|Movies Seen 2016, January – April
||[Feb. 13th, 2017|01:43 am]
I don’t know how I did it, but I almost saw a movie a week! It looks like my film total for the year, which is to say ‘seen in theater’, not counting seen on TV or DVD, regardless of whether it was new to me or not, was 51!
So here’s the beginning of the list. Since I only saw one film in April, I’m including it in this initial post.
1/20 Hateful Eight
2/05 Hail, Caesar!
2/07 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
2/13 The Danish Girl
2/26 Zoolander 2
2/28 Kung Fu Panda 3
3/06 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
3/18 London Has Fallen
4/28 Where To Invade Next
Carol was an interesting movie, it was a lesbian love story set in the 1950s in New York City. My only complaint is technical. The filmmaker shot it on Super 16mm film, it’s the same overall width as standard 16mm, but it only has sprockets on one side instead of both, giving a slightly larger image. The problem is that when transferred to digital projection and shown on super hi-res systems, it just doesn’t look good. Had it been shown on an actual film projector on a smaller screen, I think it would have looked much better. Be that as it may, it was an excellent and touching film.
Hateful Eight. Tarantino's latest film, and I wasn’t terribly impressed, personally I think the two Kill Bill movies are his best work. I really wish they’d left the intermission in, the break would have been appreciated.
Spotlight is about the newspaper investigative reporting team who broke the silence about the Boston Catholic Church pedophilia problem. Amazing film, totally deserving every award that it got.
Hail, Caesar! Lots of fun! It is always great when Clooney gets to clown around and play a bit of an idiot. Sometimes movies about movies are pulled off well, and I’d say this one hit the mark. There are so many wonderful slices, such as the sailor dance number, that are tremendous fun. And Clooney trying to understand Communism and Socialism. I really enjoyed this.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. A silly movie, decent enough for mindless entertainment and eating popcorn. I would consider buying it if I stumbled upon a copy for $5 or less, but I wouldn’t go out of my way looking for it. I definitely like women kicking ass, and this movie certainly delivered on that score. Knock Buffy back a couple of hundred years and you’re in business.
Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds redeems himself for the horrible Green Lantern movie. It’s quite a departure from the normal DC and Marvel fare that we’ve had over the last decade, a very foul-mouthed alleged superhero. He definitely has heroic motivations, but he’s also more than a bit of a jerk. He’s Wolverine without a filter. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop him in future movies and in team-up movies.
The Danish Girl. Wow. What a film! While I’ve always liked pre-war pieces in European cities, I appreciate them more now that I’ve gotten to spend a little time in Berlin, Dresden, and Prague. That aside, it’s the story of a painter who realizes that his identity is not that of a man, and he wants to be a woman. Set in the 1920s, it tells the story of one of the first identifiable recipients of gender reassignment surgery. Very touching and sensual movie. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili Elbe, the main character, and does an amazing job.
Race. Another film that makes me happy that I got to go to Berlin! A biopic of Jesse Owens, the Olympic athlete who ran the socks off Hitler’s best at the 1934 Olympic Games in Berlin. And I got to see that actual stadium and get some external photos of it! There’s interesting stories of Owens and the Games, the saddest thing is that Owens said that Hitler was actually very nice to him in private, and that President Roosevelt never publicly received him.
Zoolander 2. This is a guilty pleasure film. I loved the first movie, it’s just pure silly fun. The second one is no better, it’s just mindless entertainment. There’s really not much to say about it except Sting plays a fairly major role.
Kung Fu Panda 3. Not much to say about this one either. It’s yet another KFP film, fine in its own right, and I don’t remember much of anything about it.
Zootopia. Very cool animated film, for me I think it had one of the more complex and well-integrated plots of most anthropomorphic movies that I’ve seen in quite a while. I very much enjoyed it and saw it in the theater perhaps three times.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. A new Tina Fey movie where she goes to Afghanistan to become an actual field news reporter and learns that it’s a lot different than working in a studio and that there’s a moral dimension that she did not previously appreciate. I thought it was a better movie than the reviews gave it credit for, but it’s also possible that I’m an easy sell.
London Has Fallen. This was ‘taking one for the team’. My wife saw the first one, Olympus Has Fallen, which I have not, and she wanted to see this one. Terrorists want revenge on the U.S. President and manage to totally screw over London in an attempt to kidnap and murder him on prime time television. But they didn’t count on the tenacity of one agent! Needless to say good guys win, bad guys snuff it. What a surprise.
Where To Invade Next. This is sort of a travelogue by the rather controversial liberal film maker Michael Moore with an interesting premise. He goes to a country, finds something that they do amazingly well, and explores it. He then asks them where they got the inspiration for this thing, and invariably, the idea came from the United States. For example, in France, elementary school lunches are restaurant-quality. And we’re talking quality restaurants. The food is actually good. The students sit in small groups, they interact, they develop good manners, they’re exposed to lots of different foods and none of it is junk. And the cost per student per meal is less than what they spend in the USA on school lunch programs. In one of the northern European countries, it might be Finland, they have a law that their parliament can consist of no less than 40% and no more than 55% of either gender, so women have very good representation in the law-making process. I would SO LOVE to see that become a requirement in the USA! It’ll never happen, but I can fantasize. He talked to cops in Portugal about their decriminalizing drugs and their increased treatment programs. Etc, etc. I saw Moore on Real Time With Bill Maher after the film was released, and he said that while all these countries had some amazing things about them, none of them were perfect and they all had problems. He also said that he’ll continue living in the USA.
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