Month: December 2015

“My Top 10 Movies for 2015”

With 2015 coming to an end, I wanted to take a look back at the movie reviews I wrote this year.  When I counted the reviews I have written this year (=24), I wanted to see what would be my top ten favorites.  It was a bit easier to make a “listicle” than in past years, since I did not think this year’s output was as stunning. No film in the same league as “Imitation Game” or “The Theory of Everything”. With the Golden Globe Awards now announced, I have taken a look back at the movie reviews I have written over the past year, not only this year’s releases. Both television and cinema...

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“The Big Short”—We Were All Duped

The Big Short “The Big Short”, based on Michael Lewis’s book, is a film that wildly fluctuates between comedy and deadly serious criticism of Wall Street. The producers, shouting out “Finance For Dummies”, follow a group of outlier financial analysts who predicted and bet on the fall of the U.S. housing market. 2011’s “Margin Call” told a similar story. “Wolf of Wall Street” also focused on investment banking as one excessive party, with attempts at humor. The Big Short, a true story, feels like a lecture with subtitled definitions of arcane financial acronyms like CDO in PowerPoint slides....

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“Fargo”: Season 2—Still Far to Go

  Season 2 of the award-winning Fargo mini-series is a stunning repeat performance not only of the Coen brothers’ iconic movie by the same name but also in its succession to Season 1. The season finale of Fargo was broadcast this week. Comedy meets tragedy. Humor meets violence. Surreal meets the real with an infusion of the main theme: the loss of innocence. Hell descends, though the characters are ill-prepared, and now there is no turning back. Their unexpected dark side grows like a cancer. [And the ferocious transformation of characters is not unlike Walter White in “Breaking Bad”.] Welcome...

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“Trouble with the Curve”—Catching the Unexpected

Trouble with the Curve This 2012 film is another  Clint Eastwood sports movie. That being said, “Trouble with the Curve” is not so much about sports as it is about a father-daughter relationship. It also touches on how the human element (and an “old-school” methodology) cannot be discounted in favor of technology. (Think: “Money Ball” as its opposite!) In the opening scene Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is attempting to hide his macular degeneration from the execs at the Atlanta Braves, because, as one of their top scouts, he must be able to spot the next star. But crusty, aging Gus is more than...

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“Mr. Holmes”—Not the Sherlock We All Know

  “Mr. Holmes” is an imaginary and revisionist take on Sherlock Holmes as a 93-year old dispirited and retired detective, featuring the incomparable Ian McKellen in the title role. This 2015 British-American film , based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, takes place in Sussex two years after the end of the Second World War. This interpretation, among the many Sherlock Holmes we have seen, focuses on the lonely and contemplative man struggling to remember his last case, not the analytical mind associated with the world’s most famous fictional detective. Holmes,...

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