(EDITOR’S NOTE : For a variety of personal reasons NONE OF WHICH ARE YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS, I only saw 3 theatrically released motion pictures in the last calendar year. It’s not that I’m uninterested in the medium nor do I subscribe to the contemporary sentiment that streaming films at home and/or watching thousands of hours of “appointment” television is a better use of time, either. When Hollywood starts making films are that are nearly as compelling as running Matt Harvey out of town, I promise you’ll have to throw me out of the multiplex. Possibly because I’ll be homeless at that point.
All of that said, there’s a number of films in wide release this Christmas season that I’m sure you’re curious about. And simply because I’ve not actually seen any of them is no reason to prevent me from weighing in — the nation’s pop critics do this stuff all the time without ever actually listening to what they’re writing about — at least I hope that’s their excuse. – GC)
“The Big Short” (director, Adam McKay)
Supposedly this does for the housing/credit bubble of the early 2000’s what “Moneyball” did for baseball, the crucial difference being no one has to watch Philip Seymour Hoffman squeeze himself into an Oakland A’s uniform. Several of Hollywood’s most attractive actors are called upon to portray vastly overpaid jagbags, which has to be considered far less difficult than Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s task in “Moneyball”. Nothing sounds like family fun time or sure-thing date night action quite like telling the inside story of the the credit default swap market, unless of course, you’re talking about…
“Concussion” (director,Peter Landesman)
From the looks of trailers that prominently feature Will Smith’s super fake Nigerian accent and explicit tales of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, this has Oscar-bait written all over it. Shame then, that the filmmakers have chosen to cast Luke Wilson as Roger Goodell when Aaron Eckhart has spent his entire goddamn existence preparing for this role. To say nothing of this guy!. Still, I am not without sympathy for the movie studio in this instance because lord knows the holiday results for this film would’ve been 100X better had they been allowed to re-use the title, “Brain Smashers : A Love Story”.
“Joy” (dir – David O. Russell).
This is the 3rd time Russell’s paired Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and the 2nd time he’s combined Lawrence, Cooper and Robert De Niro (for an assault on the bank accounts of people with ferociously pedestrian tastes). Reportedly, the film chronicles the multi-decade saga of The Miracle Mop, as pioneered by Lawrence’s Joy Mangano. Given the staggering commercial and critical success of “Flash Of Genius” (in which Greg Kinnear tells the spine-tingling story of how the intermittent windshield wiper changed the automobile industry), the sky’s the limit for this. Especially if every available print is placed on a rocket ship aimed at Saturn.
“The Revenant” – (director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu)
Leo DiCaprio continues his dogged pursuit of adult male roles while playing the part of 1820’s frontiersman/fur trapper Hugh Glass. Keep in mind, this sounds an awful lot like “HUGE ASS”, and sure enough, DiCaprio has a highly publicized encounter with a grizzly bear that the film’s producers have gone to great lengths to stress is not a rape. Regardless, 20th Century Fox didn’t get to where it is by making stupid decisions (a sister company’s hiring of Colin Cowherd aside) and they know all too well this sort of “will they or won’t they?” question will be hanging over the heads of DiCaprio and his furry co-star (above) right until Christmas Day. I can’t wait! Especially since I’m staying home.