Love Wedding Repeat (2020)

Love Wedding Repeat
Director: Dean Craig
Writer: Dean Craig
Remake of: Plan de table
Cast: Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn, Freida Pinto, Eleanor Tomlinson, Joel Fry, Jack Farthing, Tim Key, Allan Mustafa, Aisling Bea, Paolo Mazzarelli
Seen on: 18.4.2020

Plot:
Jack (Sam Claflin) and Dina (Olivia Munn) had a moment years ago, but nothing more ever came of it. Now Jack is back in Italy for his sister Hayley’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) wedding and not only is Dina there, too, but so is Jack’s still angry ex Amanda (Freida Pinto) with her new boyfriend Chaz (Allan Mustafa) and Marc (Jack Farthing) has crashed the wedding to tell Hayley that they should be together. It’s up to Jack to make sure that things don’t go wrong. But sometimes small things like seating arrangements can make all the difference – and so there are a couple of versions to the story.

Love Wedding Repeat is a complete disappointment, unfortunately. There’s simultaneously too much going on and too little. Neither the comedy works, nor the multiple versions.

The film poster showing the main characters standing in a group. The image is cut off at their calves, with the feet positioned on top as if the image was revolving.
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Charlie’s Angels (2019)

Charlie’s Angels
Driector: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Elizabeth Banks
Based on: the TV show
Sequel to (kinda): Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angles: Full Throttle
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, Jonathan Tucker, Nat Faxon, Chris Pang, Luis Gerardo Méndez, Noah Centineo
Seen on: 15.1.2020

Plot:
Elena (Naomi Scott) is an engineer at a technology company and they are about to launch a product that will revolutionize the way the world works. Elena is worried that there is a terrible security flaw in the product, but nobody wants to hear about it. So she contacts the Angels, hoping to keep the worst from happening. Sabina (Kristen Stewart) and Jane (Ella Balinska) are assigned to her case by Bosley (Elizabeth Banks). What should be a routine mission becomes much bigger than they expected, though.

I honestly don’t understand why Charlie’s Angels tanked as much as it did*. I found it to be a refreshing, fun action comedy with great performances and a nice (basic) feminist message.

*I have an idea though and that idea can be summed up with “male critics”.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film, above all the angels.
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My Cousin Rachel (2017)

My Cousin Rachel
Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Roger Michell
Based on: Daphne du Maurier‘s novel
Cast: Rachel WeiszSam ClaflinHolliday GraingerIain GlenPierfrancesco FavinoSimon Russell Beale
Seen on: 18.9.2017
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Plot:
Philip (Sam Claflin) was brought up by his cousin Ambrose who recently died after going to Italy. There he got married to a distant cousin but things seem to have taken a wrong turn and Philip received a letter from Ambrose claiming that he was being slowly killed by his wife. Philip determines to avenge Ambrose, a plan that get substantially easier when Ambrose’ widow Rachel (Rachel Weisz) announces coming to visit Philip. That Rachel is entirely different from what Philip imagined and he finds himself enchanted.

The film is a mixed bag of beans. Despite many strengths, it loses itself in the last third. But it did keep me watching attentively for most of the film.

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Their Finest (2016)

Their Finest
Director: Lone Scherfig
Writer: Gaby Chiappe
Based on: Lissa Evans‘ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half
Cast: Gemma ArtertonSam ClaflinBill NighyRichard E. GrantHenry GoodmanRachael StirlingJack HustonAmanda RootEddie MarsanHelen McCroryJeremy Irons
Seen on: 19.7.2017
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Plot:
It’s the middle of World War II, times are tough and Catrin (Gemma Arterton) needs a job as her husband Ellis (Jack Huston), an artist, doesn’t make enough money to keep them afloat. She gets hired as a scriptwriter for propaganda films and quickly gets saddled with the task of writing the supposedly unimportant women’s dialogue. When she hears about a story about two young women who participated in the Dunkirk evacuation, she brings the idea for an entire film – which makes her co-author to Tom (Sam Claflin) and handler to the aging star Ambrose (Bill Nighy).

Their Finest is a beautiful, fantastic film that touches on many things, but most of all it pulls on heartstrings in the perfect way.

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Me Before You (2016)

Me Before You
Director: Thea Sharrock
Writer: Jojo Moyes
Based on: Jojo Moyesnovel
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam ClaflinJenna ColemanMatthew Lewis, Stephen Peacocke, Vanessa KirbyBen Lloyd-Hughes, Samantha Spiro, Brendan Coyle, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, Joanna Lumley
Seen on: 2.7.2016

Plot:
Lou (Emilia Clarke) loves fashion, her life, people in general, her family in particular and her job at the café. But when that café is shut down, Lou finds herself at a loss. She needs to find another job to help support her family but her options are very limited. That’s when she hears of a job with the local rich family, the Traynors. Camilla (Janet McTeer) is looking for a caretaker for her son Will (Sam Claflin) who was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident and she sees something in Lou that she hopes will give Will some of his joie de vivre back. A plan that initially seems to fail miserably.

Me Before You is a cheesy film, filled with romance and romanticization, quirky characters and grand gestures. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to be very happy with it.

mebeforeyou

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The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin
Prequel/sequel to: Snow White and the Huntsman
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith, Alexandra Roach, Sope Dirisu, Sam Hazeldine, Sam Claflin, Sophie Cookson, Colin Morgan
Seen on: 23.4.2016

Plot:
Together with many other children Eric (Chris Hemsworth) was drafted/enslaved in the army of Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt), Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) sister. For Freya, who was disappointed in love herself, the most important rule was that there would be no feelings, especially no love, between the children or anybody else for that matter. Despite that, Eric fell in love with Sara (Jessica Chastain), a fellow warrior. Things did not end well. Now many years later, Eric finds himself facing Freya once more after he is charged by King William (Sam Claflin) to bring the dead Ravenna’s magic mirror to a safe space because it is making Snow White dangerously ill.

Snow White and the Huntsman was a spectacular failure, laying the bar very low for The Huntsman: Winter’s War. The film steps easily over that low bar, surpassing expectations. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a high-flying success. But at least Huntsman is way more entertaining than Snow White.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Peter Craig, Danny Strong
Based on: Suzanne Collins’ novel (the second half)
Sequel to: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald SutherlandPhilip Seymour HoffmanJulianne Moore, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin, Jena MaloneWillow ShieldsPaula Malcomson, Mahershala Ali, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer, Gwendoline Christie
Seen on: 22.11.2015

Plot [with Spoilers for everything up until this part]:
Still reeling from brainwashed Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) attack on her, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has no chance of really gathering herself. Instead she shoots promo videos for the rebellion and their cause. As outright war with the Capitol becomes ever more likely, Katniss decides that she has to put an end to things and the only way it will end is if Katniss kills President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

My expectations were pretty low for this final installation in the series since the second half of the last book was the weakest part of the series by far and that was the only thing that was left to bring to the screen. But Mockingjay Part 2 turned out to be better than I expected.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Peter Craig, Danny Strong
Based on: Suzanne Collins’ novel (the first half at least)
Sequel to: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald SutherlandPhilip Seymour HoffmanJulianne Moore, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin, Jena MaloneWillow ShieldsPaula Malcomson, Mahershala Ali, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer

Plot: [WITH SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS]
After the dramatic ending of the last Hunger Games, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) wakes up in the rebels’ headquarters in District 13. She discovers that Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) did not make it there – he was captured by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol. But with Katniss are Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and her family (Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson) – who made it out of District 12 right before it was completely obliterated – and a few other Hunger Game victors. While Katniss tries to make sense of the new world order around her, the rebels try to convince her that she should become the Mockingjay: the official symbol of the rebellion.

Mockingjay Part 1 was a very satisfying film, but it did leave me worried for Part 2, since there is not much left of the story that still worked for me in the book. But we’re not there yet, and this film, despite the occasional lengths, does very well.

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Love, Rosie (2014)

Love, Rosie
Director: Christian Ditter
Writer: Juliette Towhidi
Based on: Cecelia Ahern‘s novel Where Rainbows End
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse, Tamsin Egerton, Art Parkinson, Christian Cooke

Plot:
Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) have always been best friends, so the thought that they might be in love with each other seems extremely weird. But every once in a while both have to think about it – only never at the same time. And every time either of them find themselves in love with the other, life just seems to have something completely different in mind for them. But despite all the very different developments in their lives, they keep coming back to each other.

Love, Rosie is exactly what you’d expect from a Cecilia Ahern-based RomCom. That is to say, prepare for romance, sweetness and tears and if you don’t think too hard about it, you’ll leave the cinema completely satisfied.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt
Based on: Suzanne Collins’ novel
Sequel to: The Hunger Games
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald SutherlandPhilip Seymour Hoffman, Toby Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Sam Claflin, Jena MaloneWillow ShieldsPaula Malcomson

Plot (with SPOILERS for the first one):
With the way the Hunger Games ended Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has definitely upset the system. So before she, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and their entourage travel from district to district on their victory tour, Katniss gets a visit from President Snow (Donald Sutherland). He lets her know without a doubt that rebellion of any kind on her part will not be tolerated – and that she has to make this clear to the districts as well, where unrest is brewing. Since it’s not only Katniss’ life that he threatens, but also that of her family and friends, Katniss complies as well as she can. And then the rug is completely pulled from under her when she and Peeta are drawn back into the 75 year special edition of the Games.

Where the second book was slightly worse than the first book, I thought that the second film was even better than the first. It’s a fantastic sequel, great adaptation and a wonderful film.

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