The Darkest Minds (2018)

The Darkest Minds
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Writer: Chad Hodge
Based on: Alexandra Bracken‘s novel
Cast: Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech, Mandy Moore, Patrick Gibson, Bradley Whitford, Gwendoline Christie, Wade Williams
Seen on: 16.8.2018

Plot:
A disease killed 98% of all children. The remaining children are kept under lock and key by the adults around. Not because of fear for them, but of them. They have developed superpowers that are strictly classified into dangerous and harmless. Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) is considered dangerous. Or she would be, if people knew her real designation. So far, she managed to keep it hidden. But that doesn’t make life in the internment camps any good. So Ruby escapes the first chance she gets – and manages to find other children who are free, too. They throw their lot together, but they will have to decide soon whether they want any more out of life.

The Darkest Minds is pretty standard young adult postapocalypse fare. It’s nice to watch, but isn’t particularly outstanding – with the exception of Stenberg and Dickinson who are above average.

The film poster showing Skylan Brooks, Amandla Stenberg, Miya Cech and Harris Dickinson in the film.
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Romance & Cigarettes (2005)

Romance & Cigarettes
Director: John Turturro
Writer: John Turturro
Cast: James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Christopher Walken, Barbara Sukowa, Elaine Stritch, Eddie Izzard, Amy Sedaris
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 25.10.2016

Plot:
Nick (James Gandolfini) and Kitty (Susan Sarandon) have been married many years and have managed to build a very middle-class existence. When Kitty finds out that Nick has been having an affair, she’s outraged. Her three daughters Baby (Mandy Moore), Constance (Mary-Louise Parker) and Rosebud (Aida Turturro) are firmly on Kitty’s side, but also have their own issues to deal with. And Nick will have to figure out whether he wants to fight for his marriage or start a new life with the other woman, Tula (Kate Winslet).

Romance & Cigarettes is a very idiosyncratic film. A musical in that setting and with those costumes and an off-beat sense of humor, it’s funny and manages to entertain, but it’s also unfortunately steeped in sexism.

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Tangled (2010)

Tangled is the newest Disney movie. It was directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard and stars the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman and Jeffrey Tambor. It’s based on the fairy tale Rapunzel.

Plot:
Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) has spent her whole life in a tower, not allowed to go out because the woman she thinks is her mother (Donna Murphy) wants to keep Rapunzel’s magical hair all to herself. But Rapunzel has plans, in particular, she wants to see the strange floating lights up close that appear every year on her birthday. When the thief Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi) stumbles upon her tower, she sees her chance to get a guide.

Despite a few weaknesses and plot holes, Tangled is definitely the best Disney movie in years. It looks wonderful, is funny and most of all, it’s utterly charming. A great reworking of the old fairy tale.

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