Suburbicon (2017)

Suburbicon
Director: George Clooney
Writer: Joel CoenEthan Coen, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne MooreOscar IsaacNoah JupeTony EspinosaKarimah Westbrook, Leith M. Burke, Richard Kind, Steve Monroe
Seen on: 20.11.2017
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Plot:
Suburbicon is a picture-perfect 1950s community, filled with happy, white, affluent, nuclear families. But then the Mayers (Kamirah Westbrook, Tony Espinosa, Leith M. Burke) move to Suburbicon. They are black and their arrival brings Suburbicon’s facade to crumble, exposing the community’s racism. Their next-door neighbor Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) has other issues, though: he, his wife Rose (Julianne Moore), her twin sister Margaret (Julianne Moore), and their son Nicky (Noah Jupe) are being robbed in their own home, with dire consequences. But that’s only the beginning of the troubles in Suburbicon.

I found Suburbicon pretty disappointing. I thought that it would be about racism, but it revolves much more around the Lodges and their story. And that story does have a Coen-esque feel, but one that doesn’t quite come together.

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Money Monster (2016)

Money Monster
Director: Jodie Foster
Writer: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham, Lenny Venito
Seen on: 29.5.2016

Plot:
Lee (George Clooney) and his producer Patty (Julia Roberts) have a very successful TV show in which he discusses the developments on Wall Street. As part of his show, Lee gives recommendations on what stocks to buy and what to sell. And recently he recommended the stocks of Walt’s (Dominic West) company – that shortly thereafter went bust in a pretty spectacular fashion. Janitor Kyle (Jack O’Connell) followed Lee’s advice – and lost everything. Now Kyle has found his way into the studio and takes Lee hostage, hoping to get to the truth – and to justice.

Money Monster is a very watchable film with good performances. It’s solid, but it never really manages to go beyond that.

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Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Hail, Caesar!
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Veronica Osorio, Heather Goldenhersh, Alison Pill, Max Baker, Clancy Brown, David Krumholtz, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lambert, Fred Melamed, Jack Huston, Michael Gambon
Seen on: 21.2.2016

Plot:
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) fixes problems for a big movie studio. And boy, are there ever problems: Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the biggest star they currently have, is missing, possibly abducted. Star DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant und unmarried. Director Laurnce Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) needs a new star for his film and the only guy available is Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), talented stunt cowboy but acting is a whole other story. And the twin journalists Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton and Tilda Swinton) are snooping around for a story, each in her own way and for her own column. And if all of that wasn’t enough, Eddie has an attractive job offer on the table he needs to decide on soon.

After the recent rather serious outings of the Coen brothers, Hail, Caesar! is a return to comedy, and a very successful one at that. The film is a romp through the studio cinema of the 50s, with the only drawback that they’re reproducing the white-maleness of those films as well. Other than that, though, it is simply fun.

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Tomorrowland (2015)

Tomorrowland
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird
Cast: Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Robinson, Pierce Gagnon, Judy Greer
Seen on: 29.5.2015

Plot:
In the 60s everybody was excited about technology, above all Frank (Thomas Robinson) who tried builds his own jetpack for the World Fair. Even though the jetpack doesn’t work, it catches the eye of Athena (Raffey Cassidy) who changes Frank’s life forever.
50 years later the scientific enthusiasm of the world seems to be mostly gone, although there still are people like Casey (Britt Robertson) who dreams of becoming an astronaut and does everything in her power to stop the dismantling of a NASA launch site in her area – which leads her straight to prison. When she’s released, she finds a pin in her possession. A pin that shows her a beautiful utopia, one she’s convinced is real. And her search leads her directly to – by now adult – Frank (George Clooney).

Tomorrowland was a sweet film. Not great, but sweet, with a couple of moments that were quite frankly flabbergasting in their stupidity.

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The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Based on: James Jonesnovel
Cast: Nick Nolte, Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin, Dash Mihok, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Miranda Otto, Jared Leto, John Travolta, George Clooney, Kirk Acevedo, Mark Boone Junior, Nick Stahl

Plot:
The Guadalcanal is an important strategic point in World War II. Therefore a group of soldiers is brought in to battle for an airfield held by the Japanese which quickly turns into a slaughter with pressures from within and without rising for everyone.

I never liked Malick movies. I wanted to watch this one anyway because it’s a classic and so I decided to jump at the chance when it was shown at the Filmmuseum in Vienna. Now that I have seen it, I can say: I really don’t like Malick movies.

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The Monuments Men (2014)

The Monuments Men
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Based on: Robert M. Edsel‘s non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, Justus von Dohnányi

Plot:
As World War II is in full swing, the European art collections (both private and public) are methodically plundered by the Nazis. So Frank Stokes (George Clooney) manages to get a squad together, consisting mostly of old men who know their art. They are tasked with saving what is left – from statues to paintings. But even as the end of the war comes ever closer, this is neither easy nor without its dangers.

The Monuments Men is a film that is utterly mediocre. (puzzledpeaces called it “beige” and that hits the nail on the head pretty much.) The script isn’t good, the directing isn’t good, the camera work isn’t good – but none of it is all that bad either. It’s a film that tries to be as acceptable as possible to as many people as possible and with that desire loses all shape and impact.

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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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The Descendants (2011)

The Descendants
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Based on: Kaui Hart Hemmingsnovel
Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster

Plot:
Matt King (George Clooney) is a lawyer who works a lot, even though he has enough money so it wouldn’t actually be necessary. When his rather estranged wife has a boating accident and is suddenly in a coma, Matt has to re-arrange his life completely. He never was much involved with life at home. so he is quite overwhelmed with dealing with his daughters Scottie (Amara Miller) and Alex (Shailene Woodley). When he finds out that his wife had an affair he sets out together with his daughters, and Alex’ friend Sid (Nick Krause), to find the man and inform him about the situation.

I don’t quite get the excitement about this film. I mean, yes, it is nice and perfectly acted and beautifully shot and it is certainly a good film. But from the accolades it garners, I guess I expected a little more than a good film: I expected an outstanding one. And this isn’t it.

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The Ides of March (2011)

The Ides of March
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, George Clooney, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, Jennifer Ehle
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Stephen (Ryan Gosling) is one of the PR guys for Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) who is running for president. Even though Stephen is young, he is rather experienced and his career is definitely on the rise, while at the same time he managed to retain some idealism. He honestly believes in Mike. Mike’s campaign manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the experienced, jaded counterpoint to his idealism. But even though they make a very good team, things in politics are never easy and only get trickier.

I was a bit worried since I’m usually quickly bored by these politics plots. I’m just not that interested. But the cast is an absolute dream come true, and Clooney really is a very talented director, so I still had hope. And my hopes were completely justified. It’s a brilliant film.

[That poster kinda freaks me out.]

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The American (2010)

The American is the Anton Corbijn‘s adaptation of Martin Booth‘s novel A Very Private Gentleman, starring George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten and Paolo Bonacelli.

Plot:
After an attack on his life, an assassin (George Clooney) goes to Italy to hide out and to accept a job that is supposed to be his last.

Yeah, that plot description is really short. That’s because there’s not much more plot in this film. I was afraid that the movie would get really boring – especially after the trailer that was a monument to unexcitement. Surprisingly, the film wasn’t boring, though it wasn’t terribly engaging either.

 

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