One of the best ways to spend the holidays is to watch some of the better Christmas movies and specials. The wide range of what defines a "holiday movie" is another reason to sit down and spend some quality time with the family.
Bond, James Bond. Ever since his first onscreen incarnation in the early ‘60s, audiences have been collectively fascinated by the now-iconic super-spy and his fancy cars, dry martinis and even dryer wit. Oh, and let’s not forget his many sordid, sexy love affairs. “Spectre,” the newest Bond film in which Daniel Craig makes his fourth outing as 007, is a frustrating and fascinating examination of the character and his legacy, the correct filmic execution of which has been at the forefront of the franchise for quite some time now.
Perhaps the most classic of Halloween traditions is kicking back in your costume and watching your favorite scary movies. Many people prefer to rent their favorite cult classics from the video store and binge-watch the cheesy horror. Others, however, may wish to experience some horror on Halloween without going to the rental store. Whether you’re a cult lover or a Netflix binger, here are some great horror film suggestions, some of which are available for streaming on Netflix.
A line of black SUVs streak across a rugged southwestern landscape. The rough looking men inside the vehicles hold assault rifles, ready for violence as they weave in and out of traffic. This is one of many stark images from director Denis Villeneuve’s new drug war fable, “Sicario.” The film stars Emily Blunt, a relatively straight shooting FBI agent who runs a hostage recovery team. After discovering a house full of bodies on a raid, she is drawn into a series of shady operations on the U.S./Mexico border.
The haunting lengths that the human mind will go to to protect itself is the primary subject of Joshua Oppenheimer’s riveting new documentary, “The Look of Silence.” “The Look of Silence” serves as a companion film to Oppenheimer’s earlier film, “The Act of Killing,” which used a unique approach to bring to light the horrendous, but mostly unknown, events of the Indonesian genocide of 1965. The genocide was a result of the Indonesian military takeover of the government in response to anti-communist fervor brought on by propaganda.
Finding adventure and challenging himself are the goals of Bill Bryson, played by Robert Redford, in the movie “A Walk in the Woods.” However, the film itself does little to challenge typical “buddy movie” conventions.
"Güeros" brings a frenzied drama to adolescence in a film that follows Tomas (Sebastián Aguirre), a young boy, who has a series of adventures when he is sent to Mexico City to stay with his older brother Sombra (Tenoch Huerta). Tomas’ stay in Mexico City begins after his accidentally dropping a water balloon on a baby, which is only the first of several events that set a tone of understated surrealism in the film. Tomas’ visit serves to shake his older brother, who is in a rut because of the shutdown of his school due to student strikes.
Small-town American angst meets ultra violence in “American Ultra.” At least, that’s supposed to be the joke in the new stoner comedy. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are cute and convincing as characters Mike and Phoebe, a slacker couple whose mundane lives are upturned when Mike finds he might be something more than he thought. Mike is a nervous, unambitious guy who works nights at a convenience store and smokes heavily with his girlfriend, who is the best thing in his life. In one of the funnier recurring jokes, he tries to find the perfect time to propose to Phoebe.
With boxy German cars and stark, grey walls topped with barbed wire, the first 15 seconds of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” thrusts viewers directly into 1960s Berlin, the Cold War era, as Napoleon Solo, played by Henry Cavill, crosses from West to East. The opening images of the film tease with the aesthetic of the time, complete with grainy, hand-held images. But this spy thriller never fully embraces ‘60s kitsch: it chooses instead to transpose the imagery onto a glossy Hollywood star vehicle, with the occasional zoom, rainbow sun flare or split screen shot to keep the audience visually in the time period.