Fierce People (2005)

Fierce People
Director: Griffin Dunne
Writer: Dirk Wittenborn
Based on: Wittenborn’s novel of the same name
Cast: Diane Lane, Anton Yelchin, Donald Sutherland, Chris Evans, Kristen Stewart, Paz de la Huerta, Blu Mankuma, Elizabeth Perkins
Seen on: 3.12.2017
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Plot:
Finn (Anton Yelchin) lives with his mother Liz (Diane Lane), a masseuse with a drug problem and dreams of going to South America to meet his father for the first time – an anthropologist working with a native tribe. But when Liz’ circumstances become worse, Finn finds himself relocated with her to the estate of Ogden C. Osborne (Donald Sutherland), a rich client of Liz’ who has taken a shine to her. Finn finds companionship with Ogden’s grandchildren Maya (Kristen Stewart) and Bryce (Chris Evans). Faced with a world entirely unlike the one Finn grew up in – the world of the super-rich – he turns his anthropological interest to them.

Watching Fierce People is a bit like being the proverbial boiled frog: it’s consistently awful, but the degree of awfulness is slowly turned up, so you barely realize how absolutely terrifyingly awful it really is until it’s over and you’ve watched it all.

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Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writer: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
Based on: Ron Woodroof’s life
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Rankin

Plot:
Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) loves the rodeo, to fuck women and to drink and take drugs. When he’s checked at the hospital after a work accident, Ron is told that he has HIV and about 30 days to live. First, Ron tries to ignore that, then he tries to get his hands on AZT, the new super-aggressive drug in trial for use against HIV. When nothing works, he heads to Mexico to see a doctor there who helps him. And so Ron decides to take back the medication to the US and sell it there. But that’s only the beginning of what is to become a successful Buyers Club.

Dallas Buyers Club picks an interesting and not that well-known part of HIV history and tells a good story with an excellent Matthew McConaughey and a very nice supporting cast.

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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

An American Werewolf in London
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, John Woodvine

Plot:
David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are tramping through the UK, where they end up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. After an awkward visit to the local pub, they decide to not stay there. But while they are walking away, they are attacked. Jack dies and David gets bitten by some kind of monster. Three weeks later he wakes up in an hospital room, wiht Nurse Alex (Jenny Agutter) taking care of him. But the nightmare is only just beginning.

The movie was slightly uneven. It starts as more of a horror-comedy and suddenly there is this shift in tone and everything gets super depressing. But in any case, the most outstanding feature are the fantastic special effects – which still look great, even after 30 years.

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Broken City (2013)

Broken City
Director: Allen Hughes
Writer: Brian Tucker
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Michael Beach, Kyle Chandler, James Ransone, Griffin Dunne

Plot:
Billy (Mark Wahlberg) is a policeman who shot a rapist who went free. During his trial where he claims self-defence, new evidence comes up but is quickly surpressed by Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and Comissioner Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright). Despite being found not guilty, Billy is let go and earns his money by doing investigation work from then on. Years later in the middle of election time, Hostetler contacts him again to have him investigate his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones). But there’s apparently more to the story than just mere infidelity.

Broken City was a decent thriller but nothing that really blew me away, apart from Russell Crowe who obviously had fun with this one. The characters are a little too clichéd to work, the story is unfocused and all of that leaves you a little dissatisfied.

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Movie 43 (2013)

Movie 43 (it’s a comedy anthology with the following segments)
Writer (for the most parts): Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Baker
The Thread (in the European version, that’s the framing device; in the US, I gather, it’s a different story)
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Cast: Devin Eash, Adam Cagley, Mark L. Young
The Catch
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman
Homeschooled
Director: Will Graham
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Allen White
The Proposition
Director: Steve Carr
Cast: Chris Pratt, Anna Faris
Veronica
Director: Griffin Dunne
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone
iBabe
Director: Steven Brill
Cast: Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer
Superhero Speed Dating
Director: James Duffy
Cast: Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Bibb, John Hodgman
Machine Kids
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken
Writer: Jonathan van Tulleken
Middleschool Date
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh
Tampax
Director: Patrik Forsberg
Writer: Patrik Forsberg
Happy Birthday
Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Gerard Butler
Truth or Dare
Director: Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg
Cast: Stephen Merchant, Halle Berry
Victory’s Glory
Director: Rusty Cundieff
Cast: Terrence Howard
Beezel
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel

Plot:
Calvin (Mark L. Young) and his best friend JJ (Adam Cagley) wanted to trick his little brother Baxter (Devin Eash) by making him look for a supposedly banned film that doesn’t actually exist – Movie 43. But Baxter actually finds something, and as they move from clip to clip they come ever closer to the truth.

People, heed my warning. I thought that a movie with that cast couldn’t possible be as bad as the trailer. “There must be something there,” I thought. “Something redeeming. It can’t possibly be all dick jokes, scatological humor and misanthropy?” Now I laugh in the face of my naivité. Because that really is all there is to this film: people behaving like disgusting assholes and we’re supposed to laugh about it. And all that remains after seeing the film is a question: Why? Why would anybody want to make such a film? Why are any of the actors involved in this? Why would anybody think that shit is funny? WHYYYYY????

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Last Night (2010)

Last Night is the newest film by Massy Tadjedin, starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Guillaume Canet, Eva Mendes and Griffin Dunne.

Plot:
Joanna (Keira Knightley) and Michael (Sam Worthington) are a rather happily married couple. But after a business dinner, they get into a fight about Michael’s attractive co-worker Laura (Eva Mendes). The next day, Michael goes on a business trip with Laura while Joanna runs into her ex-boyfriend Alex (Guillaume Canet). And suddenly both of them spend a night grappling with temptation.

Last Night is a quite little movie. There’s nothing flashy about it, nothing that really stands out – neither in a good, nor in a bad way. It’s just a film you tend not to notice, though it is intelligent, surprisingly well acted and engaging.

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