Logan (2017)

Logan
Director: James Mangold
Writer: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
Based on: Mark Millar and Steve McNiven‘s comic series Old Man Logan, which is in turn based on the character Wolverine created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, John Romita Sr. and the Marvel Comics X-Men series
Sequel to: the X-Men movies
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, Quincy Fouse
Seen on: 8.3.2017

Plot:
Mutants have been practically eradicated. There are only a few left – those who manage to hide very well. One of them is Logan (Hugh Jackman), whose age is starting to show in the decreased tempo of his healing. He takes care of Xavier (Patrick Stewart), whose age is in turn showing in the dementia he developed. They are constantly at risk of being discovered. When Logan is asked to drive the young Laura (Dafne Keen) to Canada, he smells trouble and tries to refuse. But Laura won’t let herself be refused. She is like Logan in many ways and definitely a mutant. And she is pursued by an organization that means her harm. Laura forces Logan to face the world and his place in it.

Logan is probably the most emotionally mature superhero film, at least of recent years. Nevertheless, I’m not quite as taken with it as many other people were.

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Re-Watch: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick FrostTimothy DaltonJim BroadbentPaddy ConsidineRafe Spall, Olivia Colman, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Joe CornishAlice Lowe, David Bradley, Bill Bailey, Stephen MerchantJulia Deakin, Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, Peter Jackson
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy

Plot:
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is London’s star police man. But his success makes the rest of the service look bad, so he is reassigned to the small town of Sandford, where he’s partnered up with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Sandford might officially be the safest town in the UK, but Nick’s investigations soon turn up some weird things, when a series of freak accidents start.

Man, I really love this movie. It’s funny, fast-paced and riddled with cameos (some of which I only just learned about, like Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett). It’s just an absolute joy to watch.

hot_fuzz

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I Give It a Year (2013)

I Give It a Year
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer: Dan Mazer
Cast: Rose Byrne, Rafe SpallAnna FarisSimon Baker, Minnie Driver, Jason FlemyngOlivia Colman, Stephen Merchant, Daisy Haggard

Plot:
Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) just got married after a rather short dating period and despite several signs that it might not be such a good idea. As they return from their honeymoon and settle into their routine, problems start to arise. First, there’s Josh’s ex, Chloe (Anna Faris) who is still one of his best friends but with whom things might not be quite as resolved as both of them thought. And second there’s Nat’s new client, the charming and rich and obviously interested Guy (Simon Baker).

I Give It a Year has some nice jokes and one very good scene, but mostly it has characters one hesitates to call characters at all because they have no personalities whatsoever and everything else has been there before a little too often.

i-give-it-a-year

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Movie 43 (2013)

Movie 43 (it’s a comedy anthology with the following segments)
Writer (for the most parts): Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Baker
The Thread (in the European version, that’s the framing device; in the US, I gather, it’s a different story)
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Cast: Devin Eash, Adam Cagley, Mark L. Young
The Catch
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman
Homeschooled
Director: Will Graham
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Allen White
The Proposition
Director: Steve Carr
Cast: Chris Pratt, Anna Faris
Veronica
Director: Griffin Dunne
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone
iBabe
Director: Steven Brill
Cast: Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer
Superhero Speed Dating
Director: James Duffy
Cast: Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Bibb, John Hodgman
Machine Kids
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken
Writer: Jonathan van Tulleken
Middleschool Date
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh
Tampax
Director: Patrik Forsberg
Writer: Patrik Forsberg
Happy Birthday
Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Gerard Butler
Truth or Dare
Director: Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg
Cast: Stephen Merchant, Halle Berry
Victory’s Glory
Director: Rusty Cundieff
Cast: Terrence Howard
Beezel
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel

Plot:
Calvin (Mark L. Young) and his best friend JJ (Adam Cagley) wanted to trick his little brother Baxter (Devin Eash) by making him look for a supposedly banned film that doesn’t actually exist – Movie 43. But Baxter actually finds something, and as they move from clip to clip they come ever closer to the truth.

People, heed my warning. I thought that a movie with that cast couldn’t possible be as bad as the trailer. “There must be something there,” I thought. “Something redeeming. It can’t possibly be all dick jokes, scatological humor and misanthropy?” Now I laugh in the face of my naivité. Because that really is all there is to this film: people behaving like disgusting assholes and we’re supposed to laugh about it. And all that remains after seeing the film is a question: Why? Why would anybody want to make such a film? Why are any of the actors involved in this? Why would anybody think that shit is funny? WHYYYYY????

movie-43

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Burke and Hare (2010)

[One of the films of the /slash Filmfestival‘s special European evening.]

Burke and Hare is the newest film by John Landis, starring Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson, Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Bill Bailey, Christopher Lee, Tim Curry, Hugh Bonneville, David Schofield, Pollyanna McIntosh, Stephen Merchant and probably another 500 actors worthy of mention.

Plot:
Edinburgh, beginning of the 19th century: They city is very proud of its two medical faculties, headed by Doctor Monro (Tim Curry) and Doctor Knox (Tom Wilkinson) respectively. The two of them are in strong competition – and not really in a friendly way. They especially fight over the bodies they can use for dissection. When Knox runs out of supply, he has to find new means to get bodies. And that’s where William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) enter the scene: continually strapped for cash, Burke and Hare find new and, let’s say creative means of finding new corpses for Knox to work with.

Despite its topic, Burke and Hare is incredibly funny.  It does get a bit silly from time to time, but in a very endearing way and it never gets too stupid. In short, gallows humor, a great cast and a nice script [though not at all historically accurate] – what more could you ask for?

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Cemetery Junction (2010)

Cemetery Junction is the newest movie by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, starring Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Felicity Jones, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Plot:
1973. Freddie (Christian Cooke) just got a job at the local insurance company, which he believes will make all his dreams come true – house, wife, kids, not working in a factory like his friend Bruce (Tom Hughes). But things get shaken up when it turns out that Freddie’s mentor Mike (Matthew Goode) is dating the boss’ (Ralph Fiennes) daughter Julie (Felitcity Jones). Julie and Freddie used to be friends as kids, and hit it off again right away.

Cemetery Junction is not what you expect Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant movie. Neither of them plays a big part and their usual humor is mostly absent. Instead, it’s a sweet, funny and romantic coming-of-age story.

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The Invention of Lying (2009)

The Invention of Lying is a movie by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson, starring Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Louis C.K., Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Jeffrey Tambor, Tina Fey, John Hodgman, Jimmi Simpson, Martin Starr, Jason Bateman, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Guest, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Edward Norton. [Seriously, this movie is like Where’s Waldo?, only with known faces.]

Plot:
In a world, where no human knows how to lie, things can be pretty cruel for a guy like Mark (Ricky Gervais): Not particularly attractive, successful or intelligent – and the world keeps telling him directly. After going out with the beautiful Anna (Jennifer Garner) who shoots him down the next day, being fired and about to be evicted, Mark is ready to just quit. That’s when he tells the world’s first lie. Unsure how he is able to do it or what exactly to do with that new ability, he jus tknows that his life is about to change.

I haven’t heard any good things about this movie beforehand [and it was again one of those films that even get a cinematic release in Austria]. But this movie was actually pretty good – good concept, good jokes and a fantastic cast.

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Tooth Fairy (2010)

Tooth Fairy is the newest movie by Michael Lembeck, starring Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant and Julie Andrews.

Plot:
Derek (Dwayne Johnson) is an ice-hockey player past his prime. In fact, nowadays he’s mostly famous for being the Tooth Fairy – meaning he body checks his opponents so hard, they regularly lose some teeth. When his girlfriend’s (Ashley Judd) daughter loses a tooth (the natural way, not a through a body check), Derek almost tells her that there’s not actually a tooth fairy since his disillusionment made him believe that all dreams are bad. For that, he is summoned to the Fairy World, where he’s convicted to serve two weeks as an actual Tooth Fairy. Shenanigans and life lessons ensue.

The Tooth Fairy is pretty much exactly as it sounds. Adults will get a few laughs out of it, but this movie is made for kids. And kids will like it (disclaimer: surprisingly, there was not one kid in the cinema with us, so this is a as of yet untested theory).

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