Logan Lucky (2017)

Logan Lucky
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Rebecca Blunt
Cast: Channing TatumAdam DriverDaniel CraigRiley KeoughKatie HolmesKatherine WaterstonSeth MacFarlaneJim O’HeirBrian GleesonJack QuaidHilary Swank
Seen on: 18.9.2017
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Plot:
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) just got fired. So instead of a regular income, he needs a different way to get some money. Fortunately he has a plan. Together with his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) they’re going to rob the NASCAR bets during a race. But first, they need somebody who knows explosives and there’s nobody more knowledgeable than Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). Fortunately, Joe is currently in prison. So they all have their work cut out for them.

Logan Lucky is very entertaining, albeit not particularly deep. It may think that it’s a little funnier than it is, but it is funny enough to make it absolutely enjoyable.

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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Based on: Scott Thorson‘s and Alex Thorleifson’s memoir
Cast: Michael Douglas, Matt DamonScott Bakula, Debbie Reynolds, Cheyenne Jackson, Dan AykroydRob Lowe, David Koechner, Garrett M. Brown

Plot:
When young Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) meets Liberace (Michael Douglas), he is impressed – by his lifestyle, his money and status, his talent. Liberace, whose relationship with Billy (Cheyenne Jackson) is in its last moments, also takes to Scott and Scott quickly finds himself in Billy’s place. But living with Liberace sure isn’t easy.

Behind the Candelabra was entertaining and funny, had a great cast and awesome make-up. It probably isn’t the best movie of all times, but it is extremely enjoyable.

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Side Effects (2013)

Side Effects
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-JonesVinessa Shaw, David Costabile, Mamie Gummer

Plot:
Emily’s (Rooney Mara) husband Martin (Channing Tatum) was in prison for the last four years, for fraud. Now he’s finally out and Emily should be super-happy as her life is slowly falling into place again. But unfortunately she’s not. Instead she’s depressed and really not doing well. After she drives her car into a wall, she starts treatment with Dr. Banks (Jude Law) who prescribes her various medications. But every medication has its side effects.

I really enjoyed the first half of this film. Unfortunately it then gets lost in a clusterfuck of tropes and plot twists and starts to suck really badly.

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[SPOILERS]

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Magic Mike (2012)

Magic Mike
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Reid Carolin
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn

Plot:
Mike (Channing Tatum) is a stripper with big plans: he wants to build and design his own furniture. Therefore he saves his money, works as a builder during the daytime and generally pursues many options. When he meets the young Adam (Alex Pettyfer), he introduces him into the world of male stripping, much to the disapproval of Adam’s sister Brooke (Cody Horn). But while stripping seems like easy money, it’s not all sunshine and kittens.

I would have loved to be able to write a good review of this film. I would have accepted both, if it was a fun-filled movie made for ogling guys or if it was an actual thoughtful film about the dangers of selling yourself as a piece of meat in a rather seedy environment. Unfortunately, this movie ends up being neither – instead it’s a ridiculous and boring mess.

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Haywire (2011)

Haywire
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Mathieu Kassovitz, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas

Plot:
Mallory (Gina Carano) works for Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), a private contractor who leases his people to the government for special assignments. But during the last job, something went wrong and suddenly Mallory finds herself on the run. At a small rest stop, her former partner Aaron (Channing Tatum) catches up with her but she kicks his ass and gets away with Scott (Michael Angarano), a rather willing hostage whom she tells her story to.

I really, really enjoyed Haywire – I was actually surprised by how much. It’s an engaging, intelligent and stylish thriller with good fight scenes and a really cool soundtrack.

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Contagion (2011)

Contagion
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, John Hawkes, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle, Elliott Gould, Bryan Cranston, Josie Ho

Plot:
Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) travels home from a business trip in Hong Kong. But almost as soon as she reaches her husband (Matt Damon) and son, the cold she brought from Hong Kong turns out to be much worse and is, in fact, the beginning of a worldwide epidemic. While people around them start dying the CDC sends an agent (Kate Winslet) to Boston, while the WHO sends one of their people (Marion Cotillard) to Hong Kong in a desperate attempt to find a cure – and quickly.

In Contagion, Soderbergh dodges most of the classic movie conventions on how to tell his story. Instead he makes a film that feels so utterly realistic that you can almost believe it to be a documentary. That is not only impressive per se, it also makes for an excellent film.

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Che: Part One (2008)

[Somehow this film slipped through the cracks in my trying to get this blog up to speed. I saw it in August or something like that.]

Che: Part One is – surprise! – the first part of a two-part biography of Che Guevara by Steven Soderbergh, starring Benicio del Toro.

Plot:
Che Guevara (Benicio del Toro) is a young Argentinian doctor who meets revolutionary thinker Fidel Castro (Demián Bichir). Together they build a guerilla troup of supporters for their cause: to free Cuba from US-friendly dictator Fulgencio Batista.

The acting was very good and the movie was beautifully shot but unfortunately it was also so very boring… And it was damn confusing for people like me who didn’t know the story perfectly already. [I know much of what was going on, but not in any depth.] That’s why I didn’t even bother to watch the second part, despite my admiration of Benicio del Toro.

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