Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Now You See Me 2
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Ed Solomon
Sequel to: Now You See Me
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman, Michael CaineSanaa Lathan, Jay Chou, Tsai Chin
Seen on: 5.9.2016

Plot:
After the last stunt they pulled, the Four Horsemen have to lie low. Danny (Jesse Eisenberg) is growing increasingly frustrated with the situation – he doesn’t want to hide anymore, while Dylan (Mark Ruffalo), working as a double agent at the FBI, does his best to keep them off the Horsemen’s real trail. But when Lula (Lizzy Caplan) shows up in Danny’s apartment with a whole lot of knowledge about the Horsemen, it seems that the time of hiding is over anyway. Danny calls together the remaining Horsemen – Jack (Dave Franco) and Merritt (Woody Harrelson) to figure out a plan, only to realize that Lula wants to become one of them. So they start planning their heist, but things don’t go as planned.

While Now You See Me was an entertaining, if far from perfect, romp, Now You See Me 2 was simply a catastrophe. The best thing I can say about it is that it wasn’t entirely boring.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character; and Jerry Siegel‘s and Joe Shuster‘s comics chararcter
Sequel to: Man of Steel
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, Tao Okamoto, Michael Shannon, Harry Lennix, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carla Gugino, Kevin Costner, Anderson Cooper, Patrick Wilson, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Joe Morton
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 1.4.2016

Plot:
The world loves Superman (Henry Cavill), if not to say that they actually worship him. With his superhuman powers, he is a tremendous hero, of course – but should he ever stop to help humanity, who could possibly put up a fight against him? That’s the question Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Ben Affleck), asks himself. He has watched everything else around him fall, so it seems only a question of time until Superman falls, too. So Bruce starts to devise a plan with which he might be able to stop Superman, should it ever become necessary. And there are signs that it will.

Batman v Superman is not a good film. That wasn’t to be expected. But it is actually so bad at times, it becomes grotesque. Since I’m late to the party and Ben Dreyfuss already put it beautifully, I’ll give you the perfect quote about the film, before imperfectly listing my own thoughts:

It is incomprehensible! Nothing makes any sense! We all understand that plots in these movies don’t make sense. Of course they don’t. That’s standard. But in this movie nothing makes sense on a scene level. In a lot of movies that make no sense on a plot level, the person will say, “I am going to rob this fruit store,” and you can quibble about why a person would rob a fruit store, but the characters in the movie accept it and go about robbing the fruit store and we go along with it. They have conviction and authenticity and they really try to rob that fruit store good, even if we in the audience think they are being ridiculous for robbing a fruit store, because when it really works, it doesn’t matter. In Batman v Superman the characters say, “I am going to rob this fruit store,” and then go into the fruit store, throw fruit in the air, paint the walls with fruit, pay for the fruit, use the fruit as puppets in improv comedy, have a dance party with the fruit, build a home in the fruit store, burn the fruit store down, exit the smoldering husk of the fruit store and announce, “I robbed the vegetable store.”

batmanvsuperman[SPOILERS]

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Louder Than Bombs (2015)

Louder Than Bombs
Director: Joachim Trier
Writer: Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt
Cast: Gabriel ByrneJesse Eisenberg, Devin DruidIsabelle HuppertDavid StrathairnAmy RyanRachel BrosnahanRuby JerinsMegan Ketch
Seen on: 14.1.2016

Plot:
It’s been three years that war photographer Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert) died in a car crash. An upcoming exhibition of her work that will come with an article by her colleague and friend Richard Weissman (David Strathairn) in which he will out her death as a suicide, brings the unresolved tension her death caused in the Reed family to the foreground again: her widower Gene is struggling with rebuilding his life, but especially with his relationship with his sons: his younger son Conrad (Devin Druid) is withdrawn and doesn’t know that his mother most likely killed herself. Gene’s older son Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) comes to town to sort through his mother’s unpublished photos, also conveniently escaping his own life for a while. All three have very different opinions not only on what Isabelle was like, but also how they should deal with her death.

Louder than Bombs tries to be many things at once and maybe it tries a little too much. But even though there is a flightiness about it where it would have needed more decisiveness, it is an engaging film.

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The End of the Tour (2015)

The End of the Tour
Director: James Ponsoldt
Writer: Donald Margulies
Based on: David Lipsky‘s memor Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) is a writer. He just published his first novel, more or less at the same time that David Foster Wallace‘s (Jason Segel) Infinite Jest came out, against the backdrop of which Lipsky’s own novel disappears. Jealous he reads it and finds that the critics were right with their praise of Wallace’s novel. So Lipsky arranges for an interview with Wallace for Rolling Stone magazine. Wallace, notoriously publicity shy, agrees to have Lipsky trail him for a few days during the end of his book tour.

The End of the Tour may have occasional lengths, but for a film that is basically just an extended conversation between two people, it is incredibly engaging and well-made.

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American Ultra (2015)

American Ultra
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Writer: Max Landis
Cast: Jesse EisenbergKristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman
Seen on: 20.10.2015

Plot:
Mike (Jesse Eisenberg) and Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) have a great life together, if you consider smoking a lot of weed, working dead-end jobs and never leaving the small town they live in a great life. At least they very much love each other. But their existence is completely destroyed when it turns out that Mike is the product of a CIA experimental program which used to be run by Victoria (Connie Britton). But Victoria was demoted, her program scapped and her new boss Adrian (Topher Grace) decided to obliterate the last remains of her program – that means killing Mike. Victoria decides to go against the plan and activates Mike, causing Adrian and his henchmen who came for him a world of trouble.

American Ultra is an entertaining film that is a little uneven but definitely fun to watch.

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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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Now You See Me (2013)

Now You See Me
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common

Plot:
Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henley (Isla Fisher) and Jack (Dave Franco) are talented magicians who get a mysterious invitation including instructions to form a magic troupe and pull off certain acts. Among those acts is a bank heist that skeptic Detective Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) have to investigate. But things are getting weirder and weirder.

Now You See Me is not a particularly smart or mind-blowing film, even though it tries very hard to be. But it is a movie that is fun and entertaining.

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Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland is the first feature film by Ruben Fleischer, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and featuring a short cameo by Bill Murray.

Plot:
In the near future, there are barely any people left – most of them have been turned into zombies. Among the survivors are Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) who stumbled upon each other by chance and decided to stick together for a while, though the obsessive and anxious Columbus and the toughtalking, explosive Tallahassee don’t have much in common. When they run into Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the girls first rob them, but lateron, they throw their lot together, hoping to reach a place where they’re safe.

Zombieland is an utterly charming movie*. It has a fine sense of humor, moves along at a quick pace, has a very nice soundtrack and most of all, an excellent cast.

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Adventureland (2009)

Adventureland is Greg Mottola‘s latest film, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Bill Hader, Martin Starr, Matt Bush and Ryan Reynolds*.

Plot:
1987. James (Jesse Eisenberg) has is life planned out: First, a trip to Europe with his best friend. Then university and becoming a journalist. Unfortunately that’s when his dad gets “transferred” and has suddenly less money. Which means that James not only can’t go to Europe but has to work to make to university at all. And since he has no work experience whatsoever, he ends up at Adventureland, a rather run-down amusement park where he meets not only new friends like Joel (Martin Starr), but also a new love in Em (Kristen Stewart).

Since I’m often disappointed with Indie comedies, I didn’t expect much from Adventureland. But it was actually extremely sweet, funny and (least surprising) very well-acted. The script was wonderful and the movie is definitely a keeper.

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The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network (or, as it is known around the world, That Facebook Movie) was directed by David Fincher, written by Aaron Sorkin and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella and Justin Timberlake.

Plot:
When Erica (Rooney Mara) breaks up with Harvard-student Mark (Jesse Eisenberg), he goes home, gets drunk and programs a website where you can compare the hotness of two (female) Harvard students. This gets him into trouble, but he also gets a bit of fame out of it. Shortly afterwards he is approached by his co-students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) who are planning to build a dating site, Harvard Connection and ask for his programming help. Mark agrees but instead starts to build his own social networking site: The Facebook.

The movie is fantastically written, wonderfully acted and perfectly directed. While the guys involved yould have made a little more effort to include women who are actual characters, everything else is just as it should be and makes for an engrossing movie.

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