Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, Amanda Warren, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving
Seen on: 5.2.2018
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Plot:
Mildred (Frances McDormand) has had enough. Her daughter was murdered and the police don’t even seem to try to solve it. So she posts three huge billboards that call attention to the fact. The billboards don’t fan the investigation so much as the emotions of the locals. They do make the life of police chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) more difficult, especially since his hotheaded deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) takes it personally.

Three Billboards tells its story very well. Unfortunately it just tells the completely wrong story, managing to perpetuate the racism it tries to stand against by centering the white perspective.

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Laggies (2014)

Laggies
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Andrea Seigel
Cast: Keira KnightleyChloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper
Seen on: 28.12.2017
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Plot:
Megan (Keira Knightley) and her boyfriend Andrew (Mark Webber) have been together since high school. In fact, nothing much has changed for Megan since high school even though she’s approaching 30. Then Andrew proposes and Megan is shocked by something so adult encroaching in her life. Chance lets her meet teenaged Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is intrigued by the older woman who behaves so little like an adult. Megan, too, is drawn by Annika’s teenager life and it doesn’t take long for her to move in with her and Annika’s dad Craig (Sam Rockwell) while she mulls over Andrew’s proposal.

Laggies may not be my favorite of Shelton’s film but it is sensitive, fun and sweet – just the right fare for a cozy Sunday.

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Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist
Director: Gil Kenan
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on/Remake of: Poltergeist
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements, Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Susan Heyward, Nicholas Braun
Seen on: 3.6.2015

Plot:
The Bowens move into a new home and quickly realize that there are strange occurrences in their house. At first it’s only the family’s youngest children Maddie (Kennedi Clements) and Griffin (Kyle Catlett) who experience it, although older daughter Kendra’s (Saxon Sharbino) phone keeps acting up as well. When Maddie goes missing inside their house – and can still be heard on the TV, talking to them, father Eric (Sam Rockwell) and mother Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) start looking for help. Since their circumstances are extraordinary, they have to seek extraordinary help.

Poltergeist was surprisingly inoffensive. I thought that it would very likely make a mockery of the original film. But in fact, it’s not bad – it’s just not as good or charming as the original, making you wonder why they would remake it at all.

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The Way Way Back (2013)

The Way Way Back
Director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Writer: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Cast: Liam James, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, River Alexander, Zoe Levin, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Plot:
Duncan’s (Liam James) mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) are taking Duncan and Trent’s daughter Steph (Zoe Levin) to Trent’s beach house for the summer. Duncan is less than overjoyed. He doesn’t get along with Trent at all, his mother spends all her time with Trent though. Steph ignores him and while the neighbor’s daughter Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb) is friendly, she’s also older and has her own problems. And then Duncan meets Owen (Sam Rockwell), the cool if slightly immature manager of the local water park and somehow Duncan and Owen become friends.

The Way Way Back was very sweet for the most part, had a really nice cast and a wonderful sense of humor. Some things I didn’t like that much, but generally I really enjoyed it.

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[SLIGHT SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Iron Man (2008) + Iron Man 2 (2010)

Iron Man / Iron Man 2
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway / Justin Theroux
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby‘s comic
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard / Don Cheadle, Jeff Bridges, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, John Slattery, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau
Part of: Marvel movies
[Here are my other reviews.]

Plot:
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the kind of guy Bruce Wayne always pretends to be: Rich, constantly drunk, an ass. Now take away the social consciousness of Bruce Wayne and add “manufactures weapons” and technical genius and you know Tony Stark.
That changes pretty drastically when he’s abducted in Iraq and forced to build a rocket for a group of terrorists. Instead of building what they ask for, he builds a hightech suit of armour and makes himself a superhero on the way. But becoming a superhero doesn’t come without its costs.

I guess since it’s not the first time that I’m watching the films, nobody will be surprised when I say that I like them. And I really do.

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Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Seven Psychopaths
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Linda Bright Clay, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Pitt, Harry Dean Stanton, Kevin Corrigan, Zeljko Ivanek, Gabourey Sidibe

Plot:
Marty (Colin Farrell) is trying to write a screenplay. He has a title – Seven Psychopaths – and a rough idea for a first psychopath. But apart from a drinking problem, he doesn’t have much else. His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) tries to help, but is mostly caught up with the dognapping business he runs with Hans (Christopher Walken). But when Marty’s girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) kicks him out and Billy naps the beloved Shi-Tzu of the crazy Charlie (Woody Harrelson), everything unravels pretty quickly.

The marketing for this film is completely off. And when I say completely off, they decided to take away the movie’s selling point to make it look like a pretty standard action comedy. But it’s not – instead it’s an exercise in meta – and I loved it.

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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Cowboys & Aliens is the newest film by Jon Favreau, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on Scott Mitchell Rosenberg‘s comic book, starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano.

Plot:
Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert, without his memories but with a weird bracelet on his arm that he isn’t able to remove. He makes his way to the town of Absolution where he is recognised as a wanted fugitive when he gives Percy (Paul Dano), the son of the local head honcho Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), his due. Before things can go really bad, Absolution is attacked by space ships and many of the town inhabitants are abducted, among them Percy and the town’s barkeeper Doc’s (Sam Rockwell) wife. That’s when Jake’s bracelet kicks into action and shows some really special features. So, a search party heads out to find the missing people, including Jake, Woodrow, Doc and the mysterious Ella (Olivia Wilde).

Cowboys & Aliens is a well paced action flick with a good sense of humor and a very good cast. I liked it a lot.

[SPOILERS]

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Gentlemen Broncos (2009)

Gentlemen Broncos is a film by Jared Hess, written by himself and Jerusha Hess and starring Michael Angarano, Héctor Jiménez, Halley Feiffer, Jennifer Coolidge, Jemaine Clement and Sam Rockwell.

Plot:
Benjamin (Michael Angarano) is a huge SciFi fan. He especially admires the writings of Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement). When he gets a chance to submit one of his own stories for Chevalier to judge – a story about Bronco (Sam Rockwell), a kind of space cowboy – the last thing he expects is that Chevalier steals the story. At the same time his story about Bronco gets adapted by local prolific but amateur filmmaker Lonnie (Héctor Jiménez) who takes some liberties with the story.

Gentlemen Broncos doesn’t work half as well as it should be. Even Sam Rockwell falls flat (!!!!). Jemaine Clement was wonderful, but most of the time the film just misses its notes for me. It’s humor is just a tad too immature and the good ideas are stretched a bit too far.

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Conviction (2010)

Conviction is the newest film by Tony Goldwyn, starring Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Clea DuVall, Ari Graynor, Peter Gallagher and Juliette Lewis.

Plot:
Kenny Waters (Sam Rockwell) gets convicted of murder. He insists that he’s innocent and his sister Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) believes him. From then on, she does everything she can think of to get Kenny out. She even starts going to law school in the evening, even though she has a a job and two kids. And she sticks with it – for 16 years.

Conviction tells a fascinating story but gets a bit too sappy at times. But anchored by the amazing cast, you can lean back and enjoy the sap.

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Everybody’s Fine (2009)

Everybody’s Fine is a remake of Italian movie Stanno tutti bene. It was directed by Kirk Jones and stars Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. (And in small roles: Melissa Leo and James Frain.)

Plot:
Frank (Robert De Niro) lives on his own in a big house after his wife died and all the kids moved out. He’s just preparing for all the kids to visit at the same time – something he’s really been looking forward to. But when all of them cancel on short notice, Frank doesn’t want to wait anymore. He decides to visit them himself, so he gets on a train and sets off.

I liked this film. Though it probably wasn’t the best movie ever and the story was a little “been there, done that”, the cast made up for a lot of things. Plus, it was sensibly written and nicely shot.

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