The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Nic Pizzolatto, Richard Wenk
Remake of: The Magnificent Seven
Based on: Shichinin no samurai
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard, Luke Grimes, Matt Bomer, Cam Gigandet, Sean Bridgers
Seen on: 14.10.2016

Plot:
Rose Creek is slowly being squeezed dry by Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). When one of the citizens (Matt Bomer) refuses to cooperate with Bogue, he is shot. His widow Emma (Haley Bennett) decides to go and look for help, somebody to take on Bogue. By chance she finds Chisolm (Denzel Washington) and becomes a witness to his skills as a gunman. She begs for his help and Chisolm agrees reluctantly. But first he’ll have to get together a team and so he gets in touch with a few old friends.

I have neither seen Seven Samurai, nor the old Magnificent Seven, so I was fresh to the story with this film and I really wasn’t particularly taken with it.

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The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCostaTy Simpkins, Keith David, Kim Basinger
Seen on: 7.6.2016

Plot:
Holland March (Ryan Gosling) was hired to look into the death of porn star Misty Mountains – or rather the possibility that she isn’t dead after all. His investigation leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), but Amelia really doesn’t want to be investigated. So she hires Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) to hammer that point home and get Holland to stay away. But then Amelia disappears and Jackson suspects foul play, so he decides to team up with Holland to figure out what happened.

The Nice Guys had a lot of potential and some very funny moments, but also quite a few things that did make me a little uncomfortable, especially its treatment of women. I did enjoy it, but I didn’t love it.

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Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Magic Mike XXL
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Writer: Reid Carolin
Sequel to: Magic Mike
Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Kevin NashMatt Bomer, Gabriel Iglesias, Adam Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett SmithDonald GloverStephen Boss, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Banks
Seen on: 8.8.2015

Plot:
Mike (Channing Tatum) is hard at work, trying to get his construction business off the ground. But so far, it hasn’t quite paid off. When he is visited by his former stripper colleagues Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Keven Nash), Ken (Matt Bomer) and Tito (Adam Rodriguez), he first declines their invitation to come to Stripper Con to make one big, last splash in the business. But he finally does give in and they are on their way. But one difficulty after the other hits their road trip and since they are all out of money, fortunately most of their problems can be solved by dancing.

Every once in a while, Magic Mike XXL has moments where it is exactly the film I wanted it to be. Unfortunately, for the most part it consists of dreary dialogue scenes and has some of the worst pacing I’ve ever seen in a film.

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The Normal Heart (2014)

The Normal Heart
Director: Ryan Murphy
Writer: Larry Kramer
Based on: Larry Kramer‘s play
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Taylor KitschJim ParsonsMatt Bomer, Julia Roberts, BD Wong, Joe Mantello, Stephen Spinella, Alfred Molina, Denis O’Hare, Corey Stoll
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 13.6.2015

Plot:
It’s the early 1980s and Ned (Mark Ruffalo) has had it with the sex-obsession of the gay community who celebrate their fight and their right to (physically) love whomever they want to love. By chance Ned finds out that a new illness is making the rounds among gay men, maybe a kind of cancer. Maybe even something that is sexually transmitted. Ned takes up the fight to raise awareness for it, though his calls for caution in the sex department fall on deaf ears. As the illness keeps spreading, confounding the few doctors who bother to look into an illness that mostly concerns gay men, Ned’s activism becomes more frantic, estranging him even from his co-fighters.

The Normal Heart was pretty much like I expected it to be: grand emotions and forceful pulling on heartstrings, excellent performances and a whole lot of message.

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Winter’s Tale (2014)

Winter’s Tale
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Writer: Akiva Goldsman
Based on: Mark Helprin‘s novel
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, William HurtJennifer Connelly, Kevin Corrigan, Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths, Scott GrimesKevin Durand, Graham Greene, Will Smith

Plot:
Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) didn’t have it easy in his life so far. He’s an orphan who didn’t go through the best part of the system and ended up living with and working for Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) as a thief. When the two of them have a falling out, Peter runs, aided by a mysterious and magical horse, and ends up robbing Beverly Penn’s (Jessica Brown Findlay) place. But only until he sees her: Peter immediately falls for her. But Beverly is dying and only a miracle could save her. A miracle Peter might just have in himself.

I don’t think I read one good word about Winter’s Tale and I do understand why. The film has issues. But nevertheless I really enjoyed it, sometimes in the way the movie intended and sometimes laughing about the film.

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Magic Mike (2012)

Magic Mike
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Reid Carolin
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn

Plot:
Mike (Channing Tatum) is a stripper with big plans: he wants to build and design his own furniture. Therefore he saves his money, works as a builder during the daytime and generally pursues many options. When he meets the young Adam (Alex Pettyfer), he introduces him into the world of male stripping, much to the disapproval of Adam’s sister Brooke (Cody Horn). But while stripping seems like easy money, it’s not all sunshine and kittens.

I would have loved to be able to write a good review of this film. I would have accepted both, if it was a fun-filled movie made for ogling guys or if it was an actual thoughtful film about the dangers of selling yourself as a piece of meat in a rather seedy environment. Unfortunately, this movie ends up being neither – instead it’s a ridiculous and boring mess.

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In Time (2011)

In Time
Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, John Galecki, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer

Plot:
In a future where everyone stops aging at the age of 25, but dies when the clock in their arm hits zero, time has become an actual currency, much sought after by the poor. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is one of them, struggling everyday to find the next 24 hours to survive. After the death of his mother (Olivia Wilde) and a chance encounter with the suicidal Henry (Matt Bomer), who has over a century, Will finds himself with more time on his hands than he had ever seen before – and the police and time keeper Raymond (Cillian Murphy) on his tail, suspecting him of murdering Henry. So he decides to make a run for it and hit it big in the rich center of the country. But he soon finds that he has increasing doubts about the entire system.

I was more than willing to give In Time the benefit of the doubt. “Yes, all the reviews I read say that this film is incredibly stupid,” I thought. “But maybe they were all wrong? And even if they aren’t, maybe it’s still enjoyable?” Sadly, neither was the case.

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