GENRE: ACTION, ADVENTURE, SCI-FI
TEMPO PREDICTION: 4 STARS
FOUR YOUNG OUTSIDERS TELEPORT TO AN ALTERNATE AND DANGEROUS UNIVERSE WHICH ALTERS THEIR PHYSICAL FORM IN SHOCKING WAYS. THE FOUR MUST LEARN TO HARNESS THEIR NEW ABILITIES AND WORK TOGETHER TO SAVE EARTH FROM A FORMER FRIEND TURNED ENEMY.
GOSSIP: WHEN SUSAN IS TRACKING A SIGNAL, THERE IS AN IP ADDRESS ON A SCREEN “220.127.116.11”. THIS WILL LEAD TO ONLINE ARTICLES FOR LATVERIA, DR. DOOM’S HOMELAND.
Directed By: Josh Trank
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION
GENRE: ACTION, ADVENTURE, THRILLER
TEMPO PREDICTION: 3.5 STARS
ETHAN AND TEAM TAKE ON THEIR MOST IMPOSSIBLE MISSION YET, ERADICATING THE SYNDICATE – AN INTERNATIONAL ROGUE ORGANIZATION AS HIGHLY SKILLED AS THEY ARE, COMMITTED TO DESTROYING THE IMF.
GOSSIP: TOM CRUISE PERFORMED THE SEQUENCE WHERE ETHAN HUNT CLIMBS ON THE OUTSIDE OF A FLYING AIRPLANE (AN AIRBUS A400M) WITHOUT THE USE OF SPECIAL EFFECTS OR A STUNT DOUBLE. AT TIMES HE WAS SUSPENDED ON THE AIRCRAFT 5000 FEET IN THE AIR (1.5 KILOMETERS).
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
GENRE: ANIMATION, ADVENTURE, COMEDY
TEMPO PREDICTION: 4.5 STARS
AFTER YOUNG RILEY IS UPROOTED FROM HER MIDWEST LIFE AND MOVED TO SAN FRANCISCO, HER EMOTIONS – JOY, FEAR, ANGER, DISGUST AND SADNESS – CONFLICT ON HOW BEST TO NAVIGATE A NEW CITY, HOUSE, AND SCHOOL.
GOSSIP: SOME OF THE MEMORY BALLS IN RILEY’S MIND CONTAIN SCENES FROM OTHER PIXAR MOVIES, SUCH AS CARL AND ELLIE’S WEDDING IN UP (2009).
Directed By: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
GENRE: COMEDY, SCI-FI
TEMPO PREDICTION: 3 STARS
A GROUP OF ECCENTRIC ALIENS CONFER A HUMAN BEING WITH THE POWER TO DO ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, AS AN EXPERIMENT. AS THE PROTAGONIST STRUGGLES TO DEAL WITH THESE NEW FOUND POWERS, HE CALLS UPON HIS LOYAL CANINE COMPANION TO HELP OUT.
GOSSIP: FEATURES ALL 5 LIVING MEMBERS OF MONTY PYTHON.
Directed By: Terry Jones
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams, Simon Pegg
By Aleece Smith
We humans have a reputation for chasing youth. So much so that we regularly pay for the privilege of cheating biology. There are entire industries based on our disdain for wrinkles and sagging skin. We choose drinks laced with Ginko biloba extract to stave off dementia. The more we can pay, the more dramatic the effects of treatment. Who knows how far we will go to secure the trappings of youth? Director Tarsem Singh explores that question in his science-fiction thriller Self/less.
Self/Less opens with a brief view into the bustling business of Manhattan real estate, but quickly progresses to the ruthless side of living and dying. Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds play Damian, a man who seizes the opportunity to relive youth, but this time with the wisdom of age. Damian soon discovers that his renewed youth is not all it’s cracked up to be and that the cost of the procedure was much higher than originally quoted.
Self/Less raises the typical questions we see from movies about our mortality. Given the chance to be young again, would you take it? What problems does youth solve? What’s wrong with dying? However, for better or worse, Singh stages these questions in a way that does not get too weighty so you can choose whether you are watching a science-fiction film that amplifies the finer points of our existence or a simple action thriller.
Catch it on Blu-Ray: Insurgent
Insurgent is the second film in the Divergent series based on the eponymous novel trilogy by Veronica Roth. The Insurgent story picks up where Divergent left off, with Shailene Woodley’s Tris and Theo James’s Four growing into their roles as part of the resistance movement. This sequel continues with themes explored in the first movie. As expected, the plot flows through situations intended to promote the importance of individualism to humanity. New with this installment is the focus on the virtue in forgiveness, which one might find clumsily applied throughout the story.
One odd difference between Insurgent and Divergent is that Jeanine (Kate Winslet) is more of a narrator than a believable villain. For instance, the film opens with Jeanine delivering a rather foreboding proclamation that leaves the viewing audience wary of government definitions of “peace,” “social order” and “greater good.” At other points in the film, the character says more than is necessary for the scene. However, ignoring that oddity, Insurgent is an entertaining way to spend a couple hours at home, especially for those who could use some reassurance that people don’t have to fit into boxes to get along in life.