Black Mass (2015)

Black Mass
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Juno Temple
Seen on: 11.11.2015

Plot:
Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) runs one of the more powerful crime syndicates in Boston. But he does have his rivals. That’s when ambitious FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) approaches him. Connolly knows Bulger of old and he’s eager to make a name for himself, so he suggests that Bulger could become a FBI informant. That would give him more freedom in his affairs and it would help Connolly’s career by taking out plenty of bad guys – all of Bulger’s enemies.

Black Mass covers many years. Unfortunately it also feels like it lasts many, many years. It was such a boring film, I ultimately lost the battle against sleep and drifted of for a few minutes in-between.

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Oculus (2013)

Oculus
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Based on: the short film Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan
Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) was just released from a mental institution where he was committed for shooting his father (Rory Cochrane) when he was a kid after the father had killed their mother. Tim and his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) were always convinced that something supernatural had made their father do it but after years of therapy, Tim doesn’t believe that anymore. But for Kaylie that has never changed. She only waited for him to be released to finally face the evil again that lives in their father’s antique mirror – and to get rid of it once and for all.

Oculus wasn’t bad but it wasn’t partiuclarly good either. I didn’t mind watching it but it’s far from a must-see.

Oculus

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Argo (2012)

Argo
Director: Ben Affleck
Writer: Chris Terrio
Based on: Joshuah Bearman‘s article [pdf link]
Cast: Ben Affleck, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber

Plot:
In 1979, Iranian revolutionaries stormed the USAmerican embassy in Teheran. In the middle of this confusion, 6 employees managed to flee to the Canadian embassy and hide there. The CIA hires exfiltration expert Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to get them out of there. So Tony concocts a story about the shoot of a SciFi movie to provide a cover for the six of them, which includes the basic pre-production of the film.

Argo is a classic, straightforward and very well-made thriller that hits all the right notes in the right way, even if it doesn’t surprise. But it makes the perfect case for a tried and tested format executed well.

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