Plot: Logan (Zac Efron) was a Marine in Iraq. One day he found a picture of a woman in the sand there, keeping him away from a blast site and saving his life. And he was lucky enough to return home, proof enough for him that that photo is a talisman that kept him safe. Once he returns to the USA, he becomes restless and starts walking – always looking for the woman on the photo. As luck would have it, he actually finds her, Beth (Taylor Schilling). Before he can tell her the real reason he came to her, Logan finds himself working in Beth’s family business – a dog grooming/training/lodging place.
I was in the mood for a sappy romantic film and I thought I could barely go wrong with a Sparks adaptation to scratch that itch. But The Lucky One is rather lukewarm, I have to admit – it feels a little too much like a color by number thing.
Plot: When Liz (Lily Collins) takes a break from being a single mom and goes out with her friend Joanna (Angela Sarafyan), she meets law student Ted Bundy (Zac Efron). He is charming and the two hit it off. It doesn’t take long for him to be a fixture in her life, as well as the of her daughter. But six years later, Ted is arrested and charged with being a serial killer. Liz doesn’t believe that there is any truth to the allegations. But as the trial goes on, she has to face the fact that maybe she doesn’t know as Ted as well as she thought she did.
If Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile had been programmed at the edge of the festival day, I probably would have skipped it because I feared that it would feed into the mythology of Ted Bundy too much. But it was programmed between two films I wanted to see anyway, meaning I was already there, so I gave it a chance – only to see that my fears were absolutely warranted, even if the film isn’t bad.
Plot: Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is a poet who has become somewhat of a local legend. He lives a life of leisure, ambling around the Florida Keys, every once in a while even writing something. He can afford this thanks to his wife Minnie (Isla Fisher). Their marriage is not really happy though, with Moondog sleeping with any woman he meets and Minnie having an affair with Moondog’s friend Lingerie (Snoop Dogg). Moondog and Minnie’s daughter Heather (Stefanie LaVie Owen) is about to get married and when Moondog misbehaves at her wedding, he not only angers Heather, it sets a chain of events in motion that changes things for Moondog.
I was doubtful about watching The Beach Bum – it didn’t seem like my kind of film at all. But it is a film by Harmony Korine, so I wanted to give it a try anyway. Unfortunately, I should have listened to the doubtful voices in my head – they were right. The Beach Bum is so not my film.
Plot: Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) dreams of being an actor and making it big. In one of his acting classes, he meets Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Tommy is a strange guy, but Greg is struck by his mysterious charisma and generall weirdness. They become unlikely friends. And since Tommy seems to have a lot of money, he can offer Greg a chance that he wouldn’t otherwise get: they should go to Hollywood together, stardom is sure to follow. But when it doesn’t, Tommy makes a new plan: he will make a film himself for them and then their film is going to make them famous.
The Disaster Artist is fun to watch, at least if you can take a huge James Franco ego project, because that’s what it is, too. Mostly it’s a good story that kept me glued to the screen.
Plot: P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) is driven and has big dreams. But he’s also poor. His wife Charity (Michelle Williams) is fully supportive. When Barnum loses his job, he finds a way to get a loan and invests in a museum of oddities. But he soon graduates from showing way figures to building a show with extraordinary people.
I was fully prepared for The Greatest Showman to be awful, but I really didn’t expect the level of terrible the film achieves. It’s a catastrophe wrapped in a candy look.
It’s time to find new recruits for the lifeguards of Emerald Bay, the Baywatch. Overseen by Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson), the recruits prepare for a tough competition. All but Matt Brody (Zac Efron) that is, who finds that he shouldn’t have to prove himself at all since he’s an Olympic swimmer and Baywatch would be lucky to have him. But when a new drug hits the Bay, Mitch and Matt take it upon themselves despite their personal differences to clean up their bay and bring those responsible to justice.
I expected Baywatch to be stupid, sexist and childish, but with charm machine Dwayne Johnson at the helm, I thought it would still entertain regardless. But while the first part of my expectations came true – it is stupid, sexist and childish – the latter part unfortunately fell flat. The script is so bad, not even Johnson can save it.
Richard (Zac Efron) is a student at high school and a great fan of the theatre. When he gets cast in Orson Welles’ (Christian McKay) newest production – Julius Caesar – a dream comes true for him. With a mixture of boldness and naivite he soon endears himself to the entire cast, including Orson Welles and his assistant, Sonja (Claire Danes).
I was very hesitant to see this film. My relationship with Linklater films is rather shaky and that the movie stars Zac Efron… well. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s entertaining, very nicely acted and funny.