The Irishman

Too much hype? Sure, it’s ambitious, but especially at this length, it’s a difficult story to follow, even if you come to it with some knowledge of the Jimmy Hoffa story.

And poor Al Pacino… really? You’re going to bellow your way through this role too? I’ve said it many times before, and I’m not going to stop now: One. Trick. Pony.

De Niro is better, but then, De Niro is better. While we may have seen these tics and mannerisms many times before, he at least inhabits his character, and is fun to watch.

White Boy Rick

I thought this was another movie. I thought it was Bodied, about a white guy who enters the world of battle rap. That one’s not supposed to be that great, but this movie had a workman-like quality that made it watchable. White boy in a black world of drug dealing. Kind of cardboard characters, but everyone does a good job with their parts, and it’s not boring.

Jackie

I think I read that there is archival footage interspersed with the scenes of this movie, but if so, it is done so well that it’s almost seamless.

The accent is a bit off-putting at first, but I’m guessing it’s pretty accurate. Natalie Portman is a tour de force here, present as she is in nearly every scene. By the end, I’d almost forgotten it wasn’t really Jackie O.

Magic Mike

Channing Tatum cancels out Matthew McConaughey. I always like the former, and I’m always annoyed by the latter. Not what I’d expect from Steven Soderbergh, but this is pretty fun – more for the energy than for the depth of the material.

The Big Short

What’s the saying? “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” Well a lot of people were not paying attention to the mortgage crisis of 2007-08, brought about by the packaging by the big banks of mortgage-backed securities that were anything but secure…

This is a deft telling of that tale, made palatable by the cast and the screenplay. Definitely worth a watch.

Dante’s Inferno

Well I liked this a good deal more than The Last Dancer in the World. Familiarity with the subject matter, maybe? I’ve always been a fan of the Pre-Raphaelites. However, it’s mostly the paintings that I am familiar with, not the story of their lives. This is an opportunity to learn a bit about that.

Russell’s style lends itself to these period piece films, and the cast all seem to be of the era, with just the right facial features and hair, perfect costumes…

Spotlight

This year’s Oscar winner is a throwback to anĀ “All the President’s Men” kind of film. Well done. Praise for the script, for the casting (although I’ll never be able to think of John Slattery as anyone other than Roger Sterling), for the acting, for the editing…

The Revenant

Brutal. Beautiful. Astounding. If Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t win the Oscar this time, it will be a travesty.

Tom Hardy is no slouch, either. But he doesn’t have to crawl in a horse carcass, or eat raw bison liver…

The End of the Tour

I didn’t plan to watch another film about the loss of yet another huge talent at far too young an age, it just happened that I watched this immediately after seeing Amy. And in fact this film was not about the death of DFW, or the arc or his life, but rather one isolated stretch of that life, when he was promotingĀ Infinite Jest.

Never mind the fact that I didn’t really like Jason Segal as DWF, and really, really didn’t like Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky – playing the same old hesitant, self-questioning and obsequious character that he always plays.

The overwhelming sense was again one of loss. Why does it seem that we lose the best and the brightest, the ones who could make a positive difference, at precisely the wrong time?