Tag Archives: Christoph Waltz

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (2019): The Things I Liked…

Water For Elephants (2019), Reece Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson

Directed by Francis Lawrence; starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz, Water For Elephants is a drama / romance about a young man who takes a job in a travelling circus and ends up falling in love with the ringmaster’s wife.

My reasons for watching this one include the fact that I’m a fan of Witherspoon, elephants are majestic and just a few days ago, I happened to be in the mood for a film that wouldn’t prove too emotionally taxing. I’ve also recently watched and loved The Greatest Showman (2017). I therefore needed to find out whether it was possible for me to appreciate another circus movie nearly as much.  

I’ll waste not time in confirming that The Greatest Showman (2017) remains my favourite circus movie. Reason being, even though Water For Elephants proved a not especially taxing viewing experience, by the end of the film, I couldn’t say I loved it. It was just OK. The acting wasn’t bad but I may have enjoyed the film that little bit more had the central love story been stronger and more enthralling. It may also be that I’ve just seen this old fashioned style of storytelling several times before and this particularly version simply wasn’t the best.

I know I’ll likely remember Water For Elephants for the visuals of Witherspoon’s character with the beautiful white horse and also for bringing to mind the value of the kindness of strangers. Especially in terms of the fact that none of us can really survive without it. 

Watch Water For Elephants if you’re curious enough and / or when the right mood strikes. 

Happy Film Loving

G

DOWNSIZING (2017): The Things I Liked…

Downsizing (2017), Matt Damon
Downsizing (2017), Matt Damon

Within a few minutes of starting to watch director / co-writer Alexander Payne’s comedy / drama, Downsizing, the thought ‘Oh, no… this  isn’t going to be ridiculous, is it?’ crossed my mind. Starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Jason Sudeikis, Downsizing is a social satire about a man who decides that he’d have a much better life if he were to shrink himself.

I definitely had a good time watching this movie. This is true even though the film didn’t really get properly exciting for me until it began to deliver on its ‘part-comedy’ categorisation promise; something that finally happens approximately thirty nine minutes in. Everything before that point is ‘kind of engaging’ but it felt slower than one might prefer.

I laughed a pleasing amount in the film and many of the wonderfully funny scenes featured Damon’s clueless Paul Safranek character. I found Paul particularly amusing because he seems to suffer from a kind of ‘blindness’ that I haven’t seen played / written quite as well as it is in this movie for a while. I laughed mostly at him and his apparent cluelessness in several situations.

Beside the memorable comedy performances, I enjoyed the sci-fi aspect of the story and how, knowing the challenges of modern life as well as I think I do, one might actually decide that shrinkage was a good idea.

As engaged as I was with the story as non-action movie, there were moments nearer the beginning where I couldn’t help but half expect Damon’s character to suddenly burst into action-movie-star mode and start running and punching. That didn’t quite happen here but I’m certainly not disappointed either. Though slow in parts, the humour – also delivered well by Waltz and Chau combined with the story plus the moving moments made sure I stayed in my seat.

I say give it a chance, you may just find it as laughter inducing (in parts) as I did.

Happy Film Loving

G

CARNAGE (2011): The Things I Liked…

Carnage (2011), John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet
Carnage (2011), John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet

After seeing the trailer for Roman Polanski’s Carnage, I immediately had high hopes because of the exceptional cast. Namely, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster. These seasoned performers play two sets of parents who decide to meet at one of their homes after their sons are involved in a fight. Before too long, as you can imagine, things get pretty dramatic… and amusing.

Based on the play by Yasmina Reza, understandably 98% of this film is set in one room. This is far from a bad thing because at no point did I yearn for different scenery; everything that happened was just that engaging.

The dialogue in Carnage  is beautifully written and delivered. The lines spoken by Waltz’s character made me laugh the most, thanks in part to his character’s highly committed relationship with his phone. One might even argue that though uncredited, that phone is very much a key member of the cast. 

There’s also the highlight that’s the seriously uptight and judgemental mother played by Foster. I confess that I saw a little bit of myself in all the four main people in this story. However, I shan’t divulge which one person in particular.

I really enjoyed this movie. In some ways more so because I’ve never seen the play. I therefore don’t have anything to compare it to. Besides amusing me, Carnage highlighted the fact that the cause of most, if not all personal conflict is judgement. Particularly judgement of the blatant and unapologetic variety. 

Watch it because it’s good and fun.

Happy Film loving

G

DOWNSIZING (2017): New Trailer From Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, Christoph Walltz, Brigette Lundy-Paine…

Downsizing (2017), Matt Damon, Jason Sudeikis
Downsizing (2017), Matt Damon, Jason Sudeikis

Directed and co-written by Alexander Payne, Downsizing is a movie / social satire about a man who realises that he’d have a better life if he were to shrink himself. Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Brigette Lundy-Paine star…

The cast is great and the above synopsis seems perfectly ridiculous and a great predicament for potential humour.

Niecy Nash, Jason Sudeikis, Laura Dern, Neil Patrick Harris and  James Van Der Beek also star.

Downsizing Release Dates: December 22nd, 2017 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (2016): The Thing I Liked…

The Legend Of Tarzan (2016), Alexander Skarsgård
The Legend Of Tarzan (2016), Alexander Skarsgård

Within the first twenty minutes of The Legend Of Tarzan, my thought’s could be summarised with phrase ‘chop, chop.’ That’s British for ‘hurry up’, ‘move along’, ‘come on!’ etc. The pace was slow and I was eager for the fun jungle action to begin.

The good news is, things did kind of start to happen, though certainly not soon enough. The  scene when Tarzan faces off with the massive gorilla is my favourite, thanks to the action, camera work and Alexander Skarsgård’s convincing physicality. Overall though, the movie proved quite dull and with very little that delighted. The general structure of the story felt odd and I found myself wanting to see more of the young Tarzan’s experiences – because surely it was more interesting than what I was watching.

Some might say that maybe I should have opted for The Jungle Book (2015) if the story of a boy growing up in the Jungle sans parents is what I was really after – and to that I say, touché. Still, that doesn’t mean that what we have with director David Yate’s The Legend Of Tarzan is close to all that it could have been.

The films star’s Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz didn’t deliver terrible performances; it’s the execution of the story and final product that just wasn’t great.

For those who may be undecided about whether to bother with The Legend Of Tarzan, I say, watch it to appreciate Skarsgård’s physical achievements (maybe), for some nice footage of Africa (perhaps) or for human / gorilla fight action (the best part). However, you probably have to go elsewhere for a truly satisfying retelling of writer Edgar Rice Burroughs’s classic story. Especially since the experience of this movie left me and many others wanting.

Happy Film Loving

G

TULIP FEVER (2016): New Trailer From Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz & Dane DeHaan

Tulip Fever (2016), Alicia Vikander
Tulip Fever (2016), Alicia Vikander

A well edited trailer with good music, visuals and a brilliant cast has arrived. Starring Alicia Vikander, Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell and Cara Delevigne, Tulip Fever, is a drama / romance set in 17th century Amsterdam…

After Judi Dench’s first few words, my thoughts went straight to, ‘thank goodness we live in different times’. My second, third and fourth thoughts, ‘Girl In A Pearl Earing (2003)’. Lastly, ‘my goodness, isn’t Alicia Vikander’s face quite something?’

I like everything about this movie so far. May it deliver on the promise.

Tulip Fever Release Dates: July 15th, 2016 (US)…

Happy film Loving 🙂

G

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (2016): New Trailer From Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson & Margot Robbie

Tarzan (2016), Alexander Skarsgard
Tarzan (2016), Alexander Skarsgard

Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Margot Robbie, we have a new Tarzan movie…

Teaser Trailer

Trailer 1

Based on these trailers, Skarsgard was a great choice. May this be a truly epic retelling of the Tarzan story and may the humour be just right.

Release Date (s): July 1st, 2016 (US), July 8th, 2016 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

 

SPECTRE (2015): The Things I Loved Most…

Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig
Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig

I’ll start this post by saying that my favourite James Bond film of all time remains the massively thrilling Casino Royale (2006). How does this bode with the fact that this is a post about Spectre? Not exactly very well but not absolutely disastrous either.

As the second Bond film directed by Sam Mendes, Spectre succeeds in providing most, if not all of those wonderful thrills synonymous with Craig’s Bond. Thrills that include great action sequences, beautiful cinematography, style, a wonderful sense of Britishness, great musical score, camera work, dialogue, etc. The only downside is that Casino Royale and Skyfall both do all of those things, just and better.

 

Spectre (2015), Lea Seydoux
Spectre (2015), Lea Seydoux

Overall, I enjoyed Spectre, even though it did feel a little odd without Judi Dench as M.  I won’t be forgetting the very raw and intense fight sequence on the moving train any time soon

There’s also the moment in the beginning where Bond is walking across the rooftop in Mexico City. I just love the music used here and the way it builds up with every step Bond takes towards his target. This is  the moment the famous ‘Bond is back!’ feeling took over; resulting in a prolonged, joyous and silent scream – much to the relief of my fellow cinema goers.

I do wonder though, whether I’d love the rooftop scene as much as I do if Daniel Craig’s physique, especially the way he moves and holds a gun wasn’t so arrestingly appealing? Probably not – and thankfully I know that I never have to find out.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G