100 Streets (2016)

100 Streets
Director: Jim O’Hanlon
Writer: Leon Butler
Cast: Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Tom Cullen, Ryan Gage, Kierston Wareing, Franz Drameh, Ken Stott, Charlie Creed-Miles, Ashley Thomas
Seen on: 6.4.2017

Plot:
Within a few blocks in London, different lives intersect. Emily (Gemma Arterton) and Max (Idris Elba) have had better times as a couple. As former rugby player Max descends into drugs, adultery and aggression, Emily finds herself a new old lover in Jake (Tom Cullen). Meanwhile cab driver George (Charlie Creed-Miles) and his wife Kathy (Kierston Wareing) are trying to have a baby, but have to opt for adoption which proves to be a new challenge. And Kingsley (Franz Drameh) has been sentenced to community service at the local cemetery with caretaker Terrence (Ken Stott) who sees Kingsley’s artistic potential.

Before stumbling on 100 Streets, I thought, “A film with Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton aka two of the hottest people currently on earth who also happen to be talented as fuck and favorites of mine? HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS?” Having seen the film now, I know: some films are deservedly unheard of.

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Man Up (2015)

Man Up
Director: Ben Palmer
Writer: Tess Morris
Cast: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Olivia Williams, Ophelia Lovibond, Rory Kinnear, Sharon Horgan, Dean-Charles Chapman, Ken Stott
Seen on: 10.8.2015

Plot:
Nancy (Lake Bell) has made herself a promise: she’s going to put herself out there. Well, at least more than she used to, which is not at all. When Jack (Simon Pegg) mistakes her for his blind date and she feels an instant connection to him, Nancy decides to just go for it. They spend a great date with each other, but Jack is bound to find out that Nancy isn’t actually Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond) – and what then?

Man Up was sweet and funny and exactly what you’d expect and want it to be: a RomCom of the best kind with perfect leads.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Based on: J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, and other books of his
Sequel to: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Prequel to: The Lord of the Rings
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam BrownOrlando BloomEvangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Manu Bennett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mikael Persbrandt, Hugo WeavingChristopher LeeBilly Connolly

Plot:
The dwarves and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) have roused Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Smaug is on his way to lay waste to Laketown. But Bard (Luke Evans) manages to save the town from that fate by killing Smaug. Now the Lonely Mountain can be claimed by Thorin (Richard Armitage), who immediately starts looking for one particular gem – the Arkenstone – and slowly succumbs to dragon sickness. In the meantime various armies start to gather outside the Lonely Mountain, all with a different claim on the treasure and/or the people within.

I thought that the last installment of the movie really was quite disappointing. I mean, neither of the three can live up to The Lord of the Rings anyway, but at least Desolation of Smaug was entertaining. Battle of the Five Armies was too much battle, too little coherence and way too much Alfrid.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Based on: J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, and other books of his
Sequel to: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Prequel to: The Lord of the Rings
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam BrownOrlando BloomEvangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Manu Bennett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mikael Persbrandt

Plot:
The dwarves and Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) have come quite a way under the leadership of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Thorin (Richard Armitage), but they still have a long way ahead of them until they will reach the dragon. As they reach Mirkwood, Gandalf has to leave them and the group soon finds itself in the clutches of the wood elves and King Thranduill (Lee Pace).

I already enjoyed the last Hobbit movie but this was one was even better. The pacing works more smoothly (even if it could have been a little shorter), the characters are awesome as usual and it has brilliant moments (and moments of none-brilliance).

thehobbitdesolationofsmaug

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Based on: J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, and other books of his
Prequel to: The Lord of the Rings
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries, Lee Pace, Manu Bennett, Bret McKenzie, Benedict Cumberbatch

Plot:
Many, many years ago, there were dwarves living in Erebor, amassing huge riches until they were attacked by the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). They lost their mountains, their gold and were scattered in many directions. Now Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) last descendant of Erebor’s king, is ready to get it all back. So he put together a group of loyal dwarves, but asks the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to find a 14th member for their party. Gandalf recruits the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). Bilbo is reluctant – as a hobbit, he generally doesn’t think much of adventures or leaving home at all – but he is finally convinces and so all of them set off for a great adventure. An adventure that proves more dangerous and connected to more things than initially assumed.

For practically anybody of about my age (and of a nerdy/geeky persuasion), the Lord of the Rings films were more than just movies – they were events that opened me and my friends up to many things, but especially to the intricacies of internet fandom and all that entails. It seems clear that 10 years later the Hobbit can’t quite reach that status anymore. But An Unexpected Journey is a film that I enjoyed for the most part.

The_Hobbit _An_Unexpected_Journey

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One Day (2011)

One Day
Director: Lone Scherfig
Writer: David Nicholls
Based on: David Nichollsnovel
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Anne Hathaway, Patricia Clarkson, Jodie Whittaker, Romola Garai, Ken Stott, Matt Berry

Plot:
Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) meet on the day of their graduation. Despite a sligth awkwardness in the beginning, they develop a deep friendship. The film chronicles their relationship by showing the both of them on one day in the year for the next 20 years, through highs and lows.

One Day is a nice chick flick, with enough kitsch to work but not too much to make you gag. Plus, it has a nice soundtrack. But it doesn’t really stand out from the mass of competitors.

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Toast (2010)

Toast is a movie by S.J. Clarkson, based on Nigel Slater‘s memoir, starring Freddie Highmore, Oscar Kennedy, Victoria Hamilton, Ken Stott and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Plot:
Young Nigel’s (Oscar Kennedy) mum (Victoria Hamilton) has an aversion towards fresh vegetables and a seemingly general inability to not burn food (except toast, that is). This makes Nigel extremely curious of everything when it comes to food. So when his mother falls sick, he asks her to teach him how to make mince pie, which she does shortly before she dies (making food even more special). When his dad (Ken Stott) starts flirting with the cleaner Mrs Potter (Helena Bonham-Carter), older Nigel (Freddie Highmore) starts competing with her for his father’s attention – through food.

Toast is a very sweet movie with a very good cast and an even better script. It’s got just the right amount of 60s nostalgia, a nice sense of humor and generally makes for a pleasant watch.

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