The Accountant

Not bad! This was sort of a mashup of Rainman and John Wick but somehow it pretty much worked. It was dumb and violent and far-fetched but it didn’t take itself too seriously so it all turned out pretty entertaining in the end. That’s about all I feel like saying about that.

In Order of Disappearance

What a surprisingly decent Norwegian black comedy this turned out to be. The story centers around a snowplow driver who’s son is mistakenly murdered by a drug lord, and said snowplow driver’s quest for revenge as he climbs his way to the top of the criminal food chain, one murder at a time.

Maybe Liam Neeson wasn’t available but Stellan Skarsgård did a fine job as the wronged father, and he played it in an oddly effective understated way. As if suddenly murdering a bunch of people was no big deal to him.

The film was full of great characters, including the drug kingpin whose personal life is in shambles, the retired criminal brother with an inexplicably surly girlfriend, the kingpin’s young son who’s clearly had enough of this shit, and two Fargo-esque parking enforcement officers.

Quite an enjoyable romp, I must say.

The Light Between Oceans

This type of film isn’t really my bag, but it’s hard to not want to see something with Fasspenis, Ex Machina robot and Rachel Weisz in it, all excellent actors.

The story revolves around a lighthouse keeper, his wife, and a stolen baby. You might be asking yourself how an isolated lighthouse keeper and his wife could steal a baby, but you’ll just have to see the movie (or read the book) to see what the mechanics of all that is.

But for me the story wasn’t really about the baby, it was about loyalty, truth, the lengths you’ll go to make someone happy and the sacrifices you might make to that end.

Alicia Vikander was especially good. Played in a different way, she could have come off as conniving and manipulative, but instead you really believed that she believed the nutty ideas she was espousing.

Pretty to look at, well acted, well directed, etc., but more of a romance novel sort of story that’s more for the chicks.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

This complicatedly-named film is the latest from Werner Herzog. It’s ostensibly about the Internet, past and present, but is less of a cohesive history than a collection of smaller vignettes about interesting people and events related to technology and connectedness.

There wasn’t a whole lot in there that was new to me, but half the fun is listening to the soft, dulcet tones of Herzog’s beautiful narration. It was interesting, kinda fun in parts, a little depressing in one part in particular, but not much new or groundbreaking. For that, see Zero Day instead.

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

This excellent documentary has Floyd Norman, who I’d never heard of, as a subject. Floyd was the first, among very few, black animator at Disney. The interesting thing is that the documentary, and Floyd himself, don’t really play up this angle very much. One of the main themes is ageism, and was most interesting to me because Floyd is old enough to have worked with some of the original Disney animators as well as Walt Disney himself. He’s 80 and he’s more or less still working as an animator/consultant for Disney (it’s complicated.)

Floyd is simply an interesting guy that has lead an interesting life and it was educational and entertaining to spend about 90 minutes with him.

Hell or High Water

Funny thing, we saw this on the same day we saw Sausage Party. Thank goodness we saw this one second. On a day when we saw what will probably be one of my least favorite movies of the year, Hell or High Water comes in and saves the day.

The plot was very, very simple and overall it was almost a set of three character studies that was the common thread throughout the movie. Everything about it was just perfect. The pacing. The setting. The acting. The writing, which was unexpected since the same guy wrote that piece of garbage Sicario.

Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster (why doesn’t that guy get more work?) were especially good, and New Captain Kirk was pleasantly surprising. I guess he has more range than I thought. Overall I’d describe this as a modern day American western noir, and somehow all those words together work.

Since I apparently notice cinematography a lot now… it was exceptional. You could randomly pause the movie on any frame and it would be a work of art. There were a lot of rather technical camera moves, actors hitting their marks, camera hitting its mark, all Steadicam or dolly work. I didn’t notice any shaky-cam at all. Aside from the great ‘substance’ of the movie, it was beautiful to look at.

Anyway, big thumbs up. I don’t see this getting a really wide release but if you like this kind of thing it’s worth seeking out.

Sausage Party

I wasn’t originally going to bother with this one, the trailers didn’t make it look very good. Then it hit over 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and some critics I like (Richard Roeper, Michael Philips, OA Scott for Christ’s sake) gave it a positive review, so I figured what the hell. And then I dragged my wife along with me to make matters even worse.

This was crap. Garbage. I like juvenile comedy as much as the next guy, but this was somehow worse that I imagined it could be. It was like juvenile comedy that was actually written by a juvenile. You can be juvenile and smart at the same time, but this was just horrid.

They tried to construct a sort of religious parable, and I commend them for the attempt. It must have looked good on paper, but the execution was not much beyond a third-grader’s grasp of world religions. It cut a pretty wide swath and offered no insight. I know, I know. It’s a cartoon. I wouldn’t normally be so harsh but this cartoon aimed high and missed so thoroughly I can’t bring myself to cut it any slack.

I think I chuckled a little bit maybe twice. Mostly because it’s hilarious to hear swearing in Salma Hayak’s voice. I’d rather have watched an entire movie of that, with nothing on the screen.

If you imbibe in the chronic, and get really, really high before seeing this, maybe it would be somewhat funny. Maybe. But you’d have to be higher than Snoop Dogg on an average day for this to even make a small dent in your funny-bone.