She’s Funny That Way (2014)

She’s Funny That Way
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writer: Peter Bogdanovich, Louise Stratten
Cast: Imogen PootsOwen WilsonKathryn HahnRhys Ifans, Jennifer AnistonWill Forte, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Shannon, Lucy Punch, Illeana Douglas, Cybill ShepherdRichard Lewis, Austin Pendleton, Tatum O’Neal , Joanna Lumley, Quentin Tarantino
Seen on: 2.9.2015

Plot:
Isabella (Imogen Poots) is a rising star and as such, she gives an interview about how she made it big: how she met director Arnold (Owen Wilson) when she was working as a call girl, how he offered her a lot of money that she may be able to follow her dreams and stop working as a call girl; how they ran into each other at an audition the very next day; how Arnold’s wife and lead actress Delta (Kathryn Hahn), her co-star Seth (Rhys Ifans) and writer Joshua (Will Forte) were immediately taken by her acting talent; and how she got the job, including the ensuing awkwardness.

She’s Funny That Way could have been a charming, old-school screwball comedy, but unfortunately it was a little too boring to really be charming or funny.

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Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Based on: Thomas Pynchon‘s novel
Cast: Joaquin PhoenixJoanna Newsom, Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin, Eric Roberts, Serena Scott Thomas, Maya Rudolph, Michael Kenneth Williams, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, Sasha Pieterse
Seen on: 18.02.2015

Plot:
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is a private detective who spends most of his time being high. When his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston) surprisingly visits him to tell him about a plot against her current boyfriend, real estate tycoon Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), by his wife Sloane (Serena Scott Thomas) and then disappears, Doc takes up the investigation. As more people go missing and the police in the form of Christian ‘Bigfoot’ Bjornsen (Josh Brolin) gets involved as well, Doc quickly finds himself in deeper than he expected.

My relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson is difficult. With few exceptions I just don’t care for hard-boiled Detective Stories. Stoner movies are not my cup of tea. So it probably comes to no-one’s surprise that I did not like Inherent Vice, though it did surprise me how bored I was by it.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Plot:
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.

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The Internship (2013)

The Internship
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Josh BrenerDylan O’BrienTiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael, Max Minghella, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Gad, Jessica Szohr, Rob Riggle, Eric André, Will Ferrell, John Goodman

Plot:
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) have been salesmen and friends for their entire working life. But with the rise of the digital age, nobody really needs their services anymore. So they decide to start fresh – with an internship at Google. But not knowing anything about computers/the internet and competing with a whole lot of kids for the jobs might make everything a bit more difficult than they thought.

The Internship is fine. I basically saw it for Dylan O’Brien (though John Goodman and Max Minghella were a nice bonus) and if he hadn’t been in it and if I therefore hadn’t seen it, I probably wouldn’t have missed much. But it was entertaining enough.

theinternship

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How Do You Know (2010)

How Do You Know
Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: James L. Brooks
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson, Kathryn Hahn

Plot:
Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is a professional softball player but she’s just been cut from her team. A little bit at a loss with her life, she starts dating Matty (Owen Wilson) who is sweet and an asshole at the same time. In the meantime, George (Paul Rudd) who works for his father’s (Jack Nicholson) company is informed that he is being investigated for fraud and suddenly his life starts to fall apart – right after he got Lisa’s number from a mutual friend. On the advice of his assistant Annie (Kathryn Hahn) he calls her up but they don’t really hit it off straight away.

This movie is not exactly bad, but it isn’t any good either. There are some nice things about it, but somehow it’s neither fish nor fowl.

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Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight in Paris is the newest movie directed and written by Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Corey Stoll, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard and Adrien Brody.

Plot:
Gil (Owen Wilson) is a screenwriter who is trying to write a novel. When he travels to Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), he feels inspired by his surroundings. Inez on the other hand seems to only want to spend time with the pretentious Paul (Michael Sheen). One night Gil goes for a walk on his own, gets picked up by a car and ends up in Paris in the 1920s , his favorite period where he meets F. Scott (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda Fitzgerald (Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Salvador Dalí (Adrien Brody) and many others. But then he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard) and they really hit it off.

After the last few Woody Allen movies I saw and really didn’t enjoy, I was unsure whether to watch Midnight in Paris at all. But the cast drew me in and thankfully I did enjoy it more than I feared I would.

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Marmaduke (2010)

Marmaduke is the newest movie by Tom Dey, an adaptation from the comic, starring Owen Wilson, Lee Pace, William H. Macy, Kiefer Sutherland, Emma Stone, George Lopez, Steve Coogan, Stacy Ferguson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

[Don’t judge me for having seen this movie. I just love Lee Pace and Steve Coogan too much to miss it.]

Plot:
Marmaduke (Owen Wilson) is a pubescent Great Dane, belonging to the Winslow family. When Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) gets a job offer in California, they move from Kansas there. Unfortunately, Marmaduke has problems adjusting and gets into trouble with the local crowd, spearheaded by the evil Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland). And also Phil has his problems getting the new job done.

Marmaduke is a movie made for kids. In a time, where the supposed kids movies (like Shrek, Toy Story, Wall-E) are made at least as much for the adults, this is quite extraordinary. It’s not a brilliant film, but I’m sure that kids enjoy it. Adults, on the other hand, will be mostly bored.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox is the newest stop-motion animation movie by Wes Anderson, based on the book by Roald Dahl, starring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzmann, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker and Willem Dafoe.

Plot:
Mr. Fox (George Clooney) is a great thief, but sometimes, he risks too much. When Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) gets pregnant, he promises her that he would quit stealing.
A few years later, the Foxes move into a new tree, right across the three biggest and meanest farmers around, Boggis, Bunce and Bean (Michael Gambon). And Mr. Fox can’t help himself – he takes up the thieving again, bringing on problems not only for his family but for all the animals around him.

Even though the plot stayed basically the same as in the book, not much of Roald Dahl is left in the movie. Which in itself is not a bad thing (but a pity). Unfortunately, Anderson outwhimsied himself [(c) deadra] and just got way over the top with this film, at least for me.

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is the sequel to Night at the Museum. It’s directed by Shawn Levy and stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais.

Plot:
Night Guard Larry (Ben Stiller) has given up his job at the museum an is now successfully selling various household inventions via TV shopping channels. He hardly ever has time to visit his friends at the museum any more. But when he finally does, he finds out that most of the exhibits are supposed to go into permanent storage in the Smithsonian – without the life giving tablet. But things don’t go as planned and Larry finds himself in the middle of the Smithsonian with millions of exhibits come to life and fighting an evil pharaoh [Hank Azaria] for the tablet and the lives of his friends.

The movie is much like the first one – lighthearted fun for the whole family. Though the plot and the villain are slightly ridiculous, they’re more of an excuse to have fun with the various pieces of art in the Smithsonian anyway. And boy, did they ever! The paintings and the sculptures coming to life were brilliant. The star-studded cast was as well, especially Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan had me laughing till I cried.

nightsatthemuseumbattle

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Marley & Me (2008)

Marley & Me is directed by David Frankel, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston (and Kathleen Turner and Alan Arkin in mini-roles). It’s based on the book by John Grogan.

Plot:
John (Owen Wilson) and Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) are both journalists and got recently married. They move to the big city to try their luck and soon, John gets a dog for Jennifer who turns their life around. The movie follows the lives of John and Jennifer along their story with Marley.

Marley & Me was very sweet, but never really mushy. Actually, I think it’s one of the most honest and realistic portrayals of a relationship on screen I have ever seen – there are no big conflicts, but there are fights. There are big emotions triggered by small things. Not everything’s perfect, but in the end, there’s loyalty. I like it.

marley-and-me-poster

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