BlacKkKlansman (2018)

BlacKkKlansman
Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
Based on: Ron Stallworth‘s memoir Black Klansman
Cast: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Alec Baldwin, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Robert John Burke, Brian Tarantina, Arthur J. Nascarella, Ken Garito, Frederick Weller, Michael Buscemi, Harry Belafonte, Gina Belafonte
Seen on: 21.8.2018

Plot:
Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) fought his way into the police force – and managed to become the first black police man in Colorado Springs. That doesn’t mean that his skills are particularly valued. But as Ron keeps pushing, he is assigned to go undercover to black power events like the talk by Kwame Ture. But Ron knows where the real threat lies: with the Ku Klux Klan. Making a couple of bold choices and forcing some hands, he ends up infiltrating the Klan via phone, sending his Jewish colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to go to the meetings in person.

BlacKkKlansman is a strong film that makes its political point eloquently and forcefully. And it’s an important point to make – made by a good story.

The film poster showing a black man in a Ku Klux Klan mask, making a black power fist and holding up a comb.
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Truth (2015)

Truth
Director: James Vanderbilt
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Based on: Mary Mapes‘ book Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Elisabeth Moss, Bruce Greenwood, Stacy Keach, John Benjamin Hickey, David Lyons, Dermot Mulroney, Rachael Blake, Andrew McFarlane
Seen on: 9.6.2016

Plot:
Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) is a producer on CBS’ 60 Minutes, hosted by Dan Rather (Robert Redford). They get wind of a story that George Bush Jr may have received favorable treatment in the army which kept him out of harm’s way and could considerably hurt his run for the presidency. They investigate and despite a few incongruencies decide to go ahead and report on the story. It doesn’t take long, though, for serious doubts to arise as to the veracity of the story and the supporting documents. Quickly, Mary finds herself under heavy fire.

Truth is a decent film carried by Blanchett, but it fundamentally misunderstands the quest it is on, which does throw a wrench in its own works.

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American Ultra (2015)

American Ultra
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Writer: Max Landis
Cast: Jesse EisenbergKristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman
Seen on: 20.10.2015

Plot:
Mike (Jesse Eisenberg) and Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) have a great life together, if you consider smoking a lot of weed, working dead-end jobs and never leaving the small town they live in a great life. At least they very much love each other. But their existence is completely destroyed when it turns out that Mike is the product of a CIA experimental program which used to be run by Victoria (Connie Britton). But Victoria was demoted, her program scapped and her new boss Adrian (Topher Grace) decided to obliterate the last remains of her program – that means killing Mike. Victoria decides to go against the plan and activates Mike, causing Adrian and his henchmen who came for him a world of trouble.

American Ultra is an entertaining film that is a little uneven but definitely fun to watch.

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Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaugheyAnne HathawayJessica Chastain, Wes BentleyDavid Gyasi, Michael Caine, Casey AffleckTopher GraceMatt Damon, John LithgowDavid Oyelowo, Bill Irwin, Mackenzie FoyTimothée Chalamet, Ellen Burstyn

Plot:
The earth is dying. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) used to be an engineer, but now he lives on a farm, trying to grow his own food, with his father (John Lithgow), his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) and his son Tom (Timothée Chalamet). Murphy is convinced that their house is haunted and actually figures out a message – coordinates. Intrigued Cooper drives there and stumbles on the world’s largest space project, trying to find other viable planets. It’s headed by his former professor Brand (Michael Caine) who promptly asks Cooper to join their last chance to find a planet in time. Even though it means leaving his family behind, especially Murphy, Cooper agrees and together with Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway), they take off.

Interstellar is a mixed bag of beans. Visually stunning, scientifically apparently accurate, at least for a while (not that I’d really know), and with all around great performances, it nevertheless fails when it comes to the storytelling.

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Predators (2010)

Predators is the newest addition to the series of films spawned by this one. It was directed by Nimród Antal and stars Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Louis Ozawa Changchien and Laurence Fishburne.

Plot:
A very armed guy (Adrien Brody) wakes up in the middle of a free fall. Fortunately, his parachute opens, before he hits the ground. Unfortunately, on the ground there are quite a few very armed, very dangerous people. But the again, this might not be a bad thing since they soon realise that a) they are not on earth anymore and b) they are not the titular predators – they are the prey.

Predators does a few things very right, but mostly gets wrecked by the really bad dialogues, the most telegraphed plot “twist” in the history of telegraphed plot “twists” and the fact that they kill off my two favourite characters pretty early on. Still. It’s not that bad for an action movie sequel/remake/reimagining.

[SPOILERS]

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Valentine’s Day (2010)

Valentine’s Day is the newest movie by Garry Marshall, starring (and it’s almost easier to list who is not in this movie) Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Ganer, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Bryce Robinson and Taylor Swift. *phew*

Plot:
Valentine’s Day is an episodic film about various couples on Valentine’s Day (SURPRISE!). I can either go into very much detail right now or none at all and I choose none. :)

I went into the movie seriously expecting to cringe all the time. To my surprise, Valentine’s Day was not completely aweful. Yes, it’s a RomCom as full of kitsch as they come. There are hardly any surprises and there’s nothing that hasn’t been done yet (and probably better). There are so many people, the characters suffer. But it entertains and is definitely watchable (something that can not be said about other movies in this category).

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