Mobster Squad – Huh, I was pretty surprised with this movie. It’s an odd one, it’s kind of a weird mix of a totally valid historical crime drama and… Dick Tracy. And I don’t think that was accidental! The whole vibe of the movie is somewhat comic bookey. Maybe that’s because Sean Penn looked really fake in his make up. Maybe it’s because there was a digital sheen to some of the scenes. I think maybe there were some all green screen environments or something, it looked computerey. But, it kind of worked. The story is somewhat superhuman, even if it is based in reality. Still not an amazing movie or anything, but cool enough.
Zero Dark Thirty – Eh. It’s really hard to come at this movie unbiased. I’m aware of the controversy around the presentation of torture. And I am made uneasy by the torture porn nature of people’s fascination with killing Bin Laden. To the best of my ability to disentangle, it seems to be a well made movie. I’m not exactly sure why it was a best picture kind of movie, but it is done well. Like it or not, the hole lead up, especially toward the end, is exciting and well paced/executed. I wasn’t as impressed with Jessica Chastain as everyone. Besides the fact that there are strong echoes of the girl from Homeland, which I’m sure is unrelated, but not coincidental, it seems like just a good job, not an amazing job. I’m also not sure why she (the character) deserves glorification. You can’t choose the one time an obsessed person succeeded and act like that justifies the behavior. Even assuming you think her quest was worth the cost, both direct and indirect (spending resources on this instead of other things), for every one of her, there’s 1000 other obsessed people who succeed only in ruining their own and other lives. It’s kind of a survivor bias, on pretty dramatic scale.
A Good Day to Die Hard – Yeah, not good, duh. Not really as bad as I expected, to be fair. Not any worse than the last one, actually, I think a little better. I don’t get why people were okay with the last one, every character besides McClane was horrendously obnoxious. At least the couple of main people in this were tolerable. Still not good, but not overtly putrid.
Pain & Gain – This here is not at all what I expected. I thought I was going to be a wacky comedy with lots of explosions. Like Bad Boys, but with less slow mo and more dick jokes. First, I didn’t know it was a true story, which is insane. Second, it’s not all that good. Maybe they were bound to a surreal story, though that’s never stopped anyone when basing a movie on real life. I don’t know, it wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t funny, it was just kind of sad.
Bullet to the Head – So, Sylvester Stallone made a non-campy action movie. It’s not that good. It’s really violent, I was pretty surprised at the viciousness of the fighting. I don’t get how he looks like that, I guess a lot of drugs, but still, jesus. But in the end it’s just a random action movie, nothing much good to say about it.
Movie 43 – This is that weird one that’s basically just a bunch of skits, really really inappropriate or offensive skits. It’s actually pretty funny. I’m not sure I’d call it a movie, it seems more like a web series. I enjoyed it, I laughed a lot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to pay money to see it (netflix doesn’t count). Still, it was pretty funny.
Olympus has Fallen – As advertised, it’s die hard in the white house. It’s not bad, but it’s not good. It’s kind of annoying in its lack of realism, but what would my brain even think that in a movie like this. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but I’d just as soon go watch Die Hard.
Les Misérables – This movie is a bit of a mix. Honestly the whole first 1/3 or so I was kind of not digging it. I don’t love the singing from a lot of the actors, Jackman and Crowe especially. That’s surprising from Jackman, I thought he was a theater guy. But both weren’t very good. To some extent I just didn’t love the music itself. But there were definitely some pieces that were fantastic. Against my better judgement, Anna Hathaway’s solo was astonishing. Between this and her not completely effing up cat woman, I’m pretty confused. But there were some other songs I liked a lot, the bar song and some of the crowd songs. By the time we finished, I had a pretty favorable impression of the whole thing. I’m very interested to see it live some day, hopefully with some better singers or a different style.
Cloud Atlas – I liked this movie pretty well. It’s pretty confusing, but that’s kind of the plan. I think it’s pretty well executed, and a cool story. Everyone does a good job and the movie looks pretty nice. I liked how it took a while to figure out what came after what and what the implications of each timeline were to the others. I guess the book is more linear in that each time is nested within the story of the previous one. That sounds like a cool structure too, but I was happy the movie was this way.
Our Idiot Brother – Hm, I don’t know. It’s a weird movie, it’s kind of a family drama movie, like any other. They just stick this idiot brother core in the middle of it all. He’s connected to all their shennanigans, but he’s meant to be this sort of innocent/simple person in the middle of all the silliness. It kind of works, gives the movie more than just the sameness of these kinds of movies. It’s sweet and kind of goes like you’d expect. It doesn’t really stand out, but it’s not bad.
Parker – Honestly, I waited too long to write about this one. But I’m going to guess it was Jason Statham beating the shit out of dudes and driving fast. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it, and I’m pretty sure I can’t remember anything about it.