This January was surprisingly a very crowded, busy month. Great films from the passing year were released in accordance with the coming of award buzz, new blockbusters were swarming up; and Sinekdoks made annual list called Best of 2016. I watched all Oscars-nominated films, but I intend to post the reviews in a long-streak of post in February. I joined up in two series I once participated in 2015.
Here’s a recap to help readers catch up with what went in Sinekdoks along January 2017!
New releases I watched on theaters along January 2017 (listed from the higher score to the lower):
La La Land >> Arrival >> Solo, Solitude >> Patriots Day >> Live by Night >> xXx: Return of Xander Cage >> The Great Wall >> Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
The BFG (2016) | Director: Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg returns to a familiar family trope in his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic—a story about an odd friendship between an orphan, Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and a Big Friendly Giant (motion-captured Mark Rylance). The world’s full of visual spectacles and CGI-infused idylls; however, (the late) Melissa Mathison’s script under-uses some pivotal elements in the story, e.g., feud against a band of bigger giants and dream-catching subplot. Its surprisingly dialogue-heavy plot is what makes the storytelling uneven, resulting in lack of profoundness in this buddy film. Score: 2.5 out of 4.
The Birth of a Nation (2016) | Director: Nat Parker
This harrowing tale of black slave revolt led by a literate slave-preacher, Nat Turner (Nate Parker) is a preachy-yet-poignant study to America’s blackest history. The title is cleverly opposing the idea of the 1915’s The Birth of a Nation, which subdued black people and gained fame to KKK. Dreadful and haunting pictures pose as strong images (in a similar way to 12 Years A Slave) to justify the brutal, short-lived revolt; unfortunately, the film’s preachy tone hinders it from being monumental. Parker’s directorial debut gives its heart too late and finishes too soon. Score: 2.5 out of 4.
The Great Wall (2017) | Director: Zhang Yimou
Don’t bother asking about why Matt Damon is in the story. It’s purely the industry’s gimmick to support the first Hollywood-China’s collaboration. While Damon’s character can actually be played by anyone, there’s only one thing to argue: is Zhang Yimou a perfect choice for blockbuster spectacle? The director shows up his prowess in crafting grand design and vibrant warfare; however, The Great Wall falls short in crafting a non-cliched, complex story of why the ‘hidden legend’ even matters. Score: 1.5 out of 4
Sinekdoks sums up the best gems in cinema from January 31, 2016 to January 28, 2017 in five Best of 2016 posts:
Music Moments: Top 10 music moments in films.
Scenes, Posters & Quotes: List of best scenes, posters and quotes from films.
Performances: Top 15 best acting performances by actors and actress.
Biggest Misses: List of missed highest-rated and most-discussed films.
Films: Best 20 films of 2016.
Back again to Blindspot Series 2017 by the matinee. For January, I finally watched Rob Marshall’s Oscar-winning musical, Chicago (2002), which I finally liked due to its raw, vicious nature to law & order.
There were 4 Thursdays on January and here’s the recap of Thursday Movie Picks in which I pick three films each week in accordance with the theme:
Week 1: Legal Thrillers | Week 2: Fashion World | Week 3: Skipped | Week 4: Television Edition: Sci-Fi
To celebrate the new year, Sinekdoks also shared some giveaways to the lucky one who had shared their #1 film of all time as seen in this page.
That’s January 2017 in Sinekdoks. Award seasons have started. See you on February!