Serendipity (2001)

Director: Peter Chelsom
Writer: Marc Klein
Cast: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Bridget Moynahan, Eugene Levy, John Corbett, Molly Shannon
Seen on: 7.5.2021

Content Note: transmisia

Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) meet by chance in the pre-Christmas shopping mayhem. What should be a quick encounter turns into an extended date, despite the fact that they are both seeing people. At the end of the night, though, Sara is unwilling to exchange contact information in the traditional way, convinced that if they’re supposed to be with each other, fate will bring them back together again. A few years later, though, they still haven’t run into each other again. Jonathan is about to marry his girlfriend (Bridget Moynahan) and Sara’s boyfriend (John Corbett) also just proposed. This brings both of them to renew their efforts to find each other again.

Serendipity is a strange film that left me frowning at its affectations rather than enjoying them. I really couldn’t get into it.

The film poster showing Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) embracing each other.
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Very Bad Things (1998)

Very Bad Things
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Peter Berg
Cast: Jon Favreau, Leland Orser, Cameron Diaz, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, Daniel Stern, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Kobe Tai
Seen on: 11.4.2016

Kyle (Jon Favreau) and Laura (Cameron Diaz) are about to get married. As Laura is fully occupied organizing everything, Kyle’s friends Charles (Leland Orser), Robert (Christian Slater), Michael (Jeremy Piven) and Adam (Daniel Stern) are mostly looking forward to his bachelor party in Las Vegas. Kyle isn’t quite as excited about it, especially not when a sex worker (Kobe Tai) shows up in their hotel room. As Michael goes to have sex with her in the bathroom, she hits her head and dies. The guys start to panic but agree to cover things up – which is only the start of the problems.

Very Bad Things is a prime example of the worst kind of edgy humor, confusing offensiveness with being funny at every turn and ending up a tired, uncomfortable  mess. No wonder it’s virtually unknown – it would have been better if I had kept it that way as well.



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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Frank Miller
Based on: Frank Miller’s comics
Sequel/Prequel to: Sin City
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Josh BrolinEva Green, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher MeloniJeremy PivenChristopher Lloyd, Juno TempleStacy KeachMarton Csokas, Jamie Chung, Julia GarnerJaime King, Lady Gaga, Bruce Willis

Plot [with SPOILERS for the first film]:
Basin City is called Sin City for a reason. A town full of crooked politicians, even more crooked cops, murderers, sex workers and pretty much everyone who was thrown out everywhere else. Marv (Mickey Rourke) spends most of his time when he isn’t fighting with somebody in a strip club where Nancy (Jessica Alba) dances. Nancy is still hung up on Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) suicide to save her and tries to kill Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) who is to blame and regularly plays poker at her club. He always wins, of course, until Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) shows up. But the Senator can’t have people beating him. Dwight (Josh Brolin) is also at the strip club a lot. He is still obsessed with his ex Ava (Eva Green) who suddenly shows up in his life again and severely disrupting it in the process. Now he needs Marv’s help.

I couldn’t tell you what the difference was between the first film and the second since it looks equally great, has an equally good cast and tells equally problematic stories. But in Sin City everything works. In Sin City: A Dame to Kill For I spent very long stretches feeling very bored.

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The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Writer: Gideon Defoe
Based on: Gideon Defoe‘s The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, Brian Blessed, Lenny Henry, Salma Hayek

Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) dreams of the Pirate of the Year Award but doesn’t really stand a chance. In a desperate last attempt, he starts to board every ship he and his faithful band come past, hoping for one big loot that would make all the difference. And so it happens that he also boards the ship of Charles Darwin (David Tennant). Darwin discovers that Pirate Captain’s parrot is actually a dodo and promises him great riches if he came to the London science fair. And so Pirate Captain and his crew make their way to London, despite Queen Victoria’s (Imelda Staunton) hatred of pirates.

The Pirates! was brilliant in very many details and not brilliant at all in others. Overall it didn’t really come together to form one coherent whole, though it was enjoyable.

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Re-Watch: 12:01 (1993)

12:01 is a movie by Jack Sholder, based on Richard Lupoff‘s short story, starring Jonathan Silverman, Helen Slater, Jeremy Piven, Robin Bartlett and Martin Landau.

Barry (Jonathan Silverman) works in Human Resources in a reserch company, hating his job and pining after Lisa (Helen Slater), one of the scientists he hasn’t dared to talk to yet. What starts as an ordinary working day ends with Lisa getting shot, Barry getting drunk and then shocked by his nightstand lamp. When he wakes up the next morning, it isn’t the next morning at all, but the last day happening all over again. Now Barry is on a mission: He will use the time loop to save Lisa and to stop the loop from happening at all.

12:01 is one of those movies that you start watching – and then you realise that you’ve already seen it a long time ago when you were still a kid. I remember liking it then and I liked it now, too. It’s not awesomely brilliant or great, but it’s perfect afternoon TV.

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