DunneOliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Beatrice Straight, Zelda Rubinstein
Seen on: 1.6.2015

The Freelings move into a new home, in the estate father Steve (Craig T. Nelson) is helping to sell the houses in. Mother Diane (JoBeth Williams) takes care of their three children, Dana (Dominique Dunn), Robbie (Oliver Robins) and Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke). Diane soon realizes that there are strange occurrences in their house. Her initial excitement and scientific curiosity give way to terror though, when Carol Anne goes missing inside their house – and can still be heard on the TV, talking to them. Since their circumstances are extraordinary, they start to seek extraordinary help as well.

I remember I caught Poltergeist on TV a few years ago, in the German dubbed version which I usually abhor. But I was so caught up in the film, that I barely realized it was dubbed. And on second watching (in English this time) I can honestly say: the film is still fantastic.

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