The Suicide Squad (2021)

The Suicide Squad
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: various comic characters
Sequel to: Suicide Squad
Cast: Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Jai Courtney, Flula Borg, Mayling Ng, Pete Davidson, Sean Gunn, Storm Reid, Alice Braga, Taika Waititi, Pom Klementieff
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 9.8.2021

Plot:
The Suicide Squad has some new recruits and a new mission on Corto Maltese. Instructed by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), they are dropped off on the island that recently saw a regime change. And so, Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), RIck Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) find themselves on different paths to the island capital to gain control of a secret weapon in a stronghold in the city.

I was debating with myself whether I actually wanted to go see The Suicide Squad, given that Suicide Squad wasn’t good (to put it mildly), but ultimately my love for the cast won out. And I’m glad it did – The Suicide Squad is a whole lot of fun.

The film poster showing Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), RIck Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) in a star-like formation, surrounded by explosions.
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F9 (2021)

F9
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious
Cast: Vin DieselMichelle Rodriguez, Jordana BrewsterTyrese GibsonLudacrisCharlize TheronNathalie Emmanuel, John Cena, Finn Cole, Vinnie Bennett, Sung Kang, Anna Sawai, Lucas Black, Shad Moss, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Don Omar, Shea Whigham, JD Pardo, Michael Rooker, Jim ParrackKurt Russell, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren
Seen on: 19.7.2021

Plot:
Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have chosen a remote life of retirement. But when Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) drop by to tell them about a distress call from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), Letty is itching to go. Dom is reluctant – until he realizes that somehow his estranged brother Jacob (John Cena) is involved. And he still has some open business with Jacob that he can’t just let go.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love the Fast and Furious movies, with all of their problems. And I found F9 absolutely satisfying to watch once more. This series just works beautifully.

The film poster showing the main characters in various sizes and poses in front of colorful smoke and above cars, tanks, drones and helicopters.
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Love and Monsters (2020)

Love and Monsters
Director: Michael Matthews
Writer: Brian Duffield, Matthew Robinson
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt, Ellen Hollman, Tre Hale, Pacharo Mzembe, Senie Priti, Amali Golden, Te Kohe Tuhaka
Seen on: 25.4.2021

Plot:
7 years ago, the world basically ended. There was a meteorite heading towards earth. To stop it, humanity blew it up, but the chemicals that got blown back to earth changed things forever, creating monsters and forcing people underground. Joel (Dylan O’Brien) is one of those people, living in a community in a bunker. Joel is not a fighter, so he hasn’t actually left the bunker, but through a radio, he has found Aimee (Jessica Henwick), the girl he dated when everything went down. Her colony is only a week or so away, but a week among monsters is a very long way. But after the radio dies, Joel decides that he has had it – he will make the trek and find Aimee. Easier said than done, though.

Love and Monsters is cute enough. Not great and probably not a film that will become a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed it while it lasted for sure.

The film poster showing the main characters, including a dog, in various sizes in front of a desolate landscape.
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Fantasy Island (2020)

Fantasy Island
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach, Jeff Wadlow
Remake of: the Fantasy Island TV show
Cast: Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Jimmy O. Yang, Portia Doubleday, Ryan Hansen, Michael Rooker, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Mike Vogel, Kim Coates, Robbie Jones, Jeriya Benn
Seen on: 5.3.2020

Plot:
Patrick (Austin Stowell), Melanie (Lucy Hale), Gwen (Maggie Q), J.D. (Ryan Hansen) and Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) won a stay on fantasy island where Mr Roarke (Michael Peña) supposedly makes all dreams come true. They have each submitted their descriptions of their fantasies and like magic, everything is prepared for them to make them into a reality. But soon things start to feel off and the fantasies turn dark and twisted.

I didn’t expect much from Fantasy Island. In fact, I was pretty much braced for something really bad (but the cast still drew me in). Turns out, the film isn’t very good, but it’s not as bad as I feared it would be.

The film poster showing the island, creating the shape of a skull from afar.
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Sequel to: Guardians of the Galaxy
Cast: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffSylvester StalloneKurt RussellElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean Gunn, Seth Green, Michael Rosenbaum, David HasselhoffVing RhamesMichelle Yeoh, Jeff GoldblumStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 3.5.2017

Plot:
Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have made quite a reputation for themselves. People have even started to ask them for help. But it’s not easy to leave your old habits behind and when Rocket not only helps but also steals, one thing leads to another and the group find themselves crashing on a planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). This is not a coincidence: Ego tells Peter that he is his father, throwing him for quite a loop. But trouble has only just begun.

I was not a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie to begin with, and I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was even weaker. At least Baby Groot was cute.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

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Super (2010)

Super
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Nathan Fillion, Linda Cardellini, Gregg Henry
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Frank (Rainn Wilson) has a pretty crappy life. The only thing he really loves about it is his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler). And then Sarah leaves him for the shady Jacques (Kevin Bacon) and Frank’s life completely falls apart. While watching some religious propaganda, Frank has an epiphany: he will become a superhero, save Sarah and win her back that way. Thus Crimson Bolt is born, despite Frank not really being the heroic type. So it comes as no surprise that things start going wrong very quickly.

Super is a to me rather controversial movie. It’s like Kick-Ass but with a morale I can agree with even less. If it wasn’t for the ending – and the way the audience around me reacted to it – I’d say that it’s pretty damn perfect. But as is, I have to show some more restraint.

[MAJOR SPOILERS]

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Slither (2006)

Slither was written and directed by James Gunn and stars Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Tania Saulnier and Michael Rooker.

Plot:
A meteorite crashes in the woods close to a small town. The rather unpleasant Grant (Michael Rooker) stumbles upon it and is subsequently taken over by the alien that came with the meteorite. The alien uses Grant to make his plan of world domination happen, which at first mainly manifests in Grant hoarding and eating loads of meat. Grant’s wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) and the town sheriff Bill (Nathan Fillion) notice that something is wrong and try to find out – and stop – what’s going on.

Slither is an amazingly funny send-up of and homage to B-movie horror comedies. It’s gory, but never really scary and I just laughed my ass off. Best seen with friends and probably alcohol, but it should definitely be seen.

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