THE REVENANT || December 25th, 2015

45Years-poster 45 YEARS || This is only a PASS for now, as Charlotte Rampling is likely to get an Academy Award nomination for her performance in “45 Years” and then I will be seeing it. The film sees the couple of Rampling and Tom Courtenay reaching their 45th wedding anniversary. But with the party on the horizon, they receive a letter that Courtenary’s first love has been “discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps” leading to some shakiness in the foundation of their marriage.
PASS
Concussion2015-poster CONCUSSION || Most know Will Smith needs a good career turn around, following some odd choices including M. Night Shyamalan’s “After Earth.” So being in a film that could get him Oscar attention is huge. Playing American immigrant and forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, he becomes the man that discovers that the NFL is hiding a secret about a brain condition that would later be widely known as a concussion, and the uphill battle he faced to get out the truth.
RENT
DaddysHome-poster DADDY’S HOME || After starring together in “The Other Guys” (2010), Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg find themselves in yet another comedy, this one pitting biological dad versus stepfather in a battle of wills for the love of their children. “Daddy’s Home” sees Ferrell playing the straight and narrow while Wahlberg is the hunky unreliable one. Being a stepdad myself, this does have some appeal, but the lackluster physical gags are not enough to get me in the theater to see it.
STREAM
Exposed-poster EXPOSED || Go figure that the week the “Point Break” remake comes out, Keanu Reeves has another film come out the same day. Reeves plays a cop whose partner is killed and, at the request of his partner’s bereaved wife (Mira Sorvino), he chases down the killers despite being warned not to. The “almost” selling point here for me is the gorgeous actress Ana De Armas, who shared the screen with Reeves in Eli Roth’s “Knock Knock” and who plays the only witness to crime in this film. She almost makes me want to see this.
PASS
TheHatefulEight-poster THE HATEFUL EIGHT || Violent, bloody, and foulmouthed, Quentin Tarantino weaves a post-Civil War tale in the wintry snow, where eight men are trapped in one log cabin as one of them, “The Hangman” played by Kurt Russell is transporting a bounty, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, to a local town for $10,000. That is if he can get passed the one (or more) lying men in the cabin. Also starring Samuel L. Jackson, Walter Goggins, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Damien Bichir, Michael Madsen, and Channing Tatum, this is Tarantino at what he does best.

Joy-poster JOY || Sometimes brilliant, sometimes sloppy, David O. Russell definitely proves he is an actor’s director, bringing out some truly great performances, especially from lead Jennifer Lawrence. But his story-telling and technical work leaves much to be desired, which is the case with all of his films, “Silver Linings Playbook” included. Which tells me he’s not really progressing as a director. Being much too long and much too eccentric, he also proves he’s too involved and needs some outside collaboration. Otherwise, the story of the “Magic Mop” inventor who had to fight for everything she had, is inspirational and if nothing but a unique vehicle for actress Jennifer Lawrence.

POINT BREAK || Call it cinematic sacrilege if you must, but I have never seen the original “Point Break,” directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow and starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. In the remake, the CGI is bigger, the cast is a little more unknown, but if Luke Bracey is going for his best Keanu Reeves impression here, he’s done it. The story is an undercover FBI agent gets involved with thrill-seeking bank robbers with a purpose and the line between good and evil becomes blurry. If I’m going to see this one, I should probably right the wrong of having never seen the original.
STREAM
THE REVENANT || Of all the films being released this year, “The Revenant” is the one I am most looking forward to. And of course it is the latest release of the year as well. From Academy Award winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and specifically Academy Award winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the film tells the story of a man left for dead after a bear attack (Leonardo DiCaprio) but who returns to seek vengeance for the men that wronged him (of them being Tom Hardy). The visuals look amazing, the acting looks amazing, and I cannot wait for this snowy, violent pic.
THEATER

YellowDay-poster YELLOW DAY || Never have I ever seen acting that gets much worse than this. “Yellow Day” is a half-live action, half-animated faith based film with some of the most stiff performances from all ages that I have ever seen. Apparently taking place on Yellow Day, a man is bestowed some visions and miracles for believing in God and with the support of a little girl and a woman who sees the best in him, this man journeys to find his true potential, becoming a knight with a sword and shield in the animation world.
PASS

THEATER

  • “The Hateful Eight”
  • “Joy”
  • “The Revenant”

RENT

  • “Concussion”

STREAM

  • “Daddy’s Home”
  • “Point Break”

PASS

  • “45 Years”
  • “Exposed”
  • “Yellow Day”

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