Re-Watch: Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Dangerous Liaisons
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: Christopher Hampton
Based on: his play which is in turn based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ epistolary novel
Cast: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves, Swoosie Kurtz, Mildred Natwick, Peter Capaldi
Seen on: 29.1.2016

Plot:
The Victome de Valmont (John Malkovich) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) are thick as thieves, united in their love to manipulate and destroy the people around them, a skill they have so artfully mastered that their ploys don’t fall back on them. Both have a new project: Valmont is trying to seduce Madame de Tourvel (MIchelle Pfeiffer) who is staying at his aunt’s (Mildred Natwick) summer home and who is widely known for her morals and her loyalty to her husband. The Marquise, on the other hand, is looking for revenge on an ex-lover who just got engaged to the naive Cécile (Uma Thurman) who has spent practically her entire life in a convent. So she enlists Valmont’s help to completely corrupt Cécile.

After having so recently seen the play that was the starting point for the film, I must say that I was very much disappointed by the movie. I thought John Malkovich was miscast and the film never really finds its step. Michelle Pfeiffer is a sparkling star in it, though.

DangerousLiaisons

[SPOILERS] Continue reading

Red 2 (2013)

Red 2
Director: Dean Parisot
Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Based on: Warren Ellis‘ and Cully Hamner‘s comic
Sequel to: Red
Cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen MirrenAnthony HopkinsByung-hun Lee, Brian Cox, Catherine Zeta-Jones, David Thewlis, Neal McDonough, Titus Welliver

Plot:
Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are starting to settle down. But Frank’s past, Sarah’s sense for adventure and Marvin (John Malkovich) make it pretty impossible for them to really live in peace. And so they soon find themselves hunting down what remains of Project Nightshade, a super-secret Cold War weapons project.

Red 2 was fun. Maybe not as much as the first one, but it gets pretty damn close. Great characters, nice dialogues and awesome performances.

Red2

Continue reading

Re-Watch: Red (2010)

Red
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Based on: Warren Ellis‘ and Cully Hamner‘s comic
Cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, Julian McMahon, Richard Dreyfuss, James Remar
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) enjoys his retirement. Most notably, he enjoys his monthly calls to his represntative at his insurance company, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Shortly before he gets the courage to actually see her, though, his CIA-operative past catches up with him: a kill squad comes to his house and levels it pretty much completely. Frank survives, the assassins don’t but now Frank has to get Sarah to safety and then call on the help of his old squad – Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Ivan (Brian Cox). All the while he’s being hunted by CIA-agent William Cooper (Karl Urban).

Red still is one hell of an entertaining movie. I think I enjoyed it just as much as the first time round.

red

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jonathan Levine
Based on: Isaac Marion‘s novel
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, John Malkovich

Plot:
The zombie apocalypse has happened. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who can’t remember much – not even his entire name – and spends most of his time shuffling around an empty airport. But all of that changes when he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer) during a hunt. Julie is one of the few survivors. And while R munches on Julie’s boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco), he falls in love with her. He brings her home and Julie slowly realizes that maybe not all zombies are the monsters she thought they were. And their connection sparks a new development that is much bigger than the two of them.

Warm Bodies is great. It’s sweet, very well made and extremely funny. I expected much from it beforehand and I got it all.

warmbodies

Continue reading

Klimt (2006)

Klimt is Raoul Ruiz‘ kinda-biopic of Gustav Klimt, starring John Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Stephen Dillane, Saffron Burrows and Nikolai Kinski.

Plot:
Gustav Klimt (John Malkovich) is dying. He gets a visit from Egon Schiele (Nikolai Kinski) and together they delve into Klimt’s feverish subconscious to explore his life, his work and his relationships.

Holy bloody shit, this movie is a mess. The concept might – might – have worked, if the movie wasn’t so damn conscious [and kinda smugly self-congratulatory] about every little thing it did. Also, it was a bit ridiculous.

Continue reading

The Giacomo Variations

The Giacomo Variations is a play/opera devised by Michael Sturminger [German], featuring the music from operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte. It stars John Malkovich, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Martene Grimson* and Andrei Bondarenko*.

Plot:
Giacomo Casanova (John Malkovich) reminisces about his life. He gets a visit from Elisa von der Recke (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), who becomes his woman of the moment, while she tries to get a look at his memoirs. So we start hearing about Casanova’s life little by little, helped by the music from Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Le Nozze Di Figaro.

The Giacomo Variations builds from a good idea and has a good cast. Unfortunately, its director is not that good and the cast, albeit good actors, were wrong for the play. Or the play was wrong for them – whichever way you want to see it.

Continue reading

Red (2010)

Red is Robert Schwentke‘s adaptation of Warren Elliscomic, starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, Julian McMahon and Richard Dreyfuss.

Plot:
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) enjoys his retirement. Most notably, he enjoys his monthly calls to his represntative at his insurance company, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Shortly before he gets the courage to actually see her, though, his CIA-operative past catches up with him: a kill squad comes to his house and levels it pretty much completely. Frank survives, the assassins don’t but now Frank has to get Sarah to safety and then call on the help of his old squad – Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Ivan (Brian Cox). All the while he’s being hunted by CIA-agent William Cooper (Karl Urban).

Red is everything it promises to be: fun, full of action and oneliners and it’s very entertaining to see this group of people kick ass big time.

Continue reading

Disgrace (2008)

Disgrace is Steve Jacobs‘ adaptation of J. M. Coetzee‘s book, starring John Malkovich, Jessica Haines, Eriq Ebouaney and Antoinette Engel.

Plot:
David Lurie (John Malkovich) is an ageing professor at the University of Capetown. When he coerces a student (Antoinette Engel) into sex and is caught, he rather leaves the university without even defending himself than apologise. He leaves Capetown and moves to his daughter Lucy (Jessica Haines), who leaves at a remote farm. For a while, things seem to look up and David seems to find his balance but then Lucy and David are assaulted and Lucy is raped, while David is unable to protect her.

I’m gonna put this plain and simple: This movie sucks. It sucks mostly for its politics, but surprisingly, John Malkovich sucked as well.

And just so you’re warned, this review will be one huge rant.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

The Infernal Comedy

[In case you were wondering, we’re now at the beginning of July with my reviews. ;)]

The Infernal Comedy is a play written by Michael Sturminger [German] about Jack Unterweger, famous serial killer and society guy. It stars John Malkovich.

Plot:
Jack Unterweger (John Malkovich) is in hell, where he does a reading of his autobiography to an eclectic audience (us). With him, there are two singers (Laura Aikin and Aleksandra Zamojska) who play the various women in his life, while performing – with an orchestra – various arias from different operas.
[You can read the entire script at the homepage I linked to above.]

It’s an awesome play, capturing the fascination Unterweger had on Vienna’s high society (especially the women) as much as the gruesome murders he committed. Despite the dire topic, it has some really good laughs and the music is very well chosen.

malkovich-226X170 Continue reading

Changeling (2008)

Changeling is another Clint Eastwood project, meaning he did everything except playing the lead. And the only reason he didn’t do that is because Angelina Jolie payed him a very big sum to be allowed to do it. Well… probably.

I’ve had some major issues with it. And not in a good way. [Hm… can you have issues with something in a good way?]

Plot:
Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is a single mom in the twenties. After coming home from work one day, she finds that her nine year old son is gone. Months of search follow, led by the Los Angeles Police, which is more corrupt than anything else. Finally, they give her the news that her son has been found. Unfortunately, the kid they want to reunite her with, is not her Walter. When Christine tells them, they try to convince her that she’s fooling herself. What follows is the fight between a mother looking for her son and the police trying to get good press for once.
It’s based on a true story.

changeling-poster-fullsize

[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

Continue reading