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.

Continue reading

Red 2 (2013)

Red 2
Director: Dean Parisot
Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Based on: Warren Ellis‘ and Cully Hamner‘s comic
Sequel to: Red
Cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen MirrenAnthony HopkinsByung-hun Lee, Brian Cox, Catherine Zeta-Jones, David Thewlis, Neal McDonough, Titus Welliver

Plot:
Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are starting to settle down. But Frank’s past, Sarah’s sense for adventure and Marvin (John Malkovich) make it pretty impossible for them to really live in peace. And so they soon find themselves hunting down what remains of Project Nightshade, a super-secret Cold War weapons project.

Red 2 was fun. Maybe not as much as the first one, but it gets pretty damn close. Great characters, nice dialogues and awesome performances.

Red2

Continue reading

Re-Watch: Red (2010)

Red
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Based on: Warren Ellis‘ and Cully Hamner‘s comic
Cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, Julian McMahon, Richard Dreyfuss, James Remar
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) enjoys his retirement. Most notably, he enjoys his monthly calls to his represntative at his insurance company, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Shortly before he gets the courage to actually see her, though, his CIA-operative past catches up with him: a kill squad comes to his house and levels it pretty much completely. Frank survives, the assassins don’t but now Frank has to get Sarah to safety and then call on the help of his old squad – Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Ivan (Brian Cox). All the while he’s being hunted by CIA-agent William Cooper (Karl Urban).

Red still is one hell of an entertaining movie. I think I enjoyed it just as much as the first time round.

red

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

R.I.P.D. (2013)

R.I.P.D.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Based on: Peter M. Lenkov‘s comic
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Robert Knepper, Mike O’Malley

Plot:
Police officer Nick (Ryan Reynolds) has a good life with his wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak) but he worries that he’s not providing enough for her. So when he and his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) get the opportunity to steal some gold from a crime scene, they do. But Nick regrets it. Before he can do anything about that regret though, he is killed – by Hayes. To pay for his dishonesty, Nick is drafted into the R.I.P.D. – the Rest in Peace Department – in the afterlife. Together with his partner Roy (Jeff Bridges) they are supposed to bring wandering souls in. But something bigger is happening.

R.I.P.D. was pretty much exactly like I imagined it (dumb popcorn cinema) and yet pretty boring with it. If they had embraced their own dumbness a bit more, it might have been more entertaining.

RIPD

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Howl (2010)

Howl is a movie by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman about Allen Ginsberg, starring James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams and Jeff Daniels.

Plot:
Howl is a film of layers. Most prominently, there’s an interview with Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco), the obscenity trial surrounding the poem Howl and also a part where we get an animated version of Howl. But we also get to see scenes from Ginsberg’s life. These parts are cut together and mixed.

Howl may sound complicated from my plot description, but it is not. Epstein and Friedman have a good handle on things and deftly mix documentary and feature film. James Franco is a wonderful Ginsberg, but the heart and soul of the movie is – quite fittingly – the poem itself.

Continue reading

Red (2010)

Red is Robert Schwentke‘s adaptation of Warren Elliscomic, starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, Julian McMahon and Richard Dreyfuss.

Plot:
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) enjoys his retirement. Most notably, he enjoys his monthly calls to his represntative at his insurance company, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Shortly before he gets the courage to actually see her, though, his CIA-operative past catches up with him: a kill squad comes to his house and levels it pretty much completely. Frank survives, the assassins don’t but now Frank has to get Sarah to safety and then call on the help of his old squad – Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Ivan (Brian Cox). All the while he’s being hunted by CIA-agent William Cooper (Karl Urban).

Red is everything it promises to be: fun, full of action and oneliners and it’s very entertaining to see this group of people kick ass big time.

Continue reading