What would possess a woman who is 8 1/2 months pregnant to rent three films portraying the accidental deaths of four children and a fetus? Rainy weather, too much time on her hands, and a lack of attention to movie trailers. Erica here, and although I’m a much bigger fan of my television set than the big screen, I decided to indulge in a bit of a Redbox binge, watching an unprecedented five movies this past week. Here are the films–sans spoilers, I promise–and my verdict for each:
Jason Bourne starring Matt Damon
I’ve never been a big Bourne fan, but I do recall experiencing something resembling enjoyment during previous installments of this franchise. This time? Not so much. Boring chase scenes, a cheesy, predictable script, and lackluster acting left me with a bad taste in my mouth: this film is just another tug on the teat of this cash cow. Not even Tommy Lee Jones, beloved for his role in Men In Black, could save this one for me. Apparently I’m not alone in my dissatisfaction as the film’s 56% Rotten Tomatoes rating would indicate.
Arrival starring Amy Adams
I love science fiction, especially when it involves the mysterious and semi-plausible arrival of aliens on earth whether friend (think E.T.) or foe (think War of the Worlds). I had high expectations for this movie, and it did not disappoint. No wonder it earned Oscar nods for both best picture and best director. I especially liked the mother/daughter subplot, however heart-wrenching, since my little girl will make her grand entrance soon.
Verdict? A definite must-see.
The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt
I had high hopes for this one as well. The plot seemed reminiscent of Gone Girl–based on a seductive, murder mystery type of novel. While I appreciated the interesting and beautiful cast, including Jennifer Aniston’s hot, hot, hot husband Justin Theroux, the major plot twist was more of a tiny plot tweak, not exactly predictable but not all that shocking. Yikes, only 43% from Rotten Tomatoes.
Manchester by the Sea starring Casey Affleck
Also nominated for multiple Oscars, this one promised to be a tear-jerker, and with a 96% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a penchant for Kleenex-worthy drama, I assumed the best. Sadly, I wanted to feel more than I actually did. Casey Affleck was certainly convincing in his portrayal of a man permanently wounded by repeated tragedy, so I can’t quite put my finger on the reason for my emotional disconnect. Otherwise, it was good but not great.
Verdict? Worth a watch.
The Accountant starring Ben Affleck
I’m usually not a fan of Ben Affleck—is anyone?—but I decided to give this movie a go on the heels of watching his baby bro in action (and because Snowden wasn’t available). I have to say: not bad, not bad. Affleck was only somewhat believable as an autistic assassin, but the plot had enough twists and intrigue to keep the viewer engaged, and the supporting cast, including J. K. Simmons and John Lithgow, was nothing to sneeze at.
Verdict? Not too shabby.
That’s all for now! Tune in next Thursday!