Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Writer: J.K. Rowling
Prequel to: Harry Potter
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan FoglerAlison Sudol, Colin FarrellSamantha Morton, Ezra MillerFaith Wood-BlagroveJenn MurrayCarmen EjogoJon Voight, Ron PerlmanZoë KravitzJohnny Depp 
Seen on: 26.11.2016

Plot:
Newt (Eddie Redmayne) studies and keeps magical creatures. But the political situation in the UK is becoming more and more difficult for them, so he makes his way to the USA where he hopes to find them a new life, even if it means hiding the creatures from immigration in a magic suitcase. But magical creatures aren’t the only one affected by politics – in fact, there’s only a very tentative peace between the non-magical and the magical world. Everything could be going easily, but Newt takes the wrong suitcase and it’s baker – and decidedly non-magical human – Jacob (Dan Fogler) who walks off with the creatures, while Newt gets arrested by the recently demoted auror Tina (Katherine Waterston). Chaos ensues – chaos that is more closely connected to the political uproar than it first appears.

I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan myself (read all the books and saw all the films though), so the news of Fantastic Beasts didn’t leave me very excited – and neither did the film itself. It’s sweet and I was entertained, but if it wasn’t connected to the Harry Potter phenomenon, I doubt that it would be a film that stays with people.

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Dope (2015)

Dope
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Writer: Rick Famuyiwa
Cast: Shameik MooreTony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Zoë Kravitz, Rakim Mayers, Quincy Brown, Chanel ImanBlake Anderson, Roger Guenveur Smith, Forest Whitaker
Seen on: 18.7.2016

Plot:
When Malcolm (Shameik Moore) isn’t busy geeking out with his best friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) about 90s HipHop, he dreams of college. Being from a tough neighborhood, he knows that he needs everything to go very right for him to stand a chance of being accepted into a good school. But then he meets Nakia (Zoë Kravitz) and decides to go to a party to meet her again. And that’s where the trouble starts as suddenly, he finds himself in possession of drugs belonging to Dom (Rakim Mayers) and he has to get rid of them without getting caught or pissing anybody of – which is easier said than done.

Dope is a fun film that tackles a lot of political issues in an entertaining and not too much simplified way.

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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road
Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Sequel to: Mad Max, Mad Max 2, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas HoultZoë KravitzRosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones, John Howard, Richard Carter, Jennifer Hagan, Megan Gale, Melissa Jaffer
Seen on: 18.5.2015

Plot:
Max (Tom Hardy) is still wandering through the postapocalyptic desert when he is attacked and caught by a group of War Boys. They bring him to their home, where they are ruled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Max is supposed to become a blood bank for one of the War Boys, Nux (Nicholas Hoult). But before that fate kills him, all the War Boys are sent out to go after Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of Immortan Joe’s generals who took his wives and tries to bring them to the safety of her home town. So Max finds himself strapped to a car and right in the middle of a revolution.

Mad Max: Fury Road is probably the most entertaining of the Mad Max movies, well in the tradition of the last two Mad Max films with gorgeous visuals and excellent world-building and a surprisingly feminist outlook.

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Insurgent (2015)

Insurgent
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback
Based on: Veronica Roth’s novel
Sequel to: Divergent
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer, Zoë Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Naomi Watts, Maggie Q, Daniel Dae Kim, Janet McTeer
Seen on: 25.03.2015

Plot:
The Erudite have attacked Abnegation and Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Marcus (Ray Stevenson), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles teller) are heading to Amity for a safe place to stay. But Erudite’s attack is just the beginning of an upheaval in their society in which the Divergent have a huge part to play. But Tris doesn’t know what exactly is going on. She just knows that Jeanine (Kate Winslet) won’t stop hunting her.

After Divergent I actually thought I’d skip Insurgent but then I was weak and went to see it after all. And it was actually worse than Divergent.

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Divergent (2014)

Divergent
Director: Neil Burger
Writer: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor
Based on: Veronica Roth’s novel
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet

Plot:
In Beatrice’ (Shailene Woodley) world, people are divided into five castes according to their strengths – Abnegation are the selfless, Erudite the intelligence, Candor the truthful, Dauntless the brave and Amity the peaceful. Until their 16th birthday, kids just live in the caste of their parents, but then there’s an aptitude test and they have to choose their own place. For Beatrice that means ending up to choose Dauntless, while her brother (Ansel Elgort) chooses Erudite – much to the shock of their parents who practically lose them both since they remain in Abnegation. Adapting to the new caste is a challenge for Beatrice, now Tris, and having a crush on her instructor Four (Theo James) doesn’t help. But there are even bigger things at stake.

I’m already not a huge fan of the book series but the film was even worse. Flat, boring and pretty much wasting the (supporting) cast.

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After Earth (2013)

After Earth
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: Gary Whitta, M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoë Kravitz

Plot:
A long time ago, humanity has left Earth and had to look for a different planet to live on. Unfortunately on their way to a safe space, they encountered the Ursas, vicious killing machines that can only see fear. And so a new special unit of soldiers was developed who were trained not to feel fear at all. Kitai (Jaden Smith) has been working hard to become one of them, just like his father Cypher (Will Smith), who is very renowned. But Kitai hasn’t managed yet to reign in his fear. But then circumstances have Kitai and Cypher stranded on the original Earth with an Ursa on the loose and since Cypher is injured, it rests with Kitai to seek help.

I was prepared for this movie to suck. A lot. I’ve only read bad reviews and I’m not a fan of Shyamalan anyways. But I do like Will Smith, so I decided to see it anyway. I packed alcohol and braced myself. And I was actually quite surprised by how not sucky the film turned out to be. Was it awesome? Well, no. But if you expect the worse, it does kinda suprise you in a positive way. I only took a sip of my vodka bottle.

afterearth

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