Prisoners. The older I get, torture scenes in movies are just more and more unbearable. I fear we still haven’t appreciated Hugh Jackman enough. Nerdy Terrence Howard is a treat! Gyllenhaal’s character is so weird and I love that they don’t delve into it. much He just is.


Blackhat. I really liked it, if my tweet binge is any indication. If you like Michael Mannerisms, you probably will, too. I like how the hacking here wasn’t just people tapping away at a keyboard, but also more general deceptive/intrusive behaviors like social engineering and burglary, and how technology is subverted for purposes good and bad. (Note how our hero goes into final battle with improvised body armor and weapons that reflect prison ingenuity.) I love that the big battle scenes have some geographical/tactical brains behind them, and the hand-to-hand fights are swiftly decided. It’s a movie willing to let its stars lounge in bed, or enjoy a nice view, and get you inside their head a bit. Filed under: Michael Mann

Solaris (2002)

Solaris (2002). I really liked the Tarkovsky version of the novel, and Soderbergh’s is very good, too. It’s more trim and spare. What I really loved was the sound throughout. Footsteps, rustle of clothing, breath. And that soundtrack! Cliff Martinez to the rescue again (see: Drive; Contagion). So perfect. That said, the script is a little painful here and there. What are you gonna do? At least the ideas about memory, empathy, regret, etc. are evergreen.

There’s not a single dud in any of the Soderbergh films I’ve seen lately. Looking forward to more. My current rankings:

  1. Haywire
  2. Out of Sight
  3. Solaris
  4. Contagion
  5. Ocean’s Trilogy, which I don’t remember all that well, honestly.