Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on: Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont‘s fairy tale
Remake of: Beauty and the Beast
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Seen on: 29.3.2017

Plot:
Belle (Emma Watson) lives in a small village with her father Maurice (Kevin Kline), an inventor. Her life wouldn’t be so bad if the local library had more books and if village beau Gaston (Luke Evans) wasn’t constantly harrassing her with marriage proposals. Then one day, Maurice doesn’t return from the market as planned. When Belle sets out to find him, what she finds is an enchanted castle, where a Beast (Dan Stevens) is holding her father captive. Fearless as she is, Belle takes Maurice place. And she might just be what the Beast needed to break the curse that weighs on them all.

This live-action version of the film isn’t strictly necessary and there were a couple of things that really didn’t go all that well, but the film was nevertheless enjoyable and managed to capture the magic of the animated version at least in part.

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The Girl on the Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train
Director: Tate Taylor
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
Based on: Paula Hawkinsnovel
Cast: Emily BluntHaley BennettRebecca FergusonJustin TherouxLuke EvansEdgar RamírezAllison JanneyLisa Kudrow
Seen on: 3.11.2016

Plot:
Rachel (Emily Blunt) takes the same train to work every day. And every day she sees Megan (Haley Bennett) who lives a few houses down from the one Rachel used to live with her now ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux). Tom left her for Anne (Rebecca Ferguson) and they still live in that house with their new baby. Rachel becomes rather obsessed with Megan, catching three seconds of her life every day. And then she hears that Megan went missing. Rachel wants to help, but she is also worried about herself because she lost the memory of the night Megan went missing and just knows that she woke up dirty and with blood on her hands.

The Girl on the Train tries very much to hit the same lane as Gone Girl but fundamentally misunderstands what made Gone Girl so great. It was a frustrating experience.

[SPOILERS for The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl]

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High-Rise (2015)

High-Rise
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump
Based on: J.G. Ballard‘s novel
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes, Peter FerdinandoAugustus Prew
Seen on: 18.7.2016

Plot:
Laing (Tom Hiddleston) just moved to the 25th floor of a new apartment building. That building is equipped with pretty much everything and follows a very hierarchical structure. Soon Laing meets his neighbors. The alluring Charlotte (Sienna Miller) lives on the floor above him, documentary film maker Richard Wilder (Luke Evans) on the lower floors, together with his family. At the very top there is the architect and owner of the entire building, Royal (Jeremy Irons). Laing hopes to rise through the ranks and thus up the floors, but unrest starts brewing in the building more and more.

High-Rise is very stylish in many ways and definitely an interesting film, but it didn’t quite blow me away. Still there’s a whole lot going on that’s worth looking at.

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Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne JohnsonJason Statham, Jordana BrewsterMichelle Rodriguez, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, (Luke Evans, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang)
Seen on: 11.4.2015

Plot:
After Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of their team/family brought the criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) down, and brought him down so hard that he’s still in a coma, Shaw’s brother Deckard (Jason Statham) has sworn revenge. He starts in Tokyo, but he’s soon right in Dom’s and Brian’s lives – including their families. So Dom and Brian – who thought that they could finally settle down with Letty (Gina Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) respectively – find themselves less retired than expected. But Shaw is not the only trouble, there’s also Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who orders them to help with a new surveillance software that could do much harm in the wrong hands – which is just where it risks ending up.

I watched all seven Fast & Furious movies in less than 24 hours (which was kinda awesome, but also kinda insane and not to be done sober*), so Furious 7 really had to be fantastic to still make me pay attention. But no worries, it did and with apparent ease.

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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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Dracula Untold (2014)

Dracula Untold
Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Based on: Bram Stoker‘s novel (in the loosest sense of “based”)
Cast: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Thor Kristjansson

Plot:
When Vlad (Luke Evans) was a child he was enslaved by the Turks, despite being a prince, to ensure his father’s allegiance. He was raised to be a soldier and became such a good one that people nicknamed him The Impaler and he is finally allowed to return home. But when the Turks call for slave soldiers again, Vlad cannot consent – which means war. To be able to defend his family and his country better, Vlad makes a deal with a monster (Charles Dance) in a cave: for three days he will have the strength and abilities of a vampire while still alive. If he can resist the temptation to drink human blood in that time, he’ll even return to being human. But will three days be enough to defet the Turks?

I know going in that Dracula Untold was going to be the kind of film where I’d need vodka, so I wisely packed it. Rarely have I been so glad about my foresight because I needed every damn drop of it. In short, the film was really, really bad.

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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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Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Fast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne Johnson, Jordana BrewsterMichelle RodriguezGina Carano, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Joaquim de AlmeidaElsa Pataky, Luke Evans, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz, [SPOILER] Jason Statham [/SPOILER]

Plot:
After the events of Fast Five, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian’s (Paul Walker) group have scattered around the globe. Dom and Elena (Elsa Pataky), Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have settled down in paradise but it doesn’t feel like home to them. So when Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) tracks them down and offers them pardons in exchange for hunting down Shaw (Luke Evans), plus shows them pictures of a clearly still alive Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) working with Shaw, they jump at the chance and reassemble their team.

Fast & Furious 6 is fun. I do think it might have the dumbest script of them all, but maybe just because of that it’s extremely entertaining.

fast-furious-6

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Immortals (2011)

Immortals
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides
Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, Stephen Dorff, John Hurt, Luke Evans, Joseph Morgan, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz

Plot:
In a brutal attempt for power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is looking to free the imprisoned Titans, a task for which he needs the legendary Epirus Bow. In search of the bow and the titans, he is destroying half of Greece and also reaches the village where Theseus (Henry Cavill) grew up. Theseus, a personal favorite and disciple-without-knowing-it of Zeus (Luke Evans), starts to stand up to Hyperion, something the gods can not do since their laws forbid their intervention as gods.

Immortals is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful film, but much like the stereotypical blond, behind the looks there is not much you can engage with. Well, unless you’re completely into bad dialogues, which I totally am.

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The Three Musketeers (2011)

The Three Musketeers is the newest movie by Paul W.S. Anderson, written by Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies, based loosely (very loosely) on Alexandre Dumas‘s novel and starring Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, Juno Temple, Mads Mikkelsen, Freddie Fox and Til Schweiger (for about 3 seconds).

Plot:
D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) has dreamt of being a musketeer since about forever. Now he finally gets to go to the big city to fulfill said dream. But the first thing he does instead is get into trouble with Cardinal Richelieu’s (Christoph Waltz) henchman Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen) and then he makes duel dates with all three of the most famous muketeers: Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans). But before they really get down to it, they have to unite against the Cardinal’s men and are quickly drawn into a plot devised by the double-to-quadruple agent Milady (Milla Jovovich).

The Three Musketeers is just as you’d expect it: a movie that leaves most qualities behind and concentrates entirely on fun. It’s awesome.

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