Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Assassin’s Creed
Director: Justin Kurzel
Writer: Michael LesslieAdam CooperBill Collage
Based on: the video game franchise
Cast: Michael FassbenderMarion CotillardJeremy IronsBrendan GleesonCharlotte RamplingMichael Kenneth WilliamsDenis MénochetAriane LabedKhalid AbdallaEssie Davis
Seen on: 5.1.2017

Plot:
Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) was sentenced to die. But the Abstergo Company fake his death instead and bring him to Madrid. As Abstergo’s CEO Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) explains, Cal’s ancestor belonged to a brotherhood of assassins, and they need him to access his own genetic memories to find the Apple of Eden, an artifact that belongs to the Templars and that has been historically protected by the Assassin’s Creed. Cal is more than reluctant to participate until Rikkin’s daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) puts him into the Animus – a machine that makes it able to access his genetic memories.

Assassin’s Creed was impressively nonsensical and it was far from pretty enough to make up for the incredible stupidity. I saw it on January 5th and it was clearly one of my biggest mistakes of the year that I did not bring alcohol to the screening.

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The Program (2015)

The Program
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: John Hodge
Based on: David Walsh‘s book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong
Cast: Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Lee PaceGuillaume Canet, Jesse Plemons, Dustin Hoffman, Edward Hogg, Denis Ménochet
Seen on: 21.10.2015

Plot:
Journalist David Walsh (Chris O’Dowd) is impressed by newcoming cyclist Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster), but Lance’s career doesn’t quite take off. But Lance has the will to win. When he realizes that doctor Michele Ferrari (Guillaume Canet) has a special program – which consists of doping, among other things – Lance wants in on it. Ferrari declines at first but when Lance loses a lot of weight due to testicular cancer, Ferrari does see a viable candidate in him after all. Lance starts on the program, but Walsh grows suspicious of his incredible success and decided to investigate.

I couldn’t care less about cycling and I think doping is just stupid. These are not exactly the best starting points for watching the film and might explain the lengths I felt in an otherwise excellent movie.

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Grand Central (2013)

Grand Central
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Writer: Gaëlle Macé, Rebecca Zlotowski
Cast: Tahar Rahim, Léa Seydoux, Olivier Gourmet, Denis Ménochet, Johan Libéreau
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Gary (Tahar Rahim) has been looking for work and barely has any money at all. So when he ends up working in a nuclear power plant, he feels like he gets a new chance. Especially since he likes his colleagues Gilles (Olivier Gourmet) and Toni (Denis Ménochet) with whom he also practically lives together. But it really is Toni’s girlfriend Karole (Léa Seydoux) who keeps him there.

Grand Central has an interesting setting and a great cast. The plot itself is nothing to write home about, but that’s kind of the point. It does get a little long, but generally it was really good.

grandcentral

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Dans la maison [In the House] (2012)

Dans la maison
Director: François Ozon
Writer: François Ozon
Based on: Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last Row
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet, Bastien Ughetto, Yolande Moreau
Part of: Viennale (it was the surprise movie)

Plot:
Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is a French teacher at the high school. When he gets an essay by one of his students, Claude (Ernst Umhauer), where he voyeuristically details a visit to his school friend Rapha’s (Bastien Ughetto) house, Germain not only recognizes Claude’s literary talent, but both Germain and his wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) get drawn into the life of Rapha and his family – leading to unintentional consequences.

Dans la maison was extremely entertaining. It had a rather biting sense of humor that I enjoyed a lot and Ozon has the timing and pacing down to make it all work. It may not be the world’s most thoughtful film, but it is fun.

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