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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller, 2015 (R)

with Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton

The desert wastelands inhabited by the Road Warrior are still rife with motorized gangs in this fourth chapter of the Mad Max legend. When Max encounters a group of refugees fleeing for their lives, he joins them and their fiery leader, Furiosa.

Utu-Noranti (Grandma) and Grunchlk are in Mad Max !!! Just for that, it deserves the watch :) (Farscape fan...)
But then again, you have to have been on a lot of coffee or something. Because the movie is loud, fast, doesn't give any second break, it is pretty much a two-hour pursuit. They could almost call it an action-road trip. In fast forward.
Of course, as usual, Tom Hardy needs subtitles... Sorry I had to make the joke because no matter how hard I try, I always wind up with them. Theron is good, Hoult is crazy which I absolutely loved, and then the story, well, it goes very fast, so besides people hitting each others with cars, and a lot of sand, I didn't see much. But well, it Utu Noranti (Melissa Jaffer) is still with her collection of plants, I am good...

Spy By Paul Feig, 2015 (R)

with Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, 50 Cent

Unassuming CIA analyst Susan Cooper is far from being a James Bond type, but when she's thrust into the field to investigate the disappearance of her partner, she turns into an improbable superspy.

The combo Paul Feig - Melissa McCarthy gets better and better. I wasn't big on Bridesmaids, liked better The Heat, but this one is definitely a winner. McCarthy is brilliant in it, doesn't overdo it, but just throes her lines in the wittiest way, and keeps us going for almost two hours. Jason Statham (whole role was actually written specially for him) is great, as a grumpy spy who messes up with order, to me at his best since Snatch. Jude Law is perfect as the agent-crooner, and finally pretty much the whole cast gets to make us laugh in every way possible. There is not one moment that feels unnecessary, from the feminist attitude of the director of the agency (Allison Janney), to the lost tourist.

Hot Pursuit by Anne Fletcher, 2015 (PG-13)

with Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Kazinsky, Richard T. Jones, Michael Mosley, Matthew Del Negro, Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, Benny Nieves, Michael Ray Escamilla, Vincent Laresca

Assigned to protect the sexy widow of a drug kingpin, a straitlaced Texas police detective is forced to take flight with her precious cargo when an assortment of bad cops and ruthless hit men start closing in on the pair.

Watched it on the plane... I saw the trailer and thought, well, Sofia Vergara is very funny. And Resese Witherspoon ok. Sorry, I am not so found of her in general. Anyway, so the movie was... well, not good. The jokes are all in the trailer, so it makes the rest of the movie extend to a plague of jokes that gets either repeated such as the profile of the nerdy cop, or made to make men laugh (men with typical macho behavior, not all men, my apologies). It made me uncomfortable that the sense of humor was so diminishing to women and directed by a woman even worse... And I don't even mention how lousy the humor against lesbians was. Offensive actually.

Cake by Daniel Barnz, 2014 (R)

with Daniel Barnz, Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Chris Messina, Mamie Gummer, Lucy Punch, Britt Robertson, Paula Cale, Ashley Crow, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Camille Guaty, Allen Maldonado, Camille Mana, Julio Oscar Mechoso

Saddled with chronic pain, Claire Simmons has kept a sense of humor, even if it's of the acidic, angry variety. Upset but gripped by curiosity when a member of her support group kills herself, Claire decides to excavate the truths behind the suicide.

I don't know how this director went from Beastly to Cake, but definitely he jumped to a much different level. This movie is beautiful, funny, extremely sad, and made with a finesse and sensitivity that really showcase American cinema at its best. And Jennifer Aniston is outstanding in it, as well as Adriana Barraza. As much as I love Jennifer Aniston in her more funny roles, she managed here to get us to our guts, with the nuance of a person having experienced physical and mental pain beyond possible, and going through a journey of anger, chaos, depression, and growing out of it with a complex mix of wider understanding of human miseries and beauty. The experience of watching the movie is painful, happy, sad but most of all transformative.

A Most Wanted Man by Anton Corbijn, 2014 (R)

with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl

A half-Russian, half-Chechen man, brutalized by torture, arrives in Hamburg, where he seeks a British banker's help in recovering his father's estate. But the man may not be all he seems to be in this riveting adaptation of John le Carré's novel.

John Le Carré's stories are complex. And making a movie out of it is a challenge. Adapting it to the current context is another one. The performances are impeccable, and the suspense really entertaining. The movie is great, but the complexity of it all makes it challenging to watch and follow. The general mood of the movie makes you hope there is a positive outcome. But then it is not a typical American movie, so optimism might not be at its best. Not to spoil too much...