A Hologram for the King (2016)

A Hologram for the King
Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Tom Tykwer
Based on: Dave Eggersnovel
Cast: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Tom Skerritt, Ben Whishaw
Seen on: 9.5.2016

Plot:
Alan’s (Tom Hanks) life has fallen apart quite quickly. He and his wife separated, there’s a weird growth on his back, and his position in his company is being called into question. To at least keep his job, Alan has to go to Saudi Arabia to convince the king to invest in the company’s holographic conference software. When he gets there, though, the king is nowhere to be seen and Alan is completely overwhelmed by the way business is being done. But with the help of driver Yousef (Alexander Black) he starts to find his way, literally and figuratively.

A Hologram for the King feels completely inconsequential. It’s nice enough that I could have liked it, it’s problematic enough that I could have gotten angry about it, but instead it simply didn’t seem to affect me at all.

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Re-Watch: 3 (2010)

3
Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Tom Tykwer
Cast: Sophie Rois, Sebastian SchipperDevid Striesow
Seen on: 8.1.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Hanna (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper) have been a couple for quite a while now and things are stagnating. It works but more because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t than because there’s a reason it should. When first Hanna, then Simon meet Adam (Devid Striesow) – separately from each other, they both sleep with him – also separately from each other. As both Hanna and Simon get more attached to Adam, their relationship with each other is more than being called into question.

I had actually forgotten that I had watched 3 before. It was only about 20 or 30 minutes into the film that I realized it and then I was pretty sure that I had at least never written about it, which was also wrong. I guess that’s already a pretty telling comment on the film itself. It’s far from bad, but somehow it just doesn’t really stick around.

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Heaven (2002)

Heaven
Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone, Stefania Rocca

Plot:
British Philippa (Cate Blanchett) has been trying and trying to get the Italian police’ attention regarding her husband’s death but was continuously ignored. So she decides to plant a bomb in the office of the man she holds responsible for her woes. Only that things go bad and she kills four other people instead. She is arrested quickly and demands that her interrogations are held in English, not Italian. A young officer (Giovanni Ribisi) takes over that duty and falls in love with Philippa, deciding that he has to help her.

I saw the cast of this film and knew that I had to watch it – which meant that I went in without really knowing much about it. It did take me on a quite surprising voyage through twists and turns that I really didn’t expect. And I enjoyed every second of it.

heaven

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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas
Director: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Based on: David Mitchell’s novel
Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhuo, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Robert Fyfe, Götz Otto

Plot:
Cloud Atlas tells six interlocking stories where the same set of souls cross paths over and over again. In The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, we follow the young notary Adam (Jim Sturgess) on his way back to the US on a ship in the mid 19th century where he meets a doctor (Tom Hanks) and a slave (David Gyasi) who both greatly influence his fate. In Letters from Zedelghem, the young composer Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw), who finds himself in financial difficulties, comes to Belgium to work with Vyvyan Ayrs (Jim Broadbent), a famous but ill composer. In Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery, we read about the journalist Luisa Rey (Halle Berry) who uncovers a conspiracy regarding a power plant which puts her in grave danger. In The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, Cavendish (Jim Broadbent) is a publisher who asks his brother (Hugh Grant) for help to get out of his debts. When the quiet getaway turns out to be a senior home, he seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. In An Orison of Sonmi~451, the clone Sonmi~451 (Doona Bae) tells an archivist (James D’Arcy) her life story from the fast food joint Papa Song where she worked as a waitress until her life took a turn in a very different direction. In Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After, Zachry (Tom Hanks) is one of the few people in the world who survived The Fall. His life with his family gets disrupted when one of the Prescients, who still have technology from the Old Uns, called Meronym (Halle Berry) comes to stay with them.

I didn’t love the book, but I liked it overall. I thought that I would probably feel the same way about the film, with the added advantage that the film would provide me with the stunning visuals the trailer promised. Unfortunately the movie did not work for me at all.

[SPOILERS]

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3 (2010)

3 is the newest movie by Tom Tykwer, starring Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper and Devid Striesow.

Plot:
Hanna (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper) have been a couple for quite a while now and things are stagnating. It works but more because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t than because there’s a reason it should. But then first Hanna, then Simon meet Adam (Devid Striesow) – separately from each other. And both fall in love with him.

The cast is excellent and Tykwer approaches the story with a lot of sensitivity and a nice sense of humor. Unfortunately, I thought that it focussed on the wrong thing.

3neu

[SPOILERS]

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