Gemini (2017)

Gemini
Director: Aaron Katz
Writer: Aaron Katz
Cast: Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, John Cho, Greta Lee, Ricki Lake, Michelle Forbes, Nelson Franklin, Reeve Carney, Jessica Parker Kennedy, James Ransone
Seen on: 14.9.2018

Plot:
Jill (Lola Kirke) is the personal assistant to starlet Heather (Zoë Kravitz). She is efficient in her job as she follows Heather around and smooths over the edges of her life. And there are many edges – from disgruntled exes to Heather trying to get out of a film she already committed to. At the end of the day, though, Heather is still frayed and asks Jill to leave her gun with her, a request that becomes more fateful than Jill could have anticipated.

As much as I enjoy watching Kravitz and Kirke, Gemini didn’t manage to convince me, neither of the story nor the characters. But at least it wasn’t boring.

The film poster showing Zoe Kravitz and Lola Kirke superimposed over the upside down image of a street lined with palm trees.
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Searching (2018)

Searching
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writer: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Sara Sohn, Alex Jayne Go, Megan Liu, Kya Dawn Lau, Michelle La, Joseph Lee, Dominic Hoffman
Seen on: 1.9.2018

Plot:
Single dad David (John Cho) doesn’t know much about his daughter Margot’s (Michelle La) life. That becomes absolutely clear to him when she goes missing and he starts to look for her by going through everything on her laptop that could point him in any direction, while police detective Vick (Debra Messing) does everything on the official side. But with every hour that passes, the chances of finding Margot alive dwindle more.

Searching has two things going for it: the gimmick that it tells its story entirely via computer screens and everything that can be seen there and John Cho. The former works for some, but not all of the film, the latter is simply amazing.

The film poster showing John Cho looking at a smart phone.
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Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon PeggDoug JungRoberto OrciPatrick McKayJohn D. Payne
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon PeggJohn Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris ElbaSofia BoutellaJoe TaslimLydia WilsonDanny PudiGreg GrunbergShea Whigham
Seen on: 26.7.2016

Plot:
The Enterprise is about halfway through their five year mission of exploring uncharted space. But five years is a long time and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) starts wondering about other career options. Before things get very far, though, they all land at Starbase Yorketown. The base has recently rescued Kalara (Lydia Wilson), a scientist whose ship was attacked. The Enterprise is sent off to rescue the rest of Kalara’s crew, but things don’t go as planned: instead the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew is stranded on the planet Altamid.

Star Trek Beyond was an entertaining film again and – to a non-Trekkie like me – it felt like the trekkiest of the new films so far. There are still a whole lot of plot holes and not everything worked flawlessly for me, but I had fun watching it.

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Grandma (2015)

Grandma
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz
Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, John Cho, Nat Wolff, Laverne Cox, Elizabeth Peña, Sam Elliott, Marcia Gay Harden
Part of: identities Festival special screening
Seen on: 10.6.2016

Plot:
Elle (Lily Tomlin) is not necessarily in the best of places. She has no money. She just broke up with her girlfriend Olivia (Judy Greer). And then her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) stands at her door and lets her know that she’s pregnant and needs an abortion. Sage and Elle are in complete agreement that Sage’s mother (Marcia Gay Harden) can never find out. So what is a penniless grandmother to do? She grabs Sage, starts the car and goes in search of money to fulfill her granddaughter’s needs. Even if it costs her whatever remains of her dignity.

Grandma is a different kind of road movie with a great concept that lives off grumpy Lily Tomlin and her sharp comic delivery. I enjoyed it immensely.

grandma

[Slight Spoilers]

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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness
Director: J. J. Abrams
Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Alice EveBruce GreenwoodPeter Weller, Noel Clarke, Leonard Nimoy

Plot:
After a couple of attacks on Starfleet by John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his subsequent escape to the Klingon home planet Kronos, Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are sent there with a new kind of missile to kill Harrison. Even though Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) have their doubts about the legitimacy of that mission, Kirk sticks to it. At first at least.

I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be fun in a not exactly intelligent way. Nevertheless I had my problems enjoying it because it was just so damn dumb. But even that I wouldn’t have minded so much if the pacing had been a little better. It’s still enjoyable, but just not as much as I had hoped.

Star-Trek-Into-Darkness

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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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Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek is, in this case, the new J. J. Abrams movie starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy.  

Before I go into anything here, a quick disclaimer: I am not a Trekky (sp?). I have seen a few episodes of the various shows (mostly Voyager and DS9), but I never really got into the fandom. So, if you want a review by a fan, maybe deadra will write one someday or maybe she’ll leave her comments here.

Plot:
Star Trek tells the beginning of it all – how everybody got to know each other, how Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) became friends and how everything started on the Enterprise.
After the death of his father (Chris Hemsworth), James Kirk grows up to be a rebel, constantly challenging the rules around him. He joins the Star Fleet, where he soon excels – and meets new friends, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and McCoy (Karl Urban). Soon they all get pulled into the troubles arising from a Romulan ship that seems to be stranded in time.

Despite a few plot holes, Star Trek is a very entertaining movie with good acting, a nice sense of humour and perfect special effects. Having never really liked the show(s), I didn’t expect much but I was definitely pleasantly surprised and had a lot of fun – also as a not-Trekky. [Though deadra did have to explain a few things to me – there were some insider jokes I didn’t get.]

star-trek-posters-01

[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

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