The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

The Peanut Butter Falcon
Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Writer: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Cast: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, John Hawkes, Yelawolf
Seen on: 15.1.2020

Plot:
Zak (Zack Gottsagen) needs to escape from the retirement home he has been parked at for years, despite the fact that he is very young. He has Down Syndrome and nobody knew where else to put him. Still, he needs to get out, then he can go to Salt Water Redneck’s (Thomas Haden Church) wrestling school. Finally one of his attempts actually works and Zak is off. By chance, he ends up on Tyler’s (Shia LaBeouf) boat. Tyler, too, needs to get out after pretty much destroying all of his chances to ever work as a fisherman in his hometown again. Together, the two strike out to fulfill Zak’s dream.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a wonderful film. It’s touching, funny and has an eye for the absurd. But most importantly, it unquestioningly centers Zak and his story, never allowing him to become a prop in his own film.

The film poster showing a drawing of Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), Zak (Zack Gottsagen) and Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) sitting on a raft.
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Killer Joe (2011)

Killer Joe
Director: William Friedkin
Writer: Tracy Letts
Based on: Tracy Letts‘ play
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Chris (Emile Hirsch) is in trouble and needs money desperately. So he hatches the plan to have his mother killed to cash in on the insurance. He heard about a cop who can be hired for assassinations – Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) – and soon his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) and stepmother Sharla (Gina Gershon) are also on board. When they can’t pay Joe’s downpayment, he asks for Chris’ sister Dottie (Juno Temple) as a retainer instead.

Killer Joe is a tense, surprisingly violent film with a good cast, but the ending was pretty lackluster.

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John Carter (2012)

John Carter
Director: Andrew Stanton
Writer: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon
Based on: Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s novel A Princess of Mars
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Haden Church

Plot:
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) calls his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) to come to him, just before he dies. When Edgar arrives – just a bit too late – he gets John’s diary and starts to read about how John traveled to Mars many years ago with the help of a mysterious amulet. On Mars, he found himself captured by an alien tribe and then caught in a war that threatens the entire planet.

John Carter delivers exactly what you expect it to: brainless but extremely entertaining action with campy performances. Is it great film-making? No. But it’s great entertainment.

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Easy A (2010)

Easy A is Will Gluck‘s newest film, starring Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Malcolm McDowell, Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow.

Plot:
Olive (Emma Stone) is a good student, though not a particularly popular one. But when a rumor is started that she sleeps around, it puts a quick end to her going unnoticed. Olive gets into a catfight with the religious do-gooder Marianne (Amanda Bynes), poses as a sex partner for various guys (who are gay or unpopular) and causes general mayhem at her school.

Easy A is a thoroughly enjoyable film. Though I expected a little more than it actually was, I had a good time watching and it makes for a nice evening’s entertainment.

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