Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Based on: Thomas Pynchon‘s novel
Cast: Joaquin PhoenixJoanna Newsom, Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin, Eric Roberts, Serena Scott Thomas, Maya Rudolph, Michael Kenneth Williams, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, Sasha Pieterse
Seen on: 18.02.2015

Plot:
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is a private detective who spends most of his time being high. When his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston) surprisingly visits him to tell him about a plot against her current boyfriend, real estate tycoon Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), by his wife Sloane (Serena Scott Thomas) and then disappears, Doc takes up the investigation. As more people go missing and the police in the form of Christian ‘Bigfoot’ Bjornsen (Josh Brolin) gets involved as well, Doc quickly finds himself in deeper than he expected.

My relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson is difficult. With few exceptions I just don’t care for hard-boiled Detective Stories. Stoner movies are not my cup of tea. So it probably comes to no-one’s surprise that I did not like Inherent Vice, though it did surprise me how bored I was by it.

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Kaze tachinu [The Wind Rises] (2013)

Kaze tachinu
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Based on: his own manga which in turn is based on Tatsuo Hori‘s short story The Wind Has Risen about plane designer Jiro Horikoshi
Cast: [Japanese:] Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto, Mansai Nomura; [English:] Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, Mae Whitman, Werner Herzog, Jennifer Grey, William H. Macy, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood

Plot:
Jiro (Hideaki Anno) loves airplanes. He would like to fly one, but unfortunately his eyesight is too bad to become a pilot. Instead he decides to become a plane designer, after designer Giovanni Battista Caproni (Mansai Nomura) speaks to him in a dream. Years later his dream is coming true, but World War 2 is also on the horizon, which poses the question whether it is ethical to design war planes.

I was really excited for a new Miyazaki film, despite the fact that Ponyo wasn’t all that good. I was hoping that the chiefly positive reviews were right. I’m sorry to say that I was really disappointed though. Maybe he really should have quit already.

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Frankenweenie (2012)

Frankenweenie
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: John August
Based on: the short film Frankenweenie (which you can watch here and which stars the kid from The Neverending Story)
Cast: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder

Plot:
Victor (Charlie Tahan) loves science, making movies and his dog Sparky, but he isn’t really popular. He doesn’t care that much about that, though. His world is shattered when Sparky gets hit by a car. Inspired by his new science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau), Victor tries to bring Sparky back to life – with science – and actually succeeds. But that is actually only the start of a whole new set of problems.

Frankenweenie really does have its moments, but I also have a couple of issues with it. On the whole, it doesn’t rise much above meh.

Frankenweenie

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Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil (2011)

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is the sequel to Hoodwinked. It was directed by Mike Disa, written by Mike Disa, Tony Leech, Cory Edwards and Todd Edwards and stars the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Cheech Marin, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Martin Short, Brad Garrett, Andy Dick, Danny Pudi and Heidi Klum.

Plot:
Red Riding Hood (Hayden Panettiere) started training with the Sisters of the Hood to learn the sacred art of kung fu bakery and left The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Granny (Glenn Close) to take care of the bad guys by themselves. That doesn’t really work out that well. While trying to save Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), Granny gets kidnapped and Red Riding Hood has to rescue her. At the same time she also has to figure our who stole the recipe for the supertruffel from the Sisters.

I liked Hoodwinked a lot. But Hoodwinked Too was pretty disappointing. A huge factor of this disappointment was that the German dubbed version was the only version I could see (legally). For a film that relies so much on puns, that’s pretty much a death-sentence right there. But the translation didn’t change the inanity of the plot, nor did it produce the fat-hatred that was casually inserted into the movie.

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