First of all, Happy New Year!
Now, we get to the real… I had been tied up for a good week by having houseguests over and while that didn’t cut into my viewing time too much (I got to see Knight of Cups, 45 Years, and The Hateful Eight), it meant cutting into my reviewing time. Another game of review triage is going to be necessary to get things done all around my life and that leaves the movies that have upcoming sequels or continuations out until their next installment releases. Especially since come Only Yesterday‘s release in America coming soon ringing in the return of Motorbreath Breath and the fact that I’m still going to need to cover Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films, I need to most of all keep up with 2016.
But have no fear, I will be for now leaving behind some capsule reviews as collateral for me attitudes to all but one of the number-one 2015 films that I have not yet posted a review of yet.
Cinderella (dir. Kenneth Branagh, USA): What do you get when you remove literally all personality from the superior 1950 classic? All the songs, everything that distinguished the character’s portrayal? What do you get? THIS?! I’m not happy with it.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (dir. Robert Schwentke, USA): All aboad the Foundation train. But Jupiter Ascending did it way better. For one, it didn’t feel made by a robot and not everybody looked like they were suffering like they do in Insurgent. OK, maybe Channing Tatum.
Home (dir. Tim Johnson, USA): The voice acting of Rihanna and Jim Parsons is fucking toxic to me, no matter how much I actually appreciate the design of the fucking thing. But hey, at least it didn’t kill Dreamworks.
Pitch Perfect 2 (dir. Elizabeth Banks, USA): Such a lazy watch that I ain’t gonna miss ‘em while they’re gone. I really don’t know what to say when nothing is actually improved upon and the previous charms of the first film are just outright sapped.
Tomorrowland (dir. Brad Bird, USA): And the winner of most manipulative advertising goes to… Not nearly as bad as people claim it is, because we still got Bird charm running through those Lindelof faults.
San Andreas (dir. Brad Peyton, USA): Never thought I’d see a movie starring the Rock that is completely not fun. Smile a bit, guys!
Spy (dir. Paul Feig, USA): Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig deserve each other but they are only bridesmaids to the comedic union of Rose Byrne and Jason Statham’s brilliance.
Inside Out (dir. Pete Docter, USA): An adept and broad depiction of the complexities of emotion and the recognition of one’s own fragility. It’s also fucking funny.
Minions (dir. Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda, USA): Noise junkies, the movie.
I haven’t seen War Room yet and I don’t look forward to it.
The Perfect Guy (dir. David M. Rosenthal, USA): When The Boy Next Door goes wrong! Sanaa Lathan is better than this.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (dir. Wes Ball, USA): These young adult adaptations drain me. I wouldn’t even know what to say so I’m glad I’m giving myself until ’17 to find out what.
The Martian (dir. Ridley Scott, USA): If it takes a redo of Apollo 13 for Ridley Scott to fix his shit with absolute safety, so be it. It’s a breezy 2 hours, impossible and outstanding considering how it’s never tense.
Goosebumps (dir. Rob Letterman, USA): Now here’s something VERY frustratingly safe based on a brand that is simply not going to be recognized as much as Sony hopes. What I said about The Rock in San Andreas goes tenfold on Jack Black in Goosebumps.
Spectre (dir. Sam Mendes, UK): Origin Story – Round Fucking Four – with slight hints of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (which is very idiotic considering Vesper Lynd’s existence in the franchise), but with servicable action setpieces (opening with one of the finest in the franchise) and Batista steals the show as a henchman for the ages.
The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 (dir. Francis Lawrence, USA): Took them this fucking long to give the book some sort of consequence, but man, it was not worth the wait. Even the characters themselves look tired of it by now.
In the meantime, while I try to cover the singular films this first quarter of the year, I’m probably not going to have my top ten video of 2015 up until probably February as I still have a couple of movies to see before I make it – for me, most pointedly Magic Mike XXL, Trainwreck, Arabian Nights, War Room (as bad as it looks), The Big Short, The Walk, Spring, and The Revenant.