This week, I introduce my readers to the word squick.
Well that was awkward. I’d like to think that, as I’ve started watching more movies, I haven’t lost my taste for big action spectacles, sci-fi fantasies and the occasional bad hacker movie. In spite of that, I must say, this bad hacker movie was truly awful. The plot had holes even I couldn’t ignore and the Michael Mann’s direction of Chris Hemsworth as blackhat hacker Nick Hathawy was worse than any plot hole. Squick1: that is the word I would use to describe just about every scene that involves Hemsworth and Tang Wei in the film’s ill-advised romantic subplot. Just as ill-advised; this movie was incredibly boring, and not even because they got those mundane things programmers do right. There really was no thrill. The action sequences were meh. The tension just never seemed to follow the path that it needed to to be satisfying, and the music was irritating. I kept time checking, praying that my two plus hour punishment was over.
Watch it: If you desperately need to see Hemsworth shirtless for a minute (but, you know, you can watch a Thor movie instead), or if you want to see a programmer character actually use legit commands in a movie.
Skip it: Yeah. Just skip it. It’s not worth it.
This went far better that the other two movies this year. Paddington is an adorable jaunt back to childhood, starring a bear most of the English-speaking world is familiar with. Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) voices the titular bear, providing a wonderful performance as a lonely optimist lost in a new world and looking for a home. Paddington is taken in by the Browns, a fraying middle class family, and his antics (and the accompanying music, a mix of a charming score and Peruvian rhythms) play great against the contrast of Hugh Bonneville’s Mr. Brown, a strict risk analyst. Paddington ultimately finds his home with the Brown family, as I’m sure this movie will find a place in hearts of the populace as one of the better kids movies of 2015.
Watch it: If you’re looking for the best movie so far this year.
Skip it: If you don’t need a feel-good kids movie in your January.
Cause immediate and thorough revulsion.↩