Body Cam (2020)

Body Cam
Director: Malik Vitthal
Writer: Nicholas McCarthy, Richmond Riedel
Cast: Mary J. Blige, Nat Wolff, David Zayas, Anika Noni Rose, David Warshofsky, Ian Casselberry, Philip Fornah, Lara Grice, Demetrius Grosse
Seen on: 6.8.2020

Content Note: police brutality, racism

Plot:
Renee (Mary J. Blige) just returned to duty as a police officer. After the death of ther son in an accident, she lost control on a suspect and needed some time away. But she feels ready to dive in, even if she isn’t happy that she is settled with rookie cop Danny (Nat Wolff) as a partner. On their first night on duty together, they get called to an abandoned cop car. They find blood, and finally their colleague’s body. Renee checks the footage of his body cam and sees a suspect and something inexplicable, but then the footage disappears. She realizes can’t help but investigate, even if she isn’t actually sanctioned to do so.

Body Cam is rather topical and has a couple of okay horror scenes, but overall the film is a mess – and I’ve rarely seen a film with acting this bad.

The film poster showing Renee (Mary J. Blige) and Danny (Nat Wolff) in police uniforms.
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Home Again (2017)

Home Again
Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Writer: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Pico Alexander, Jon Rudnitsky, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, Candice Bergen, Lola Flanery, Eden Grace Redfield, Lake Bell, Dolly Wells, Reid Scott, P.J. Byrne, Ben Sinclair, Josh Stamberg, Jen Kirkman
Seen on: 13.10.2019

Plot:
Alice (Reese Witherspoon) recently separated from her husband Austen (Michael Sheen) and moved back to LA with her two kids to be closer to her mother (Candice Bergen) and to start over again. That is easier said than done, though, and things aren’t going all that smoothly. On her 40th birthday, Alice decides to let loose and actually picks up the much younger Harry (Pico Alexander) and brings him back home. Though nothing much happens between them that night, one thing leads to another and Alice offers Harry, his brother Teddy (Nat Wolff) and their friend George (Jon Rudnitsky) to stay in her guesthouse while they are working on their short film. Soon, the three boys take over her enitre household.

Home Again is a nice film, though not a great one. If you’re looking for something fluffy (but not too romantic) to watch, it’s probably a good choice.

The film poster showing Alice (Reese Witherspoon) with a mix of a grimace and a smile on her face.
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In Dubious Battle (2016)

In Dubious Battle
Director: James Franco
Writer: Matt Rager
Based on: John Steinbeck‘s novel of the same name
Cast: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Vincent D’OnofrioSelena GomezAhna O’ReillyAnaleigh TiptonJack KehlerScott HazeSam ShepardJoel Marsh GarlandJohn SavageRobert DuvallEd HarrisJosh HutchersonJulian De NiroBryan CranstonAshley GreeneKeegan AllenZach BraffAustin Stowell
Seen on: 24.4.2017

Plot:
Jim (Nat Wolff) just joined a political party who’s goal it is to empower workers. There he meets the charismatic and politically experienced Mac (James Franco) who takes him under his wing. Together they make their way to a fruit plantation where they hope to instigate a strike without the workers noticing that that’s what they came there to do. When they hear about a case where a plantation owner (Robert Duvall) reduced the workers’ pay from 3 to 1 Dollar, they know they have their in.

In Dubious Battle profits from Steinbeck’s strength as a writer and an absolutely stellar cast that makes the film worth seeing even though Franco directing Franco is not the best thing to ever happen.

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Grandma (2015)

Grandma
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz
Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, John Cho, Nat Wolff, Laverne Cox, Elizabeth Peña, Sam Elliott, Marcia Gay Harden
Part of: identities Festival special screening
Seen on: 10.6.2016

Plot:
Elle (Lily Tomlin) is not necessarily in the best of places. She has no money. She just broke up with her girlfriend Olivia (Judy Greer). And then her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) stands at her door and lets her know that she’s pregnant and needs an abortion. Sage and Elle are in complete agreement that Sage’s mother (Marcia Gay Harden) can never find out. So what is a penniless grandmother to do? She grabs Sage, starts the car and goes in search of money to fulfill her granddaughter’s needs. Even if it costs her whatever remains of her dignity.

Grandma is a different kind of road movie with a great concept that lives off grumpy Lily Tomlin and her sharp comic delivery. I enjoyed it immensely.

grandma

[Slight Spoilers]

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The Intern (2015)

The Intern
Director: Nancy Meyers
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, JoJo Kushner, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman, Jason Orley, Christina Scherer, Nat Wolff
Seen on: 29.9.2015

Plot:
Ben (Robert De Niro) used to have a full life. But now he’s retired and widowed and he feels a lack, no matter how many hobbies he starts. When he stumbles on an ad for a senior internship, he decides to give it a go. That’s how he ends up at Jules’ (Anne Hathaway) online clothing company. Although Jules isn’t very interested at first in having an intern like Ben, Ben quietly starts to find himself jobs to make her life easier.

The Intern is a film that pretends to be feminist but comes from an ultra-privileged, non-intersectional perspective in that regard that is quite galling. It was nice enough to watch, but it almost made me wish that they hadn’t tried to make what’s happening in it seem like feminism.

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Paper Towns (2015)

Paper Towns
Director: Jake Schreier
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Based on: John Green‘s novel
Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage, Jaz Sinclair, Jay Duplass, Ansel Elgort
Seen on: 6.8.2015

Plot:
Quentin (Nat Wolff) has been in love with Margo (Cara Delevingne) since she moved in across the street. They were friends for a while, but now nearing the end of high school, they both move in different circles now. Then one night, Margo climbs into Q’s bedroom and takes him and his car on a revenge trip against her ex-boyfriend. Q is exhilarated and has hopes for Margo again. But then she is gone, run away from home as she has several times before. But Q finds clues she’s left where she might have gone to and decides to go on a roadtrip with his best friends Radar (Justice Smith) and Ben (Austin Abrams) to find her.

If this wasn’t based on a book by John Green, I probably wouldn’t have seen it at all. But since it is, I had hopes that the wouldn’t play the manic pixie dream girl trope quite as straight as the trailer suggested. I was correct in thinking that, although they don’t manage a complete subversion of the trope. But at least it’s entertaining and sweet and it tries.

Paper_Towns

[SPOILER]

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The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

The Fault in Our Stars
Director: Josh Boone
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Based on: John Green’s novel
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe, Mike Birbiglia

Plot:
Hazel (Shailene Woodley) is sixteen, and is slowly dying from cancer. Her parents (Laura Dern, Sam Trammell) force her to attend a support group which only turns really interesting for Hazel when her friend Isaac (eye cancer) (Nat Wolff) brings his best friend Augustus (Ansel Elgort) to the group. Augustus lost one of his legs to osteosarcoma. Hazel and Augustus quickly bond over a novel – An Imperial Affliction – and their obsession with that book leads them on wholly unexpected adventures.

The Fault in Our Stars is exactly the sobfest you’d expect it to be and works just as well as the book. It is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book I’ve ever seen on screen.

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