Whip It (2009)

Whip It
Director: Drew Barrymore
Writer: Shauna Cross
Based on: her own novel Derby Girl
Cast: Ellen PageKristen WiigZoë BellEveDrew Barrymore, Andrew Wilson, Juliette Lewis, Marcia Gay Harden, Alia ShawkatCarlo AlbanLandon Pigg, Jimmy Fallon
Seen on: 17.9.2016

Plot:
Bliss’ (Ellen Page) mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden) has been raising Bliss to participate in beauty pageants. But Bliss has no interest whatsoever in being pretty or in pageantry. That becomes even clearer to her when she discovers roller derby. On a whim she goes to a match, and falls in love immediately. After talking to team captain Maggie Mayhem (Kirsten Wiig), she decides to try out for the team herself. Despite the fact that her parents can’t know about it or that she isn’t the required 21 years old yet. So she dons skates and starts practicing, findig her place in the team and the world.

Whip It is a sweet film, with a lot of fun moments and it wouldn’t surprise me if it made at least half of its audience fall in love with roller derby. There’s one big draw back though – and that’s the fact that they didn’t dare to make this a queer story. But other than that I enjoyed it a lot.

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The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce DernJames Parks, Zoë Bell, Channing Tatum
Seen on: 2.2.2016
[I saw the roadshow version.]

Plot:
Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) finds himself with a dead horse, a few frozen corpses he means to deliver to collect the bounty and in the cold in the middle of nowhere. It’s just his luck that John Ruth (Kurt Russell) comes along with his carriage, also transporting a body for the bounty, but a live one – Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Warren manages to hitch a ride with them to the next inn, Minnie’s Haberdashery where they are promptly snowed in. Trapped with a group of strangers in a snow storm, tensions start to rise.

The Hateful Eight was one of Tarantino’s weaker films. Definitely his weakest in a while. But a weak Tarantino is still a strong, well-made film. But it didn’t make me enthusiastic and I did have my issues with it.

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Raze (2013)

Raze
Director: Josh C. Waller
Writer: Robert Beaucage
Cast: Zoe Bell, Rachel Nichols, Tracie Thoms, Sherilyn Fenn, Doug Jones, Bruce Thomas, Bailey Anne Borders, Rebecca Marshall, Adrienne Wilkinson, Allene Quincy, Rosario Dawson
Part of: (Secret Supporter Screening of  the) /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Jamie (Rachel Nichols) wakes up in a cell connected to a series of tunnels. She doesn’t know why she’s there or how she got there but she finds herself pitted against Sabrina (Zoe Bell) in a fight for life or death. And they are not the only women in there who apparently provide some form of entertainment for somebody.

Raze does not exactly have a new concept but it works, mostly due to the amazing cast of kick-ass women.

raze

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Oblivion (2013)

Oblivion
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writer: Joseph Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt
Based on: Joseph Kosinski’s and Arvid Nelson‘s unpublished comic
Cast: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, Zoe Bell

Plot:
Jack (Tom Cruise) and Vicka (Andrea Riseborough) are the only people left on earth. Everybody else has left after aliens attacked the earth and the only way to get rid of them were nuclear bombs. Now Jack and Vicka are tasked with drone repair, while the last of the water is sucked up to be transported to the human colony. But there are still some aliens on earth that keep attacking. Bit by bit though, Jack starts questioning what’s going on.

Oblivion stole most of its parts from famous SciFi movies and jumbles them together in absolutely meaningless and idiotic ways. It could have succeeded in being an homage, if it had been able to become more than just a string of scenes and plot points we already saw somewhere else. But unfortunately it just isn’t clever enough for that.

Oblivion

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Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Walton Goggins, James Remar, Amber Tamblyn, Bruce Dern, Zoe Bell, Don Johnson, Jonah Hill, Franco Nero, Quentin Tarantino

Plot:
Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a bounty hunter who’s looking for a trio of brothers that he can’t identify. But he knows that the recently sold slave Django (Jamie Foxx) can. So he goes after Django and frees him in return for his help with the bounty hunting. Django agrees and the two of them start working very well together. But Django really wants to get his wife (Kerry Washington) back who has been sold separately. So he and Schultz hatch a plan how to get her out of the clutches of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Django Unchained was pretty damn great. It wasn’t perfect, but it was fun, had a great cast, beautiful cinematography and, as usual for Tarantino movies, an amazing soundtrack.

DjangoUnchained

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