The Iceman (2012)

The Iceman
Director: Ariel Vromen
Writer: Morgan Land, Ariel Vromen
Based on: Anthony Bruno’s book of the same name about Richard Kuklinski
Cast: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, Danny A. Abeckaser, John Ventimiglia, Ryan O’Nan, McKaley Miller, Megan Sherrill, James Franco, Stephen Dorff
Seen on: 30.4.2017

Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) works behind the scenes in the porn industry, a job that brings him in contact with Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) who sees potential in Richard and promptly hires him as a contract killer. Richard takes to this new job with a sense of professionalism that includes keeping it very far away from his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder) and kids. But mob politics aren’t easy to navigate and Richard can’t make everybody happy at all times.

I didn’t expect much from this film, but despite a lengthy second half and some seriously atrocious 70s hair, it drew me in, mostly thanks to a magnetic Michael Shannon.

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Homefront (2013)

Director: Gary Fleder
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Based on: Chuck Logan‘s novel
Cast: Jason Statham, James Franco, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth, Marcus Hester, Clancy Brown, Winona Ryder, Omar Benson Miller, Rachelle Lefevre, Frank Grillo, Austin Craig

Phil Broker (Jason Statham) worked undercover with a biker gang for years but after the case was closed – and rather unfortunately – he and his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) moved to a small town to get away from it all and to disappear. But then he gets into the crosshairs of the local gangster Gator Bodine (James Franco) and his past quickly catches up with him.

Homefront tookt itself very seriously. Way too seriously for the kind of film it is. There are some glimpses at a better film underneath the rubble, but the result is generally rather meh.


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Frankenweenie (2012)

Director: Tim Burton
Writer: John August
Based on: the short film Frankenweenie (which you can watch here and which stars the kid from The Neverending Story)
Cast: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder

Victor (Charlie Tahan) loves science, making movies and his dog Sparky, but he isn’t really popular. He doesn’t care that much about that, though. His world is shattered when Sparky gets hit by a car. Inspired by his new science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau), Victor tries to bring Sparky back to life – with science – and actually succeeds. But that is actually only the start of a whole new set of problems.

Frankenweenie really does have its moments, but I also have a couple of issues with it. On the whole, it doesn’t rise much above meh.


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Re-Watch: Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Alien: Resurrection
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writer: Joss Whedon
Sequel to: Alien, Aliens, Alien³
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, Raymond Cruz, Dan Hedaya

200  years after Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) died, a clone of her wakes up on a spaceship. But she’s not entirely human anymore. Instead the scientist have mixed her DNA with Alien DNA in an attempt to revive the Queen. And finally they have managed. As the experiments go on, a band of smugglers led by Frank Elgyn (Michael Wincott), come aboard to deliver something (or better someone). Among the smugglers is Annalee Call (Winona Ryder) who, it soon turns out, has her own agenda. And then everything quickly goes to hell.

Alien: Resurrection is not a very good film. There are moments where you get glimpses of Whedon’s sense of humor (which I probably only noticed because I knew Whedon was the writer) and moments where the themes that are explored get actually interesting, but they pass by way too quickly, leaving you with a so-standard-it’s-boring action film.


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Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan is the newest film by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder.

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a dancer in a struggling ballet company. Its director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) decides to put on a version of Swan Lake where the White Swan and the Black Swan are played by the same person. Nina auditions like everybody else, but in her need to control everything, she never seems to be able to really get the sensual seduction of the Black Swan. The pressure on her rises – from Thomas, from new company member Lily (Mila Kunis) with whom Nina strikes up a competition, from Nina’s mother Erica (Barbara Hershey), but most of all from Nina herself.

My expectations for this film was way, way, way up high. Not only is it the newest film by Aronofsky and stars two of my favorite actors (Portman and Cassel) and I hadn’t heard a single bad word about it in advance. Expectations couldn’t get any higher. And how completely satisfying is it that all of them were met?

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Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek is, in this case, the new J. J. Abrams movie starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy.  

Before I go into anything here, a quick disclaimer: I am not a Trekky (sp?). I have seen a few episodes of the various shows (mostly Voyager and DS9), but I never really got into the fandom. So, if you want a review by a fan, maybe deadra will write one someday or maybe she’ll leave her comments here.

Star Trek tells the beginning of it all – how everybody got to know each other, how Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) became friends and how everything started on the Enterprise.
After the death of his father (Chris Hemsworth), James Kirk grows up to be a rebel, constantly challenging the rules around him. He joins the Star Fleet, where he soon excels – and meets new friends, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and McCoy (Karl Urban). Soon they all get pulled into the troubles arising from a Romulan ship that seems to be stranded in time.

Despite a few plot holes, Star Trek is a very entertaining movie with good acting, a nice sense of humour and perfect special effects. Having never really liked the show(s), I didn’t expect much but I was definitely pleasantly surprised and had a lot of fun – also as a not-Trekky. [Though deadra did have to explain a few things to me – there were some insider jokes I didn’t get.]



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