Downsizing (2017)

Downsizing
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Cast: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Rolf Lassgård, Ingjerd Egeberg, Udo Kier, Søren Pilmark, Jason Sudeikis, Maribeth Monroe, Neil Patrick Harris, Laura Dern, Margo Martindale
Seen on: 1.2.2018
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Plot:
The world has latched onto a new concept: downsizing. People are literally shrunk down to five inches. Given that they need much less resources that way, their dollar stretches much further, buying them a life of luxury. Paul (Matt Damon) is intrigued by the idea and when his friend Dave (Jason Sudeikis) tells him all about his newly shrunken life and how great it is, Paul and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to take the leap themselves.

Payne isn’t my kind of director, and Downsizing is unfortunately no exception, despite the fun premise. The execution is racist, sexist and gets lost inside its own metaphor. I was hoping for more.

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Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn
Based on: Gillian Flynn‘s novel
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon

Plot:
Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) used to be in love. But as their fifth anniversary approaches, things don’t look so good anymore. There’s been a lot of tension between them recently. And then Amy disappears after what looks like a break-in into their home. Nick seems upset but he’s also obviously hiding something – and the police are quickly narrowing in on him as a suspect.

I really loved Gone Girl. The story, the cast, the pacing – I was completely into it the entire time, even after having accidentally read a spoiler that could have potentially ruined the entire thing but turned out to be not quite as major as it appeared at first. Everything about the film just works completely.

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[SPOILERS]

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Erica Rivinoja
Based on: Judi Barrett‘s and Ron Barrett‘s characters
Sequel to: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal

Plot:
Flint (Bill Hader) and Sam (Anna Faris) have just gotten things under control with the FLDSMDFR, when The Live Corp, headed by Chester V (Will Forte) swoops in to take over the clean-up and to offer Flint a job. Since Chester V has been Flint’s idol since about forever, he accepts gladly. But it soon turns out that The Live Corp has nefarious plans for the FLDSMDFR and the foodimals it started producing.

I very much liked Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but this sequel was extremely disappointing. Aside from the (partly excellent) punning, there’s practically nothing to it.

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The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Based on: Jim Henson‘s characters
Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones
Cameos by [put in camouflage so you can still be surprised by the people who show up, if you don’t know already. If you wanna be surprised, don’t read the tags, either]: Jack Black, Alan Arkin, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Jim Parsons, Kristen Schaal, Sarah Silverman, Donald Glover, Emily Blunt, Leslie Feist, Whoopi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Dave Grohl, Neil Patrick Harris, Judd Hirsch, John Krasinski, Rico Rodriguez, Mickey Rooney

Plot:
Walter and Gary (Jason Segel) are brothers, but Walter is pretty different from the rest of the world. It is only when he finds the Muppets that he feels he has somewhere he belongs. So he jumps at the chance, of course, to go to Los Angeles with Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to visit the Muppet Studios. But the studio is decrepit and threatened by Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) who wants to drill for oil there. The only chance to save it all would be to get Kermit and the rest of the Muppets together to raise 10 million dollars. So Walter takes it on himself to make just that happen.

I never watched The Muppets when I was a kid and apart from their Christmas Carol and a few choice youtube videos, I never really had much contact with them. So I felt like I was missing some ingredient in the whole thing (nostalgia? character background?), but nevertheless, I enjoyed the film. I just think you would get more out of it if you were more of a Muppets fan.

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Beastly (2011)

Beastly is the Daniel Barnz‘ adaptation of Alex Flinn‘s novel, starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Lisa Gay Hamilton and Neil Patrick Harris.

Plot:
Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is popular, good-looking and an ass. As a punishment for his shallow ways, the witch Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen) curses him: He gets some piercings and tattoos turned into an ugly person and has a year to find a girl to fall in love with him even though he’s so ugly. Oh, and he’s ugly. So Kyle uses the one and only tried and tested find your true love method: he hides out at first, then starts stalking Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), finally kidnaps her and then reads her some poetry.* And they say romance is dead.

As you can probably take away from my totally snark-free plot recap: Beastly is not a good film. Not only do they take the already problematic Beauty-and-Beast-premise and somehow manage to make it worse, they do so with bad acting and without any charm whatsoever. Nevertheless, be it the copious amount of vodka I consumed during the showing, the snarking or the actual film: Beastly was entertaining.

*POETRY: it works, bitchez.

[Since I’m about to rip this movie apart, it might be important to point out that I did not read the book, hence I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and leaving room for the possibility that it didn’t suck. It’s unlikely, but possible.]

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the movie adaptation of the book by the same name by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. It was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and starring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris and Lauren Graham.

Plot:
Flint (Bill Hader) is an inventor. He’s brilliant but unfortunately his inventions have a tendency to go wrong. When he tries to make life better for the people living in his town (who are stuck eating sardines), he invents a machine that turns water into food. Unfortunately, the machine gets shot into the atmosphere and from then on, it rains food. But trouble only starts there.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is sweet and funny. Really funny. And it’s buzzing with creative ideas. But it could be that even though it tries to have something both for adults and kids, it falls more on the adult side of things. And I have to admit that aesthetically, I didn’t like it too much.

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