Movie 43 (2013)

Movie 43 (it’s a comedy anthology with the following segments)
Writer (for the most parts): Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Baker
The Thread (in the European version, that’s the framing device; in the US, I gather, it’s a different story)
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Cast: Devin Eash, Adam Cagley, Mark L. Young
The Catch
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman
Director: Will Graham
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Allen White
The Proposition
Director: Steve Carr
Cast: Chris Pratt, Anna Faris
Director: Griffin Dunne
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone
Director: Steven Brill
Cast: Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer
Superhero Speed Dating
Director: James Duffy
Cast: Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Bibb, John Hodgman
Machine Kids
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken
Writer: Jonathan van Tulleken
Middleschool Date
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh
Director: Patrik Forsberg
Writer: Patrik Forsberg
Happy Birthday
Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Gerard Butler
Truth or Dare
Director: Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg
Cast: Stephen Merchant, Halle Berry
Victory’s Glory
Director: Rusty Cundieff
Cast: Terrence Howard
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel

Calvin (Mark L. Young) and his best friend JJ (Adam Cagley) wanted to trick his little brother Baxter (Devin Eash) by making him look for a supposedly banned film that doesn’t actually exist – Movie 43. But Baxter actually finds something, and as they move from clip to clip they come ever closer to the truth.

People, heed my warning. I thought that a movie with that cast couldn’t possible be as bad as the trailer. “There must be something there,” I thought. “Something redeeming. It can’t possibly be all dick jokes, scatological humor and misanthropy?” Now I laugh in the face of my naivité. Because that really is all there is to this film: people behaving like disgusting assholes and we’re supposed to laugh about it. And all that remains after seeing the film is a question: Why? Why would anybody want to make such a film? Why are any of the actors involved in this? Why would anybody think that shit is funny? WHYYYYY????


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J. Edgar (2011)

J. Edgar
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Dustin Lance Black
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Lucas, Zach Grenier, Jeffrey Donovan, Lea Thompson, Ed Westwick, Stephen Root

John Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of a bureau of invesitgations that is based on scientific principles and used against the bolshevik threat he sees for the country. He gets his chance to start such a bureau and with the help of his trusted secretary Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts) and his soon to be second in command/love of his life Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) he is soon very successful. But once risen to power, Edgar clings to it desperately, not caring much for concerns like legality.

I really liked this movie very much and nobody is as surprised about it as I am. I mean, a Clint Eastwood movie that’s not boring? How did that happen?

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Mother and Child (2009)

Mother and Child is Rodrigo García‘s newest film, starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey, Shareeka Epps and David Morse.

35 years ago, Karen (Annette Bening) was a teenage mum and gave up her daughter for adoption – a fact that she never really got over. She’s grown to be quite eccentric and still obsessed with her lost child, when new co-worker Paco (Jimmy Smits) starts to break through her shell.
Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) is a successful lawyer and knows exactly what she wants – and a child or any kind of stable relationship is definitely not part of her plans since she’s pretty traumatised by having been given up for adoption herself. But an affair with her new boss Paul (Samuel L. Jackson) fits perfectly.
Lucy (Kerry Washington) can’t have children herself. Therefore she and her husband Joseph (David Ramsey) are looking to adopt.

Mother and Child was a weird bit of film. It wasn’t bad but there were quite a few what the fuck moments. In the end it dies of its own seriousness, despite the good cast.

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Fair Game (2010)

Fair Game is Doug Liman‘s newest movie, based on the story of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) is a CIA operative, working on Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Middle East at the beginning of the Iraq war. Even though her department is adamant about there not being any WMDs in Iraq, it’s their information that gets cited for the reasons of the Iraq war. When Valerie’s husband Joe (Sean Penn), a former ambassador, speaks up, suddenly Valerie’s cover is blown and she finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place.

Fair Game has excellent actors, a mediocre script and abysmal directing. That makes for a watchable, but also missable movie. The politics are interesting, but I didn’t feel like we got to hear something new. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic to be impressed by the utter assholery of the American government.

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Funny Games (1997 and 2007)

Funny Games is an Austrian movie by writer/director Michael Haneke starring Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch and Frank Giering which he then remade shot for shot ten years later with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet.

A well-off family travels to their weekend getaway at the shore of a lake. While the father Georg(e) [Ulrich Mühe/Tim Roth] and the son get the boat ready, the mother Ann(a) [Susanne Lothar/Naomi Watts] stays in the house to prepare dinner. Suddenly a young man, Peter, [Frank Giering/Brady Corbet] comes from the neighbour’s house to ask for some eggs. He’s joined by another young man, Paul, [Arno Frisch/Michael Pitt] and while both of them are very polite, things become threatening really quickly. When the father and the son return to the house, Peter and Paul take the whole family hostage to play “games” with them.

Both movies are heavy cost – a thorough and deep analysis of violence in movies and what it does to the viewer. Haneke uses the horror genre conventions to hammer home a point – and hammer it he does. This is no subtle pointer that maybe violence in movies is not such a good thing but a huge, blinking neon sign that screams about the depravity of the average movie consumer.


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