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28 inches of snow fell on New York last weekend. Yours Cranky is disabled. We can't get to screenings for a bit. Sorry.
 

. . . and Now Back to Film . . . The Best of the Year. . .

 
Film
the walk
The Walk
Movie
martian
The Martian
Animated
Shaun the Sheep
Shaun the Sheep

Documentary
national lampoon
Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
Foreign Language
Son of Saul
Son of Saul
  Writing
Trainwreck
Trainwreck
room
Room
spotlight
Spotlight
hateful eight
The Hateful Eight
joy
Joy
woman in gold
Woman in Gold
bigshort
The Big Short
brooklyn
Brooklyn

CRANKY SEZ: The films listed above comprise our Top Ten for the year . . . we make a distinction between films that film school nerds will swoon for versus plain ol' movies that work for everyone. Add in one extra nod for Foreign Language and Animated films and you get thirteen. So . . . we can't count. (and there a a couple of equally good films we just didn't elevate to the best of the best. You'll see their titles highlighted in green font, below. Sue us. We'll give Thumbs Up to the Writing that worked for us (almost Joy, which didn't hold up for two viewings. Trainwreck did) and note that film student geeks will adore Room . . . but I liked it, too. BEST PERFORMANCES: Best Actress Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn plays an Irish immigrant ; Best Actor Johnny Depp in Black Mass. Depp's performance is the movie which otherwise is fairly average; Supporting Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight is barely on screen but steals the show and, Yo!, Supporting Actor Sylvester Stallone in Creed-- as Rocky Balboa, of course.

If you've followed this site for any length of time over the last 20+ years, you know if you agree or disagree with our opinions. We can't fill in the spaces on the films that only got recommendations but not full reviews . . . our right side stopped working early in December (due to spinal cord damage from a traffic accident a couple of decades ago) and we just couldn't catch up in time. Trust us (or don't <g>).

The complete list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards is here.

DIRECTOR'S GUILD of AMERICA BEST OF: Nominations of Directors by Directors (which includes yours Cranky): The Revenant (Directed by Alejandro Iñárritu); Spotlight (Directed by Tom McCarthy); The Big Short (Directed by Adam McKay); Mad Max: Fury Road (Directed by George Miller) and The Martian (Directed by Ridley Scott). Three of the Five made out Best of List. You can figure out who we voted for easily enough . . .

SCREEN ACTOR's GUILD AWARDS: Click Here

NEW!! Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice downloads and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers

-------------------- New Releases --------------------
hateful eight

Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight strands criminals, lawmen and persons of unknown character in a post Civil War "haberdashery" (technically a clothing store though it looks more like a general store). As violent as it is funny, with heavy use of the "n-word" Tarantino begins his rush to retirement (he's promised two more and that's it) on a high note.

The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio wants an Academy Award. That's all we had in our head after watching The Revenant which sets itself up as a murder turned revenge turned survival story sometime early in the 19th century. We're not sure exactly where or when; we only know what's on screen and what's on seen isn't any help.

anomalisa

Anomalisa comes from the pen of Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and its poster is filled with quotes of critical praise for this utter stinker

Concussion

Concussion stars Will Smith as a Nigerian immigrant neurologist -- meaning he's never seen a game of American football in his life -- who discovers that football players are actually doing serious damage to each other with all that helmet to helmet banging and the concussions that come along for the ride. Aside from Smith's accent, the film is just plain dull.

Daddy's Home

Daddy's Home stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Hannibal Buress, Thomas Haden Church and Bobby Cannavale. A mild-mannered radio executive (Ferrell) strives to become the best step dad to his wife's two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father (Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids. Not offered to us for screening so make of that what you will.

Joy

Joy stars Jennifer Lawrence in one of the few films we liked enough the first time through to go back and watch a second time. Once was enough. Still, this "true story" film about a woman with no prospects who creates a useful home doohickey and, riding the coat tails of a newly formed QVC finds fame and fortune and everything that goes with it. One of the Best of the Year.

The Big Short

The other Best Film of the Year, The Big Short stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong. When four banking outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: They made a fortune while the rest of us lost our financial shirts to the dark underbelly of modern banking.

Where to Invade Next

Where to Invade Next is Michael Moore's documentary for this year; it's story is wrapped in the film's title and the surprise dropped in the last twenty seconds of the film is as big as any fictionalized equal. You may despise Moore's politics but, somewhere along the line, please watch the film. Knowing what "the other side" is thinking is important, especially in an election year.

Point Break

Point Break stars Édgar Ramírez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Matias Varela, Clemens Schick, Tobias Santelmann, Max Thieriot. Action stunts performed by elite athletes representing the world's best in class in big-wave surfing, wing suit flying, sheer-face snowboarding, free rock climbing, and high-speed motorcycling. There's a story in there somewhere.

Heck, the studio tried to screen the film two days before Christmas. News to WB: the year is over.

45 Years

45 Years stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. Kate Mercer and her husband are excitedly planning a party to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. One week before the celebration, a letter arrives for her husband. The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. As the party nears, there might not be a marriage left to celebrate. Raves for Rampling all through the critical voting process (for "best actress") that began this month. But we weren't offered a screening.

Star Wars

Star Wars The Force Awakens is Episode VII in the saga. yadda yadda yadda. Click for background images. Click for Movie posters. And, finally, Cranky's movie review

The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl stars Eddie Redmayne as the first transsexual, back in 1926. With the support of his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), the Man becomes a Dress-Up woman and then is surgically altered. This is all a very adult (literate) material in a film that should get nominations, The film offers up a story that draws adult viewers in, especially those looking for a film that can be discussed afterwards. Recommended

Brooklyn

Brooklyn stars Saoirse Ronan in a performance worthy of statues in a Film that is about as perfect as a coming-of-age slash romance movie can be. What begins as a seemingly dreaded "chick flick" soon proves it has depth beyond anything else released so far this year. One of the Best of the Year. Cranky's movie review

spotlight

Spotlight -- the NYFCO Best Film of the Year -- documents how the Boston Globe newspaper uncovered the scandalous behavior of Roman Catholic priests molesting young boys. Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel Adams and Liev Schreiber star. As far as "serious" films go, this is the real thing. That it documents reality is the sickening part. See it

Son of Saul

Son of Saul easily won the NYFCO Foreign Language award at our end of year meeting. It is not a "Holocaust movie" though its setting is a Nazi death camp. For very few Jews in said camp, life goes on. Someone has to clean up the mess the Nazis leave behind and Saul believes part of that mess is the body of his son. All Saul wants is to give the boy a proper burial. Cranky's movie review

creed

Creed stars Michael B. Jordan as the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, the greatest fighter in the movie world of Rocky Balboa. That means Sylvester Stallone appears as a restaurateur badgered into training the young man. The story is good. The boxing sequences don't come close to the excitement of the earlier films . . . but they are brutal as heck, so be prepared. ($5.50 on our scale)

trumbo

In the 1950s this country went nutzoid in its fear of Communism. Trumbo tells the story of how the government came down hard on the most successful screenwriter of the day, one Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston), for his membership in the Communist Party. This is a bravura performance by Cranston, one which should get him nominations, if not statues. The film itself is a pretty good sit.

Sisters

Sisters stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as, uh, sisters who, as women who should know better, throw the massive kind of house party that they wish they could have thrown while in High School. Cranky's movie review

Youth

Youth stars Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda as old folks contemplating the loss of, you know, as they face what to do next career-wise. For the men, that means a lot of talk about sex. For Fonda's character, very little. Her talents are greatly under-used. We watched great actors act -- which is pretty much what all the raves say. We prefer a deeper story than this film delivers.

33

The 33 are Chilean miners buried when their mine shaft collapses. The entire world watched the rescue effort. Antonio Banderas is outstanding as the top-dog miner who keeps his crew alive. Don't think twice about the story. This is a great film. See it.

Carol

Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. It's Brokeback Mountain for lesbians, though set in 1955 with a marriage crumbling due to "mental instability" (hint: that means lesbianism) as a subplot. Critical raves aside, we say pass.

national lampoon

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon. Yeah, the entire story is in the title. If you remember the magazine, you'll have a great time. If not, you'll be surprised at how much fun a documentary can be. Cranky's movie review

Macbeth

Macbeth is the play by William Shakespeare filmed fairly close to the original text, so we were told. We watched the film. We were totally baffled by the film . . . even knowing the story. That makes this version a total failure -- not worth your money and not getting our recommendation

The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur comes from Pixar. That's all you need to know if you have kids. If you're an animation fiend, the film disappoints. Download wallpapers here.

Legend

Legend stars Tom Hardy in a double role as London based gangsters, one thug and the other out loud and proud gay. Critics give many thumbs up to Hardy's double performance but we couldn't understand a word through the thick English accents.

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Help yourself to lots of images from . . .

The Peanuts Movie
Fantastic Four
Inside Out
Mad Max Fury Road
Cinderella
Frozen: Fever
Guardians of the Galaxy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Batman vs Superman
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
Beauty and the Beast
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: First Avenger
Cars 2
Conan the Barbarian
Despicable Me 2
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Godzilla


Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens
Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Lion King
Man of Steel (Superman)
Planes
Red Riding Hood
Rio
Rio 2
The Smurfs
Sherlock Holmes
Suckerpunch

Thor
Transformers 3
Turbo
Winnie the Pooh
The Wolverine

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