King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram,
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox, Craig McGinlay, Tom WuKatie McGrathDavid BeckhamMichael McElhatton
Seen on: 22.5.2017
1-gif-review [alternate take]

Plot:
When King Uther (Eric Bana) is betrayed by his brother Vortigern (Jude Law), Uther barely manages to get his baby out of the danger zone. The baby grows up to be Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who has no idea of his family background, but gets a whole lot of street smarts. And then Uther’s sword is uncovered, stuck in a stone. Since it can only be removed by Uther’s son and nobody knows where he is, Vortigern forces all men in the country to give it a try. And nobody is more surprised than Arthur when he is actually able to pull the sword out – a fact that immediately pits him against Vortigern and the powers he commands.

I expected King Arthur to be pretty bad and it was, but it was also a little better than expected. Which is not to say that it’s actually a good film or really worth seeing.

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The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Writer: Adam CozadCraig Brewer
Based on: Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ short stories
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Margot RobbieSamuel L. JacksonChristoph WaltzDjimon HounsouSimon Russell BealeJim BroadbentBen Chaplin
Seen on: 7.8.2016

Plot:
Years ago the man known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) became John Clayton once more and returned from Congo to his home country of England with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Now he’s trying very hard to leave his wild past behind him. But then George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) turns up in London, accusing a Belgian/Congolese mining company run by Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) in the name of King Leopold of slave trade. He needs John’s help to prove it, so reluctantly, John agrees to return.

I didn’t expect Tarzan to be very good and it wasn’t. But it did surprise me in some of the ways that it was bad. That’s… an achievement, I guess.

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The Tempest (2010)

The Tempest
Director: Julie Taymor
Writer: Julie Taymor
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s play
Cast: Helen MirrenFelicity JonesDavid StrathairnAlan CummingChris CooperBen WhishawDjimon HounsouRussell BrandAlfred MolinaReeve CarneyTom Conti
Seen on: 16.3.2016

Plot:
Many years ago Prospera (Helen Mirren) was betrayed by her brother Antonio (Chris Cooper). He sent her and her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) off on a ship so that they may die, but they managed to survive and have been stranded on an island ever since. They are almost the only inhabitants of the island, apart from Caliban (Djimon Hounsou), the spiteful son of the former island ruler, and the sprite Ariel (Ben Whishaw) who both have been enslaved by Prospera’s magic. Their existence is severely disrupted though when a ship sinks just off the island – a ship carrying not only Alonso the King of Naples (David Strathairn), his brother Sebastian (Alan Cumming) and his son Ferdinand (Reeve Carney), but also Antonio. Prospera knows that her time has come at last.

The Tempest is a visually impressive film with a great cast, but it never quite takes off – there are simply too many things that don’t work.

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Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne JohnsonJason Statham, Jordana BrewsterMichelle Rodriguez, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, (Luke Evans, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang)
Seen on: 11.4.2015

Plot:
After Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of their team/family brought the criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) down, and brought him down so hard that he’s still in a coma, Shaw’s brother Deckard (Jason Statham) has sworn revenge. He starts in Tokyo, but he’s soon right in Dom’s and Brian’s lives – including their families. So Dom and Brian – who thought that they could finally settle down with Letty (Gina Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) respectively – find themselves less retired than expected. But Shaw is not the only trouble, there’s also Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who orders them to help with a new surveillance software that could do much harm in the wrong hands – which is just where it risks ending up.

I watched all seven Fast & Furious movies in less than 24 hours (which was kinda awesome, but also kinda insane and not to be done sober*), so Furious 7 really had to be fantastic to still make me pay attention. But no worries, it did and with apparent ease.

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Seventh Son (2014)

Seventh Son
Director: Sergey Bodrov
Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight
Based on: Joseph Delaney‘s novel The Spook’s Apprentice
Cast: Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, Kandyse McClure, Luc Roderique, Zahf Paroo
Seen on: 10.03.2015

Plot:
Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is a spook, a warrior and warden against the supernatural. But he’s the last of his kind, especially since his latest apprentice (Kit Harington) just met his unfortunate demise at the hands of the evil witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore). Malkin had been imprisoned for a very long while, but she managed to free herself and plans on taking revenge and get her power back. So Gregory hires himself a new apprentice, Tom (Ben Barnes), and together they will do anything in their power to stop Malkin.

Seventh Son was okay. Not quite as craptastic as I expected, but not good either. It was entertaining enough, but I kept wishing that I was in the film that Julianne Moore was obviously in, but the rest of the cast not so much.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Director: Dean DeBlois
Writer: Dean DeBlois
Based on: Cressida Cowell‘s books
Sequel to: How to Train Your Dragon
Cast: Jay BaruchelCate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington

Plot:
After the events of How to Train Your Dragon, a lot has changed in Hiccup’s (Jay Baruchel) village. His father Stoick (Gerard Butler) is even talking about grooming Hiccup for leadership. Bue he would rather map the world flying around with Toothless and looking for other Night Furies. But instead of that, what Hiccup finds are other dragon riders and dragon hunters who kidnap the dragons for an entirely sinister purpose.

There is a lot to love about How to Train Your Dragon 2, but there are also a couple of things that I didn’t love at all. But the enjoyment did outweigh the issues.

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Holy Shit

Do you know that feeling, when you watch a movie you haven’t seen for a really long time and suddenly there’s this actor or actress who got famous (or at least known to you) in the meantime and you’re like “holy fucking shit, that’s him/her???”? I have a run, I’m telling you.

It started last week when I watched Erin Brockovich and I saw that, holy shit! George, the Biker-boyfriend, is Aaron Eckhart!

These past days I used my sick-time to watch Freaks & Geeks, which I have once seen the pilot of and really liked but never had the time to continue watching (and btw. it died an untimely death – it’s a good show). And there in the first episode is Eli, a “special” kid and holy shit! it’s Ben Foster! (who, btw, also has a great role in My Name Is Earl.) Another thing which gave me this feeling, although I hadn’t seen the episode before was in the second to last episode – a (hilarious) cameo by Ben Stiller.

And now we’re entering the embarassing territory. I felt like watching Beverly Hills, 90210. (Ok, when you’re done being shocked and booing, let me just say that I never was really into it but I had some of those books accompanying the series, inherited from some family friends and I kind of liked them and I felt a bit nostalgic and as I couldn’t get a hold of the books, I decided to watch a bit of the series.) Anyway, right there in the pilot, minute 42, the doorman: holy shit! It’s Djimon Hounsou! And also, holy shit, one of the guys at the party is Glenn Quinn!

OK, that’s about it, right now. I just had to share.