by Adam Riske
Bridge of Spies – I was sort of dreading this movie (I don’t usually like Cold War stories) despite being a super-fan of both Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks but I’m so glad that I finally saw Bridge of Spies. It’s tremendous. I love how idiosyncratic the movie is. At first, you think it will be a courtroom movie and then it’s not anymore and it turns into basically Spielberg’s riff on The Third Man. Hanks is so great in Bridge of Spies, as are Mark Rylance and Scott Shepherd. Just like he did with Catch Me If You Can, Spielberg takes an inherently dramatic story and injects it with smart dialogue and just enough humor to make the experience an absolute joy to sit through.
Goodnight Mommy – Although well made, I don’t get what all of the fuss is about with Goodnight Mommy. I thought it was a little gross but it didn’t scare me exactly and the payoff sort of renders the movie as a one-time deal instead of a movie you can watch over and over again IMHO. I didn’t hate it by any stretch, but I can’t believe the hype this one is getting while superior efforts like Tales of Halloween or Bone Tomahawk are flying under the radar on VOD and not able to get much of a theatrical booking.
Hocus Pocus. It’s not. But that doesn’t mean it’s terrible, either. I had some fun with Goosebumps, and after a shaky first couple of acts I got into the spirit of the movie and ended up having a good enough time with it to remember the movie fondly.
The Martian – A very good movie that is, just maybe, a little boring in how very good it is. I’m having trouble reconciling my feelings about The Martian. It’s terrifically made and the cast is almost universally strong but something about it just seems too easy. It’s like it took what worked from Cast Away and Apollo 13 and just freshened it up. I could easily sit and watch The Martian again but I’d be lying to say that this was a movie that’s stuck with me all that much since I’ve seen it. That being said, all movies should be this good.
Sicario – Holy shit is this movie great! I love movies like Sicario that are so confident in their filmmaking and storytelling that they just look easy and not like a movie baiting for an Oscar. Emily Blunt once again proves she’s a solid anchor for an action movie and this is the best work Benicio Del Toro has done since maybe Traffic. Sicario is intense and exciting and one of my favorite films of the year. I love Denis Villeneuve movies!
Steve Jobs – I can’t believe how poorly this movie did in wide release. It’s too bad, because I thought it was very impressive. The dense Aaron Sorkin screenplay is out of this world good, as is Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs. Is Steve Jobs as good as The Social Network? No, but it’s more electric and entertaining than most action movies and I love how the movie works as a piece about what it’s like to work for an asshole. A brilliant asshole, but an asshole all the same and how sometimes you need to have someone be an asshole in order to push the boundaries that nice people can’t.
Robert Zemeckis’ best and it has a particularly slow first two acts up until the actual high wire walk by Philippe Petit between the two World Trade Center towers. That portion of the movie is sensational. But I do think many people missed out in one particular sense and that is the 3D. I saw The Walk in 2D and was kicking myself the entire time because I could just tell that it would have really been something to behold in IMAX 3D. But that opportunity has passed and I’m afraid we won’t be able to replicate anything close to it on home video. This is a perfectly decent movie that deserved a better fate than it received.
I want to know what you think of these movies. Leave your comments below. Thanks!