Suburbicon (2017)

Suburbicon
Director: George Clooney
Writer: Joel CoenEthan Coen, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne MooreOscar IsaacNoah JupeTony EspinosaKarimah Westbrook, Leith M. Burke, Richard Kind, Steve Monroe
Seen on: 20.11.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Suburbicon is a picture-perfect 1950s community, filled with happy, white, affluent, nuclear families. But then the Mayers (Kamirah Westbrook, Tony Espinosa, Leith M. Burke) move to Suburbicon. They are black and their arrival brings Suburbicon’s facade to crumble, exposing the community’s racism. Their next-door neighbor Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) has other issues, though: he, his wife Rose (Julianne Moore), her twin sister Margaret (Julianne Moore), and their son Nicky (Noah Jupe) are being robbed in their own home, with dire consequences. But that’s only the beginning of the troubles in Suburbicon.

I found Suburbicon pretty disappointing. I thought that it would be about racism, but it revolves much more around the Lodges and their story. And that story does have a Coen-esque feel, but one that doesn’t quite come together.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Promise (2016)

The Promise
Director: Terry George
Writer: Terry George, Robin Swicord
Cast: Oscar IsaacCharlotte Le BonChristian BaleDaniel Giménez CachoShohreh AghdashlooMarwan KenzariAngela SarafyanTom HollanderJean Reno
Seen on: 22.8.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Mikael (Oscar Isaac) wants nothing more than to become a doctor. So he travels to Constantinople, where he can stay with his uncle, and starts studying. Also staying with his uncle is the beautiful Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a French dance instructor who teaches Mikael’s nieces. Mikael and Ana hit it off, but Ana is already dating American journalist Chris (Christian Bale). The love triangle that ensues is interrupted, though, when the political situation in the Ottoman Empire shifts, war is declared and Mikael, as an Armenian, finds himself in grave peril.

The Promise tells an important story, but unfortunately it doesn’t tell it particularly well, making it feel way too long and less engaging and devastating than it should have been.

Continue reading

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men: Apocalypse
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas HoultOscar IsaacRose ByrneEvan PetersSophie TurnerTye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Lana Condor, Olivia MunnZeljko Ivanek, Hugh Jackman, Stan Lee
Seen on: 25.5.2016

Plot:
Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is busy with running his school for mutants and finding misunderstood and mistreated mutants around the world with the help of Raven (Jennifer Lawrence). In the meantime, Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) has decided to disappear into a quiet and very normal life. But when an immortal, very dangerous and most powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), finds himself returned to consciousness after millennia of sleep, it becomes clear that they can only oppose him together.

So far, I really enjoyed this generation of X-Men movies and X-Men Apocalypse was a another thoroughly satisfying entry into the series. Especially after my rather lukewarm reaction to Captain America: Civil War, it was nice to get a superhero movie that manages to keep the quality of its predecessors, even if it doesn’t really add anything new to the story.

xmenapocalypse Continue reading

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Episode VII)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Peter Mayhew, Gwendoline Christie, Simon Pegg, Greg Grunberg, Warwick Davis, Iko Uwais, Judah Friedlander, Daniel Craig, Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz
Seen on: 21.12.2015

Plot:
It was 30 years ago that Darth Vader was defeated and the Empire fell. And it’s about as long that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared from the Galaxy. The Resistance is still looking for him. Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is hot on the trail of a missing map piece for that search when he comes under attack. He hands the map to his droid BB-8 and sends it on its way. Rey (Daisy Ridley) works as a scavenger on that very same planet and she stumbles first on BB-8 and then on a stormtrooper (John Boyega) who deserted. Before they have a chance to think, they are on the run – and run straight into Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Together they decide to try to find Luke.

I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a Star Wars fan. I watched Episodes 4 through 6 when I was a kid and thought they were okay, watched Episode 1 when it came out and thought it was so stupid, I never even watched 2 and 3. When 7 came out, I hesitated for a while to watch it, but ultimately I figured why not? I have watched films for less reason than the cast of this one alone. And I have to say, I don’t regret watching it. In many ways it has the IQ of a potato, but it is seriously entertaining and very nice to watch.

starwarstfa Continue reading

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A Most Violent Year
Director: J.C. Chandor
Writer: J.C. Chandor
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Albert BrooksElyes Gabel, Elizabeth Marvel, Alessandro Nivola
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 28.10.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is working hard to make the company he has taken over from his wife Anna’s (Jessica Chastain) family a thriving success. But as they can finally make an offer on a plot of land that would give them a significant advantage in the business, they hit a snag: the trucks carrying the oil they are selling keep getting robbed. When Abel tries semi-official channels to try and figure out who’s targeting him, he comes under scrutiny of D.A. Lawrence (David Oyelowo) himself. Now he has only a week to fulfill the stipulations of the deal on the land, keep his business afloat and himself out of jail.

A Most Violent Year is a strong film that is always engaging and has great cast. But it does have a few weaknesses as well.

amostviolentyear Continue reading

Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Corey Johnson
Seen on: 28.04.2015

Plot:
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) can’t believe his luck when he wins the employee lottery and will be allowed to meet the company’s – Bluebook, a search engine and more – owner, the reclusive genius Nathan (Oscar Isaac). And not only meet him – they will get to spend a week together in Nathan’s home, working on a project together. When Caleb arrives, Nathan announces that he has been working on an AI – and he wants Caleb to test her, Ava (Alicia Vikander), to see if she can pass as completely human. But the more time Caleb spends with Ava, the less he trusts Nathan and his intentions.

Ex Machina is great. Smart, political and surprisingly feminist science fiction, beautiful images, excellent script and a wonderful cast. I was blown away by it.

exmachina

[SPOILERS] Continue reading

The Two Faces of January (2014)

The Two Faces of January
Director: Hossein Amini
Writer: Hossein Amini
Based on: Patricia Highsmith‘s novel
Cast: Oscar IsaacViggo MortensenKirsten Dunst, Daisy Bevan

Plot:
Rydal (Oscar Isaac) is an American working as a tour guide in Greece. He meets the fascinating couple Colette (Kirsten Dunst) and Chester Macfarland (Viggo Mortensen) and is immediately drawn to them. But there is something to the Macfarlands that isn’t quite right and Rydal soon finds himself in deeper than he thought.

The Two Faces of January has an excellent cast and a charming old-timey setting but nothing in this film actually works as it should.

the-two-faces-of-january

Continue reading

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham

Plot:
Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a struggling folk singer whose life is less than glamorous. He has no money – instead he has a floundering solo album. He doesn’t have an apartment – instead he crashes on friends’ couches until they kick him out. He doesn’t have a girlfriend – instead he sleeps with Jean (Carey Mulligan) who is actually with Jim (Justin Timberlake). And Jean is pregnant and needs an abortion because she really doesn’t want Llewyn’s child. So Llewyn has to figure out a way to make it happen.

Inside Llewyn Davis breaks my Coen Brothers rule: I usually only ever like every other film they make and it wouldn’t have been their turn to be liked, but it worked out that way anyway. I was enchanted by Llewyn and the hypnotically slow pace of the film.

insidellewyndavis

Continue reading

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The Bourne Legacy
Director: Tony Gilroy
Writer: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy
Based on: Robert Ludlum‘s novels (kinda)
Sequel to: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Joan Allen, David Strathairn

Plot:
While the events of The Bourne Ultimatum are unfolding, a government group spearheaded by Eric Byer (Edward Norton) tries to get the situation under control by shutting down all programs related to Treadstone. That means that they start killing operatives. But one of them, Aaron (Jeremy Renner), manages to escape and subsequently tries to get back his independence and freedom with the help of Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who designed the drugs that gives the operatives a mental and physical edge.

The Bourne Legacy has a terrific cast, but falls flat in pretty much all other departments: The writing is a mess, the camerawork sucks, as does the editing, but worst of all is the direction.

Continue reading

Drive (2011)

Drive
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Hossein Amini
Based on: James Sallis‘ novel
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
The Driver (Ryan Gosling) is actually a stunt man, but he also works as a getaway driver for robberies. He is always on the move. The only constant in his life is his employer/agent/friend Shannon (Bryan Cranston). Shannon tries to find funding to get him established as a race car driver. When the Driver gets involved into a heist for the sake of a friend, things start to go wrong very quickly.

The buzz for Drive is pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is that it’s also absolutely true. It’s an incredibly intense, well acted and beautifully shot film.

Continue reading