Rampage (2018)

Rampage
Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal, Adam Sztykiel
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Marley Shelton, P.J. Byrne, Demetrius Grosse, Jack Quaid
Seen on: 11.5.2018

Plot:
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) works at the San Diego Zoo. In particular he is responsible for George, a white gorilla, whom he has taken care of for many years. But one night, something falls from the sky into George’s enclosure – and George suddenly changes, growing bigger and more aggressive. And he is not the only animal affected that way. Davis knows that he has to find a cure for what ails George – and soon before he destroys too much or is destroyed himself.

Rampage promises a film where Dwayne Johnson beats up giant animals and it absolutely delivers on that. If you feel that this sounds like a good concept, then Rampage is a must-see. Personally, I definitely enjoyed it.

Film poster showing Dwayne Johnson in front of a huge gorilla, wolf and crocodile, walking purposefully, gun in hand.
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The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a good editor and she loves her job. She is not so much a good boss as her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows from his own experience. When the Canadian Margaret is confronted with the fact that she might be deported because her visa expired, she pressures Andrew into marrying her. But the immigration officer Mr Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) isn’t convinced, so they can’t just leave it at the formalities. That’s how Margaret ends up at Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. With his welcoming family and the two of them in a decidedly unworklike environment, their relationship starts to change.

The Proposal is cute, if you manage to ignore a lot of things about it (heteros are exhausting). I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it won’t become a favorite or a film I’ll revisit at all.

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Wanderlust (2012)

Wanderlust
Director: David Wain
Writer: David Wain, Ken Marino
Cast: Paul RuddJennifer AnistonJustin TherouxAlan AldaMalin Akerman, Ken Marino, Joe Lo TruglioKathryn HahnJordan PeeleKeegan-Michael KeyRay Liotta
Seen on: 9.4.2017

Plot:
Linda (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) are a young, urban couple set for success. Linda expects her documentary to be financed, George expects to be promoted. But life doesn’t play along and both find themselves without a job but with an expensive apartment they can’t afford anymore. Desperate, George agrees to work for his brother Rick (Ken Marino), even though that means moving across the country. But on the way, Linda and George coincidentally spend a night in a commune led by the charismatic Seth (Justin Theroux). Initially taken aback by the alterantive way of life, Linda and George quickly start to take to the lifestyle and decide to give it a try for real.

Wanderlust is pretty much how you’d expect it to be: not particularly smart or insightful or novel, but it’s often quite funny in a rather stupid way.

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The Final Girls (2015)

The Final Girls
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writer: Joshua John Miller, M.A. Fortin
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Tory N. Thompson
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
When Amanda (Malin Akerman) was younger, she played a part in a slasher – Camp Bloodbath – that has since risen to cult status, but now she’s struggling through endless castings. At least she can always count on her daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga). But their harmonious, albeit precarious existence is blown apart when Amanda dies suddenly. Max tries her best to deal with her grief, but it’s hard. When there is a tribute screening of Camp Bloodbath, Max can barely bring herself to attend, but she lets herself get dragged there. Then she and her friends somehow get sucked into the film itself and maybe this time, Max will get the chance to save her mother’s life.

I absolutely loved Final Girls. It’s a genre-savy meta parody that has a lot of love for the movies it pokes fun at and it even adds an honest emotional core.

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The Bang Bang Club (2010)

The Bang Bang Club
Director: Steven Silver
Writer: Steven Silver
Based on: Greg Marinovich‘s and João Silva‘s autobiographical book The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War
Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Taylor Kitsch, Malin Akerman, Neels Van Jaarsveld, Frank Rautenbach
Seen on 06.03.2015

Plot:
The Bang-Bang Club was a group of photographers in South Africa who chronicled the rebellion against apartheid in the townships. Most notably among them were Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach), and João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld). When Greg takes up the job as photographer, he is quickly noticed by the more established photographers, especially Kevin, because of his willingness to take risks, a quality all four of them share and that makes their work extraordinary. As they throw themselves into the documentation of the fights and the violence, they are not entirely unaffected by it though. And the question remains whether documentation alone is enough or whether more action isn’t needed after all.

The Bang Bang Club was okay, but in the end it doesn’t move past its being a movie about a few rather unlikeable white guys being reckless and inconsiderate. And there are too many of those already to be interesting anymore.

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Rock of Ages (2012)

Rock of Ages
Director: Adam Shankman
Writer: Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo, Allan Loeb
Cast: Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Eli Roth

Plot:
Sherrie (Julianne Hough) just arrived in LA, dreaming of being a singer but instead she gets robbed straight away and somebody makes off with her record collection. Drew (Diego Boneta) who witnessed the incident manages to get Sherrie a job as a waitress at the living off its former glory Bourbon club where he works, too. The club is preparing for a huge concert by Stacie Jaxx (Tom Cruise) while Christian protesters lead by Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) try to shut down rock in general.

As long as the movie was camp, it was brilliantly funny. Unfortunately most of the time we’re stuck with the absolutely colorless and frankly just boring lead characters.

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Watchmen (2009)

Watchmen is the adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (Here’s my review of that), directed by Zack Snyder and starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Patrick Wilson.

Plot:
In a parallel world, it’s 1985 and Nixon is still president of the United States. In the 40s, actual masked vigilantes appeared, which led to a ban in the 70s. Now, most of the vigilantes are retired. The story follows several of these more or less retired figures, namely Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman), Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
The Comedian is murdered and Rorschach, the only vigilante left, who is not retired and doesn’t work for the government is convinced that someone is killing off their old group. His investigations lead him deeper and deeper into the problematic world of the “superheroes”.

I was afraid that movie would suck because the original material is just so complex and layered and it’s hard to get this into one movie that still makes sense. But Snyder and his writers (David Hayter and Alex Tse) did a very good job, changing the right things, while still sticking close to the original. Though there are weaknesses in writing where they deviate from the original material. Despite some cringe-worthy scenes, it’s definitely a movie that I enjoyed.

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[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

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