Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly
Remake of: King Kong
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Miyavi, Richard Jenkins
Seen on: 13.3.2017

Plot:
Bill Randa (John Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) are convinced that monsters exist – and they may be hiding on a recently discovered island. When they can finally secure funding for an expedition there, they hire ex-military tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), a group of soldiers under command of Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) to make sure they succeed in finding and documenting whatever lives on that island. But once they get to the island, things don’t go according to plan.

Over and over again I try to like kaiju movies and over and over again, I fail. In this case, though, it’s mostly because Kong: Skull Island really sucks.

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The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin FarrellRachel Weisz, John C. ReillyBen Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Jessica BardenAshley Jensen
Seen on: 15.2.2015

Plot:
David (Colin Farrell) was recently divorced. As a single person, he has to check into the Hotel and find a new suitable partner in 45 days. If he doesn’t, he will be turned into an animal – like his brother was turned into a dog – and if nobody is there to take him in, he will be set loose in the woods surrounding the Hotel. So David tries to find somebody who is like him, but that’s easier said than done.

My history with Lanthimos’ movies has been mixed so far but The Lobster might be his best film yet. It’s certainly his most accessible film, although it is still very, very weird and not easy to get into, and my personal favorite.

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Il racconto dei racconti [Tale of Tales] (2015)

Il racconto dei racconti
Director: Matteo Garrone
Writer: Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso
Based on: Giambattista Basile‘s fairy tale collection
Cast: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, Hayley Carmichael, Bebe Cave, Stacy Martin, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees
Seen on: 2.9.2015

Plot:
The Queen of Longtrellis (Salma Hayek) is desperate to have a child with her husband (John C. Reilly). But so far, all their attempts were unsuccessful. Yet another magical attempt finally brings the wished-for results, but at a price. In the meantime the King of Strongcliff (Vincent Cassel) has pretty much fucked everyone around him. But when he hears the sweet singing of a maid, he immediately falls in love. Only that the girl doesn’t want to show herself. In a third kingdom, the King of Highhills (Toby Jones) has a rather unusual pet that takes away his attention from his daughter Violet (Bebe Cave) who is waiting to be married.

Il racconto dei racconti is an adaptation of 17th century fairy tales and as one can imagine, things are not necessarily for the faint of heart, nor are they very friendly to women. But Garrone crafted an entertaining, visually stunning film from them in any case.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

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The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Based on: James Jonesnovel
Cast: Nick Nolte, Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin, Dash Mihok, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Miranda Otto, Jared Leto, John Travolta, George Clooney, Kirk Acevedo, Mark Boone Junior, Nick Stahl

Plot:
The Guadalcanal is an important strategic point in World War II. Therefore a group of soldiers is brought in to battle for an airfield held by the Japanese which quickly turns into a slaughter with pressures from within and without rising for everyone.

I never liked Malick movies. I wanted to watch this one anyway because it’s a classic and so I decided to jump at the chance when it was shown at the Filmmuseum in Vienna. Now that I have seen it, I can say: I really don’t like Malick movies.

Thin_Red_Line

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Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph
Director: Rich Moore
Writer: Jennifer Lee, Phil Johnston
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Ed O’Neill

Plot:
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr. And while everybody loves Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), nobody likes Ralph. And he’s had it with that. Just once, he wants to be the hero and win a medal. When he isn’t even invited to the game’s anniversary party, that is just the straw to break the camel’s back – and Ralph takes off, straight to Hero’s Duty, where he thinks he can easily get a medal. But things quickly go very wrong and suddenly, the entire Fix-It Felix Jr. game is threatened with unplugging.

I’m not much of a gamer, therefore I’m afraid that I lacked a lot of frames of reference for this movie. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it a whole lot. It’s sweet and really funny.

wreck-it-ralph

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We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writer: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear
Based on: Lionel Shriver’s novel
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Rock Duer, Ashley Gerasimovich

Plot:
Two years after her son Kevin (Ezra Miller) shot 9 people in his school, Eva (Tilda Swinton) is slowly coming to terms with what happened then and the part she might have played in this shooting. Slowly she unrolls her entire life with Kevin and the mounting tension with her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly) as Eva grows more and more suspicious of Kevin, even as a toddler.

Since I loved the book as much as I did, the movie had its work cut out for itself. Fortunately, Lynne Ramsay is really up to the task and has made not only a great adaptation, but also a wonderful film.

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Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (2012)

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
Director: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
Writer: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Jonathan Krisel, Doug Lussenhop, Jon Mugar
Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Twink Caplan, Jeff Goldblum, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Will Forte, John C. Reilly, Ray Wise, Matt O’Toole, Robert Loggia
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Tim (Tim Heidecker) and Eric (Eric Wareheim) just threw out a billion dollars to make one scene of a crappy movie. And their producer Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia) now wants the money back. So Tim and Eric jump at Damien Weebs’ (Will Ferrell) offer to run his shopping center for a billion dollars, never questioning the job’s or the payment’s validity. And the mall is in quite a state. As are Tim and Eric.

I did not expect that I would like this film, and I was spot on with my expectations. It really wasn’t my cup of tea.

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Carnage (2011)

Carnage
Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski
Based on: Yasmina Reza‘s play
Cast: Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet

Plot:
Penelope (Jodie Foster) and Michael (John C. Reilly) invited Nancy (Kate Winslet) and Alan (Christoph Waltz) to their apartment after their respective sons got into a fight with each other. While they discuss how to take it from there, the tensions keep on rising. So they soon forget what originally brought them together, and the four of them start to tear into each other.

I very much enjoyed Carnage. It’s bitter, but in a very funny way. It was excellently written and even better acted. I would love not to like Polanski’s movies (what with him raping a child and fleeing prosecution) but unfortunately, this film is pretty damn good.

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Cyrus (2010)

[Viennale.]

Cyrus is the newest movie by Mark and Jay Duplass, starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill and Catherine Keener.

Plot:
John (John C. Reilly) is in a depressed hole and has been there for quite a while. Maybe even since he split up with Jamie (Catherine Keener), who remains his friend. One night at a party, he meets Molly (Marisa Tomei). They hit it off right away and John falls in love. But Molly has a grown son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill) and neither Molly nor Cyrus seem to be able to let go of each other.

There were quite a few things I appreciated about this film – foremost the acting, but also the way the characters talked to each other – but in the end, it remains yet another story about two guys fighting for the girl where the girl gets no say in the matter. That the two guys are not two lovers but the lover and the son makes hardly any difference. And there are way too many films about this already.

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