The Promise (2016)

The Promise
Director: Terry George
Writer: Terry George, Robin Swicord
Cast: Oscar IsaacCharlotte Le BonChristian BaleDaniel Giménez CachoShohreh AghdashlooMarwan KenzariAngela SarafyanTom HollanderJean Reno
Seen on: 22.8.2017
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Plot:
Mikael (Oscar Isaac) wants nothing more than to become a doctor. So he travels to Constantinople, where he can stay with his uncle, and starts studying. Also staying with his uncle is the beautiful Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a French dance instructor who teaches Mikael’s nieces. Mikael and Ana hit it off, but Ana is already dating American journalist Chris (Christian Bale). The love triangle that ensues is interrupted, though, when the political situation in the Ottoman Empire shifts, war is declared and Mikael, as an Armenian, finds himself in grave peril.

The Promise tells an important story, but unfortunately it doesn’t tell it particularly well, making it feel way too long and less engaging and devastating than it should have been.

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Byzantium (2012)

Byzantium
Director: Neil Jordan
Writer: Moira Buffini
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma ArtertonSam RileyJonny Lee Miller, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Uri Gavriel, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tom Hollander
Seen on: 1.1.2017

Plot:
Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother Clara (Gemma Arterton) had to leave their old town in a hurry and have ended up in a small coastal town where they try for a new start. Being centuries old vampires, this is not the first time they had to do this. Eleanor is struggling with what she is, while Clara is pragmatic enough to always fall on her feet. She quickly finds Noel (Daniel Mays), who owns a run-down hotel, and with him shelter and work. Meanwhile Clare meets Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), a student with leukemia, and feels immediately drawn to him. But they aren’t save yet.

Byzantium has a great set-up and a great cast and it could have been utterly brilliant, but it did neither justice. To call it disappointing almost isn’t strong enough.

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Re-Watch: Hanna (2011)

Hanna
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Seth LochheadDavid Farr
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom HollanderOlivia WilliamsJessica Barden
Seen on: 18.4.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) grows up with her father Erik (Eric Bana) in complete seclusion. He trains her to be the perfect spy and she grows up knowing that once she leaves her solitary life, she will be hunted down by Marissa (Cate Blanchett). Nevertheless Hanna wants to head out into the world and finally Erik also agrees that she’s ready. So the first thing Hanna does is to head out and try to kill Marissa, before Marissa can kill her.

I was rather disappointed in the film when I saw it the first time – I just didn’t think it lived up to its potential. So I hadn’t planned on watching it again but then it was part of my curriculum at uni and I decided to give it another try. With my expectations dialed down, I was able to enjoy Hanna much more than the first time.

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Cast: Tom CruiseRebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Alec Baldwin
Seen on: 5.8.2015

Plot:
The CIA, in form of its director Hunley (Alec Baldwin), is arguing for disbanding the entire IMF and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) is trying everything to keep that from happening. Unsuccessfully though. As the IMF is being shut down, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is this close to finally getting to the Syndicate, a shadow organization secretly controlling the world. But Ethan is captured and only manages to escape with the help of Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). After he is freed, there is no more IMF, nobody even believes that the Syndicate exists and it becomes clear that Ethan has to take matters into his own hands.

I think the best thing that I can say about Rogue Nation that at least it was still better than the M:I-2. It is pretty much the cinematic equivalent of a very drunk night out: kinda fun while you’re at it, but as soon as you get a little more sober again, you realize with mortification all the stupid, highly inappropriate things that happened and you feel hung-over.

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Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Muppets Most Wanted
Director: James Bobin
Writer: James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller
Based on: Jim Henson‘s characters
Sequel to: The Muppets
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey
Cameos by [put in camouflage so you can still be surprised by the people who show up, if you don’t know already. If you wanna be surprised, don’t read the tags, either]: Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, Jemaine Clement, Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Mackenzie Crook, Céline DionLady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Tom HiddlestonTom Hollander, Toby Jones, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, James McAvoy, Chloë Grace Moretz, Usher Raymond, Miranda Richardson, Saoirse Ronan, Til Schweiger, Russell Tovey, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz

Plot:
After solving their problems in the last film, the Muppets hit a bit of a low. They don’t really know what they should do now. That’s when Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) shows up and proposes a world tour to them. Kermit is hesitant but the others are in love with the idea. But Badguy has ulterior motives – he is teamed up with the most evil frog in the world, Constantine. And for his plan to work, Constantine impersonates Kermit while banishing the real Kermit to a Russian gulag.

I think I liked Muppets Most Wanted a little better than the first Muppets film. Maybe I’m starting to have more of a connection to the Muppets themselves. (There are so many Muppets in this paragraph alone. Muppets. Muppets. Muppets.) Either way, there is not much of a quality difference between this one and the first one.

muppetsmostwanted

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About Time (2013)

About Time
Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths

Plot:
When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that he has the ability to travel in time. Disbelieving at first, Tim finds out that it’s true and decides that this might finally be the thing to allow him to find a girlfriend. But things aren’t easy, not even when you have such abilities and when Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) he finds that out for himself.

About Time was sweet, funny and utterly charming. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

abouttime

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Hanna (2011)

Hanna is the newest movie by Joe Wright, written by Seth Lochhead and David Farr and starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander and Olivia Williams.

Plot:
Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) grows up with her father Erik (Eric Bana) in complete seclusion. He trains her to be the perfect spy and she grows up knowing that once she leaves her solitary life, she will be hunted down by Marissa (Cate Blanchett). Nevertheless Hanna wants to head out into the world and finally Erik also agrees that she’s ready. So the first thing Hanna does is to head out and try to kill Marissa, before Marissa can kill her.

Hanna has all the ingredients to be an amazing film. But somehow somwhere something went wrong and the film ended up being not good. It’s not bad per se, but it just doesn’t live up to its potential at all.

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