I don't seem to watch as many movies as I used to. I only saw one movie on the big screen in the whole of 2015. Until recently, I would borrow and watch at least one movie on DVD a week, but lately it's more like one or two a month. And I don't often watch movies broadcast on TV either. That's in part because I've found TV shows in this so-called "platinum" age of television more interesting and satisfying. I'll say more about that in a future post. Anyway, there were some movies I did enjoy watching for the first time in 2015. 1. New Releases * "Inside Out" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/inside_out_2015/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2096673/> "After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school." A solid return to form for Pixar. Most of the studio's movies are technically excellent, but this one had a great and touching story as well. * "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star_wars_episode_vii_the_force_awakens/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/> "Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance." Like many fans, I was a bit nervous about Episode VII. I went to see it at the cinema with a longtime friend and fellow Star Wars tragic. After the less-than stellar prequels, we were both very satisfied with the first release of the Disney era. Echoes of the classic trilogy are definitely present, but it was original enough, held together well (ignoring the questionable physics), and some cool new characters were introduced. * "Ex Machina" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ex_machina/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470752/> "A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I." That premise was always going to grab my attention, and overall, this relatively low-budget movie delivered. I enjoyed it enough to re-watch it to see if I could catch any tells. 2. Past Year Releases * "The Grand Budapest Hotel" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_grand_budapest_hotel/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278388/> "The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend." Inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig, this Wes Anderson-directed comedy entertained me. I really enjoyed the fable-like qualities. * "Coherence" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/coherence_2013/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2866360/> "Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead." When I heard about this very low budget ($50,000!) parallel worlds sci-fi/thriller, I was intrigued. I don't buy the comet tie-in with quantum theory, but what really matters is the characters react to the situation. At only 90 minutes long, I had no qualms re-watching immediately to better grasp the intricate plot. * "Gone Girl" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gone_girl/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2267998/> "With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent." I held off watching this, but caved due to my crush on Rosamund Pike, and the fittingly edgy soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. I haven't read the book, and probably won't since it's all about the twist. It held my interest throughout. * "The Wolf of Wall Street" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_wolf_of_wall_street_2013/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993846/> "Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government." I'd probably watch traffic directed by Martin Scorsese. I also enjoy seeing the shenanigans and excesses of the financial world being played out. Overall, worth watching despite the long playing time. * "Certified Copy" <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/certified_copy/> <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1020773/> "In Tuscany to promote his latest book, a middle-aged British writer meets a French woman who leads him to the village of Lucignano. While there, a chance question reveals something deeper." They had me at Tuscany, but it wasn't just the scenery and architecture that kept me watching. It was almost like a two-person play, with the action mostly taking place over a single day. Solid acting and complex characters that required a repeat viewing to fully appreciate. It's probably not for everyone, though. 3. New Releases NOT seen yet: * "The Martian" I've read and enjoyed the book (see earlier post), and will definitely catch the movie on DVD soon. * "Mad Max: Fury Road" After hearing lots of positive responses, I was tempted to go watch this on the big screen. Will also have to wait for the DVD. Feel free to suggest anything else I should check out.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Posted by Bruno at 7:36pm