Monthly Archives: February 2016

//February

Steve Jobs – 8.5

February 24th, 2016|

Instead of a biopic, director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin tell the story of Apple’s founder in three parallel days of product launches. Instead of recreating reality, those days are representative, telescoped, dramatically heightened. Each involves a Jobs confrontation with 1) his daughter Lisa and her mother; 2) his cofounder Steve Wozniak; 3) his […]

Black Mass – 7.5

February 24th, 2016|

For all the reasons I usually dislike movies “based on true events,” I ate up the story of Boston crime boss “Whitey” Bulger. I knew the name and vague outlines of his story, but this film filled in the details. I have a particular, if distant, affection for the streets of Boston from The Departed and […]

Anomalisa – 7.5

February 10th, 2016|

One weird movie that either speaks to the universal human condition (in stop-action animation) or is a Rorschach blot to engage in how you will. Then there are those mask-faces with detachable parts. Or the voices that are all the same, except for Michael and Lisa. A movie doesn’t have to make sense to move […]

Alex and Eve – 5

February 10th, 2016|

Harmless piffle for the schmaltz-inclined. Originality: zero. Subtlety: zero. Believable characters: zero. Surprises: zero. But as I said, it won’t hurt you, unless you’re overly sensitive to caricatures and stereotypes, in this case Greeks and Lebanese. Others loved it; I found it silly.

45 Years – 7

February 5th, 2016|

Here’s an answer to the question, Why don’t they make movies about real people? Because not much happens in their lives and it’s hard to understand them talking. This entire movie hinged on the wife (Charlotte Rampling)’s discovery that her husband (Tom Courtenay) had never gotten over his prior lover. But since we didn’t see […]

The Revenant – 4

February 5th, 2016|

An absurd story with terrible acting (Domnhall Gleeson especially, but I could name others), with lots of violence and gore and amazing cinematography. You wonder first, how they could have shot this, and then second, why bother? Leonardo DiCaprio’s escapes from death were so unbelievable that they had no emotional impact. As for the dialogue […]