Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Frank Oz, K Callan, Noah Segan
Seen on: 8.1.2020

Plot:
Famous author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) has died, leaving behind an eccentric family, a lot of money and a police investigation into his death. Just before it is officially declared a suicide, detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) joins the investigation to make sure that everything is as everybody thinks it is. As he interviews the entire family, including Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), there is no telling what he will uncover. But it’s probably nothing good.

Knives Out was an amazingly entertaining film that managed to breathe some new life into a genre that has been well-established for many, many years (and it’s not even a genre that I personally love a lot). I had the best of times.

The film poster showing all of the main characters standing in a group.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (aka Episode VIII)
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Frank Oz, Justin Theroux, Noah Segan, Michaela CoelWarwick Davis, Joseph Gordon-LevittJoe Cornish, Edgar Wright
Seen on: 18.12.2017
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Plot:
The Resistance are still doing their best to fight against the First Order, but they are taking serious hits. Poe (Oscar Isaac) is frustrated with the slow progress of the Resistance. Meanwhile Rey (Daisy Ridley) has gone to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to get Jedi training. And Finn (John Boyega) wakes from his coma on the Resistance ship and teams up with Rose (Kelly Mary Tran) to make sure the Resistance stays safe.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was good entertainment but it didn’t capture me emotionally as much as it should have and thus didn’t manage to convert me from being mildly interested in the Star Wars films to want to dig deeper. But then I didn’t expect it to.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Episode VII)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Peter Mayhew, Gwendoline Christie, Simon Pegg, Greg Grunberg, Warwick Davis, Iko Uwais, Judah Friedlander, Daniel Craig, Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz
Seen on: 21.12.2015

Plot:
It was 30 years ago that Darth Vader was defeated and the Empire fell. And it’s about as long that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared from the Galaxy. The Resistance is still looking for him. Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is hot on the trail of a missing map piece for that search when he comes under attack. He hands the map to his droid BB-8 and sends it on its way. Rey (Daisy Ridley) works as a scavenger on that very same planet and she stumbles first on BB-8 and then on a stormtrooper (John Boyega) who deserted. Before they have a chance to think, they are on the run – and run straight into Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Together they decide to try to find Luke.

I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a Star Wars fan. I watched Episodes 4 through 6 when I was a kid and thought they were okay, watched Episode 1 when it came out and thought it was so stupid, I never even watched 2 and 3. When 7 came out, I hesitated for a while to watch it, but ultimately I figured why not? I have watched films for less reason than the cast of this one alone. And I have to say, I don’t regret watching it. In many ways it has the IQ of a potato, but it is seriously entertaining and very nice to watch.

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Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out
Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Writer: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlanFrank Oz, Flea, Rashida Jones
Seen on: 4.10.2015

Plot:
Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and her parents (Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan) have to move to San Francisco. Being uprooted that way causes quite some chaos inside Riley, where Joy (Amy Poehler) desperately tries to keep Riley happy. But Sadness (Phyllis Smith) keeps messing things up and who needs sadness anyway? In her attempt to make things right, Joy and Sadness find themselves a long way from the command center, where Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) are left to try to keep things together, to keep Riley together. But that’s not so easily done.

Inside Out took its time to make its way to Austria – but it was worth every minute of the wait. It was cute and hilarious and very, very touching.

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Re-Watch: Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places
Director: John Landis
Writer: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Cast: Dan AykroydEddie MurphyJamie Lee Curtis, Ralph BellamyDon Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Giancarlo Esposito, Frank Oz, Bo Diddley, James Belushi, Al Franken, Tom Davis

Plot:
Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) was born on the sunny side of life and has proven to be a quite successful trader for the Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche). Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) on the other hand barely scrapes by with crooked schemes. When the Duke brothers bet on whether or not it’s the circumstances or nature that make a man what he is, Louis and Billy Ray quickly find themselves in each other’s shoes. Louis’ reputation is completely destroyed when he is found with a sex worker Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) hired to set him up, loses his fiancée, his home and his job – the latter to Billy Ray. In the end, Louis has nobody but Ophelia and – surprisingly – Billy Ray to make things right again.

I used to watch this film as a kid as well, though certainly not as often as Scrooged, probably because I am not so much of an Eddie Murphy fan and never was. But since the cinema showed the two films as a double feature, I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately even with the nostalgia bonus, Trading Places barely worked for me at all.

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