The Official Review Thread of 2016

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:34 am

THE NICE GUYS
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Keith David, Beau Knapp.
Dir: Shane Black.

After a porn star dies in a car crash, two rather ethically challenged and morally ambiguous private investigators team up to find a girl who could be involved in a web of conspiracy involving exposes of some corrupt politicians and the porn industry during the late 1970's. Though the script is flawed, the two stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling make it a better and it's so much fun to watch them both on-screen playing off each other. Gosling, in particular, is a surprisingly adept comic actor. If that's not enough, Angourie Rice who plays his daughter is also a wonderful scene stealer (I expect her to get more roles after this). The period details of L.A. during the '70s is impeccable without calling too much attention to itself. It's all often really funny with a lot of great moments.

Oscar Prospects: Maybe not but I do think it could get in Golden Globes in Musical/Comedy categories.

Grade: B+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:48 pm

Love & Friendship is definitely worth seeing. It wouldn't have stood out during the Austen boom of the 90s, but at this point it's been long enough that its comic rhythms are welcome. The film starts out a bit confusingly -- a ton of characters get thrown at us almost simultaneously, and even explanatory title cards don't get us fully grounded. But, after a bit, things click, and it all moves along briskly and amusingly.

The cast is mostly fine without being outstanding, except for Tom Bennett. He has a broad edge, and if the part had been bigger, I'd probably have tired of him. But his opening scene is eye-wateringly funny.

This is the kind of movie that often gets nominated for costumes, and here it would be especially deserved: the longer the film goes on, the more vivid the colors seem.

In such a desultory film season, among the few things truly worth seeking out.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Sun May 29, 2016 7:09 am

Big Magilla wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:I've been almost movie-phobic since the Oscars -- every week, I look at the listings and can't work up enthusiasm for much of anything on offer. But I did finally go to the movies the other day...and the coming attractions almost turned me off for good. Is there really some universe where we need remakes of The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur? The studio moguls had their massive faults, but I think even they'd be embarrassed by the pathetic thing the mainstream movie business has become.


It's been that way for years. I can't remember the last time I went to see a movie that was released outside of Oscar season. Ten years ago? Five? If I got screeners I probably wouldn't go out to the movies any more at all. It's really distressing when I hear people my age and older who should know better talking about how much they love Johnny Depp and can't wait to see Alice Through the Looking Glass. On the other hand it's gratifying to hear how disappointed they were in the latest shrill Melissa McCarthy movie.

In an era where a lying, thieving, self-promoting egomaniacal reality TV star can win a major party nomination for President despite his almost daily obscenities and hateful rhetoric, and be considered neck-and-neck with a career stateswoman for the win, it may be not only what we expect, but what we deserve. It's all part of the dumbing down of the culture.


I must say I concur with much of what Big Magilla & Mister Tee have said. I am having less interest in going to the cinema that I ever had before. There is so much I am not interested in seeing and the overwhelming amount of stuff out there now would make it an impossible feat if I attempted to do such. I'm averaging 1 to 2 at the cinema a week, except when special events like a French or Italian film festival is playing and then I make an effort to see more films.

Truth be told, like Magilla, I would much rather watch everything at home now.
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 28, 2016 8:46 am

MONEY MONSTER
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Lenny Venito.
Dir: Jodie Foster.

After losing a significant amount of money in the stocks of a big company, a desperate young man holds a Jim Cramer-type TV show hostage demanding for answers. The first two acts of this film, at least in my opinion, is a more effective Hollywood indictment of the financial crisis than the Oscar-winning The Big Short. Unfortunately, it drops the ball kind of significantly in its messy third act that's quite all over the place with its tone and what it wants to say. But still, it is overall a very interesting film with George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O'Connell all giving excellent performances. Director Jodie Foster is able to mine suspense and humor out of the material.

Oscar Prospects. None.

Grade: B.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Sabin » Fri May 27, 2016 1:35 am

Mister Tee wrote
I also acquired a copy of The Lobster, which is a mostly nifty, inventive parallel-universe story where unmarrieds either find a mate quickly or are (SORT OF SPOILER, THOUGH IT'S EXPLAINED PRETTY EARLY IN THE FILM). There's a lot of deadpan humor in the premise, and a number of inventive details. Colin Farrell makes for a solid (if muted) protagonist, and Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Ben Whisaw and Olivia Colman are all memorable. A good film; by default one of the best of the year so far.

This is easily my favorite film this year thus far even though I have a few problems with it. The first half plays like Jim Jarmusch directing a Charlie Kaufman script in the new future world of Her. It's wonderfully written with set-ups and payoffs I couldn't see coming and it goes into incredibly dark territory. Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos wants to treat the second half of the movie with more or less the same seriousness and he just finds fewer ideas to explore in the relationship between Farrell and Weisz. It could've been half as long and I wouldn't have missed much. But I admire the film's dedication. This is fantastic work for Colin Farrell who is just excellent as playing a touch out of key in an already disconnected world, and Rachel Weisz proves once again to me that her strength is in off-beat comedies like this and The Brothers Bloom. She bores me most elsewhere.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Thu May 26, 2016 10:55 pm

Mister Tee wrote:I've been almost movie-phobic since the Oscars -- every week, I look at the listings and can't work up enthusiasm for much of anything on offer. But I did finally go to the movies the other day...and the coming attractions almost turned me off for good. Is there really some universe where we need remakes of The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur? The studio moguls had their massive faults, but I think even they'd be embarrassed by the pathetic thing the mainstream movie business has become.


It's been that way for years. I can't remember the last time I went to see a movie that was released outside of Oscar season. Ten years ago? Five? If I got screeners I probably wouldn't go out to the movies any more at all. It's really distressing when I hear people my age and older who should know better talking about how much they love Johnny Depp and can't wait to see Alice Through the Looking Glass. On the other hand it's gratifying to hear how disappointed they were in the latest shrill Melissa McCarthy movie.

In an era where a lying, thieving, self-promoting egomaniacal reality TV star can win a major party nomination for President despite his almost daily obscenities and hateful rhetoric, and be considered neck-and-neck with a career stateswoman for the win, it may be not only what we expect, but what we deserve. It's all part of the dumbing down of the culture.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Okri » Thu May 26, 2016 10:11 pm

I saw Sing Street the other day. It's charming. It's got great music (I presume at least one of the songs will be oscar nominated). Modest in aim, modest in achievement, but very watchable and will probably get multiple viewings.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Mister Tee » Wed May 25, 2016 7:42 pm

I've been almost movie-phobic since the Oscars -- every week, I look at the listings and can't work up enthusiasm for much of anything on offer. But I did finally go to the movies the other day...and the coming attractions almost turned me off for good. Is there really some universe where we need remakes of The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur? The studio moguls had their massive faults, but I think even they'd be embarrassed by the pathetic thing the mainstream movie business has become.

Anyway, what I saw was A Bigger Splash. My feeling about Guadagnino, based on I Am Love, was that this is a guy who has the talent and imagination for great film-making but who doesn't seem able to match up his stories -- his content -- to his film-making skills. A Bigger Splash underlined all of this. For the first hour or so, I was taken away by his images, the scene-to-scene dialogue, and the performances (especially that of Ralph Fiennes, who's burst through in the past several years to become a hugely entertaining, extroverted actor). But the story started to meander, and it took a turn toward the end for which I was utterly unprepared...for which I think the film had not adequately paved the way. (The film is adapted from a French film I'd never seen; when I looked that film up, I saw it genre-classified in a way that made sense for that plot-turn...but that wasn't the genre in which this film appeared to be taking place for the first hour-plus.) In the end, I came out of the film frustrated it wasn't better/more coherent than it was, though I admired much of it.

I also acquired a copy of The Lobster, which is a mostly nifty, inventive parallel-universe story where unmarrieds either find a mate quickly or are (SORT OF SPOILER, THOUGH IT'S EXPLAINED PRETTY EARLY IN THE FILM). There's a lot of deadpan humor in the premise, and a number of inventive details. Colin Farrell makes for a solid (if muted) protagonist, and Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Ben Whisaw and Olivia Colman are all memorable. A good film; by default one of the best of the year so far.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 21, 2016 10:52 am

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lucas Till, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Ben Hardy, Lana Condor, Hugh Jackman.
Dir: Bryan Singer.

A powerful ancient mutant rises up from his burial ground and recruits four "horsemen" to bring about the end of humankind. I've read reviews of this saying it's worse than X-Men: The Last Stand. I say, aww hell no. It's nowhere near that bad. Sure, it is the weakest of the "prequel" trilogy and it's showing signs of franchise fatigue but it's still a pretty entertaining superhero movie. There are some elements here to be enjoyed: Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and Kodi Smit-McPhee all nail their roles. I'd love to see solo films concentrating on their characters. However, Oscar Isaac is very disappointing as the main villain Apocalypse. He's neither frightening nor is he a fun villain. He's lost under all that makeup and just a big bag of blah. It's not a masterpiece but it's not bad.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling.

Grade: B-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu May 19, 2016 10:34 am

THE WITCH
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson.
Dir: Robert Eggers.

A Puritan family from 1700's New England are kicked out of their village and they decide to settle on an isolated patch of land near the dark woods. After the baby of the family disappears, they begin to experience horrific goings-on that may be the work of someone sinister (the title character). Though generally well-received, this is a wildly divisive film among audiences. It's not a conventional horror movie by any stretch of the imagination. It's been described as a "slow burn" (as cinephile I've seen some really slow films, this ain't that slow) and may not satisfy those expecting a thrill ride. This is more of creepy heebie-jeebies type of ride. Count me as one of its admirers. Beautifully photographed and superbly acted by a fine ensemble of actors who actually sell the period dialogue. Robert Eggers is a promising young filmmaker whom I'm eager to see more from.

Oscar Prospects: This wouldn't be an embarrassing nominee for Cinematography and Original Score.

Grade: B+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 14, 2016 4:15 am

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Keegan Michael Key, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Kate McKinnon, Ike Barinholtz, Titus Burgess, Billy Eichner, Danielle Brooks. (voices).
Dirs: Clay Kaytiss, Fergal Reilly.

As The LEGO Movie once proved, you can pretty much make an excellent film based on anything. So when I heard that they were gonna make a movie based on a smart phone app, I had hopes that this would turn out that way. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It's pretty much what you would expect a movie based on Angry Birds would be. As soon as the Green Pigs show up, you pretty much know where it's headed. The film comes to life when the character voiced by Peter Dinklage shows up. He plays an eagle, the only bird (in that world) who could fly. He almost stole the entire film. The rest of the film however is pretty much like the app itself: It's a pleasant time-killer when you're bored.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: C-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 10, 2016 12:25 pm

Actually, I'm a pretty big MCU defender too. However, I found this to be only marginally better than the last Avengers film. I think I'm just tired of Iron Man in general. What they did with Winter Soldier (the franchise's true high water mark) is exactly what I expect from a comic book movie: taking a stance on an important modern social/political issue. This film really doesn't dig into any deep concepts the way the prior Captain America film did and most of what's on display here feels disjointed and loosely connected. Even the two post-credits stingers felt like they were tacked on with little relevance.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Sabin » Tue May 10, 2016 12:05 pm

...sigh...fine, I'll go...

I might be the biggest fan of the Marvel films on this board, which is ironic because I skew among the most level-headed of my friends. I can't tell you what a great time I had during Captain America: Civil War and how much it evaporated in the clear light of day. More than any Marvel film I can think of it, it brings up big ideas but ultimately is only concerned with using them to motivate characters into conflict. This film pays lip service to collateral damage but (not surprisingly) doesn't care. On the plus side, the conflict that the characters are thrust into is an incredibly entertaining thirty minute action set-pieces that I couldn't have enjoyed more. There are four or five action scenes in Captain America: Civil War (a better title would be Avengers: Schism) and all of them work because the Russo Brother's are excellent at action but also because every character (and there are quite a few) feels participatory and most are given a clear, personal stake in this fight. I fall somewhere in middle of those who view this as a high-water mark and those who see it as a weightless lark. To risk sounding like Armond White, the Russo's are expert at TV-investment, giving the appearance of drama but really just interested in moving it along -- but man, are they good with action! And I didn't really notice the film's flaws until after it was over. For summer fare, that's good work.

And then there's Tom Holland as Spider-Man, my favorite character ever. I could write about everything I love about this character for days. Spider-Man 2 (the Raimi, not the Webb, which I still haven't seen) is likely my favorite summer movie ever for its warmth, humor, emphasis on character, de-emphasis of villainry, and all around Jewiness. This kid is spot-on perfect as Peter Parker as we've never seen him before: as a goddamn child who is hurled into the line of danger. Irvin is right. He is immediately the best Spider-Man we've ever seen, utterly winning. Cocky, awkward, and totally out of his league. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to Spider-Man: Homecoming.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby Mister Tee » Wed May 04, 2016 7:45 pm

Can I say how much I'm looking forward to BJ's "Duped again!" post about Captain America?

I can't recall a time, post-my wife's illness, that I felt less desire to go to the movies; what few things out there grab my attention seem like they can easily wait for home-viewing. But I did see Eye in the Sky a few weeks back, and I found it fairly engaging -- a cross between a military thriller and a satire of bureaucratic decision-making, with an almost over-qualified cast. In this desultory season, it passes for a high point.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:11 am

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlet Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Daniel Bruhl, William Hurt, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Martin Freeman, Frank Grillo, Marisa Tomei, John Slattery, Alfre Woodard.
Dirs: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo.

Captain America and Iron Man have a difference of opinion in regards to how the world will utilize supeheroes and it escalates to a huge fight. Marvel never ceases to amaze me. Just when I thought I was experiencing superhero fatigue, they manage to find a way to invigorate their properties and win me back. This is an example of it. It's amazing that this film SHOULD be one big bloated mess with so many characters going around but it managed to tell a sharp straightforward story that's still distinctly a Captain America movie. It is funny when it needed to be and serious when it needed to be. The introductions of Black Panther and Spider-Man made me excited for both their solo movies. Tom Holland, in particular, steals the film and in his limited screen time, manages to be the best cinematic Spider-Man (no joke).

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

Grade: A-


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