What I Watched
At the Theater
La La Land
Dir. Damien Chazelle, 2016
Saw it on Christmas Day with a packed house. So packed I ended up on the second row. Still magical. "A lovely night." The absolute treat of the year. Full review to come...
On Home Video
Dir. Roman Polanski, 1979
Gorgeous in both its Oscar-winning cinematography and its star, Nastassja Kinski, but ultimately too choppy, pacing-wise, for its three-hour runtime. Glad to see it, though, as it was one of my Dad's favorites around the time he and my mother were married in 1980.
Dir. Clint Eastwood, 2016
Its sort of great patriotic warmth and sentimentality towards true life heroes, particularly first responders, not to mention the brilliantly intense recreation of Sully's water landing, is diminished by redundant explanations and a feeling as if there was literally nothing at stake for its title character. Not Hanks' fault. He kills as usual.
Dir. Todd Phillips, 2016
Phillips simply can't direct a serious moment between two actors. The Miles Teller family subplot destroyed what was otherwise a decently entertaining attempt at Scorsese by way of O. Russell. (FT) ★★1/2
Dir. James Schamus, 2016
This film is an ode to we once young men with our arrogant young intellectual minds. Once Ang Lee's writing partner and producer, James Schamus makes a solid classical debut as a director. One that understand that young man, just as author of the source novel Philip Roth does, that arrogance and immaturity and, most essentially, that sexuality. Sarah Gadon is the love of my past life, such a beauty. Her Olivia Hutton is a harsh reminder of the kind of woman I felt inexplicably drawn to for all of my adolescence. The kind of woman who tortures the likes of intellectual elitists like myself and Logan Lerman's Marcus Messner. I really connected with this one. One of my personal favorites of the year.
(FT) = First Time
(RW) = Re-Watch
Steven does his "unofficial" Top Ten of 2016.
Ryan has a killer Top Five of the year.
Brittany predicts the Golden Globes.
Dell drops his best and worst of the year (so far).
Cameron, a new friend I made this past year here and on Instagram, reviewed Denzel Washington's Fences, which I can't wait to see.
I watched 195 movies in 2016.
Re-Watched - 70
First-Timers - 125
2016 Releases - 44