Re-Watch: Coraline (2009)

Coraline
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Henry Selick
Based on: Neil Gaiman’s book
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn FrenchKeith David, Robert Bailey Jr.
Seen on: 8.12.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) moves with her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) to a new house. Her parents are always busy so Coraline is left to explore things alone. One day she discovers a hidden door in her house and when she goes through, she meets her Other Mother, who is everything a child could hope for and more. But her Other Mother has buttons for her eyes. She wants Coraline to stay, but for that, Coraline will need to give up her eyes as well…

Coraline is a sweet and very beautiful film, although not unproblematic in some things. I liked it, but with a little more reservation than the first time round.

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The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCostaTy Simpkins, Keith David, Kim Basinger
Seen on: 7.6.2016

Plot:
Holland March (Ryan Gosling) was hired to look into the death of porn star Misty Mountains – or rather the possibility that she isn’t dead after all. His investigation leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), but Amelia really doesn’t want to be investigated. So she hires Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) to hammer that point home and get Holland to stay away. But then Amelia disappears and Jackson suspects foul play, so he decides to team up with Holland to figure out what happened.

The Nice Guys had a lot of potential and some very funny moments, but also quite a few things that did make me a little uncomfortable, especially its treatment of women. I did enjoy it, but I didn’t love it.

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The Thing (1982)

The Thing
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Bill Lancaster
Based on: John W. Campbell, Jr.‘s novella Who Goes There?
Cast: Kurt RussellWilford BrimleyT.K. CarterDavid ClennonKeith DavidRichard DysartCharles HallahanPeter Maloney, Richard MasurDonald MoffatJoel PolisThomas G. Waites
Seen on: 30.5.2016
[This concludes the John Carpenter special (for me).]

Plot:
A USAmerican research station in Antarctica find themselves the harbor of a sled dog that ran from another facility, chased down by helicopter. But before the hunters can kill the dog, they crash. Irritated by events, the men decide to investigate the Norwegian camp nearby. What they find there, actually raises more questions – and that’s before the saved dog starts mutating into something else entirely.

The Thing – arguably one of Carpenter’s most revered films – cements what I had been suspecting: Carpenter is wasted on me. I thought The Thing was well done and I loved the special effects, but other than that, it just really didn’t speak to me.

thething

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Pitch Black (2000)

Pitch Black
Director: David Twohy
Writer: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, David Twohy
Cast: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Rhiana Griffith

Plot:
A spaceship crashlands on an unknown planet, steered by Carolyn (RadhaMitchell) who takes over from the captain. The ship carried a few passangers, most of them civilians. But among them are also Riddick (Vin Diesel), prisoner of William Johns (Cole Hauser) who is transporting him to a penal colony. While everyone is anxious at first about Riddick, the fact of the matter is that the only thing more dangerous than Riddick himself on this planet are the creatures that inhabit it.

Pitch Black is one of those rather claustrophobic space thrillers and it works rather well. Though the sometimes rather cheap look hurts the film a bit, I did enjoy it.

pitchblack

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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas
Director: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Based on: David Mitchell’s novel
Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhuo, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Robert Fyfe, Götz Otto

Plot:
Cloud Atlas tells six interlocking stories where the same set of souls cross paths over and over again. In The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, we follow the young notary Adam (Jim Sturgess) on his way back to the US on a ship in the mid 19th century where he meets a doctor (Tom Hanks) and a slave (David Gyasi) who both greatly influence his fate. In Letters from Zedelghem, the young composer Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw), who finds himself in financial difficulties, comes to Belgium to work with Vyvyan Ayrs (Jim Broadbent), a famous but ill composer. In Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery, we read about the journalist Luisa Rey (Halle Berry) who uncovers a conspiracy regarding a power plant which puts her in grave danger. In The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, Cavendish (Jim Broadbent) is a publisher who asks his brother (Hugh Grant) for help to get out of his debts. When the quiet getaway turns out to be a senior home, he seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. In An Orison of Sonmi~451, the clone Sonmi~451 (Doona Bae) tells an archivist (James D’Arcy) her life story from the fast food joint Papa Song where she worked as a waitress until her life took a turn in a very different direction. In Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After, Zachry (Tom Hanks) is one of the few people in the world who survived The Fall. His life with his family gets disrupted when one of the Prescients, who still have technology from the Old Uns, called Meronym (Halle Berry) comes to stay with them.

I didn’t love the book, but I liked it overall. I thought that I would probably feel the same way about the film, with the added advantage that the film would provide me with the stunning visuals the trailer promised. Unfortunately the movie did not work for me at all.

[SPOILERS]

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Coraline (2009)

[Speaking of animated movies you shouldn’t miss, here’s another one I missed to review…]

Coraline is the newest stop-motion animation movie by Henry Selick, based on Neil Gaiman‘s book [which I reviewed here] and starring the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn FrenchKeith David and Robert Bailey Jr.

Plot:
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) moves with her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) to a new house. Her parents are always busy so Coraline is left to explore things alone. One day she discovers a hidden door in her house and when she goes through, she meets her Other Mother, who is everything a child could hope for. But her Other Mother has buttons for her eyes. She wants Coraline to stay, but for that, Coraline will need to give up her eyes as well…

Coraline is a wonderful book and the world Henry Selick created from it is beautiful and absolutely amazing. There were some changes made from the book I didn’t understand but other than that I have nothing to complain about.

[SPOILERS]

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