The Films of 2015

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#26 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:22 pm

Lots of different reactions to this one are floating around the internet since its premiere Saturday but take it from me, the entire project is a one joke premise that like a lot of performance or conceptual art you don't need to actually sit through to get (though I watched the entire film, for the record). That premise being that it's 100% a normal Lifetime movie, the only difference being famous comedians Ferrell and Wiig are in the lead roles. Those claiming it's a comic riot are doing that thing where people laugh at perfectly normal genre tropes because they feel superior to them and are not familiar enough with these kinds of movies to get that all the "funny" parts are just further examples of what are standard aspects of all of these movies (ie you'd get the same laff riot mileage out of any Lifetime movie). A case study in the errors of taking presentational evidence as proof outside of context. That said, A Deadly Adoption is... a standard issue MOTW, competently made and constructed with the best and worst aspects the genre affords. No more, no less.

User avatar
cdnchris
Site Admin
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: The Films of 2015

#27 Post by cdnchris » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:38 pm

Yep, that's what it is. My wife loves these things and I've seen enough of them. Some are fun and some are pretty awful (one with Jamie Kennedy sticks out in my mind as being awful though I don't remember it very well). This one seems to punctuate the common plot points/twists, editing techniques, and music cues you find in a Lifetime movie, almost like it's going through a check list. Otherwise it's played straight. As a Lifetime movie it's one of the less painful ones but fun enough.

User avatar
sir_luke
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#28 Post by sir_luke » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:58 am

La Dictadura Perfecta / The Perfect Dictatorship (Luis Estrada) This hilarious and merciless political satire, pitched at a breakneck pace, is very much the companion film of Estrada's earlier Herod's Law. In fact, the thoroughly sleazy governor of this film tellingly shares the surname of the innocent-schlub-turned-power-hungry-maniac of Herod's Law, and both are played stunningly well by the same actor. I am not nearly well-informed enough to understand everything about the complexities of Mexico's current political climate, but part of what makes Estrada's work so fascinating is how pinpointed his criticisms are AND how simultaneously broad and accessible his overarching themes are. The Perfect Dictatorship portrays the cyclical nature of corruption in government and the media (and also examines the complicated and too-close-for-comfort relationship between those two entities) more honestly than anything I've seen in a long time.

The film begins with the sitting president making a very inappropriate racial gaffe during a summit with an American politician, which naturally blows up on social media and becomes the "trending topic" of the day. To divert attention away from the gaffe, Mexico's most powerful TV station instead decides to dig up a bribery/mafia-ties scandal on the governor of a small state. But when the governor is hit with the attention from the scandal, he bargains with the news station to revamp his image and prepare him for an attempt at the presidency. As conflicting motives and end goals collide, the film becomes at once funnier and more sickening, as blackmail, murder, kidnapping, and worse all occur inevitably. This was really a thrill and I heartily recommend it.

P.S. It's not as important as story and aesthetics, sure, but another reason I admired this film so much is that it's perhaps the first film whose use of social media, the Internet, and technology in general didn't make me totally cringe. It was all very realistically portrayed, as if the makers of the film actually use the stuff themselves!

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#29 Post by domino harvey » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:42 am

Cymbeline (Michael Almereyda) Admirably perverse modern treatment of the Shakespeare play that quickly forgoes any serious reading and instead makes a never-ending series of clever adaptation choices that will delight those already familiar with the work and absolutely confound/infuriate anyone else fooled into watching this great cast in what the box cover's quote-mining promises to be "A mashup of Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones." Keeping the dialog but transposing all of the action onto biker gangs and roving backwoods militia (who carry around guns like Godard's actors did in the 60s, and look as convincing) and cops and so on is an idea so tacky it's kind of brilliant, and the film is utter trash in the best sense-- and what better Shakespeare play to do all this vaguely blasphemous goofiness to than one of his trashiest works?! The film is filled with numerous name actors in on the joke (including one long lost 90s presence who cameos for one scene near the end-- where's his career resurgence, QT?) and the movie's stylistic choices are a hoot-- most of the first couple acts take place on Halloween? Why? Why not? The poisonous response this has garnered from innocents tricked into watching a Shakespeare adaptation are almost as amusing as the film itself, and there's something admirably foolhardy in making a film that has such a limited audience and then pokes even those target viewers with a stick over and over, but if you know the play well and are feeling adventurous, this is one of the most entertaining films so far this year.

User avatar
thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#30 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Eden by Mia Hansen-Love, based on her brother's experiences as a DJ in the 90s, is a nice little tribute to the French 'touch' scene and the influence of techno and garage. The music is phenomenal. Seeing Daft Punk flirting about the scene, looking all nerdy, seemingly less influential than Sven Hansen-Love's DJ duo 'Cheers' at the time is amusing. Then they dropped Da Funk and everything else is history. It's in many ways a typical rise and fall, Sven is hip one minute, then coked up and in debt the next whilst the scene keeps moving forward without him being able to keep up with the pace. The parties, the girls, the drugs - all seems ideal but when it crashes down and Sven doesn't know what to do with his life....it's well judged and never sugar coated. It's a really good 'music' film though; look at the soundtrack!

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/ ... e-20141006" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#31 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:02 am

Barely Lethal (Kyle Newman) The cleverest, funniest teen comedy since Detention, this is a movie made by a creative team that clearly studied and understood the best aspects of the most well-known teen films of the last three decades and then applied all they learned for this master's thesis in how to marry a high concept with the comfortingly familiar trappings of the genre. A terrific Hailee Steinfeld plays a teenager trained by the government since birth to be an assassin who, longing for the "normal" high school experience she sees in media, fakes her death and enrolls in your typical suburban school. The movie then plays at length with how these kind of films shape and form and condition how teens see themselves and their function in high school based on the most prevalent pop culture representations of their age group. Seeing teenagerdom as another mission, Steinfeld eventually acclimates to the hostile environment and the film alternates between tweaking the conventions (this film contains bar nothing the greatest play on the tried and true "virginity" revelation ever) and embracing them-- not unlike our protagonist. This film is on the receiving end of dismal critical notices and unhappy customer reviews, and it more or less got dumped direct to streaming, but like a lot of films too different to be pigeonholed, the mix of too smart for the room awareness and unironic embracing of the genre straddles the line and will leave many viewers unsatisfied… not unlike another self-reflexive comedy that takes the similarly arch approach, the Baxter. This is not a film that will reward a superiority to teen romantic comedies, but if you meet it at its level it's really a wonderful, hilarious exploration of this subject. Easily one of the best films of the year.

Also, seeing this back to back with Kingsman, it's never been more apparent how much difference being clever and talented can make with regards to action sequences-- this movie probably cost less than the catering budget on Vaughn's, and yet any of its fights are comparatively simpler but still funnier, better-filmed, and more intelligently tweaked than anything found in that pile. And hey, both feature Samuel L Jackson, so you don't even have to choose if that's your default metric for personal taste. I'm sure she's made poor career choices I haven't witnessed yet, but I've thoroughly enjoyed Steinfeld in everything I've seen her in and was thinking while watching, "They should cast her in more movies," and then I looked at IMDB and she has like twelve movies coming out this year. So, good work Hollywood.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#32 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:15 pm

Serena (Susanne Bier) The mystery of how a film starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence sat on a shelf for years before finally being trickled out into limited release this summer with no fanfare is quickly solved by just watching this movie. Holy cat, how could anyone involved think this movie had promise? The writing is the worst part of this whole experience, so there's no justification for their signing on, and it's filled with moments of furtive nothingness that are so pregnant with non-promise that its hard to imagine the script ran more than fifty pages before filming. And given that there are lines like, "I love you. I have your child inside me" to contend with, it's not necessarily the worst tactic to take with this material! Everyone involved take this malarkey about a doomed romance (shown with no courting and a surprising lack of charisma between the stars) between a failing logger baron and his obsessive lover seriously, which is a mistake with material as silly and self-important as this. We know Lawrence is obsessive mainly when it is relevant to the plot, and even then she's so docile and dozy that when the actual threat arises, it garners more of a confused shrug than shock or investment. And then there's the hunt for a panther running throughout the film, which is Symbolic in an "I'm fourteen years old and just discovered metaphors" fashion. It's not so unusual that a bad film got made, but with two A-listers like this it takes on a grim fascination at just how wrong-headed it is-- and therein lies the only interest this film merits, as meager as it may be.

User avatar
Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#33 Post by Luke M » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:26 am

I recently watched Welcome to Me with Kristen Wiig. Wiig plays Alice, a woman with borderline personality disorder, who wins a lottery jackpot and spends most of the winnings on a TV show about herself.

The whole production felt very meta. Like Alice's vanity project so is this role for Wiig. She tries albeit unsuccessfully to show she's capable of more than just comedy. And like Alice's Welcome to Me, the movie is one long, awkward, occasionally painful trainwreck.

The movie feels like a paint-by-numbers indie, like Safety Not Guaranteed or Short Term 12 - which a lot of people gush over but are wholly forgettable once the credits end. The label "indie" has probably always been more of a genre than anything actually pertaining to financing, but the latest incarnation just sucks. For every masterpiece like Nightcrawler you get a hundred other ones that are complete shit.

User avatar
thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#34 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:12 am

Justin Kurzel's Macbeth was a frustrating experience. Taking on Shakespeare's tough already, but when Welles, Kurosawa and Polanski have already made excellent films from Macbeth? Fassbender and Cotillard give it their best shot but Kurzel's obsessive use of slow motion and occasional liberties with the text, changing the context, undermine the film.

User avatar
sir_luke
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#35 Post by sir_luke » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:02 am

Ralph Bakshi's long-gestating short work The Last Days of Coney Island is getting what appears to be an online-exclusive release at the end of the month.

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Theeb (aka Wolf)

#36 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:17 pm

Theeb is a Jordanian film. Set during WWI, a young boy (Theeb) tags along as his brother leads a Bedouin and an English soldier through the rugged desert. Events transpire which place the boy in a difficult situation in which he must use his wits and judgment. A fairly stark and lean drama, concerning treacherous relationships and the need to grow up fast. The boy and the rocky desert are the stars. It has a good pace, some nice suspense, and lovely cinematography. It started doing the int'l film festival circuit last Fall, was released in some ME countries this past Spring and Spring/Summer was doing US film festivals. Good film.

User avatar
Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: The Films of 2015

#37 Post by Jeff » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:34 pm

I don't know where else to put this, but it's the first time Empire has ever published anything of interest, so I thought it was worth linking. Sam Mendes interviews a bunch of great (and some middling) directors about their process.

User avatar
Roscoe
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:40 pm
Location: NYC

Re: The Films of 2015

#38 Post by Roscoe » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:16 pm

Frederick Wiseman's IN JACKSON HEIGHTS -- a three hour long look at the assorted populations of the most ethnically diverse area on the planet, dealing with being Americans, being young, being old, being gay, being employees, being business owners, and just generally being. A remarkable accomplishment by any standard, the three hour running time flew by. Maybe I'm prejudiced as a resident of Jackson Heights (a good deal of the film was shot in a Jewish community center one block from my home), but I was held and entertained and thought-provoked like I haven't been in a while. Fascinating

User avatar
barryconvex
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:08 pm
Location: NYC

Famous Nathan (Lloyd Handwerker 2014)

#39 Post by barryconvex » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:40 am

Famous Nathan (Lloyd Handwerker 2014)

had a chance to watch this fantastic documentary on netflix a couple nights ago. haven't been able to get it out my head. and because only 26 people had given it a rating i even wrote a review of it for Imdb-which i really never do. i'm just trying to spread the gospel...

This movie contains the whole of the immigrant experience in America throughout the 20th century. it's a movie about family, betrayals, friendships, loyalty, work ethic, father and son relationships and the rise and fall of Coney Island as told through a polish immigrant's hot dog stand turned empire.

Nathan Handwerker is the man who traded his life for success in business. so dedicated was he to making Nathan's what it eventually became that all else fell by the wayside. praise and encouragement to those around him was in short supply. as one of his former employees states the best one could hope for from Nathan was silence as that meant he had nothing else to complain about. it doesn't mean he was a joyless man-he and his longtime wife raised children and many of those same former employees have nothing but kind things to say about him later on. but like any driven man he was not happy unless tending to business mostly at the cost of all else and along the way jealousies between himself and his brothers as well as one son (who shunned Nathan's entirely and opened his own restaurant) created fissures in the foundations that eventually took the one time Coney Island staple down. the company went public, fancy offices were opened in times square, franchises were licensed out that didn't work mostly because Nathan-who never approved of any of this in the first place- couldn't watch everything and was too old to effectively do so at that point anyway.

So much of "Famous Nathan" is so moving it feels as if it were being told to you be your own grandparents and elderly aunts and uncles. through old videotapes and audio only sessions recorded from the 50s to the 80s these people (who are often hilarious in a way only old Brooklynites can be) are candid in such an intimate way that the director and grandson of Nathan himself-Lloyd Handwerker-effectively becomes our surrogate brother through what could be a million different immigrants tales of success and failure in the new world in the early, middle and later 20th century. best movie i've seen in 2015.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: The Films of 2015

#40 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:41 pm

Roscoe wrote:Frederick Wiseman's IN JACKSON HEIGHTS
I loved some bits of this (esp. the segment with the 98 year old Jewish lady and the class for would-be taxi drivers), and found some other bits slow, but overall I liked this a lot. Last time I spent a lot of time in Jackson Heights was 1973, so its incipient multi-culturality then has increased quite a bit. ;-}

User avatar
manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

The Little Prince (2015, Mark Osborne)

#41 Post by manicsounds » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:06 am

The Little Prince (2015, Mark Osborne)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEPqgSNLfK8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

With Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) directing the iconic children's story, what looked the most intriguing was the stop motion animation for the fantasy sequences. Possibly to make it more accessible to today's younger audiences and adding a bit of a twist was to have "standard" 3D animation sequences of the main characters, a young girl interacting with a weird old neighbor living next door, who tells her the story of The Little Prince, which he wrote and says is based on his own experiences.

Stylistically it is very similar to "The Fall" and "Big Fish", films in which there are 2 separate narratives of reality and fantasy, in which the two start to meld together. I loved those two films, so I was highly anticipating "The Little Prince".

I think the most unfortunate point was the ratio between reality and fantasy, especially since the fantasy sequences in stop motion was the biggest point in my part. The 3D portions were a bit generic, in terms of style and also in execution. If only it had concentrated on the actual "The Little Prince" story rather than focus too much on the elderly man/young girl relationship, it could have been better. Still a fun story that should entertain youngsters!

Image
Last edited by manicsounds on Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#42 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:02 am

Two would-be cult movie misfires:

American Ultra (Nima Nourizadeh) Lazy stoner Jesse Eisenberg discovers he’s actually a secret sleeper CIA badass and suddenly is killing trained assassins with ramen spoons and frozen hamburger patties. The cast assembled here is so good that even with the plot description and a fair warning that almost nothing works, I can’t blame anyone for checking it out regardless, but it really doesn’t return on a viewing investment. The biggest problem is that the director has decided to film and play the movie straight, which kills all of the comic potential in what is a story that can not sustain incredulous scoffing from serious treatment. There are thankfully a few elements present that brought fleeting enjoyment: Topher Grace steals the movie by virtue of being allowed to overplay his villain into more fully-fledged comic territory, and there’s something wonderfully perverse about watching Walton Goggins getting his infamous chompers smashed in within minutes of his character’s introduction. Otherwise, though: eh.

Cooties (Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott) A film that comes up with an allegedly audacious premise and then rests on it being enough to sustain a feature-length film. It isn’t. Contaminated chicken nuggets (as seen formed in the truly disgusting opening credits) turn elementary school-aged children into blood-thirsty zombies and it’s up to the ragtag group of teachers barricaded inside the school to fend off the little hellions. If the “joke” of adults killing kids en masse sends your sides aching from laughter, good news! What scant laughs actually land come thanks to socially-awkward science teacher Leigh Wannell (who also co-scripted and wisely gave himself the best part) who helpfully explains at one point that the kids are already dead, so as to assuage audience uneasiness at the premise— as though anyone who would be offended would’ve made it that far in the film anyways! This one ends with one of the most blatant test screening-inspired alterations I’ve ever seen.

User avatar
bottled spider
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: The Films of 2015

#43 Post by bottled spider » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:37 am

domino harvey wrote:Cymbeline (Michael Almereyda) Admirably perverse modern treatment of the Shakespeare play that quickly forgoes any serious reading and instead makes a never-ending series of clever adaptation choices that will delight those already familiar with the work and absolutely confound/infuriate anyone else fooled into watching this great cast in what the box cover's quote-mining promises to be "A mashup of Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones." Keeping the dialog but transposing all of the action onto biker gangs and roving backwoods militia (who carry around guns like Godard's actors did in the 60s, and look as convincing) and cops and so on is an idea so tacky it's kind of brilliant, and the film is utter trash in the best sense-- and what better Shakespeare play to do all this vaguely blasphemous goofiness to than one of his trashiest works?! The film is filled with numerous name actors in on the joke (including one long lost 90s presence who cameos for one scene near the end-- where's his career resurgence, QT?) and the movie's stylistic choices are a hoot-- most of the first couple acts take place on Halloween? Why? Why not? The poisonous response this has garnered from innocents tricked into watching a Shakespeare adaptation are almost as amusing as the film itself, and there's something admirably foolhardy in making a film that has such a limited audience and then pokes even those target viewers with a stick over and over, but if you know the play well and are feeling adventurous, this is one of the most entertaining films so far this year.
Having thoroughly disliked Almereyda's Hamlet, I wouldn't have bothered watching this if it weren't for your enthusiastic review. I FUCKING LOVE THIS MOVIE. Almereyda is doing basically the same kind of thing with both adaptations, but the material of Cymbeline is better suited to his approach. It translates better into a modern setting -- and Almereyda much more thoroughly exploits the possibilities of the modern setting -- and the text is more amenable to naturalistic modes of speaking. As you say, the play being rather preposterous to begin with, it can tolerate more abuse. The whole thing is visually interesting and attractive, with some wonderful choices of music. I can imagine watching this repeatedly.

User avatar
YnEoS
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am

Re: The Films of 2015

#44 Post by YnEoS » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:48 pm

Took a while for the hype to get around to me, but I really enjoyed Krampus. It manages to be both a good Christmas movie and a good horror movie. The film is completely absent of any kind of blood or gore effects, and just focuses on good scares and the effects of the events on the family. Despite playing the holidays with the crazy relatives trope, it has empathy for all its characters and is a very good natured film. Unfortunately I never got around to seeing Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat back when that was being hyped, but this gave me good motivation to seek it out.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#45 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:49 pm

Resist that urge

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: The Films of 2015

#46 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:01 am

The Seven Five is a true-crime documentary about Michael Dowd, a crooked cop in the middle of the crack epidemic in New York City and how he profited from it. The insanity of the story is what carries it through, but the approach the filmmakers take is almost reverential to him and his crew. It's probably what needed to be done and was promised to get these kinds of stories out of him, but it lands a little hollow as a result.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: The Films of 2015

#47 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:33 pm

Bone Tomahawk is a rather gruesome Western that comes out of left-field in both it's sporadic gore and it's pace. Kurt Russell plays it more straight-on than he did for Tarantino, but is no less engaging as the leader of four men set on a very doomed mission. I was surprised to see Richard Jenkins as the backup, subtly chewing up every scene he's in. It's the debut film for writer/director/co-score composer S. Craig Zahler, and it shows a little bit but it also shows promise in the talent too.

User avatar
Professor Wagstaff
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#48 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:43 pm

I liked Bone Tomahawk. Zahler shows real flair in term of the writing. The dialogue in particular really sings. Visually, though, the film looks very flat and drab. Considering how much the film takes place in arid desert landscape, I had no sense the director cared about finding ways to visually engage the audience until the sudden onslaught of brutality ensues. Suddenly the movie becomes Deadwood directed by Lucio Fulci.

Speaking of chewing the scenery, Matthew Fox gives the first interesting and charismatic performance I can remember from him in a riff on Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday. Who put a nickel in that guy?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#49 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:31 pm

Some unnecessary films from 2015 I've seen recently:

Manglehorn (David Gordon Green) A film so bad it takes on surreal properties as it progresses, along the lines of “This can’t really be a movie, can it? Am I hallucinating this piece of shit? Has Al Pacino lost his mind? What hard times have fallen on poor Holly Hunter? And what does Chris Messina even think he’s doing? Harmony Korine appears to be in on the joke, but why doesn't he let us in on it? Did we ever really think David Gordon Green had talent?” And so on.

Mississippi Grind (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) I enjoyed this tale of two gamblers of varying success who befriend each other and go on the road towards a high stakes poker game that may not even exist, but I was aware pretty early on that despite the best efforts of the directors and Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds (both charming here), there’s just nothing left for a film about lovable losers gambling their life away to say. Honestly, California Split is such a good and definitive movie on this subject that it rendered all other attempts to do this kind of movie (see: Lookin’ to Get Out et al) superfluous.

Our Brand is Crisis (David Gordon Green) Utterly anonymous direction from Green, which I’ll gladly take over Manglehorn-mode, at the service of a totally paint-by-the-numbers politico tale that is as edgy as that kid in the back of the bus who made fart noises with his hands during middle school field trips.

Southpaw (Antoine Fuqua) I guess I’m just naive but I really didn’t think they still made movies like this, where a misunderstood boxer learns to embrace life and turn things around for his daughter and himself in the wake of a personal tragedy. Who could possibly think this film added anything to anyone’s life? I guess Kurt Sutter’s name on the script can get any old mediocrity green-lit, but there are exactly zero surprises or novelties at play here, and the narrative bells are rung at exactly the tone you’d expect.

Truth (James Vanderbilt) A great double-feature for Spotlight as the Goofus to McCarthy’s Gallant. Cate Blanchett is strong as the 60 Minutes producer who was thrown under the bus in the wake of the George W Bush forged documents scandal that got Dan Rather ousted (here played by Robert Redford, who doesn’t even try to look like the anchor), but it’s at the benefit of so much lip-service to anti-liberalism. The film, directed by the writer of forum MASH-note-recipient Zodiac, half-heartedly acknowledges both sides of the flaws in the aired story, but it makes a mistake in claiming that what transpired was responsible journalism brought down by conspiratorial dealings. The titular concept seems pretty simple: the story wasn’t properly vetted, mistakes were made, and whether the accusations were true or not became secondary to the negligent weakness of the evidence. The final title card update shown before the film’s end credits is supposed to surprise or sadden us, but it sounded about right to me.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2015

#50 Post by domino harvey » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:21 am

mfunk9786 wrote:
PfR73 wrote:The Jonathan Demme-directed, Diablo Cody-scripted Ricki And The Flash
I've seen this trailer at the theater what feels like millions of times and its promotion seems to be trying to assure everyone that this is the most saccharine, paint-by-numbers film ever made. Perhaps what'll emerge will have some of Cody and Demme's more interesting sensibilities somewhere, but my God does what's being advertised look horrible.
Imagine if Charlize Theron's character in Young Adult turned things around and mentored Patrick Wilson's new kid as surrogate aunt while sharing life lessons and heart to hearts with Patton Oswalt and you'd have some idea of how what surely must have been an interesting first draft or idea from Cody turned into this mawkish piece of shit. This movie is a narrative collection of Buzzfeed click-bait titles: You won't believe what political opinions Meryl Streep has! Estranged families hate her! This aging bar rocker got up to make a toast at her son's wedding-- you'll never guess what happens next!

Post Reply