Been catching up on some stuff.
Don't Breathe - 6/10
Watchable and pretty exciting at times (the dog almost getting them again and again gave me the biggest "holy shit" feelings I've had in a while). Still, short as it is, the concept is spread a little thin. A film of great sequences but not a solid whole. Dunno why they had to make the guy so unlikeable... who am I rooting for in the end?
Moonlight - 5/10
Not as affecting as I had hoped it might be. I just kind of sat through it... engaged but not moved.
Arrival - 6/10
A movie I was excited about. I liked the first hour, and then I kept falling asleep. I might give it another try one day.
The Ones Below - 6/10
Another decent thriller, this time of the psychological variety. I can recommend a film that's almost exactly like it but rates 10/10. It starts with "The" and ends with "Cradle". This one is nothing special.
Mad Max: Fury Road - 8/10
Incredible. God damn... if I had been emotionally engaged this would be a 10. I loved the villain! I loved how he looked and how the camera moved on him! Really it was all great. Somehow it never lacked variety, even though all the ingredients were the same the whole way through. Very watchable!
Hidden Figures - 6/10
My expectations were off here. It had good buzz and I took that to mean it would probably have above average bite... else why would anyone be talking about it? Looking back, I think I would prefer to hear this story told in a 37 hour documentary by Ken Burns. This version feels too Disney. Janelle MonŠe was cool as hell. Great in Moonlight too!
Swiss Army Man - 8/10
Hell yea, this was a good one! A couple of great montages, emotionally engaging, damn weird but also damn funny! I glad I got off the fence and gave this a try. So inventive and it had better rocketry than Hidden Figures.
Nocturnal Animals - 6/10
A lot of cutting between boring and not boring. Jake Gyllenhaal has really hit his stride as an actor. I will forget about this movie.
Passengers - 9/10
This is why I don't bother reading anything before watching a movie. This was fantastic. FANTASTIC! What did I know about it going in? Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in space. Had I read any of the reviews (37% RT) it would've confirmed what my cynical mind suspected, that this was nothing but a generic star vehicle about two characters on a vehicle traveling to distant stars... and I never would have watched it! Man, I was so into this. Every element. The ship they were on for example. It was was so thoroughly realized! Like this might be the most ambitious and richly conceived space ship I've ever seen in a film. What an achievement of design! Vast, beautiful, functional, sensible, radically different! The ship in 2001 might as well be a flying log cabin by comparison. I don't mean in technology, but in detail and size and how much of it we get to see and interact with! Even the ship in Sunshine, which is outwardly a straggering thing to look at, is inside a pretty run of the mill space vessel (the payload room notwithstanding). Love the story here too... I thought every beat of it worked, even where it felt inevitable. I was so on board I would've let a lot go, but I didn't find I needed to. This movie flattens anything else I've seen from 2016. Looking forward to seeing it again.