Re-Watch: Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Returns
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Daniel Waters
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Sequel to: Batman
Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
The Penguin (Danny DeVito) was brought up in the sewers after his parents abandoned him because of his disability. Now he wants to rejoin society and he thinks that Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is the person who can help him with this: Shreck is a popular business man who has successfully hidden the shady side of his business – but Penguin threatens to expose him. But even as Penguin’s plan seems to work, Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Michael Keaton) becomes suspicious. And he finds that his suspicions may align with the newly appeared Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), even if their methods and goals do not.

Batman Returns does have some weaknesses and some moments that made me want to headdesk, but with that incarnation of Catwoman, I can’t help but love the film. And I definitely liked it better than the first one.

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Re-Watch: Batman (1989)

Batman
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
Gotham City is filled with corruption and basically run by crime boss Grissom (Jack Palance). But then a new figure enters the playing field, shifting the power dynamics quite substantially: Batman (Michael Keaton). Photographer Vicky Hale (Kim Basinger) is intrigued by the phenomenon and decides to find out who is behind the mask. Hoping to speak with Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle), she attends a charity eventy hosted by Bruce Wayne – not knowing that he is the man she is looking for. Meanwhile Grissom’s right-hand man Jack Napier (Jach Nicholson) is sent on a mission of his own – a mission that is about to change him very much.

It’s been many years that I watched the older Batman movies, and while I love them all, this one was probably the one I remembered least. Re-watching it with a bit of distance made it feel a little disappointing, although there are still many good things about it.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Jonathan GoldsteinJohn Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher FordChris McKennaErik Sommers
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Cast: Tom HollandMichael KeatonRobert Downey Jr.Marisa TomeiJon FavreauGwyneth PaltrowZendayaDonald GloverJacob BatalonLaura HarrierTony RevoloriHannibal BuressAngourie RiceMartin StarrMichael ChernusLogan Marshall-GreenJennifer ConnellyChris Evans
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 18.7.2017
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Plot:
Peter (Tom Holland) is excited about the new superpowers he has gained and wants to become a proper superhero, like Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who recruited him not too long ago. But now Tony is keeping him at arm’s length and Peter is supposed to keep a low profile and go to high school, when he just wants to be properly heroic Spider-Man. When a new villain makes an appearance, Peter can’t keep still, though. Something needs to be done. And if nobody else does it, he will.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is entertaining and fun and has its fair share of problems. I enjoyed it, but not without reservations.

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Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight
Director: Tom McCarthy
Writer: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Jamey Sheridan, Billy Crudup
Seen on: 13.3.2016

Plot:
Robby (Michael Keaton) runs the Spotlight department of the Boston Globe, meaning he and his team – consisting of Mike (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha (Rachel McAdams) and Matt (Brian d’Arcy James) – do in-depth research to uncover the big stories while not getting bogged down in the day-to-day business of writing news articles. When the Globe hires Marty (Liev Schreiber) as the new editor-in-chief, Marty asks the Spotlight team to dive into the story of child abuse by a catholic priest. The more they dig, the more they start to uncover until it becomes clear that the problem runs much deeper than just one priest.

Spotlight was an engaging film with great performances and about an important topic. I don’t know if you can say that you enjoyed a story about systematic abuse, but watching Spotlight it’s probably the closest you’ll ever gonna get to that.

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Re-Watch: Birdman (2014)

Birdman [aka Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)]
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writer: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris,Armando Bo
Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea RiseboroughEdward Norton, Merritt Wever, Amy Ryan, Lindsay Duncan
Seen on: 26.02.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Riggan (Michael Keaton) came to fame for playing superhero Birdman when he was younger. Now he’s a little washed-up and desperately trying to reclaim his former glory by mounting a play based on Raymond Carver‘s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. This is made slightly more difficult by the fact that Riggan lost his second lead actor only days before opening night, that the replacement hired – Mike (Edward Norton) – is horrible to work with and that New York’s most important critic Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan) hates Riggan. Not to forget, there’s also Riggan’s family, especially his daughter Sam (Emma Stone) who is trying to get back on her feet after rehab. But probably worst of all: in his head, Riggan can hear Birdman constantly berating him.

Re-watching the film, I might have focused on its weaknesses a little more than the first time round, but it’s still a very strong film that entertained me a lot.

birdman

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Birdman (2014)

Birdman [aka Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)]
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writer: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo
Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea RiseboroughEdward Norton, Merritt Wever, Amy Ryan, Lindsay Duncan
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Riggan (Michael Keaton) came to fame for playing superhero Birdman when he was younger. Now he’s a little washed-up and desperately trying to reclaim his former glory by mounting a play based on Raymond Carver‘s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. This is made slightly more difficult by the fact that Riggan lost his second lead actor only days before opening night, that the replacement hired – Mike (Edward Norton) – is horrible to work with and that New York’s most important critic Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan) hates Riggan. Not to forget, there’s also Riggan’s family, especially his daughter Sam (Emma Stone) who is trying to get back on her feet after rehab. But probably worst of all: in his head, Riggan can hear Birdman constantly berating him.

Birdman was funny, sad and cringeworthy all at the same time. Even though it wasn’t completely issue-free, I really enjoyed it a lot.

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Need for Speed (2014)

Need for Speed
Director: Scott Waugh
Writer: George Gatins
Based on: the video games
Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic CooperImogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton

Plot:
Tobey (Aaron Paul) loves cars, racing and everything to do with that. When he gets the chance to build a car with and for Dino (Dominic Cooper), he jumps at it, despite his intense dislike of Dino. Everything seems to go fine and they sell the car for a shitload of money. But then Dino frames him for manslaughter and Tobey has two years in prison to think about how to take his revenge. He decides to settle the entire thing with a race.

Need for Speed was partly fun and partly not so much. Basically it’s what you expect from a video game adaptation when you don’t expect to much, missing “actually good” and “so bad it’s good” both by a rather wide margin.

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RoboCop (2014)

RoboCop
Director: José Padilha
Writer: Joshua Zetumer
Remake of: RoboCop
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Samuel L. Jackson

Plot:
OmniCorp are a robotics company who have been trying to get their robots on the ground in the USA as well. But people there don’t trust the judgement of robots. So when police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured by a bomb that was attached to his car, OmniCorp jumps at the opportunity. They ask Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), to take the parts of Alex that are still functional and build a half-human, half-robot police officer with it. But that combination isn’t easily pulled off and even after it is, there are still problems to be encountered.

There were some things that I liked about the film but in fact the most entertaining thing about it was standing around with my friends for an hour afterwards and bitching about all its failures. And there were plenty of those.

robocop

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The Other Guys (2010)

[The surprise movie this year at the Viennale.*]

The Other Guys is the newest Adam McKay/Will Ferrell movie, starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan and in cameos Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot:
Detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are the joke of their precinct. Gamble is an accountant at heart and Hoitz has a short fuse and unfortunately once shot a famous baseball player. By accident, they stumble into a big financial scandal though, helmed by the slippery investor Ershon (Steve Coogan).

I’m not a huge Ferrell fan. He just doesn’t really push my buttons. This didn’t change with this movie, either. Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable and is surely a fine treat for people who like Ferrell.

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Toy Story 3 (2010)

Toy Story 3 is the sequel to Toy Story and Toy Story 2. It was directed by Lee Unkrich and stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack and Michael Keaton.

Plot:
Andy (John Morris) is almost ready for college, which makes his toys a little insecure. Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) have their hands full trying to keep everybody calm, telling them that they won’t be thrown out, but they will come to the attic, where they’ll spend a nice retirement together. Unfortunately, by accident, they end up in a day care center, which at first seems to be the perfect place to be but soon turns out to be a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries.

I am a big fan of Toy Story 1 & 2, so I was waiting for this with a lot of trepidation: Would it be a good addition to the series or would it ruin the previous two movies? Would it be able to be as charming as the first two films, which are also laced with nostalgia? Thankfully, my fear was for naught, because Toy Story 3 is completely awesome.

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