After nearly two months of no activity in my blog and a few hours away before the end of 2015, I simply couldn’t let December pass me by without offering something to reminisce about the year.
I hope this coming year finally gives me the purpose to really devote some time to blogging, as I’ve wanted to since I started it about 3 years ago.
There are also a couple of series to catch up with, like my reviews of the first season of Mr. Robot, and my ongoing monthly round-ups.
2015 was a year filled with great films, many of which I have yet to see. In lieu of a “best films of 2015” post, I will instead share thoughts on the films I watched this year, whether they were first released 50 years back, or just a month or two ago. The following list will comprise some of the greatest movies I watched (grouped by high ratings of 4.5 or 4/5 only as there were no perfect scores given) and some honorable mentions that did not quite make the cut . The following are limited to films I had not seen before or that I had not seen in their entirety until this year.
Continue reading 2015, The Year in Film
Due to the holidays and a substantially less demanding workload, I was able to watch more than my usual amount of films, reaching a total of 17 films in 31 days (I actually watched Movie 43 in December, but decided to include it in my previous monthly recap).
The average score for the last month of 2013 was a respectable 2.88. However, I only watched two films that cracked 4 out of 5 or more, with only Reservoir Dogs as a clear candidate to comfortably make my much-delayed Top 250 favorite film list. Worthy of notice is that December was also very 2013-heavy, with 12 films released in the last solar year, and only one film, the aforementioned Reservoir Dogs, that was released before the turn of the 21st century.
Here are the films in the order in which I watched them:
THE FACTORY (2012) [2.5/5]
Continue reading Month in review: December films
Now that we’ve arrived to the end of February, I thought it was as good time as any to share some of my thoughts on the films I’ve seen and haven’t had a chance to review since the turn of the year.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012)
An emotional drama with a touch of comedy punctuated by a very strong cast. Silver Linings offers just enough to think about and some to laugh at. A bit less transcendental than the awards season have made it out to be, but powerful enough to merit some recognition.
Highlight: the performance by Jennifer Lawrence + the return to form of Robert De Niro
Downside: it has its share of cliches and some sequences feel forced.
Continue reading Films watched: January & February mini reviews
During the past 3 slow months worth of blogging, I have seen many different films that have not enjoyed the benefit of a review. To try to catch up I offer a long collection of small reviews of most of the films I have watched in the last three months that did not get a review until now. A total of 24 films, a couple of which will get longer in-depth reviews. The highlights of the list are Weekend and Sunshine, both very different but very pleasant surprises.
I apologize in advance if this gets a little long. Enjoy:
The French Connection (1971)
Cast: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Director: William Friedkin
Writers: Ernest Tidyman, Robin Moore (original novel), Howard Hanks
Rating: 3.5/5 (good)
Starring Gene Hackman in a now famous role as tough cop Jimmy Doyle, The French Connection is an intense thriller that takes place in the harsh New York winter of 1970.
Most of the success of the film is due to its intensity and realism, displaying some of the most exciting chase sequences ever put on film. These have surprisingly lost little of their power over time, feeling current even today (minus antiquated vehicles and fashion). The cast is also excellent, further enriching the well-crafted dynamic between cops, informants, low-lives and criminals. I just wish the film had focused less on the details and intricacies of case-solving and criminal chasing and more on character-building.
Continue reading Film Round-up: May, June & July
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Matt Damon, Lawrence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Steven Soderbergh directs Contagion, a film that explores the impact that a fast-spreading and deadly virus could cause with a scientific approach.
There is a raw quality and intensity to the film that makes it feel unique despite having a concept too often explored in the big screen.
For that same reason that sets it apart, Contagion often feels too didactic and procedural, feeling distant and void of emotion, turning death into a statistic that rarely comes across as tragedy.
Rating: 3/5 (above average)
Continue reading Mini Film Reviews for February & March (part 1)