No, this isn’t a review of a film adaptation of the late 1970s TV series starring the Bradford family, so if you were hoping for a Willie Aames or a Lani O’Grady sighting, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
Instead, this blog post is an accumulation of brief thoughts about a number of films I’ve seen that were released this year. Eight, to be exact. Since I didn’t bother to mention them individually, I decided to share them all in one place. It costs less that way. More economical. And I’m a stickler for good deals.
So in alphabetical order, here are the eight films I’ve seen over the past couple of months that I thought were worth mentioning:
Argo – I’ve been on the Ben Affleck train for a while now, ever since he directed Gone Baby Gone in 2007, and his latest is not a disappointment. It takes a talented director to take a story about which everyone knows the outcome and make it compelling. Personally, I think The Town (which Affleck directed in 2010) was better, but this is still good stuff.
Flight – A heavy story peppered with humor (mostly in the guise of John Goodman) about an airline pilot in denial about his substance abuse. Good acting and the story seems to hit most of the right notes. Oh, and the crash sequence that sets up the plot is pretty cool.
Life of Pi – I read the book ten years ago and was excited to see what they did with it, so I forgave the first thirty or so minutes of slow back story. Yes, the 3D was visually enjoyable but I don’t think it added much to the tale. Fun to watch but for me, this is definitely one of those “read the book” films.
Lincoln – Starring Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Abraham Lincoln. Seriously, where the hell was Daniel Day-Lewis? He was Lincoln, as far as I’m concerned, which helped to make me feel like I was watching history. A bit heavy on the political machinations of mid-19th century but well worth the price of admission.
The Master – I’m a Paul Thomas Anderson fan and loved Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Punch Drunk Love. While this one tends to drag a little and the story (to me) doesn’t really matter, the acting, especially by Joaquin Phoenix, is superb. It’s a shame that Phoenix will likely lose out to Daniel Day-Lewis when it comes to award season, because he deserves to win.
Seven Psychopaths – If you liked In Bruges and/or enjoy dark, twisted comedies, you won’t want to miss this gem from Irish playwright/screenwriter/director Martin McDonagh. Plus it has Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson. Win!
Silver Linings Playbook – While it’s probably not going to win any awards for best picture, it was the best movie I’ve seen this year. Good acting, good script, good story, with lots of emotional pulls in various directions. Now I need to read the book.
Skyfall – Is it just me or are the last few Bond films lacking in any warmth or charm? Unlike with Connery and Brosnan, I don’t have any connection with Daniel Craig’s 007. He’s just so humorless and so are the films. Meh.
Okay, those are my takes on these eight films. If you’ve seen any of them and want to share your thoughts, fire away. Or if you have other films you’ve seen recently that you’d like to recommend, that works, too.