42 (2013)

42
Director: Brian Helgeland
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick BosemanHarrison FordNicole BeharieChristopher MeloniRyan MerrimanLucas BlackAndré HollandAlan TudykHamish Linklater
Seen on: 20.4.2017

Plot:
It is 1946. Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is an excellent baseball player, but confined to the underfinanced, underrecognized and generally looked down upon Negro League due to the color of his skin. But Jackie is also not somebody who accepts things as they are, so when he is approached by Brooklyn Dodgers exec Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) to play as the first black player in the Major League, he takes the chance. But unfortunately not everyone sees Jackie’s potential, most of the people only see the color of his skin – and they are not happy about it.

Baseball is not really my thing, but learning about racism is definitely something I’m trying to do, so I decided to give 42 a chance. And it is a decent, albeit not groundbreaking and surprisingly white film with a fantastic Boseman in the lead.

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The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay
Based on: Michael Lewisbook
Cast: Christian BaleSteve Carell, Ryan GoslingBrad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Rafe Spall, Hamish Linklater, Jeremy StrongJohn MagaroFinn Wittrock, Melissa Leo, Karen Gillan, Max GreenfieldBilly Magnussen, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, Anthony Bourdain, Richard Thaler
Seen on: 20.1.2016

Plot:
Michael Burry (Christian Bale) may not have many social skills, but he knows finance. And he knows that something will have to give in the world of finance – and that he can profit from the banks’ greed if he plays his card rights. So he starts betting against banks, assuming that the loans they give out will start to collapse. His tactic becomes known to Wall Street Broker Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) who approaches fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) with the proposal to do the same. At the same time, college kids Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) enlist veteran investor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to join into their own version of Burry’s scheme.

The Big Short treads pretty much the same ground as Margin Call, only that it is much more entertaining and made me understand the bursting of the real estate bubble much more.

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Fantastic Four (2005)

Fantastic Four
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Mark Frost, Michael France
Based on: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Cast: Ioan GruffuddJessica AlbaChris EvansMichael ChiklisJulian McMahonHamish LinklaterKerry WashingtonLaurie HoldenStan Lee

Plot:
Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and his partner Ben Grimm (Michael Chilkis) have been studying cosmic clouds but their funds have run out, just before such a cloud passes the earth. So they go to Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon), an old and very successful colleague of Reed’s. He decides to support their research and together the three of them, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) and her brother Johnny (Chris Evans) head into space to look at the cloud up close. But then things go wrong and when they finally make it back to earth, they are changed forever.

I was talking with Arysuh about never having seen this film or the sequel and that culminated in me watching and livetweeting both films while drinking vodka. You can read the entire thing after the jump, in lieu of a proper review. For a short summary know this: Fantastic Four is not a particularly good movie, but it is sufficiently entertaining. Watch it with friends and/or with alcohol, and you’re going to have a good time. Just don’t really expect anything much from the script, the actors, the story, the director, … At least you can expect to see Chris Evans topless and Jessica Alba’s boobs a lot.

fantasticfour[SPOILERS]

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Battleship (2012)

Battleship
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber
Based on: the game
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Peter MacNicol, Hamish Linklater, Tadanobu Asano

Plot:
Alex (Taylor Kitsch) and his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) are like night and day. Stone is in the navy, responsible and earnest, while Alex is perpetually drunk, chasing women and in trouble. But after a particularly bad incident during which Alex meets Samantha (Brooklyn Decker), he tries to get his life in order and joins the navy as well. A while later Samantha pushes him to ask her father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), for her hand, just as a huge naval war game exercise is about to begin. But then aliens hit the earth right in the middle of the exercise and Alex finds himself not only fighting for his maybe-father-in-law’s recognition, but for the earth itself.

I expected so much of Battleship. I thought it was going to be one of the most entertaining movies of the year. And it does deliver – in everything but the action scenes. But since they comprise most of the film, the whole thing starts to drag a bit.

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The Future (2011)

The Future
Director: Miranda July
Writer: Miranda July
Cast: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsky, Isabella Acres
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) are a couple in their thirties. Both are stuck in jobs that don’t really mean much to them, spend most of their time in the internet and don’t really have any responsibilities other than for themselves. But then they decide to adopt a stray cat, Paw-Paw (voice by Miranda July). It is hurt pretty bad, so it has to stay at the shelter for another month to heal up. A month, Sophie and Jason want to use to re-evaluate and re-arrange their lives.

The Future has its moments, but it also has a lot of quirky existentialism that just isn’t my cup of tea.

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