Hardcore Henry (2015)

Hardcore Henry
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Writer: Ilya Naishuller, Will Stewart
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth, Andrei Dementiev
Part of: a /slash Filmfestival special screening
Seen on: 15.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

You wake up in a sterile room. A beautiful woman, Estelle (Haley Bennett), informs you that you were just resurrected, your name is Henry and that she is your wife. You lost your memories and several body parts have been replaced by highly advanced protheses. Before you can really grasp the situation, you are attacked and Estelle is kidnapped by Akan (Danila Kozlovsky), a telekinetic gangster with an entire mercenary army at his disposal. You get away but have to figure out a plan to get Estelle back. So when the very strange Jimmy (Sharlto Copley) offers his help, you’re willing to take it.

Hardcore Henry is shot entirely from the first perspective and basically in real time, making it the cinematic equivalent of a first person shooter. That concept works well, although the storytelling was sacrificed for it.

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The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce DernJames Parks, Zoë Bell, Channing Tatum
Seen on: 2.2.2016
[I saw the roadshow version.]

Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) finds himself with a dead horse, a few frozen corpses he means to deliver to collect the bounty and in the cold in the middle of nowhere. It’s just his luck that John Ruth (Kurt Russell) comes along with his carriage, also transporting a body for the bounty, but a live one – Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Warren manages to hitch a ride with them to the next inn, Minnie’s Haberdashery where they are promptly snowed in. Trapped with a group of strangers in a snow storm, tensions start to rise.

The Hateful Eight was one of Tarantino’s weaker films. Definitely his weakest in a while. But a weak Tarantino is still a strong, well-made film. But it didn’t make me enthusiastic and I did have my issues with it.

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Selma (2014)

Director: Ava DuVernay
Writer: Paul Webb
Cast: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, André Holland, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Colman Domingo, Omar J. Dorsey, Tessa Thompson, Common, Lorraine Toussaint, Dylan Baker, Corey ReynoldsWendell Pierce, Tim Roth, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Martin Sheen
Seen on: 24.02.2015

Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) may have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize, but the fight for racial equality is far from over, which is proven again when a bombing of a predominantly black church kills four girls and injures others or when a woman in Selma, Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey), is denied to registrate for voting, only the latest of many attempts of hers to do so. King makes voting legislation his next big topic, coming to Selma to start his campaign of civil resistance that is supposed to culminate in a march from Selma to Montgomery. But before things get that far, a lot of stuff has to happen first.

Of all the biopics I’ve recently seen, Selma was by far my favorite. The story is amazing, wonderfully told and the cast was absolutely mind-blowing.

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Grace of Monaco (2014)

Grace of Monaco
Director: Olivier Dahan
Writer: Arash Amel
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Milo Ventimiglia, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Frank Langella, Yves Jacques

Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) left her Hollywood career behind to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco (Tom Roth). Despite relishing her family, above all her children, Grace feels out of place in Monaco. So when she gets a role offer, she is extremely tempted to take it. But her timing couldn’t be worse as Monaco is threatened to be taken over by France. So instead of acting in a film, Grace has to start acting the role of the princess.

Grace of Monaco tells a rather simple story and probably over-simplifies the entire situation a lot. But in all its simplicity it works just fine.

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Möbius (2013)

Director: Eric Rochant
Writer: Eric Rochant
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Cécile De France, Tim Roth, Émilie Dequenne, Vladimir Menshov

Alice (Cécile de France) is an American trader in a Russian bank in Monaco. She had to leave the USA after less than legal trades, a circumstance which makes her the target of the FSB who would like to take down the bank’s owner Ivan Rostovsky (Tim Roth) for money laundry. But there are two things that make this more difficult: one, the FSB doesn’t know that Alice is already working for the CIA. And two, FSB leader Moise (Jean Dujardin) starts an affair with Alice.

kathrintha, with whom I saw the film, summed it up perfectly, so I’m gonna just steal it: “It’s sad when a film just falls flat on it’s pretentious face halfway to So-Bad-It’s-Good.”


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Arbitrage (2012)

Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Writer: Nicholas Jarecki
Cast: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta, Nate Parker, Monica Raymund (for a few seconds)

Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is a generally successful business owner, though he has encountered some troubles in the past and is now trying to sell his company as quickly as possible. He and his daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) are also already negotiating a deal and all seems to be going well. Robert’s wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) doesn’t know about the problems, and she also doesn’t know about Robert’s affair with the young artist Julie (Laetitia Casta). But then Robert gets into a car accident while driving with Julie and Julie is killed. Since he wants to avoid the scandal, Robert calls Jimmy (Nate Parker), a poor, young guy who owes Robert a debt through his (Jimmy’s) father to pick him up. But when Det. Bryer (Tim Roth) gets involved, things seem to slip Robert’s control.

Arbitrage is a frustrating film, on two levels: one, it is so close to being great, but it just doesn’t manage the last bit to actually get there. Two, the ending wants to be frustrating (because the world is frustrating when it comes to powerful people) and Jarecki absolutely succeeds with that.



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Funny Games (1997 and 2007)

Funny Games is an Austrian movie by writer/director Michael Haneke starring Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch and Frank Giering which he then remade shot for shot ten years later with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet.

A well-off family travels to their weekend getaway at the shore of a lake. While the father Georg(e) [Ulrich Mühe/Tim Roth] and the son get the boat ready, the mother Ann(a) [Susanne Lothar/Naomi Watts] stays in the house to prepare dinner. Suddenly a young man, Peter, [Frank Giering/Brady Corbet] comes from the neighbour’s house to ask for some eggs. He’s joined by another young man, Paul, [Arno Frisch/Michael Pitt] and while both of them are very polite, things become threatening really quickly. When the father and the son return to the house, Peter and Paul take the whole family hostage to play “games” with them.

Both movies are heavy cost – a thorough and deep analysis of violence in movies and what it does to the viewer. Haneke uses the horror genre conventions to hammer home a point – and hammer it he does. This is no subtle pointer that maybe violence in movies is not such a good thing but a huge, blinking neon sign that screams about the depravity of the average movie consumer.


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Green Action

Deadra and me went to the movies and watched The Incredible Hulk. Before I plunge into my point of view on the movie, let me say this: I’m not a Marvel girl. I don’t know much of the Marvel universe. And I’m not much of a Hulk fan, either. I watched the last Hulk because of Ang Lee, I watched this one because of Edward Norton and Tim Roth.

Deadra, on the other hand, is a Marvel girl (and doesn’t understand my obsession with Batman and Superman) and the film did for her, what it couldn’t achieve for me: One fan girl orgasm after the other. [NICK FURY!!! POSSIBLY DR. STRANGE!!! IRON MAN!!!] [Okay, I enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.‘s appearance as well.]

Apparantly, meaning imdb says, (almost) all the small hints to the Marvel universe (which were really nice as far as I got them) were Edward Norton’s idea, who worked on the script (talented bastard…).

Oh, Sweetie...

Oh, Sweetie…

Not so sweet

Not so sweet

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Short Observations

I just watched the Trailer to The Incredible Hulk. Just a few things to say about that.

  1. I <3 Tim Roth.
  2. It’s been way too long since I saw Edward Norton in the cinema.
  3. Edward Norton is hot. *drool*
  4. Edward Norton in this film is even hotter. *swoon*
  5. Did they do something to his eyes, or were they always that blue?

I’m not sure if it’s going to be a good film, for some mysterious reason, I didn’t really pay attention to quality factors *cough*. But I definitely want to see it.