We’ve been conditioned by teen sex comedies and sports films to expect certain milestones and story beats – Linklater suggests some of those with a wink, before changing tack. The result is a genial, mostly happy film – it reminded me of George Lucas’ American Graffiti…
Sleeping With Other People is the movie Amy Schumer thought she was making this year.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is just about perfect.
I was ten years old when the U.S. national hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the semi-finals of the 1980 Winter Olympics. That event became known as the “Miracle on Ice,” and was dramatized in the movie Miracle (2004), among others. I’ve never wondered how the Soviet players felt about the game.
The problem is that Lewis’ real-life characters are so unbelievably colorful, and their story is packed with so much “I can’t believe it happened that way” serendipity, that it overshadows the sobering examination of the financial crisis McKay also wants to tell.
The failure of the movie isn’t technical – it’s spiritual. Charlie Brown’s fundamental sadness was never a problem for those who loved the strip, including children. The writers don’t have faith in their material or the audience.
The biggest, most flamboyant feat of cinematic imagination in 2015 was George Miller’s Mad Max:Fury Road. Miller piles on mythic themes, literary allusions, hallucinatory images, postmodern feminist theory, filters everything through a desert punk aesthetic, cranks the amp to 11 and lets things rip. I loved it.
Everything serves director Judd Apatow’s conventional moral, which requires renouncing all non-traditional values and settling down to start a family. Seriously, Apatow makes Amy Schumer admit she’s a mess before she can land the guy and live happily ever after.
The fifth Mission: Impossible movie is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie… who comes up with action set-pieces that recall classic Loony Tunes shorts – violent but bloodless, little at stake beyond the next gag.
When I heard Ridley Scott was directing the movie adaptation, I thought he was a brilliant choice; of course, I though Sarah Palin was a great vice-presidential pick by John McCain. Like Palin, Scott quickly shows his weaknesses and doubles down – he’s a visual technician whose images hold little wonder (they’re not awe-inspiring), and he’s not interested in what’s going on in Watney’s head, either.