A star studded cast like this deserves to be on a grand scale film across the stars. That’s what we get with the new sci-fi “Ad Astra.”
The movie takes place in the fairly distant future, with mankind now able travel to the Solar System’s inner planets regularly and launch long range expeditions beyond the asteroid belt. The film follows Roy McBride, an experienced and fearless astronaut working for the United States’ Space Com.
However, Roy still lives in the shadow of his father Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones), a great, accomplished American space explorer who went on a venture to the outer reaches of the solar system near Neptune. The expedition was lost, though, decades ago, with the crew written off as dead. When power surges begin hitting the earth generated from a powerful space ship engine, Roy is tasked with finding out if his father is still alive and if so, if it’s the lost ship starting these power surges.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Ad Astra’ is in the upper echelon of the space adventure genre”
“Captive State” is a movie I wanted to enjoy. It’s a lower budget sci-fi flick helmed by a director I like. Unfortunately, things didn’t really work out.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt, “Captive State” picks up nine years after an alien race landed on Earth and established a treaty with the planet’s leaders. While there’s a peace between the aliens and human leaders, though, the treaty has resulted in massive income inequality.
Additionally, the aliens seem very secretive and in some cases nefarious. As a result, there has been groups of resistance. The film follows Detective William Mulligan (John Goodman) who’s investigating the rebels and Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders), a young man who’s related to one of the opposition leaders.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Poor execution dismantles ‘Captive State’”
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than the locomotive. I’m talking about Captain Marvel, of course.
The latest film from Marvel just so happens to feature a hero named Captain Marvel. Her real name is Carol Danvers, though, and she’s portrayed by Academy Award winner Brie Larson. The film picks up with her living on a planet controlled by the Kree, a powerful alien empire. She’s commonly referred to with the name Vers and is a member of the Kree special ops squad, Starforce.
In the first act, it’s established that Vers doesn’t remember anything before she became a member of Starforce. However, she remains focused on her mission, which is to fight against Skrulls, another alien race perceived as terrorists by the Kree. Through a series of events, that mission eventually leads her to Earth, where she meets SHIELD Agent Nick Fury. Witnessing the Skrull situation, Fury decides to partner with Vers and the two work together on the mission. In doing so, the protagonist learns more about her past.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Captain Marvel’ soars in first film”
There’s a lot to unpack here with this movie so let’s just jump right in.
“Alita: Battle Angel” is based on a Japanese comic book (better known as manga), with a similar name. The original source material, which eventually had an animated adaptation, was titled “Battle Angel Alita.”
Continue reading “REVIEW: Against all odds, ‘Alita’ is still worth checking out”
Oof. This one was rough.
“Replicas” features Keanu Reeves as Will Foster, a scientist working at a research company, specializing in downloading a person’s mind and digitizing it. The goal is to be able to store the mind and transfer it, should a person’s body become destroyed in an accident, for example.
Unfortunately, that’s just what happens to Will’s family. Stricken by grief, and having access to amazing technology, Will, along with his assistant Ed (Thomas Middleditch), decide to conduct an experiment to clone and recreate the family, and transplant the brain data, as a way to bring them back to life.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Replicas’ is a total misfire”
My goodness, they finally managed to get a “Transformers” movie mostly right.
“Bumblebee” is the fifth movie in the “Transformers” universe. However, it largely stands apart from its Michael Bay-helmed counterparts. The film is actually a prequel and takes place in the 1980s.
Bumblebee is a transformer who, because of a war, is forced to seek refuge on Earth, where he can regroup and form a base for his comrades. Over the course of the film, Bumblebee, who’s damaged from battle, is discovered by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a young woman with an interest in mechanics. After meeting, the two start a friendship
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Bumblebee’ is an enjoyable action flick with heart”
There’s a section from 2012’s “Avengers” where Captain America very loudly tells the rest of the team that he understood a reference. That’s, more or less, how “Ready Player One” operates.
“Ready Player One” takes place in a rather depressed future. Picking up in 2045, the film is set in a world of mass poverty with humanity facing numerous problems. However, much of the population gets away from these matters by way of a virtual reality gaming platform called the OASIS.
Not only do many people escape their problems by way of the OASIS, though, they also constantly search for a hidden treasure. That treasure is a massive ownership share of the OASIS company, which is valued at multiple billion dollars. In order to find it, the gamers, including the film’s protagonist Wade/Parzival (Tye Sheridan), have to look for clues related to the program’s developer, Halliday (Mark Rylance). This is made difficult, though, because of a corporation which wants to find the treasure to take over the OASIS, and uses many of its employees to search for that treasure.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Ready Player One’ Is Heavy On Nostalgia, Low On Heart”
“The Shape of Water,” or How I Learned to Stop Worrying, and Love the Fish. OK, OK, not a great joke, never claimed to be a comedian.
So here’s the rundown on this great new film from Director Guillermo del Toro. The picture takes place in the 1960s at a government run facility that appears to be used by intelligence personnel. Instead of following scientists or special agents, though, the film explores the life of Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a woman working as a janitor for the base.
It’s let on quite quickly that Elisa’s life is repetitive and lonely, with the only company in her life being a neighbor who works as an artist (Richard Jenkins) and a coworker named Zelda (Octavia Spencer). Her life changes, though, when a captured amphibian humanoid is brought into the facility. Elisa soon learns that the creature is intelligent, contrary to military agents, and can communicate. As a result, the two begin interacting and form a bond.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Shape Of Water’ Is A Wonderfully Bizarre Fairy Tale”
When some men get to the point of a midlife crisis, they may go out and purchase a nice sports car. Matt Damon’s character in “Downsizing,” meanwhile, gets a procedure to become four inches tall.
The title more or less gives a clue as to what the film is about. The picture opens with a new procedure being developed called downsizing which shrinks bodies to roughly four or five inches tall. As a result of the size reduction, the environmental footprint of humanity can be lessened and because of resources becoming more abundant, people can live in luxury.
Paul Safranek (Matt Damon), an occupational therapist who seems bored with life, figures it’s a good thing to try. As a result, he and his wife make a plan to go through with downsizing. However, as the movie unravels, it shows that this wasn’t the fix-all solution that Paul expected.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Downsizing’ Misfires Because Of Bland Character, Weak Satire”
The honeymoon appears to be over with the new “Star Wars” trilogy, at least from this reviewer’s perspective.
The latest film in the saga is “The Last Jedi” and it takes place shortly after the events of “The Force Awakens.” The Resistance, a military branch that was created to defend the peaceful republic government, is on the ropes to The First Order, a faction of Imperial remnants. The movie begins with the Resistance evacuating their base and getting chased by large spacecraft from The First Order.
Meanwhile, in another sector of the galaxy, new force user Rey (Daisy Ridley) is pleading with the Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) for training. The problem, though, is that Luke is more or less retired now. As Rey tries to connect with Skywalker, members of the Resistance Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) go on a special mission to help their faction escape. However, the two are on the clock because the last Resistance ships are being chased by larger crafts from the First Order.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Despite Some Good Moments, ‘The Last Jedi’ As A Whole Is Largely Flawed”