With the hordes headed to the movie theaters today to watch the poorly-reviewed Alice Through the Looking Glass and X-Men: Apocalypse, I decided to put that disappointment off and clear through some of my early 2016 backlog. Films I can count on to disappoint without having to stand in line for them. This is largely my rationale for having watched The 5th Wave. Continue reading Movie Review: The 5th Wave (2016) “Does The Sixth Wave Have the Ending?”
Sunday night, Spotlight was named Best Picture of 2015 by the Academy, and I’m still blown away. It’s not often that the best picture is actually the best picture nominated. The film is powerful and well-done. It’s a story of journalistic investigation that can only be compared on film to All the President’s Men (click here for my review of Spotlight). The investigation into the Catholic Chuch priest abuse scandal could have been easily exploitative or anti-Christian, and the film is neither. It simply lays the facts out of a systematic, institutionalized streak of sin (no other word for it) in what is supposed to be a place of joy, comfort, solace and safety.
The most powerful scene, and I don’t think this will in any way ruin it for those who haven’t seen it, is the last one. After the publication of Spotlight’s investigation, The Boston Globe was anticipating picketers, crowds and a tsunami of calls to the front desk. The scene picks up with Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo arriving at the Globe’s offices and finishes with a gut punch that left everyone in my theater (including myself) dumbstruck.
Michael Keaton and director Tom McCarthy with the real Spotlight team.
Eight years after his death, Bobby Fischer continues to fascinate people. He was the most unlikely of weapons in a war between super powers, a deeply disturbed individual, and a prodigy the likes of which comes alone perhaps every hundred years. There are a number of good biographies about the chess genius and there have been several films, but none has really captured Fischer and no actor has given a definitive portrayal of one of the 20th century’s most complex minds. Edward Zwick, who has directed some of my favorite films (Glory, Legends of the Fall), takes a stab at encapsulating Fischer’s life in Pawn Sacrifice.
Continue reading Movie Review: Pawn Sacrifice (2015) *Still Searching for Bobby Fischer*
Both the Washington DC and Los Angeles Film Critics Associations have named Spotlight the Best Picture of 2015, and – I have to tell you – after having just watched it, I think this is your Oscar-winner, as well. 2015’s fall has been the best fall for movies (even with Spectre and Hunger Games falling flat) that I can ever recall. Spotlight is an “important” film that is actually important. Spotlight tells the story of the 2001-2002 investigation by the Boston Globe into allegations of child abuse by Catholic priests in the Boston archdiocese. Powerful, heartbreaking, balanced, non-exploitative, Spotlight is on par with All the President’s Men in showing journalism at its best and humanity at its worst. Continue reading Movie Review: Spotlight (2015) *Heart-wrenching, Important Cinema*