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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Macbeth (2015)

Macbeth
Director: Justin Kurzel
Writer: Todd Louiso, Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s play
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Scot Greenan, Jack ReynorSean HarrisElizabeth Debicki, Brian Nickels, Kayla Fallon, Lynn Kennedy, Seylan Baxter, Amber Rissmann
Seen on: 6.11.2015

Plot:
Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) and Banquo (Paddy Considine) just fought successfully for King Duncan (David Thewlis) and are finally on their way home. In the woods, they meet four witches (Kayla Fallon, Lynn Kennedy, Seylan Baxter, Amber Rissmann) 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 (Marion Cotillard) 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.

Macbeth unfortunately was an absolute disappointment. I don’t think I have ever seen a more monotous film, and that with Macbeth as your basis as well!

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Anomalisa (2015)

Anomalisa
Director: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Writer: Charlie Kaufman
Based on: his play
Cast: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 5.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is traveling to a reading of his successful book on customer service. Despite his wife and kid at home and his successful career, he feels empty though. Everything seems the same, everyone seems the same. As he arrives in Cincinnati, he debates with himself whether he should contact his ex-girlfriend who lives there. But it’s not until he meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) that some excitement seems to come into his life.

I liked Anomalisa, but it didn’t blow me away as much as it seems to have most people. It’s a good film, but I’m nowhere near falling over myself from excitement.

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Regression (2015)

Regression
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Writer: Alejandro Amenábar
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David ThewlisDavid Dencik, Aaron Ashmore, Aaron Abrams, Devon Bostick, Dale Dickey, Adam Butcher, Lothaire Bluteau
Seen on: 18.10.2015

Plot:
Angela (Emma Watson) has accused her father John (David Dencik) of abusing and raping her. While Angela remains at the church where she sought refuge, police detective Bruce (Ethan Hawke) tries to figure it out. But John claims to have no recollection of ever assaulting Angela. So Bruce looks to psychology professor Kenneth (David Thewlis) for help. Kenneth suggest hypnotic regression therapy to figure out what is going on. Soon Bruce finds himself deep into a farreaching network of satanistic abuse.

I suspect that I would have liked Regression if the general plot development hadn’t been so completely clear to me from the start. Although even so it wouldn’t have been completely unproblematic.

regression

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The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything
Director: James Marsh
Writer: Anthony McCarten
Based on: Jane Wilde Hawking‘s autobiography
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Harry Lloyd, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Christian McKay, Simon McBurney, Maxine Peake
Seen on: 06.01.2015 [cornholio suggested I add that info to my posts, let me know what you think.]

Plot:
Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is a brilliant, but a little aimless physics student who not only spends his time studying, but also having fun with his friend Brian (Harry Lloyd). During one of their outings he meets Jane (Felicity Jones) and they fall in love. But then Stephen is diagnosed with an illness said to kill him in a very short time. Supported by Jane, he takes up the fight to survive and finish his studies and surpasses all expectations – not only regarding his health, but also his scientific accomplishments.

The Theory of Everything is a nice film, but it is so completely paint by the numbers, that it is also boring. It never does anything really wrong, but there is also nothing that really makes it stand out.

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The Zero Theorem (2013)

The Zero Theorem
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Pat Rushin
Cast: Christoph Waltz, Lucas HedgesDavid ThewlisMélanie ThierryMatt DamonGwendoline ChristieRupert FriendRay CooperLily ColeSanjeev BhaskarPeter StormareBen WhishawTilda Swinton

Plot:
Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) works as an entity cruncher for a huge corporation. The hours away from home are torture for Qohen as he is waiting for a call, so he has been trying to convince the corporation that he could work from home. When his supervisor Joby (David Thewlis) tells him that Management (Matt Damon) will be at his party, Qohen decides that he has to go there and talk to him. And he actually succeeds in that plan and a little while later, he starts working on the Zero Theorem from home.

Gilliam knows how to make a world look cool and a film look pretty. The cast is wonderful, too. Other than that though, the film is a boring, sexist mess.

the-zero-theorem

 

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The Fifth Estate (2013)

The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Josh Singer
Based on: Daniel Domscheit-Berg‘s book and David Leigh and Luke Harding‘s book
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, Michael Culkin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Carice van Houten, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, Alexander Siddig

Plot:
When Daniel (Daniel Brühl) meets Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) he is more than excited: Daniel has been keeping track of Julian’s hacking work and the WikiLeaks site he instated: a perfectly anonymous option for whistleblowers. Daniel wants to work with Julian and Julian lets him in, reluctantly at first. But soon their project gets bigger than they ever expected.

The Fifth Estate was an entertaining movie with a few lenghts and a disturbing subtitle-phobia. The cast was absolutely awesome, though.

FifthEstate

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Red 2 (2013)

Red 2
Director: Dean Parisot
Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Based on: Warren Ellis‘ and Cully Hamner‘s comic
Sequel to: Red
Cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen MirrenAnthony HopkinsByung-hun Lee, Brian Cox, Catherine Zeta-Jones, David Thewlis, Neal McDonough, Titus Welliver

Plot:
Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are starting to settle down. But Frank’s past, Sarah’s sense for adventure and Marvin (John Malkovich) make it pretty impossible for them to really live in peace. And so they soon find themselves hunting down what remains of Project Nightshade, a super-secret Cold War weapons project.

Red 2 was fun. Maybe not as much as the first one, but it gets pretty damn close. Great characters, nice dialogues and awesome performances.

Red2

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The Lady (2011)

The Lady
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Rebecca Frayn
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett, Jonathan Woodhouse, Benedict Wong

Plot:
Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) thought she had left Burma behind. She built herself a life in the UK with her husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis) and her two sons Kim (Jonathan Raggett) and Alexander (Jonathan Woodhouse). But then her mother falls ill and she returns to Burma to take care of her. And suddenly Suu’s past catches up with her and she finds herself in the middle of the political change towards democracy in the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi is definitely a fascinating woman and Michelle Yeoh delivers a wonderful performance, but this movie has very many issues that pretty much eclipse those two facts.

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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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