Let It Snow (2019)

Let It Snow
Director: Luke Snellin
Writer: Laura Solon, Victoria Strouse, Kay Cannon
Based on: Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle‘s novel
Cast: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Odeya Rush, Liv Hewson, Mitchell Hope, Kiernan Shipka, Matthew Noszka, Jacob Batalon, Miles Robbins, Joan Cusack, Anna Akana
Seen on: 21.12.2019

Plot:
Laurel, Illinois, is in the middle of nowhere and nothing much happens there. But with Christmas and a snowstorm both approaching, people come together that may not have otherwise. There’s young singer Stuart (Shameik Moore) who follows Julie (Isabela Merced) off a train when it gets stuck in the snow, so she can show him the sights of Laurel – or rather the sight: The Waffle House. Dorrie (Liv Hewson) works at the Waffle House together with Keon (Jacob Batalon), but she’s mostly busy with trying to help her best friend Addie (Odeya Rush) who has trouble with her boyfriend, and figuring out why Kerry (Anna Akana), whom she had an amazing connection with at a party, is showing her the cold shoulder now. Keon meanwhile wants to pull off the party of the century, but all his plans fall flat, so he ropes in Tobin (Mitchell Hope) to help. Tobin is preoccupied, though, because he wants to tell his best friend Duke (Kiernan Shipka) that he really likes her – which is not that easy.

Let It Snow was the kick-off film for my sappy Christmas movie binge that had me firmly in its grasp this holiday season, and it really was a nice start. A talented young cast, Joan Cusack and everything ending well is a good mix that gave me exactly what I was looking for.

The film poster showing 8 teenagers lying in the snow on their backs in a circle.
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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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Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles
Director: John Hughes
Writer: John Hughes
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Schoeffling, Justin Henry, John Cusack, Joan Cusack

Plot:
Samantha’s (Molly Ringwald) life is pretty awkward at the moment. Her sister is getting married which has thrown her entire family into confusion. So much so, that it appears that they forgot Samantha’s sixteenth birthday. But that’s only a small part of Sam’s problems. She’s also in love with Jake (Michael Schoeffling) who has a gorgeous girlfriend (with actual boobs) and barely knows Sam exists. Or so she thinks. The only guy who is actually hitting on her is a major geek (Anthony Michael Hall). And there is a school dance that very night.

Sixteen Candles is sweet and fun and despite the fact that it is obviously a product of its time, it’s a somehow refreshing film. But it’s not great.

sixteen-candles

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Writer: Stephen Chbosky
Based on: his novel
Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Johnny Simmons, Nicholas Braun, Mae Whitman, Julia Garner, Paul Rudd, Melanie Lynskey, Joan Cusack

Plot:
Charlie (Logan Lerman) writes anonymous letters to somebody he doesn’t actually know. He writes about returning to high school after his best friend killed himself the year before. He writes about the books he reads and the special support he gets from his English teacher (Paul Rudd). He writes about his Aunt Helen (Melanie Lynskey) who died. He writes about his sister (Nina Dobrev) and her boyfriend (Nicholas Braun). And when he meets Sam (Emma Watson) and her step-brother Patrick (Ezra Miller) he writes about them, their relationships and how through their friendship he slowly starts living his own life.

After I fell in love with the book so surprisingly but oh so deeply, I have to admit that the movie is not quite as good as that. But it is an excellent piece of work that I did enjoy a whole lot.

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Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil (2011)

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is the sequel to Hoodwinked. It was directed by Mike Disa, written by Mike Disa, Tony Leech, Cory Edwards and Todd Edwards and stars the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Cheech Marin, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Martin Short, Brad Garrett, Andy Dick, Danny Pudi and Heidi Klum.

Plot:
Red Riding Hood (Hayden Panettiere) started training with the Sisters of the Hood to learn the sacred art of kung fu bakery and left The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Granny (Glenn Close) to take care of the bad guys by themselves. That doesn’t really work out that well. While trying to save Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), Granny gets kidnapped and Red Riding Hood has to rescue her. At the same time she also has to figure our who stole the recipe for the supertruffel from the Sisters.

I liked Hoodwinked a lot. But Hoodwinked Too was pretty disappointing. A huge factor of this disappointment was that the German dubbed version was the only version I could see (legally). For a film that relies so much on puns, that’s pretty much a death-sentence right there. But the translation didn’t change the inanity of the plot, nor did it produce the fat-hatred that was casually inserted into the movie.

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Toy Story 3 (2010)

Toy Story 3 is the sequel to Toy Story and Toy Story 2. It was directed by Lee Unkrich and stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack and Michael Keaton.

Plot:
Andy (John Morris) is almost ready for college, which makes his toys a little insecure. Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) have their hands full trying to keep everybody calm, telling them that they won’t be thrown out, but they will come to the attic, where they’ll spend a nice retirement together. Unfortunately, by accident, they end up in a day care center, which at first seems to be the perfect place to be but soon turns out to be a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries.

I am a big fan of Toy Story 1 & 2, so I was waiting for this with a lot of trepidation: Would it be a good addition to the series or would it ruin the previous two movies? Would it be able to be as charming as the first two films, which are also laced with nostalgia? Thankfully, my fear was for naught, because Toy Story 3 is completely awesome.

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