As I mentioned in my Top 10 Movies of 2015, I see a lot of movies in theaters. In January, I made seven trips to the movie theater. One was to see The Force Awakens for a fourth time and another was to see a movie I already saw this month again. This article serves as a mini review of all the movies that I saw in theaters for the first time during the month of January.
The Revenant was intense, to put it mildly. As I mentioned in my Top 10 Movies of 2015 article, The Revenant did in fact end up being better than Daddy’s Home. Leo will probably finally get an Oscar for his performance here. Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and that kid with the weird eyebrows were also all very good. I saw it twice in theaters, once by myself and another with somebody who felt too squeamish about the scene to see it by themselves.
SEE IT MORE THAN ONCE
“Based on a true story” seems to be a very common theme this month. Three of the five movies I saw were in part or loosely based on some true events or person. As is the case with Joy. This one surprised me. I didn’t think it would be as full-throated in its defense of capitalism and entrepreneurship as it ended up being. Honestly, I thought this movie would suck. The simple moral for this one smacks the viewer in the head a few times: Don’t let family or anyone else get in the way of one’s dreams. Who knew the Miracle Mop had such an interesting backstory?
SEE IT ONCE
This movie got unduly politicized. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi manages to be Michael Bay’s most tactful film. And easily his best drama. Those, like me, who knew the story behind the events knew exactly what was coming. Didn’t make the movie any less suspenseful. You really feel for the struggle of these soldiers. They were in such an impossible situation. I will definitely be seeing this movie again, probably when it comes out on home media.
SEE IT MORE THAN ONCE
I didn’t expect Dirty Grandpa to be good, but I also didn’t expect almost every decent joke to be in the trailer. Nor did I expect the entire plot structure of the film to be given away there either. Jason Mantzoukas, a guy whose name I had to look up, was very funny. Aubrey Plaza was as well, but her entire characterization was telegraphed in the trailer. She does not grow beyond that. The movie didn’t disappoint me, but I had virtually zero standards going into it.
NOT WORTH SEEING
My movie of the month and the conclusion to a pretty awesome trilogy is Kung Fu Panda 3. As a massive fan of world mythology, I know Chinese myths pretty well. (Jackie Chan Adventures certainly helped.) This film and franchise is littered with bits of Chinese mythology between all the awesome kung fu styles and incredible fight scenes. If you’ve never seen any of the Kung Fu Panda movies before, I implore you to check them out. This trilogy certainly ended significantly better than the Shrek one, although the fourth film in that franchise wasn’t bad. If you see one movie that came out in January, make it this one.
SEE IT A MILLION TIMES!
One final note: I wanted to see The Finest Hours and The Lady in the Van this month and could not, but I suspect at least one will be in next month’s round up. Oh, a certain film comes out in February that I may see in theaters far more times than I probably should. I really shouldn’t have to tell you which movie that is.