Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Based on: Jesse Andrewsnovel
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, [Spoiler] Hugh Jackman
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Greg (Thomas Mann) glides through High School doing everything he can not to be noticed and not to get too close to anyone. Even his best friend Earl (RJ Cyler) is just a co-worker to him. When his mother (Connie Britton) hears that her friend Denise’ (Molly Shannon) daughter Rachel (Olivia Cooke) has cancer, she forces Greg to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. Both aren’t exactly happy about it, but somehow they manage to get past the initial awkwardness.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film that manages to make you laugh and cry, touching on important issues in a lighthearted and sweet way that still takes things seriously.

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl

[Slight Spoilers]

Continue reading

Knight of Cups (2015)

Knight of Cups
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Cast: Christian Bale, Wes Bentley, Cate Blanchett, Imogen Poots, Natalie Portman, Jason Clarke, Teresa Palmer, Joe Manganiello, Isabel Lucas, Nick Offerman, Joel Kinnaman, Nicky WhelanAntonio BanderasFreida PintoKatia WinterMichael WincottThomas LennonClifton Collins Jr.Shea WhighamNick KrollRyan O’NealKevin CorriganBrian DennehyJoe Lo Truglio, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ben Kingsley
Seen on: 15.9.2015

Plot:
Rick (Christian Bale) is a screenwriter living in LA. He moves from party to party, woman to woman. He seems to be looking for something, but who knows for what?
[Actually the first note I wrote down for this film is: “I don’t think I could write a plot description for this film”, so you’ll have to live with that little bit.]

I don’t like Terrence Malick movies. I decided to watch this one anyway because Cate Blanchett! Christian Bale! Natalie Portman! And so many other actors I love. But it turns out that Knight of Cups is everything I hate about Malick movies turned up to 11, while nothing I used to still like about them works for me anymore.

Knight_of_Cups Continue reading

Re-Watch: Sin City (2005)

Sin City
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, (Quentin Tarantino)
Writer: Frank Miller
Based on: Frank Miller’s comics
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica AlbaElijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Powers Boothe, Michael Clarke DuncanRutger Hauer, Michael Madsen, Devon AokiJosh Hartnett, Alexis BledelJaime King, Carla Gugino, Brittany Murphy, Nick Offerman, Nick Stahl

Plot:
Basin City is called Sin City for a reason. A town full of crooked politicians, even more crooked cops, murderers, sex workers and pretty much everyone who was thrown out everywhere else. After the last good cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) saved Nancy (Jessica Alba) from a pedophile and Senator’s son (Nick Stahl), he had to take the fall for it. But now he is out of prison and full of worry for Nancy’s continued safety. Nancy works as a stripper in a local club. At that same club, Shelly (Brittany Murphy) works as a waitress and she’s freshly in love with Dwight (Clive Owen). But her ex Jackie (Benicio Del Toro) is not done with her yet and Dwight suddenly finds himself in over his head in the part of town run by the sex workers. One of them (Jaime King) was just murdered – while Marv (Mickey Rourke) slept next to her no less. Now Marv is determined to find her killer and to exact vengeance.

I remember when I first saw Sin City – I was completely blown away by it (back then I was also a rather unaware baby-feminist, so I barely noticed the incredible sexism). Now I look at it with a more critical eye, but it’s still an awesome film.

sincity Continue reading

In a World… (2013)

In a World…
Director: Lake Bell
Writer: Lake Bell
Cast: Lake BellFred Melamed, Michaela Watkins, Demetri Martin, Rob CorddryAlexandra HoldenTalulah Riley, Jason O’Mara, Ken Marino, Eva Longoria, Nick Offerman, Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Carol (Lake Bell), daughter of the famous trailer narrator Sam (Fred Melamed), has been dreaming of narrating trailers herself. But women just don’t do that – all movie trailers are narrated by men. So she struggles along with dialect coaching. Until one day she by chance gets to substitute for Gustav (Ken Marino), new star of the trailer voice over world. Despite the hostility from a lot of men around her, that was just the opening she needed to carve out a space for herself and female voices.

In a World… was funny, sweet, smart and feminist. I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

inaworld

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

The Lego Movie (2014)

The Lego Movie
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Writer: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Cast: Chris PrattElizabeth BanksMorgan FreemanLiam Neeson, Will ArnettNick Offerman, Alison BrieCobie Smulders, Jonah HillChanning Tatum, Will FerrellWill Forte, Charlie Day, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal

Plot:
Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary lego worker, spending his days joyfully building things, though he is also a bit lonely. Everything changes though, when he sees Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), gets identified as the most extraordinary person and involved in the rebellion against Lord Business (Will Ferrell) whose main goal is to have everything in its place, chaos and with it diversity be damned.

The Lego Movie was a whole lot of fun, stitched together from references and meta jokes that nevertheless manage to form a coherent role with a rather surprising end, even if it sometimes runs a bit empty.
lego

Continue reading

We’re the Millers (2013)

We’re the Millers
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn, Luis Guzmán, Mark L. Young

Plot:
David (Jason Sudeikis) is a drug dealer. When he gets robbed, his boss Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) asks him to go to Mexico and pick up some weed to bring back to the US as repayment. To get across the border unquestioned, David has the idea to get Kenny (Will Poulter), a naive boy who lives in the same building, Casey (Emma Roberts), a young runaway and Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper who also lives in the building, to pose as his family. And so the four find themselves on a road trip that takes some surprising turns.

I hadn’t actually planned to see this film. It didn’t seem like something I was into. But my sister asked me to go with her and, well. And I have to say that the film was not as bad as I thought it would be from the trailer (which featured mainly stripping Jennifer Aniston). It’s not a great movie, but it didn’t hurt to watch it, either.

we-re-the-millers

Continue reading

Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012)

Somebody Up There Likes Me
Director: Bob Byington
Writer: Bob Byington
Cast: Keith Poulson, Jess Weixler, Nick Offerman, Stephanie Hunt, Marshall Bell, Kate Lyn Sheil, Jonathan Togo, Megan Mullally
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Max’s (Keith Poulson) life is slowly passing him by. He is still attached to his ex-wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) who is not really interested in him anymore. Just to get by, he works as a waiter in a restaurant with Sal (Nick Offerman), where he meets Lyla (Jess Weixler). Lyla and Max hit it off, at least at first. But as the years pass, things develop differently than planned.

Somebody Up There Likes Me has all the hallmarks of a mumblecore movie, which are usually really not my cup of tea (though they do tend to draw me in) – with one crucial distinction: it wasn’t necessary for me to like Max to like this film. And that makes it very enjoyable.

Continue reading