During my viewing of “Bliss,” I was starting to have flashbacks of 2019’s “Serenity,” another January release. At the very least, “Bliss” is better than that feature, but only slightly so.
Owen Wilson plays Greg in “Bliss,” a man who seems to be lost in thoughts of a dream home while at work. Unfortunately, his lack of attention ends with him being fired from his position. Not long after, he finds himself in a bar with Isabel (Salma Hayek), a woman who informs him that she can manipulate reality around them.
She’s able to do this because, according to her, the world they’re living in isn’t actually a real one. Basically, Isabel says the simulation theory is real and what she and Greg are in is an artificial reality. With this new information, Greg begins being pulled in two directions, and has difficulty in determining what’s real and what’s not.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Bliss’ breaks down due to story, pacing issues”
Late night talk radio about UFOs is always a good time, so much so that the late host Art Bell made a career out of it with his show “Coast to Coast AM.”
That concept can now be enjoyed in movie form, too, thanks to this enjoyable indie thriller.
“The Vast of Night” takes place in a small New Mexico town in the 1950s and centers on two characters. One is Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard phone operator, and the other is Everett (Jake Horowitz), a radio station DJ. Both teens are working the night of a big basketball game, so the town is rather quiet. As she’s connecting phone lines, though, Fay hears a frantic caller, and later a strange sound coming through the system.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a stirring film about radio worth tuning in for”
No Dark Universe, no problem.
After the shared cinematic universe idea for Universal’s famous movie monsters crashed, plans were reworked to have more independent, individual films. The first one up is “The Invisible Man,” written and directed by Leigh Whannell. The movie stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia, a woman who just left her abusive boyfriend.
Cecilia is shaken from the relationship and is left with anxiety, fearing that her ex, Adrian, (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) will come after her. However, she soon learns that Adrian has supposedly committed suicide. Just as she begins trying to rebuild her life, though, Cecilia begins to feel stalked and terrorized by an unseen force, which she believes is Adrian.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Moss, special effects boost ‘Invisible Man’”
A person can say a lot about the “Star Wars” prequels. They certainly had their fair share of flaws. However, at the very least, it was a trilogy that had a clear blueprint for where it was supposed to go.
That, unfortunately, didn’t seem to be the case with this sequel trilogy.
“Rise of Skywalker” is the ninth film in the main “Star Wars” story, and 11th overall when including the spin-off features. Right from the opening crawl, viewers learn that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) survived the second Death Star’s destruction, has actually been pulling all the strings with the First Order and has (somehow) built like 90 new Star Destroyers that have planet killing cannons.
In response, a rather depleted resistance force explore their options to fight back. They determine the best course of action is to find out where Palpatine’s fleet is and launch an attack with help from across the galaxy. To find out the location, the new Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley), former storm trooper-turned resistance warrior Finn (John Boyega) and ace pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) begin a search for a dark side Sith artifact.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Final ‘Star Wars’ falls, rather than rises”
This is a series called “Best of the Decade.” It’s a list including 10 movies that I found to be the best in a specific genre from 2010-2019.
Whether films were part of established franchises or simply stand alone features, this past decade was pretty darn good for sci-fi. Here are some of my favorites from the past 10 years.
Continue reading “Best of the Decade: Sci-Fi”
So this is a “Terminator” film where a person or machine from the future has to fight off a far more deadly machine also from the future in order to protect someone.
This time around, the movie is more focused on a new character, rather than Connor family like previous installments. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is the main protagonist in “Dark Fate” and is being hunted by a terminator. Because of the action taken by Sarah Connor in “Terminator 2,” though, the terminator hunting Dani is from an AI program in the future called Legion, rather than Skynet.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ excels where it counts: the action”
Young Will Smith returns in “Gemini Man” but unfortunately, he hasn’t made a rap song to compliment his latest movie like he used to.
The movie stars Smith as Henry Brogan, an aging government operative and assassin who’s looking to retire from his career in combat. His dreams of retirement are dashed, though, as he becomes a target by higher-ups just as he’s leaving the business. An attempt on his life forces him to go on the run, with the help of another government agent named Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
The problem though, is the person they sent after Brogan is exceptionally skilled and is also relentless. On top of being a force to be reckoned with, though, Brogan soon learns that the one hunting him is actually a younger clone of himself.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Technically ambitious ‘Gemini Man’ fails in other areas”
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”