Monthly Archives: January 2015

//January

Force Majeure – 4

January 29th, 2015|

An oxymoronic Swedish comedy and two hours of passive aggression, Force Majeure was a highly touted major disappointment. I can’t think of a single scene that rang true (especially compared to Wet Bum, seen earlier the same day), most fatally the husband’s fleeing his children at the onslaught of an avalanche. So much of the […]

Wet Bum – 7.5

January 29th, 2015|

A very sweet look at the difficult life of a 14-year-old girl, struggling with all the issues an uncool teenager faces: mean friends, menial job, older brother, first crush, mother who doesn’t understand you, etc., etc. The actress is remarkable, as most of the film is told through lingering closeups of her face, and I […]

Top Ten 2014

January 25th, 2015|

Four of my ten highest-rated movies in 2014 were actually 2013 releases. This has caused me to add a PS to my last year’s Top Ten (see below) and acknowledge what a bad year 2014 was for movies. There is a chance that there will be 2014 releases still to come my way that will […]

American Sniper – 8

January 19th, 2015|

I worried that my visceral opposition to the Iraq War would color my appreciation of a war film from Clint Eastwood, Republican spokesman and director of Gran Torino. I needn’t have. Yes, the movie glorified Chris Kyle, “the Legend,” credited with killing 160 of the enemy, and we certainly rooted for him to accomplish his […]

Selma – 8.1

January 14th, 2015|

A very good story told well, not biting off too much or chewing anything too hard. Seemingly filmed in brown-and-white, the film captured a moment in our nation’s history that is worth preserving and thinking about, raising questions of what is different 50 years later and what isn’t. The acting was excellent – including Oprah […]

Interstellar – 5.5

January 10th, 2015|

If a little Matthew McConaughey – as, say, in Mud – goes a long way, more than two hours of him saving the human species is a very long trip. Anne Hathaway is more to my liking, but like Sandra Bullock in Gravity she was quite buttoned up. “Interstellar” seemed to refer to all the […]

Wild – 7.5

January 1st, 2015|

Reese witherspoon was extremely nice company to spend two hours with, and I don’t begrudge any awards she might garner. Not having read Cheryl Strayed’s book, however, I never quite got why or how she carried out such a daunting wilderness trek, why she didn’t get lost or sick or see more fellow hikers. The […]

The Imitation Game – 8

January 1st, 2015|

This was a schizophrenic film: was it about Alan Turing’s cracking the Nazis’ Enigma code, or was it about Britain’s cruel criminalization of homosexuality? The film’s scenes jockeyed back and forth, up to and including the closing credits. Fortunately, both stories were quite good, although my two biggest reservations sprung from the latter: Benedict Cumberbatch’s […]

Top 5 – 5.5

January 1st, 2015|

This romcom was more romance than comedy, and once you got past the disappointment of its not being very funny you could see its sweetness, in a hip-hop way. Rosario Dawson was the center around which it swirled; if we didn’t know Chris Rock was a star in his own right he would have seem […]