It's Oscar season. In fact, nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced tomorrow morning. Since I have almost no life to speak of, I feel it is my duty to see nearly everything that hits the silver screen so that I can bring you my reviews of the latest and greatest in cinema. This may sound arrogant, because you probably do not need my thoughts, but again: no life. Work with me here.
Instead of writing up longer reviews for all the flicks I see, I'm bringing you smaller, bite-sized reviews designed to give you a brief glimpse at my thoughts of each. Here's this week's group:
This is a film you want to see on the biggest screen possible. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who directed last year's Oscar-winning Birdman, returns with a story about Hugh Glass, a real-life explorer who survives a horrific bear attack to exact revenge on the man who murders his son. It was filmed in natural light in the Canadian wildnerness, and the movie is both breathtaking and utterly bleak because of it. You'll feel exhausted after you see it, but you'll be glad you did. And actor Leonardo Dicaprio should finally win his first Best Actor award for this one; if he doesn't, it's criminal.
RATING: 9 out 10
The Big Short
Based on the Michael Lewis book that detailed the financial crisis last decade, The Big Short somehow makes a movie about obscure financial items seem wildly entertaining. It also explains things in a way a layperson (or someone who can barely add two numbers, such as myself) can easily understand. Great acting performances abound in this one.
RATING: 7 out of 10
The Hateful Eight
Director Quentin Tarantino gets a lot of love for all of his films, but I'll be honest: I didn't like this one at all. In fact, I haven't enjoyed many of Tarantino's films since the Kill Bill epic was released. I expected to like this one more than I did because it's a Western, but the heavy usage of racial slurs really pulled me out of the movie and made me hate it.
RATING: 4 out of 10
From the brilliant mind of Charlie Kaufman comes this entirely unique film about the bland life of a boring man who experiences something amazing. It's unique because it looks like a movie starring string puppets, but is actually animated in a completely strange way that gives it a look like no other. It is quirky, and some will call it boring, but this is a great film.
RATING: 7 out of 10
Do not see this movie. It is atrocious and an affront to the entertaining original of the same name. In fact, it is an affront to entertainment, period. See something else. Anything else. Please.
RATING: 1 out of 10
This comedy from Amy Pohler and Tina Fey is hilarious and crude. The funny bits take awhile to actually start happening, but once they do it's completely entertaining until the end. WWE star John Cena shines in a small role as the neighborhood drug dealer, but the entire cast here is great.
RATING: 6 out of 10