Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (aka Episode IX)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Chris Terrio, J.J. Abrams
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, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Greg Grunberg, Shirley Henderson, Billie Lourd, Dominic Monaghan, Warwick Davis, Jodie Comer, Billy Howle
Seen on: 19.12.2019

Plot:
Rey (Daisy Ridley) finishes her training as a Jedi just in time as the war of the First Order against the galaxy reaches its full height. Together with the resistance, especially Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac), it’s time to prepare for the last and biggest battle to decide the fate of the galaxy. It turns out to be a battle filled with unsuspected allies and opponents.

I’m not much of a Star Wars person, but I enjoyed this new wave of the franchise so far. Unfortunately, The Rise of Skywalker was a disappointing mess.

The film poster showing an assortment of characters from the film.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Director: Lasse Hallström, Joe Johnston
Writer: Ashleigh Powell
Based on: E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, as well as the ballet based on this story by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Tom Sweet, Meera Syal, Ellie Bamber, Matthew Macfadyen, Morgan Freeman, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Helen Mirren, Jack Whitehall, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley, Misty Copeland, Max Westwell, Aaron Smyth, Sergei Polunin
Seen on: 26.11.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Clara’s (Mackenzie Foy) mother passed away not too long ago, but her father (Matthew Macfadyen) has one last Christmas present from the her for Clara and her siblings. While her siblings’ presents are rather self-explanatory, Clara gets a golden egg that’s supposed to open, but doesn’t. Her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) is the one who made it, so Clara hopes that at his annual Christmas party, she might find more answers. Indeed, he leads her to the key, but before she can reach it, Clara finds herself transported into a completely different world – a world her mother apparently knew intimately. Clara meets the soldier Philipp (Jayden Fowora-Knight), as well as the regents of three of the four realms of that world. Quickly she is deeply involved in the politics of the four realms.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is nice, but doesn’t really come together. Nevertheless, it is entertaining and cute in an entirely unimpactful way.

The film poster showing the main characters in very colorful outfits.
Continue reading

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Tom O’Connor
Cast: Ryan ReynoldsSamuel L. JacksonSalma HayekElodie YungRichard E. GrantGary OldmanSam Hazeldine, Joaquim de Almeida
Seen on: 6.9.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) used to be the best bodyguard/security manager in the business. That is, until he lost a client in the worst way. Now he’s relegated to small projects with clients of no importance. Which is exactly why his ex-girlfriend Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) contacts him: she’s charged with delivering assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to the International Court in The Hague to testify, but they’ve run into serious trouble and Amelia doesn’t know who else she can trust anymore. But Michael and Darius have an incredibly tense history that they now have to put aside to work together.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is pretty entertaining, albeit not unbelievably great. It has its moments and its weaknesses, but mostly it’s fun.

Continue reading

Their Finest (2016)

Their Finest
Director: Lone Scherfig
Writer: Gaby Chiappe
Based on: Lissa Evans‘ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half
Cast: Gemma ArtertonSam ClaflinBill NighyRichard E. GrantHenry GoodmanRachael StirlingJack HustonAmanda RootEddie MarsanHelen McCroryJeremy Irons
Seen on: 19.7.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
It’s the middle of World War II, times are tough and Catrin (Gemma Arterton) needs a job as her husband Ellis (Jack Huston), an artist, doesn’t make enough money to keep them afloat. She gets hired as a scriptwriter for propaganda films and quickly gets saddled with the task of writing the supposedly unimportant women’s dialogue. When she hears about a story about two young women who participated in the Dunkirk evacuation, she brings the idea for an entire film – which makes her co-author to Tom (Sam Claflin) and handler to the aging star Ambrose (Bill Nighy).

Their Finest is a beautiful, fantastic film that touches on many things, but most of all it pulls on heartstrings in the perfect way.

Continue reading

Logan (2017)

Logan
Director: James Mangold
Writer: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
Based on: Mark Millar and Steve McNiven‘s comic series Old Man Logan, which is in turn based on the character Wolverine created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, John Romita Sr. and the Marvel Comics X-Men series
Sequel to: the X-Men movies
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, Quincy Fouse
Seen on: 8.3.2017

Plot:
Mutants have been practically eradicated. There are only a few left – those who manage to hide very well. One of them is Logan (Hugh Jackman), whose age is starting to show in the decreased tempo of his healing. He takes care of Xavier (Patrick Stewart), whose age is in turn showing in the dementia he developed. They are constantly at risk of being discovered. When Logan is asked to drive the young Laura (Dafne Keen) to Canada, he smells trouble and tries to refuse. But Laura won’t let herself be refused. She is like Logan in many ways and definitely a mutant. And she is pursued by an organization that means her harm. Laura forces Logan to face the world and his place in it.

Logan is probably the most emotionally mature superhero film, at least of recent years. Nevertheless, I’m not quite as taken with it as many other people were.

Continue reading

Jackie (2016)

Jackie
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Cast: Natalie PortmanPeter SarsgaardGreta GerwigBilly CrudupJohn HurtRichard E. GrantCaspar PhillipsonJohn Carroll LynchBeth GrantDeborah FindlayCorey Johnson
Seen on: 31.1.2017

Plot:
A year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson), his widow Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) gives an interview to a journalist (Billy Crudup) about the difficult path she had to navigate in the time since. Weighed down by her own shock and grief, she still has to make sure she upholds the Kennedy’s reputation and her own husband’s legacy.

Despite a great cast and a great look, Jackie did not work for me. It continuously bored me and I just could not get into the story, the film or the characters.

Continue reading

About Time (2013)

About Time
Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths

Plot:
When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that he has the ability to travel in time. Disbelieving at first, Tim finds out that it’s true and decides that this might finally be the thing to allow him to find a girlfriend. But things aren’t easy, not even when you have such abilities and when Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) he finds that out for himself.

About Time was sweet, funny and utterly charming. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

abouttime

Continue reading

The Iron Lady (2011)

The Iron Lady
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Writer: Abi Morgan
Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach, Harry Lloyd, Iain Glen, Anthony Stewart Head, Olivia Colman, Richard E. Grant

Plot:
After a long political career, Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) who is slowly losing her grip on her mind and reality, reminisces about her life, career and family, a hallucination of her deceased husband Denis (Jim Broadbent) her constant companion. Born as Margaret Roberts (Alexandra Roach), daughter of a grocer (Iain Glen), she fought her way up, always with the support of Denis (Harry Lloyd).

I did enjoy The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep is amazing and I did like the structure of the script. But I would have wished for a little more of her politics and a little less of her private life.

Continue reading