Abattoir (2016)

Abattoir
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer: Christopher Monfette
Based on: Bousman’s comic
Cast: Jessica LowndesJoe AndersonDayton CallieLin ShayeJohn McConnellBryan BattMichael Paré
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 2.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Julia (Jessica Lowndes) is a reporter who dreams of getting to write a big story. When her sister and her family is killed, her reporterly instincts kick in and she starts to investigate why a stranger with no connection to her family and apparently deeply regretful about his actions would take her entire family from her. With the help of her ex-boyfriend Declan (Joe Anderson), a police officer, Julia takes up a trail of mysteries that is connected to Jebediah Crone (Daytone Callie).

Abattoir works from an interesting idea and with strong visuals, but unfortunately the clichéd characters do take away some of the enjoyment. Still, it’s an interesting addition to horror movie lore.

[SPOILERS]

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Hercules (2014)

Hercules
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on: Steve Moore‘s comic
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes, Tobias Santelmann, Rebecca Ferguson, Joe Anderson, Peter Mullan

Plot:
Everybody knows the legend of Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) and his heroic deeds, strategically enhanced by his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie). Now that he completed his twelve tasks and after horrific past events that still haunt him, Hercules works as a sword for hire with his group – Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and Iolaus. When he is approached by Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson) for help defeating warlord Rheseus (Peter Santelmann), Hercules takes the job. But it isn’t quite as simple as it appears at first.

Hercules had everything I wanted it to have: self-awareness, nice action, quipping, Dwayne Johnson in a skirt, an excellent cast and so much fun. It was utterly enjoyable.

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Across the Universe (2007)

Across the Universe
Director: Julie Taymor
Writer: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
Based on: Songs by The Beatles
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio, Harry Lennix, Logan Marshall-Green, Eddie Izzard, Bono, Joe Cocker, Salma Hayek

Plot:
Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a working guy from Liverpool who takes a chance to go to the USA to find his father. And he does find him, but more importantly he also finds Max (Joe Anderson) and his sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). While Max is drafted into the Vietnam war, Lucy and Jude try to build a life for themselves in New York. But things aren’t always easy.

I thought that I would like Across the Universe much better than I did. I mean, a musical based on Beatles songs, directed by Julie Taymor? Hells yes. But unfortunately the whole thing is hit and miss; missing especially a strong male lead.

AcrosstheUniverse

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
Based on: Stephenie Meyer‘s book
Sequel to: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Michael Sheen, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell Bower, Mackenzie Foye, Maggie Grace, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Rami Malek, Joe Anderson, and for me most importantly Lee Pace

Plot:
Bella (Kristen Stewart) survived the birth of her daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) and is quickly adapting to having become a vampire like Edward (Robert Pattinson). But the arrival of a half-human, half-vampire child causes quite a few ripples in the vampire community. And when the Volturi hear about it, they believe that Bella and Edward turned a human child into a vampire – a capital offense they will make sure will be punished.

Well, it is over. I think that is about the best one can say about this. But they manage to have basically nothing happen in the movie at all (though they did force some action in, and quite cleverly I might add) and to not resolve anything, really. And I think that if you haven’t read the books, the whole thing only makes a limited amount of sense. At least, with 3/4 of a rum bottle I shared with C. during the film, it was quite entertaining.

breaking-dawn-part-2

[SPOILERS]

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The Grey (2011)

The Grey
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writer: Joe Carnahan, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Based on: Ian Mackenzie Jeffers’ short story “Ghost Walker”
Cast: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale

Plot:
Ottway (Liam Neeson) works for an oil company as a huntsman – protecting the workers in Alaska from various natural threats like wolves. Unfortunately, one night the company plane crashes and Ottway finds himself stranded with a few other workers in the freezing middle of nothing. As they make their way south, it’s not only the cold and lacking provision that is a problem, though. They are being followed by an especially vicious pack of wolves that picks them off one by one.

I expected this movie to be awesome: I expected Liam Neeson to punch wolves and be a hard-ass and generally, I just wanted a mindless action flick. Unfortunately what I got instead was a meditation on how a man is supposed to die and it was so. incredibly. boring.

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Amelia (2009)

Amelia is the story of Amelia Earhart. It was directed by Mira Nair and stars Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Joe Anderson and Mia Wasikowska.

Plot:
Amelia (Hilary Swank) wants to be a pilot, and not just any pilot. With the help of publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere) she manages to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic (even if “only” as a passenger). From then on, she continues to challenge herself and set new records, while trying to encourage women everywhere to become pilots themselves.

After the abysmal reviews Amelia has been getting (and it didn’t even saw a cinematic release in Austria), I didn’t expect much from this film. [But how could I not watch a movie that featured both Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston?] But I was really pleasantly surprised. It’s actually a really nice film.

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The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies is the newest movie by Breck Eisner, a remake of the 1973 Romero movie (which I haven’t seen). It stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell and Joe Anderson.

Plot:
A small town in the middle of the US. Nothing much ever happens here until one day, a guy stumbles onto the baseball field in the middle of a game, seemingly drunk, brandishing a shotgun. The town sheriff, David (Timothy Olyphant) shoots him. But that’s only the beginning of the craziness that seems to spread around town…

The Crazies is a mixed bag of beans. There are some beautiful shots, which are promptly used ad nauseam; the acting is mediocre, mostly; there are some frankly scary moments but most of the time, I was too busy thinking about the plot holes to be actually scared.

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Movie-Mania

Ok, my last two posts were about movies, this one will be, too, but as I won’t have time to go to the cinema for at least until Tuesday, I guess, next time you’ll read something else. Probably about what I’m reading now (Siegfried Lenz – “Die Deutschstunde”, Tad Williams – “Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass”, Angela Baron & Michael Armstrong – “Human Capital Management”), probably not.

Anyway, yesterday I went to the cinema, again. My partner in crime: K. Maybe she will wake from her blogging coma to post about the movies we saw yesterday because they were really good. Made up for the two bad ones I saw before.

To not keep you on tenterhooks (I love that word) anymore: We saw “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” and Becoming Jane.

Mr. Magorium is just wonderful. Although there was a slight technical difficulty (after the advertisement we just got a black screen for about 10 minutes), it definitely was my highlight of the week. I laughed, I cried, I watched the colours and the lack of colours with fascination and I saw the saddest stuffed animal ever (even though K. claims to have seen an even sadder one – I can’t really believe it). Eric, the little boy and hat collector (played by Zach Mills), is sooo cute (I wonder why jug ears are cute when a boy is 12, but not anymore when he’s 22…). Never heard of Jason Bateman before (though every time I see/hear the name Bateman I have to think about American Psycho) but he completely convinced me as the accounting mutant, especially in the scene where he plays with Eric in his room. Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman play just wonderfully and altogether it’s the perfect Christmas story.
Go and see it RIGHT NOW! (Ok, you may finish reading this post first…)

[Warning Spoiler!]
Becoming Jane
is beautiful. Sad, witty, well played. It gave off the vibe of her books, although the obligatory happy ending is missing. You keep on hoping until the end. Anne Hathaway plays well, very passionately. James McAvoy was as he always was – perfect actor, but I’m still not sure about his looks. (It was the same in Atonement – one minute I think that he’s oh-so-good-looking, the next I think he will be, when he’s older, and the next I think he never will reach the good-looking-status. [I just saw his picture on the imdb… oh my… he really should change that…]) The casting for the supporting roles was amazing – Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, and also the not so famous actors were perfectly chosen: Joe Anderson (I was sure I saw him in another movie before but after looking on his site, on the imdb as usual, I don’t think I have), Laurence Fox, Leo Bill and Ian Richardson.
Again, I laughed and cried and thought about what I would have done in her situation. *sigh* Beautiful.