Lucky (2017)

Lucky
Director: John Carroll Lynch
Writer: Logan Sparks, Drago Sumonja
Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Skerritt, Barry Shabaka Henley, James Darren, Beth Grant, Yvonne Huff
Seen on: 12.4.2018

Plot:
Lucky (Harry Dean Stanton) is old but healthy and he has his set routine in the small town in the middle of the desert where he lives. He does his exercises in the morning, he heads to the diner in town for lunch and goes drinking at the bar in the evening, every day. It seems like life could go on forever this way – and it may already have lasted forever. But when Lucky falls, his own mortality intrudes his routine and he might have to think about how he wants to continue.

Lucky is a soft film and one that is worth watching, even if I didn’t find it as touching as I probably should or could have. It’s still very good.

Continue reading

Escape from New York (1981)

Escape from New York
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
Cast: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers
Seen on: 21.5.2016

Plot:
1997. The future. Things have pretty much turned very bad. To get some measure of control, the entirety of Manhattan was walled off and turned into a prison, leaving the people inside to their own devices. It’s there that the USAmerican President (Donald Pleasence) crashes with his plane. There is no official way to get to him, so the prison warden Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) improvises: it just so happens that Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) was supposed to be locked away that day. With his biography, he seems like the most likely candidate to find and bring back the President. And Hauk will find a way to convince Plissken.

Escape from New York is another one of those classics that seem to be ubiquitous in pop culture, but that I had never seen. From what I gathered, I expected to get something along the lines of Mad Max, but unfortunately, Escape from New York just isn’t that, although I wished it was.

escapefromnewyork Continue reading

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Seven Psychopaths
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Linda Bright Clay, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Pitt, Harry Dean Stanton, Kevin Corrigan, Zeljko Ivanek, Gabourey Sidibe

Plot:
Marty (Colin Farrell) is trying to write a screenplay. He has a title – Seven Psychopaths – and a rough idea for a first psychopath. But apart from a drinking problem, he doesn’t have much else. His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) tries to help, but is mostly caught up with the dognapping business he runs with Hans (Christopher Walken). But when Marty’s girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) kicks him out and Billy naps the beloved Shi-Tzu of the crazy Charlie (Woody Harrelson), everything unravels pretty quickly.

The marketing for this film is completely off. And when I say completely off, they decided to take away the movie’s selling point to make it look like a pretty standard action comedy. But it’s not – instead it’s an exercise in meta – and I loved it.

seven_psychopaths

Continue reading

Alien (1979)

Alien
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Dan O’Bannon
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
[I am sure that I already saw this film, probably about 10, 15 years ago or so, but I really couldn’t remember a damn thing about it, so I’m not labeling this as a re-watch.]

Plot:
The crew of the Nostromo – a commercial mining ship – are woken from hypersleep in the middle of their journey after the ship received a distress call from a planet they were passing. They land to investigate. While Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) and Kane (John Hurt) head out on the surface, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) discovers that the distress call was actually a warning. But by then Kane already stumbled on a nest of alien eggs…

I loved Alien. It’s a tense, scary, exciting film that has an absolutely outstanding main character in Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. It’s simply a must-see.

Continue reading

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Alexis Denisof, Harry Dean Stanton, Enver Gjokaj
Part of: Marvel movies

Plot:
Under the watchful eye of Director Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) of S.H.I.E.L.D., scientist Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) is working on the Tesseract, a source of practically unlimited power. But Loki (Tom Hiddleston), crazed and bitter, has organized an alien army to take over the earth in exchange for the Tesseract. He breaks into S.H.I.E.L.D. and steals the Tesseract, brainwashing Selvig and Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in the process. Fury finds himself scrambling for something to hold against Loki and so he assembles a team made up of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner aka the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

The Avengers is absolutely freaking and completely awesome. Joss Whedon knows how to handle his characters and especially the team dynamics and he does so here, too. Plus, it’s really, really funny. In short, be prepared for gushing.

Continue reading

This Must Be the Place (2011)

This Must Be the Place
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Writer:  Umberto Contarello, Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon, Harry Dean Stanton, David Byrne, Shea Whigham

Plot:
Cheyenne (Sean Penn) is a rock star in retirement living in Ireland who divides his time between  his wife Jane (Frances McDormand) and his fan Mary (Eve Hewson). But when he hears that his father is about to die, Cheyenne makes his way to the US – only to find out that he is too late. But he finds out that his father has been hunting a Nazi who has been tormenting him during WWII. And suddenly Cheyenne finds himself on the same hunt.

The movie is much like its protagonist: charming, funny and peculiar. But the whole Nazi-hunting story feels tacked on and runs too long. Still, it’s all worth it for Sean Penn in that role.

Continue reading

Rango (2011)

Rango is Gore Verbinski‘s newest film, starring the voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Timothy Olyphant and Ray Winstone.

Plot:
An unnamed pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) spends his time setting up plays for himself and whatever he can find in his terrarium. But then he gets thrown out of the car by accident and ends up in the middle of the desert. On his own. In the small town Dirt he first only hopes to find some water but then he realises that it’s a possibilty for him to become somebody – and Rango is born, hero extraordinaire. But something weird is happening with the water in Dirt – and Rango takes it upon himself to find out what that is.

Rango is astonishingly beautiful, funny and a very nice play on Western stereotypes. It also tries to tackle some larger themes (especially about identity) but with less success, at least for its adult audience. Still, put together it’s a wonderful film.

Continue reading