Plot: Under Hiccup’s (Jay Baruchel) leadership, Berk has become a sanctuary for dragons, and a bustling city filled with both humans and dragons. In fact, things are going so well, they are actually running out of space for everyone. But dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) has set his sight on Berk and its dragons – Toothless in particular. And he finds the perfect bait for his plan.
I loved the first How to Train Your Dragon film a lot. And I very much liked the second one, but didn’t love it as much anymore. The third film, unfortunately, continues the trend and is the weakest one so far. It’s still cute, but it’s probably for the best that they (probably?) won’t continue after this.
Plot: The world has latched onto a new concept: downsizing. People are literally shrunk down to five inches. Given that they need much less resources that way, their dollar stretches much further, buying them a life of luxury. Paul (Matt Damon) is intrigued by the idea and when his friend Dave (Jason Sudeikis) tells him all about his newly shrunken life and how great it is, Paul and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to take the leap themselves.
Payne isn’t my kind of director, and Downsizing is unfortunately no exception, despite the fun premise. The execution is racist, sexist and gets lost inside its own metaphor. I was hoping for more.
A couple (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem) has just moved into a new house. He dreams of finding the inspiration to write there, while she painstakingly renovates the house. One night their routine is interrupted by a man (Ed Harris) who knocks on their door, thinking they are running a bed and breakfast. The writer is overjoyed at the change in routine and invites the man to stay the night, while she is more cautious. Things take a turn for the worse, when the man’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives the next day.
I expected bad things of Mother! and was pretty happy when things weren’t as bad as I expected them to be. But that’s not the same as saying that I was happy with the film: despite his strengths, I wasn’t too taken with it.
Bliss’ (Ellen Page) mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden) has been raising Bliss to participate in beauty pageants. But Bliss has no interest whatsoever in being pretty or in pageantry. That becomes even clearer to her when she discovers roller derby. On a whim she goes to a match, and falls in love immediately. After talking to team captain Maggie Mayhem (Kirsten Wiig), she decides to try out for the team herself. Despite the fact that her parents can’t know about it or that she isn’t the required 21 years old yet. So she dons skates and starts practicing, findig her place in the team and the world.
Whip It is a sweet film, with a lot of fun moments and it wouldn’t surprise me if it made at least half of its audience fall in love with roller derby. There’s one big draw back though – and that’s the fact that they didn’t dare to make this a queer story. But other than that I enjoyed it a lot.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is trying to establish herself as a physicist when an old book of hers resurfaces. She wrote it many years ago together with Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) on the subject of the existence of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. Erin is afraid that the book will threaten her career despite the fact that she left those ideas behind. When she goes to speak with Abby to ask her to keep the book under wraps, she finds her working with Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to prove the existence of ghosts. When they are actually called in to examine a haunting, everything changes: Erin tags along and can see the ghost with her own eyes. So the three of them team up with Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) and found the Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters was a hugely enjoyable film that had me laughing pretty much all the way through – despite the fact that Feig’s humor is usually very much hit and miss for me. But with a cast that great, not much can go wrong.
Minnie (Bel Powley) lives with her mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) and her little sister Gretel (Abby Wait). Recently her mother’s boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard) has also spent a lot of time with them. Minnie is curious about sex and she feels some sexual tension between herself and Monroe – a tension she uses and the two of them start an affair with each other. But even though Minnie gains in confidence, unsurprisingly an affair like that isn’t exactly easy to pull off without hurting somebody in the process.
I very much enjoyed The Diary of a Teenage Girl, a wonderfully unusual coming of age story with great characters and a wonderful cast.
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is one of five astronauts who come to Mars on a rather routine mission. But then things start going wrong and they have to leave – only that Mark gets injured and to his colleagues he looks like he’s dead. With a heavy heart, they decide to leave without him. But Mark survives miraculously. Now he’s alone. On Mars. With very limited supplies. And a broken communication system. And he only has himself to make his supplies last long enough so that he may be rescued.
Since I really loved the novel the film is based on and the previews I saw for the movie looked great, my expectations for the Martian were pretty high. So when I say that the movie totally fulfilled my expectations, you know that this is high praise indeed.
Polly (Kristen Wiig) really wants to have a baby. Her best friend Freddy (Sebastián Silva), too, and since he’s gay, they decided to try and have one together. But Freddy’s sperm count is low, so they try to convince his partner Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) to step up, despite Mo being less into the idea of having a child. As they wait for the go ahead and the positive pregnancy test, Freddy not only works on an art project where he behaves like a baby, he also starts a little war with a mentally ill man, the Bishop (Reg E. Cathey), in the neighborhood.
Nasty Baby wasn’t a bad film, but it wasn’t completely well-rounded either. It changed its pace quite a few times, and not all of those changes would have been necessary or were actually advisable.
After the events of How to Train Your Dragon, a lot has changed in Hiccup’s (Jay Baruchel) village. His father Stoick (Gerard Butler) is even talking about grooming Hiccup for leadership. Bue he would rather map the world flying around with Toothless and looking for other Night Furies. But instead of that, what Hiccup finds are other dragon riders and dragon hunters who kidnap the dragons for an entirely sinister purpose.
There is a lot to love about How to Train Your Dragon 2, but there are also a couple of things that I didn’t love at all. But the enjoyment did outweigh the issues.
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has been leading a rather solitary life since he separated from his girlfriend Catherine (Rooney Mara), mostly occupied with work – writing personal letters for other people. Then he gets a new AI OS for his phone. And that OS – Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) quickly becomes a huge part of his life to the point where Theodore falls in love with her.
Her is a beautiful movie with great performances though I wasn’t quite as blown away by it as I expected to be. Nevertheless it is rather wonderful.