Love & Mercy (2014)

Love & Mercy
Director: Bill Pohlad
Writer: Oren Moverman, Michael A. Lerner
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald, Dee Wallace, Joanna Going, Brett Davern, Erin Darke, Graham Rogers
Seen on: 21.6.2015

Plot:
Melinda (Elizabeth Banks) works as car saleswoman and one day, a guy (John Cusack) strolls into her shop, interested to buy. Turns out, he is Brian Wilson, formerly of The Beach Boys. Brian seems a little off and is accompanied by two bodyguards and a doctor – Eugene (Paul Giamatti). Nevertheless he manages to pass on a message, a cry for help, to Melinda. Even when he was young, Brian (Paul Dano) has had mental health issues, but now he seems completely under Eugene’s control – and apparently not doing very well.

Love & Mercy has an interesting structure and a cast that absolutely shines. I was completely immersed in the story. Yet it is also interesting to think about what has been left out of the story.

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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Based on: Rick Riordan‘s novel
Sequel to: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Anthony Stewart Head, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion, Yvette Nicole Brown, Robert Knepper, Grey Damon, Ron Perlman, Octavia Spencer, Craig Robinson

Plot:
After his success with Zeus’ lightning bolt Percy (Logan Lerman) has yet to have another big success, much to his chagrin and Clarisse’ (Leven Rambin) enjoyment. But then things get quickly out of whack: Percy’s half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), a cyclops, shows up. Camp Half-Blood is attacked by the not-dead-after-all Luke (Jake Abel) and its magical barrier starts failing. It’s Clarisse who gets tasked with finding the Golden Fleece to save the camp, but fueled by a prophecy Percy, Tyson, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) go on the same quest.

Sea of Monsters, much like the first film, was pretty nice the most time, but also ultimately not great or awesome. There is nothing really wrong with it and it did have a great supporting cast, but I didn’t connect with it all that much.

percy_jackson_sea_of_monsters

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Re-Watch: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: Craig Titley
Based on: Rick Riordan’s novel
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Uma Thurman
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Percy Jackson’s (Logan Lerman) life is far from perfect. He’s dyslexic, suffers from ADHD and his mom (Catherine Keener) is married to an asshole. And then Percy finds out that his father is the god Poseidon, his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is a satyr and his teacher (Pierce Brosnan) is a centaur. But that’s only the start of his adventures since Zeus’ (Sean Bean) lightning bolt was stolen – and everyone thinks it was Percy who did it.

On re-watching the film it is at the same time less infuriating but also less fun than the first time round. It’s nice, but it also feels completely inconsequential. It’s the kind of film you watch and you don’t mind seeing it but you never think of it again as soon as it’s done.

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The Host (2013)

The Host
Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Based on: Stephenie Meyer‘s novel
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons, Chandler Canterbury, William Hurt, Frances Fisher, Jake Abel, Emily Browning

Plot:
Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the few remaining humans who don’t have a “Soul” yet – a parasitic alien life form who took over earth and the human bodies. But then she’s captured and Wanderer is implanted into her. But somehow Melanie’s spirit survives this. Fueled by worry about her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her boyfriend Jared (Max Irons) she starts to fight Wanderer who is trying to mine her memories to find the last humans for the Seeker (Diane Kruger).

Much as with Olympus Has Fallen, I went into this film with extremely low expectations and armed with alcohol (this time, we didn’t run out halfway through) and I swear that this is the only way to make this film even slightly bearable. But if you’re drunk enough, it does become extremely entertaining.

thehost

[There will be SPOILERS.]

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I Am Number Four (2011)

I Am Number Four is the newest film by D. J. Caruso, starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, Callan McAuliffe and Jake Abel.

Plot:
A while ago, 9 young aliens and their protectors were sent to earth by a race that was about to be exterminated. The 9 children belong to a group of sentinels that are supposed to protect and rebuild their race. But the evil aliens that wiped out their entire world have arrived on earth, too and are now wiping out the remaining kids one by one. They already got to three – now it’s John/Number Four’s (Alex Pettyfer) turn.

I expected I Am Number Four to be so bad as to be hilarious. Unfortunately, the movie falls short of the mark and remains only really, really bad with some hilarious moments.

[SPOILER]

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. It was directed by Chris Columbus and stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd and Uma Thurman.

Plot:
Percy Jackson’s (Logan Lerman) life is far from perfect. He’s dyslexic, suffers from ADHD and his mom (Catherine Keener) is married to an asshole. And then Percy finds out that his father is the god Poseidon, his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is a satyr and his teacher (Pierce Brosnan) is a centaur. But that’s only the start of his adventures since Zeus’ (Sean Bean) lightning bolt was stolen – and everyone thinks it was Percy who did it.

The movie is fun, especially because of the supporting cast. But there are also a lot of infuriating things going on there: plot holes about 3 miles wide, Chris Columbus and the fact that the culprit was known 2 seconds after his first appearance. Still, it was definitely much better than Cirque du Freak.

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