tv 2015: s through z, plus the 100, plus a best-of
happy birthday, steven rubio's online life

what i watched last week

Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015). Straightforward story of child molestation in the Catholic Church. What I didn’t expect was that this is a newspaper picture in the vein of All the President’s Men. The plot is carried forward by the attempts of a special team of reporters at the Boston Globe to expose the Church’s cover-up. It’s an interesting story, well-told and acted. But despite the insistence of some characters that the story is bigger than one priest, that it’s institutional, the only result is that the team digs further to get the bigger story. In Spotlight, the team matters more than the church. It’s a solid movie, but it could have been more. 7/10. As a companion piece, I recommend Amy Berg’s excellent 2006 documentary, Deliver Us from Evil.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Peter R. Hunt, 1969). Really belongs in the Blu-ray series, since I gave this to my wife as part of her annual 007 Xmas present (she also got Diamonds Are Forever). But I’m doing all I can to just keep up with things right now, so I’m putting it here. The worst 007 (George Lazenby), combined with one of the handful of best Bond Girls (Diana Rigg), a Bond that is more human than usual, a love story that is touching without getting in the way, and some of the best actions scenes ever to appear in a Bond movie. If it wasn’t for Lazenby, this would be a contender for best James Bond movie of all time. Instead, 8/10.



I was iffy on Spotlight. Critics who like it compare it to All the President's Men, and I'd throw in Zodiac as a point of comparison too: newspaper people try to unravel a deep mystery. Where it fell short for me, compared to those other two, was that the mystery wasn't all that deep--there was abuse, and to cover it up priests were moved around. (I'm commenting on the complexity of the narrative, not the awfulness of the crime.) It seemed to have about two levels, whereas the mysteries in ATPM and Zodiac got more and more complicated as the film went along (and in Zodiac, basically ended up as unknowable).

Steven Rubio

It's a newspaper movie, but not a great newspaper movie.

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