Category Archives: 31-40%

Ocean’s 8 (2018)

“Every Con has its Pros”

Directed by Gary Ross
Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Armitage and James Corden

Paroled from prison, Debbie Ocean (Bullock) visits the grave of her brother, Danny, before recruiting her old partner in crime, Lou (Blanchett) to help her put together a crew. Recruiting jeweller Amita (Kaling), soccer mom and fence Tammy (Paulson), pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), and disgraced fashionista Rose Weil (Bonham Carter), the pair lay out a plan to steal legendary diamond necklace the Toussaint from around the neck of actress Daphne Kruger (Hathaway) at the Met Ball (and perhaps, at the same time, get back at Claude Becker (Armitage), a smarmy art dealer who roped Debbie into a scam for which he then let her take the fall.)

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The Intern (2015)

Man. That’s a much better tagline.

“Experience never gets old.”

Directed by Nancy Meyers
Starring Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro and Rene Russo

Ben (De Niro) is a retired widower. In order to fill the days, he applies for a ‘senior internship’ with an online fashion startup run by Jules (Hathaway), who is apparently regretting her decision to hire senior citizens as interns and basically gives him a chair to warm. Ben, however, is a doer, and finds work around the office, deploying his years of experience in life and business, and becoming immensely useful and popular as a result; a sort of office dad, but the cool type.

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Rampage (2018)

Rampage“Big Meets Bigger”

Directed by Brad Peyton
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Joe Manganiello

In a stricken orbital lab, Dr Atkins (Marley Shelton) is forced by her boss, Claire Wyden (Åkerman), to retrieve biological samples before being allowed into an escape pod. She gets out, but a giant, mutant rat busts up the pod, which implodes on re-entry leaving the three sample cases to fall to Earth.

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Ready Player One (2018)

In the novel, the real identities of various characters are kept as a surprise. Cinema doesn’t roll that way.

“A Better Reality Awaits*”

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Thwaite, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance and Hannah John-Kamen

In 2045, with much of the world in the proverbial toilet, vast swathes of the population spend their lives in the OASIS, a vast, persistent virtual reality universe. On his death, the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Rylance), set a challenge: The person who discovered three keys and clues leading to an Easter egg in the OASIS would inherit his personal estate and complete control of the system. Some years later, the search for the Egg is contested between freelance ‘Gunters’ like Wade Watts (Sheridan), known in the OASIS as Parzival, and his friend Aech (Thwaite), and the ‘Sixers’, almost literally faceless corporate goons employed by IOI, a company keen to monetise the OASIS, which they already use as an indentured labour camp for debtors.

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Isle of Dogs (2018)

Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Kunichi Nomura, Ken Watanabe, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Harvey Keitel, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, F. Murray Abraham, Yojiro Noda, Mari Natsuki, Yoko Ono and Frank Wood

Oh, hey; a Wes Anderson film with a sprawling, ensemble cast. If you enlarge it, the following image will tell you who plays who, for all the characters who won’t be directly mentioned in the synopsis.

Ensemble.

In the not-too-distant future, the Mayor (Nomura) of the megalopolis of Megasaki pursues an ancestral grudge against dogs, by using an outbreak of dog flu as an excuse to quarantine all dogs on the aptly named Trash Island. When his nephew and ward Atari Kobayashi (Rankin) breaks quarantine to try to rescue his bodyguard dog, Spots (Schreiber), he falls in with a pack of ‘scary, indestructible alpha dogs’ – Chief (Cranston), Rex (Norton), Boss (Murray), Duke (Goldblum) and King (Balaban) – who lead him on a trek across Trash Island and into the territory of a band of reputedly cannibalistic feral dogs.

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Early Man (2018)

“Real Men Don’t Settle For Bronze”

Directed by Nick Park
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams and Timothy Spall

Somewhere around about the dawn of time, the meteor that killed the dinosaurs also carved out a sheltered, fertile valley, where a Stone Age tribe modestly prospered until the ruthless Lord Nooth (Hiddleston) and his Francophone, Bronze Age cohorts arrive to kick the out and mine the valley for bronze. Most of the tribe, led by their Chief, Bobnar (Spall), slope off into the volcanic badlands, but young Dug (Redmayne) follows the invaders to their city, where he challenges their champion football team, Real Bronzio, for the future of the valley.

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The Greatest Showman (2017)

This is a film about PT Barnum, with apparently no tagline; this feels wrong.

Directed by Michael Gracey
Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya

Tailor’s boy Phineas Barnum (Jackman, once he grows up) sets out into the world to make a fortune, so that he can support his childhood sweetheart Charity (Williams) in the manner to which, as the daughter of a great family, she is accustomed. After years of struggle and with two lively daughters to support, Barnum parlays a gift for flim flam into a museum of curiosities, which becomes a huge success after he hits on the idea of including a show featuring living, human ‘oddities’.

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Bright (2017)

Directed by David Ayer
Starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Édgar Ramírez, Ike Barinholtz and Happy Anderson

LA cop Daryl Ward (Smith) has been partnered with Nick Jakoby (Edgerton), the first orcish cop in a world where magical races live side by side with humans – apart from the Elves, who have their own exclusive, gated communities, because fucking elves, yo – which has not proven a marriage made in heaven. With the department pushing to set Jakoby up for a fall, the pair stumble across a magical crime scene and custody of an elf magician, Tika (Fry) and a wand.

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Justice League (2017)

Yeah, spoilers; Superman is back.

“Unite the League”

Directed by Zack Snyder (and Joss Whedon)
Starring Gal Gadot, Ben Afflex, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Henry Cavill and Ciaran Hinds

In the wake of Superman’s death, the world is going a bit crazy. Wonder Woman (Gadot) and Batman (Afflek) try to keep a lid on things, but when Steppenwolf (Hinds) shows up and steals an artefact called the Mother Box from the Amazons, it’s time to bring together the metahumans identified by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg): Arthur ‘Aquaman’ Curry (Momoa), Barry ‘The Flash’ Allen (Miller), and Victor ‘Cyborg’ Stone (Fisher).

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Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

“Everyone is a suspect”

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin and Tom Bateman

Spoiler warning: While this is a brand new murder mystery film at the time of writing, the source which it follows is decades old and one of the most famous whodunnits of the golden age. I will therefore be discussing the solution, at least in passing.

After solving a tricky problem in Jerusalem by shamelessly abusing the Wailing Wall, world famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) and his fabulous moustaches are summoned to assist with a tricky case in London. A friend in the company, unapologetic hedonist Bouc (Bateman) gets him a berth on the overbooked Orient Express from Istanbul, alongside an eclectic bunch of travelers. On the first day of travel, he is approached by Mr Ratchett (Depp), a shady American antique dealer, who wants to hire him to watch for his enemies, but refuses. That night, the train is caught in an avalanche and derailed, and Ratchett is murdered.

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