Jason Bourne (2016)

Jason Bourne
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Sequel to: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and kinda The Bourne Legacy
Based on: Robert Ludlum‘s novel (kinda)
Cast: Matt DamonAlicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd
Seen on: 12.8.2016

Plot:
Ever since he exposed the secret government program that made him what he is, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been in hiding. But his partner Nicky (Julia Stiles) hacked into the CIA and discovered that there are more programs like that and even more information about Bourne’s past than they thought at first. So she contacts him to let him know. Her hacking doesn’t go unnoticed, though. Heather (Alicia Vikander), part of CIA cyber ops, first realizes that Nicky is up to something and when she and CIA director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) discover that Bourne is involved, they are dead set on finally getting him.

Jason Bourne delivers what you expect from the Bourne Series. So much so that you could simply watch the first film again, instead of this rather tired re-hash of things we’ve all seen before.

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The Martian (2015)

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Drew Goddard
Based on: Andy Weir’s novel
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica ChastainMichael PeñaKate MaraSebastian StanAksel HennieChiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover
Seen on: 12.10.2015

Plot:
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is one of five astronauts who come to Mars on a rather routine mission. But then things start going wrong and they have to leave – only that Mark gets injured and to his colleagues he looks like he’s dead. With a heavy heart, they decide to leave without him. But Mark survives miraculously. Now he’s alone. On Mars. With very limited supplies. And a broken communication system. And he only has himself to make his supplies last long enough so that he may be rescued.

Since I really loved the novel the film is based on and the previews I saw for the movie looked great, my expectations for the Martian were pretty high. So when I say that the movie totally fulfilled my expectations, you know that this is high praise indeed.

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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Director: Kelly AsburyLorna Cook
Writer: John Fusco
Cast: Matt Damon, Daniel StudiJames Cromwell
Seen on: 13.08.2015

Plot:
Spirit (Matt Damon) grows up in a herd of wild horses and as he grows, he becomes their leader. But one day men, white soldiers and settlers, turn up in the horses’ territory. Spirit tries to save everyone and ends up getting captured himself and brought into a fort where the Colonel (James Cromwell) tries every trick in the book to tame him. But Spirit won’t be broken and even manages to escape with the help of native Little Creek (Daniel Studi). The Colonel doesn’t give up that easily though.

When I was a kid, I was a horse girl. I went horseback riding for many years; I read countless horse books; I nearly broke my jaw when I fell off a horse once (not the only time I fell) and decided I had to rent that particular horse permanently for a while. That’s how obsessed I was. But I was just a little old for Spirit – it came out when I was 17 and pretty much past the horse thing. But my niece has the DVD and in a moment of nostalgia, I decided to watch it. I think if I had seen it 20 years ago, I would have loved it. But now, while the horses are cute, I am not really sold on the film.

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The Zero Theorem (2013)

The Zero Theorem
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Pat Rushin
Cast: Christoph Waltz, Lucas HedgesDavid ThewlisMélanie ThierryMatt DamonGwendoline ChristieRupert FriendRay CooperLily ColeSanjeev BhaskarPeter StormareBen WhishawTilda Swinton

Plot:
Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) works as an entity cruncher for a huge corporation. The hours away from home are torture for Qohen as he is waiting for a call, so he has been trying to convince the corporation that he could work from home. When his supervisor Joby (David Thewlis) tells him that Management (Matt Damon) will be at his party, Qohen decides that he has to go there and talk to him. And he actually succeeds in that plan and a little while later, he starts working on the Zero Theorem from home.

Gilliam knows how to make a world look cool and a film look pretty. The cast is wonderful, too. Other than that though, the film is a boring, sexist mess.

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Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaugheyAnne HathawayJessica Chastain, Wes BentleyDavid Gyasi, Michael Caine, Casey AffleckTopher GraceMatt Damon, John LithgowDavid Oyelowo, Bill Irwin, Mackenzie FoyTimothée Chalamet, Ellen Burstyn

Plot:
The earth is dying. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) used to be an engineer, but now he lives on a farm, trying to grow his own food, with his father (John Lithgow), his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) and his son Tom (Timothée Chalamet). Murphy is convinced that their house is haunted and actually figures out a message – coordinates. Intrigued Cooper drives there and stumbles on the world’s largest space project, trying to find other viable planets. It’s headed by his former professor Brand (Michael Caine) who promptly asks Cooper to join their last chance to find a planet in time. Even though it means leaving his family behind, especially Murphy, Cooper agrees and together with Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway), they take off.

Interstellar is a mixed bag of beans. Visually stunning, scientifically apparently accurate, at least for a while (not that I’d really know), and with all around great performances, it nevertheless fails when it comes to the storytelling.

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The Monuments Men (2014)

The Monuments Men
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Based on: Robert M. Edsel‘s non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, Justus von Dohnányi

Plot:
As World War II is in full swing, the European art collections (both private and public) are methodically plundered by the Nazis. So Frank Stokes (George Clooney) manages to get a squad together, consisting mostly of old men who know their art. They are tasked with saving what is left – from statues to paintings. But even as the end of the war comes ever closer, this is neither easy nor without its dangers.

The Monuments Men is a film that is utterly mediocre. (puzzledpeaces called it “beige” and that hits the nail on the head pretty much.) The script isn’t good, the directing isn’t good, the camera work isn’t good – but none of it is all that bad either. It’s a film that tries to be as acceptable as possible to as many people as possible and with that desire loses all shape and impact.

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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Based on: Scott Thorson‘s and Alex Thorleifson’s memoir
Cast: Michael Douglas, Matt DamonScott Bakula, Debbie Reynolds, Cheyenne Jackson, Dan AykroydRob Lowe, David Koechner, Garrett M. Brown

Plot:
When young Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) meets Liberace (Michael Douglas), he is impressed – by his lifestyle, his money and status, his talent. Liberace, whose relationship with Billy (Cheyenne Jackson) is in its last moments, also takes to Scott and Scott quickly finds himself in Billy’s place. But living with Liberace sure isn’t easy.

Behind the Candelabra was entertaining and funny, had a great cast and awesome make-up. It probably isn’t the best movie of all times, but it is extremely enjoyable.

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Elysium (2013)

Elysium
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner

Plot:
2154. The rich people have left the polluted and pretty much destroyed Earth to live with all the good things on the space station Elysium, while the poor people are stuck down on Earth, living in squalor and sickness and pain. One of these people is Max (Matt Damon) who works hard and tries his best not to go back to prison. But when he’s exposed to a fatal amount of radiation in a work accident, which could be cured on Elysium, he takes on a mission with far more reach than just his own life.

Oh for fuck’s sake, Elysium was so freaking dumb I barely have words for it. It also used way too much shaky cam and it was boring. Dumb, boring and bad to look at (except the occasional space porn image) is like the movie trifecta of “stay away from me with your fucking film”.

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Margaret (2011)

Margaret
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Jeannie Berlin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Jean Reno, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Matthew Broderick, Olivia Thirlby, Matt Bush, Michael Ealy
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a normal teenager until the day she co-causes a bus accident by distracting the driver (Mark Ruffalo). The bus hits and kills Monica (Allison Janney), leaving Lisa distraught and unsettled. Unable to find another outlet for her feelings of guilt, she gets on a crusade to get recompensation for Monica’s death, while everything around her keeps spiraling out of control.

Margaret is 2 1/2 hours long and you get to feel every minute of it.* It’s 2 1/2 hours of an hysteric teenager and emotionally incompetent adults, a combination that is at the same time boring and nerve-wrecking. What it isn’t, is enjoyable.

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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The Bourne Ultimatum
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns, George Nolfi
Based on: Robert Ludlum‘s novel
Sequel to: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy
Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Paddy Considine, Édgar Ramírez, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, Daniel Brühl

Plot:
Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still running, hiding and not remembering. But then he stumbles upon an article by Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) about himself, the Treadstone Project and Operation Blackbriar. So Jason goes to meet Simon to find out his source and get more info about his past. But in the meantime Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) is on Jason’s tail – and he wants nothing more than to make Jason go away for good.

The Bourne Ultimatumg is a rather satisfying conclusion to the trilogy and to Bourne’s story, though I didn’t get into it as much as I would have liked.

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