Steve Jobs (2015)

Steve Jobs
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Based on: Walter Isaacson‘s book Steve Jobs
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss, Sarah Snook, John Ortiz
Seen on: 13.11.2015

Plot:
Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is preparing for product launches at three moments in his life. Just before the shows he puts on, he is confronted with various friends and colleagues who have things to discuss with him in very different stages of his life. But there’s also his daughter Lisa (Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss) who is trying to build a relationship with her father.

Steve Jobs is a well-paced film with beautiful dialogues that manage to cover up the film’s shortcomings enough that it’s very enjoyable to watch.

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The Martian (2015)

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Drew Goddard
Based on: Andy Weir’s novel
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica ChastainMichael PeñaKate MaraSebastian StanAksel HennieChiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover
Seen on: 12.10.2015

Plot:
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is one of five astronauts who come to Mars on a rather routine mission. But then things start going wrong and they have to leave – only that Mark gets injured and to his colleagues he looks like he’s dead. With a heavy heart, they decide to leave without him. But Mark survives miraculously. Now he’s alone. On Mars. With very limited supplies. And a broken communication system. And he only has himself to make his supplies last long enough so that he may be rescued.

Since I really loved the novel the film is based on and the previews I saw for the movie looked great, my expectations for the Martian were pretty high. So when I say that the movie totally fulfilled my expectations, you know that this is high praise indeed.

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Looper (2012)

Looper
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Noah Segan, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, Piper Perabo, Pierce Gagnon, Qing Xu

Plot:
Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a looper – gangsters from the future send the people they wish to kill back in time, where the loopers dispose of them. The last person they will dispose of that way will be their older selves, and thereby fulfilling their contract. As it happens, most loopers’ contracts are starting to get closed. But when it’s Joe’s turn, Old!Joe (Bruce Willis) won’t play along and makes a break for it.

Apart from one inconsistency, Looper is an expertly crafted and engaging time travel story. While it is not the greatest film ever made, I did enjoy it a whole lot.

[SPOILER]

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Howl (2010)

Howl is a movie by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman about Allen Ginsberg, starring James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams and Jeff Daniels.

Plot:
Howl is a film of layers. Most prominently, there’s an interview with Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco), the obscenity trial surrounding the poem Howl and also a part where we get an animated version of Howl. But we also get to see scenes from Ginsberg’s life. These parts are cut together and mixed.

Howl may sound complicated from my plot description, but it is not. Epstein and Friedman have a good handle on things and deftly mix documentary and feature film. James Franco is a wonderful Ginsberg, but the heart and soul of the movie is – quite fittingly – the poem itself.

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Paper Man (2009)

Paper Man is the first movie by Kieran and Michele Mulroney, starring Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Lisa Kudrow, Kieran Culkin and Ryan Reynolds.

Plot:
Richard (Jeff Daniels) has published his first novel to great critical acclaim and is now stuck with writing his second. Therefore, he and his wife Claire decide that he should go to a summer home (in winter) to maybe find the necessary peace and quiet there. Even though Claire stays in the city, Richard is not alone: he is accompanied by his imaginary friend since childhood, Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds). But it seems that just a change of scenery is not enough to help Richard. It’s only when he meets local teenager Abby (Emma Stone) that things really start to change – for both of them.

I absolutely loved Paper Man. I loved it way more than I thought I would. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s well-acted and all-around awesome.

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Away We Go (2009)

Away We Go is the newest movie by Sam Mendes, written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida starring John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey.

Plot:
Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) are a happy couple, even if they have financial difficulties and rather crappy jobs. When they discover that Verona is pregnant and that Burt’s parents (Catherine O’Hara and Jeff Daniels) are moving away, they decide to start life anew and go on a (road) trip through the US, visiting friends and relatives to decide where that new life should happen.

Away We Go is another one of those movies where somebody somewhere decided that it is not fit for marketing. Oh, and what a bad choice again. It’s a wonderful, funny and heart-warming movie with a great soundtrack that I can only recommend. Over and over again.

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