xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: F. Scott Frazier
Sequel to: xXx, xXx: State of the Union
Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Rory McCann, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube
Seen on: 24.1.2017

Plot:
When a new weapon called Pandora’s Box is used to crash a satellite with enough precision to kill Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) and stolen from CIA headquarters by Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his people, high-ranking CIA operative Jane Marke (Toni Collette) knows she needs extra help. She finds Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) who has been living a quiet life of retirement. After hearing about Gibbons, Cage aggrees to track down Xiang and Pandora’s Box.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage absolutely delivers what it promises: it’s one of the most satisfying, fun action movies in a very long time.

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The Final Girls (2015)

The Final Girls
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writer: Joshua John Miller, M.A. Fortin
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Tory N. Thompson
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
When Amanda (Malin Akerman) was younger, she played a part in a slasher – Camp Bloodbath – that has since risen to cult status, but now she’s struggling through endless castings. At least she can always count on her daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga). But their harmonious, albeit precarious existence is blown apart when Amanda dies suddenly. Max tries her best to deal with her grief, but it’s hard. When there is a tribute screening of Camp Bloodbath, Max can barely bring herself to attend, but she lets herself get dragged there. Then she and her friends somehow get sucked into the film itself and maybe this time, Max will get the chance to save her mother’s life.

I absolutely loved Final Girls. It’s a genre-savy meta parody that has a lot of love for the movies it pokes fun at and it even adds an honest emotional core.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Writer: Stephen Chbosky
Based on: his novel
Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Johnny Simmons, Nicholas Braun, Mae Whitman, Julia Garner, Paul Rudd, Melanie Lynskey, Joan Cusack

Plot:
Charlie (Logan Lerman) writes anonymous letters to somebody he doesn’t actually know. He writes about returning to high school after his best friend killed himself the year before. He writes about the books he reads and the special support he gets from his English teacher (Paul Rudd). He writes about his Aunt Helen (Melanie Lynskey) who died. He writes about his sister (Nina Dobrev) and her boyfriend (Nicholas Braun). And when he meets Sam (Emma Watson) and her step-brother Patrick (Ezra Miller) he writes about them, their relationships and how through their friendship he slowly starts living his own life.

After I fell in love with the book so surprisingly but oh so deeply, I have to admit that the movie is not quite as good as that. But it is an excellent piece of work that I did enjoy a whole lot.

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Chloe (2009)

Chloe
Director: Atom Egoyan
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
Remake of: Nathalie…
Cast: Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Max Thieriot, Nina Dobrev

Plot:
Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson) have been married for quite a while and they’ve grown rather distant. And then Catherine starts to suspect that David is having an affair. When by chance she meets the young prostitute Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), she asks her to try to seduce David to test his loyalty. Which can’t really end well.

Chloe is a good thriller with interesting dynamics between its main characters, especially Catherine and Chloe. But the ending did not convince me. I just thought that it went a bit over the top.

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