Plot: After the death of her mother, Annie (Toni Collette) is grieving, as is the rest of her family – her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her son Peter (Alex Wolff) and her daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). They try to get back to normal, but strange and stranger things start to happen with them and around them.
Not everything about Hereditary worked for me, but a lot of it did. It is definitely above average, even if it left me undecided about a couple of things.
When a new weapon called Pandora’s Box is used to crash a satellite with enough precision to kill Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) and stolen from CIA headquarters by Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his people, high-ranking CIA operative Jane Marke (Toni Collette) knows she needs extra help. She finds Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) who has been living a quiet life of retirement. After hearing about Gibbons, Cage aggrees to track down Xiang and Pandora’s Box.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage absolutely delivers what it promises: it’s one of the most satisfying, fun action movies in a very long time.
Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been friends for pretty much their entire lives, despite or maybe because their not inconsiderable differences. While Jess is trying to have children with her husband Jago (Paddy Considine), Milly, who lives with her husband Kit (Dominic Cooper) and their kids and is successful in her career, is diagnosed with breast cancer. Now they both have entirely new challenges to face.
Miss You Already is like a modern Beaches: a wonderful, touching film with complex, strong, female protagonists that unabashedly centers women in its narrative.
The Engel family are preparing for Christmas which mostly means hating the stress and fearing the time they have to spend together with the extended family. Only Omi (Krista Stadler) – Austrian for granny – and Max (Emjay Anthony) really seem to like Christmas and be in the mood for it. But when the family fighting and the tension becomes too much for Max, he decides to take it out on Christmas itself and unwittingly summons Krampus, Santa’s evil helper who punishes all those who aren’t in the Christmas spirit.
When the first trailers for Krampus – an originally Austrian myth – dropped, puzzledpeaces’ reaction was that she now knew what cultural appropriation feels like (personally I’d say that the Sound of Music is the first major instance of USAmerican appropriation of Austrian culture but that’s neither here nor there). I can say that Krampus the film has literally nothing to do with Krampus as we know him here in Austria*. But that doesn’t make the film any less entertaining, quite to the contrary.
Cheesebridge is a town plagued by Boxtrolls who are said to eat children and generally to be despicable. Led by Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), Cheesebridge is on the hunt to find every last one of them. But Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has a different story to tell. When he was a little boy, the Boxtrolls took him in and raised him as one of their own. But now their community is shrinking everyday and Eggs knows that it is up to him to do something against it.
The Boxtrolls was an amazingly cute film that was extremely entertaining. Not everything about it was perfect, but I enjoyed it.
Hector (Simon Pegg) is a psychiatrist with a well-going practice and a beautiful girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike). But he is stuck in his routine and his safety and his mind keeps wandering back to the “One Who Got Away” (Toni Collette). So he decides that he needs to go on a trip to look for the secret to happiness. Alone, leaving Clara quite take aback. He starts in China but his search will take him to quite a few places.
Hector and the Search for Happiness was perfectly nice, in the slightly derogatory meaning of nice. There was nothing very wrong about it, but nothing very right, either.
Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides that he’s had enough. On New Year’s Eve he heads to Topper’s House to throw himself off the roof there. But Topper’s House is a popular spot for suicide and so he meets Jess (Imogen Poots), J.J. (Aaron Paul) and Maureen (Toni Collette) who have had the same plan. Instead of following through, circumstances let’s the four of them make a pact that they’ll wait until Valentine’s Day with it.
A Long Way Down is sweet, even if a little inconsequential. But it does have its heart in the right place.
Duncan’s (Liam James) mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) are taking Duncan and Trent’s daughter Steph (Zoe Levin) to Trent’s beach house for the summer. Duncan is less than overjoyed. He doesn’t get along with Trent at all, his mother spends all her time with Trent though. Steph ignores him and while the neighbor’s daughter Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb) is friendly, she’s also older and has her own problems. And then Duncan meets Owen (Sam Rockwell), the cool if slightly immature manager of the local water park and somehow Duncan and Owen become friends.
The Way Way Back was very sweet for the most part, had a really nice cast and a wonderful sense of humor. Some things I didn’t like that much, but generally I really enjoyed it.
Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) just finished his last film and is looking for his next project. But nothing seems right to him. While his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) is happily working on a novel by her friend Whit (Danny Huston), Alfred gets increasingly jealous of both Whit and their creativity. But then he discovers a novel – Psycho – and is convinced that he found his new hit, even if everybody else seems to doubt it. Everybody but Alma, that is.
Hitchcock was partly really good and partly not that much. I was entertained but it smacked of “the woman behind the strong man should be happy that she gets to be there at all” syndrome. And it just ran a little long.
Charley (Anton Yelchin) just went from geek to at least moderately cool, with the help of his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots). So when his former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) tries to convince him that Charley’s new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is actually a vampire, Charley shugs it off. But then Ed disappears and Charley starts to investigate. Soon he really does discover evidence that Jerry is a vampire. And since that discovery threatens Jerry, suddenly everyone Charley holds dear is in danger.
Even though I didn’t like the original all that much, I thought that I would give this one a shot for its cast and I actually hoped that a modernization might make it more accessible if you don’t have the nostalgia factor. Unfortunately that didn’t work out.