Movies I’ve Seen – December 2015   Leave a comment

December is when I catch up on all the movies I haven’t seen.

1. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) – This movie caught me by surprise. I remember the trailer in theaters last year, but I didn’t think it would be so good. Also Rated-R. I didn’t think it would be, but it is. The Kingsman are secret agents outside of British Intelligence. Their goals are ultimately the same. The movie portrayed a dark, almost comedic spin to the spy film genre. Colin Firth was pretty good.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – After almost a decade since Revenge of the Sith, we have another Star Wars movie and it’s the direct sequel to Return of the Jedi and it did not disappoint. I don’t remember much from the original trilogy, but I get the gist of the story and what happened. The prequel trilogy is still fresh on my mind. The Force Awakens takes the best part about the original trilogy and amped it up in the story department with minimal or barely noticeable CGI, relying instead on practical effects. I think the best thing about good CGI is that you never know it’s there unlike the prequel episodes. Can’t wait for Episode 8.

3. The Divergent Series: Insurgent – this sequel came out back in March. They just started showing it on HBO this month and I finally got a chance to watch it. I can see many similarities between this and The Maze Runner. Overall, it’s about the chosen one trope again. These movies get me wondering if the authors wrote the books with their ulterior goal of having a movie franchise made. It’s so formulaic.

4. Wild (2014) – Reese Witherspoon deserves the nomination for her performance. She plays a woman who takes on a 94-day hike on the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself or maybe as punishment for losing herself after losing her mother to cancer. I like movies about atonement and reflection.

5. Her (2013) – I think a lot of people were creeped out by this movie when the trailer hit theaters. In the not too distant future, a not too recently single Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) buys an Operating System with real artificial intelligence built in. He sets up his computer and customizes it to his liking, giving the AI a female voice just like Siri for iPhone or Cortana for Windows Phone. He names the AI as “Samantha” and throughout the movie, Samantha learns about the world through her interactions with Theodore as they talk to each other. It’s an odd concept, but no matter how weird it is, “falling in love is kind of like a form of socially-acceptable insanity.” I know people who are in a relationship even when they’ve only seen the person online and never physically met them. For better or worse, technology alters the way we love. And even as the world changes, matters of the heart remain the same.

6. This Is Where I Leave You (2014) – Stars Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Dax Shepard, Jane Fonda, Timothy Olyphant, and other actors. It’s a comedy-drama. This is the genre for people who want comedy, drama and subtle romance that is not the centerpiece of the plot. Four siblings are reunited with their mother and friends in their hometown after their father passed away. Their mother requested a shiva (a week-long mourning in the Jewish faith). Things about their past are brought up and they learn more about each other.

7. Wish I Was Here (2014) – Zach Braff’s kickstarter movie. I wanted to watch this when it came out last year, but the subject matter about a terminally-ill father was just too much for me to deal with at the time with my father’s situation. I finally saw it last night and I just want to say that Zach Braff is a wonderful human being for loving his craft and sharing the creative process with his fans and to the world. The themes have been explored before in Garden State, but I could say the same about all genre movies. I think it’s worth repeating.

I’m done.

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