Breaking Bad (season 5) — 5
House of Cards (season 1) — 5
Louie (season 4) — 5
Good Dick — 5
Star Trek: Into Darkness — 4
Jiro Dreams of Sushi — 5
Scent of a Woman — 5
Elysium — 3
Man of Steel — 3.5
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug — 2
Considering my immense admiration for curmudgeons, I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to seeing Scent of a Woman, which probably has one of the best assholes to ever grace the silver screen. Elysium and Man of Steel were both decent but also disappointing, solid movies that could have been incredible with some genuine creativity.
The second installation of the Hobbit trilogy was okayish but just as disappointing as the first movie. It feels like Peter Jackson is going full George Lucas. The first trilogy always managed to feel immense and epic, peppered with levity and love and was always compelling despite very long run times. The Hobbit movies have largely failed in these respects, feeling rushed and anxious with themselves, running far too long with unneeded creative license pulling in phantom characters and spending too much time on scenes and minor side plots that either needed more attention or being cut altogether. One review called Desolation of Smaug “bloated and spastic” which feels perfectly accurate to me. When it tries to be serious the acting feels labored and thin, when it tries to be funny it feels awkward and too goofy (a la Jar Jar). Not a terrible movie but I wouldn’t want to sit through it again.
House of Cards is audacious and probably Netflix’s biggest experiment (and success) as it moves more into producing original content that seems very capable of outmatching anything on ‘real’ TV.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is easily the best food documentary I’ve ever seen, intriguing and perfectly produced, its titular character a testament to dedication to a labor of love.