Monday, January 26, 2015

"Science fiction triple feature" does still fit the meter, right?


2014 Espana/USA
Directed by Gabe Ibanez
Written by Igor Legarreta, Javier Sanchez Donate, and Gabe Ibanez
With Antonio Banderas (Jacq Vaucan), Dylan McDermott (Sean Wallace), Robert Forster (Robert Bold), Brigitte Hjort Sorensen (Rachel Vaucan), and Melanie Griffith (Dupre)


Directed by Charlie McDowell
Written by Justin Lader
With Mark Duplass (Ethan), Elisabeth Moss (Sophie), and Ted Danson (The Therapist)


2014 (our future selves traveling to the past)/2015 (while we're still on the upward slope of our curved worldline)
Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
Written by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (based on the story "All You Zombies" by Robert Heinlein)
With Sarah Snook (The Unmarried Mother), Ethan Hawke (The Barkeep), and Noah Taylor (Mr. Robertson)

Spoiler alert: moderate all around

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Play one wrong note and you die


Another film that will make any right-minded human being happy that Damien Chazelle makes movies instead of hitting a hollow cylinder with a stick.

2014 (Harvard grads and their ilk)/2015 (the peasantry)
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle
With Miles Teller (Andrew Neimann), J.K. Simmons (Terence Fletcher), and Paul Reiser (Jim Neimann)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Monday, January 19, 2015

Are nuclear reactors connected to the Internet, and, if so, why?


Mann's back!  And this time his form matches his movie's function, although to what extent Blackhat actually does function is a matter for some debate.

Directed by Michael Mann
Written by Morgan Davis Foehl
With Chris Hemsworth (Nick Hathaway), Wei Tang (Chen Lien), Leehom Wang (Chen Dawai), and Viola Davis (Carol Barrett)

Spoiler alert: mild

Friday, January 16, 2015

Apparently, what the world looks like to Canadians


One of 2014's most oddly-cut diamonds in the rough.

2013 (Canada, one screen in Texas)/2014 (everywhere else)
Written and directed by Jonathan Sobol
With Kurt Russell ("Crunch" Calhoun), Matt Dillon (Nicky Calhoun), Jay Baruchel (Francie), Kenneth Walsh ("Uncle" Paddy MacCarthy), Chris Diamantopolous (Guy de Cornet), Katherine Wynnick (Lola), Jason Jones (Agent Bick), and Terence Stamp (Samuel Winter)

Spoiler alert: mild

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Doc Sportello's Holistic Detective Agency


Inherent Vice is a redemption, half-hearted in its way, but it's deliberate and I'm willing to recognize it as such.  (Whereas if you actually liked The Master, that statement doesn't apply: you'll probably just love this movie, and I don't get you at all.)

2014 (the best)/2015 (the rest)
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson (based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon)
With Joaquin Phoenix (Larry "Doc" Sportello), Josh Brolin (Lt. Det. Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornson), Katherine Waterston (Shasta Fay Hepworth), and a whole mess of other people, too

Spoiler alert: Dave's not here, man (that is to say "mild")

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Only a crazy man would own a rocket!


Remember parkour?  Sure you do!  Despite an array of problemshell, because of its array of problemsBrick Mansions is nice, low-rent fun.

Directed by Camille Delamarre
Written by Luc Besson (based on the screenplay Banlieue 13 by Luc Besson and Bibi Naceri)
With David Belle (Lino), Paul Walker (Damien), Catalina Denis (Lola), RZA (Tremaine), Gouchy Boy (K2), and Ayisha Issa (Rayzah)

Spoiler alert: mild

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The war comes home (finally)


Rarely has the better been more obviously the enemy of the good enough.

2014 (the fancy, with their fancy pants!)/2015 (harumph)
Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
With Dan Stevens (David Collins), Maika Monroe (Anna Peterson), Brendan Meyer (Luke Peterson), Sheila Kelley (Laura Peterson), Leland Orser (Spencer Peterson), and Lance Reddick (Maj. Carver)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This play's the thing


Between Rope and Grand Piano, there was Deathtrap.

Directed by Sidney Lumet
Written by Jay Presson Allen (based on the stageplay by Ira Levin)
With Michael Caine (Sidney Bruhl), Christopher Reeve (Clifford Anderson), Dyna Cannon (Myra Bruhl), Irene Worth (Helga van Dorp), and Henry Jones (Porter Milgrim)

Spoiler alert: mild

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The nerds of Albion, part II: Setting us up the bombe


89% of a really good movie!

Directed by Morten Tyldum
Written by Graham Moore (based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges)
With Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke), Matthew Goode (Hugh Alexander), Allen Leech (John Cairncross), Matthew Beard (Peter Hilton), Charles Dance (Cmdr. Denniston), Mark Strong (Stewart Menzies), and Alex Lawther (Young Alan Turing)

Spoiler alert: inapplicable, but let's say "high," if you didn't get a good education, like at Cambridge

Thursday, January 1, 2015

There'll be hamburgers on the plane


The ne plus ultra of the heist genre.

Directed by Spike Lee
Written by Russel Gewirtz
With Clive Owen (Dalton Russell), Denzel Washington (Det. Keith Frazier), Jodie Foster (Madeleine White), Willem Dafoe (John Darius), Christopher Plummer (Arthur Case), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Det. Bill Mitchell), Carlos Andres Gomez (Steve), Kim Director (Stevie), James Ransone (Steve-O), Bernard Rachelle (Chaim), a ton of other folks (various), and New York City (itself)

Spoiler alert: severeand "high" for The Anderson Tapes