It's Been Quite A Year, Hasn't It? Let's Go Ahead And Close Things Out With Michael Bay's Mindless Masterpiece.

Despite my frequent (and increasing) criticisms of its creator, I have always categorized The Rock as a masterpiece; Criterion Collection-worthy, even, and one of the five best Action Films ever made. It's a wildly absurd, absurdly entertaining flick, with nary a thought in its pretty little head (though that's hardly a reason to hate it), and it's the best thing Michael Bay's ever done (by a long shot).

It's carried along by its huge-and-implausibly-shiny yet easily-watchable-and-engrossing set pieces, and by some really great performances from Ed Harris (of course), Sean Connery (whose "Old James Bond" vibe is really fun stuff), and Nicholas Cage (who avoids the debilitating extremes of self-parody and self-importance in this role in a way hitherto and subsequently unmatched in his filmography). Plus, "Fort Walton - Kansas" is one of the best tracks Hans Zimmer (and Harry Gregson-Williams and Nick Glennie-Smith) ever wrote.

It's on NETFLIX INSTANT. Enjoy, and see you in 2017!

A chemical-weapons expert and an ex-con are on the case when an ex-Marine seizes Alcatraz prison, taking hostages and threatening a nerve gas attack.
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