Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly
Remake of: King Kong
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Miyavi, Richard Jenkins
Seen on: 13.3.2017

Plot:
Bill Randa (John Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) are convinced that monsters exist – and they may be hiding on a recently discovered island. When they can finally secure funding for an expedition there, they hire ex-military tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), a group of soldiers under command of Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) to make sure they succeed in finding and documenting whatever lives on that island. But once they get to the island, things don’t go according to plan.

Over and over again I try to like kaiju movies and over and over again, I fail. In this case, though, it’s mostly because Kong: Skull Island really sucks.

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Blue Steel (1989)

Blue Steel
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red
Cast: Jamie Lee CurtisRon SilverClancy BrownElizabeth PeñaLouise FletcherPhilip BoscoKevin DunnRichard Jenkins
Seen on: 7.8.2016

Plot:
Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) only just finished police school and she’s eager to work and to prove herself. On her first patrol, she becomes involved in a robbery, leading to her shooting the armed robber. One of the bystanders, Eugene (Ron Silver), grabs the robber’s gun, though, and leaves before he can be noticed. Since it now appears that Megan shot an unarmed man, she is suspended from work, only to be reinstated after a deadly bullet is recovered from a murder scene with her name carved onto it – and homicide detective Nick Mann (Clancy Brown) counts on her help to catch the killer.

Blue Steel is a more than decent thriller with a fantastic Jamie Lee Curtis and a tense story. It pretty much kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

bluesteel

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Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Bone Tomahawk
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette, Fred Melamed, Sid Haig
Part of: /slash Christmas special
Seen on: 17.12.2015

Plot:
When a stranger, Purvis (David Arquette), stumbles into town, Sheriff Hunt (Kurt Russell) is suspicious of him, especially after a report from his backup deputy Chicory (Richard Jenkins) informs him that he saw the stranger behave weirdly just outside the city limits. When Purvis’ answers don’t satisfy Hunt, he shoots him in the leg and has Samantha (Lili Simmons), the closest thing the town has to a doctor, take care of him. The next morning, Purvis, Samantha and Depty Nick (Evan Jonigkeit) have been taken and there was a murder in town. Hunt, Chicory, educated gunslinger Brooder (Matthew Fox) and Samantha’s husband Arthur (Patrick Wilson) take up the trail to get them back.

Bone Tomahawk was openly, outrageously, unflinchingly, unwaveringly and unquestionably racist. So much so, in fact, that I’m honestly surprised that this film got made in this day and age.

bone-tomahawk

[SPOILERS]

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White House Down (2013)

White House Down
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, James Woods, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick

Plot:
John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a bodyguard and wants nothing more than to work for the Secret Service and on the protection detail of the president Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Especially because his daughter Emily (Joey King) is a huge fan of the president. So when John actually gets an interview in the White House, he takes Emily with him. Unfortunately this just happens to be the day where the White House and the president are attacked. Suddenly everything depends on John.

It is hard to not compare this film to Olympus Has Fallen. And White House Down is the clear winner in that comparison. I didn’t even have alcohol and I enjoyed pretty much every second of it, even if not everything was supposed to be as funny as it was.

whitehousedown

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The Company You Keep (2012)

The Company You Keep
Director: Robert Redford
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Based on: Neil Gordon’s novel
Cast: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, Brit Marling, Sam Elliott

Plot:
30 years ago, The Weather Underground robbed a bank and shot a guard. Nobody was arrested. Now the FBI managed to arrest Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon). Her arrest has journalist Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) digging into the story. He talks to lawyer Jim Grant (Robert Redford) who turns out to have been one of the Weathermen, Nick Sloan. Grant/Sloan goes on the run, but there seems to be more to the story than that.

The Weather Underground are certainly a topic that deserves discussion and cinematic treatment. Unfortunately this movie skirts the interesting bits and ends up being boring, unrealistic and self-congratulatory.

company_you_keep

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Re-Watch: The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

The Cabin in the Woods
Director: Drew Goddard
Writer: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker, Tim De Zarn
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
While two technicians (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) prepare for a huge day at work, 5 students decide to spend a weekend in a remote cabin: Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchinson), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Holden (Jesse Williams) just want to have a weekend of fun and drinks. But something more seems to be going on in the cabin in the woods.

How can I express how much I love this movie? Probably only through interpretative dance. But since this is not a vlog, you’ll have to take my word for it when I tell you: I freaking love this film.

the-cabin-in-the-woods

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Jack Reacher (2012)

Jack Reacher
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: Lee Child‘s novel One Shot
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David OyelowoJai Courtney, Werner Herzog, Robert Duvall

Plot:
After a sniper shoots 5 people, the police quickly identify and arrest a possible suspect: ex-soldier Barr (Joseph Sikora). Barr doesn’t say a word, but to request Jack Reacher, a former military investigator who disappeared a while back. The police and the DA Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) are stunned by that request, and even more suprised when Reacher (Tom Cruise) turns up himself. He saw a news report on Barr and having investigated him before, he wanted to make sure that he is put behind bars this time. But Barr’s request makes him doubt his guilt, so Reacher starts to dig deep.

Jack Reacher really moves through all shades of horribleness. There is “just horrible”, there is “so horrible, it’s hilarious” and then there’s “so horrible I just wanna cry.” Unfortunately, it spends the least time in the second category.

Jack_Reacher

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The Rum Diary (2011)

The Rum Diary
Director: Bruce Robinson
Writer: Bruce Robinson
Based on: Hunter S. Thompson‘s novel
Cast: Johnny Depp, Michael Rispoli, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins

Plot:
Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) just arrived in Puerto Rico to work there as a journalist, since he couldn’t get a job anywhere else as he is pretty much continuously drunk. But that also means that he fits in perfectly with the journalists there. He moves in with Sala (Michael Rispoli) and Moberg (Giovanni Ribisi). Then he is quickly approached by business man Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) who wants to use him for one of his real estate plans. But that’s really where trouble starts, as Kemp practically immediately falls in love with Sanderson’s girlfriend Chenault (Amber Heard) and Sanderson’s plans aren’t all kosher anyway.

The Rum Diary really has its moments but it becomes a little repetitive and then it runs a little too long. There’s only so long until you need to get drunk yourself to really enjoy drunken shenanigangs.

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The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

The Cabin in the Woods
Director: Drew Goddard
Writer: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker, Tim De Zarn
Part of: /slash Filmfestival’s slashing Europe [The /slash Filmestival needs help! Please support genre movies in Austria, if you can.]

Plot:
While two technicians (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) prepare for a huge day at work, 5 students decide to spend a weekend in a remote cabin: Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchinson), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Holden (Jesse Williams) just want to have a weekend of fun and drinks. But something more seems to be going on in the cabin in the woods.

Oh my freaking goodness, I fucking loved Cabin in the Woods. I had such high expectations and they were more than fulfilled. And even though it’s not only his film, I’ll just have to say thanks to Joss Whedon for doing that for me twice in one week.

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Friends with Benefits (2011)

Friends with Benefits
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Will Gluck
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone

Plot:
Dylan (Justin Timberlake) gets headhunted by Jamie (Mila Kunis) and moves from Los Angeles to New York. They get along well and quickly become very good friends. But both are pretty unlucky when it comes to romantic relationships – so one day they decide to hook up with each other. Strictly without any romantic entanglement, of course. But will that really work?

Friends with Benefits is a charming and fun film. Will it be a contender for cinematic masterpiece? No. But nevertheless it’s a very nice piece of entertainment.

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