Certain Women (2016)

Certain Women
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writer: Kelly Reichardt
Based on: short stories by Maile Meloy
Cast: Laura DernMichelle WilliamsLily GladstoneKristen StewartJames Le GrosJared Harris
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 30.10.2016

Plot:
A small town in Montana. Here, Laura (Laura Dern) works as a lawyer, currently busy with her client Fuller (Jared Harris) who has trouble accepting an offer for worker’s compensation. Not far from Laura, Gina (Michelle Williams) and Ryan (James Le Gros) are working on their dream home. Gina has her heart set on some stones that go to waste in a neighbor’s garden, but they’ll have to convince the neighbor to part with them. Meanwhile, a young rancher (Lily Gladstone) who stumbles into night school classes out of curiosity finds herself in front of a new teacher, Elizabeth (Kristen Stewart) and feels immediately drawn to her.

By now I’ve seen quite a few Reichardt movies, but Certain Women is the first one where I can say that I actually really liked it. Especially the last segment in this episodic film stole my heart.

[Slight Spoilers]

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Point Break (2015)

Point Break
Director: Ericson Core
Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Remake of: Point Break
Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Matias Varela, Clemens Schick, Tobias Santelmann, Max Thieriot, Delroy Lindo, Steve Toussaint, James Le Gros, Bojesse Christopher
Seen on: 27.1.2016

Plot:
Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) used to be a polyathlete – proficient in many sports, as long as they pushed up his adrenaline. But then his friend died and Johnny decided to join the FBI. Now he’s finally finished his training and is ready to hit the field. As luck will have it, just then a series of elaborate and physically demanding heists has started up. Johnny starts to investigate and soon finds himself undercover und Pappas’ (Ray Winstone) wing, investigating the group surrounding Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) who are attempting to complete a set of challenges while playing Robin Hood.

The original Point Break didn’t have the best script or was the best film. But compared to this remake, the original is a faultless masterpiece. There is nothing good about this film, apart (maybe) from the utter ridiculousness of everything in it. That bit, at least, makes it the ideal basis for a drinking game.

pointbreak2015

[SPOILERS for both versions of the film]

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Re-Watch: Point Break (1991)

Point Break
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: W. Peter Iliff
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James Le Gros, John Philbin, Bojesse Christopher (and Anthony Kiedis)
Seen on: 26.1.2016

Plot:
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) just aced his FBI training and is ready to go into the field. He is assigned to long-served, cranky Pappas (Gary Busey) who is less than happy about having to take care of this newbie. But in Johnny, Pappas finds somebody not only willing to listen to his theory that a string of successful bank robberies is committed by a group of surfers, but to do something about it. Johnny starts to learn to surf with the help of Tyler (Lori Petti) and gets closer with the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) who soon becomes their prime suspect.

Point Break has many strengths, though it isn’t a perfect film. But both Swayze and Reeves are perfectly cast (which, especially in Reeves’ case is important). Their chemistry together make the film as worthwhile as it is.

pointbreak

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Night Moves (2013)

Night Moves
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writer: Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, James Le Gros
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), Dena (Dakota Fanning) and Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) don’t really know each other a lot, but they come together for an act of environmental activism, if not to say terrorism: They plan to blow up a dam. But things like that aren’t that easy and nothing really works as planned.

I decided to give my… strained relationship with Reichardt’s movies yet another try. I’m not exactly sure why. But in this case, I actually liked half of the film which is more than I can say of her other films. But it’s still only half of it.

NightMoves

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