2016 log (11)

(1 Nov) Tuktuq (2016, Robin Aubert) 87
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(3 Nov) The Little Mermaid (1989, Ron Clements & John Musker) 85
[ Gorgeous traditional animation, a simple but winning fairy tale story, adorable Ariel and loathsome Ursula, funny sidekicks, catchy songs… What’s not to like? ]

(4 Nov) The Prestige (2006, Christopher Nolan) [ review ] 92

(5 Nov) Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Henry Selick) [ review ] 90

(7 Nov) Moonlight (2016, Barry Jenkins) 94
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(9 Nov) Arrival (2016, Denis Villeneuve) 72
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(11 Nov) The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016, Ron Howard)
[ The Beatles are not quite my favorite band of all time, but their story is probably my favorite pop culture tale ever. It’s absolutely amazing everything they went through in less than a decade. This documentary, which focuses on the first half or so, which they spent mostly on the road, is breathtaking in the way they show them rushing through tour after tour, putting out a bunch of albums in the meantime, shooting two movies, etc. Of course, there’s the whole Beatlemania thing going on, which means that their live shows were mostly drowned out in the screams of teenage girls. It’s really quite unlike anything else in history. Some have said that this film doesn’t really show anything new, but I don’t know, it feels like some archival footage was rarely seen­… In any case, even the stuff I was familiar with I loved seeing again. ]

(13 Nov) Hacksaw Ridge (2016, Mel Gibson) 89
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(16 Nov) Zoolander 2 (2016, Ben Stiller) 19
[ I wasn’t actually a fan of the one-joke original movie, so I skipped this sequel in theaters and have only caught up to it now that it’s on Netflix. Thanks God, because it’s even worse than the first film. I smiled a few times, maybe chuckled once or twice, but I mostly found this to be intensely boring and unfunny, not to mention stupid, whether that’s intentional or not. Even the non-stop lineup of celebrity cameos could barely maintain my interest. ]

(17 Nov) Whiplash (2014, Damien Chazelle) [ review ] 92 94

(18 Nov) Elle (2016, Paul Verhoeven) 78
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(19 Nov) Trainspotting (1996, Danny Boyle) 93
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(19 Nov) The Wrecking Crew (2008, Denny Tedesco)
[ Great subject, so-so documentary. It’s basically like a TV thing, poorly shot interviews, plus a bit of archival footage. But again: great subject! If you don’t know, The Wrecking Crew were the studio musicians who basically played on all the major records of the ‘60s (minus the Motown stuff done by the Funk Brothers), working with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and tons of others. Wish they had been part of a better film. ]

(21 Nov) Manchester by the Sea (2016, Kenneth Lonergan) 86
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(24 Nov) Miracle on 34th Street (1994, Les Mayfield) 65
[ I watch this movie every other year with my wife (it’s one of her favorites), but somehow I’d never written about it. Maybe because we watch the French-dubbed version on an old VHS, sometimes while doing something else… Anywho, it’s a wonderful Christmas movie, conventional and predictable, sure, but still a lot of fun and quite moving. Richard Attenborough is probably the best Santa Claus in film history, and little Mara Wilson is utterly adorable. ]

(30 Nov) Jackie (2016, Pablo Larrain) 79
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]