Trolls (2016)

Trolls
Director: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn
Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Based on: Thomas Dam‘s dolls
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, John Cleese, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, Ron Funches, Kunal Nayyar, Quvenzhané Wallis
Seen on: 8.4.2017

Plot:
The Trolls live a very happy life, carefree and filled with music and definitely not thinking about the Bergens who are only happy when they can eat Trolls. Nobody more so than Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick). It’s only Branch (Justin Timberlake) who refuses to sing and who fears that the Bergens will be back. Therefore he is constantly trying to prepare for that eventuality. When Poppy throws a big party that actually does attract the Bergens and a few Trolls end up taken, Poppy knows that she has to rescue them. And who could help her better than Branch?

When Trolls came out last year, I decided pretty quickly that I really wasn’t interested in it. I did have Troll dolls when I was a kid, but I was never particularly taken with them and basing a film on them just seemed weird. But my niece loves the film and she wanted to watch it with me, so I did. And it turns out, it’s actually really sweet and funny.

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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham

Plot:
Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a struggling folk singer whose life is less than glamorous. He has no money – instead he has a floundering solo album. He doesn’t have an apartment – instead he crashes on friends’ couches until they kick him out. He doesn’t have a girlfriend – instead he sleeps with Jean (Carey Mulligan) who is actually with Jim (Justin Timberlake). And Jean is pregnant and needs an abortion because she really doesn’t want Llewyn’s child. So Llewyn has to figure out a way to make it happen.

Inside Llewyn Davis breaks my Coen Brothers rule: I usually only ever like every other film they make and it wouldn’t have been their turn to be liked, but it worked out that way anyway. I was enchanted by Llewyn and the hypnotically slow pace of the film.

insidellewyndavis

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Runner Runner (2013)

Runner Runner
Director: Brad Furman
Writer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, John Heard, Sam Palladio, David Costabile

Plot:
Richie (Justin Timberlake) used to be somebody on Wall Street but then his world came crashing down. Now he’s back at uni, struggling to finance his studies and supplementing his income with referring people to online poker games. When he himself loses in one of them, he is certain that he was scammed. So he decides to find Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the owner of the gambling site, and let him know how people use his site to their advantage. Ivan is impressed and offers Richie a job. But things are not all what they cracked up to be.

Runner Runner was so boring that I actually fell asleep for the last five minutes or so, during the very showdown. I just didn’t care for anything that happened in this film.

runnerrunner

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Bad Teacher (2011)

Bad Teacher
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel

Plot:
Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) dreams only of one thing: marrying rich and never having to work as a teacher again. She seems to have achieved her goal, but then her fiancé dumps her. So Elizabeth takes up teaching again and sets her mind on a new pair of boobs – that is sure to bring her the success she seeks. And when she meets Scott (Justin Timberlake), heir and new teacher at her school, she seems to have found her next target. But that puts her directly in competition with Amy (Lucy Punch), who is basically the exact opposite of Elizabeth.

I didn’t expect much of this film and therefore wasn’t really disappointed. It’s okay, it even made me really laugh a couple of times, but other than that it was pretty meh.

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In Time (2011)

In Time
Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, John Galecki, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer

Plot:
In a future where everyone stops aging at the age of 25, but dies when the clock in their arm hits zero, time has become an actual currency, much sought after by the poor. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is one of them, struggling everyday to find the next 24 hours to survive. After the death of his mother (Olivia Wilde) and a chance encounter with the suicidal Henry (Matt Bomer), who has over a century, Will finds himself with more time on his hands than he had ever seen before – and the police and time keeper Raymond (Cillian Murphy) on his tail, suspecting him of murdering Henry. So he decides to make a run for it and hit it big in the rich center of the country. But he soon finds that he has increasing doubts about the entire system.

I was more than willing to give In Time the benefit of the doubt. “Yes, all the reviews I read say that this film is incredibly stupid,” I thought. “But maybe they were all wrong? And even if they aren’t, maybe it’s still enjoyable?” Sadly, neither was the case.

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Friends with Benefits (2011)

Friends with Benefits
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Will Gluck
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone

Plot:
Dylan (Justin Timberlake) gets headhunted by Jamie (Mila Kunis) and moves from Los Angeles to New York. They get along well and quickly become very good friends. But both are pretty unlucky when it comes to romantic relationships – so one day they decide to hook up with each other. Strictly without any romantic entanglement, of course. But will that really work?

Friends with Benefits is a charming and fun film. Will it be a contender for cinematic masterpiece? No. But nevertheless it’s a very nice piece of entertainment.

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The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network (or, as it is known around the world, That Facebook Movie) was directed by David Fincher, written by Aaron Sorkin and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella and Justin Timberlake.

Plot:
When Erica (Rooney Mara) breaks up with Harvard-student Mark (Jesse Eisenberg), he goes home, gets drunk and programs a website where you can compare the hotness of two (female) Harvard students. This gets him into trouble, but he also gets a bit of fame out of it. Shortly afterwards he is approached by his co-students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) who are planning to build a dating site, Harvard Connection and ask for his programming help. Mark agrees but instead starts to build his own social networking site: The Facebook.

The movie is fantastically written, wonderfully acted and perfectly directed. While the guys involved yould have made a little more effort to include women who are actual characters, everything else is just as it should be and makes for an engrossing movie.

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Top 10: Guilty Pop Music Pleasures

[I know I’m a day late but I had an exam yesterday and I spent the day learning, so..]

We all have them, right? Bands we shouldn’t really like because they’re so uncool and usually not really to our taste anyway, but which still make us smile when they are on. Or we even own CDs which we’ve buried somewhere deep down in our closets. ;)

Okay, it’s not that bad. But you know what I mean , right? Usually it’s some kind of pop music and you’re so above it, culturally. And yet…

So here are my Top 10 Guilty Pop Music Pleasures, ranked by degree of embarassement.

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Miscellaneous Older Movies

I’ve seen Troy, finally. And I have to say that it was better than I thought it would be. Which doesn’t say a whole lot, because I expected it to be as bad as Alexander or Kingdom of Heaven.
I actually like Troy. All because of Eric Bana, Peter O’Toole and Sean Bean.

—–

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is nice. It just has two huge flaws:

  1. What’s up with the accents? I hate it when they shoot films in English which are set somewhere else and to make up for it that it’s not the original language, everybody talks with an accent. It’s just not logical. It’s either prentending that English is the national language in Greece, than only the Italians and Germans should have accents when talking, or you shoot in the original language (in this case Greek, Italian and German) and use English as the language they communicate in when not talking to each other or just use subtitles.
  2. When having the choice between Christian Bale and Nicolas Cage, who in their right mind would choose Nicolas Cage?

Christian Bale Nicolas Cage

Seriously?

——

Audition is one freaky movie. I didn’t know much about it when I watched it and the slow development and the beauty of the first half of it, lulls you into safety.

It features one of the most beautiful shots I’ve ever seen.

Audition

And then it gets so seriously crazy…

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

When the bag moves for the first time, I almost had a heart attack.
One of the worst scenes ever in any film is the one, where Asami goes “Kiri, kiri, kiri”. Especially, because in German you say “Kille, kille, kille” when you tickle someone and it’s phonetically really close. I don’t think I can ever tickle my nephews (or anybody else for that matter) again without seeing needles everywhere.

[SPOILERS END]

——-

Snakes on a Plane was even worse than I thought it would be. Couldn’t they even get someone who could believably animate snakes? It is really, really sad to watch. Nevermind the story which is thin as it is, but they could have at least made the snakes look like real animals.

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Black Snake Moan features Samuel L. Jackson as well, but no snakes, which is good. From the trailer, you’d expect a completely different movie. But the film it actually is, is really good. Interesting, different, disturbing, very good characters and acting. Christina Ricci was amazing. And I wouldn’t have thought that Justin Timberlake could actually act.

The ending was a bit disappointing though. It came a little fast, compared to the pace of the rest of the movie and it was a little too optimistic for my taste.