I’m breaking my ‘end of year’ posts into Part 1 (movies) and Part 2 (everything else). Would love to hear your own favorites in the comments!
I loved this so much, I did a full blog post on the movie (click link below). Suffice to say, it is still the best movie of the year:
Tri Star couldn’t pay people to go see this incredible movie, which is a tragedy. Not the movie! But a tragedy people did not go see it. A glorious return to form by one of our best directors, Robert Zemeckis, who wrote the terrific screenplay with Christopher Browne, this magical, breathtaking recreation of Philippe Petit’s death defying tightrope walk between the towers of the just opened World Trade Center was many things: a caper picture, an adventure film, a beautiful recreation of 1974 New York City, and a love letter to the buildings we lost on September 11th as well as moviemaking in general. I saw it three time and happily wept three times, particularly during the final moments and images. Made for the biggest screen possible, I can only hope it will work as well at home and that people begin to discover it. This movie fills me with joy.
Wow. A brutal, riveting thriller from director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan that had my chest tight from the moment it started all the way through it’s devastating conclusion. No director working today… and I mean NO director working today… can create and sustain tension like Villeneuve. I don’t quite know how he does it. Not only is Sicario a superb thriller, it is a deeply complex and thought provoking look at the drug trade, the border, law enforcement, and the human condition. A must see.
I love a great action movie as much as anyone. Unfortunately, most of the action films that come out are marginal at best. Thankfully, the MI series remains as strong as ever. I wasn’t sure anyone could match Brad Bird’s phenomenal MI:4 but damned if writer/director Christopher McQuarrie didn’t rise to the occasion. Extremely smart and suspenseful, with incredible set pieces throughout, this chapter was elevated further by a star-making performance from Rebecca Ferguson as a woman whose motives are continually difficult to discern. I love watching Tom Cruise, he is as strong and solid as ever in this film. And as Cruise did with Emily Blunt in the equally terrific Edge of Tomorrow (now Live Die Repeat), he gracefully gave this movie to his co-star, Ferguson. If you missed it, watch it. You will have an incredible time.
The phrase “They don’t make them like they used to” seems made for this lovely, beautifully crafted period piece about a young Irish woman immigrating to America in the 50’s. Pitch perfect performances and directing make this one of the best films of the year, as does something else… as ‘old-fashioned’ as the movie seems on the surface, it has a powerful modern-day resonance in its depiction of the immigrant’s life and our country’s magnificent history as an immigrant nation. Without trying to be political at all, this look at the life of an immigrant is, in today’s climate, very political. If that is a deterrent, ignore modern day implications and watch it for the gorgeous depiction of Brooklyn in the 50’s and the romance that is at the heart of the film.
THE FORCE AWAKENS
Damn, you, J.J. Abrams!
This is very begrudging. I didn’t want to see it, I even swore I would not see it. The three prequel abominations from the madman at that ranch in Northern California killed my love of the series. I have a hard time watching even the original three, particularly since the madman has wrecked those with stupid changes as well.
I do love me some JJ, though. I’ve been a fan for a long time. felicity remains one of my favorite TV shows ever, funny, romantic, smart and so filled with magnificent longing. I hesitate to mention LOST as I can go down a rabbit-hole of love for what IS my favorite TV show of all time. His Mission:Impossible kicked ass. And I am a freak for both Star Trek features. Still, I was very pissy about Force Awakens. I never watch trailers, I hate to see anything before I watch a movie… so I watched the trailer, thinking I would not go. When I saw Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford embrace, the damn trailer got me. So I went. And was misty-eyed at least 4 times.
It’s hard for the to distinguish if it is really that damn fine of a movie or if it is simply genius at using our nostalgia for the originals. Probably a lot of both. Abrams and company should be commended if nothing else for restoring the series from the last three jaw-dropping train wrecks. But they did so much more than that. The Force Awakens is a fun, thrilling, very clever movie that is one hell of a good time. I’ll humbly admit I’m going back.
ALSO WORTH WATCHING:
The Big Short, The Revenant, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Room, Inside Out, Ex Machina, The Hateful Eight, Spy
STILL NEED TO SEE:
Spotlight, Anomalisa, 45 Years, Steve Jobs