Black Mass (2015)

Black Mass
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Juno Temple
Seen on: 11.11.2015

Plot:
Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) runs one of the more powerful crime syndicates in Boston. But he does have his rivals. That’s when ambitious FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) approaches him. Connolly knows Bulger of old and he’s eager to make a name for himself, so he suggests that Bulger could become a FBI informant. That would give him more freedom in his affairs and it would help Connolly’s career by taking out plenty of bad guys – all of Bulger’s enemies.

Black Mass covers many years. Unfortunately it also feels like it lasts many, many years. It was such a boring film, I ultimately lost the battle against sleep and drifted of for a few minutes in-between.

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Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

Far from the Madding Crowd
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: David Nicholls
Based on: Thomas Hardy‘s novel
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple, Jessica Barden, Michael Sheen
Seen on: 21.7.2015

Plot:
Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is rather poor, but her neighbor Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts) whose hard work has seen him well-established as a farmer courts her anyway. But Bathsheba doesn’t want to get married and give up her freedom, and before she can change her mind, Gabriel loses everything and Bathsheba surprisingly inherits a large estate. With their fortunes reversed, Gabriel starts working for Bathsheba who not only tries to run her new farm on her own, but also finds herself entangled with her rich, well-settled neighbor William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) and dashing young officer Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge).

Far from the Madding Crowd is a beautiful piece of cinema: great cast, stunning camera work, perfect score and an engaging, interesting story. I loved it.

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Frank Miller
Based on: Frank Miller’s comics
Sequel/Prequel to: Sin City
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Josh BrolinEva Green, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher MeloniJeremy PivenChristopher Lloyd, Juno TempleStacy KeachMarton Csokas, Jamie Chung, Julia GarnerJaime King, Lady Gaga, Bruce Willis

Plot [with SPOILERS for the first film]:
Basin City is called Sin City for a reason. A town full of crooked politicians, even more crooked cops, murderers, sex workers and pretty much everyone who was thrown out everywhere else. Marv (Mickey Rourke) spends most of his time when he isn’t fighting with somebody in a strip club where Nancy (Jessica Alba) dances. Nancy is still hung up on Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) suicide to save her and tries to kill Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) who is to blame and regularly plays poker at her club. He always wins, of course, until Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) shows up. But the Senator can’t have people beating him. Dwight (Josh Brolin) is also at the strip club a lot. He is still obsessed with his ex Ava (Eva Green) who suddenly shows up in his life again and severely disrupting it in the process. Now he needs Marv’s help.

I couldn’t tell you what the difference was between the first film and the second since it looks equally great, has an equally good cast and tells equally problematic stories. But in Sin City everything works. In Sin City: A Dame to Kill For I spent very long stretches feeling very bored.

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Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent
Director: Robert Stromberg
Writer: Linda Woolverton
Based on: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty / the fairy tale
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley

Plot:
When Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) was a young fairy, she met a human boy and they became friends – until Stefan (Sharlto Copley) betrayed her in the worst possible way. Bent on revenge, Maleficent curses Stefan’s baby girl Aurora (Elle Fanning). For Aurora’s protection, three fairies (Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple) remove her from her parents’ castle and raise her. But Maleficent herself is never far from Aurora.

I was really looking forward to Maleficent and my expectations were rather high going in. And they were actually surpassed. I absolutely loved Maleficent.

maleficent[SPOILERS, also for Frozen]

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Jack and Diane (2012)

Jack and Diane
Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Writer: Bradley Rust Gray
Cast: Juno Temple, Riley Keough, Dane DeHaan, Kylie Minogue
Part of: Viennale

[Slight Trigger Warning]

Plot:
The bubbly Diane (Juno Temple) runs into the butch Jack (Riley Keough) and the two of them connect instantly. After a night of hanging out together and kissing (that is only interrrupted by Diane’s nose bleeding), they start to see more of each other but things are not that easy. Not only is Diane about to leave the country, there is some kind of monster that keeps appearing whenever Diane and Jack are close.

Jack and Diane is a movie that, unfortunately, went nowhere. Instead it got lost in its own metaphor. The cast is good and there could have been much made from it, but it doesn’t seem like Bradley Rust Gray knew what he actually wanted it to be.

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Killer Joe (2011)

Killer Joe
Director: William Friedkin
Writer: Tracy Letts
Based on: Tracy Letts‘ play
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Chris (Emile Hirsch) is in trouble and needs money desperately. So he hatches the plan to have his mother killed to cash in on the insurance. He heard about a cop who can be hired for assassinations – Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) – and soon his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) and stepmother Sharla (Gina Gershon) are also on board. When they can’t pay Joe’s downpayment, he asks for Chris’ sister Dottie (Juno Temple) as a retainer instead.

Killer Joe is a tense, surprisingly violent film with a good cast, but the ending was pretty lackluster.

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Sequel to: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (1st review, 2nd review)
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway,   Morgan Freeman, Burn Gorman, Ben Mendelsohn, Matthew Modine, Aidan Gillen, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson

Plot:
Batman (Christian Bale) disappeared after taking the fall for Harvey Dent. But while Gotham City is getting cleaned up by the regular police now – and quite successfully so – a new threat is rising in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy). And when Bruce Wayne himself gets robbed by a Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar, he decides that it might be time to come out of the retirement and face the world again.

I had very high expectations for this film (I mean, who hadn’t?) and while the film did not surpass them, it fulfilled them extremely well and was a very good ending to the trilogy.

[SPOILERS]

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The Three Musketeers (2011)

The Three Musketeers is the newest movie by Paul W.S. Anderson, written by Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies, based loosely (very loosely) on Alexandre Dumas‘s novel and starring Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, Juno Temple, Mads Mikkelsen, Freddie Fox and Til Schweiger (for about 3 seconds).

Plot:
D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) has dreamt of being a musketeer since about forever. Now he finally gets to go to the big city to fulfill said dream. But the first thing he does instead is get into trouble with Cardinal Richelieu’s (Christoph Waltz) henchman Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen) and then he makes duel dates with all three of the most famous muketeers: Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans). But before they really get down to it, they have to unite against the Cardinal’s men and are quickly drawn into a plot devised by the double-to-quadruple agent Milady (Milla Jovovich).

The Three Musketeers is just as you’d expect it: a movie that leaves most qualities behind and concentrates entirely on fun. It’s awesome.

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Kaboom (2010)

[Viennale.]

Kaboom is the newest film by Gregg Araki and stars Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Juno Temple and Kelly Lynch.

Plot:
Smith (Thomas Dekker) just started college and so far, things seem to be pretty normal: He has a crush on his roommate Thor (Chris Zylka), but then hooks up with a girl he meets at a party, London (Juno Temple). His best friend Stella (Haley Bennett) is dating a gorgeous, but unfortunatley insane girl (Roxane Mesquida). In the middle of all this relationship drama, Smith has seemingly prophetic dreams and hallucinations about trash cans and guys in animal masks.

Kaboom is slightly insane, but very funny, well-acted, colorful, funny and has really awesome dialogues. And did I mention that it was funny?

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