The Martian (2015)

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Drew Goddard
Based on: Andy Weir’s novel
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica ChastainMichael PeñaKate MaraSebastian StanAksel HennieChiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover
Seen on: 12.10.2015

Plot:
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is one of five astronauts who come to Mars on a rather routine mission. But then things start going wrong and they have to leave – only that Mark gets injured and to his colleagues he looks like he’s dead. With a heavy heart, they decide to leave without him. But Mark survives miraculously. Now he’s alone. On Mars. With very limited supplies. And a broken communication system. And he only has himself to make his supplies last long enough so that he may be rescued.

Since I really loved the novel the film is based on and the previews I saw for the movie looked great, my expectations for the Martian were pretty high. So when I say that the movie totally fulfilled my expectations, you know that this is high praise indeed.

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Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Christina Cole, Maria Doyle Kennedy, David Ajala, Doona Bae, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James D’Arcy, Terry Gilliam
Seen on: 10.02.2015

Plot:
Jupiter (Mila Kunis) and her mother (Maria Doyle Kennedy) work as cleaners for rich people. Russian immigrants themselves, they can only dream of the riches they are cleaning. But there is something about Jupiter that catches the attention of some very powerful people who are not from earth. Former soldier and wolf/human hybrid Caine (Channing Tatum) is only one of a few people trying to get Jupiter. But he makes it his mission to protect Jupiter, whatever may come. And so Jupiter finds herself whisked from earth and crowned space royalty – and that’s only the beginning of the adventure.

I went into Jupiter Ascending armed with vodka and about 50 extremely negative reviews at the back of my head, expecting the worst. And it is true that it is not a particularly good film. But I had so much more honest to goodness fun in the film than I’d ever thought I would have, I can only recommend it.

jupiterascending

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: Craig Titley
Based on: Rick Riordan’s novel
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Uma Thurman
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Percy Jackson’s (Logan Lerman) life is far from perfect. He’s dyslexic, suffers from ADHD and his mom (Catherine Keener) is married to an asshole. And then Percy finds out that his father is the god Poseidon, his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is a satyr and his teacher (Pierce Brosnan) is a centaur. But that’s only the start of his adventures since Zeus’ (Sean Bean) lightning bolt was stolen – and everyone thinks it was Percy who did it.

On re-watching the film it is at the same time less infuriating but also less fun than the first time round. It’s nice, but it also feels completely inconsequential. It’s the kind of film you watch and you don’t mind seeing it but you never think of it again as soon as it’s done.

percyjackson

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Mirror Mirror (2012)

Mirror Mirror
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Jason Keller, Melisa Wallack
Based on: the Snow White fairy tale
Cast: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, Ronald Lee Clark, Sean Bean

Plot:
Princess Snow White (Lily Collins) has been living imprisoned in her own castle ever since The Queen (Julia Roberts) took over after the death of The King. The Queen has been milking the country and is running out of funds for her lifestyle. When the young Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) comes to her queendom, she thinks that she found a way out. It’s only too bad that Alcott falls in love with Snow White and that at the same time, Snow White’s political conscience awakens.

Mirror Mirror has the beautiful looks usual for a Tarsem Singh movie (the costumes… the freaking costumes!), but it also has the story-telling weaknesses and the quality generally wavers a lot. Nevertheless, fun was being had.

[Slightly SPOILERy]

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. It was directed by Chris Columbus and stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd and Uma Thurman.

Plot:
Percy Jackson’s (Logan Lerman) life is far from perfect. He’s dyslexic, suffers from ADHD and his mom (Catherine Keener) is married to an asshole. And then Percy finds out that his father is the god Poseidon, his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is a satyr and his teacher (Pierce Brosnan) is a centaur. But that’s only the start of his adventures since Zeus’ (Sean Bean) lightning bolt was stolen – and everyone thinks it was Percy who did it.

The movie is fun, especially because of the supporting cast. But there are also a lot of infuriating things going on there: plot holes about 3 miles wide, Chris Columbus and the fact that the culprit was known 2 seconds after his first appearance. Still, it was definitely much better than Cirque du Freak.

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Caravaggio (1986)

Caravaggio is a movie by Derek Jarman starring Nigel Terry, Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean.

Plot:
Caravaggio is a fictionalised biography of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Nigel Terry), a baroque painter. There it focusses on the love triangle between Caravaggio, Lena (Tilda Swinton) and Ranuccio (Sean Bean).

Before you go into the movie, I recommend reading up on Caravaggio and getting acquainted with his paintings. I didn’t and I was utterly bewildered by most of the things until I did.
That’s also the kind of movie it is: One I can appreciate intellectually, but which doesn’t have a lot of entertainment value. You’d have to rewatch it again, probably, to get all the layers, but I’m afraid that I’m not interested enough to do that. [Bad, cultural kalafudra. BAD!] Although, of course, worse things could happen than watching (almost) naked Sean Bean and Nigel Terry getting it on.

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Miscellaneous Older Movies

I’ve seen Troy, finally. And I have to say that it was better than I thought it would be. Which doesn’t say a whole lot, because I expected it to be as bad as Alexander or Kingdom of Heaven.
I actually like Troy. All because of Eric Bana, Peter O’Toole and Sean Bean.

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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is nice. It just has two huge flaws:

  1. What’s up with the accents? I hate it when they shoot films in English which are set somewhere else and to make up for it that it’s not the original language, everybody talks with an accent. It’s just not logical. It’s either prentending that English is the national language in Greece, than only the Italians and Germans should have accents when talking, or you shoot in the original language (in this case Greek, Italian and German) and use English as the language they communicate in when not talking to each other or just use subtitles.
  2. When having the choice between Christian Bale and Nicolas Cage, who in their right mind would choose Nicolas Cage?

Christian Bale Nicolas Cage

Seriously?

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Audition is one freaky movie. I didn’t know much about it when I watched it and the slow development and the beauty of the first half of it, lulls you into safety.

It features one of the most beautiful shots I’ve ever seen.

Audition

And then it gets so seriously crazy…

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

When the bag moves for the first time, I almost had a heart attack.
One of the worst scenes ever in any film is the one, where Asami goes “Kiri, kiri, kiri”. Especially, because in German you say “Kille, kille, kille” when you tickle someone and it’s phonetically really close. I don’t think I can ever tickle my nephews (or anybody else for that matter) again without seeing needles everywhere.

[SPOILERS END]

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Snakes on a Plane was even worse than I thought it would be. Couldn’t they even get someone who could believably animate snakes? It is really, really sad to watch. Nevermind the story which is thin as it is, but they could have at least made the snakes look like real animals.

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Black Snake Moan features Samuel L. Jackson as well, but no snakes, which is good. From the trailer, you’d expect a completely different movie. But the film it actually is, is really good. Interesting, different, disturbing, very good characters and acting. Christina Ricci was amazing. And I wouldn’t have thought that Justin Timberlake could actually act.

The ending was a bit disappointing though. It came a little fast, compared to the pace of the rest of the movie and it was a little too optimistic for my taste.