The Dinner (2017)

The Dinner
Director: Oren Moverman
Writer: Oren Moverman
Based on: Herman Koch‘s novel
Cast: Richard GereLaura LinneySteve CooganRebecca HallChloë SevignyMichael ChernusCharlie PlummerSeamus Davey-FitzpatrickMiles J. Harvey
Seen on: 20.6.2017
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Plot:
Paul (Steve Coogan), a history teacher, and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) are meeting Paul’s brother Stan (Richard Gere), a successful politician, and his second wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall) for dinner. Paul obviously doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t actually like Stan a lot and he’s struggling with his mental health. But something happened that involves Paul and Claire’s son, as well as Stan’s kids from his first marriage. And the four present parents need to decide what to do about what happened.

The Dinner managed to completely dismantle white, rich privilege without ever leaving the privileged perspective. Nothing in this film is okay, but it is worth looking at the issues exactly because of that.

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Director: John Madden
Writer: Ol Parker
Sequel to: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Cast: Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Penelope WiltonDiana Hardcastle, Dev Patel, Tena DesaeLillete DubeyVikram Singh, David Strathairn, Tamsin Greig, Richard Gere
Seen on: 9.4.2015

Plot:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is doing well with its permanent senior residents. So well, in fact, that Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) decide that they want to expand. But for that to work, they need an investor. They travel to the USA to talk to Ty Burley (David Strathairn), CEO of a chain of retirement homes there. Burley announces that he will send somebody to check out the hotel and make his decision based on that. But that’s not the only thing going on in the hotel: Sonny is getting married to Sunaina (Tina Desai), his mother (Lillete Dubey) keeps butting in – or at least that’s what Sonny feels. Two new guests arrive (Richard Gere, Tamsin Greig) and the old ones (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle) all have their own issues to deal with.

Much like the first film, the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was mostly fluff. It was funny, sweet and rather enjoyable, if you don’t expect too much of it and just want to see great actors in an entertaining film.

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Arbitrage (2012)

Arbitrage
Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Writer: Nicholas Jarecki
Cast: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta, Nate Parker, Monica Raymund (for a few seconds)

Plot:
Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is a generally successful business owner, though he has encountered some troubles in the past and is now trying to sell his company as quickly as possible. He and his daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) are also already negotiating a deal and all seems to be going well. Robert’s wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) doesn’t know about the problems, and she also doesn’t know about Robert’s affair with the young artist Julie (Laetitia Casta). But then Robert gets into a car accident while driving with Julie and Julie is killed. Since he wants to avoid the scandal, Robert calls Jimmy (Nate Parker), a poor, young guy who owes Robert a debt through his (Jimmy’s) father to pick him up. But when Det. Bryer (Tim Roth) gets involved, things seem to slip Robert’s control.

Arbitrage is a frustrating film, on two levels: one, it is so close to being great, but it just doesn’t manage the last bit to actually get there. Two, the ending wants to be frustrating (because the world is frustrating when it comes to powerful people) and Jarecki absolutely succeeds with that.

Arbitrage

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Movie 43 (2013)

Movie 43 (it’s a comedy anthology with the following segments)
Writer (for the most parts): Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Baker
The Thread (in the European version, that’s the framing device; in the US, I gather, it’s a different story)
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Cast: Devin Eash, Adam Cagley, Mark L. Young
The Catch
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman
Homeschooled
Director: Will Graham
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Allen White
The Proposition
Director: Steve Carr
Cast: Chris Pratt, Anna Faris
Veronica
Director: Griffin Dunne
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone
iBabe
Director: Steven Brill
Cast: Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer
Superhero Speed Dating
Director: James Duffy
Cast: Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Bibb, John Hodgman
Machine Kids
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken
Writer: Jonathan van Tulleken
Middleschool Date
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh
Tampax
Director: Patrik Forsberg
Writer: Patrik Forsberg
Happy Birthday
Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Gerard Butler
Truth or Dare
Director: Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg
Cast: Stephen Merchant, Halle Berry
Victory’s Glory
Director: Rusty Cundieff
Cast: Terrence Howard
Beezel
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel

Plot:
Calvin (Mark L. Young) and his best friend JJ (Adam Cagley) wanted to trick his little brother Baxter (Devin Eash) by making him look for a supposedly banned film that doesn’t actually exist – Movie 43. But Baxter actually finds something, and as they move from clip to clip they come ever closer to the truth.

People, heed my warning. I thought that a movie with that cast couldn’t possible be as bad as the trailer. “There must be something there,” I thought. “Something redeeming. It can’t possibly be all dick jokes, scatological humor and misanthropy?” Now I laugh in the face of my naivité. Because that really is all there is to this film: people behaving like disgusting assholes and we’re supposed to laugh about it. And all that remains after seeing the film is a question: Why? Why would anybody want to make such a film? Why are any of the actors involved in this? Why would anybody think that shit is funny? WHYYYYY????

movie-43

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Amelia (2009)

Amelia is the story of Amelia Earhart. It was directed by Mira Nair and stars Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Joe Anderson and Mia Wasikowska.

Plot:
Amelia (Hilary Swank) wants to be a pilot, and not just any pilot. With the help of publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere) she manages to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic (even if “only” as a passenger). From then on, she continues to challenge herself and set new records, while trying to encourage women everywhere to become pilots themselves.

After the abysmal reviews Amelia has been getting (and it didn’t even saw a cinematic release in Austria), I didn’t expect much from this film. [But how could I not watch a movie that featured both Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston?] But I was really pleasantly surprised. It’s actually a really nice film.

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Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

I can summarise Nights in Rodanthe pretty quickly: Crap. Holy fucking shit, it’s bad.

Seriously… I knew that I wouldn’t be seeing the film of the year when I went to the cinema to watch it. But Nicholas Sparks is usually better than that [mild disclaimer: Have only seen movie adaptations and never read a book by him].

But I probably should have taken notice, when deadra told me about this one review she read, which basically said that the director should be whacked over the head with the screenplay because that used to be a fine book. I’m totally with that. No matter whether the book was good or not.


Both are happy it’s over. Me too.

Anyway, the story had tear jerker potential. Definitely. Unforunately, mostly it was so stupid that I could never get into the mood. [I probably should start bringing a sign with me when I watch movies like that in the cinema: WARNING! Snark in Progress.] But let me tell you about the stupidity, it’s always the most fun to read that…

You have to consenting, single adults. Their chemistry is sizzling. What do you have to do to make them kiss? Right. There has to be a storm, which makes a cupboard almost fall on her, so he can save her life. Then they might kiss.

Imagine, you take a walk on the beach. Suddenly, a herd of wild horses come galopping along. Very close. What is your reaction? Right. You drop to your knees. But only, if you can’t lay flat on the ground to ensure the trampling…

She spends the whole time during the day on the beach with at least three layers on. That’s sensible, it’s autumn and I guess rather cold. But when she goes out in the evening, she doesn’t even bother to wear sleeves?

And Nights in Rodanthe definitely takes away the prize for the worst euphemism for nipple. Post office. Post office! If any guys ever refers to any part of me as the post office, I’m going to kick him out of my bed and never let him back. Ever.

Richard Gere wonders, where his career went. Diane Lane wonders how she could possibly have made a worse movie than Untraceable.

Summarising: Don’t bother watching. In fact, destroy every copy of this movie you can find.

I was there

Finally, finally I saw I’m Not There. And I loved it. It was as good as I expected, funny and with a love for details that was just a-fucking-mazing.

I don’t know a lot about Bob Dylan, so it’s hard for me to judge whether the film is an accurate portray of him. But I felt like I got to know someone – whether or not that someone is really Bob Dylan, I can’t say. But it doesn’t matter anyway (at least to me).

Todd Haynes really has a thing for very good musician bio-pics (and if you still haven’t seen Velvet Goldmine it’s high time!). And he knows who to give the responsibility for the casting (for Velvet Goldmine it was Susie Figgis and for I’m Not There Laura Rosenthal). Do I really need to reiterate the perfect cast? Probably not, but I’m going to anyway :). Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin [Watch out for that little guy, he’s absolutely wonderful!], Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard Gere, Bruce Greenwood, Heath Ledger, Julianne Moore and Ben Whishaw. And Kris Kristofferson has a very nice narrating voice.

I adored the small jokes that were just standing around – the appearance of the Beatles, the zoo and the poet (Ben Whishaw) is called Arthur Rimbaud, for krissakes.

And I need to get the soundtrack.

There are only two things I can critisise about the film:
1. It was a bit confusing (which I don’t mind when I’m in the right mood – leaves room for discussion).
2. There wasn’t nearly enough Christian Bale and he became a Born-Again-Christian (but that’s only a real criticism if you are a HUGE fan of CB – like me – and an atheist with an aversion against anything even remotely like a dogmatic doctrine – like me)