London (2005)

London
Director: Hunter Richards
Writer: Hunter Richards
Cast: Chris Evans, Jessica Biel, Joy Bryant, Jason Statham, Kelli Garner, Isla Fisher, Louis C.K., Jeff Wolfe, Dane Cook, Lina Esco, Paula Patton, Kat Dennings
Seen on: 22.1.2017

Plot:
London (Jessica Biel) broke up with Syd (Chris Evans) six months ago, but Syd can’t let her go. When he hears that friends are throwing a going-away party for London, he decides to go there uninvited to speak to her one more time. On the way there, he meets banker Bateman (Jason Statham) and brings him alone. But when he reaches the party, he loses his courage and locks himself in the bathroom where he consumes copious amounts of cocain and alcohol and tries to talk it through – with himself, with Bateman, with the various bathroom visitors, just not with London.

London is a film made by men for men who are convinced that every word that falls out of their mouths is interesting and very smart. Newsflash: it’s not. In fact, the entire film is proof that a lot of men are absolutely unbearable.

[SPOILERS]

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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals
Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford
Based on: Austin Wright‘s novel Tony and Susan
Cast: Amy AdamsJake GyllenhaalMichael ShannonAaron Taylor-JohnsonIsla FisherEllie BamberArmie HammerKarl GlusmanRobert AramayoLaura LinneyAndrea RiseboroughMichael Sheen
Seen on: 29.12.2016

Plot:
Art gallery owner Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) receives a package in the mail. It contains the draft of her ex-husband Edward Sheffield’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) new novel and the information that he is in town and would like to meet her. Susan hasn’t spoken to him in almost 20 years and she is surprised by the novel and the meeting, but she starts to read the novel that was apparently inspired by her. It tells the story of Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal) who goes on a roadtrip with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) and daughter India (Ellie Bamber) – a roadtrip that turns violent when they get into trouble with another car and its passengers.

Nocturnal Animals is a highly polished film that tells a story that goes under the skin. It’s definitely not a film that lets go of you easily, even if not everything about it works without a hitch.

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Now You See Me (2013)

Now You See Me
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common

Plot:
Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henley (Isla Fisher) and Jack (Dave Franco) are talented magicians who get a mysterious invitation including instructions to form a magic troupe and pull off certain acts. Among those acts is a bank heist that skeptic Detective Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) have to investigate. But things are getting weirder and weirder.

Now You See Me is not a particularly smart or mind-blowing film, even though it tries very hard to be. But it is a movie that is fun and entertaining.

now_you_see_me

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The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Based on: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprioCarey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Adelaide Clemens, Amitabh Bachchan, Callan McAuliffe

Plot:
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) decided to get into the bond business. He moves into a little house just outside of New York and reconnects with his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) who lives nearby after getting married to Tom (Joel Edgerton) who comes from a whole lot of old money. Nick’s next door neighbor is a man called Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is filthy rich as well, but from new money. Gatsby celebrates grand parties every weekend. When Nick is invited to one, he finds out that Gatsby and Daisy are somehow connected.

Unfortunately I didn’t love the movie as much as I loved the book. It wasn’t that bad but there were also a few issues, making the movie work only half of the time.

The-Great-Gatsby

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Bachelorette (2012)

Bachelorette
Director: Leslye Headland
Writer: Leslye Headland
Based on: Leslye Headland’s play
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Adam Scott, James Marsden, Hayes MacArthur, Kyle Bornheimer

Plot:
Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gina (Lizzy Caplan), Katie (Isla Fisher) and Becky (Rebel Wilson) have been friends since high school, though only Becky and Regan see each other regularly. Now Becky is about to get married to Dale (Hayes MacArthur), so she asks the three other women to be her bridesmaids. Regan organizes everything, even though she is more jealous of than happy for Becky. Gina and Katie, too, look more forward to seeing each other and Regan than to see Becky married. The night before the wedding, things come to a head.

I was unsure whether I would like Bachelorette. I was afraid that it would be like Bridesmaids which wasn’t my cup of tea. To my surprise, I pretty much ended up loving Bachelorette.

bachelorette

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Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rise of the Guardians
Director: Peter Ramsey
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on: William Joyce‘s books
Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo

Plot:
The Guardians – that is Santa (Alex Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman – protect the children of the earth. But when a new threat shows up in Pitch (Jude Law) aka the Boogey Man, the Man in the Moon appoints a new guardian – Jack Frost (Chris Pine). Everybody is bewildered by that choice, most of all Jack himself, who is more preoccupied with finding out who he actually was before he became Jack Frost. But for the sake of the children, they start working together.

Rise of the Guardians was amazing. Beautifully animated, wonderful story and it all comes together in a way to make you cry and laugh and to leave you with a magical feeling and a smile on your face.

rise_of_the_guardians

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Burke and Hare (2010)

[One of the films of the /slash Filmfestival‘s special European evening.]

Burke and Hare is the newest film by John Landis, starring Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson, Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Bill Bailey, Christopher Lee, Tim Curry, Hugh Bonneville, David Schofield, Pollyanna McIntosh, Stephen Merchant and probably another 500 actors worthy of mention.

Plot:
Edinburgh, beginning of the 19th century: They city is very proud of its two medical faculties, headed by Doctor Monro (Tim Curry) and Doctor Knox (Tom Wilkinson) respectively. The two of them are in strong competition – and not really in a friendly way. They especially fight over the bodies they can use for dissection. When Knox runs out of supply, he has to find new means to get bodies. And that’s where William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) enter the scene: continually strapped for cash, Burke and Hare find new and, let’s say creative means of finding new corpses for Knox to work with.

Despite its topic, Burke and Hare is incredibly funny.  It does get a bit silly from time to time, but in a very endearing way and it never gets too stupid. In short, gallows humor, a great cast and a nice script [though not at all historically accurate] – what more could you ask for?

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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.

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