Geostorm (2017)

Geostorm
Director: Dean Devlin
Writer: Dean Devlin, Paul Guyot
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie CornishAlexandra Maria LaraDaniel WuEugenio DerbezAmr WakedAdepero OduyeAndy GarciaEd HarrisRobert SheehanRichard SchiffMare WinninghamZazie Beetz
Seen on: 7.11.2017
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Plot:
To control climate change, the world has teamed up and created a network of satellites that can control the weather itself. But when the satellites are weaponized, Max (Jim Sturgess), who is in charge of the satellite program for the US government, knows that he has to get his brother Jake (Gerard Butler) on board to help: Jake developed the program and knows it like no other, but he was discharged and replaced by Max, so he may not be entirely inclined to go up into space to fix stuff. And of course, the question remains who is weaponizing the weather in the first place.

Geostorm is really the perfect movie to get drunk to: if you, like me, don’t spend a minute really thinking about it, in fact, if you don’t take it seriously at all, you’re going to have a blast with it. I sure did.

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Mother! (2017)

Mother!
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Jennifer LawrenceJavier BardemEd HarrisMichelle PfeifferBrian GleesonDomhnall GleesonStephen McHattieKristen Wiig
Seen on: 13.9.2017
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Plot:
A couple (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem) has just moved into a new house. He dreams of finding the inspiration to write there, while she painstakingly renovates the house. One night their routine is interrupted by a man (Ed Harris) who knocks on their door, thinking they are running a bed and breakfast. The writer is overjoyed at the change in routine and invites the man to stay the night, while she is more cautious. Things take a turn for the worse, when the man’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives the next day.

I expected bad things of Mother! and was pretty happy when things weren’t as bad as I expected them to be. But that’s not the same as saying that I was happy with the film: despite his strengths, I wasn’t too taken with it.

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Creepshow (1982)

Creepshow
Director: George A. Romero
Writer: Stephen King
Based on: his own short stories (partly)
Cast: Hal HolbrookAdrienne BarbeauFritz WeaverLeslie NielsenE.G. MarshallViveca LindforsEd HarrisTed Danson, Stephen King, Robert HarperGaylen RossJon LormerDon KeeferBingo O’MalleyJoe Hill
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (extra screening)
Seen on: 8.9.2017
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Plot:
Billy (Joe Hill) reads a Creepshow comic, against the wishes of his father (Tom Atkins). The comic tells different stories – of an awkward family dinner where the murderous past comes back to haunt them; of a farmer finding a strange meteorite; of a vengeful husband doling out punishment to his unfaithful wife and her lover; of a dangerous creature in a crate; of a mysophobic man whose safeguards fail him – that the father doesn’t approve of. But Billy doesn’t want to give up the comic. 

As with many anthology movies, Creepshow’s different segments differ widely and the overall impression I have of the film isn’t particularly great, even though there were many bits that I did enjoy.

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In Dubious Battle (2016)

In Dubious Battle
Director: James Franco
Writer: Matt Rager
Based on: John Steinbeck‘s novel of the same name
Cast: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Vincent D’OnofrioSelena GomezAhna O’ReillyAnaleigh TiptonJack KehlerScott HazeSam ShepardJoel Marsh GarlandJohn SavageRobert DuvallEd HarrisJosh HutchersonJulian De NiroBryan CranstonAshley GreeneKeegan AllenZach BraffAustin Stowell
Seen on: 24.4.2017

Plot:
Jim (Nat Wolff) just joined a political party who’s goal it is to empower workers. There he meets the charismatic and politically experienced Mac (James Franco) who takes him under his wing. Together they make their way to a fruit plantation where they hope to instigate a strike without the workers noticing that that’s what they came there to do. When they hear about a case where a plantation owner (Robert Duvall) reduced the workers’ pay from 3 to 1 Dollar, they know they have their in.

In Dubious Battle profits from Steinbeck’s strength as a writer and an absolutely stellar cast that makes the film worth seeing even though Franco directing Franco is not the best thing to ever happen.

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Re-Watch: The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show
Director: Peter Weir
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Ed Harris, Paul Giamatti
Seen on: 8.3.2016

Plot:
Truman (Jim Carrey) is living an absolutely ordinary life as an insurance salesman in a small town. His wife Meryl (Laura Linney) is a nurse and they are reasonably happy together and may have children soon. So far, so good. What Truman doesn’t know is that Meryl’s name is actually Hannah Gill. She’s an actress and he is the star of a reality TV show that has been chronicling his life since birth. Everything around him is TV – everything but Truman. Bit by bit, though, things are falling apart and Truman is starting to doubt.

It’s been years, probably a decade, that I saw The Truman Show and while the technology has changed a lot in that time, the film is still remarkably current. Plus, it is simply a good film.

thetrumanshow[SPOILERS follow]

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Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Writer: Joon-ho Bong, Kelly Masterson
Based on: Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette‘s graphic novel Le Transperceneige
Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie BellKang-ho Song, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Luke Pasqualino, Ah-sung Ko

Plot:
The world is frozen in its entirety. The only people left are hurtling through it on a high-speed train. On the train there is  a strict class hierarchy – in the front, the rich people live. In the back the poor live in squalor. One of the poor people is Curtis (Chris Evans) who quietly organizes a rebellion with the help of Edgar (Jamie Bell) and Gilliam (John Hurt). But getting to the front of the train might be the least of their problems.

Snowpiercer was an exciting film. Tense, with a weird sense of humor and great action scenes. It did not have the most innovative of plots, but with an awesome setting and beautiful cinematography it more than makes up for that.

snowpiercer

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Gravity (2013)

Gravity
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

Plot:
Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is an engineer on her first space mission. She’s accompanied by seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). As they’re working on the repairs they were sent up for, space debris hits them badly and Ryan drifts off. And that’s only just the start of their fight to survive and return home.

Before going into the film I heard a whole lot of good things about it and my expectations were accordingly extremely high. And I am happy to report that, contrary to most other films where you go in with high expextations, I left Gravity completely satisfied.

gravity

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Pain & Gain (2013)

Pain & Gain
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: Pete Collinsarticles
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed HarrisRob Corddry, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Rispoli

Plot:
Daniel (Mark Wahlberg) believes in two things: fitness and the American Dream. But his dream awaits fulfillment while he toils away in a fitness studio. When he gets a new client – Victor (Tony Shalhoub), superrich superdouche, Daniel teams up with his best friend Adrian (Anthony Mackie) and the recently released from prison Paul (Dwayne Johnson) to kidnap Victor and take everything he owns.

Pain & Gain was way more fun than I expected it to be. Not only were the performances by the main cast great, but the script was really entertaining and Bay hasn’t directed as well in a very, very, very long time.

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Man on a Ledge (2012)

Man on a Ledge
Director: Asger Leth
Writer: Pablo F. Fenjves
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Harris, Ed Burns, William Sadler, Titus Welliver

Plot:
Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) has been sentenced to quite a few years in prison for stealing a 40 million dollar diamond from David Englander (Ed Harris). But during his father’s funeral, Nick manages to escape and appears again on the ledge of a hotel, trying to prove his innocence or throwing himself off. He requests negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) who, despite a recent misgiving, tries her best to talk him down. But Nick has a secret agenda: while the attention is focused on him, his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his brother’s girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) try to break into Englander’s safe across the street from the hotel.

This movie was surprisingly not sucky. It is not a great film, but it is wonderfully entertaining.

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