Every Day (2018)

Every Day
Director: Michael Sucsy
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Based on: David Levithan’s novel
Cast: Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Jeni Ross, Lucas Jade Zumann, Rory McDonald, Katie Douglas, Jacob Batalon, Ian Alexander, Sean Jones, Colin Ford, Jake Sim, Nicole Law, Karena Evans, Owen Teague, Hannah Alissa Richardson, Debby Ryan, Maria Bello
Seen on: 20.6.2018

Plot:
Every day, A wakes up in a different body. It’s always the body of somebody as old as them, but it’s never the same body twice. Ever since they can remember, this has been their existence, and A is pretty much resigned to it by now, never telling anybody about it in the 17 years they have existed this way. That is, until they wake up in Justin’s (Justice Smith) body and meet Justin’s girlfriend Rhiannon (Angourie Rice). The two spend a magical day together and A realizes that they might just have found a life they are not willing to let go all that easily.

Every Day was nice and it did manage to get rid of some of the things that I criticized about the novel, but it still wasn’t as radical as I would have liked it to be – or as the story or the main character would have demanded it to be.

Film poster for Every Day, showing a couple kissing on a beach.
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Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Based on: Sandberg’s short film
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Maria Bello, Billy Burke, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Andi Osho, Lotta Losten
Seen on: 22.8.2016

Plot:
After the violent death of his father (Billy Burke), Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is left alone with his mother Sophie (Maria Bello). But Sophie isn’t doing too well and seems to believe that there is somebody in the house with them. When Martin falls asleep in school again, they call his sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who thought that she left her mother behind after a problematic childhood. But when she realizes that Martin is experiencing the same issues she had, she knows she has to step in.

The short film this is based on was creepy as fuck, but it was also build on a single scare, making me wonder how well they’d be able to stretch it into an entire feature film. The answer is that they manage pretty damn well by focusing on what is too often ignored in horror at the moment: the characters.

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The 5th Wave (2016)

The 5th Wave
Director: J Blakeson
Writer: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
Based on: Rick Yancey‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace MoretzAlex Roe, Nick RobinsonZackary ArthurMaika Monroe, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello
Seen on: 20.1.2016

Plot:
Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) used to be a normal teenager, but it also used to be a normal world – until aliens attacked Earth. In increasingly destructive waves from EMPs to natural catastrophes and sickness, these aliens have started to decimate the human race. The fourth wave has come and gone, leaving only a fraction of humanity behind, most of them huddling together in refugee camps, awaiting the fifth wave – whatever that will be. Cassie has lost her mother (Maggie Siff), when the army, led by Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber), arrives at their refugee camp. Cassie is supposed to go with her brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) and the other children, while her father (Ron Livingston) remains behind. But things go wrong and Cassie finds herself on her own and searching for Sam.

I like young adult dystopia books and films. Usually. But The Fifth Wave is one of the stupidest films I have ever seen. Nothing makes sense and it isn’t even entertaining. I could feel my braincells dying as I watched this shit.

thefifthwave[SPOILERS]

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Prisoners (2013)

Prisoners
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Aaron Guzikowski
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, Dylan Minnette, Zoe Borde

Plot:
It’s Thanksgiving and the Dovers are celebrating with their friends and neighbors, the Birchs. But when the little daughters of both families suddenly disappear, the festivities are quickly interrupted. As Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is called, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) quickly loses his temper. And when suspect Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is apprehended to be released soon afterwards, Keller decides to take justice into his own hands.

Prisoners has a rather similar theme as Big Bad Wolves, so it’s hard not to compare the two and in that comparison, Prisoners stays a bit behind – but that’s just because Big Bad Wolves was that exceptional. Prisoners is, in fact, a really good movie.

prisoners

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The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Sequel to: The Mummy, The Mummy Returns
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, John Hannah, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Isabella Leong, Russell Wong, Liam Cunningham, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang

Plot:
Alex (Luke Ford), son of the famous, but retired archeologists Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evy (Maria Bello) tries to make a name for himself through a dig in China. And when he digs up the tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li), his efforts seem to have been successful. Then his parents turn up in China as well, on one last mission. And the Dragon Emperor comes back to life. Things go quickly downhill from there.

Where The Mummy Returns was a fun sequel, this one wasn’t anymore. It was just sub-par in pretty much every single aspect.

The-Mummy-Tomb-of-the-Dragon-Emperor

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The Cooler (2003)

The Cooler
Director: Wayne Kramer
Writer: Frank Hannah, Wayne Kramer
Cast: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin, Shawn Hatosy, Estella Warren, Ron Livingston

Plot:
Bernie (William H. Macy) works as a cooler [meaning as a person whose bad luck transfers to the other people] in the Shangri-La casino which is run by Shelly (Alec Baldwin), Bernie’s oldest friend. But Bernie is about to quit. Then he meets the waitress Natalie (Maria Bello) and they fall in love – and suddenly Bernie’s luck turns. But that’s not making everybody happy.

The Cooler has a very nice cast and good characters in a setting that is a bit tired. But the whole thing gets a fresh feel through the matter-of-factness with which its slight magical realism is included.

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