Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Director: Burr Steers
Writer: Burr Steers
Based on: Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, which is in turn an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel
Cast: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, Suki Waterhouse, Douglas Booth, Sally Phillips, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Lena Headey, Matt Smith, Emma Greenwell
Seen on: 12.6.2016

Plot:
Early 19th century, England: A strange plague has befallen the land and the dead are rising. In the middle of all this confusion is the Bennett family. Mr Bennett (Charles Dance) has trained his daughters Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady) and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) in the deadly arts, but their mother (Sally Phillips) tries everything to get them married. So it is just as well, when two new young men enter their social lives – Mr Bingley (Douglas Booth), amiable and sweet and Mr Darcy (Sam Riley), arrogant and proud. Will the Bennett sisters find their perfect guys and not get eaten by unmentionables?

After my experience with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I was very much prepared for needing all my sarcasm and irony (and alcohol) to enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Turns out that many of my fears were unfunded – P&P&Z is often intentionally hilarious, even if it does have some weaknesses.

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Re-Watch: The Purge (2013)

The Purge
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane,
Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller
[Here’y my first review.]

Plot:
It’s 2022 and the USA is doing great. They attribute this to the Purge: one night every year where crimes are legal. The Sandins are supporters of the Purge, James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) makes his money (and a lot of it) by selling security systems and together with his wife Mary (Lena Headey) he pretty much has the perfect suburban family. But this Purge Night things start to go very wrong and the Sandins find themselves besieged in their own house.

I didn’t like the Purge the first time I saw it and probably wouldn’t even have watched it a second time if it hadn’t been for the double feature at my local cinema (review of the second one follows) and the company of some of my /slash colleagues. In any case it is safe to say that the film does not improve on re-watching. At all.

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300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

300: Rise of an Empire
Director: Noam Murro
Writer: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Based on: Frank Miller‘s comic Xerxes
Sequel to: 300
Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O’Connell

Plot:
Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army have defeated King Leonidas and his army, and now they’re heading for the rest of Greece. War hero Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) seeks an alliance with Sparta and its Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) and leads the defensive forces and has to face Xerxes’ sister and commander of the navy, Artemisia (Eva Green).

300: Rise of an Empire is a problematic mess that can’t be taken seriously. Unfortunately we had too little alcohol with us in the cinema. Nevertheless there was some enjoyment to be had.

300

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Director: Harald Zwart
Writer: Jessica Postigo
Based on: Cassandra Clare’s novel
Cast: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Godfrey Gao, Lena Headey, Jared Harris, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Aidan Turner

Plot:
One night at a club, Clary (Lily Collins) stumbles upon three teenagers – Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), Alec (Kevin Zegers) and Isabelle (Jemima West) – who kill a boy they claim is a demon. She calls her best friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) for help, but he can’t see the perpetrators or the victim. The next day, Clary runs into Jace again and she receives a frantic phone call from her mom (Lena Headey), telling her not to go back home again. Then her mom goes missing and Clary finds herself in over her head in a world that is suddenly filled with magic and demons, and intriguing Jace.

City of Bones is actually a rather decent adaptation of the book. But since I’m not a huge fan of the book and since that meant that the movie also pretty much copied every flaw, it didn’t blow me away. But it was pretty entertaining and the headdesk-worthy moments are few and far between.

tmi-cityofbones

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The Purge (2013)

The Purge
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane,
Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller

Plot:
It’s 2022 and the USA is doing great. They attribute this to the Purge: one night every year where crimes are legal. The Sandins are supporters of the Purge, James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) makes his money (and a lot of it) by selling security systems and together with his wife Mary (Lena Headey) he pretty much has the perfect suburban family. But this Purge Night things start to go very wrong and the Sandins find themselves besieged in their own house.

I didn’t expect The Purge to be great but it was so incredibly uneven that it wasn’t really fun anymore.

thepurge

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Dredd (2012)

Dredd
Director: Pete Travis
Writer: Alex Garland
Based on: John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra‘s comic
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, Rakie Ayola

Plot:
In this ultra-violet future, there is no more separation of power – there is only the Judges, who are not only judges, but also jury and executioner all roled into one. And one of the best of these enforcers is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban). That’s why the Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) asks him to take on Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a new recruit. She failed her entrance exam but because she’s a powerful telekinetic, they want to give her a chance anyway. And it just so happens that their first case leads them to an apartment house controlled by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), an extremely dangerous drug dealer. And suddenly Anderson and Dredd find themselves locked in that building with a whole lot of goons with a whole lot of firepower after them.

Dredd should have been better than it was. If you look at the parts separately, they are pretty damn awesome, but if you put them altogether you get a movie that is somehow less than that. Instead it was rather boring and unengaging.

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Fun for Teens, References for Me

When St. Trinian’s came out here, I figured I had to see it, because of Rupert Everett, Stephen Fry, Colin Firth and Russell Brand. Plus, it’s always nice to see Lena Headey. I haven’t seen any of the old movies, nor read the book or had any other connection to St. Trinian stuff before. [Just so you know.]

I think it’s mostly a film aimed at teenagers [My teenage sis will love it, I think.] and men who get off on sexy school girls. Which can potentially make for a pretty weird crowd in the theatre.

Gemma Arterton (middle) will be in the next Bond… and she’s definitely a good choice, at least considering sex appeal.

Anyway, the humour was mostly a bit bland, boring so to say… It had the usual jokes. It was nice, but it didn’t leave me rolling on the floor.

Except when Colin Firth and Rupert Everett were seen together and the movie references just flew around.

Ms. Fritton (Rupert Everett): We met in college. It was another time.
Geoffrey Thwaites (Colin Firth): And Another Country.

Or when Geoffrey walks up to Ms. Fritton in his wet white shirt, which was so much more revealing than in Pride and Prejudice. [And while we’re at it, how come Anna Chancellor always gets the Miss Bingley roles?]

Well, summarising, it was nice, had some good scenes, but I just wasn’t the target group.

[SPOILER WARNING FOR MAMMA MIA!, OF ALL THINGS.]

[Oh, and btw, maybe you remember that when I posted about Mamma Mia! there was this comment, where Dee told me that Colin Firth couldn’t possibly be uncomfortable with portraying a gay character because he kisses Rupert Everett in St. Trinian’s. Well, he doesn’t. Sure, they get together in the end, but there’s never more than a hug seen on screen.
Which pissed me off. Seriously, people, I didn’t go to this movie to see them make out (although that would have been an attractive sight), but if you have two guys, who get it on together (regardless if one of them dresses up as or plays a woman or not), show them kissing, just as you would with a heterosexual couple. It is not shocking anymore (or, the people who are still shocked by this, need to be), it’s just plain weird when you have loads of special shoulder squeezes. Really.]

Further Reading:

An Interview with Anna Chancellor