Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones, Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Warwick Davis, Michael Smiley
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 18.12.2016

Plot:
There are rumors that the Empire is building a great new weapon, called the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance has caught wind of that and hatches a plan to steal the plans for that weapon as they heard that there was a structural weakness that they may use to destroy it. They believe that Jyn (Felicity Jones) may be the key to success as her father (Mads Mikkelsen) seems to be involved with the planning. But Jyn hasn’t seen her father in 15 years and she’s also not all that interested in helping the Alliance. But they do reach a deal and Jyn finds herself accompanying pilot Cassian (Diego Luna) on the mission.

I will probably never be super excited about Star Wars – it’s just not my franchise. But I did enjoy Rogue One a whole lot, despite a couple of lengths it suffered from.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Linda Woolverton
Based on: Lewis Carroll‘s novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Sequel to: Alice in Wonderland
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-CarterSacha Baron CohenRhys Ifans, Matt LucasLindsay DuncanLeo Bill, Geraldine James, Andrew Scott, Richard ArmitageEd Speleers, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall
Seen on: 2.6.2016

Plot:
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is working very hard to keep her father’s shipping company together, but things aren’t going well. Things seem doomed after her mother (Lindsay Duncan) signed over their shares to Alice’ former suitor Hamish (Leo Bill). It is just then that bad news reaches Alice from Wonderland and she sets off there to help the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) who hasn’t been himself. In fact, he seems to have crossed the line into absolute madness, believing firmly that his family isn’t actually dead, but can still be brought back. Reluctantly Alice agrees to help by speaking to Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and trying to get to the chronosphere which would help them clear matters up. But things get more complicated when it becomes obvious that the Red Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter) is also involved.

The first Alice film wasn’t particularly good, though I did enjoy watching that cast in that production design for the most part. That’s why I figured I would give Alice Through the Looking Glass a try as well. Unfortunately, it was even less convincing than the first film.

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45 Years (2015)

45 Years
Director: Andrew Haigh
Writer: Andrew Haigh
Based on: David Constantine‘s short story In Another Country
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James
Seen on: 10.10.2015

Plot:
A week before Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) celebrate their 45 year anniversary together, a letter arrives in their home from Switzerland. The contents of the letter brings Geoff’s past into the present and causes great friction between him and Kate who finds herself re-evaluating their marriage.

With 45 Years you get exactly what you’d expect: a perfectly acted film that focuses on characters over plot and gets a little too miserable in its realism.

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Northanger Abbey (2007)

Northanger Abbey
Director: Jon Jones
Writer: Andrew Davies
Based on: Jane Austen’s novel
Cast: Felicity Jones, JJ Feild, Carey Mulligan, Hugh O’Conor, Catherine Walker, Liam Cunningham, Geraldine James, William Beck

Plot:
Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones) is the daughter of a family with a lot of children and not a whole lot of money. She grew up quite the tomboy, but has recently discovered her love for gothic horror novels. So when the Morland’s neighbors the Allens ask Catherine to come with them to Bath, Catherine is overjoyed to accept, expecting finally an adventure like the ones she read about so much. Once there, she meets Isabella Thorpe (Carey Mulligan) and her brother John (William Beck), friends of Catherine’s brother James (Hugh O’Conor). John shows immediate interest in Catherine, but Catherine is much more interested in Henry Tilney (JJ Feild) and his sister Eleanor (Catherine Walker).

After having fallen in love so much with the book, I was kinda apprehensive about the adaptation living up to it. But I need not have been. They really did a very good job with it and the movie is almost as sweet as the book.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Steven Zaillian
Based on: Stieg Larsson’s novel
Remake of: Män som hatar kvinnor
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic

Plot:
Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a journalist in trouble. Not only has he just been convicted of libel, but the magazine he edits is experiencing financial difficulties because of it. But then he gets an offer from Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), rich retired business man. Vanger wants Mikael to research his great-niece Harriet’s disappearance 36 years ago, in the hope that he can discover something new. At the same time Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), young borderline researcher, gets the job to look into Mikael and his libel case.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is in almost all counts the better movie compared with its Swedish predecessor. Too bad they messed up the ending.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Based on: Arthur Conan Doyle‘s characters
Sequel to: Sherlock Holmes
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly, Geraldine James, Rachel McAdams, Eddie Marsan

Plot:
A series of bombings has hit all over Europe, unsettling the political atmosphere so much that war is in the air. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) suspects Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) of instigating the events. Unfortunately at the same time, Sherlock’s best friend and partner Dr. Watson (Jude Law) is finally getting married to Mary (Kelly Reilly) – and thus about to end their partnership. But Moriarty won’t leave Watson alone, so Holmes has to involve him in this case anyway.

The movie does do some things better than the first one, but overall it dragged a bit and wasn’t quite as satisfying. Nevertheless, I had fun.

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Arthur (2011)

Arthur is Jason Winer‘s remake of Steve Gordon‘s 1981 film. The new version stars Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, Geraldine James, Luis Guzmán and Nick Nolte. (And in small cameos: John Hodgman and Scott Adsit.)

Plot:
Arthur (Russell Brand) is the epitome of the rich kid: never had to work or worry about anything, always had his driver (Luis Guzmán) and nanny (Helen Mirren) to take care of him and spends money on frivolous things just for the hell of it. Now that he’s more or less an adult, his life consists of parties, sex and alcohol. When his mother (Geraldine James) tells him to marry Susan (Jennifer Garner) who she thinks the perfect person to take over her business later, Arthur is less than overjoyed since Susan is a bit of a psycho. But the threat of losing all the money is enough to make him comply. It’s only when he meets Naomi (Greta Gerwig) that he thinks about maybe taking charge of his own life.

I was pleasantly surprised by Arthur – the trailer made me laugh but after all the bad press the film was getting, I was afraid that they had all the good jokes in there already. But not only does the movie keep up a stable level of humor, it’s generally a very nice and sweet film – that gets the love story completely right.

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Made in Dagenham (2010)

Made in Dagenham is the newest movie by Nigel Cole, starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Geraldine James, Rosamund Pike, Miranda Richardson, Richard Schiff, Rupert Graves and for about 5 seconds, there’s Andrew Lincoln. It’s a fictionalised account of the 1968 Ford Sewing Machinists Strike.

Plot:
Therea are 187 women working in the Ford factory in Dagenham, sewing together car seats. Their work environment is pretty crappy which is why they’re considering a strike. It is more by coincidence that Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) gets involved, but when she does, she challenges not only the working conditions and payment but soon heads a nationwide protest for women’s rights and equal pay.

Made in Dagenham is a very enjoyable little film with great performances and a nice sense of humor. Not to mention that it’s about an important and interesting topic, which it handles intelligently even if not in-depth.

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