Movie Diary

a) The Martian
I was kind of surprised by how much I loved this. In the past few years I've worked gigs where I've been in the same room with Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell and just getting my head around the idea that these guys have been in space was really inspiring and exciting. So a plausible-looking future where we're exploring Mars in 20 years is downright utopian, and this whole movie is pretty much just noble, lovable scientists solving problems. I thought it would be too feelgood, to predestined for a happy ending, to have any suspense but I really was on the edge of my seat for some of the scary scenes. Narratively it feels kind of slight for a blockbuster Oscar nominee, but I like that something about space travel and trillions of dollars on the line ended up feeling fairly intimate and character-driven. 

b) The Dresser
It surprised me a little that a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellan was made just for TV (BBC there, Starz here). But the same week it aired, it was announced that Hopkins is going to be in the next Transformers movie, which kind of underlined how hard it is for even the biggest stars to get into multiplexes with normal little human-scale dramas these days. I'm not familiar with the stage play or the earlier adaptation, but this was an enjoyable little character study, fun to see these two guys bounce off of each other with very different roles.

c) Zootopia
My son saw this a few months ago and loved it, but I just got to watch it with him for the first time recently and it was great, easily one of the best animated features of the last few years. Charming voice cast, beautiful visual design, nicely structured screenplay, and the movie's whole overall message about diversity and prejudice was imparted in a really refreshing way that worked within the animal-themed story. 

d) Self/less
It's interesting to look back at last year's Ryan Reynolds comeback misfire in light of Deadpool hitting so big, particularly because this movie doesn't even try to let Reynolds be wacky talkative Reynolds. The pilot for "Second Chance," the FOX series that was quickly canceled earlier this year, did a better job with a similar premise, but even that wasn't very good.

e) Chappie
I love movies with a unique tone that kind of mixes different elements of genre and humor, because you either end up with an indispensable classic or a total fascinating mess like this. Neill Blomkamp is such a frustrating director because he's got all this promising ideas and themes and visual motifs that make him seem like the next great sci-fi filmmaker but it never quite comes together, even District 9 was kind of a mess. So I went into this hoping that it would end up really fun and weird but it just felt like this bloated mix of RoboCop and Short Circuit shot like an extended Die Antwoord video.

f) Angels Of Darkness 
This movie was some kind of direct to DVD/VOD thing that is alternately called Styria or The Curse Of Styria, creepy movie with a good premise. But I have to admit I put it on primarily because I have a crush on Eleanor Tomlinson, who hasn't been in any big Hollywood movies besides that forgettable Jack The Giant Slayer thing.

g) The Equalizer
Now that Denzel Washington is over 60 and actually looks like an old man when you see him out in the real world but can still look like a dashing movie star in movies, this movie was a good way of kinda playing off that and let him transform from innocuous to badass onscreen. Wouldn't mind if he had a run like Liam Neeson as the old grizzled action star

h) The Forger
I put this on because I hadn't seen any John Travolta movies in a while but I met him at work recently (he was very easygoing and chill!). It was okay, kinda felt like it didn't know whether to be a "one last job" heist movie or a downbeat character study. 

i) Rocky
I realized that I'll probably watch Creed sometime but have never really watched the original Rocky movies outside of catching bits and pieces on TV, so it was fun to put this on and really get the story. I feel like the franchise that grew out of this movie actively works against what made the first movie good, but it stands up on its own merits. 
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment