Re-Watch: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Lawrence KasdanGeorge Lucas, Philip Kaufman
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina, Wolf Kahler, Anthony Higgins, Vic Tablian
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is a professor of archaeology, but one who likes to get his hands dirty every once in a while and go on proper adventures. When the US government approaches him to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it, it seems the perfect moment for another one of those adventures. To find it, Indy has to first his ex Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) who inherited an important clue as to its location. But Indy isn’t the only one who knows about that.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is an entertainment classic for a reason: a joyful, spirited adventure story that comes with sexism and racism as is to be expected for a story of its time, though that doesn’t make it any more fortunate. Despite that, I managed to enjoy a lot of it.

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Re-Watch: HK: Hentai Kamen [HK: Forbidden Super Hero] (2013)

HK: Hentai Kamen
Director: Yûichi Fukuda
Writer: Yûichi Fukuda, Shun Oguri
Based on: Keishū Ando’s manga Kyūkyoku!! Hentai Kamen
Cast: Ryôhei Suzuki, Fumika Shimizu, Ken Yasuda
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (special screening)
Seen on: 9.9.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Kyōsuke Shikijō (Ryôhei Suzuki) is a high school student with a strong sense of justice, but unfortunately nothing to back that up with. So when he stands up against bullies, he regularly gets beat up. When Aiko Himeno (Fumika Shimizu) comes to his school, he immediately falls in love. Then Aiko is taken hostage during a bank robbery and Kyōsuke wants to save her. To not be recognized, he wants to pull on a mask, but pulls on a panty by mistake. But through that mistake his superpowers are released and Kyōsuke becomes Hentai Kamen – Pervert Mask.

When I first saw Hentai Kamen, I already loved it and I’m happy to say that it definitely holds up to re-watching it. It again had me laughing more often than not.

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Re-Watch: Charlie & Louise – Das doppelte Lottchen (1994)

Charlie & Louise – Das doppelte Lottchen
Director: Joseph Vilsmaier
Writer: Stephan Reinhart, Klaus Richter
Based on: Erich Kästner‘s novel Lottie and Lisa
Cast: Fritzi Eichhorn, Floriane Eichhorn, Heiner Lauterbach, Corinna Harfouch, Hanns Zischler, Hans Werner Meyer
Seen on: 30.8.2016

Plot:
Charlie (Fritzi Eichhorn) grew up with her father Wolf (Heiner Lauterbach), while Louise (Floriane Eichhorn) grew up with her mother Sabine (Corinna Harfouch). By chance they meet at a summer camp in Scotland – and after taking an initial dislike to each other, they realize that their parents have been lying to them all their lives and that they’re actually twins. Of course they are both curious to meet the parent they don’t know, so they decide to switch places with each other after their return. And maybe they’ll have a chance to bring their parents back together.

I really loved the movie when I was a kid (I’m reasonably certain that I saw it in the cinema when it came out and I saw it many times since then), but it’s been many years since I actually watched it. Rewatching it now together with my nieces who are just about the right age was a really nice experience, although the film is definitely geared towards kids more than towards adults.

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Re-Watch: The Mechanic (2011)

The Mechanic
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino
Remake of: the 1972 Charles Bronson film
Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Tony Goldwyn
Seen on: 29.8.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a contract killer, the best there is. Even when his next assignment is his mentor and best friend Harry (Donald Sutherland), he only waits to see the evidence that Harry is guilty until he kills him. Yet, afterwards he takes on Harry’s son Steve (Ben Foster) as an apprentice, despite all his doubts about Steve as a person and social proximity in general, and teaches him everything he knows.

I completely missed that a sequel to this film was coming, so when I saw the posters for that, I was all excited and decided that I really needed to re-watch the first film – and then I missed the sequel because they didn’t show it at decent times in the original version and how can I watch a film with the Stat without hearing his voice? Does not work. In any case, watching The Mechanic a second time is as entertaining as watching it the first time, which is to say: very.

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Re-Watch: Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day aka ID4
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Cast: Will SmithBill PullmanJeff GoldblumMary McDonnellJudd HirschRobert LoggiaRandy QuaidMargaret ColinVivica A. FoxJames RebhornHarvey FiersteinAdam BaldwinBrent SpinerJames Duval
Seen on: 4.8.2016

Plot:
Satellites pick up a strange signal from outer space and soon huge spaceships arrive and position themselves around the earth in strategic points. Communications expert David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is convinced that the aliens will attack and tries to get in touch with the President of the USA (Bill Pullman). Since the two of them don’t have the best history, this is easier said than done. When counterforces are finally mobilized – led by people like Airforce Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) – the aliens turn out to be near invincible. What is needed now is creative problem solving and everybody working together.

I was 11 when Independence Day came out and I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the film since, though it had been years that I’d seen it. After the catastrophe of the new film, I decided that a re-watch was in order to wash away the bitter aftertaste. An excellent decision, as ID4 is still an entertaining bit of popcorn cinema, even after all these years.

independenceday

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Re-Watch: Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls
Director: Mark Waters
Writer: Tina Fey
Based on: Rosalind Wiseman‘s book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdamsLizzy CaplanDaniel Franzese, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey ChabertJonathan Bennett, Tina FeyAmy Poehler, Tim Meadows
Seen on: 3.8.2016

Plot:
Cady (Lindsay Lohan) spent basically her entire childhood in Africa* with her zoologist parents (Ana Gasteyer, Neil Flynn), but now they have returned to the USA and Cady finds herself in a regular (USAmerican) high school for the first time in her life. She is understandably overwhelmed, but finds first alliances with outsiders Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese). But also the Plastics, the popular girls of the school led by Regina (Rachel McAdams) take an interest in Cady – and Cady will have to figure out where she fits in and who she is.

(*I am not sure anymore whether it’s specified where in Africa, or if this is yet another case of “Africa is a country”. But neither wikipedia nor imdb give any hint other than Africa, so I’m leaning towards the latter.)

I watched Mean Girls a few years ago and found it entertaining enough and on the better end of the teen movie spetrum, though not amazing. Since it has gained quite a cult following (on tumblr at least) in the meantime, I thought I’d give it another go. But it didn’t really change my first impression of the film.

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Re-Watch: Hanna (2011)

Hanna
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Seth LochheadDavid Farr
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom HollanderOlivia WilliamsJessica Barden
Seen on: 18.4.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) grows up with her father Erik (Eric Bana) in complete seclusion. He trains her to be the perfect spy and she grows up knowing that once she leaves her solitary life, she will be hunted down by Marissa (Cate Blanchett). Nevertheless Hanna wants to head out into the world and finally Erik also agrees that she’s ready. So the first thing Hanna does is to head out and try to kill Marissa, before Marissa can kill her.

I was rather disappointed in the film when I saw it the first time – I just didn’t think it lived up to its potential. So I hadn’t planned on watching it again but then it was part of my curriculum at uni and I decided to give it another try. With my expectations dialed down, I was able to enjoy Hanna much more than the first time.

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Re-Watch: The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show
Director: Peter Weir
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Ed Harris, Paul Giamatti
Seen on: 8.3.2016

Plot:
Truman (Jim Carrey) is living an absolutely ordinary life as an insurance salesman in a small town. His wife Meryl (Laura Linney) is a nurse and they are reasonably happy together and may have children soon. So far, so good. What Truman doesn’t know is that Meryl’s name is actually Hannah Gill. She’s an actress and he is the star of a reality TV show that has been chronicling his life since birth. Everything around him is TV – everything but Truman. Bit by bit, though, things are falling apart and Truman is starting to doubt.

It’s been years, probably a decade, that I saw The Truman Show and while the technology has changed a lot in that time, the film is still remarkably current. Plus, it is simply a good film.

thetrumanshow[SPOILERS follow]

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Re-Watch: Cruel Intentions (1999)

Cruel Intentions
Director: Roger Kumble
Writer: Roger Kumble
Based on: Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ epistolary novel
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius, Sean Patrick Thomas, Swoosie Kurtz, Christine Baranski, Tara Reid
Seen on: 7.2.2016
[This concludes my Dangerous Liaisons marathon. At least until I can get ahold of the other adaptations.]

Plot:
Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) and Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) are step siblings, united in their love to manipulate and destroy the people around them, a skill they have so artfully mastered that their ploys don’t fall back on them. Both have a new project: Valmont is trying to seduce Annette Hargrove (Reese Whitherspoon), the new principal’s daughter, who is widely known for her chastity pledge and that before school starts. Kathryn, on the other hand, is looking for revenge on an ex-lover who just dumped her for the naive Cecile (Selma Blair). So she enlists Valmont’s help to completely corrupt Cecile.

I was 14 when Cruel Intentions came out, 15 by the time I saw it the first time and I think that it is one of the defining teen movies of my generation. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good film, though it definitely does have its strengths, but it is very hard to view it separately from its influence.

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Re-Watch: Valmont (1989)

Valmont
Director: Milos Forman
Writer: Jean-Claude Carrière, Milos Forman
Based on: Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ epistolary novel
Cast: Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Meg Tilly, Fairuza Balk, Siân Phillips, Jeffrey Jones, Henry Thomas, Fabia Drake
Seen on: 1.2.2016

Plot:
The Victome de Valmont (Colin Firth) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Annette Bening) are thick as thieves, united in their love to manipulate and destroy the people around them, a skill they have so artfully mastered that their ploys don’t fall back on them. Both have a new project: Valmont is trying to seduce Madame de Tourvel (Meg Tilly) who is staying at his aunt’s (Fabia Drake) summer home and who is widely known for her morals and her loyalty to her husband. The Marquise, on the other hand, is looking for revenge on ex-lover Gercourt (Jeffrey Jones) who just got engaged to the naive Cécile (Fairuza Balk) who has spent practically her entire life in a convent. So she enlists Valmont’s help to completely corrupt Cécile.

Valmont is in many things much less faithful to the original novel than Dangerous Liaisons, but that doesn’t hurt the film one bit. It’s a fantastic, enjoyable film with a great cast.

valmont

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