A missive comes from a friend that The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum) is really a great movie. I look it up on Rotten Tomatoes and see it’s almost got the best rating - 89% - of the current crop. Hmmm. But do I really want to see another film about “Double-U Double U Two?” Ditto for Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken (RT only 51%). An heroic story about an amazing hero. But do I really want to see another movie about “Double-U Double U Two?" That leaves Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild (an amazing 92%), from the Cheryl Strayed memoir. But watching an almost two hour flick about a woman coming to terms with life issues through a prolonged west coast jaunt (Strayed’s last name is a pun; couldn’t resist) doesn’t really make me want to leap from my comfortable chair at home. The rest of the movies are fantasies of one sort or another, such as The Hobbit, Into the Woods, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Annie, and The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 1. Big Eyes? The relationship story at the centre of this film is its most interesting aspect. But I can’t get around looking at all those pictures of formulaic “big eyes” paintings, making me think I’m at some second-rate art bazaar. There is Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg, a kind of remake of the James Caan film, though it might be worth seeing just to see Jessica Lange! Finally, there’s Foxcatcher, critically acclaimed (RT 86%) with enough of a quirky story to perhaps make it interesting. But I got turned off by the wrestling scenes. So, what’s a frustrated cineaste to do?
Now that Sony Entertainment and (independent) cinemas have shown some pluck and stood up to North Korea (or whoever was behind the terrorist threats; the FBI points to the Hermit Kingdom but cyber experts say it could be an inside job) I could make my way to the closest Bijou showing The Interview (Imagine Cinemas’ Lakeshore near Windsor and Cinema Detroit in downtown Detroit, starting Jan. 2). Yes, I could show my solidarity with freedom of speech by attending the film, even if I don’t have a great desire to see this latest frat (fart) house classic. So as the old year comes to a close, your faithful film addict is in a bit of a funk. Let’s toast to better cinema in 2015.
Oh, BTW, it should be interesting to watch the Academy Awards (Feb. 22) if only to see the sorry faces of Hollywood’s elite, after actor George Clooney couldn’t even get one of these supposed libertarian stalwarts to sign his petition standing up to North Korea. Hoping someone makes an issue of it at the ceremony.