Dead Pigs (2018)

Dead Pigs
Director: Cathy Yan
Writer: Cathy Yan
Cast: Vivian Wu, Haoyu Yang, Mason Lee, Meng Li, David Rysdahl, Zazie Beetz
Seen on: 4.4.2021

Plot:
Candy Wang (Vivian Wu) runs a hairsalon and owns the last house in the neighborhood she grew up in. Everything else was torn down to make way for a large building project helmed by architect Sean Landry (David Rysdahl). Candy’s brother Old Wang (Haoyu Yang) is a pig farmer in constant money trouble. Now more so than ever, because his pigs have mysteriously died, just like most of the pigs in the area. Those dead pigs start floating down Shanghai river because nobody knows what else to do with them. Meanwhile Wang’s son Wang Zhen (Mason Lee) works in the city as a busboy, hoping to make a better life for himself and maybe catch the attention of his rich customer Xia Xia (Meng Li).

Dead Pigs rolls a lot of criticism into a protective layer of jokes that make its critical stance look surprisingly light, but not necessarily soft. It’s a bittersweet, very engaging film.

The film poster showing two piggy banks, one shattered with very little money inside.
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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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Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
Based on: Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza‘s comic character
Sequel to: Deadpool
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Karan Soni, Eddie Marsan, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, Terry Crews, Brad Pitt, Alan Tudyk, Matt Damon, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp
Seen on: 8.6.2018

Plot:
After his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is killed, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) unravels. His life is literally shot to pieces and it’s Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) who puts him back together again. Reluctantly, Wade agrees to kind of join the X-Men and tries to help with an out of control mutant, Russell Collins aka Firefist (Julian Dennison). But Russell doesn’t really want help and things are more complicated than they look anyway when Cable (Josh Brolin) turns up and claims to be from the future and that he needs to stop Firefist to avert catastrophe.

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, but I wasn’t completely enthusiastic about it, so my expectations for this one were rather mild and while Deadpool 2 doesn’t surpass them, it does stay on the same level as the first one: Fun in many ways but some things don’t work that well for me.

Film poster for Deadpool, showing him in the famous pose from Flashdance, only instead of water falling on him, it's bullets.
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Geostorm (2017)

Geostorm
Director: Dean Devlin
Writer: Dean Devlin, Paul Guyot
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie CornishAlexandra Maria LaraDaniel WuEugenio DerbezAmr WakedAdepero OduyeAndy GarciaEd HarrisRobert SheehanRichard SchiffMare WinninghamZazie Beetz
Seen on: 7.11.2017
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Plot:
To control climate change, the world has teamed up and created a network of satellites that can control the weather itself. But when the satellites are weaponized, Max (Jim Sturgess), who is in charge of the satellite program for the US government, knows that he has to get his brother Jake (Gerard Butler) on board to help: Jake developed the program and knows it like no other, but he was discharged and replaced by Max, so he may not be entirely inclined to go up into space to fix stuff. And of course, the question remains who is weaponizing the weather in the first place.

Geostorm is really the perfect movie to get drunk to: if you, like me, don’t spend a minute really thinking about it, in fact, if you don’t take it seriously at all, you’re going to have a blast with it. I sure did.

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