2015: The Year in Reviews (December)

Look, this is the fifth year I’m doing this. You guys know what it is by now. Every January I go over everything scheduled to come out, and about 200 more movies, just to be safe. I guess what I’m gonna think about them, and then immediately forget I did it. Then, in December, I recap everything I saw and see how I did.

I put up batches of reviews for everything I saw, once in April, once in August, and once… yesterday. Those contain my initial thoughts on the films after I saw them. I take those thoughts and match them against what I said back in January, plus I take some time to reflect upon how my thoughts have changed in the time between when I saw the movie and now (since only crazy people develop a final opinion on a movie after a single watch). It’s very straightforward. Plus… five years. I know you’re supposed to treat every person as if they’re reading for the first time, but there’s only like twelve of us who read the crap I write anyway.

Today we’re recapping December:

Oh, yeah, also, so my ratings system makes sense, here’s how it works:

* * * * * (5 stars) — I really loved the film. Five stars essentially guarantees the film a spot in the top ten. I’ve never had a five star film not make the top ten. (2014 examples of 5 star movies: There actually were none.)

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars) — I loved the film, but not unconditionally. Four and a half stars is usually the ranking for films in the top ten and top twenty. Rarely does a four and a half star film fall below top 15. (2014 examples of 4.5 star films: Birdman, Fury, Interstellar, Whiplash.)

* * * * (4 stars) — I liked the film quite a bit, but it’s not one of those that I would automatically say is a top ten film. It could end up being one, but typically a four star film is one of those that I’ve solidly liked, and will openly say is a really good movie. Three and a half, I’ll say that I really enjoyed it. But four stars is where I’ll say that it’s really good. Four star movies are either in my 11-20 or tier two. It’s also not unheard of that a 4 star movie makes the top ten. (2014 examples of 4 star films: Boyhood, Cher, Godzilla, The Guest, Snowpiercer, Top Five.)

* * * ½ (3.5 stars) — The film stood out to me as being particularly solid. I always differentiate three and a half from three by saying that three stars is for a film that I just enjoyed enough to give it the thumbs up. Three and a half is when I go, “That was actually really solid and I enjoyed it quite a bit.” It’s not alway a mark of “this was better than I expected” or, “It’s better than you think.” Sometimes it’s just, “That was really solid,” or, “That was awesome,” even though the film itself wasn’t particularly a masterpiece. It’s a very verstaile ranking. Usually it’s for something I enjoyed, but didn’t love enough to put it near the very top of my year-end list. Three and a half star films never make it above tier two, and most of them are tier three. You’ll see only a few populating tier two, but mostly they’re tier three. (2014 examples of 3.5 star films: American Sniper, The Babadook, The Double, Edge of Tomorrow, Frank, Still Alice.)

* * * (3 stars) — Three stars is for films that were pretty good. Usually for a three star movie, I’ll say, “I enjoyed it well enough.” Or, probably the most common phrase I use is, “You can get through it.” But without qualification. For a two and a half star film, I’ll say, “You can get through it, but…” Three stars don’t have the qualification. Mostly three stars is for a film I enjoyed enough to say it wasn’t bad. I found it watchable enough that I wasn’t completely indifferent toward it. If I give a film that seems like it should have a higher rating three stars, then it means I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else. And if there’s something you’d think was a piece of shit at three stars, it means I thought it wasn’t actually that bad. But most of the time, three stars just means, “Yeah, it was okay. I enjoyed it well enough.” They’re just entertaining enough for me to not be indifferent. (2014 examples of 3 star films: Beyond the Lights, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Lego Movie, Need for Speed, 22 Jump Street, White Bird in a Blizzard.)

* * ½ (2.5 stars) — Two and a half stars is my ultimate indifference ranking. I didn’t necessarily think it was a bad film, I just didn’t give a shit about it whatsoever. I thought it was utterly generic. Nothing to make me like it, and it wasn’t bad enough to make me dislike it. It wasn’t memorable to me in any way. Odds are, if a “classy” movie is here, it means it was particularly disappointing, and if something that seemed like an Unforgivable is here, it means it actually wasn’t the piece of shit we were all thinking and was actually just about passable. It’s also my way of saying, “You might have liked this, but I certainly didn’t.” And also my way of saying, “This wasn’t very good, but at least it was competently made.” But for the most part, two and a half stars means I just didn’t care whatsoever and will not remember much about the movie in two years. They may also be Unforgivable, depending on my reasons. (2014 examples of 2.5 star films: Hercules, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Ride Along, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Veronica Mars.)

* * (2 stars) — Two starts means that the film was mostly competent and all, but I just didn’t like it. Either it wasn’t for me, it was a genre that I don’t like (horror movie), I just found it boring, or it was one of those generic shitty genre movies that populate the early months. Or it was just a giant piece of shit that at least looked like a good movie. So two stars is for — “They tried… it just wasn’t very good.” Depending on how bad they are, they do have a shot at the Unforgivables list. (2014 examples of 2 star films: Dracula Untold, Dumb and Dumber To, I Frankenstein, Wish I Was Here.)

* ½ (1.5 stars) — One and a half usually means the film was terrible, but it’s not a surefire Unforgivable. Probably because it’s a shitty thriller, a shitty horror movie, or a horrible sequel in a franchise that has churned out nothing but horrible sequels. Or it’s for films that could have gone two stars, but I just have a particular dislike for them. These have a pretty good shot at the Unforgivables list, and should for sure make my bottom 25 list. (2014 examples of 1.5 star films: Blended, Sex Tape, Tammy.)

* (1 star) — I really didn’t like the movie. It was so bad it was almost unwatchable. Typically a one star film is certain to be Unforgivable. Sometimes one star movies get saved by virtue of being a certain kind of sequel (like Big Mommas House: Like Father, Like Son) or being something that’s too easy to make Unforgivable (like Marmaduke, or a Friedberg and Seltzer movie. Movies we knew were gonna be pieces of shit going in), but in any case — they’re really awful movies that shouldn’t exist. (2014 examples of 1 star films: Addicted.)

0 stars — It means I hated the film. Guaranteed Unforgivable. It’s a film that should never have been made, and has actually lowered the bar for cinema as an art form and has actually detracted from a culture that’s in the toilet to begin with. A film with no redeeming qualities whatsoever and one that physically made me angry while watching it. (2014 examples of 0 star films: Heaven Is For Real.)

December

Krampus

What I said about it back in January:

“Okay.”

2.5 stars.”

“Does this look like something I’d be interested in?”

What I actually thought about it:

Haven’t seen it. Though I found out it’s by the same guy who did Trick R’ Treat (which was decent enough) and got fairly good reviews. So I told myself I’d see it. Still haven’t, which makes it unlikely I will this year (or at all).

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

The Wiz Live

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. They didn’t announce it until well after the year started.

What I actually thought about it:

“Unless these shows are an absolute disaster, they’ll always get 3 stars out of me.”

“It takes a lot of work and preparation to pull something like this off. I respect that.”

“And the fact that they’re big TV events that get millions of viewers, many of whom families and children, makes me happy. That’s all I need out of these live specials.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s a fun night of TV. We don’t get these anymore.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

The Boy and the Beast

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Animated Feature eligible we got a screener for.

What I actually thought about it:

Looked fine, didn’t care at all.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

This is the animated equivalent of that perfectly acceptable, yet not particularly memorable 3 star action movie. I feel like me seeing this is the equivalent of Japan getting sent over Trainwreck. It’s pretty good. Some people think it’s really solid, but it’s pretty much a typical example of what we have to offer.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

A Royal Night Out

What I said about it back in January:

“Sort of like Roman Holiday, but with the queen, and if it were made today. Which means it turns into a thriller.”

3 stars. Either way, maybe this turns out to be good.”

What I actually thought about it:

“The premise is still good and could have made for a great movie. Instead we get a decent movie that falls into a lot of traps in terms of cliches and stuff.”

“A lot of the humor seems to be based on ‘Look at the Queen Mum doing all this common stuff!’ This actually could have been a really good movie if they focused on the girls and their characters, and how they never get to act like normal people and pretty much never would again after this. Oh well.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed this. But it wasn’t as good as I felt the concept lent itself to being. So it was just an enjoyable movie. The real discovery is Bel Powley, who immediately made me go, “Who is that?” And then there will be another film later in the year that really made me take notice of her. But otherwise — it’s fine, it’s fun. Nothing outstanding. I do wonder if people in the UK would find this movie better or worse than I did. (Because, in a way, it’s almost like if they made a fictional movie about the president doing something, only worse, because there, the Queen really means something.)

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

A Very Murray Christmas

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Learned about it throughout the year and thought it was the greatest idea anyone’s ever had.

What I actually thought about it:

“The idea is perfect. The execution was of course not going to live up to the concept, but that’s fine.”

“It’s an hour Christmas special. What more could you ask for?”

“Murray sings, there are cameos, the skits don’t always work, but there are some really terrific moments.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s an hour. The worst thing you can say about it is they didn’t take full advantage of the idea.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Youth

What I said about it back in January:

“Synopsis doesn’t grab me.”

“I feel like 3.5 stars is probably the right bet, but I’m gonna go 3 stars.”

“Something about this is making me feel like it’s a movie where everyone ran to work with the director, but the movie’s just gonna be okay. We’ll see.”

What I actually thought about it:

“Really liked this.”

“Wasn’t overly crazy about some parts of this (the way they dealt with the “film” portion, for example. Some of that dialogue was cringeworthy and borderline pretentious, like you’d see in any New York indie movie where your main character is a writer), but overall, very engaging, very well done.”

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I liked it. Maybe closer to 3.5, but we’ll stick with 4.

* * * * (4 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a full star.

Chi-Raq

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Either they announced this during the year or I thought there was no chance this would be done in time or actually be released for awards.

What I actually thought about it:

I like it when Spike Lee has something to say. The problem is usually one of two things with him. Either he’s making these weird indie movies (Red Hook Summer, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus) that aren’t very good, or he’s got something to say, but as we should all know, he’s not the most subtle directors out there. This movie is not subtle. But, it’s based on a Greek play and is a quasi-musical, which allows him to not be subtle. And that’s what makes this work. All the crazy shit that happens here works because of the heightened atmosphere. All of the overt political statements made throughout the movie are okay because we’re literally watching a movie where women stop sleeping with men to make them stop killing each other. I liked it. Spike Lee is having fun, and I hope we get more like this than his last couple movies.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

This is one of those movies that will not go over well with an audience at all. The average moviegoer is gonna fucking hate this. And I think that’s part of why I liked this.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

The Lady in the Van

What I said about it back in January:

“Could be really good.”

3 stars. No real reason why.”

What I actually thought about it:

“It’s fine. Maggie Smith is good. I like that it was based on something that actually happened.”

“Not great, not terrible. Maggie’s performance kept it lively.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s really Maggie Smith that makes the movie worthwhile.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Every Thing Will Be Fine

What I said about it back in January:

2.5 stars.”

“Could be three, but maybe I’m just biased against Franco.”

What I actually thought about it:

“There are few things that make me less interested in a movie than knowing James Franco is in it. Don’t know why, that’s just how it is. Which is a shame, since he works hard and is really dedicated to his craft.”

“Did not care a lick about this movie.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

VOD movie starring James Franco directed by Wim Wenders. 2.5 was always gonna happen.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Macbeth

What I said about it back in January:

I’m excited for the movie. And the guy must be a visual director, since he’s attached to Assassin’s Creed now.”

3.5 stars. Movies based on classics don’t always hit home with me, because I’ve seen the stories a bunch, but I figure this one will deliver something good.”

What I actually thought about it:

“This was great. Stylized, doesn’t hit you over the head with Shakespearean dialogue, great performances, and gritty and realistic.”

“A very fine telling of Macbeth. Perhaps the new quintessential film version. Good shit.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It looks great and I do love that they didn’t go nuts with the iambic pentameter. They made it sound like a real film and not a Shakespeare film. That’ll make it translate to more people. This might now be the best version of Macbeth.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Life

What I said about it back in January:

“Was concerned about that logline, but Anton Corbijn is directing.”

3.5 stars. Corbijn is worth at least that.”

What I actually thought about it:

“Watch this next to Trumbo to see how a movie handles Hollywood.”

“This movie doesn’t needlessly name drop and parade people playing big stars at you. This movie shows you people, introduces a few big names, and doesn’t overdo it. Which allows you to pay attention to the story being told.”

“Sure, it’s not as fun as Trumbo is at points, but it’s a solid film that makes the characters feel real. Which is tough to do when one of your characters is James Dean.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s solid. Doesn’t amount to a whole lot, but it looks nice, and treats old Hollywood better than most films do. I respected that.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Christmas, Again

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Discovered it right as it was ready to come out. The synopsis sounded interesting and the poster looked nice.

What I actually thought about it:

“Incredibly simple movie. Doesn’t try to do too much, doesn’t try to be anything more than it is: A lonely guy sells Christmas trees.”

“All the backstory is there but isn’t beaten over your head, and any connections there are between events aren’t explicitly spelled out.”

“It’s just a nice little story. It doesn’t even try to trick you into thinking it’s going to have a plot or resolution.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

One of the more underrated but compelling movies of the year. A real indie hidden gem. Give me this over Noah Baumbach any day.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Night Owls

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Discovered it the day before it came out.

What I actually thought about it:

“Really good movie. A nice mix of comedy and drama.”

“It’s like an extended version of the middle sequence of The Apartment. I’m more interested in the situation itself rather than some of the character stuff they try to pull off.”

“But the leads are really good. Rosa Salazar is incredible and so is Adam Pally. It’s a contained film — only five people in the entire movie — and a strong character piece.”

“As indies go, this is one of the best ones of the year.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

These are the kinds of stories I gravitate to. Sure, it’s more of an indie movie with indie tropes, but the character work and acting is really solid.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

In the Heart of the Sea

What I said about it back in January:

“I’m down for this.”

“Ron Howard is good, as long as he’s not trying a comedy or something. (Remember The Dilemma? Yeesh.) And there’s a nice cast on it… I’ll take a shot with this.”

3.5 stars.”

What I actually thought about it:

It’s a Ron Howard movie. Which really puts you within a very specific range. It’s either gonna be 3.5 stars or 4 stars.

Ron Howard, in his career, has made many good movies, some very good. But he’s never made a great movie. To me, Apollo 13 is the film that is closest. Otherwise, he makes mostly good movies. Looking over his filmography, the only movie of his that I’d consider to be bad the past 15 years is The Dilemma. Otherwise, they’re all pretty good.

This is one of those pretty good movies. The story’s fine, you’re at least somewhat interested in it. He doesn’t take full advantage of it, there are a lot of cliche type moments, but then there are a lot of really interesting moments. That’s just what you get with Ron Howard.

I was engaged by what I saw. The movie just never surprised me and never did anything that made me think it was really good. This is one of those 3.5 star movies that I won’t remember a whole lot about in a year. I’ll just think, “Yeah, that was pretty good.”

Also — not enough whale scenes. The trailer makes you think they’re gonna be fighting this whale for like an hour. But nah. If there’s one critique I have of this movie above all, it’s “Needed more whale fights.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Good, but not great. In line with most of Ron Howard’s stuff. He’s generally in this same range with everything.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

The Big Short

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. They only started announcing it back in January/February. I didn’t think they’d have it done in time or that they’d even release it for awards.

What I actually thought about it:

“I had no idea what to expect, going into this.”

“It started kinda rocky. But once it settled in after about 20 minutes, it settled in really nicely.”

“This did a good job of explaining things in an entertaining fashion, and was just a fun movie.”

“I really enjoyed the shit out of this. Good for them.”

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I really loved this. Curious how this changes after the second watch. This might actually end up stronger for me the second time around.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Don Verdean

What I said about it back in January:

“Sure, it’s being directed by the guy who did Napoleon Dynamite, but Sam Rockwell is starring.”

“Kinda interested in the Sam Rockwell of it all.”

“Let’s go 3 stars. I’m willing to bet Sam Rockwell makes this worthwhile.”

What I actually thought about it:

“It shouldn’t be surprising that I didn’t like a movie made by the guy who made Napoleon Dynamite.”

“This kind of humor just isn’t for me.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Even Sam Rockwell couldn’t save this for me.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

The Ridiculous 6

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. We were warned this was coming during the year.

What I actually thought about it:

“No.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

That about covers it.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

What I said about it back in January:

4 stars.”

“I’m giving J.J. Abrams a lot of the benefit of the doubt, and the universe in general the benefit of the doubt.”

“This was my blanket Hobbit rating. Let the film decide where it ends up.”

“I’m going in cold. I don’t want to know anything. I just want to experience it. And then I’ll decide how I feel.”

What I actually thought about it:

There’s a lot to say here. I’m not sure here is the place to say it. Especially since I’ll either be seeing this again very soon or just did see it again yesterday. This isn’t a movie I want to throw out some reaction I didn’t think out, especially in the wake of everyone else doing that.

I’ll say that I greatly enjoyed this movie, as I expected. I’ll say that the movie is too fast paced and probably not thought out enough as a story. I’ll say that it did remind me more of the original trilogy than the prequels. But we all knew that was the only prerequisite for this being made. I have not made my final decision, but I am still deciding whether or not I actually think this is a better movie than Jedi. I think it’s close (because Jedi is half a good movie and half a muppet disaster), but I think that’s a discussion that can be had. Either way, this was a lot of fun, and it didn’t disappoint me. I’ll put my final thoughts in once I see it the second time.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Liked this just as much the second time. It’s just a fun movie.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Sisters

What I said about it back in January:

“Yeah…”

“Knowing nothing else, 2.5 stars.”

“I just… yeah. I’m not defending this. This isn’t for me. At all.”

What I actually thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet. Reviews are good, but that doesn’t mean I’ll like this. Maybe I’ll end up seeing it in the next week.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

What I said about it back in January:

“Yup.”

“Another one.”

“I will be skipping this one.”

“Although I will continue to give them credit for their never-ending use of subtitle puns.”

“That’s commendable.”

What I actually thought about it:

I skipped it. I’m not sure I even saw the first one in this franchise.

Final Thoughts:

Actually pretty sure I haven’t seen any of these. And that makes me feel okay.

How close was I?: N/A

Son of Saul

What I said about it back in January:

Foreign film that came on over the course of the year.

What I actually thought about it:

“WOW.”

“The smartest decision they made here was to stick solely to our main character’s perspective and nothing else. That really heightens the atmosphere.”

“It’s just harrowing. This is a real triumph, and it’s one of the most powerful films of the year.”

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

This was a real experience. I loved this.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Joy

What I said about it back in January:

4 stars. At minimum we’re dealing with this. Hopefully it goes higher. We’ll see.”

What I actually thought about it:

You know how American Hustle was David O. Russell doing Scorsese but also doing David O. Russell? He figured out a formula with Silver Linings, and he basically reused that formula again. This movie feels like he tried to do that again, but never quite got there. It’s not a bad film. It feels like diminishing returns. American Hustle was not a great film that was buoyed by energy and the cast. This is more of the same. Jennifer Lawrence is good, a lot of the other casting feels like stunt casting, the film moves, but there’s not a whole lot going on. Though the movie gets leaps and bounds better the second Bradley Cooper shows up. So it’s good, but mostly it leaves me hoping that David O. Russell won’t get stuck in a rut and realize this type of movie has run its course and moves onto something else. Scorsese reinvented (like three times). He’s gotta figure out what his next thing is. But past that, this was pretty good.

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

In terms of Russell’s filmography, this is diminishing returns. As a movie, it’s entertaining and fun. There are moments that are truly inspired, and others that feel manufactured and forced. Overall it works, though. No problems here.

* * * * (4 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Point Break

What I said about it back in January:

“Why couldn’t they remake *batteries not included instead?”

“Not that I have any emotional attachment to the original Point Break. I couldn’t care less about that movie, one way or the other.”

2.5 stars.”

Really not expecting anything good out of this.”

What I actually thought about it:

“I really just didn’t give a fuck.”

“The only problem with it was that I didn’t care about anything that happened. They take all the campy aspects of the original and replace it with slick, pretty people doing extreme stunts. So it all looks nice, but it’s hollow.”

“It’s like the Total Recall remake (which, surprise, has the same writer credited on it as this). Sure, I guess you can enjoy it, but what are we really getting out of it?”

“Might as well stick with the older, campier, more fun version, because at least there, we can remember stuff from it.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Not a fan of this. This will be forgotten as quickly as Total Recall was.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Concussion

What I said about it back in January:

“I’m excited for this. I like football movies.”

4 stars.”

What I actually thought about it:

“The problem with this film is that it tries to have a love story and make Will Smith look like Will Smith likes to look. You can’t have that. The film has the legs cut out from it before it even gets started.”

“You want a movie that’s gonna confront people with an issue, not entertain them with a story that just happens to involve a doctor uncovering a degenerative brain disorder brought on by the biggest sport in the country whose effects make beloved people get dementia and kill themselves before the age of 55. We should see this being uncovered and brought to light, not watching Will Smith buy a house for the woman he wants to marry.”

“Now this is gonna be known as the ‘tell the truth’ film. I don’t know if the problem was that it was too soon or they picked the wrong people to write and star in this, but this is a supreme disappointment.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I’ve given this some thought. The problem is that this film doesn’t trust its audience and doesn’t try to do something bold. It’s trying to fit into formula. The scenes with his wife ruin any chance this movie has at being hard hitting. Did we need people calling his house and telling him to stop doing research and making vague death threats? This is supposed to be The Insider. And somewhere along the way they got confused. Oh well.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

45 Years

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. one of those films that pops up throughout the year.

What I actually thought about it:

“It was fine. It’s an adult movie. It plays well, the actors are good, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it whatsoever.”

“I didn’t particularly love the movie. I respect the hell out of it for not being sentimental and not pandering to audiences the way these films tend to do.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s fine. Didn’t love it, but it’s good.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Where to Invade Next

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Part of the Great Documentary Purge of 2015.

What I actually thought about it:

I loved this. Michael Moore makes really great documentaries that inform you of how bad the country is. So you learn in a fun kind of way. This is more in the line of Bowling for Columbine, where it’s got that playful nature. And unlike his last two, this doesn’t feel as preachy or angry. It’s more positive than that. Almost optimistic, in a weird way. It’s a great conceit, too. He takes countries we should invade in order to take over certain aspects of their societies, like vacation days, free college education and reasonable prison sentencing. It’s so much fun and might be my favorite documentary of the year.

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Loved this a lot.

* * * * (4 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Human

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Part of the Great Documentary Purge of 2015.

What I actually thought about it:

“Really interesting documentary. Interviews hundreds of people from all over the world about major subjects. It’s fascinating. Big fan of this one.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Definitely one of the more unique and interesting documentaries I’ve seen.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Daddy’s Home

What I said about it back in January:

“Am I excited? You bet I’m not.”

“This sounds like it could be Unforgivable.”

2.5 stars.”

What I actually thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

The Revenant

What I said about it back in January:

“Oh, fuck yeah.”

4.5 stars. The western bump is included in this. But, all things considered, this is exactly the kind of movie for me.”

What I actually thought about it:

This was awesome. I had read the script so I knew what I was getting. I need to watch this again to really nail down my opinions. So we’ll leave this at * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Loved this.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

The Hateful Eight

What I said about it back in January:

5 stars.”

“Should maybe say 4.5 stars, but fuck it, it’s Quentin. How can we pretend like this isn’t making a play for top five of the year for me?”

“Not gonna say it’s a surefire number one, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was. I’d only be surprised if this somehow didn’t make the top ten.”

What I actually thought about it:

Really liked it. Need to see it again to really discuss about it. But for now, we’ll say…

* * * * * * (5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I will say this is his weakest film outside of Death Proof. But that still doesn’t mean it’s bad by any stretch.

* * * * * (5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Anomalisa

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. I was shocked when I saw this was a movie. It was in like June or July. And somehow a Charlie Kaufman film slipped under the radar.

What I actually thought about it:

“I think I got about what I was expecting.”

“It’s very simple. And it’s brilliantly simple. It’s not what you’d expect for a stop-motion movie, but it works. It really does.”

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Great movie. You can never go wrong with Charlie Kaufman.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

– – – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow we go over the films I tracked in January that never got released.

http://bplusmovieblog.com

One response

  1. Actually, Mike, you DID see the first film. And IIRC, you listed it as one of 2007’s “Terrible Ten”, according to your page “Mike’s Top Ten of the Decade (2000-2009)”

    December 28, 2015 at 8:42 am

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