Pencilstorm contributor Rob Braithwaite is watching 366 movies this year, so you don't have to, here is part nine of his continuing 2016 rundown......
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = I can’t see giving anything that I’ve seen once five stars
★ ★ ★ ★ = get to the theater / move it up in your queue
★ ★ ★ = “three stars is a recommendation” - The Empire [magazine] Podcast
★ ★ = if the remote is too far away, you could do worse
★ = if the remote is too far away, get someone to move it closer then throw it at the TV
Dressed to Kill (1980) ★ ★ ★
stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
writer/director: Brian De Palma
This is De Palma’s Psycho. Salacious and voyeuristic as De Palma can be, the silent flirtation and chase in the museum in expertly executed.
double feature pairing: The Voices
Big Eyes (2014) ★ ★
stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz
director: Tim Burton
Margaret Keane painted pictures of children with oversized eyes. The world loved them. Her husband took the credit.
If you’ve seen the trailer, you could say you’ve seen the movie. There’s not much of note between the cuts.
watch the trailer for Big Eyes instead
Triple 9 (2016) ★ ★ ★.5
stars: Anthony Mackie, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor
director: John Hillcoat
This heist movie, packed to the gills with character actors, has some thrilling scenes but feels as if it was originally denser, like it was thirty minutes longer and the studio said to get it under two hours.
double feature pairing: The Bank Job
The Nice Guys (2016) ★ ★ ★ ★
stars: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice
co-writer/director: Shane Black
A muscle for hire teams up with an opportunist private eye to solve a case.
Shane Black is an incredibly funny and subversive writer. Ryan Gosling is unexpectedly hilarious and make a great team with Russell Crowe.
double feature pairing: Airport ‘77
Criminal (2016) ★ ★ ★
stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Gal Gadot
director: Ariel Vromen
Green Lantern is killed before he can return to an asset he placed in hiding. To get that information, Jim Gordon transfers Green Lantern’s memories into Jonathan Kent, a death row inmate. Kent escapes as the foreign memories begin take hold and finds himself at Wonder Woman’s door. Will he find the asset before it’s too late?
A completely enjoyable and ridiculous movie. The cast certainly helps to elevate it.
double feature pairing: self/less
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) ★ ★ ★.5
stars: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz
director: Nicholas Stoller
A group of girls start their own sorority house when they learn that only fraternities are allowed to host parties.
The first one was funny. This one is funnier.
double feature pairing: Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Everest (2015) ★ ★ ★ ★
stars: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson
director: Baltasar Kormákur
I wasn’t interested in this when it came to the theater, because it seemed to be leaning on the 3D/IMAX element to get butts in seats. I recently read Into Thin Air, a source for the movie, and decided to watch the movie.
Everest isn’t nearly as sensationalized as the trailer made me think. It’s a very straightforward telling of the disastrous climbing expedition in 1996. I’m not sure how well certain aspects were relayed in the movie. I think I understood more because of the book’s detail. Either way, it’s very good.
double feature pairing: 127 Hours
The Boy (2016) ★ ★
stars: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, a doll
director: William Brent Bell
Greta is the new nanny for the Heelshire’s boy. Oh boy, it’s a doll.
Better than I thought it would be, it creates an eerie atmosphere without being too cheap with jump scares. Too bad it completely unravels for the finale, becoming the shit show I expected it to be in the first place.
Lauren Cohan deserves an award for Best Second Take.
watch Magic instead
Dark Passage (1947) ★ ★
stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Agnes Moorehead
director: Delmer Daves
A man breaks out of prison to solve the murder he didn’t commit.
At least that’s what the synopsis says. Mostly it’s the guy wandering around, getting plastic surgery, recuperating then trying to get out of town. He eventually figures out who set him up, but he more or less stumbles into it.
Bogart’s face isn’t shown until an hour into the movie, when the surgical bandages are taken off. The first forty minutes is almost entirely shot in first person perspective, which bothered me a lot. It made me appreciate Seconds much more. In that movie, another actor played the part of pre-surgical Rock Hudson.
watch The Fugitive instead
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) ★ ★.5
stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Rose Byrne
director: Bryan Singer
A mutant, believed to be the first ever, awakens from hibernation to unleash a CGI cleansing of the world. Other mutants try to stop him while having the same conversations they’ve been having since the first X-Men movie.
There were some good moments, but it largely feels like rehashed mayhem and dialogue. Quicksilver was an unexpected joy in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He isn’t any more developed here, although he is allowed to stick around after his callback scene of doing funny things as he runs so fast time slows to a near stop. Xavier and Erik have a conversation that is a literal lift from another X-Men movie. The injection of new characters doesn’t help this spinning wheel.
watch X-Men: First Class instead
Dressed to Kill (1941) ★ ★
stars: Lloyd Nolan, Mary Beth Hughes, William Demarest
director: Eugene Forde
People were crazy about private investigator Michael Shayne. There were novels, radio plays, movies and a TV show.
In this outing, Shayne is about to be married when he come across a double murder. Wise cracks, hustling, sexism and racism ensue.
watch The Thin Man instead
131/366 movies (21 movies off pace)
17/52 movies directed by women
THE TOP THREE