This has been out for a month but I guess people still want you to scream SPOILERS, right? As much as I like sci-fi and popcorn movies and acknowledge the importance of Star Wars, I don't really have any attachment to the franchise. I've probably seen Spaceballs more times than every Star Wars movie combined. It was fun to take my dad to see this the day after Christmas, although he wanted to see it on IMAX and unfortunately that meant 3D, and I really just hate 3D, I'd love to never see another 3D movie or wear those stupid glasses again. I still regard JJ Abrams as more of an effective franchise manager than someone with any real spark of creativity, but he at least was more true to the spirit of Star Wars than he was to the spirit of Star Trek. I really liked the new cast and thought they held the movie together well, even Adam Driver, who I've had mixed feelings about in the past. It's kind of amazing that him doing 'dark master of the force as petulant teenager' worked so well considering that Hayden Christensen did so poorly with a similar role. I thought the super-cute new baby R2D2 was a little pandering, though.
It's weird to watch an animated movie where the 2 leads are voiced by Rihanna and Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory." This is pretty funny, though, my son absolutely loves it and has probably watched it 10 times in the past month. And Rihanna's songs in it are generally better than anything she's released from Anti.
I feel kind of bad for Chris Evans. His career was kind of on a downswing before he became a cog in the Marvel machine, but even since then, he hasn't really had a hit movie in the U.S. in the last 5 years where he wasn't playing Captain America (not even Snowpiercer, which was awesome). You'd think he could at least turn a profit with a romantic comedy, but Playing It Cool didn't get a theatrical release, which is a shame, it's pretty good. I like seeing Michelle Monaghan when she gets a chance to do comedy, she was so good in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang but has rarely gotten to be funny in movies since then. The whole conceit of the movie, with Evans playing a screenwriter working on a romcom, struck me as the kind of Hollywood meta I'm really tired of seeing at this point, but I have to admit it was pulled off really well here.
d) The Rewrite
Here's another movie about a screenwriter, and I'm always amazed that those get made so often. How does anyone write and sell a screeplay about a screenwriter without going "oh god this is a horrible cliche" and changing the protagonist's occupation? Hugh Grant plays a guy who wrote one hit and a lot of flops, and then takes a job teaching a college course on screenwriting, and he's the usual awkward charming Hugh Grant cad, but it's all done well and has maybe an overqualified supporting cast (J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Marisa Tomei, Chris Elliott, etc.).
Often if I'm busy or have writing to do, I'll put on a movie I don't expect will be very good in the background and kind of challenge it to make me pay attention to it. This one failed more miserably than usual, I didn't even finish it. There was one pretty nicely choreographed fight scene, though. Chris Hemsworth deserves to be in big budget non-Avengers movies way less than Chris Evans.
f) Another Me
This is a horror movie with a good creepy premise and a pretty memorable ending scene, but everything in between, including the big twist, felt kind of underwhelming to me.
g) Some Girl(s)
Neil LaBute made his name with plays and films and plays-turned-films like In The Company Of Men that were dark, nasty stories about dysfunctional and manipulative relationships. And then, somewhere along the way, he became this generic director-for-hire who does things like that bad Wicker Man remake and Lakeview Terrace, but apparently he kept writing plays that were more of a piece with his early work. And some other director ended up adapting one of those plays, Some Girl(s), into a film. Some Girl(s) is very typical LaBute, almost ridiculously so, and Adam Brody is better than I thought he'd be as the requisite manipulative asshole. But the entire movie is several long one-on-one scenes with various actresses, and the ones with Mia Maestro and Kristen Bell were by far more memorable than the others.
This feels like so many crime movies since Pulp Fiction, with a big ensemble of different characters in vaguely interconnected stories. Taking place in New Orleans instead of Los Angeles is the closest thing to an original idea The Power Of Few has, really. The Christopher Walken scenes are pretty entertaining, though.