Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Letitia Wright, Carrie Coon, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 2.5.2018

Plot:
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has reached the final stages of his plan: he will collect all of the Infinity Stones and with their power reshape the universe after his own ideas. The hunt for the stones makes him cross paths with the Avengers on Earth, as well as the Guardians and the Asgardian refugees in space, leading to them coming together in a desperate effort to stop him and his plans.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of more than a decade of films. That alone makes it a momentous, if not to say monumental film. And it’s not bad per se, but it does feel like a step down from the recent absolute highlights that were Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Sequel to: Guardians of the Galaxy
Cast: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffSylvester StalloneKurt RussellElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean Gunn, Seth Green, Michael Rosenbaum, David HasselhoffVing RhamesMichelle Yeoh, Jeff GoldblumStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 3.5.2017

Plot:
Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have made quite a reputation for themselves. People have even started to ask them for help. But it’s not easy to leave your old habits behind and when Rocket not only helps but also steals, one thing leads to another and the group find themselves crashing on a planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). This is not a coincidence: Ego tells Peter that he is his father, throwing him for quite a loop. But trouble has only just begun.

I was not a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie to begin with, and I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was even weaker. At least Baby Groot was cute.

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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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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

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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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Colombiana (2011)

Colombiana
Director: Olivier Megaton
Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Mollà, Lennie James, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Callum Blue, Amandla Stenberg

Plot:
When Cataleya (Amanadla Stenberg) is a kid, her parents are murdered for trying to leave Don Luis’ (Beto Benites) drug cartel in Bogota. Cataleya manages to escape to the USA where she moves in with her uncle (Cliff Curtis). Her only wish is to take revenge, so she grows up to be an assassin. Her uncle arranges the hits, while Cataleya – now grown up (Zoe Saldana) – does the killing. But she uses these murders to draw attention to herself, in the hope to make Don Luis and his henchman Marco (Jordi Mollà) come to her that way.

Colombiana was a really bad film – and it didn’t even have the decency to be funny with it. Though there were moments.

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The Losers (2010)

The Losers is the adaptation of the comic by Andy Diggle and Jock. It was directed by Sylvain White and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Óscar Jaenada and Jason Patric.

Plot:
Led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the Losers are a team of highly trained military men working for the US. When a mission of theirs in Bolivia goes haywire and someone called Max (Jason Patric) starts giving them orders, the Losers start to disobey and finally have to fake their own death. A short while later, they meet the mysterious Aisha (Zoe Saldana) who promises that she can bring them back to the US and will even help them find Max – if they kill him for her.

The Losers is not an artful masterpiece. But it’s a movie filled with wisecracking characters who deliver a new one-liner every two minutes (alternating them with the explosions). It’s mostly well-acted and it’s quite frankly pure fun.

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Avatar (2009)

If you live on earth, you probably know that Avatar is the newest James Cameron movie, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Giovanni Ribisi. And if you live on earth and like going to the movies, you’ve probably already seen this film.

Plot:
Some time in the future, there’s a space station on the planet Pandora where the humans are mining for a valuable mineral. To ameliorate the relations with the humanoid inhabitants, the Na’vi, the military has developped a program where a few people get avatars – Na’vi bodies humans can steer.
One of the people with avatars is Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). He quickly develops a friendship with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), one of the Na’vi. But when the tension between the humans and the aliens becomes stronger, Jake will have to decide.

Avatar looks beautiful. And that’s where the good things stop. The story is crap. Ridiculous crap. The acting is so-so. The music is pompous. Actually, the whole film is pompous. Not to mention racist and ableist and just plain bad.

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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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