Monday, September 26, 2016
Dir. Clint Eastwood
The problem with many real-life stories depicted on screen, especially if they were covered in the news as much and as recently as Captain "Sully" Sullenberger's emergency plane landing in the Hudson River, is that we already know how things turn out. There's no tension as to whether or not Sully will "make it"; we know that all the passengers survived. It's a story about a nice guy who saved a bunch of people and was immediately hailed as a hero - that doesn't exactly make for satisfying drama. However, what I didn't know about this story going in, and what the film primarily focuses on, is the aftermath of the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation into whether or not Sully's critical decisions put the passengers in unnecessary risk. I found the procedural nature of this investigation to be really engrossing, and the clinical, unsentimental manner in which Clint Eastwood captures everyone - from the captain to air traffic control to the investigative team - just doing their jobs extremely proficiently in a time of crisis made Sully a surprisingly intense, dramatic, dynamic experience. Plus it features possibly one of the best plane crash sequences ever put to film.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Dir. Rob Zombie
Homicidal clowns, backwoods hillbillies, brutal violence and mayhem: these are a few of Rob Zombie's favorite things. The hard rocker-by-day, horror director-by-night is back at it again with another movie that's best to leave grandma at home to see: 31, about a traveling group of carnival workers kidnapped by crazed aristocrats on Halloween night and forced to play a twisted game of life-or-death called "31." For 12 hours, they must fight to survive against an endless parade of increasingly dangerous maniacs, sort of like The Hunger Games as seen through the eyes of Charles Manson. While this horror movie had the potential to be a fast-paced, disturbing thrill ride through hell, ultimately Mr. Zombie rests a little too much on his laurels, staying inside his "comfort zone," making this film his most bland so far, and even strays into self-parody territory.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Back in May I predicted which summer flicks would reign supreme at the box office, and as usual, the box office proved to be unpredictable! That elusive #1 spot slipped by me again! Who knew it would be cartoon fish that would dethrone a superhero all-star bash? Here are some of my quick observations of this year's season, in convenient bullet-point form, followed by the results: