Re-Watch: Coraline (2009)

Coraline
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Henry Selick
Based on: Neil Gaiman’s book
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn FrenchKeith David, Robert Bailey Jr.
Seen on: 8.12.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) moves with her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) to a new house. Her parents are always busy so Coraline is left to explore things alone. One day she discovers a hidden door in her house and when she goes through, she meets her Other Mother, who is everything a child could hope for and more. But her Other Mother has buttons for her eyes. She wants Coraline to stay, but for that, Coraline will need to give up her eyes as well…

Coraline is a sweet and very beautiful film, although not unproblematic in some things. I liked it, but with a little more reservation than the first time round.

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The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

The Secret Life of Bees
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Based on: Sue Monk Kidd‘s novel
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Bettany, Hilarie Burton, Tristan Wilds, Nate Parker
Seen on: 16.1.2016

Plot:
When Lily (Dakota Fanning) was a little child, she accidentally shot and killed her mother (Hilarie Burton) who was about to leave her and her father T-Ray (Paul Bettany). Now Lily is fourteen and stuck with her volatile, abusive father. Her only positive relationship is with housekeeper Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson). After Rosaleen is attacked for trying to register to vote while black, Lily decides to run away. She breaks Rosaleen out of the hospital and together they make their way to a place where Lily thinks her mother has spent some time before her death. This leads them to bee-keeping August (Queen Latifah) and her sisters May (Sophie Okonedo) and June (Alicia Keys) where they find refuge.

The Secret Life of Bees is an interesting mix of harsh and naive: it takes many hard realities of the 60s for (black) women and transforms them into a tale of sweet, dreamlike sisterhood. It’s a tale of what should have been possible, even given bad circumstances.

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Night Moves (2013)

Night Moves
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writer: Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, James Le Gros
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), Dena (Dakota Fanning) and Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) don’t really know each other a lot, but they come together for an act of environmental activism, if not to say terrorism: They plan to blow up a dam. But things like that aren’t that easy and nothing really works as planned.

I decided to give my… strained relationship with Reichardt’s movies yet another try. I’m not exactly sure why. But in this case, I actually liked half of the film which is more than I can say of her other films. But it’s still only half of it.

NightMoves

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
Based on: Stephenie Meyer‘s book
Sequel to: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Michael Sheen, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell Bower, Mackenzie Foye, Maggie Grace, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Rami Malek, Joe Anderson, and for me most importantly Lee Pace

Plot:
Bella (Kristen Stewart) survived the birth of her daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) and is quickly adapting to having become a vampire like Edward (Robert Pattinson). But the arrival of a half-human, half-vampire child causes quite a few ripples in the vampire community. And when the Volturi hear about it, they believe that Bella and Edward turned a human child into a vampire – a capital offense they will make sure will be punished.

Well, it is over. I think that is about the best one can say about this. But they manage to have basically nothing happen in the movie at all (though they did force some action in, and quite cleverly I might add) and to not resolve anything, really. And I think that if you haven’t read the books, the whole thing only makes a limited amount of sense. At least, with 3/4 of a rum bottle I shared with C. during the film, it was quite entertaining.

breaking-dawn-part-2

[SPOILERS]

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
Based on: Stephenie Meyer‘s book
Sequel to: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Anna Kendrick, (and for way too little time: Michael Sheen, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell Bower, Dakota Fanning)

Plot:
Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are finally getting married and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) even stops sulking long enough to talk to Bella for five minutes, before Edward whisks her off to their own private honeymoon island. Within a few days, Bella realizes that she is pregnant. Since Edward is a vampire that should be impossible. And that’s only the beginning of the trouble.

Breaking Dawn was pretty much what you’d expect it would be – only that I undererstimated the amount of alcohol I would need to get through it and then we hit the birth and I wasn’t drunk yet and then we hit the imprinting and I had to beg aber_karramba for some of hers because I was all out. [See also.]
But apart from that, given the source material, the film wasn’t actually that bad.

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The Runaways (2010)

[identities.]

The Runaways is Floria Sigismondi‘s adaptation of Cherie Currie‘s book, starring Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart and Michael Shannon.

Plot:
Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) dreams of a career as a rock musician. When she meets producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) by chance, she suggests to him an all-girl rock band. Shannon jumps at the idea and helps her find the members for the band. When they stumble upon the 15-year-old Cherie (Dakota Fanning), Fowley knows that he has found the missing ingredient for the success of the band – The Runaways.

I enjoyed the Runaways. It’s not the best movie there ever was, but it has some wonderfully interesting characters, a great soundtrack and good performances.

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Coraline (2009)

[Speaking of animated movies you shouldn’t miss, here’s another one I missed to review…]

Coraline is the newest stop-motion animation movie by Henry Selick, based on Neil Gaiman‘s book [which I reviewed here] and starring the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn FrenchKeith David and Robert Bailey Jr.

Plot:
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) moves with her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) to a new house. Her parents are always busy so Coraline is left to explore things alone. One day she discovers a hidden door in her house and when she goes through, she meets her Other Mother, who is everything a child could hope for. But her Other Mother has buttons for her eyes. She wants Coraline to stay, but for that, Coraline will need to give up her eyes as well…

Coraline is a wonderful book and the world Henry Selick created from it is beautiful and absolutely amazing. There were some changes made from the book I didn’t understand but other than that I have nothing to complain about.

[SPOILERS]

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

[Here’re my reviews of the books and the first movie. OMFG. I just re-read my review of Twilight (book)… bloody hell, I must have been braindead at the time of writing that.]

New Moon is the second movie of the Twilight Saga based on Stephenie Meyer‘s books. It was directed by Chris Weitz and stars Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Billy Burke.

Plot:
Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) birthday is coming up and she’s worried because she’s going to be 18, but her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) will be an eternal 17-year old. When, during her birthday party, she cuts her finger and makes co-vampire Jasper (Jackson Rathbone shares this role with the most ridiculous wig ever) almost eat her. So Edward decides that he is too dangerous to be around and leaves Bella (taking his whole family with him). Bella sinks in a deep hole of despair that can only be kinda filled by Jacob (Taylor Lautner), best friend cum werewolf. And then things get really bad.

You thought Twilight was craptastic? New Moon is worse. So much worse. All the actors seemed unable, or at least unwilling, to act (except for Billy Burke and Taylor Lautner). Chris Weitz sucks so much. And yet, it isn’t a bad adaptation of the book, though it could have been better.

[SPOILERS]

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