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2016: The Year in Reviews (December)

End of the year, time to recap. Every January, I go over everything that’s schedule to come out, and a bunch more stuff that isn’t yet scheduled. Based on what I know at that time, I guess my eventual ratings for them.

So what ends up happening is, I watch everything over the course of the year, writing up reviews articles every four months, recapping and rating all the films I saw during that period. Then, in December, I post these articles, which contain both the initial guess and the actual rating, along with a final rating, which is based on how I feel about the film having had time to sit and digest it for a period of time.

I do it to see how accurately I can guess ratings for movies a year in advance, but really it serves as a way to give a complete picture of my feelings about each movie I see.

Today we’re recapping December:

Here’s how my ratings system 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. (2015 examples: Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Steve Jobs.)

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars) — I loved the film, but not unconditionally. Four and a half stars means a likely top ten appearance, and for sure a top twenty spot. Rarely does a four and a half star film fall below top 15. (2015 examples: Anomalisa, Brooklyn, The Revenant, Sicario, Son of Saul.)

* * * * (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 great 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, especially after a year or two. (2015 examples: Beasts of No Nation, Bone Tomahawk, Crimson Peak, Dope, Grandma, The Walk.)

* * * 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 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 versatile ranking. Three and a half star films never make it above tier two (though not many will end up there), and most of them are tier three or four. (2015 examples: Cop Car, The Danish Girl, It Follows, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mississippi Grind, Spy, Tangerine.)

* * * (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. (Though I still might hate it. That’s a completely different discussion.) 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. (2015 examples: 45 Years, By the Sea, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, San Andreas, Southpaw, Trainwreck.)

* * 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. 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. (2015 examples: The Age of Adaline, I Smile Back, Minions, Paper Towns, Pixels, While We’re Young.)

* * (2 stars) — Two starts means that I just did not like the film. For the most part it’s competently made (though not always), but it’s either part of a genre that I don’t like (horror movie, shitty thriller, Nicholas Sparks), I was utterly bored by it, or it’s one of those movies that really annoyed the shit out of me. Decent chance it could be Unforgivable. (2015 examples: The Boy Next Door, Fifty Shades of Grey, Hot Pursuit, Seventh Son, The Visit.)

* 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 films. 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. (2015 examples: Superfast, Vacation.)

* (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 sequel or being something that’s too easy to make Unforgivable (like a Friedberg and Seltzer movie. One we knew were gonna be a piece of shit going in). But in any case — they’re really awful movies that shouldn’t exist. (2015 examples: none.)

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. (2015 examples of 0 star films: none, thankfully.)

December

Jackie

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“I didn’t know this was being made and had no idea it would even come out this year.”

“That trailer dropped and it stopped me in my tracks. I watched it, jaw agape, thinking, ‘Holy shit, this movie looks amazing and Natalie Portman is gonna win another Oscar.’

“It looks beautiful, it’s completely hypnotic to look at, and Natalie Portman — holy fuck.”

“I gotta see this again, because this actually does have a legitimate shot at the top ten.”

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Still has a legitimate shot. Very excited to see this again.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

La La Land

What I said about it back in January:

“This is the follow up film by Damien Chazelle to Whiplash. It’s a musical.”

“This immediately becomes one of the movies I’m most excited for this year.”

4 stars. It’s a musical, so unless it’s completely tone deaf (pun ridiculously intended), I’m getting a minimum of 3.5 stars here. There’s a chance I can even get 4.5 stars or 5 stars out of this if I really love it.”

“I don’t want to guess 4.5, because I don’t want to ultimately be disappointed. I loved Whiplash, but I don’t know what I’m getting out of this guy after that. So we’ll see what he can give us and remain enthusiastic about everything to do with this movie.”

What I thought about it:

“There was little doubt that I was gonna love this movie.”

“This is everything I want in a movie. It’s bold, it’s vibrant, it’s big, romantic, emotional and cares about everything it’s doing.”

“A wonderful movie that had me smiling from start to finish.”

* * * * * (5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I think we all saw this one coming.

* * * * * (5 stars)

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

The Eyes of My Mother

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“It was nice and stark. Shot in black and white. Has a fair amount of creepiness to it. A lot of interesting and unsettling moments. And thankfully it’s only 75 minutes.”

“There’s not enough of a through line to make it feel cohesive. It’s just a string of moments that kind of work, but not really. Some people might like this. Mostly it’s only worth it because it’s so short.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Looks good, kinda creepy at times. Still not sure what the point of it all was.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Incarnate

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“This movie stars Aaron Eckhart as a man in a wheelchair who can enter the subconscious minds of possessed people in order to fight the demons inside of them. It is not called Professor Xorcist and therefore it will never have any form of respect from me.”

“I’m not reviewing the movie, because nobody cares about the movie. How can you fuck up a slam dunk title this badly?”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Seriously, how could you not call this movie Professor Xorcist?

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Man Down

What I said about it back in January:

“Dito Montiel directs. Kate Mara, Shia LaBeouf and Jai Courtney.”

“This is like Franchise Survivors Anonymous.”

“And Gary Oldman too!”

3 stars.”

“Montiel is usually good for 2.5 or 3. I’ll trust Shia, who has shown good taste these last few years.

What I thought about it:

Couldn’t get a hold of it in time. Looking like I won’t get this in before the cutoff point. This is likely to be a 2017 watch.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

Office Christmas Party

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

You know, I didn’t hate this. The trailers looked fair, and since it was a comedy, with people I don’t usually like, I had my reservations. And then just before it started I looked up who directed it… the guys who did The Switch, the reason the Unforgivables list exists. And that wasn’t promising. But you know what? It was fun enough. Not a great movie, but I enjoyed it. Kinda like that Tina Fey movie last year where they throw the party… it had enough laughs to get me through. So I’m actually pretty relieved about the whole thing.

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I know it’s too much to hope for in 2016 for a good comedy, but to get a passable one is actually a nice thing. So I’m glad this was okay.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Your Name

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“We got a screener, and I heard it was something like the highest grossing movie of the year in Japan. So I saw it.”

“I went to watch it the first time and found that I’d tuned out for about an hour and had no idea what was going on. So I tried it again another day. Same thing. Tuned out about thirty minutes in. Had to force myself to sit through it a third time to make it through.”

“This just isn’t for me. Anime isn’t my style. So much of this felt like three episodes strung together to make a movie. I’m sure people love this movie or whatever, but I just couldn’t do it. I’ll leave this movie to those who care about it.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Not for me. I leave this to those who’ll enjoy it more than I have.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Spectral

What I said about it back in January:

2.5 stars.”

“Not expecting a whole lot out of this. Seems like a generic thriller.”

What I thought about it:

“This was worthwhile. War movie with a supernatural element. It actually works halfway decently. In terms of movies released on Netflix, this was one of the more interesting ones.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Fair enough.

* * * (3 stars)

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

Solace

What I said about it back in January:

“I think I have to stick with 3 stars because of Colin Farrell/Anthony Hopkins.”

“I know this was held for over a year, but the cast makes me think it’ll be worthwhile.”

What I thought about it:

“Weird movie. Not terrible, though.”

“The epitome of the 3 star rating.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Decent enough, as far as movies you’ll randomly catch on cable one day go.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

The Founder

What I said about it back in January:

4 stars. Subject matter and his last two movies tell me it’ll be solid and be in that awards conversation but maybe not near the top of it. Still kind of excited for this.”

What I thought about it:

“Let’s not pretend like this isn’t a movie full of tropes and cliches and bland moviemaking.”

“That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy all of those movies. I just am not gonna pretend like this was some great film. I liked a lot of elements of it, but essentially you have a movie about an unlikable protagonist fucking over a family restaurant to start an empire that the movie doesn’t really treat in either direction.”

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I liked it. It had questions about some of the choices, but it was definitely very watchable. A short term 4 and a long term “pretty good but not great.”

* * * * (4 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Frank and Lola

What I said about it back in January:

3 stars. I want to go 3.5, but I’m nervous that it’s a thriller.”

What I thought about it:

“It’s a weird little movie.”

“I like Michael Shannon a lot and I like Imogen Poots a lot. I’m not sure they’re well cast as a couple, but I don’t care, because I’m happy to see them both.”

“Without the two of them as the leads, I probably wouldn’t have. It’s just a pretty good movie, but again, the leads are the reasons to see this.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I liked the leads, I liked a lot of what this film did. It didn’t fully come together, but it was definitely watchable, mainly due to its leads.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

What I said about it back in January:

“The premise is exciting. It’s a great idea.”

 

“There’s no way they don’t have a Vader cameo, right? How could they not?”

“Either way, 4 stars. I like the universe, I know the story. This has to be worthwhile.”

What I thought about it:

I’m still processing my thoughts on this, but I really enjoyed it. It’s not perfect, but it does a good job of building a story, making the characters mostly work, and taking you right to the point where the first movie begins. It’s the third act that’ll have hardcore Star Wars fans going nuts, but I enjoyed the whole movie. Maybe I’ve softened my stance on these things, but it’s so much easier enjoying things and not being overly critical. I loved this, and I’m sure I’ll continue to love it.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Too soon to tell. Give me another four days to decide. Either way — really liked seeing this.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

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

Collateral Beauty

What I said about it back in January:

So this was originally going to be directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who did Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and star Rooney Mara and Hugh Jackman. Now it’s being directed by David Frankel, who did Marley & Me, and stars Rachel McAdams and Will Smith. To me, that says everything that needs to be said.

Frankel made Devil Wears Prada, The Big Year and Hope Springs, which are all fine. Mostly the point I’m making that instead of a bold, interesting movie, we’re getting a bland, formulaic, “safe” movie.

Oh, also, the writer has also done Here Comes the Boom, Rock of Ages, Just Go With It, The Dilemma and The Switch. For those keeping score, those are three Unforgivable movies.

He has also written Wall Street 2, 21 and Things We Lost in the Fire. So we’re gonna be fair and balanced. It’s not all bad.

Also in this are Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Pena and Naomie Harris.

I’ll give the cast the benefit of the doubt and say 3.5 stars. But 3 stars seems really likely.

Oh, and it hasn’t shot yet, so there’s no guarantee this even comes out this year.

What I thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet. Will try to get it in before the end of the year.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

Neruda

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

I liked it just fine. It didn’t change my life. It wasn’t memorable enough that I”ll remember this as being great. It was just okay.

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Pretty standard foreign language fare.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Barry

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

Our second Obama movie of the year. Based on these movies, all I really know is that he was ambitious, he smoked a lot, and he liked to fuck white chicks. The movie’s fine, but I’m not sure this is the proper time to make an Obama movie.

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Fine. Not great. Is what it is.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

A Kind of Murder

What I said about it back in January:

“I want to drop this down, but it is based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, so that makes me think I should stick with 3 stars.”

What I thought about it:

It’s fine. Appropriately watchable. Nothing outstanding. Very VOD quality.

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s fine. Not overly special. I’ll forget about this by the end of January.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Silence

What I said about it back in January:

“Martin Scorsese. ‘Nuff said.”

4.5 stars.”

What I thought about it:

This was actually overly long and kinda boring. Kinda surprised this wasn’t an automatic top ten for me. I liked it, and I really liked certain sections, but this is probably his weakest film since Shutter Island. And Kundun, going back. This is in that Kundun vein, of being very solid, but not something anyone gives a shit about.

Garfield is good, Neeson isn’t in it enough. I thought he’d have more to do. Driver disappears for a lot of the film.

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

My main issue with this is that, despite all the awful things done by Christianity, the movie focuses on one (small) period of time where Christians were persecuted. But those issues aside, this did feel too overlong and was very boring for long stretches of time. Solid film, and I liked it, but definitely not one of my favorite Scorsese movies.

* * * * (4 stars)

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

Why Him?

What I said about it back in January:

“Directed by the guy who did Along Came Polly and I Love You Man. He also wrote Meet the Parents, Zoolander, and their respective sequels. So really, at best we’re getting 3 stars out of this.”

3 stars. I’m letting Cranston cancel out Franco.”

What I thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet. Which might be the only thing saving this from surefire Unforgivable status.

There’s still time, though.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

Fences

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Didn’t know they’d shoot it and have it ready in time.

What I thought about it:

I liked it. It’s basically a play on screen, so these can only go so high for me. But it was well acted. A nice adaptation of the play, with great work by the entire cast.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Very theatrical, but a solid film. Great job.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Julieta

What I said about it back in January:

“He can be hit or miss for me, so I’ll say 3 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“The Almodovar thing seems to miss me a lot of the time.”

“I tell myself I should watch them again, but after a certain point I think I just have to come out and say ‘his movies are not for me.'”

“I saw this and sort of enjoyed it, but ultimately didn’t really care. Which tends to be the case for me with his movies.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Decent, but Almodovar just doesn’t seem to resonate with me. I don’t know. I just watch ’em.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Assassin’s Creed

What I said about it back in January:

“Okay, okay.”

“Never played the game, but it sounds interesting enough. Plus, Fassbender and Cotillard give promise. And the director did Macbeth, which was real solid.”

3.5 stars. I’m hoping for 4. Don’t think it’ll go higher than that, but 3.5 stars would be really nice for a movie like this.”

What I thought about it:

I was really worried about this for obvious reasons. The closer we got to it, the worse it looked. But really, it wasn’t gonna be anything more than a decent, forgettable action movie that again continues the trend of Hollywood being unable to make a good movie based on a video game. It’s fine, but it’s nothing great.

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

If I weren’t distracted by the talent attached, I’d have gotten this right. In some cases, talent is meaningless because there’s just no way to make the product better than a three star movie. Oh well. Can’t blame a guy for dreaming big.

* * * (3 stars)

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

The Comedian

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

This one quietly got made throughout the year. Didn’t think it would get an Oscar push, but here we are. There’s always one older actor Oscar push like this in December.

The movie was okay. I’m overrating it a bit. It’s not that good. Mostly the problem is the same that all stand up movies have — the stand up isn’t up to snuff. De Niro is capable of pulling off a comic, but the material isn’t all there. It’s all dick jokes. You gotta branch out and actually give him real bits. And I know no comic will actually put their good bits in a movie. Which, I don’t know why. But whatever.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Okay movie, needed better standup to make any sort of impact. De Niro’s okay though.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

20th Century Women

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“This was good. Didn’t love it, but I liked it a lot.”

“This is by the guy who did Beginners, which was also pretty good.”

“It’s well-written, well-directed, well-acted, very engaging, and complete hipster bait. I get it. I don’t love it, but I enjoyed it a lot.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Very solid movie. Not gonna be a favorite of mine, but definitely very well done.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

A Monster Calls

What I said about it back in January:

“This might be the movie I’m most excited for this year.”

“I’m all in on this.”

4.5 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“I was so tuned into this that when I watched it, basically knew what was gonna happen. Nothing felt overly surprising. But I guess when you have a story like this, that’s not the attraction.”

“I still loved it. It’s wonderfully told, with so much emotion in it.”

“I’ve seen this twice now, and will see it at least once more before the end of the year. I really loved it. People need to watch this movie. It’s incredible.”

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Really loved it. Wanna see it one more time to gauge how I truly feel. But this was not a disappointment, which I’m so happy about.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Gold

What I said about it back in January:

“Based on Gaghan’s track record, this is at least 3.5 stars. But fuck it, I’m going 4 stars.”

What I thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet. Need to.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

Hidden Figures

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Had no idea this was even a thing.

What I thought about it:

I saw it on a plane and loved it. I watched it again with my parents and still loved it. It’s not deep, but it’s very entertaining. Great performances all around, and one of those movies I’m gonna continue to enjoy in the future.

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Big fan of this movie. Really happy about this. Great job. Ted Melfi is two for two in my book.

* * * * (4 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Paterson

What I said about it back in January:

“It’s Jarmusch, so 3.5 stars.”

What I thought about it:

Jim Jarmusch is the king of making a movie where absolutely nothing happens and yet it’s utterly captivating.

I have no idea what the purpose of this movie was, but I enjoyed it.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Thumbs up. Still have no idea what it was supposed to be about, but I liked it.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Live by Night

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. This was supposed to come out for next Oscar season. They moved it up a year to make up for the Batman v. Superman debacle and keep Affleck from pulling out of the future Batman movies.

What I thought about it:

Probably will see this on Thursday.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

I, Daniel Blake

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

Holy shit, was this awesome. Great stuff. I was surprised this won Cannes, but after seeing it, I get it. Very well made, great lead performance, great film. Very glad I got to see this. Wonderful stuff out of Ken Loach.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

See this movie. It’s terrific.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Toni Erdmann

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

I enjoyed this. Took me a little while to get into it, but by the time we got to the part where she was singing Whitney Houston, I was hooked. That birthday party sequence was hilarious. Great stuff here.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Definitely one of the foreign films of 2016 I liked.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

The Red Turtle

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“What a gorgeous, beautiful film.”

“There’s no dialogue, and it’s essential a film about life.”

“I really loved this movie. This is what animation should be.”

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Loved, loved, loved this movie. Seek this out. This is animation at its finest.

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Passengers

What I said about it back in January:

“I mean, the cast, the story — 4.5 stars. I had nothing else to guess high on, so this feels like a slam dunk.”

What I thought about it:

Saw this in theaters the other night. I was going in expecting nothing more than pure, unmitigated disaster. You felt this one coming from months out. The trailers hid the entire premise of the film and tried to sell it purely on its stars. It took a movie that was meant to be an interesting sci fi movie that provoked a lot of discussions about the moral and ethical ramifications of its characters’ decisions and turned it into a $100 million blockbuster. They wanted to obscure the questions of the premise and said, “Look, two beautiful people in space. Fucking!” Which I get. But you’re taking a movie and making it something it’s not, really.

But, despite my complete reticence to see this… it actually wasn’t so bad. They actually put a lot of what’s in that original script into the movie. Though what they changed didn’t exactly make it a whole lot better. The original ending of the script was okay, but it needed changing. What they changed it to is a generic blockbuster ending. You can telegraph everything from three minutes out. But it’s the case of.. oh, fuck, what was that movie… there was a movie that came out in the past few years where I’d read the script. And the ending of the script wasn’t great, and they changed it, but what they changed it to wasn’t a particularly great fix either. So I’m not gonna fault a movie for being unable to fix an ending that wasn’t perfect in the first place. (Now of course, I’d have liked a much more intellectually interesting ending, which can get to in another time.)

What we’re left with is a movie that’s a perfectly fine piece of entertainment that doesn’t transcend a great premise because it has other things on its mind. It’s the case of the short term cash versus the long term greatness. Can’t fault someone for taking the money.

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Can’t really write final thoughts since the first thoughts only happened two days ago, but that’s what it is. I liked it, didn’t love it, but considering what I thought I was getting based on the reviews and the general trajectory of the film… I’m pleased.

* * * * (4 stars)

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

Sing

What I said about it back in January:

“Uh huh.”

“Oh, and the director also did Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow. Which is promising.”

“I can’t assume 3.5 stars, so I’ll go 3 stars and hope it’s great.”

What I thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet. But will.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

Patriot’s Day

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Didn’t think they’d have it done in time.

What I thought about it:

Gonna try to see it this week.

Final Thoughts:

How close was I?:

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow we go over all the stuff that hasn’t come out yet.

http://bplusmovieblog.com

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