Fighting with My Family (2019)

Fighting with My Family
Director: Stephen Merchant
Writer: Stephen Merchant
Cast: Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Vince Vaughn, Olivia Bernstone, Leah Harvey Dwayne Johnson, Thomas Whilley, Tori Ellen Ross, John Cena, Stephen Merchant
Seen on: 22.5.2022

Plot:
The Knight family – father Ricky (Nick Frost), mother Julia (Lena Headey) and their children Zak (Jack Lowden) and Saraya (Florence Pugh) live and breathe wrestling, though the possibilities in their English town are limited. But then the chance of a lifetime comes calling: Zak and Saraya can audition for Hutch (Vince Vaughn), a talent scout for the big leagues and their ticket to the WWE. Or at least, that’s what they hope.

I didn’t expect much of Fighting with My Family, apart from being able to watch Florence Pugh do her thing, so I was very pleasantly surprised by the film that turned out to be a warm, funny family movie that reminded me of the time I really loved wrestling.

The film poster showing Saraya (Florence Pugh) leaning in the corner of a wrestling ring with the other main characters of the film behind her.
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Freaky (2020)

Freaky
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Michael Kennedy, Christopher Landon
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich, Uriah Shelton, Emily Holder, Nicholas Stargel, Kelly Lamor Wilson, Mitchell Hoog, Dana Drori, Katie Finneran, Alan Ruck
Seen on: 24.6.2021

Content Note: attempted rape, sexual assault, dubious consent, bullying

Plot:
Millie (Kathryn Newton) is a normal kid in high school, not particularly popular and largely unnoticed by everyone but her best friends Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and Josh (Misha Osherovich). But her school is shook from the news that four teenagers were murdered, the homecoming dance canceled and Millie herself finds herself face to face with the killer – The Butcher (Vince Vaughn). When he tries to stab her, the two switch bodies – and Millie has to make sure to get her body back before The Butcher kills everyone she knows.

Since I very much liked the Happy Death Day (and its sequel) and I like body-swap stories, I was looking forward to this film (by the same director) very much. And I’m happy to say that Freaky absolutely fulfilled my hopes for it. I really had a blast with the film.

The film poster showing The Butchter in Millie's body (Kathryn Newton), holding a chainsaw over his shoulder, and Millie in The Butcher's body (Vince Vaughn), pressing a cell phone to her chest.
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Seberg (2019)

Seberg
Director: Benedict Andrews
Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Yvan Attal, Gabriel Sky, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Colm Meaney, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Root, Anthony Mackie, Zazie Beetz
Seen on: 8.10.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism

Plot:
Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) leaves her husband Romain Gary (Yvan Attal) and their son (Gabriel Sky) in France to go to the USA to shoot a movie. On her flight, she meets Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie) and finds herself drawn to him, as well as to his politics: he fights for (Black) civil rights. Jean becomes involved with Hakim and the cause, drawing the attention of the FBI who fear that her celebrity status will lend to much credence to the civil rights movement. They send agent Jack Solomon (Jack O’Connell) to spy on her and embark on a campaign to completely discredit Jean, utterly destroying her reputation.

Seberg has its heart in the right place, but it does make some problematic choices in the way it tells its story, leaving it to undermine itself.

The poster showing Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) in profile, wearing a striped dress.
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Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Dragged Across Concrete
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
Cast: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Thomas Kretschmann, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Don Johnson, Udo Kier, Fred Melamed, Justine Warrington
Part of: /slash Filmfestival 1/2
Seen on: 4.5.2019
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Content Note: racism

Plot:
Veteran cop Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and his younger, more volatile partner Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) are caught on tape using excessive force on a black suspect. They are suspended when the tape reaches the media. Ridgeman decides to turn to crime himself in this forced downtime: he and Lurasetti plan to take over a robbery of which they get wind. Part of the robbery crew is Henry Johns (Tory Kittles), just released from prison, who came home to find the poverty of his family completely overwhelming. Without other options, he lets himself get roped into the robbery plot. But things don’t go according to plan for anybody.

I was this close to not watching Dragged Across Concrete. Zahler’s last film – Bone Tomahawk – was racist crap. That he then turns to make a film that is a whole lot about racism and casts Mel Gibson, a known racist and antisemite, in the lead is insensitive to say the least. But then I figured, I had an all-access pass to the festival and I may as well give this film a go. Well. I should have listened to my gut and saved myself because the film is just as racist as the last.

The film poster showing the main characters in red paint that looks like something was dragged over the white poster background.
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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Kathryn Hahn, Fred Armisen, Seth Rogen, Paul F. Tompkins, Danny Trejo, Judd Apatow, Debra McGuire, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, Jerry Stiller, Vince Vaughn
Seen on: 6.1.2015

Plot:
Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the star news anchor in San Diego. He and his colleagues Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) live the good life, filled with parties and women and are, simply put, celebrities. But their world is brought into disarray when Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) arrives on the scene: she’s young, she’s beautiful and she’s a journalist dreaming of becoming a news anchor herself.

Since Anchorman is pretty much a cult classic, I decided to watch it despite my assumption that it probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea. While it is a highly quotable film (that I quoted myself already, too, without realizing where I was quoting from) that even is kinda, sorta about a feminist topic, I was pretty much right about my assumption.

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The Internship (2013)

The Internship
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Josh BrenerDylan O’BrienTiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael, Max Minghella, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Gad, Jessica Szohr, Rob Riggle, Eric André, Will Ferrell, John Goodman

Plot:
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) have been salesmen and friends for their entire working life. But with the rise of the digital age, nobody really needs their services anymore. So they decide to start fresh – with an internship at Google. But not knowing anything about computers/the internet and competing with a whole lot of kids for the jobs might make everything a bit more difficult than they thought.

The Internship is fine. I basically saw it for Dylan O’Brien (though John Goodman and Max Minghella were a nice bonus) and if he hadn’t been in it and if I therefore hadn’t seen it, I probably wouldn’t have missed much. But it was entertaining enough.

theinternship

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Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild is a movie by Sean Penn, based on Jon Krakauer‘s book, starring Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook and Zach Galifianakis.

Plot:
Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) has just finished university and decides to drop out. He is fed up with the dishonesty of the lives around him, his parents’ (Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt) loveless marriage, the unfairness of capitalism. So he packs his things and takes off on a cross-country tour of the USA. Without any money and avoiding any contact with his parents and sister (Jena Malone), he sets off with the big goal to go to Alaska, encountering various people along the way.

Chris McCandless story is interesting and touching and Sean Penn found himself an amazing cast to tell it. Unfortunately he is not the world’s greatest director and the cinematography could have been better, too (he’s very lucky that Emile Hirsch is as pretty as he is, because that camera spends an inordinate amount of time shoved in his face). But despite that, it is still a very good film to watch.

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