So, the New Years Resolution (TM) was to make 2015 the year I started watching films again. Or, at least, films I’d not seen before. The rules, such as they were, were to watch as varied a bunch as possible within the limits of my Amazon Prime account and to then write a comment about each one that falls within the 140 character limit of a standard tweet.
This month I’ve slackened the pace a little but then I’ve also had to let three films go before the end. Apologies if you were hoping for inciteful two-sentence comments on Mood Indigo, Red Riding Hood or The Machinist but, for now, we’ll have to go with, “It’s not them, it’s me …” But here’s what I did manage to reach the closing credits of …
Hard not to warm to a clever film that cost less than a coffee from Starbucks. White shirt, black tie, time travel for the smart guys.
The Quatermass Xperiment (The Creeping Unknown (US title))
X is no longer for terror and this now feels dated and forced despite some good acting. Shame the BBC lost the original series.
Enjoyable but not brilliant. French people, and Kelly Reilly, exchange wisdom and bodily fluids in NYC whilst failing to understand life.
Strong central performances, some good lines and effective cinematography raise breadline mother-son bonding film to decent level.
The Two Faces of January
Mortensen, Dunst and Isaac show their chops and Hossein Amini has fun writing and directing this top drawer Highsmith adaptation.
Some Velvet Morning
Brutal dialogue and good performances in a two-hander that treads familiar LaBute territory of sex, power and anger. Nice twist.
Maps to the Stars
A Cronenberg misfire. Looks good, sounds good but scenes drift and there’s no cohesive whole. Nothing shocks. It’s a bit dull.
Teen movie about glees? Good lines, songs & partial mean spirit raise it. Pulls some punches but the ‘commentaries’ mean all forgiven.
A concise film in which nothing on screen is wasted. Everything is revealed but very little is shown. A masterpiece.
Some day all films will be like this. Smart, distasteful, funny, violent, unforgiving, beautiful. This is how good cinema can be.
The bar has been set so high for smart animated films and Megamind just falls short. It’s still great fun but I will never say ‘school’ right again.
Friday Night Lights
A brilliant, serious sports film that makes you give a damn about the 1988 Texas high school season and the boys taking the hits for a town.
I’ll be back in March.