Spotlight: a special investigative unit of The Boston Globe investigate a potential child sex abuse scandal within the catholic church. Obviously, this is a fantastic ensemble cast; as you’d expect, everyone puts in a top shift and is rewarded with their moment. Granted the subject matter is tough to handle, but the movie plays it far too safe for me, with very little in the way of dramatic moments – it’s basically a couple of damp revelatory moments where one priest becomes thirteen, then more, then more, and Ruffalo’s rant was the single outstanding dramatic moment. Despite the journalists having an ‘enemy’ or ‘target’ there’s no real counterbalance or push back from the church – just one scene with the cardinal. The direction doesn’t help much either – felling so flat and removed from the story that it may as well have been marketed as a made-for-TV documentary. More than anything, it feels like a film that’s really personal to Boston and Bostonians; it’s set in Boston around their seemingly overbearing institutions which – as an outsider – maybe that’s the knockout punch that missed me. The profile and performances of such fine actors is really the only selling point for Spotlight, which is a disappointingly low-profile and unimaginative telling of a shocking and evil crime.
Note: for this film to have so many Oscar nods feels bizarre. Sometimes you see the list and can understand why films are on it… but not Spotlight. Nu-huh. Nope. Nein.
- Best picture? ROFL – it’s barely a “movie”.
- Best Supporting Actress? ROFL – McAdams is good, but gets almost no screentime.
- Best Supporting Actor? Fair do’s, Ruffalo is the best thing in this.
- Best Director? ROFL – More like BLANDEST Director
- Best Editing? ROFL – it’s basic.
I’m with Mark on this one – ROFLO!!!
Mad Men (Season 1): Follows Don Draper, an advertising manager in New York circa 1960s. This is critically acclaimed beyond belief, universally loved, and is currently in its fifth season… To me however, this is less of a TV Drama and more of a banal, prolonged observation on the changes in attitudes, taboo, what was acceptable, and foolish ‘it will never take off’ hindsight comments: including but not limited to –
- Male chauvinism / alpha male
- Debunking psychology and technology
- Smoking 100 cigarettes a day, wherever you want
- The crazy mind of women – lol!!!
- Drinking at work
- Rampant adultery
- Drink driving
- Smoking / drinking while pregnant
- Smacking (other people’s) kids – and general bad parenting
The main character is Don Draper; a distant man who seems to be living the American nightmare in picturesque suburbia, which he makes up for by putting his tongue and dick in anything he can. He’s an asshole of a colleague, as sexist as they come and appears to have suicidal thoughts. I also seem to be the only person in the world that thinks Hamm can’t act… For being 13 episodes long nothing really happened; I could find more drama in walking to the shops and back than there was in 585 minutes of season 1. Every time something interesting or remotely dramatic occurred it was diffused and mellowed out within 2 minutes. It didn’t help that there was zero non-diegetic / atmospheric music. It’s technically proficient, a good insight into marketing, and the heavy focus on values is interesting to a point. Maybe married people can sympathise with Draper’s situation more? Maybe it’s got the nostalgia factor for those that grew up in the 60s/70s? But for whatever reason, I can genuinely say that Mad Men was one of the worst TV show’s I’ve watched.
The Adjustment Bureau: an aspiring politician accidentally sees behind the curtain of ‘fate’, and how he’s not fully in control of his own destiny, so he tries to re-write the books. This is the first romantic, heavily religious sci-fi thriller I’ve seen in a while… and juggling all those things hurts the film – but that’s only one of the minor problems. The ‘adjustors’ – who are never fully explained – are cringe-inducing. They wear old style clothing (ok), and their special powers are hats that allow them to walk through doors (ookaaaayyyy…..), and their Achilles heel is water (oh.)… Seriously – semi omniscient beings whose kryptonite is the most abundant compound on the planet! As for the other characters, there’s almost no attempt to develop anyone. It also feels like it’s been put together by the NYC tourist board, with no fewer than 10 photogenic locations. As the film went on some of the reveals and explanations were so stupid I was chuckling for minutes at a time. Emily Blunt’s totally watchable, but did I really just see Matt Damon in a big-budget b-movie?? Seriously, what’s he doing here? The final product is a totally ludicrous and non-sensical film; but you get the feeling that everyone involved knew that. It’s ultimately harmless, but totally stupid.