Thursday, July 21, 2016

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

SPOTLIGHT (2015)
Gripping drama about the 2001/2002 investigation into Catholic priests accused of child sex abuse in the Boston area, which yielded 90 guilty clergymen. It's an excellent movie, but the thing I liked most about it was just how tightly edited it was. 129 minutes, but no filler. That struck me because it's increasingly unusual to see movies that aren't a half-hour too long, but this one was so compelling and managed to dramatize its characters and its situation while keeping an exciting pace. The whole thing takes on the air of a mystery thriller, as the layers are peeled back and injustice is exposed. Remember when we used to have investigative journalism, before the entertainment industry took over the major new outlets? It's nice to see it celebrated again. I haven't seen all of the Best Picture nominees from last year, but this (the winner) is one hell of a contender. ****

GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)
Loved it. Great sci-fi adventure comedy, and perfectly cast. I say that despite not caring much for Kristen Wiig, but she pulls it off here for me. The four leads have fantastic chemistry together. A lot has been made of Kate McKinnon, and rightly so, but I also have to mention how much I dug Leslie Jones. Chris Hemsworth is also surprisingly funny as their dim assistant. Some of the most fun I've had at the movies this summer. I'm not going to bother comparing it to the original classic; it has a lot of nods to 1984 (too many, some critics say, but I didn't find it obtrusive), but it stands on its own. I have to mention the creatures and special effects; Slimer appears, and he's always wonderful, and the special effects are so colorful, which is always a nice thing in modern effects. I'm so glad that we're breaking away from monochromatic sci-fi. This movie is as colorful as Guardians of the Galaxy. Can't wait for more. ****

2 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

I LOVED Spotlight. I think it's one of those Best Pictures that people will say 20 years from now, good choice.
If I ever feel better, I'll see Ghostbusters, more on general principle/ Leslie Jones' harassment.

SamuraiFrog said...

If I hadn't already wanted to see Ghostbusters, I would've gone to see it just to support her and the movie in general, because fuck those people. I can't believe the amount of hatred that movie has inspired, and it's really disillusioned me even further on this idea of "geek culture." The really smart thing about Paul Feig's movie is that (much as in The Force Awakens and in Mad Max: Fury Road, two other movies that inspired as much hate, misogyny and--in the case of TFA, almost as much racism) the real villain of Ghostbusters is male entitlement.