Dredd (2012)

Dredd
Director: Pete Travis
Writer: Alex Garland
Based on: John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra‘s comic
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, Rakie Ayola

Plot:
In this ultra-violet future, there is no more separation of power – there is only the Judges, who are not only judges, but also jury and executioner all roled into one. And one of the best of these enforcers is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban). That’s why the Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) asks him to take on Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a new recruit. She failed her entrance exam but because she’s a powerful telekinetic, they want to give her a chance anyway. And it just so happens that their first case leads them to an apartment house controlled by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), an extremely dangerous drug dealer. And suddenly Anderson and Dredd find themselves locked in that building with a whole lot of goons with a whole lot of firepower after them.

Dredd should have been better than it was. If you look at the parts separately, they are pretty damn awesome, but if you put them altogether you get a movie that is somehow less than that. Instead it was rather boring and unengaging.

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Margaret (2011)

Margaret
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Jeannie Berlin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Jean Reno, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Matthew Broderick, Olivia Thirlby, Matt Bush, Michael Ealy
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a normal teenager until the day she co-causes a bus accident by distracting the driver (Mark Ruffalo). The bus hits and kills Monica (Allison Janney), leaving Lisa distraught and unsettled. Unable to find another outlet for her feelings of guilt, she gets on a crusade to get recompensation for Monica’s death, while everything around her keeps spiraling out of control.

Margaret is 2 1/2 hours long and you get to feel every minute of it.* It’s 2 1/2 hours of an hysteric teenager and emotionally incompetent adults, a combination that is at the same time boring and nerve-wrecking. What it isn’t, is enjoyable.

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The Darkest Hour (2011)

The Darkest Hour
Director: Chris Gorak
Writer: Jon Spaihts
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Veronika Ozerova

Plot:
Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) come to Russia to introduce their exciting new software. But as soon as they land, things start to go wrong, their software gets stolen by the arrogant Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) and they realize that they came to Russia for nothing at all. So they head to a bar, where they meet the tourists Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor). But before the night is over, a strange rain of light starts to hit Moscow and they quickly  discover that that is only the beginning of the alien invasion and their fight for survival.

The levels of stupid people manage to cram into one film continue to astound me – and The Darkest Hour really is the new high on that count. Unfortunately, it is not very entertaining with it.

[I hate-hate-hate those “cyrillic” movie posters. You know what it says there, if you translate the cyrillic to the roman alphabet? DDYAKEST. Bloody hell. Though admittedly, it is a fair representation of the film.]

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No Strings Attached (2011)

No Strings Attached is Ivan Reitman‘s newest film, starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, Olivia Thirlby, Ophelia Lovibond and Ludacris.

Plot:
Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) keep bumping into each other. And after Adam finds out that his father (Kevin Kline) is sleeping with his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Ophelia Lovibond), he gets drunk, lands on Emma’s couch and then in Emma’s bed. But since Emma isn’t that much into commitment, they agree that it shouldn’t become more. But can that really work?

No Strings Attached is exactly what it promised to be: a funny RomCom – and definitely one of the better sort. Is it a cinematic revelation? No. But it’s very entertaining.

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New York, I Love You (2009)

New York, I Love You is a collection of short films, bundled together because they are all set in New York. The segments were directed by Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman and Brett Ratner, the transitions between the segments by Randall Balsmeyer. And in the various segments there were Justin Bartha, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, James Caan, Hayden Christensen, Julie Christie, Bradley Cooper, Shia LaBeouf, Andy Garcia, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Cloris Leachman, Blake Lively, Drea de Matteo, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Christina Ricci, Eli Wallach, Robin Wright and Anton Yelchin.
I’ll spare you and me the writers, but they are interesting, too. [Also, do not ask how long this paragraph has taken me to write and link. It is better not known for it shows my obsessive-compulsive qualities.]

Plot:
A young woman (Emilie Ohana) drives around New York with her video camera, capturing various stories and moments around her.

The single segments deserve their own reviews (mostly) [which I’ll do after the jump] but overall, I have to admit that I was mostly bored during this movie. The stories weren’t connected enough – I expected a more unifying theme – nor were they representative of New York (unless New York barely has any black, hispanic or Asian people and no none-cis gendered, none-hetero persons either). I think most of the segments would have worked beautifully as short films, but bundling them together to one feature film didn’t work out.

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