The Gentlemen (2019)

The Gentlemen
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Lyne Renee, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Tom Wu, Chidi Ajufo, Eddie Marsan
Seen on: 3.3.2020

Content Note: racism, homomisia, antisemitism, (attempted) rape

Plot:
Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) has been running a great weed business for many years now, supported by his wife Ros (Michelle Dockery) and his right-hand man Ray (Charlie Hunnam). But it is time to retire and sell the business. He already found a prospective buyer in Matthew (Jeremy Strong), but Dry Eye (Henry Golding) also shows an interest. That’s when PI Fletcher (Hugh Grant) shows up at Ray’s doorstep and threatens to ruin everything if he doesn’t get paid.

So, I saw the ads for The Gentlemen and I knew that there would be racist jokes in it. I was considering not seeing it entirely, but then there was the perfect opportunity to see it and I was lured in by all those names, so I gave in anyway. I shouldn’t have. It turns out that there isn’t “just” a few racist jokes, the film is racist, antisemitic and homomisic to its core. And it’s way too long.

the film poster showing a collage of the main characters on a white background.

[SPOILERS]

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Feedback (2019)

Feedback
Director: Pedro C. Alonso
Writer: Pedro C. Alonso, Alberto Marini
Cast: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coopersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head, Alana Boden, Nacho Aldeguer
Part of: Secret Society screening at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2019
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Content Note: rape, rape culture

Plot:
Jarvis (Eddie Marsan) and Andrew (Paul Anderson) used to have a radio show together when they were younger, but they went different ways a while ago. Now Jarvis has his own show where he tackles social problems and generally politicizes in a very straight-forward, brash way. But the show hasn’t been going so well, so the radio station has asked him to team up with Andrew again to increase ratings. Jarvis is not enthusiastic, but doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. On their first night back in front of the mic together, masked men storm the radio station and force Jarvis and Andrew to reveal their secrets live on air.

Feedback is a film that takes the implications of the entire #metoo movement seriously and makes a bold statement about what white cis men can get away with. It’s a bit of a downer, but given its subject matter, that’s entirely appropriate.

The film poster showing Jarvis (Eddie Marsan) from behind. He is wearing headphones and watching four screens with masked men, a woman and himself screaming.

[SPOILERS]

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Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
Based on: Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza‘s comic character
Sequel to: Deadpool
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Karan Soni, Eddie Marsan, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, Terry Crews, Brad Pitt, Alan Tudyk, Matt Damon, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp
Seen on: 8.6.2018

Plot:
After his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is killed, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) unravels. His life is literally shot to pieces and it’s Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) who puts him back together again. Reluctantly, Wade agrees to kind of join the X-Men and tries to help with an out of control mutant, Russell Collins aka Firefist (Julian Dennison). But Russell doesn’t really want help and things are more complicated than they look anyway when Cable (Josh Brolin) turns up and claims to be from the future and that he needs to stop Firefist to avert catastrophe.

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, but I wasn’t completely enthusiastic about it, so my expectations for this one were rather mild and while Deadpool 2 doesn’t surpass them, it does stay on the same level as the first one: Fun in many ways but some things don’t work that well for me.

Film poster for Deadpool, showing him in the famous pose from Flashdance, only instead of water falling on him, it's bullets.
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Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017)

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
Director: Peter Landesman
Writer: Peter Landesman
Based on: Mark Felt‘s autobiography (written with John O’Connor)
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn, Ike Barinholtz, Josh Lucas, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kate Walsh, Brian d’Arcy James, Maika Monroe, Michael C. Hall, Tom Sizemore, Julian Morris, Bruce Greenwood, Noah Wyle, Eddie Marsan
Seen on: 15.11.2017
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Plot:
Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) expected to be promoted to the head of the FBI when J. Edgar Hoover stepped down. Instead FBI outsider L. Patrick Gray (Marton Csokas) is. But even though he feels resentful about being passed over, it’s Gray’s handling of one of his first cases – a surveillance operation based, apparently, on unofficial orders from the White House – that really sours things for Felt. He decides to bring the information about the Watergate case anonymously. to the public.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House shows that spying and whistle-blowing can be absolutely boring affairs. So boring, it’s astounding. I am honestly still in a state of disbelief how that happened.

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The Limehouse Golem (2016)

The Limehouse Golem
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Writer: Jane Goldman
Based on: Peter Ackroyd‘s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
Cast: Douglas BoothOlivia CookeSam ReidMaría ValverdeDaniel MaysBill NighyPeter SullivanEddie Marsan
Seen on: 6.9.2017
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Plot:
Limehouse, London has turned into a terrifying place after a series of murders has taken place. Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) is finally called in to investigate and he senses a connection to music hall star Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke) who has been accused of poisoning he husband on the very night of the last of the killings. He starts interviewing Lizzie and is soon determined to solve both cases.

The Limehouse Golem is okay, neither particularly great, nor particularly bad – although it would have probably benefitted from a push in either direction. As is, it is a little too bland to be really memorable.

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Atomic Blonde (2017)

Atomic Blonde
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Kurt Johnstad
Based on: Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s graphic novel The Coldest City
Cast: Charlize TheronJames McAvoyEddie MarsanJohn GoodmanToby JonesJames FaulknerRoland MøllerSofia BoutellaBill SkarsgårdSam HargraveJóhannes Haukur JóhannessonTil SchweigerBarbara Sukowa
Seen on: 4.9.2017
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Plot:
Lorraine (Charlize Theron) is a secret agent for MI6 who is sent to Cold War Berlin after the death of a colleague. She’s supposed to recover a list of MI6 agents that went missing. But the situation in Berlin is unclear, starting with the questionable trustworthiness of her contact David (James McAvoy). As Elaine tries to navigate the intricacies of a city at a (political) boiling point, things get more complicated with every step.

Atomic Blonde was a disappointment in pretty much every regard. It’s stupid and boring and I very much hated almost everything about it.

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Their Finest (2016)

Their Finest
Director: Lone Scherfig
Writer: Gaby Chiappe
Based on: Lissa Evans‘ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half
Cast: Gemma ArtertonSam ClaflinBill NighyRichard E. GrantHenry GoodmanRachael StirlingJack HustonAmanda RootEddie MarsanHelen McCroryJeremy Irons
Seen on: 19.7.2017
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Plot:
It’s the middle of World War II, times are tough and Catrin (Gemma Arterton) needs a job as her husband Ellis (Jack Huston), an artist, doesn’t make enough money to keep them afloat. She gets hired as a scriptwriter for propaganda films and quickly gets saddled with the task of writing the supposedly unimportant women’s dialogue. When she hears about a story about two young women who participated in the Dunkirk evacuation, she brings the idea for an entire film – which makes her co-author to Tom (Sam Claflin) and handler to the aging star Ambrose (Bill Nighy).

Their Finest is a beautiful, fantastic film that touches on many things, but most of all it pulls on heartstrings in the perfect way.

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Concussion (2015)

Concussion
Director: Peter Landesman
Writer: Peter Landesman
Based on: Jeanne Marie Laskas‘ article Game Brain
Cast: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O’Malley, Eddie Marsan, Hill Harper, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Moyer, Richard T. Jones, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson
Seen on: 22.2.2016

Plot:
Dr. Bennett Omalu (Will Smith) is a pathologist, specialized in neuropathology. He works in Pittsburgh where he is known for being thorough but maybe also a little strange. One day, a former football player’s body – Mike Webster (David Morse) – comes to Omalu. As he conducts his autopsy, Omalu is more and more intrigued by the case: Webster went from fame and glory to absolute destitution, apparent psychosis and suicide in only a short amount of time. And Omalu suspects that brain damage is the reason for his behavior – damage that he got from playing football. But the NFL is not only not interested in hearing his concerns, they are trying to prevent him from finding out more about it.

Concussion tells an interesting story and it does tell it rather effectively. It is hampered by the fact though that it is a very recent story and that obviously they were trying very hard not to scratch too much at recent wounds.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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Filth (2013)

Filth
Director: Jon S. Baird
Writer: Jon S. Baird
Based on: Irvine Welsh‘s novel
Cast: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan, Joanne Froggatt, Shirley Henderson, Iain De Caestecker, Gary Lewis

Plot:
Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is every bad stereotype of a police man: he’s a misanthropic, sexist, racist, power-obsessed asshole who is supposed to investigate the death of a Japanese tourist. Instead he’d rather think about how to get the promotion to Detective Inspector, even though he doesn’t actually like doing his job. But Bruce is not only an asshole, all is not right with him in general. As his convoluted intrigues become ever more complicated, his mental state continues to deteriorate.

Filth isn’t always easily stomached and the ending didn’t blow me away, but other than that I really liked it. It was well-made, well-acted and kept you on the edge of your seat.

Filth

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