Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)

Mechanic: Resurrection
Director: Dennis Gansel
Writer: Philip ShelbyTony MosherRachel LongBrian Pittman
Sequel to: The Mechanic
Cast: Jason StathamJessica AlbaTommy Lee JonesMichelle YeohSam HazeldineJohn CenatiempoToby EddingtonFemi Elufowoju Jr.Anteo Quintavalle
Seen on: 26.4.2017

Plot:
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) has retired from the assassination business and withdrawn to Rio. But he is approached there with a business proposal that he declines. Instead he goes to Thailand to visit with his friend Mei (Michelle Yeoh) and to escape the figurative heat. Also vacationing there is the beautiful Gina (Jessica Alba). But it seems that Gina might be more than just a regular vacationer and that the person trying to hire Arthur hasn’t given up on their plan just yet.

I was looking forward to Mechanic: Reurrection and then it never made its way to cinemas in Austria, at least not in an undubbed version. So when I saw that they had it on the airplane, of course I had to watch it. And it may not be quite as good as the first Mechanic, but it could have been a lot worse as well.

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Jason Bourne (2016)

Jason Bourne
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Sequel to: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and kinda The Bourne Legacy
Based on: Robert Ludlum‘s novel (kinda)
Cast: Matt DamonAlicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd
Seen on: 12.8.2016

Plot:
Ever since he exposed the secret government program that made him what he is, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been in hiding. But his partner Nicky (Julia Stiles) hacked into the CIA and discovered that there are more programs like that and even more information about Bourne’s past than they thought at first. So she contacts him to let him know. Her hacking doesn’t go unnoticed, though. Heather (Alicia Vikander), part of CIA cyber ops, first realizes that Nicky is up to something and when she and CIA director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) discover that Bourne is involved, they are dead set on finally getting him.

Jason Bourne delivers what you expect from the Bourne Series. So much so that you could simply watch the first film again, instead of this rather tired re-hash of things we’ve all seen before.

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The Homesman (2014)

The Homesman
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Writer: Tommy Lee Jones,Kieran Fitzgerald, Wesley A. Oliver
Based on: Glendon Swarthout‘s novel
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, David Dencik, William Fichtner, Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow, Tim Blake Nelson, James Spader, Hailee Steinfeld, Meryl Streep
Seen on: 06.01.2015

Plot:
At the very west of the settling effort in the USA, three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) have a psychotic break and there are no options for help in the settlements and their husbands (David Dencik, William Fichtner, Jesse Plemons) are partly overwhelmed and partly cruel, but generally of not much use. Reverend Dowd (John Lithgow) suggest that the women should be taken back east to get some help, and the only one willing to do that is Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) who is trying to build her life in the west on her own. Mary Bee stumbles upon George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) who has been left to hang, and saves his life, but demands that he come with her to bring the women to safety. And so the five of them set off on the dangerous trek, despite the general unwillingness of everybody involved but Mary Bee.

The Homesman could have been a good film, if it hadn’t been for George Briggs and the movie’s obsession with him.

the-homesman[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger
Director: Joe Johnston
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comic by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Cast: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Richard Armitage, Toby Jones, Samuel L. Jackson
Part of: Marvel movies
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) dreams only of one thing: he wants to be able to do his duty for  his country and fight in WW2. Unfortunately, he is small and sickly and is never accepted into the army, unlike his best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan). During one last attempt to sign up, he meets Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci). Erskine is convinced he sees the right morality in Steve to take part in his experiment: Erskine is trying to develop a supersoldier. Steve jumps at the chance – but that’s only the beginning of his journey.

I had forgotten how bad this movie actually was. I mean, it’s entertaining and the cast is brilliant and it does have its funny script moments, but generally it is not a movie that is very thought through.

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Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Tony Kushner
Based on: Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Joseph Cross, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Costabile, Walton Goggins, David Oyelowo, Lukas Haas, Dane DeHaan

Plot:
In the middle of the US American civil war, Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) got reelected for his second term of presidency. And he uses that position to make another push to finally do away with slavery in the US for good by adding an amendment to the constitution. But he faces a lot of opposition, not only from the Democrats, but also from within his own Republican party. As the war draws closer to its end, Lincoln and his staff have to work really hard to pass the amendment in time.

Oh boy, Lincoln is one hell of a boring movie. It’s really long, and it feels even longer. The cast is generally fantastic, but the script is unfocused and Steven Spielberg is really off his game in this one.

Lincoln

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Hope Springs (2012)

Hope Springs
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell

Plot:
After 35 years of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) co-exist rather than actually live together. After stumbling on a couple’s therapist, Kay decides that something needs to be done. So she arranges for her and Arnold to travel to Hope Springs and see said therapist, Dr. Feld (Steve Carell). Arnold grudgingly comes along, even though he’d rather leave things as they are. But can a week’s worth of intense therapy really save their marriage?

Hope Springs is a sweet film. Though it is a bit more serious than you might think, it tells its story well and with a whole lot of empathy.

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Men in Black III (2012)

Men in Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Etan Cohen
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Sequel to: Men in Black, Men in Black II
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader, Emma Thompson, Will Arnett, Michael Chernus, Alice Eve, David Rasche

Plot:
Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), one of the most dangerous criminals in the universe, manages to escape from Lunar prison, where he was sent by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) many years ago. With his mind set on revenge, he finds a way to travel back in time to 1969, where he kills Agent K before he can arrest Boris. That is not only tragic on a personal level, but puts the entire earth in jeopardy. Fortunately, Agent J (Will Smith) somehow still remembers K and travels back in time, too, to save his then young partner (Josh Brolin).

I did not have very high hopes for this film, but it turns out that it is actually quite nice. While it is not quite as good as the first film, it has its heart in the right place, it’s entertaining and it manages to steer clear of the sexism that ruined the second one. I’d say that’s a win.

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Re-Watch: Men in Black II (2002)

Men in Black II
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Robert Gordon, Barry Fanaro
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Sequel to: Men in Black
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub

Plot:
Many years ago, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) hid the light of Zartha from the Kylothians. But now K is retired, his memory is wiped and the Kylothians, headed by Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle), threaten to destroy the earth if they don’t get the light. So Agent J (Will Smith) gets K back from retirement and together they try to find K’s memory and save the world.

I remembered that the second film wasn’t as good as the first one, but I still liked it. That is, until this re-watch. They sucked the fun out of the premise, replaced it with sexism and hoped that nobody would notice. Unfortunately, I did.

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Re-Watch: Men in Black (1997)

Men in Black
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ed Solomon
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub

Plot:
James (Will Smith) is a young and very talented police officer who catches the eye of the Men in Black – a secret government organization charged with dealing with alien life on earth – when he almost arrests an alien. One of the Men in Black, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) recruits James, now Agent J. And in just in time, too, so that the two of them can prevent the end of the world.

I don’t even know how many times I have seen this film. I watched it pretty regularly as a kid and then a little more irregularly as an adult. So of course there’s a whole lot of nostalgia and fond memories that I connect with this film. But even without that, it’s just an entertaining, creative and above all fun movie.

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger* is the newest film by Joe Johnston, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on the comic books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Richard Armitage, Toby Jones and Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot:
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) dreams only of one thing: he wants to be able to do his duty for  his country and fight in WW2. Unfortunately, he is small and sickly and is never accepted into the army, unlike his best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan). During one last attempt to sign up, he meets Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci). Erskine is convinced he sees the right morality in Steve to take part in his experiment: Erskine is trying to develop a supersoldier. Steve jumps at the chance – but that’s only the beginning of his journey.

After the buzz Captain America got, I was expecting a movie that was actually good – and was surprised how craptastic the film actually was. I was still entertained very much. But there were many moments of entertainment out of ridiculousness.

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