Snowden (2016)

Snowden
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Kieran Fitzgerald, Oliver Stone
Based on: the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Melissa Leo, Zachary QuintoShailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage, Tom Wilkinson, Joely Richardson, Timothy Olyphant, Erol Sander, Scott Eastwood, Ben Chaplin
Seen on: 4.10.2016

Plot:
Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) used to be a soldier, then he started working for the NSA. Growing disillusioned with the NSA’s surveillance practices, he decides to do something about it. He contacts journalists Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo) and Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and leaks documents and evidence through them. But whistleblowing like that is treason and Snowden has to be smart to make sure that the information reaches the public and that he doesn’t get caught.

Snowden is a very nice companion piece to Citizenfour. It’s a well done, engaging film and you can’t repeat this horrifying story and the sheer scope of everything enough.

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What’s Your Number? (2011)

What’s Your Number?
Director: Mark Mylod
Writer: Gabrielle AllanJennifer Crittenden
Based on: Karyn Bosnak‘s novel
Cast: Anna FarisChris EvansAri GraynorBlythe DannerEd Begley Jr.Joel McHaleChris PrattZachary QuintoMartin FreemanAndy Samberg, Anthony MackieAziz Ansari
Seen on: 4.9.2016

Plot:
Ally (Anna Faris) has been dating for a while but so far she wasn’t very lucky. But then two things happen that makes her tackle the issue more aggressively: she gets fired from her job and needs to re-orient herself and she reads an article that says that women who sleep with more than 20 men usually don’t get married. After a quick count, Ally realizes that she slept with 19 men so far – and so she decides to look up all her old boyfriends to re-date them and not add to the list. To track all of them down, Ally gets help from her neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) who in turn gets Ally’s help to get rid of the girls he brings home all the time.

What’s Your Number? does pretty much everything wrong that a RomCom could possibly do wrong (apart from getting Chris Evans naked a lot, that’s excellent), but at least Ally and Colin are surprisingly likeable. But when that’s the best thing you can say about a film, it’s probably clear that the film really doesn’t need to be seen.

whatsyournumber

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon PeggDoug JungRoberto OrciPatrick McKayJohn D. Payne
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon PeggJohn Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris ElbaSofia BoutellaJoe TaslimLydia WilsonDanny PudiGreg GrunbergShea Whigham
Seen on: 26.7.2016

Plot:
The Enterprise is about halfway through their five year mission of exploring uncharted space. But five years is a long time and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) starts wondering about other career options. Before things get very far, though, they all land at Starbase Yorketown. The base has recently rescued Kalara (Lydia Wilson), a scientist whose ship was attacked. The Enterprise is sent off to rescue the rest of Kalara’s crew, but things don’t go as planned: instead the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew is stranded on the planet Altamid.

Star Trek Beyond was an entertaining film again and – to a non-Trekkie like me – it felt like the trekkiest of the new films so far. There are still a whole lot of plot holes and not everything worked flawlessly for me, but I had fun watching it.

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Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Hitman: Agent 47
Director: Aleksander Bach
Writer: Skip Woods, Michael Finch
Based on: the video game series
Cast: Rupert FriendHannah WareZachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann, Angelababy, Jürgen Prochnow
Seen on: 10.9.2015

Plot:
Many years ago Dr. Litvenko (Ciarán Hinds) built the Agent Program: gentetically modified hitmen without remorse or fear. Realizing how dangerous this is, Litvenko disappeared, taking the science with him and making it impossible to create any more Agents. The Syndicate has been trying everything to restart the Program, but was unsuccessful. Now they’re desperate to find Litvenko. Litvenko’s daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) is also desperate to find her father and find out why he abandoned her. Just as she’s getting close, she meets John Smith (Zachary Quinto) who warns her that Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is tracking her with orders to kill her.

I did not expect Hitman: Agent 47 to be a good film. In fact, it was the kind of film where puzzledpeaces and I packed a bottle of alcohol eached and just got really, really drunk during the film. For that it was perfectly chosen. For everything else, Hitman is a waste.

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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness
Director: J. J. Abrams
Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Alice EveBruce GreenwoodPeter Weller, Noel Clarke, Leonard Nimoy

Plot:
After a couple of attacks on Starfleet by John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his subsequent escape to the Klingon home planet Kronos, Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are sent there with a new kind of missile to kill Harrison. Even though Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) have their doubts about the legitimacy of that mission, Kirk sticks to it. At first at least.

I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be fun in a not exactly intelligent way. Nevertheless I had my problems enjoying it because it was just so damn dumb. But even that I wouldn’t have minded so much if the pacing had been a little better. It’s still enjoyable, but just not as much as I had hoped.

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Margin Call (2011)

Margin Call
Director: J. C. Chandor
Writer: J. C. Chandor
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Simon Baker, Penn Badgley, Mary McDonnell
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Peter (Zachary Quinto) and Seth (Penn Badgley) are junior risk managers in a flagging investment bank. During a round of mass firings, their senior risk manager Eric (Stanley Tucci) is let go as well. Eric gives Peter a flash drive before he leaves and tells him to look at the things on there. Peter does and discovers a major crisis approaching. He tells his boss Will (Paul Bettany), who tells his boss Sam (Kevin Spacey) and soon the entire investment bank is struggling to get a handle on the situation.

The film had an interesting and different perspective. Add that cast to it and it has all the right ingredients to be brilliant. But somehow, it just doesn’t work out that way.

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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.

Plot:
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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[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

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