By: Henry J. Fromage –
My march towards total Oscar film completion continues, plus some other 2017 stuff I meant to get around to.
Color me contrarian, but I actually enjoyed the drama of the second half of this film even more than the speculative world-building of the first. Alexander Payne approaches downsizing matter-of-factly, which I appreciated to the tune of Two Beers.
I appreciated the matte paintings of gorgeous Ronda, Spain, Ferdinand’s sanctuary/ironically the birthplace of bullfighting. Otherwise, this was… fine. Good message, bad jokes, so-so animation. Four Beers.
Another much-maligned Matt Damon everyman vehicle, this time fairly. The problem here is not so much the addition of the social issues message to the script as the fact that this is a very thin script even with it. Hey filmmakers, spoiler alert: if the Coen Bros like it, they film it. Oscar Isaac single-handedly knocks off a beer, though. Four Beers.
32. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Abacus, a small Chinatown bank, was the only bank indicted for the Mortgage Crisis. Steve James (Hoop Dreams) follows their case as they incongruously go up against the full weight of New York prosecution while those Lehman Brothers golden parachute fucks hopefully gobble their way towards debilitating strokes. The documentary strangely makes a decent case that there was some crookery going on there even as it defends them, but the unfairness is still stark. Three Beers.