Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Sequel to: Ant-Man
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 27.7.2018

Plot:
Scott (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for going to Germany and helping out the Avengers. At least that gives him a lot of time to spend time with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Meanwhile Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank (Michael Douglas) are trying hard to find a way into the quantum realm where they suspect Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) to be. The only other person who ever made it there is Scott. When Hope and Hank manage to briefly create a tunnel there, Scott receives a message from Janet. That quickly, he finds himself back in the Ant-Man suit, skirting the last days of his house arrest and trying to help.

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a whole lot of fun and definitely worked better for me than the first Ant-Man film. It still feels like a sideplot in the entire MCU, but a very entertaining one.

The film poster shwoing the main characters of the film.
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War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

War for the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves
Based on: Pierre Boulle‘s novel
Sequel to: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Cast: Andy SerkisWoody HarrelsonSteve ZahnKarin KonovalAmiah MillerTerry NotaryTy OlssonMichael AdamthwaiteToby KebbellGabriel ChavarriaJudy Greer
Seen on: 16.8.2017
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Plot:
Caesar (Andy Serkis) just wants to live in peace with his group of apes and his family. But the humans are still hunting them. Especially the army troop led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) are not prepared to let any of the apes live, no matter how secluded. After a particularly gruesome attack that strikes at the very heart of Caesar and his apes, Caesar snaps: no longer will he try to resolve things peacefully. Instead he will get his revenge.

War for the Planet of the Apes was okay, despite some serious issues. But it’s nothing that will stay in my mind for very long – or at all.

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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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Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Anthony Mackie, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I., Hayley Atwell, Wood Harris, John Slattery, Martin Donovan
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 5.8.2015

Plot:
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is released from prison and determined to go straight, at least for the sake of his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder-Fortson) who lives with her mother Maggie (Judy Greer) and her new boyfriend (Bobby Canavale). But getting a foot on the ground as an ex-con is difficult and when Scott’s former cell mate Luis (Michae Peña) promises a riskfree way of getting some starter money, Scott gives in. What he doesn’t know is that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) set him up to do just that because he wants to make Scott the new Ant-Man, a miniaturized superhero, despite the protestation of his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) who wants to take on the role herself. In any case time is ticking because Hank’s protégé Darren (Corey Stoll) is working on his own shrinking technology and is becoming more and more unhinged.

With all I had heard about Ant-Man before seeing it, I didn’t expect much. It turned out that it was more entertaining than I anticipated, but also completely infuriating in its choice of main character.

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Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Based on: Michael Crichton‘s book (plus sequel)
Sequel to: Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake JohnsonLauren Lapkus, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Judy Greer, Katie McGrath
Seen on: 21.6.2015

Plot:
Years after the events at Jurassic Park, Jurassic World has opened – a theme park with actual dinosaurs. And things are going very well. A lot of that success is due to Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who manages the park, is looking after investors and generally is always looking for ways to expand and to ameliorate. This weekend, she is visited by her two nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), but she also has to make sure that the park’s anticipated newest attraction – a new crossbreed of dinosaur – gets ready to be marketable. But then everything goes wrong and Claire has to team up with Owen (Chris Pratt) to avoid an even bigger disaster. Oh, and save her nephews.

I love the old movies and have loved them ever since I was a kid. So I was really looking forward to Jurassic World. But it manages the absolutely unthinkable: it makes dinosaurs boring. I am still unsure how they managed that particular feat, but it happened.

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Tomorrowland (2015)

Tomorrowland
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird
Cast: Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Robinson, Pierce Gagnon, Judy Greer
Seen on: 29.5.2015

Plot:
In the 60s everybody was excited about technology, above all Frank (Thomas Robinson) who tried builds his own jetpack for the World Fair. Even though the jetpack doesn’t work, it catches the eye of Athena (Raffey Cassidy) who changes Frank’s life forever.
50 years later the scientific enthusiasm of the world seems to be mostly gone, although there still are people like Casey (Britt Robertson) who dreams of becoming an astronaut and does everything in her power to stop the dismantling of a NASA launch site in her area – which leads her straight to prison. When she’s released, she finds a pin in her possession. A pin that shows her a beautiful utopia, one she’s convinced is real. And her search leads her directly to – by now adult – Frank (George Clooney).

Tomorrowland was a sweet film. Not great, but sweet, with a couple of moments that were quite frankly flabbergasting in their stupidity.

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Jamie Marks Is Dead (2014)

Jamie Marks Is Dead
Director: Carter Smith
Writer: Carter Smith
Based on: Christopher Barzak‘s novel One for Sorrow
Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Morgan Saylor, Noah Silver, Judy Greer, Liv Tyler
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
In a small town, the body of teenager Jamie Marks (Noah Silver) is found by school mate Gracie (Morgan Saylor). Even though nobody really interacted with Jamie when he was alive, popular Adam (Cameron Monaghan) takes an interest in him and Gracie now. That’s when Jamie starts to appear to him and basically moves into his closet. Gracie – who sees Jamie as well – distrusts the ghost, but Adam is fascinated by him, despite his equally strong connection to Gracie.

Jamie Marks is Dead has and interesting take on ghosts, but unfortunately too much is left unexamined, leaving the audience confused, disconnected from the events and characters, and ultimately bored.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Mark BombackRick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Based on: Pierre Boulle‘s novel
Sequel to: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston, Judy Greer

Plot:
In the ten years since the events of the last film, the world has changed a lot. Most of the humans have been eradicated by the Simian Flu, the few survivors struggling to get by. In the meantime the apes have thrived in the Redwood Forest around San Francisco where Caesar (Andy Serkis) built an entire community and refuge for the apes. But now humans have not only returned to San Francisco but also the woods, looking for an old dam and with it, electricity. But can humans and apes ever coexist?

I rather enjoyed the last film, despite some of the more stupid things in it. But this one here was too stupid: it lost me pretty quickly and after it lost me once, there was no going back.

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Carrie (2013)

Carrie
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, Judy Greer

Plot:
Growing up with her ultra-religious, mentally ill mother (Julianne Moore), Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an outcast at her school who lacks vital information. Like what a period is. So when she gets it, she’s understandably distressed, a fact her classmates use to bring the bullying to the next level. But what they don’t know is that Carrie also has strange powers that she’s slowly getting the hang of.

Carrie has a strong, tense first half, but especially the showdown really doesn’t work anymore.

carrie

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The Descendants (2011)

The Descendants
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Based on: Kaui Hart Hemmingsnovel
Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster

Plot:
Matt King (George Clooney) is a lawyer who works a lot, even though he has enough money so it wouldn’t actually be necessary. When his rather estranged wife has a boating accident and is suddenly in a coma, Matt has to re-arrange his life completely. He never was much involved with life at home. so he is quite overwhelmed with dealing with his daughters Scottie (Amara Miller) and Alex (Shailene Woodley). When he finds out that his wife had an affair he sets out together with his daughters, and Alex’ friend Sid (Nick Krause), to find the man and inform him about the situation.

I don’t quite get the excitement about this film. I mean, yes, it is nice and perfectly acted and beautifully shot and it is certainly a good film. But from the accolades it garners, I guess I expected a little more than a good film: I expected an outstanding one. And this isn’t it.

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