January 30, 2016

Of a Movieless Week and the Sherlock Christmas Special

            I have just a short update this week.  I’m already a little late as I try to get this weekly column out every Thursday, and I put movies on the backburner this past week to do other things so I have been unable to invest the time or energy to do a full column this week.  Additionally, we are in that boring period of the year in which awards season is on a kinda-hiatus for a couple of weeks (I mean there are the SAG Awards but you really can’t watch every awards show without your mind intact), the studios are throwing out all of their garbage into the theater, and many of the good TV programs haven’t quite started their new seasons yet.  I was only able to watch one film and two TV programs.  So here we go:

The Look of Silence = 1/10 = After having a brutal (I think that’s the only word that can accurately describe these films) time watching The Act of Killing, I definitely was not looking forward to seeing this film.  However, Joshua Oppenheimer brings the same unique (I will give him that) yet somewhat stilted format to covering a topic that really shouldn’t be covered in such a fashion as this film does.  I watch films to enjoy them.  I do want to learn through watching films as well but not through the sickening fashion that this film continues to cover the monstrosity that was the Indonesian genocide. 

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride = 8/10 = After what was clearly its worst season, Sherlock needed it’s much publicized Christmas special to reset the tone for this show.  Fortunately, this special does just that.  It recaptures the plot magic that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss were able to unveil so often during the first two seasons and Douglas Mackinnon directs in a less distracting manner than the third season’s team did.  It was also nice to see them wrap up a cliffhanger in a satisfying fashion for once.  My only real complaint is that the special isn’t as memorable as the best of Sherlock episodes.  It’s great jut not one of the best.

A Very Murray Christmas = 8/10 = I really did not know what to expect with this one going in.  I’m not a Bill Murray fan at all, but what I got was a charming (really charming) and innovative way of making a plot out of a bunch of classic Christmas carols.  The cameos almost always hit, and Bill Murray really stands out with some of his best work ever.

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