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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Steve Jobs (2015)

Steve Jobs
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Based on: Walter Isaacson‘s book Steve Jobs
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss, Sarah Snook, John Ortiz
Seen on: 13.11.2015

Plot:
Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is preparing for product launches at three moments in his life. Just before the shows he puts on, he is confronted with various friends and colleagues who have things to discuss with him in very different stages of his life. But there’s also his daughter Lisa (Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss) who is trying to build a relationship with her father.

Steve Jobs is a well-paced film with beautiful dialogues that manage to cover up the film’s shortcomings enough that it’s very enjoyable to watch.

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Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Fast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne Johnson, Jordana BrewsterMichelle RodriguezGina Carano, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Joaquim de AlmeidaElsa Pataky, Luke Evans, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz, [SPOILER] Jason Statham [/SPOILER]

Plot:
After the events of Fast Five, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian’s (Paul Walker) group have scattered around the globe. Dom and Elena (Elsa Pataky), Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have settled down in paradise but it doesn’t feel like home to them. So when Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) tracks them down and offers them pardons in exchange for hunting down Shaw (Luke Evans), plus shows them pictures of a clearly still alive Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) working with Shaw, they jump at the chance and reassemble their team.

Fast & Furious 6 is fun. I do think it might have the dumbest script of them all, but maybe just because of that it’s extremely entertaining.

fast-furious-6

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Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast & Furious
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Gal Gadot, Shea Whigham, Sung Kang

Plot:
Dom (Vin Diesel) has been on the run outside of the US for a while when he gets the message from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) that his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has been shot and killed. So he returns to the US to track down the killer. Which brings him directly into the investigation of by now FBI-agent Brian (Paul Walker) as they both try to infiltrate the organisation of drug dealer Braga.

After the utter drag that was Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious was fun again. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t perfect, but it was fun.

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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell
Based on: Matthew Quick‘s novel
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, John Ortiz, Julia Stiles, Shea Whigham

Plot:
Pat (Bradley Cooper) was just released from a psychiatric hospital where he got committed after a violent episode and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) takes him home, where his fahter Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) carefully tries to reconnect with him. Pat is obsessed with winning his ex-wife Nikki back. So when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the sister of his best friend’s (John Ortiz) wife (Julia Stiles) who is still in touch with Nikki, all Pat sees in Tiffany is another chance to contact Nikki. But Tiffany who is just getting over her husband’s death brings her own set of problems. Among them a dance competition she doesn’t have a partner for. So she and Pat come up with a deal: Pat dances with her and Tiffany will deliver a message to Nikki.

On the surface, Silver Linings Playbook is pretty much your standard RomCom. But underneath that, it’s one of the most realistic and smartest films about mental illness Hollywood ever produced. I loved it.

silver-linings-playbook

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Play (2011)

Play
Director: Ruben Östlund
Writer: Ruben Östlund, Erik Hemmendorff
Cast: Anas Abdirahman, Sebastian Blyckert, Yannick Diakité, Sebastian Hegmar, Abdiaziz Hilowle, Nana Manu, John Ortiz, Kevin Vaz

Plot:
3 boys – 2 white, 1 Asian – come into the clutches of a group of five older, black boys. The group bullies them through Göteborg over some made-up story about the boys’ cell phones, under the absolute passivity of the various adults who see them.

Play is a difficult and uncomfortable movie. It is very strong in parts, but sometimes you can’t help but feeling that it bit more off than it could actually chew.

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Jack Goes Boating (2010)

Jack Goes Boating is the first movie directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on Robert Glaudini‘s play, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega.

Plot:
Jack (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a limo driver whose life revolves mostly around reggae and his friendship with Clyde (John Ortiz). Clyde and his girlfriend Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega) decide to set Jack up on a blind date with Connie (Amy Ryan). Even though they are both socially a bit awkward this works surprisingly well. When Connie says she would like to go boating with Jack in summer (even though it’s the middle of winter), Jack even starts to learn swimming.

Jack Goes Boating is an extremely sweet movie. It’s very calm, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is an unagitated director which works very well with the material. And the performances are very good, too.

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Othello

Slowly, slowly, I’ll get all my reviews done. Because of my slight OCD, I decided that I’ll stick to the chronological order (at least mostly). We’re now at the end of June (the 20th, to be exact).

In June, there was still the Wiener Festwochen (Viennese Theater Festival). I already wrote about other productions I have seen, but this particular show was definitely the climax.

On to the actual review.

Othello is a play by William Shakespeare, for those of you who didn’t know. I saw the production by the LAByrinth Theatre Company, directed by Peter Sellars and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz, Jessica Chastain and LeRoy McClain.

Plot:
When Iago (Philip Seymour Hoffman) doesn’t get the promotion he expected from his superior, Othello (John Ortiz), who happens to be black, but instead has to watch the younger Cassio (LeRoy McClain) getting promoted above him, he decides to have his revenge on Othello and Cassio. He uses the people around him to make Othello insanely jealous of his wife Desdemona (Jessica Chastain), he spins intrigue after intrigue and, as can be expected, things don’t end well.

The play is very good and the production was interesting. It was modernised, though they did stick to the original text. The acting was superb. But I did have some problems with some of the political messages Sellars wanted to send here. Still, it’s a super-special-awesome treat to just watch the cast and definitely worth the four and a half hours you spend in the theatre.

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