Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman, Linda Hunt, Warwick Davis
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 6.6.2018

Plot:
Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) has found his way off the planet Corellia in an attempt to find a better life, but quickly running out of options, his path has led him to the army. But he doesn’t do very well there, either. So it seems a lucky break that he finds Tobias (Woody Harrelson), Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio (Jon Favreau) – thieves pretending to be fighters. He tries to join them, but they are not interested, using him instead to make their own escape and getting Han arrested. But that arrest leads Han to Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Chewie buys him a way in with Tobias and the others after all. And pretty soon, Han finds himself in the middle of a heist that throws him right in the path of Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) whom he thought he had lost forever.

Speaking as somebody who is not particularly into Star Wars, Solo was entertaining enough although I felt that it definitely focused on the wrong character.

Film poster for Solo, showing Chewbacca, Qi'Ra, Solo and Lando in front of a colorful background.
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In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

In the Heart of the Sea
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Charles Leavitt
Based on: Nathaniel Philbrick‘s book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, Tom Holland, Paul Anderson, Frank Dillane, Joseph MawleJordi Mollà
Seen on: 9.12.2015

Plot:
Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) finds the last survivor of the Whaleship Essex, Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson) and interviews him about what happened out there. Nickerson tells him how Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), who was promised a capitaincy by the whaling company, gets sidelined in favor of George Pollard (Benjamin Walker), an inexperienced young captain who brings the right pedigree to the table. Chase is pressured into being Pollard’s first mate and despite strong tension between the two men, they set out to go whale hunting. But pretty much everything that can go wrong on the whaling trip, does.

When I saw the first trailer for In the Heart of the Sea, I thought that it was actually a prequel movie for Moby Dick. Turns out, that’s not true: instead it’s the fictionalized story of the real life ship wreck that to some extent inspired Melville to write Moby Dick. And while I don’t care much for Moby Dick itself, so I have the suspicion that I wouldn’t have liked a prequel story better. At least if it was a boring reiteration of a story we’ve seen a million times alread like this film turned out to be.

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Rush (2013)

Rush
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Peter Morgan
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay

Plot:
James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is a cocky race car driver who dreams of finally making it into Formula One. When his path crosses with Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), their personalities immediately clash, giving rise to a giant rivalry. When Niki buys his way into Formula One, James follows suit. But their rivalry becomes increasingly risky, which finally leads to a horrific accident.

We’ve been bombarded with trailers for this movie for quite a while – so much so that I almost didn’t want to see it anymore when it finally come out. But I went anyway and was generally rather pleasantly surprised by it.

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Angels & Demons (2009)

Angels & Demons is the adaptation of Dan Brown‘s book [my review here], directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman and David Koepp, starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard and Armin Müller-Stahl.

Before I seriously review this thing: Expect a lot of Ewan McGregor in this post (picturewise) and as little Tom Hanks as possible. Gotta keep myself motivated.

Plot:
At CERN a scientist is killed and antimatter is stolen, therefore Vittoria Vetra [Ayelet Zurer], phyisicist at CERN, travels to the Vatican, where the antimatter turns up. At the same time, Robert Langdon [Tom Hanks] is called to the  Vatican as well to help out with the disappearance of four cardinals by the Illuminati. Together, they have to solve several puzzles to save the Vatican and the ongoing papal elections and probably life, the universe and everything.

People, people, I didn’t expect much from this movie, but it sucked sososo much… I mean, Ron Howard? Usually knows how to make a movie. Akiva Goldsman? Usually knows how to write one. Not this time. Add to that the catastrophic source material, the utter miscast that was Tom Hanks and the general yawn-feel about the whole thing and you’ve got yourself one craptastic film.

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[SPOILERS]

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Frost/Nixon (2008)

Frost/Nixon is Ron Howard‘s new movie, written by Peter Morgan (based on his play) and starring Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt, Matthew Macfadyen and Rebecca Hall.

Plot:
Richard Nixon [Frank Langella] is the first president to resign after the Watergate scandal and shortly after, there’s a general pardon for him. David Frost [Michael Sheen], a talk show host, decides to interview him to get to the truth. What follows is a David vs Goliath style battle between two people who don’t know what to expect from the other.

The casting and playing, the directing, the screenplay are all formidable. It has a few lengths, though, and wouldn’t have suffered from a few cuts.

[I keep saying that about movies. I’m worried about my attention span. Seriously am.]

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