Monthly Archives: January 2016

//January

Joy – 5

January 30th, 2016|

This movie was a test of your appetite for Jennifer Lawrence and her hairstyles: I loved her going in but had seen quite enough by the end. My Robert DeNiro fuse was quite a bit shorter and was exhausted almost from the start: his comic persona didn’t fit a character that wasn’t actually funny. Once […]

Top Ten 2015

January 27th, 2016|

My Top Ten this year is a bit of a cop-out, although not without precedent among major film critics: with no clear standout movie I will list my favorites in alphabetical order. Spotlight was the closest to a flawless movie, but it didn’t have the emotional power of Brooklyn, which was almost indistinguishable from Carol […]

The Wrecking Crew – 3

January 20th, 2016|

A boring portrait of L.A. studio musicians that goes nowhere, despite – or maybe because of – a multitude of musical teases. Sort of how not to make a documentary. (Airplane viewing)

Danny Collins – 6

January 20th, 2016|

Annette Bening is a wonderful actress. Everything else is by-the-book as Al Pacino plays a Neil Diamond character trying to rescue his lost soul, or is it humanity, unconvincingly prompted by the unlikely (based on a true story) appearance of a letter from John Lennon. Lennon’s songs give the film a bit of undeserved heft. […]

Youth – 7

January 20th, 2016|

Gorgeous shot after gorgeous shot, in what feels like a Technicolor remake of Last Year in Marienbad. The dialogue is wading-pool deep, which made me wonder if last year’s The Great Beauty only resonated because it was in Italian. Michael Caine was pleasant, if unconvincing, while Harvey Keitel seemed to have wandered in from a different movie […]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 7.7

January 4th, 2016|

As advertised, total escapist fun. The new droid is adorable, the sets are intriguing, the weird characters, humanoid and not, are engaging, and the story is ageless. The female lead is commendable: she’s strong, smart, has a British accent and is not required to show cleavage. Everyone else is adequate, but the movie comes alive […]

Hateful Eight – 3

January 4th, 2016|

“How bad can a Quentin Tarantino movie be?,” we asked ourselves. The answer, it turns out, is “worst movie of the year, and most pretentious movie of the century.” It starts with a boring “Overture” by Ennio Morricone, just to link Tarantino with the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. It’s shot in Panavision 70 and […]