The film starts off at a 25th high-school reunion where Charlie meets up with an old friend named Max, who seems to have far exceeded his initially dismal expectations in life in almost every respect by being the kind of “Action Jackson” globe-hopping alpha male every boy dreams of becoming. Max sees Charlie is in a loveless marriage to his philandering high-school crush, raising two kids that humiliate him at every turn, is employed at a dead-end job managing an in-supermarket bank outlet, and lives a life that is in a perpetual state of stagnation — he even drives the same car he’s had since high school, and it was a lemon even then. After convincing Charlie to some out to his yacht for a weekend of fun and sun while his wife’s away, Max ends up hatching a plan to fake their deaths and assume stolen new identities with some big shots who were living the high life in Puerto Rico before their untimely demise. However, with the new identities comes had guys out to get the men they’re assuming to be, leading Max and Charlie to fight for their second lives.
Tilda Swinton stars as Marianne Lane, a Bowie-esque,world renown rock star who is on vacation with Paul, her documentarian boyfriend of six years, on Pantelleria, a small, secluded Mediterranean island off between the coasts of Sicily and Tunisia. Marianne is there for some R&R from her most recent tour, in recovery from surgery on her throat that she is hoping will be successful so that she can resume her singing career. Their “alone time” is soon ended by the arrival of her rambunctious previous lover and legendary music producer Harry Hawkes, along with the grown daughter Harry has only recently discovered, Penelope, ostensibly as a friendly visit, but it soon becomes apparent that they’re seeking to cause division in the relationship for their own ends.
The story picks up as Alice has come home to London for a spell after traveling the world as the captain of her own ship. However, she comes to find that her ex, Hamish, is using financial leverage that pressures her to stop adventuring by handing over the ship and taking up a job as a clerk at his shipping company in order to pay for the family home that Alice’s mother had signed over to him. Unable to deal with the stress at hand, Alice finds a portal in the large mirror above her fireplace which returns her to Underland, where she’s immediately greeted by her fantasy friends. It’s not all a happy reunion, as she soon discovers that the Mad Hatter has taken ill, learning that his thought-deceased family may still be alive, but he’s unable to locate them. To save her friend, Alice visits the realm where Time, in human form (played by Sacha Baron Cohen in a German accent that channels Werner Herzog if he were trying to do an impression of Christoph Waltz), has a free-floating vehicle called the Chronosphere, which will allow Alice to go back in time to make things right for Hatter and his kin. Along the way, she also discovers more information about the dreaded Red Queen’s early years, who, once again, stands in the way of Alice’s success.
Jason Sudeikis voices Red, aka “eyebrows”, a hot-headed cardinal (one presumes) who frequently doesn’t quite see eye to eye with his feathered flock around him on the island they all reside in, Bird Island. These non-flying birds think they are all there is in this world until the day that a ship drops anchor on Red’s home, destroying it, making him an enemy but the other birds seem more friendly toward their new porcine visitors, not knowing that the fun and friendship they’re ostensibly bringing is merely a ruse to get closer to grabbing their precious and delicious eggs from right under their beaks. Now it’s up to Red to try to figure out how to save the eggs by getting his bird brethren to mount an attack on the porker stronghold before the swine have had their dinner.
This entry in the retro X-Men series finds the mutants in the series-alternate universe year of 1983, ten years after the events of Days of Future Past, where the cold war is rampant between the United States and the Soviet Union, with most people already worried about being on the brink of annihilation of life on Earth within just a few hours if nuclear war should ever break out. Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, is living as a closeted mutant to keep his family safe, working as a metal worker in Poland with a loving wife and daughter. Professor Charles Xavier is at the mansion that serves as the School for Gifted Youngsters (aka, mutants confronting who they are and learning to control their powers). Both have their home worlds rocked in tragedy. And Mystique spends her time traveling to the four corners of the Earth in order to liberate mutants wherever she can, such as the German teleporter, Nightcrawler.
The mutants begin to fight amongst each other yet again when the world’s first mutant, the powers-absorbing En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse, is resurrected from his dormant state since 3600 B.C., wastes no time in hatching a plan to lay conquest to the entire planet. He sets about pulling together powerful mutant accomplices, dubbed his Four Horsemen, in an effort to bring humanity under their rule, after threatening them with nuclear annihilation. Now it’s up to Xavier, Mystique, Beast, and a band of untested gifted students to fight for the right of people who want their kind destroyed from being crushed under the rule of these mad mutants.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne return as married couple Mac and Kelly Radner, set to find a bigger home in a nicer neighborhood to live in after Kelly finds that she has another baby on the way. After putting down for their new abode, they find a buyer for their current one, but it’s still in escrow, which, overly simplified for the purpose of this film, means that the buyer can swing by anytime within thirty days to inspect the house and can back out of the deal if things aren’t up to snuff. The problem: a new, unaffiliated sorority, Kappa Nu, has moved in to take over the empty home previously used by the fraternity next door, built mostly on the notion that, unlike other sororities that aren’t allowed to throw parties where they serve alcohol, they will do all of the drinking, raving and weed smoking they want, just like their male counterparts in fraternities do, without the overhead of being treated like “hos” by so-called rape-y frat boys.
Set in 1977, we watch an opening sequence in which a hot young porn star named Misty Mountains ends up killed. Ryan Gosling plays widower private dick Holland March, whose been recently hired to find Amelia, a young woman who many think is dead, despite a few claiming to have recently seen her. Holland soon has a run-in with a tough-as-nails thug-for-hire named Jackson Healy, who happens to be protecting then also looking for Amelia, at first punishing then ending up needing him and hiring the detective himself. It’s a shaky pairing, but together they follow clues and thump on potential witnesses, not always successfully, as they peek into the seamy underbelly of Los Angeles, with Holland’s precocious thirteen-year-old daughter Holly finding herself in the middle of the action more often than not. The further they dig, the more they stir up trouble for themselves, putting themselves in the path of a deadly bad guys and in the choke-hold of local politics.
The film covers about eight years of the life of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé (a name borne from a youthful insult he would later embrace), from his young childhood as a nine-year-old boy from an poor family in 1950, through his debut on the biggest stage of all for fans of soccer (aka, football to most of the world outside of the United States), in the 1958 World Cup where he would be instrumental in helping Brazil win the championship.
The Man Who Knew Infinity looks at the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematician from India who would become famous in the math world for his prodigious work in the early part of the 20th Century. Ramanujan had a gift for mathematics that was seemingly ahead of what anyone else had been dealing with at the time, claiming that the numbers and formulas just come to him out of divine origin. His work would soon draw interest in England, causing Ramanujan to leave his wife Janaki and mother behind to pursue his calling among the top minds in the field at the time, hoping to realize his dream of getting his mathematical journals published.
As adults, siblings Annie and Baxter Fang are played by Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman, respectively. Annie is a famous actress who has recently become a tabloid sensation after going topless in her latest film role, while Baxter is a struggling writer and journalist who still hasn’t found great success. Their parents, Caleb and Camille Fang, played in their older form by Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett, are famous for being public performance artists who once used Annie and Baxter (whom they refer to as Child ‘A’ and Child ‘B’) to do pranks out in public in order to elicit a reaction from the crowds around that would be filmed with a camera as part of their art to show a certain truth about humanity by provoking it through the falsehood of their performance.
As they grow older, the Fang children pull away from their exploitative parents, while also continuing to be influenced by their philosophies on life and art, though they continue to be challenged trying to fit in with so-called ‘normal’ society, unable to form permanent relationships and resorting to a bit of self-medication to ease their persistent anxiety. The family reunites after Baxter is hospitalized during a journalistic piece he is writing that has him talking to men who enjoy shooting off spud guns (guess who gets shot with one?), though the relationships are now strained and most are generally unhappy with their current situations in life. Annie and Baxter additionally connect later after they receive notice that their parents may be the latest victims in a string of killings while on the road in North Carolina, with blood found in their abandoned vehicle, but no bodies in sight. But are they truly dead, or is this yet another one of the infamous Fang family pranks meant to unite the once close family into another series of adventures?