Posts

Showing posts from March, 2015

Rental Review - Predestination

Image
Predestination (2014), R, 97 minutes - I hadn't even heard of this film until a month or two ago when it was randomly mentioned on the SVP & Russillo show on ESPN Radio.  A sci-fi/mystery/time travel flick starring Ethan Hawke sounded like something right up my alley.  At that point it was on my radar but it wasn't until a co-worker asked me earlier this week if I had seen it that I made it a priority on my list of things to watch.  Last night was the night and I found a wonderfully entertaining and twisted time travel tale.

Hawke plays The Barkeep, a Temporal Agent who's mission is to track down and kill the Fizzle Bomber, a terrorist who has been wreaking havoc in Boston with a series of bombings, each attack escalating in size and destruction.  During his mission, he crosses paths with a writer known as The Unmarried Mother (Sarah Snook).  A news flash on the bar tv about the bomber sparks a conversation between the two.  The conversation turns into a bet that The U…

Rental Review - The Maze Runner

Image
The Maze Runner (2014), PG-13, 113 minutes - I missed this film when it came out last fall.  It was released just before our move, and while I was able to find time for other new releases such as Gone Girl and Birdman, this just wasn't as much of a priority for me at the time.  Last week I finally had the chance to give it a watch and I was actually pleasantly surprised by this adaptation of James Dashner's YA novel of the same name.

The Maze Runner - like many sci-fi YA stories being adapted to film these days - is based in a dystopian future.  The difference being that the post-apocalyptic state of the world is due to a natural disaster (the sun scorched the Earth, leaving the majority of it uninhabitable).  We're thrown right into the chaos along with Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), who finds himself left with a 'community' of young men in a place referred to as The Glade with no memory of who he is or why he's there.  The Glade is a habitable piece of land sur…

Review - Insurgent

Image
Insurgent (2015), PG-13, 119 minutes - The second film in the Divergent series (adapted from author Veronica Roth's trilogy of YA novels), as well as the second of my most anticipated films of 2015 to be released, Insurgent is part The Matrix (visual effects and action sequences), and part The Hunger Games (efforts of the oppressed/persecuted to overthrow a corrupt government) but manages to stay unique enough to differentiate itself in the vast sea of YA film adaptations we have seen in recent years.

Insurgent picks up within days of the events at the end of Divergent with Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller), Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and Four's father Marcus (Ray Stevenson) seeking refuge with the Amity faction just outside the city walls.  They are being hunted by Eric (Jai Courtney), Max (Mekhi Phifer) and their forces under Erudite leader Jeanine's (Kate Winslet) commands.  She has come to possess a locked box containing a message from the soc…

Review - Chappie

Image
Chappie (2015), R, 120 minutes - Over the last few years, writer/director Neill Blomkamp has quickly become one of my favorite film creators.  His filmography so far is relatively limited, but his creativity, socio-political awareness, and effects abilities combine to produce very compelling stories.  Chappie is no different, exploring the creation of a true artificial intelligence inside a mechanized police-bot in the violent streets of Johannesburg, South Africa in the very near future.

Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) is a robotics engineer and the creator of the humanoid droids that weapons engineering firm Tetravaal has outsourced to the Johannesburg police force.  The success of Wilson's droid design has led Tetravaal to cut funding to another line of enforcement droids in development by fellow robotics engineer Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman).  Deon continues efforts to improve his droids even further, developing an artificial intelligence that will allow them to adapt and think in the…