Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New release round-up for October '15

Finally, I actually have new releases to talk about!

- The Martian. Cast Away meets Apollo 13 as once again Matt Damon needs to be rescued! This was breathtaking. It's been way too long since I was this excited about a Ridley Scott movie, but the master delivered the goods big time here. I went into this movie blind; I wouldn't have even known it was Scott directing except I justwasppened to glimpse a magazine cover story about him in a bookstore about a couple of weeks ago. Didn't even see the trailer! 

I thought the disco soundtrack was a direct response to Guardians of the Galaxy and their 70s-80s soundtrack, but I'm told that this was part of the original novel on which the movie is based, so there you are. I did think Guardians used their music in a more creative way, though. Regardless, it was very thrilling to watch, and I couldn't help but smile at the fact that a black guy named Rich plays a key role in the story...

- The Walk. I saw the Oscar-winning doc Man on Wire, the first film about daredevil wire-walker Philippe Petit and his insane 1974 wire-walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, back when I was living in Columbus, and while I liked it, there was a bit of an emotional distance I got from it, as if it didn't quite feel real. 

I had no such experience from watching The Walk, the dramatization of that film, directed by Robert Zemeckis. I watched it in 2D, because I knew there was no way in hell I could watch a film like this, given all its vertigo-inducing, computer-generated, bird's-eye shots of New York from over a thousand feet high, in 3D. The digital re-creation of the Twin Towers aside, I did feel more connected to Petit's story. He wanted to do this outrageous stunt, so he did it. Why? Who can say - and in the end, it doesn't matter that much. As a New Yorker, The Walk made me not only appreciate the Twin Towers in a new way, it actually made me miss them now that they're gone - and the movie very subtly acknowledges you-know-what at the end while not mentioning it at all, which was a graceful way to end a movie like this. I've seen some complaints written about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's French accent, but honestly, it didn't bother me.

- Bridge of Spies. This was a bit of a harder sell for me than a Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks movie should be, but in the end, I liked it. A Cold War movie shouldn't have much relevance in 2015, but this one does, especially when one considers the themes of due process and the court of public opinion. Hanks is great, as usual, but the surprise here is Mark Rylance, who projects a strong, quiet dignity as the accused Russian spy who remains true to his principles even in the face of anti-Communist sentiment. Give this one a shot.

- Steve Jobs. Vija saw this before me, and in her words, "There wasn't really a story other than Steve Jobs had a precarious relationship with his daughter." I find I have to agree. I'm still wondering why this left me cold but The Social Network, another Aaron Sorkin-written movie about a new media mogul who turns out to be an asshole, got me excited. The three-scene concept sounded like a great idea on paper, but they all followed similar patterns. And after awhile, I found it really hard to care about Jobs. Still, Michael Fassbender was dynamite; Oscar nominee for sure and he may even win. I think Seth Rogen will get nominated as well.


  1. Garry and I keep talking about catching "Bridge of Spies", but then the baseball starts ... and it's cold outside ... and we don't get off the couch. It's his birthday next week. I'll make him take me out as "his" present.

  2. Just as long as you buy the popcorn. It is his birthday, after all.


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