I've been sitting on a bunch of movie reviews for so long that I forget almost everything I was going to say about them. Ah well, here's what I have.
These are the ones we saw at the theatre, first-run and everything, some going back a while:
Creed: If you saw the original Rocky, then you know exactly how this one is going to go. I found the love interest to be a distraction this time around, though, whereas it was a memorable part of the original. Spending a little time with Rocky Balboa felt like seeing an old friend again. Oh, and not for nothing, but the bad guy opponent at the end did not look like he was fit enough to shovel snow, let alone box. There was a long pan of him from behind and you couldn't see a single muscle in his back.
Star Wars (whatever the new one was called): Speaking of old friends—hey look, it's Han Solo! I was very happy to run into him too, after all these years. This was fun and interesting and exciting, and I was sitting next to a dead ringer for George Lucas, who said to me, "May the force be with you" as we all left.
Mad Max (whatever the new one was called): This was wicked awesome, as we say here in Boston. Way over-the-top in every fun way imaginable. WITNESS ME!
The Revenant: This one I remember well because I saw it only yesterday. My god, but it was violent and gory! I love movie violence and gore, but this was nearly too much for me. Here's what I think about Leo finally winning a best actor Oscar: Not this time. He was perfectly good, but it just wasn't a best actor role. He had very few lines (what with having his throat ravaged by a grizzly bear) and surely didn't do his own stunts, so it was mostly a lot of images of his face being contorted (albeit convincingly) in physical or emotional pain. It really wasn't that demanding of a role. Tom Hardy, on the other hand, was outstanding. Meanwhile, can you even imagine how bad it must have smelled around those trapping camps? Yeesh.
These we watched on demand, at home:
The Martian: Oh boy, this was really interesting and enjoyable, and I'm told the book is even more so. Matt Damon is really likable in this role, and it all felt very believable to me (Neil deGrasse Tyson even tweeted that the movie got the "crucial science" parts right).
Bridge of Spies: Very Spielberg-y in every way, which includes very entertaining. There's nothing not to like here, and it's kind of a cool story. We know it was based on a true story because at the end they tell you what the real-life people did after the events in the movie. But for some reason it said "inspired by true events," and I wonder why it didn't say "based on a true story" instead. To my way of thinking, you could hear about a top-secret Cold War spy-swap and somehow be "inspired" to make a zombie movie or a rom-com. But that's neither here nor there. Tom Hanks is really good.
And now, I can't believe I'm admitting this, but on top of the DVD player I found a Netflix DVD that had been shipped to me on, um, May 31, 2014. Not a typo. So we watched it:
Mud: Online pal Nancy urged me to give Matthew McConaughey another chance after I mentioned that I thought he was a total lightweight. She was right: He was superb in this. As A. O. Scott wrote in the Times, "Mud is played by Matthew McConaughey in the latest in a series of surprising, intense, and often very funny performances following his escape from the commercial romantic-comedy penal colony.... Mr. McConaughey commands attention with a variation on a certain kind of Southern character: handsome but battered, charming but also sinister, his self-confidence masking a history of bad luck and trouble." If you see this (and I recommend you do), take note: That grizzled old guy? It's Sam Shepard! I didn't recognize him.