London (2005)

London
Director: Hunter Richards
Writer: Hunter Richards
Cast: Chris Evans, Jessica Biel, Joy Bryant, Jason Statham, Kelli Garner, Isla Fisher, Louis C.K., Jeff Wolfe, Dane Cook, Lina Esco, Paula Patton, Kat Dennings
Seen on: 22.1.2017

Plot:
London (Jessica Biel) broke up with Syd (Chris Evans) six months ago, but Syd can’t let her go. When he hears that friends are throwing a going-away party for London, he decides to go there uninvited to speak to her one more time. On the way there, he meets banker Bateman (Jason Statham) and brings him alone. But when he reaches the party, he loses his courage and locks himself in the bathroom where he consumes copious amounts of cocain and alcohol and tries to talk it through – with himself, with Bateman, with the various bathroom visitors, just not with London.

London is a film made by men for men who are convinced that every word that falls out of their mouths is interesting and very smart. Newsflash: it’s not. In fact, the entire film is proof that a lot of men are absolutely unbearable.

[SPOILERS]

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Cellular (2004)

Cellular
Director: David R. Ellis
Writer: Larry CohenChris Morgan
Cast: Chris EvansJason Statham, Kim BasingerJessica BielNoah EmmerichWilliam H. MacyMircea MonroeLin Shaye 
Seen on: 27.12.2016

Plot:
Teacher Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) finds herself being held captive by Ethan (Jason Statham), who is actually looking for her husband. As Jessica is locked away in the attic, she applies her science knowledge to use the smashed up phone their. The catch is that she can’t really control the dial. Quite by chance she ends up calling carefree surfer dude Ryan (Chris Evans). Ryan doubts Jessica’s story, but she manages to convince him – and it’s up to him to help her out of this very bad situation.

I didn’t expect much from Cellular – some mindless action. Which is what I got, but in a surprisingly charming and humorous package.

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Hitchcock (2012)

Hitchcock
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Writer: John J. McLaughlin
Based on: Stephen Rebello‘s book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Wincott, Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy, Kurtwood Smith

Plot:
Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) just finished his last film and is looking for his next project. But nothing seems right to him. While his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) is happily working on a novel by her friend Whit (Danny Huston), Alfred gets increasingly jealous of both Whit and their creativity. But then he discovers a novel – Psycho – and is convinced that he found his new hit, even if everybody else seems to doubt it. Everybody but Alma, that is.

Hitchcock was partly really good and partly not that much. I was entertained but it smacked of “the woman behind the strong man should be happy that she gets to be there at all” syndrome. And it just ran a little long.

Hitchcock

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The Tall Man (2012)

The Tall Man
Director: Pascal Laugier
Writer: Pascal Laugier
Cast: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie, William B. Davis, Samantha Ferris, Colleen Wheeler, Eve Harlow
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Julia (Jessica Biel) is the nurse in a small mining town that is slowly dying. There is barely any work and the continuous disappearance of children is also eroding the moral and social structure. According to town legend, it’s the Tall Man who takes the kids. Julia seems doubtful about that legend – but then her own child is taken. But Julia won’t give up and starts the slow unraveling of the events in the town.

The movie starts off absolutely great: it’s tense and scary and woah. But then the plot twists start and as soon as that happens, the tension goes out of the film and I just wanted to roll my eyes.

[Full-on SPOILERS]

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Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Remake of: Total Recall
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Nighy, John Cho

Plot:
Douglas Quail (Colin Farrell) would be happily married to Lori (Kate Beckinsale), if it wasn’t for a recurring dream about a mysterious woman. He decides to confront this dream by going to Rekall Inc., a company that provides real-seeming memories of unreal events. But before the Rekall treatment actually occurs, Doug finds himself surrounded by police and discovers that the memories of his life are pretty much all fake: he is not who he thought he was. With several people on his tail, he tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

Total Recall, much like Prometheus, is not a movie that makes particularly much sense, but it is very pretty to look at. Unlike Prometheus, though, I found it really very entertaining.

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Easy Virtue (2008)

Easy Virtue is the adaptation of Noël Coward‘s play by Stephan Elliott. It stars Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ben Barnes. [And for IT Crowd fans: Katherine Parkinson.]

Plot:
It’s the 1920s. John (Ben Barnes) comes from an old British family, which is slowly crumbling apart. When he returns from his travels with his new wife Larita (Jessica Biel), an American race car driver, John’s mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) is shocked, though his father (Colin Firth) takes an instant liking to her. Larita tries her best to fit in with the family, but in the end a war breaks out between her and the mother.

I liked this film. The cast was good, they had some very, very nice jokes, a sweet soundtrack and it was generally entertaining.

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The A-Team (2010)

The A-Team is the movie remake of the 80s TV show. It was directed by Joe Carnahan and stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton Jackson, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson.

Plot:
Somewhere in Mexico, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) gets beat up by corrupt police men; though not as beat up as people might think. He manages to escape and sets out to save his fellow-soldier Faceman Peck (Bradley Cooper). On his way, he meets another Ranger, B. A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson) who decides to help him save Face. And finally, the three of them escape with the help of Captain Murdock (Sharlto Copley), crazy, but a pilot par excellence.
8 years later, the four of them are a force within the army, stationed in Iraq and getting ready to bust some money-printers. Unfortunately, they’re being set up. But by who? And what do Face’s ex-girlfriend Sosa (Jessica Biel) and the CIA-Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) want?

Like most people my age, I used to watch the A-Team when I was younger and all the power of nostalgia surrounds it. But my judgement was never too cloudy to know that the show actually sucked (even though it was awesome) and that’s what I expected from the movie as well: stupid jokes, explosions and fun. So it might not come as a surprise that I really liked the film. [What does come as a surprise that most people seem to have expected a good movie and were consequently disappointed. You’re watching the A-Team, people. Don’t expect quality.]

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Planet 51 (2009)

Planet 51 is an animated movie directed by Jorge Blanco (co-directed by Javier Abad and Marcos Martínez), starring the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott and John Cleese.

Plot:
Lem (Justin Long) lives on a planet much like ours, if our whole planet would be like the 50s in the USA except populated by little green people. People on Lem’s planet are deathly afraid of being invaded by aliens – so you can imagine the surprise and panic when one day human astronaut Chuck Baker (Dwayne Johnson) lands in the middle of the suburbs of this – as he thought – uninhabitated planet.

I went into this movie not expecting much. It had gotten virtually no advertising and barely 10 cinemas in Vienna were showing it at all (and then only at crappy times). Nevertheless, not one to pass on animated movies/SciFi movies/movies in general, I decided to catch it. And am I glad I did!

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