Movies Worth Your Time: Predestination

Time–we don’t have a lot of it, and every movie out there claims to be “spectacular”, “one of a kind”, “mesmerizing”. Let me save you some time right now and point you at films that are worth seeing for those who like thought-provoking, story and character driven, sometimes a-typical films. You may have seen them. If that is the case, let me know what you thought in the comments. If you haven’t seen them, check them out and come back for a conversation. If you’ve got any others to add to the list, pop them up in the comments feed.

predestination-poster01Predestination- Based off of a 1958 sci-fi short story by Robert Heinlein called “All You Zombies”, this one will leave your eyes bugged wide open with every turn of the plot. I can’t give away anything without ruining a few surprises, so let me just ballpark the movie for you. Much of the movie is a dialogue between two characters in a bar in 1975. One of them is a time-traveling crime-stopper trying to catch a serial bomber who is set to kill 10,000 people in a New York city bombing in a few days. The other is a transgender confession-story writer.  If that set up is not enough to make you give this movie a shot, I don’t know what is. The movie explores issues of gender identity and time paradoxes in ways that will leave you shaking your head for days. Hopefully we’ll see much more from Hawke and Snook after their acting in this one.

Movies Worth Your Time: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Time–we don’t have a lot of it, and every movie out there claims to be “spectacular”, “one of a kind”, “mesmerizing”. Let me save you some time right now and point you at films that are worth seeing for those who like thought-provoking, story and character driven, sometimes a-typical films. You may have seen them. If that is the case, let me know what you thought in the comments. If you haven’t seen them, check them out and come back for a conversation. If you’ve got any others to add to the list, pop them up in the comments feed.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes New Poster - warDawn of the Planet of the Apes. This is one you’ve probably seen. If not, and you’ve been sitting on the fence, definitely give it a go. At times it feels like watching the original Jurassic Park. There is an awe at the wild world and its ability to completely decimate us once we step outside our convenience-laden, civilized worlds. Dawn, however, differs in that we, humans, are not the protagonists. The movie follows Caesar (the little ape from Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as the hero of the tale. It’s this factor and its subsequent exploration of what a naturally evolving ape society might look like that sets it apart from other man vs. animal movies. It also leaves you wondering who, truly, will come out of this thing alive. Brilliantly acted, communicated, and animated, Dawn is more than satisfying.

Movies Worth Your Time: Cake

Aniston is like a sponge sopped in bitterness, sorrow, anger, and pain. She carries that burden subtly so that, at no moment, despite the heaviness of the film’s content, does she over-act to prove a point.

Time–we don’t have a lot of it, and every movie out there claims to be “spectacular”, “one of a kind”, “mesmerizing”. Let me save you some time right now and point you at films that are worth seeing for those who like thought-provoking, story and character driven, sometimes a-typical films. You may have seen them. If that is the case, let me know what you thought in the comments. If you haven’t seen them, check them out and come back for a conversation. If you’ve got any others to add to the list, pop them up in the comments feed.

cake-cake-posterCake. I’ve heard a lot of talk about Reese Witherspoon’s Wild, but not much about Jennifer Aniston in Cake. I’ve seen Wild, and, yes, it was good. It was the best acting of Reese’s career, and the story was important, but it felt lacking due to having to compress an entire memoir into a film. Cake, in my opinion, is the better movie. It, too, sees the best acting from its main character, Jennifer Aniston. Aniston is like a sponge sopped in bitterness, sorrow, anger, and pain. She carries that burden subtly so that, at no moment, despite the heaviness of the film’s content, does she over-act to prove a point. All she has to do is look at you and you see the weight of her life in her eyes. The movie begins in a chronic pain support group, where one of the members has committed suicide. It follows Aniston’s character as she processes that suicide and continues to manage, or mis-manage, her own pain. Slowly, her character opens up to us like a crushed orchid unfolding. As more becomes known to us, we are left asking ourselves how we could possibly have managed anything better.

Review: Blue Ruin

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Blue Ruin’s best trait is its slow reveal. If you did not read the synopsis or look at the movie’s poster, you wouldn’t know it was a revenge thriller until a good twenty minutes into the movie or so. It opens with wit and a melancholic humor that helps you quickly attach to the main character, Dwight. He is a homeless man, living off what he can scrounge and what he can steal. Isolated from people, he is still drawn to them, to a life he once knew. I won’t give up too much more, because, as I said, every small revelation is a slow unraveling of the backstory that weaves together with Dwight’s current actions to create the tapestry of chaos and violence that lays over a growing number of bodies like a sheet at a morgue. I will say this, however. Dwight is not the perfect action hero. He is no ex-marine or ex-cop or ex-mafia hitman. He’s just a normal guy, a little pudgy around the edges and not accustomed to pulling a trigger. He makes mistakes, and he is punished for them. That’s what made this revenge thriller so refreshing. Give it a shot. It’ll be worth the night.