Deathcember (2019)

Deathcember (I saw the version split into two films)
Part of: /slash Filmfestival Christmas screening
Seen on: 19.12.2019

Deathcember is an advent calendar in movie form, giving us 24 (plus some extra) Christmas-themed films to count down until Christmas. The films vary in style and tone, but they are all filled with (a) holiday spirit.

As with most anthologies, Deathcember has some clear winners and a few that were not for me (with the former being more present in the first volume and the latter more in the second volume), but I assume that the favorites and unfavorites will vary from person to person. It was definitely nice that they included more than the usual token female director (although there could have been more people of color involved). I was a little worried that so many short films in less than three hours would get a little too much, but it was surprisingly not-exhausting (I was glad that they showed the version split into two volumes). In short, it was a very fun evening. There are definitely worse ways to pass time during the holiday season.

After the jump, I talk about each of the segments individually. If you prefer to be surprised what’s behind those doors, you probably shouldn’t continue. But I won’t give away spoilers.

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The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Nic Pizzolatto, Richard Wenk
Remake of: The Magnificent Seven
Based on: Shichinin no samurai
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard, Luke Grimes, Matt Bomer, Cam Gigandet, Sean Bridgers
Seen on: 14.10.2016

Plot:
Rose Creek is slowly being squeezed dry by Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). When one of the citizens (Matt Bomer) refuses to cooperate with Bogue, he is shot. His widow Emma (Haley Bennett) decides to go and look for help, somebody to take on Bogue. By chance she finds Chisolm (Denzel Washington) and becomes a witness to his skills as a gunman. She begs for his help and Chisolm agrees reluctantly. But first he’ll have to get together a team and so he gets in touch with a few old friends.

I have neither seen Seven Samurai, nor the old Magnificent Seven, so I was fresh to the story with this film and I really wasn’t particularly taken with it.

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Room (2015)

Room
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writer: Emma Donoghue
Based on: her novel
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Brie Larson, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Matt Gordon, Wendy Crewson
Seen on: 23.3.2016

Plot:
Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and Ma (Brie Larson) have spent the entirety of Jack’s life in Room. Jack has a good life with Ma. They play and read and exercise. It’s only when Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) comes to Room that Jack has to hide in Wardrobe. After Jack’s fifth birthday, Ma tells him that there is an entire world outside of Room and that they should escape Room to see it. But to escape Room and Old Nick, Ma needs Jack’s help.

Room does everything right it could possibly do right, creating a film that is very much deserving of the touching story and its strong characters.

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Trumbo (2015)

Trumbo
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: John McNamara
Based on: Bruce Alexander Cook‘s biography of Dalton Trumbo
Cast: Bryan CranstonMichael StuhlbargDiane LaneHelen MirrenAlan TudykLouis C.K.Sean BridgersAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeElle FanningJohn GoodmanDean O’GormanChristian Berkel
Seen on: 17.3.2016

Plot:
Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) is an immensely successful screen writer and at the height of his career – when his affiliation with the Communist Party means that he gets caught up in a political witch hunt and is finally imprisoned and put on a blacklist. And he’s not the only one affected – his family suffers, too, as do quite a few colleagues who also get branded as communists. Unable to work officially, he devises a plan how he and his colleagues may ensure their livelihoods.

Trumbo is pretty much how you’d expect it. It’s expertly crafted and tells an interesting story very well. But it plays everything so safe, it’s hard to get excited about it.

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The Woman (2011)

The Woman
Director: Lucky McKee
Writer: Lucky McKee, Jack Ketchum
Based on: Jack Ketchum’s book
Sequel to: Offspring
Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Lauren Ashley Carter, Zach Rand
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
While out hunting the family father Chris (Sean Bridgers) stumbles upon a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) in the woods. He decides to capture her and make it a family project to civilize her. Since his family – wife Belle (Angela Bettis), daughters Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter) and Darlin’ (Shyla Molhusen) and son Brian (Zach Rand) – are entirely under his thumb, nobody really says anything against that – at first.

I’ve started taking quick notes after every film I see because there’s just too long between me seeing them and blogging about them and I see too many films and anyway, what I want to say is the first thing I wrote down after this film was, “Bist du deppat” which literally translates to “are you stupid” and means something like “holy fucking crap, that is so… woah.” In this case in an entirely positive way.

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