Everest (2015)

Everest
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writer: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy
Cast: Jason Clarke, John HawkesJosh Brolin, Naoko Mori, Michael KellyMartin Henderson, Jake GyllenhaalAng Phula Sherpa, Pemba Sherpa, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Elizabeth Debicki, Robin WrightVanessa Kirby, Clive Standen, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson
Seen on: 5.10.2015

Plot:
Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) thought he found his niche when he established guided tours up Mount Everest for more or less amateur climbers, but since he started, many others have followed his lead and now base camp is full with groups – one of them led by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal). Rob, too, brings yet another group to climb the top, among them journalist Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), postman Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), enthusiastic climber Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) and Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori) who wants to complete her collection of over 8000m peaks she’s climbed. But the group encounters more than one problem.

I’m not a mountain person. I don’t even understand skiing as a pastime, something people do voluntarily (and I’m fucking Austrian). So the concept of climbing Mount Everest is utterly alien to me. I understand it even less after having seen this film.

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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.

catchingfire

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Based on: Paul Torday‘s novel
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Mison, Rachael Stirling

Plot:
Harriet (Emily Blunt) works for Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) – a very rich Sheikh from the Yemen who would loves to flyfish and would love to establish salmon fishing in the Yemen. So Harriet gets in touch with fish expert Alfred (Ewan McGregor) to see if it can be done. Initially dismissive, if not to say hostile, Alfred declines a collaboration but is pressured by press secretary Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas) and finally gives in. But as the project slowly actually comes together, both Harriet’s and Alfred’s private lives are falling apart. But maybe a crazy salmon fishing project is just the thing they needed.

The movie has a whole lot of romcom potential and it does fulfill it for the most part. But in other parts, it just doesn’t work at all.

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127 Hours (2010)

127 Hours is Danny Boyle‘s newest film based on the book by Aron Ralston, starring James Franco, Treat Williams, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Clémence Poésy and Lizzy Caplan.

Plot:
Aron (James Franco) is a passionate mountain climber and spends a lot of time exploring. One weekend brings him to the Blue John Canyon, where he first plays guide to two young women (Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn). He then goes off alone to explore the Canyon further when a boulder gets dislodged and traps his arm and himself in complete isolation. Left to his own devices, Aron has to figure out what to do.

I was at once completely satisfied and also disappointed by this film. While James Franco is freaking amazing, and the story is fascinating, for the most part of the film, neither Danny Boyle nor A. R. Rahman were any good.

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Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire is the Oscar hogging movie of the year, directed by Danny Boyle, starring Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Anil Kapoor. The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy, based on the novel by Vikas Swarup.

Plot:
Jamal [Dev Patel] grows up in the slums of Mumbai. By chance, he gets invited to the quiz show “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” After getting to the penultimate question before the time runs out, he is arrested and accused to have cheated. In flashbacks, Jamal tells the police officers of his life in the slums, growing up with his brother Salim [Madhur Mittal], meeting the love of his life Latika [Freida Pinto], being orphaned and how he came to know the answers to the questions.

The movie has praise after praise heaped on it and it is a good film. But – of course there’s a “but” – it is not as good as many reviewers (and all the Oscars) want to make you think. It has some impressive stuff, but also some bigger issues.

slumdog_millionaire

[SPOILERS]

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