Kate (2021)

Kate
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writer: Umair Aleem
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson, Miku Patricia Martineau, Tadanobu Asano, Jun Kunimura, Michiel Huisman, Miyavi
Seen on: 28.1.2022

Content Note: racism

Plot:
Kate (Mary Elizabeht Winstead) is an assassin who was basically raised by her handler Varrick (Woody Harrelson). Kate is starting to grow weary of the assassin’s life, but has agreed to finishing the job they’re currently on. Only she ends up poisoned and knows that she only has a day left to find out who poisoned her and why and to exact her revenge. The trail leads her to the Kajima yakuza and Ani (Miku Patricia Martinea), granddaughter of Kajima (Jun Kunimura). Ani’s and Kate’s path have crossed before, and soon Kate finds herself protecting Ani more than using her to get her revenge.

I thought that watching Mary Elizabeth Winstead kick ass for two hours (which was pretty much all I knew about the film going in) could not be boring. I was wrong.

The film poster showing Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Ani (Miku Patricia Martineau) and Varrick (Woody Harrelson) in a neon frame.
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Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Director: Andy Serkis
Writer: Kelly Marcel
Based on: David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane‘s comics character
Sequel to: Venom
Cast: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, Peggy Lu
Part of: (as of now) Marvel movies
Seen on: 21.10.2021

Plot:
Eddie (Tom Hardy) and Venom have found a way to live together. Kind of. Eddie’s life is still a mess after everything that happened and he slowly tries to get back into working as a journalist but that’s easier said than done with Venom in tow who keeps crying for brains, and for Anne (Michelle Williams) although Eddie does his best to let Anne live her new life. When serial killer on death row Cletus (Woody Harrelson) asks for Eddie, personally, to share his life secrets with him, Eddie gets the chance he has been waiting for. But the encounter with Cletus doesn’t exactly go smoothly and when Venom gets involved, something stays behind with Cletus that really shouldn’t.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage leans into the strengths of the first film and gives us (almost) all the romance you could wish for. The not-so-romantic parts still don’t work perfectly, but I did enjoy myself again.

The film poster showing Eddie (Tom Hardy), the right half of his face covered by half of Venom's face.
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Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Zombieland: Double Tap
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Dave Callaham
Sequel to: Zombieland
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch
Seen on: 27.11.2019

Plot:
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have become a pretty strong unit in the last few years they spent fighting against zombies. They are living in the White House and things have settled. As much as they can settle in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. But both Wichita and Little Rock are getting increasingly more antsy. One morning, they are just gone, leaving Columbus and Tallahassee a note but not much of an explanation. Can their found family find its way back together again?

Zombieland: Double Tap was fun in many ways, but others didn’t sit right with me. I often had fun, but the film doesn’t really come together and it begs the question of whether it wouldn’t have been better to just leave it at the first one.

The film poster showing Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) ready to fight.
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Re-Watch: Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray
Seen on: 24.11.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
In the near future, there are barely any people left – most of them have been turned into zombies. Among the survivors are Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) who stumbled upon each other by chance and decided to stick together for a while, though the obsessive and anxious Columbus and the toughtalking, explosive Tallahassee don’t have much in common. When they run into Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the girls first rob them, but later on, they throw their lot together, hoping to reach a place where they’re safe.

When I saw Zombieland for the first time (almost a decade ago), I was utterly cahrmed by it. Re-Watching it now, I have to admit that it lost a bit of its sheen, but it’s still pretty entertaining.

The film poster showing Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), all with weapons in their hands.
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Venom (2018)

Venom
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, Kelly Marcel
Based on: David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane‘s comics character
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Woody Harrelson, Peggy Lu
Seen on: 5.10.2018
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Plot:
Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a journalist and he loves to dig deep. When he gets the chance to interview Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) who runs a huge tech company, he can’t resist asking some hard questions. But that choice leads for his entire life to explode around him – he loses his job and his girlfriend Anne (Michelle Williams). A year later, he is still reeling – and still obsessed with Drake. So when he gets a chance to take another dig at him, he does – and that brings him in touch with one of Drake’s projects: Venom, an alien who hitches a ride in his body.

Venom was a lot more fun than I expected. It’s not necessarily a good film, but it is definitely entertaining and very enjoyable.

The film poster showing Tom Hardy's face, half of which is an Alien with a huge eye and a mouth with sharp teeth.
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Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman, Linda Hunt, Warwick Davis
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 6.6.2018

Plot:
Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) has found his way off the planet Corellia in an attempt to find a better life, but quickly running out of options, his path has led him to the army. But he doesn’t do very well there, either. So it seems a lucky break that he finds Tobias (Woody Harrelson), Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio (Jon Favreau) – thieves pretending to be fighters. He tries to join them, but they are not interested, using him instead to make their own escape and getting Han arrested. But that arrest leads Han to Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Chewie buys him a way in with Tobias and the others after all. And pretty soon, Han finds himself in the middle of a heist that throws him right in the path of Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) whom he thought he had lost forever.

Speaking as somebody who is not particularly into Star Wars, Solo was entertaining enough although I felt that it definitely focused on the wrong character.

Film poster for Solo, showing Chewbacca, Qi'Ra, Solo and Lando in front of a colorful background.
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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, Amanda Warren, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving
Seen on: 5.2.2018
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Plot:
Mildred (Frances McDormand) has had enough. Her daughter was murdered and the police don’t even seem to try to solve it. So she posts three huge billboards that call attention to the fact. The billboards don’t fan the investigation so much as the emotions of the locals. They do make the life of police chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) more difficult, especially since his hotheaded deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) takes it personally.

Three Billboards tells its story very well. Unfortunately it just tells the completely wrong story, managing to perpetuate the racism it tries to stand against by centering the white perspective.

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War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

War for the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves
Based on: Pierre Boulle‘s novel
Sequel to: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Cast: Andy SerkisWoody HarrelsonSteve ZahnKarin KonovalAmiah MillerTerry NotaryTy OlssonMichael AdamthwaiteToby KebbellGabriel ChavarriaJudy Greer
Seen on: 16.8.2017
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Plot:
Caesar (Andy Serkis) just wants to live in peace with his group of apes and his family. But the humans are still hunting them. Especially the army troop led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) are not prepared to let any of the apes live, no matter how secluded. After a particularly gruesome attack that strikes at the very heart of Caesar and his apes, Caesar snaps: no longer will he try to resolve things peacefully. Instead he will get his revenge.

War for the Planet of the Apes was okay, despite some serious issues. But it’s nothing that will stay in my mind for very long – or at all.

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The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Hailee SteinfeldHaley Lu RichardsonBlake JennerKyra SedgwickWoody HarrelsonHayden SzetoAlexander Calvert
Seen on: 25.4.2017

Plot:
Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) feels that she doesn’t fit in with the world around her. Certainly not her brother Darian (Blake Jenner) who is simply perfect. The only person who understands Nadine and who shares everything with her is her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). So it really throws Nadine for a loop when Krista starts dating Darian of all people. Nadine decides she has to look for new friends. But candidates are not easy to find. There’s her grumpy teacher Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson), and the slightly dorky Erwin (Hayden Szeto) who’s probably into Nadine. And there is the dreamy Nick (Alexander Calvert) who is everything Nadine dreams about.

The Edge of Seventeen is funny and sweet and cute, but it didn’t get all the points in my book it could have gotten with just a few minor adjustments.

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Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Now You See Me 2
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Ed Solomon
Sequel to: Now You See Me
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman, Michael CaineSanaa Lathan, Jay Chou, Tsai Chin
Seen on: 5.9.2016

Plot:
After the last stunt they pulled, the Four Horsemen have to lie low. Danny (Jesse Eisenberg) is growing increasingly frustrated with the situation – he doesn’t want to hide anymore, while Dylan (Mark Ruffalo), working as a double agent at the FBI, does his best to keep them off the Horsemen’s real trail. But when Lula (Lizzy Caplan) shows up in Danny’s apartment with a whole lot of knowledge about the Horsemen, it seems that the time of hiding is over anyway. Danny calls together the remaining Horsemen – Jack (Dave Franco) and Merritt (Woody Harrelson) to figure out a plan, only to realize that Lula wants to become one of them. So they start planning their heist, but things don’t go as planned.

While Now You See Me was an entertaining, if far from perfect, romp, Now You See Me 2 was simply a catastrophe. The best thing I can say about it is that it wasn’t entirely boring.

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