recent movies

Third Person: Well acted, but the schtick of "Look at these unrelated stories we're going to eventually tie together!" is pretty tired. I admit that I completely failed to notice the surprise twist at the end, but then, I also didn't care. Every character in this movie is a terrible person and I didn't care about any of them. Dear writers: please stop writing about writers.

Maps to the Stars: It's Cronenberg, so it's creepy and well made, but again, every single character in this movie is a terrible person and I didn't care about any of them. Dear Hollywood celebrities: please stop writing about Hollywood celebrities.

Zero Theorem: An autistic guy sits in his underwear playing Minecraft on the set of 12 Monkeys while extras from The Fifth Element stop by to fuck with him. Nothing happens. Gilliam, what happened to you?

Mr. Peabody and Sherman: I needed to get the bad aftertaste of those last three out of my system, ok? This was actually a lot funnier than it had any right to be. And it took a weirdly dark turn at one point with talking-dog/human racial politics.

John Wick: This is fantastic! It's basically Red if it was directed by John Woo. The fight scenes are great, and people actually run out of bullets.

The Great Martian War: Apparently the Hitler Channel does low budget SF now. It's cute, some of the effects are good.

Appleseed Alpha: I barely remember the first Appleseed, but I guess this is a prequel? It blows up real good. The valley is getting less uncanny. They ordered up most of the characters by calling Central Casting and saying "send us the Luc Besson kit." (Which is fine.)

Life After Beth: Aubrey Plaza is a zombie. If you're not sold by that, I can't help you. It's pretty funny, using the Shawn of the Dead formula of putting a screwball comedy in the middle of a non-comedic zombie apocalypse.

Constantine, s01e01: I am utterly shocked to report that this didn't suck. It's very pilot-y, in that it's full of exposition and has too much tell-don't-show, but I think it's got potential. The effects are great. Much zalgo, wow.

Gotham, s01e01-05: I've watched the first few episodes of this even though, as a police procedural, it's Against Policy ("never watch shows about doctors, lawyers or cops") but it's mean-spirited enough that it has sucked me in. Gordon is a hat-rack that walks, but Oswald Cobblepot is fantastic.

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10 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    I was also pleasantly surprised at John Wick. Not perfect, but they took a good action movie and made it better by removing all the tropes. I like that John Wick's backstory was explained with exactly one well-written, well-delivered line of dialog. I also counted over 50 stunt players and about 30 visual effects artists, which is an awesome ratio.

    Not that anyone asked, but more recents:

    The Equalizar - Terrible, just terrible.
    Gone Girl - Very Finchery, which is good.
    Art and Craft - Surprisingly dramatic documentary. Loved it.
    Birdman - I couldn't get into the plot but what they pulled off in a technical, moviemaking sense is astounding.

  2. Line Noise says:

    I watched Oculus last night and agree with your review a few weeks ago. The first movie in a long time to creep me out.

    I'm on the fence about Gotham. It suffers from prequelitis where I know the destination so I have trouble caring about the journey. Bonus points for choosing The Penguin over The Joker as the "big bad", though.

  3. Dan says:

    Did you try to watch The Flash? I'd love to hear your opinion.

    • jwz says:

      I didn't try, because I made the terrible mistake of suffering through the first season of Arrow.

      • Dan says:

        I tried, but couldn't make it through the first episode. They seemed to be trying, but they really CW'd it up. And thanks for the warning on Arrow...I was contemplating watching it.

        • Jeremy Wilson says:

          "CW'ed it up" really sums it up perfectly.

          I'm watching Stargate SG-1 on Netflix and it makes me realize how we have zero decent sci-fi on TV right now.

          Continuum has gotten a lot better but suffers from its Canadian origins a bit. I didn't care for Orphan Black. I want techno-babble sci-fi back.

  4. Constantine, s01e01: I am utterly shocked to report that this didn't suck.

    I... I... I... wow. Okay, now I'm curious.

  5. Leonardo Herrera says:

    A hatrack that walks. I don't know why I find that so funny.

  6. "Every character in this movie is a terrible person and I didn't care about any of them." --- I basically feel this way all the time.

  7. Jef Poskanzer says:

    Amusing in last week's Gotham to find out that Bullock used to be a 'boy scout' just like Gordon is now.

    Also, Dan Hedaya! And Carol Kane!