Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon PeggDoug JungRoberto OrciPatrick McKayJohn D. Payne
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon PeggJohn Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris ElbaSofia BoutellaJoe TaslimLydia WilsonDanny PudiGreg GrunbergShea Whigham
Seen on: 26.7.2016

Plot:
The Enterprise is about halfway through their five year mission of exploring uncharted space. But five years is a long time and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) starts wondering about other career options. Before things get very far, though, they all land at Starbase Yorketown. The base has recently rescued Kalara (Lydia Wilson), a scientist whose ship was attacked. The Enterprise is sent off to rescue the rest of Kalara’s crew, but things don’t go as planned: instead the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew is stranded on the planet Altamid.

Star Trek Beyond was an entertaining film again and – to a non-Trekkie like me – it felt like the trekkiest of the new films so far. There are still a whole lot of plot holes and not everything worked flawlessly for me, but I had fun watching it.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Episode VII)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Sequel to: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Peter Mayhew, Gwendoline Christie, Simon Pegg, Greg Grunberg, Warwick Davis, Iko Uwais, Judah Friedlander, Daniel Craig, Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz
Seen on: 21.12.2015

Plot:
It was 30 years ago that Darth Vader was defeated and the Empire fell. And it’s about as long that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared from the Galaxy. The Resistance is still looking for him. Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is hot on the trail of a missing map piece for that search when he comes under attack. He hands the map to his droid BB-8 and sends it on its way. Rey (Daisy Ridley) works as a scavenger on that very same planet and she stumbles first on BB-8 and then on a stormtrooper (John Boyega) who deserted. Before they have a chance to think, they are on the run – and run straight into Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Together they decide to try to find Luke.

I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a Star Wars fan. I watched Episodes 4 through 6 when I was a kid and thought they were okay, watched Episode 1 when it came out and thought it was so stupid, I never even watched 2 and 3. When 7 came out, I hesitated for a while to watch it, but ultimately I figured why not? I have watched films for less reason than the cast of this one alone. And I have to say, I don’t regret watching it. In many ways it has the IQ of a potato, but it is seriously entertaining and very nice to watch.

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Man Up (2015)

Man Up
Director: Ben Palmer
Writer: Tess Morris
Cast: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Olivia Williams, Ophelia Lovibond, Rory Kinnear, Sharon Horgan, Dean-Charles Chapman, Ken Stott
Seen on: 10.8.2015

Plot:
Nancy (Lake Bell) has made herself a promise: she’s going to put herself out there. Well, at least more than she used to, which is not at all. When Jack (Simon Pegg) mistakes her for his blind date and she feels an instant connection to him, Nancy decides to just go for it. They spend a great date with each other, but Jack is bound to find out that Nancy isn’t actually Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond) – and what then?

Man Up was sweet and funny and exactly what you’d expect and want it to be: a RomCom of the best kind with perfect leads.

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Cast: Tom CruiseRebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Alec Baldwin
Seen on: 5.8.2015

Plot:
The CIA, in form of its director Hunley (Alec Baldwin), is arguing for disbanding the entire IMF and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) is trying everything to keep that from happening. Unsuccessfully though. As the IMF is being shut down, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is this close to finally getting to the Syndicate, a shadow organization secretly controlling the world. But Ethan is captured and only manages to escape with the help of Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). After he is freed, there is no more IMF, nobody even believes that the Syndicate exists and it becomes clear that Ethan has to take matters into his own hands.

I think the best thing that I can say about Rogue Nation that at least it was still better than the M:I-2. It is pretty much the cinematic equivalent of a very drunk night out: kinda fun while you’re at it, but as soon as you get a little more sober again, you realize with mortification all the stupid, highly inappropriate things that happened and you feel hung-over.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway
Seen on: 4.8.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is currently in a Russian prison. But after another agent (Josh Holloway) gets killed, his team, consisting of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton), breaks Ethan out of there and together they try to infiltrate the Kremlin to find more information about “Cobalt”, who is connected to the agent’s death. But the mission fails spectacularly and suddenly, the three of them plus data analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) have to clear the entire IMF’s name.

Much as I remembered it, Ghost Protocol was one hell of an entertaining film. It’s far from flawless, but at least it’s straight-forward fun.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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The Boxtrolls (2014)

The Boxtrolls
Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Writer: Irena Brignull, Adam Pava
Based on: Alan Snow‘s novel Here Be Monsters!
Cast: Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Toni Collette, Simon Pegg

Plot:
Cheesebridge is a town plagued by Boxtrolls who are said to eat children and generally to be despicable. Led by Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), Cheesebridge is on the hunt to find every last one of them. But Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has a different story to tell. When he was a little boy, the Boxtrolls took him in and raised him as one of their own. But now their community is shrinking everyday and Eggs knows that it is up to him to do something against it.

The Boxtrolls was an amazingly cute film that was extremely entertaining. Not everything about it was perfect, but I enjoyed it.

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Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)

Hector and the Search for Happiness
Director: Peter Chelsom
Writer: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay
Based on: François Lelord‘s novel Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche du bonheur
Cast: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Toni ColletteVeronica Ferres, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer

Plot:
Hector (Simon Pegg) is a psychiatrist with a well-going practice and a beautiful girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike). But he is stuck in his routine and his safety and his mind keeps wandering back to the “One Who Got Away” (Toni Collette). So he decides that he needs to go on a trip to look for the secret to happiness. Alone, leaving Clara quite take aback. He starts in China but his search will take him to quite a few places.

Hector and the Search for Happiness was perfectly nice, in the slightly derogatory meaning of nice. There was nothing very wrong about it, but nothing very right, either.

Hector-And-The-Search-For-Happiness[SPOILERS]

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The World’s End (2013)

The World’s End
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy ConsidineMartin Freeman, Rafe SpallEddie MarsanRosamund PikePierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, Michael Smiley, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe, David Bradley, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Ben Whishaw (at least I’m pretty damn certain it was him)
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy
[Here are my reviews of the other two movies in the trilogy.]

Plot:
When they were still young and living in Newton Haven, Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his friends Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Ollie (Martin Freeman) and Steven (Paddy Considine) tried themselves at a pub crawl and came short. 20 years later, Gary is still obsessed with the idea of finishing and convinces the old gang to come. But things are a little weird in Newton Haven – weirder than in other small towns.

Since I love both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I was very worried that it this film wouldn’t be able to fulfill my expectations. But fortunately it did. It was awesome.

The-Worlds-End

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Re-Watch: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick FrostKate AshfieldLucy Davis, Dylan MoranPenelope Wilton, Peter Serafinowicz, Rafe Spall, Bill Nighy, Jessica Hynes, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Matt Lucas, Chris Martin, Rob Brydon, Joe Cornish, Mark Gatiss, Michael Smiley, David Walliams, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy

Plot:
Shaun (Simon Pegg) spends his life between his dead-end job, his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). Liz is frustrated with his complacency. But things get severely shaken up when there’s a zombie outbreak. As soon as Shaun realizes, he tries everything to save the ones he loves.

Shaun of the Dead is not only one of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen, it’s just one of the best movies ever, period. And this re-watch proved it to me again.

shaunofthedead

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