Monday, November 21, 2016

Mid-November 2016 - Movie Marathon

So my first "real" post since turning 40 will be about (what else) movies! We took advantage of shipping the child off on a camping trip to spend the better part of 24 hours at the movie theater. And we had a great time! I have honestly been rather disappointed at the movie theater of late, so to find four films so very different from each other that we wanted to see, and then to have all four of them turn out to be, at worst, quite good, was quite a (pleasant) shock!

Doctor Strange was good, though not great.The visual effects were extremely well done and were used very effectively, but I had seen them all before in various forms. These may have been "cranked up to 11," but they are not really new or innovative. Still nifty to see, though I would only recommend 3D if you know you can handle it. (I could barely handle parts of it in 2D!) Tilda Swinton was amazing, though, and I'm not always a big fan of hers. Worth seeing, on the big screen if you can, but not in the top 5 (or even top 10) of my favorite Marvel films.

We didn't really have any intention of seeing The Magnificent Seven, though I was intrigued when it came in with a PG-13 rating instead of an R rating. I am a huge Denzel Washington fan, though not generally a big Western fan. I definitely did not care for the original of this movie, but when we looked at the movie times for the day, it worked out easily to see this one first thing in the morning and still get the others in well before dinner. It is the kind of movie we would have gone to see just for the heck of it in our pre-child days, so we gave it a shot, even though we weren't expecting very much from it. And I'm so glad we did! We actually quite enjoyed it, much more than I anticipated. It was fun! And funny! (Though it is not a comedy in any way.) And the James Horner score (his last before his death) is hauntingly beautiful. In this case, I will single out Ethan Hawke's performance. Truly amazing to watch, particularly how he wears a Southern accent completely convincingly, something few actors can pull off at all, much less this effortlessly. Another one worth seeing, though this one can easily wait for home viewing, in my opinion.

I knew going into it that Sully was right up my alley, but even then, it was so very good. It reminds me of Apollo 13 in all kinds of good ways. To paraphrase my brother, "it was very Clint Eastwood, in all the good ways." I loved the weaving in and out of time, and I adore movies that are very suspenseful even when you already know the story. Wonderful performances all around. Kudos to the entire cast! Definitely worth seeing, though again, would be fine for home viewing.

Arrival was the movie I was most curious and concerned about. Given how cryptic they were being in the previews, I figured this was the kind of movie that it was best NOT to know much about before seeing it, and I was right. So if you're interested in seeing it, stop reading about it! Yes, including this review! (Though no spoilers here.) #1 thing to know: this is not an action movie in any way. That's not a bad thing (or it's not to be), as I enjoy well done deliberately paced films (I don't want to call it "slow" due to the negative connotations that go with that when discussing movies). I was also afraid it might be scary or creepy; it was neither. Very different and refreshing, very good, definitely worth seeing.

So, 4 out of 4 on the "worth seeing" scale! An excellent weekend indeed. Let's see if the rest of the year's films can keep up.

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