Pompeii (2014)

Pompeii
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson
Cast: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Joe Pingue, Kiefer Sutherland, Currie Graham, Sasha Roiz

Plot:
Milo (Kit Harington) is known as The Celt, a gladiator and the last of his people. Due to his good fighting, he is brought from Britannia to Pompeii where he is supposed to put on a good show. But as Vesuvius rumbles ever louder, Milo gets drawn in the affairs of Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) who has his eyes set on Cassia (Emily Browning). Cassia herself though is more impressed by Milo.

I don’t know what happened but it’s been a while that I brought alcohol to the cinema. In this case it was an absolute pity – because Pompeii would have been the perfect movie to get drunk to. While it doesn’t quite reach the craptacular dimensions of I, Frankenstein, they do play in the same league.

pompeii

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Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia
Director: Lars von Trier
Writer: Lars von Trier
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Brady Corbet, Jesper Christensen, Udo Kier

Plot:
It’s Justine’s (Kirsten Dunst) wedding day. But even though she should be the happiest person alive, apart from her husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), she is haunted by dreams and visions of the end of the earth, when the planet Melancholia collides with ours. Her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) tries to hold it all together, but is ultimately helpless against the overwhelming presence of Melancholia – both the planet and the mood.

After Antichrist, I was very reluctant if I actually wanted to see Melancholia. But the cast and the trailer’s aesthetics drew me in. In the end my fears that it would be the misogynist disaster Antichrist was, proved to be unnecessary. But I still only liked the first half.

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Twelve (2010)

Twelve is Joel Schumacher‘s adaptation of Nick McDonell‘s novel [my review here], starring Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Emily Meade, Philip Ettinger, Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent), Ellen Barkin and Kiefer Sutherland.

Plot:
Ever since his mother’s death, White Mike (Chace Crawford) and his father have had troubles. Now Mike is getting by by selling drugs, though he does stay away from the novelty drug Twelve. He rather leaves that to Lionel (Curtis Jackson) who got Mike’s Cousin Charlie (Jeremy Allen White) hooked on it.
At the same time, popular girl Sara (Esti Ginzburg) plans a birthday party at Chris’ (Rory Culkin) place, even though his slightly psycho brother Claude (Billy Magnussen) is home for an impromptu visit.

Twelve is the rare breed of film where Joel Schumacher is not the worst thing about it. In fact, the script [by Jordan Melamed] is worse than his direction – and that is a feat he deserves at least some recognition for. But not by having to watch the movie.

[SPOILERS for book and film]

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Marmaduke (2010)

Marmaduke is the newest movie by Tom Dey, an adaptation from the comic, starring Owen Wilson, Lee Pace, William H. Macy, Kiefer Sutherland, Emma Stone, George Lopez, Steve Coogan, Stacy Ferguson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

[Don’t judge me for having seen this movie. I just love Lee Pace and Steve Coogan too much to miss it.]

Plot:
Marmaduke (Owen Wilson) is a pubescent Great Dane, belonging to the Winslow family. When Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) gets a job offer in California, they move from Kansas there. Unfortunately, Marmaduke has problems adjusting and gets into trouble with the local crowd, spearheaded by the evil Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland). And also Phil has his problems getting the new job done.

Marmaduke is a movie made for kids. In a time, where the supposed kids movies (like Shrek, Toy Story, Wall-E) are made at least as much for the adults, this is quite extraordinary. It’s not a brilliant film, but I’m sure that kids enjoy it. Adults, on the other hand, will be mostly bored.

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Monsters vs Aliens (2009)

Monsters vs Aliens is the newest Dreamworks Animation movie, directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon and with the voices of  Reese Whitherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Renée Zellweger.
Unfortunately I had to choose between seeing it in English or in 3D and I went for the 3D.

Plot:
On her wedding day, Susan (Reese Whiterspoon) gets hit by a meteor and suddenly starts growing until she’s as tall as a small scyscraper. The government intervenes and Susan gets taken to a secret facility where she lives with some other monsters – B.O.B., a kind of sentient (though not much sentient) jelly (Seth Rogen), Dr. Cockroach, a crazy scientist who turned himself into a man-sized cockroach (Hugh Laurie), The Missing Link, a creature between fish and man (Will Arnett) and Insectosaurus, an oversized caterpillar (and when I say oversized, I mean as big as a scyscraper).
Anyway, when a giant alien robot lands on the earth, it’s the monsters who are called upon for help.

I really liked Monsters vs Aliens. It was full to the brim with references for geeks (starting with dialogue like “CODE NIMOY! CODE NIMOY!” to “Once again, a UFO has landed in America, the only country UFOs ever seem to land in.” and referencing movies from The Day the Earth Stood Still to Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Plus, it’s probably the most feminist kids’ movie in a while. The story was a bit old though, but at least that insured that it worked.
The 3D was really good, but I thought that they could have made more “gags” – things really coming out of the screen etc.  [Yeah, I’m a sucker for the cheap thrills.]

monsters_vs_aliens

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