Archive | January, 2016

Fell off the wagon…

14 Jan

 

And in this case it isn’t the sobriety wagon. It’s the blog writing wagon. I have been thinking of you, my blog, for the past couple months. But the truth is,  I haven’t seen a movie that got my excited enough to write. Until a few nights ago.  Ken and I saw The Big Short. This movie is about the events leading up to the 2008 housing market crash and following global economic recession. Specifically, it’s about the men who predicted it was going to happen in 2005 but could do nothing but except hedge their bets based on their knowledge, as everyone laughed them out of their office at the notion of the housing market being remotely unstable. Walking out of that movie, I felt really excited about what I had seen. The performances were tremendous, the writing was funny and clever, the directing style was fresh and new and the story was important enough that it demanded to be told. That is the kind of movie that gets me excited. I’ve seen a few movies since I last updated but you aren’t going to read a long summary and review of each movie since they’re all going into one blog post. So I’m making each entry as succinct as possible.

Star Wars, The Force Awakens (x2)

Star Wars! It’s back! I slept through every attempt at watching the original trilogy the week before this came out! While my husband glared at me from the couch! I’m not sure what it is about Star Wars, but I can’t get into it and just really prefer Star Trek. However, I’m not going to tell you this film isn’t terrific because it really was. I loved Rey and Finn and am looking forward to the next movie. BB-8 stole the show for me.

Sisters

Hilarious film about two women who learn to grow from their faults by throwing a giant house party for their middle aged friends. Fey and Pohler are excellent together and this is a comedy worth recommending.

The Intern

You’re never too old to learn something new, make a friend, and start fresh. This movie wasn’t particularly memorable, but it was sweet and cute.

The Martian

Matt Damon in space! While this movie was interesting, it was also simultaneously kind of boring. Is that a paradox? I think the real fans are people who have some interest in space and the science behind putting a man on Mars. I really liked Jeff Daniels in this movie but I always like Jeff Daniels so that’s not saying too much. Damon is always charming but this movie didn’t leave much of an impression with me.

Bridge of Spies

Cold War thriller elevated by sophisticated performances from Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.

Spectre

I’m very disappointed that I really didn’t like the newest James Bond film. It was intolerably boring. Except for Ben Whishaw who is always adorable. Waltz just hammed it up and Craig called his performance in to take a personal day to think about how much he does not want to do another Bond movie.

Spotlight

One of the best films of the year, but it was so damn heart breaking I tried to forget about it after I saw it. Excellent performances from Mark Ruffalo and Micheal Keating. I didn’t think Rachel McAdams made much of an impression in the film, but apparently she did in on the Academy because she scored a Supporting Actress nod. Really important film that everyone should see.

The Night Before

Totally hilarious but much more of a stoner comedy than I thought it would be. Great take on the Charles Dickens’ classic. There was one scene where Seth Rogen is tripping balls and has an interaction with a baby that had me crying with laughter.

Mockingjay

The suitably bleak conclusion to the Hunger Games series. I was really hoping that the film makers would deviate from the book because some of the deaths were very hard to take. But there was a point to be driven home about the senseless deaths in war and by god, was this movie going to make it. Lawrence is incredible in her last instalment as Katniss and Seymour Hoffman was wonderful as the man behind the rebellion.

Trainwreck

Amy Schumer plays a past autobiographical version of herself in this funny and interesting look at a bad girl trying to go good. I love Bill Hader and he was terrific in this movie but LeBron James playing himself was….really off putting and stupid. From handling crappy work politics to dealing with an ageing parent, Train Wreck did a great job of showing the difficulties a thirty-something deals with.

The Man from Uncle

Fantastically stylish movie from Guy Richie with two devastatingly handsome leading men and an absolutely silly and nonsensical plot. Worth watching for the great action scenes and fun dynamic between Hammer and Cavill.

American Ultra

For me, of the the most surprisingly enjoyable films of the year. I really like Eisenberg and Stewart breaking type cast and going after interesting roles. Topher Grace was a lot of fun as the villainous CIA agent. I loved Eisenberg’s character and really sympathized with him. While violent and gory, the love story between the leads was very sweet and grounded.

Ant Man

Another Marvel smash hit. Hilarious, fun, clever and engaging, this film really can do no wrong. Micheal Pena stole so many scenes.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

It’s Tom Cruise. It’s Simon Pegg. It’s fun. I couldn’t really remember the plot to save my life.

Black Mass

I think Johnny was totally snubbed this year for an Oscar nod for his performance as Whitey Bulger. Fascinating true story of a socio-pathetic killer Bulger and his reign in Boston starting in the 1980’s.

Focus

So, I have a crush on Margot Robbie. This movie aims for fun, but just falls into the silly category. Smith is charming but the last quarter of the movie leaves the viewer shaking their head and rolling their eyes.

Age of Adaline

Beautiful, romantic, timeless. One of my favourite films of 2015. I though Lively was captivating as Adaline, and although there was some holes in the plot, I didn’t have a problem exhaling them out of my mind while I watched Lively glide through different eras in stunning costumes.

Paper Towns

I’m a big fan of John Green so I was eager to see the adaptation of his popular novel. I enjoyed the film, but the casting was  a bit of a let down. Green’s book had a very interesting message about not buying into the “manic pixie dream girl” mentality that his protagonist had let overtake the reality of the girl next door. I think the movie communicated that theme subtly, but it wasn’t as much of a punch as the text had.

Straight Outta Compton

Interesting history of the rap group NWA even for people with no interest in the subject. Having Ice Cube’s son play him was especially brilliant and works very well for the movie. Most hilarious thing happened while we were sitting in the theatre though. Some guy actually lit up a joint and filled the theatre will dat dank smell. He put it out two minutes later but Ken and I were cracking up. I guess when you live the gangsta life, you gotta go the whole hog.

Steve Jobs

Definitely in my top five favourite films of the year. Facsinating concept and I’m thoroughly disappointed Danny Boyle didn’t get a best director nomination. Fassbender, Winslet, Rogen and Daniels are fantastic and the screenplay by the masterful Aaron Sorkin was as perfect as I expected it would be. What elevates this movie from the standard biopic is telling Jobbs’ story over the four major Apple launches, instead of pacing it out year by year. The launches have a frantic energy which propels the film forward and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.

I will be reviewing all the best picture nominees in more depth, the only two I haven’t seen yet are Room the The Revenant.

 

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