Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Based on: Sandberg’s short film
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Maria Bello, Billy Burke, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Andi Osho, Lotta Losten
Seen on: 22.8.2016

Plot:
After the violent death of his father (Billy Burke), Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is left alone with his mother Sophie (Maria Bello). But Sophie isn’t doing too well and seems to believe that there is somebody in the house with them. When Martin falls asleep in school again, they call his sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who thought that she left her mother behind after a problematic childhood. But when she realizes that Martin is experiencing the same issues she had, she knows she has to step in.

The short film this is based on was creepy as fuck, but it was also build on a single scare, making me wonder how well they’d be able to stretch it into an entire feature film. The answer is that they manage pretty damn well by focusing on what is too often ignored in horror at the moment: the characters.

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Triple 9 (2016)

Triple 9
Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Matt Cook
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael Kenneth Williams, Clifton Collins Jr.
Seen on: 21.5.2016

Plot:
Michael (Chiwetel Ejiofor) used to be in the special forces, but now he works as a private contractor. And currently he’s been contracted by Irina (Kate Winslet) who runs the Russian mob in Atlanta. Although Michael is not particularly happy with his assignment, she forces his hand to pull off an impossible heist. Together with his crew, a mix of dirty cops and professional criminals, they realize that the only chance they have to pull it off is if they kill a cop as a distraction for their heist. But things don’t go as planned.

Triple 9 was one of the quietest releases ever, especially considering cast and crew involved in the film. After having seen it, though, it seems pretty clear that they simply didn’t want to waste any more money on a movie that fails in almost everything.

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Point Break (2015)

Point Break
Director: Ericson Core
Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Remake of: Point Break
Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Matias Varela, Clemens Schick, Tobias Santelmann, Max Thieriot, Delroy Lindo, Steve Toussaint, James Le Gros, Bojesse Christopher
Seen on: 27.1.2016

Plot:
Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) used to be a polyathlete – proficient in many sports, as long as they pushed up his adrenaline. But then his friend died and Johnny decided to join the FBI. Now he’s finally finished his training and is ready to hit the field. As luck will have it, just then a series of elaborate and physically demanding heists has started up. Johnny starts to investigate and soon finds himself undercover und Pappas’ (Ray Winstone) wing, investigating the group surrounding Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) who are attempting to complete a set of challenges while playing Robin Hood.

The original Point Break didn’t have the best script or was the best film. But compared to this remake, the original is a faultless masterpiece. There is nothing good about this film, apart (maybe) from the utter ridiculousness of everything in it. That bit, at least, makes it the ideal basis for a drinking game.

pointbreak2015

[SPOILERS for both versions of the film]

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Knight of Cups (2015)

Knight of Cups
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Cast: Christian Bale, Wes Bentley, Cate Blanchett, Imogen Poots, Natalie Portman, Jason Clarke, Teresa Palmer, Joe Manganiello, Isabel Lucas, Nick Offerman, Joel Kinnaman, Nicky WhelanAntonio BanderasFreida PintoKatia WinterMichael WincottThomas LennonClifton Collins Jr.Shea WhighamNick KrollRyan O’NealKevin CorriganBrian DennehyJoe Lo Truglio, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ben Kingsley
Seen on: 15.9.2015

Plot:
Rick (Christian Bale) is a screenwriter living in LA. He moves from party to party, woman to woman. He seems to be looking for something, but who knows for what?
[Actually the first note I wrote down for this film is: “I don’t think I could write a plot description for this film”, so you’ll have to live with that little bit.]

I don’t like Terrence Malick movies. I decided to watch this one anyway because Cate Blanchett! Christian Bale! Natalie Portman! And so many other actors I love. But it turns out that Knight of Cups is everything I hate about Malick movies turned up to 11, while nothing I used to still like about them works for me anymore.

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Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jonathan Levine
Based on: Isaac Marion‘s novel
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, John Malkovich

Plot:
The zombie apocalypse has happened. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who can’t remember much – not even his entire name – and spends most of his time shuffling around an empty airport. But all of that changes when he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer) during a hunt. Julie is one of the few survivors. And while R munches on Julie’s boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco), he falls in love with her. He brings her home and Julie slowly realizes that maybe not all zombies are the monsters she thought they were. And their connection sparks a new development that is much bigger than the two of them.

Warm Bodies is great. It’s sweet, very well made and extremely funny. I expected much from it beforehand and I got it all.

warmbodies

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I Am Number Four (2011)

I Am Number Four is the newest film by D. J. Caruso, starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, Callan McAuliffe and Jake Abel.

Plot:
A while ago, 9 young aliens and their protectors were sent to earth by a race that was about to be exterminated. The 9 children belong to a group of sentinels that are supposed to protect and rebuild their race. But the evil aliens that wiped out their entire world have arrived on earth, too and are now wiping out the remaining kids one by one. They already got to three – now it’s John/Number Four’s (Alex Pettyfer) turn.

I expected I Am Number Four to be so bad as to be hilarious. Unfortunately, the movie falls short of the mark and remains only really, really bad with some hilarious moments.

[SPOILER]

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