The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Disaster Artist
Director: James Franco
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Based on: Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell‘s book of the same name
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally, Jason Mantzoukas, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Hannibal Buress, Bob Odenkirk, Randall Park, Dree Hemingway, Zoey Deutch, Ike Barinholtz, Kevin Smith, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Scott, Danny McBride, Kristen Bell, J.J. Abrams, Lizzy Caplan, Judd Apatow, Zach Braff, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Greg Sestero, Tommy Wiseau
Seen on: 26.1.2017
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Plot:
Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) dreams of being an actor and making it big. In one of his acting classes, he meets Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Tommy is a strange guy, but Greg is struck by his mysterious charisma and generall weirdness. They become unlikely friends. And since Tommy seems to have a lot of money, he can offer Greg a chance that he wouldn’t otherwise get: they should go to Hollywood together, stardom is sure to follow. But when it doesn’t, Tommy makes a new plan: he will make a film himself for them and then their film is going to make them famous.

The Disaster Artist is fun to watch, at least if you can take a huge James Franco ego project, because that’s what it is, too. Mostly it’s a good story that kept me glued to the screen.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Episode VII)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Peter Mayhew, Gwendoline Christie, Simon Pegg, Greg Grunberg, Warwick Davis, Iko Uwais, Judah Friedlander, Daniel Craig, Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz
Seen on: 21.12.2015

Plot:
It was 30 years ago that Darth Vader was defeated and the Empire fell. And it’s about as long that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared from the Galaxy. The Resistance is still looking for him. Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is hot on the trail of a missing map piece for that search when he comes under attack. He hands the map to his droid BB-8 and sends it on its way. Rey (Daisy Ridley) works as a scavenger on that very same planet and she stumbles first on BB-8 and then on a stormtrooper (John Boyega) who deserted. Before they have a chance to think, they are on the run – and run straight into Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Together they decide to try to find Luke.

I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a Star Wars fan. I watched Episodes 4 through 6 when I was a kid and thought they were okay, watched Episode 1 when it came out and thought it was so stupid, I never even watched 2 and 3. When 7 came out, I hesitated for a while to watch it, but ultimately I figured why not? I have watched films for less reason than the cast of this one alone. And I have to say, I don’t regret watching it. In many ways it has the IQ of a potato, but it is seriously entertaining and very nice to watch.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness
Director: J. J. Abrams
Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Alice EveBruce GreenwoodPeter Weller, Noel Clarke, Leonard Nimoy

Plot:
After a couple of attacks on Starfleet by John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his subsequent escape to the Klingon home planet Kronos, Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are sent there with a new kind of missile to kill Harrison. Even though Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) have their doubts about the legitimacy of that mission, Kirk sticks to it. At first at least.

I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be fun in a not exactly intelligent way. Nevertheless I had my problems enjoying it because it was just so damn dumb. But even that I wouldn’t have minded so much if the pacing had been a little better. It’s still enjoyable, but just not as much as I had hoped.

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Super 8 (2011)

Super 8 is the newest film written and directed by J. J. Abrams, starring Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Gabriel Basso, Kyle Chandler, Noah Emmerich and Jessica Tuck.

Plot:
Joe (Joel Courtney) recently lost his mother and his relationship with his father (Kyle Chandler) is strained. So it’s not really surprising that he spends most of his time with his friends. Charles (Riley Griffiths) is shooting a movie, where Joe does the make-up, special effects and audio. When Charles casts Alice (Elle Fanning), Joe is electrified. But during their first shoot together, they witness a train derailing – and something escapes that train. The military moves in quickly and weird things start happening.

The kids were adorable and I could have watched three films about Joe and Alice, easily. But (and I know I just said basically the same thing yesterday): the monster part seemed out of place and didn’t work for me. Apart from that, I liked it.

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Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek is, in this case, the new J. J. Abrams movie starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy.  

Before I go into anything here, a quick disclaimer: I am not a Trekky (sp?). I have seen a few episodes of the various shows (mostly Voyager and DS9), but I never really got into the fandom. So, if you want a review by a fan, maybe deadra will write one someday or maybe she’ll leave her comments here.

Plot:
Star Trek tells the beginning of it all – how everybody got to know each other, how Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) became friends and how everything started on the Enterprise.
After the death of his father (Chris Hemsworth), James Kirk grows up to be a rebel, constantly challenging the rules around him. He joins the Star Fleet, where he soon excels – and meets new friends, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and McCoy (Karl Urban). Soon they all get pulled into the troubles arising from a Romulan ship that seems to be stranded in time.

Despite a few plot holes, Star Trek is a very entertaining movie with good acting, a nice sense of humour and perfect special effects. Having never really liked the show(s), I didn’t expect much but I was definitely pleasantly surprised and had a lot of fun – also as a not-Trekky. [Though deadra did have to explain a few things to me – there were some insider jokes I didn’t get.]

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[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

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