Ocean’s Eight (2018)

Ocean’s Eight
Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch
Spin-off from: Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Dakota Fanning, Elliott Gould, Richard Armitage, James Corden
Seen on: 2.7.2018

Plot:
Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) was just released from prison and has already plans for a new, daring heist at the Met Gala. She just needs to convince her friend Lou (Cate Blanchett) to go along with it and then they can assemble a team to pull it off. And Debby already knows the women they need to do it.

Ocean’s Eight may not be the film of the century, but it never set out to be. What it is, is a perfectly entertaining heist film with a great cast that is a wonderful addition to the Ocean films that have come before it. I hope there will be a sequel or five.

Film poster showing the eight main women in front of a red background.
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Based on:  Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières‘s comic Valérian and Laureline
Cast: Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris WuSam SpruellAlain ChabatRutger HauerPeter HudsonXavier GiannoliLouis LeterrierEric RochantBenoît JacquotOlivier MegatonElizabeth DebickiMathieu KassovitzJohn Goodman
Seen on: 31.7.2017
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Plot:
Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Care Delevingne) are operatives, charged with maintaining peace across the universe. A new mission brings them into possession of a converter, the last creature of its kind. But they can’t expect to be the only ones who want that converter. Their mission brings them to Alpha, a city made for all kinds of species that harbors a secret in its heart.

The fact that this film thought that it would be the right move to take the comic Valerian and Laureline and transform it into Valerian alone, is already pretty indicative of the decision making in the entire film: it might look cool at first glance, but it’s short-sighted, stupid and offensive.

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Home (2015)

Home
Director: Tim Johnson
Writer: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember
Based on: Adam Rex‘ book The True Meaning of Smekday
Cast: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones, Brian Stepanek
Seen on: 10.4.2015

Plot:
Oh (Jim Parsons) is excited: led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin), he and his people, the Boov, are about to land on a new planet, taking over to make everything better for its inhabitants and especially for the Boov. But Oh has a reputation for screwing up and it’s not enitrely unfounded. When he does so once more, he has to go on the run. That’s when he meets Tip (Rihanna). When all the humans were relocated to Australia, she managed to stay behind in New York, fending for herself alone, if you don’t count her cat Pig, until she will be able to find and reunite with her mother. Oh offers to help her locate her mother if Tip helps him escape and so the two of them have to take on all of the Boov – and the Gorg who the Boov are running from in the first place.

Home was sweet. It tackles big topics in a manner perfectly suited for children and it is entertaining while it does so. Despite many jokes made for adults, it might be geared a little too much toward children to really appeal to me, but that is no fault at all.

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Annie (2014)

Annie
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Will Gluck, Aline Brosh McKenna (script), Greg Kurstin, Sia (new music)
Based on: the play written by Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music), Martin Charnin (lyrics) which is in turn based on Harold Gray‘s comic strip Little Orphan Annie
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas, Cameron Diaz, Michael J. Fox, Patricia Clarkson, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Rihanna, Sia
Seen on: 23.01.2015

Plot:
Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) is an orphan and lives with the difficult Ms Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) and several other foster children. She dreams of finding her parents and whenever possible she passes her time coming up with ways she could find out more about them. But her life takes an abrupt turn when she is saved from getting hit by a car by the self-involved businessman Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who is running for mayor. Stacks’ PR person Guy (Bobby Cannavale) sees the perfect opportunity to make Stacks more likeable and convinces him to take in Annie, despite the misgivings of Stack’s assistant Grace (Rose Byrne). But Annie is not just a passive thing to be used – she makes her own life.

I don’t know whether I have actually ever seen the film from the 80s and I know for a fact that I didn’t see any of the other adaptations of this. And as practically an Annie virgin, I really enjoyed the film, even if it had its weak spots.

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This Is the End (2013)

This Is the End
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Based on: the short film “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse
Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Martin Starr, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Brandon Trost, Jason Trost

Plot:
Jay Baruchel comes to LA to visit Seth Rogen. He had planned to have a weekend full of movies, video games and weed at Seth’s place, but Seth gets him to go to James Franco’s housewarming party. While they’re there, the apocalypse happens – literally. None of them ascends into heaven, but at least Jay, Seth, James, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride also don’t fall into the hell pit that opened just outside the door. But what should they do now?

I was afraid that I wouldn’t like This Is the End and I was right. Apart from a few moments of actual fun, there was nothing that I could enjoy about it.

thisistheend

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Battleship (2012)

Battleship
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber
Based on: the game
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Peter MacNicol, Hamish Linklater, Tadanobu Asano

Plot:
Alex (Taylor Kitsch) and his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) are like night and day. Stone is in the navy, responsible and earnest, while Alex is perpetually drunk, chasing women and in trouble. But after a particularly bad incident during which Alex meets Samantha (Brooklyn Decker), he tries to get his life in order and joins the navy as well. A while later Samantha pushes him to ask her father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), for her hand, just as a huge naval war game exercise is about to begin. But then aliens hit the earth right in the middle of the exercise and Alex finds himself not only fighting for his maybe-father-in-law’s recognition, but for the earth itself.

I expected so much of Battleship. I thought it was going to be one of the most entertaining movies of the year. And it does deliver – in everything but the action scenes. But since they comprise most of the film, the whole thing starts to drag a bit.

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Top 10: Guilty Pop Music Pleasures

[I know I’m a day late but I had an exam yesterday and I spent the day learning, so..]

We all have them, right? Bands we shouldn’t really like because they’re so uncool and usually not really to our taste anyway, but which still make us smile when they are on. Or we even own CDs which we’ve buried somewhere deep down in our closets. ;)

Okay, it’s not that bad. But you know what I mean , right? Usually it’s some kind of pop music and you’re so above it, culturally. And yet…

So here are my Top 10 Guilty Pop Music Pleasures, ranked by degree of embarassement.

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