By: Henry J. Fromage –
My pace has definitely slackened as work demands reach intolerable levels (yeah, this ain’t my money job), but I still had time to winnow down the list of Oscar noms.
Andrey Zvyagintsev might be assuming Michael Haneke’s not yet passed mantle of reigning Euro-depression maestro. His latest is a devastating portrait (and Russian political metaphor, of course) of two parents who just don’t care enough about their child to even realize he’s been abducted- and things go downhill from there. Perhaps a tad less impactful than Leviathan, and obviously enough of a downer for a Two Beer rating.
34. Strong Island
Another immensely depressing documentary by Yance Ford, a trans woman still haunted by her brother’s 1994 murder and a grand jury’s refusal to even let it go to trial, what Strong Island loses in objectivity it more than makes up in achingly personal subjectivity. Three Beers for an extremely brave film.
This sort of feel good pablum would normally be anathema to my sensibilities, but damn if The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘s Stephen Chbosky and the always on Jacob Tremblay don’t elevate this story by not focusing on the little uniquely talented and visaged hero at the center of it, but all of the extremely human perspectives that surround and interrelate with his first year at school. Darn it, Two Beers.
36. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
I’m counting this, as per Ken’s original dictates, I haven’t seen it in 10 years (I also watched the end of Fellowship of the Ring and the beginning of Return of the King, but can’t in good conscience count those). I remember this being my least favorite of the original trilogy, but I can’t for the life of me say why after seeing it again. Pretty much pure action, with some of the most iconic sequences of the whole trilogy, and perhaps inspiring me to give all three a proper go again someday soon. Some of that CGI sure hasn’t held up, though, especially motion-smoothed. Still, A Toast.
Sure, this is no Dunkirk, but as four quadrant family blockbusters go, this does nearly everything right, from the inspired casting of adult actors that clearly enjoy embodying their teenage counterparts to a script that focuses on the always effective situational humor. Maybe a smidge overlong and over-CGI’d, but not enough to hamper the sterling entertainment value. Three Beers.