I think that the election of Senor Naranja has scooped out the portion of my brain assigned to creativity and writing. It then filled the gaping emptiness with anger, hunger, and a desire to smash glasses against heads. I left the house a few time over the weekend, but I much prefer to spend my down time watching movies that make me forget reality.
A band of winningly bedraggled punk rockers (including Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat) arrives in a small-town, desperate to be booked for a gig — any gig — so as to make a bit of money. To their horror and (it soon becomes clear) to their terrible misfortune, they find themselves booked to perform at a venue that plays host to a hardcore neo-nazi audience. After riling the crowd by cheerfully thrashing through some anti-fascist tunes, the band retreat to the green room backstage to pick up their winnings and get the hell out, but there they become witnesses to a terrible murder. As they threaten to call the cops, the tension grows until the band have barricaded themselves into the room, while the head honcho of the neo-nazis (Patrick Stewart) is brought in to try and wipe them out. The stand-off escalates from there, unleashing a cataclysm of gore along the way. - Review
In many ways, this is an old school sci-fi flick— from the Kubrickian spaceship feel of Nathan’s subterranean lair to the needlessly outdated technology of this tech genius’ metal key cards. But all of that familiar set-up is contrasted with a disconcertingly intimate commitment to its characters. Of course it helps that all three of these actors are at the absolute top of their game, with chemistry that could make any movie feel like a straight-up masterpiece. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that has such strong individually developed leads. - Vivian Kane
The plot of Room seems like something out of Investigation Discovery’s most lurid block of scheduling: At 17, a girl was abducted, forced into a single room, where she would be imprisoned for the next seven years. For two of those years, her only companion was Old Nick, the abductor who made weekly visits to rape her. But then came her son Jack, and with him hope. And with this, Room transforms into something more complex and compelling than its brutal premise suggests. - Kristy Puchko
Goddamn, is this a fun movie. Plot-wise, it’s fairly paint-by-numbers in terms of how the franchise has played itself out — Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his crew (played by Jeremy Renner as the bureaucratic Brandt, Simon Pegg as nerdy hacker Benji, and Ving Rhames as the stoic genius Luther) are in a quest for a nefarious bad guy and his crew, for silly, Machiavellian reasons, their super duper secret agent group, the ludicrously named Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is shut down and Hunt is driven underground. It’s up to him and a select group of his companions to find the truth, expose the secrets, save the day. The bad guy, played with raspy menace by Sean Harris, is suitably grim and devious, and surrounded by a group of equally grim goons, and the good guys are conflicted but eventually, through derring-do and over-the-top action, the day is saved. - TK
Then there are my old standby flicks: