Film Friday #182

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Earth is left on the brink of collapse after being invaded by a race of multi-limbed, whirling aliens called Mimics, who seem to be able to predict every attempt at resistance, but after British special forces officer, Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) manages to lead a human army to victory in in Verdana, there is hope for one last push. This is where cowardly military press liaison, Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) reluctantly finds himself after crossing the wrong man. Shipped out to participate in the final battle his lack of combat experience soon gets him killed… but then he wakes up back at the start of the next morning… again and again. At first he focuses his attention unnsuccsessfully on trying to get off the beach but after an encounter with Rita he discovers that he has developed the ability to reset the day from one of the Mimics kind of  like a virus. Now the two must work together reliving the same day over and over again to try and change the outcome and save humanity. I wasn’t expecting to like this movie because I’m not a big fan of Tom Cruise’s at the best of times but Edge of Tomorrow is actually really entertaining, despite a couple of plot holes, it’s fun watching Cruise play a character that needs a lot of pushing to develop his heroic side, Emily Blunt is as radiant and fierce as ever and the two have great chemistry. Even my sci-fi connoisseur husband liked it. Possibly its because it retains some of the sense of humour that you find in classics like Starship Troopers. A fun popcorn movie. 3.5/5

I've got a bad feeling about this...

I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

Young Guns (1988)

When we first got a VCR when I was about twelve my mum and I regularly used to go down to our local video rental place and get a movie for the weekend. We even had a bulk buy contract. Sometimes we used to get stuck on a movie and end up renting it over and over again. I thought one of those movies was Young Guns, which is why I decided to watch this but about halfway through the abundance of Charlie Sheen combined with the absence of Christian Slater and the lack of epic Bon Jovi soundtrack (just pointing out that these are the only Bon Jovi songs I am willing to tolerate) made me realise that it was Young Guns II that we were obsessed with and I’m not sure I’d ever even seen Young Guns. Anyway, after their mentor is killed a group of young gunslingers is deputised and set loose to avenge his death. With Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez) at the helm it doesn’t take long for their behaviour to become wild and risky and soon they find themselves the subject of a manhunt that can only end badly. I’m not so sure about this… I mean it was fun and Estevez is a great laugh playing reckless Billy but its steeped in 80’s cheese and kept getting annoyed that Keiffer Sutherland’s love interest was just referred to as China because she was Chinese. Surely she at least deserved a name… I mean if he was risking his life to save her. Ultimately this is kind of forgettable and I feel like I still need to rewatch Young Guns II… if only it was on Netflix! 2.5/5

Ole!

Ole!

Café de Flore (2011)

In 1960’s Paris Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) gives birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome and is swiftly abandoned by her husband who has no intention of raising a child with learning difficulties. As Laurent (Marin Gerrier) grows up to be a sweet, funny and happy little boy, Jacqueline dedicates her life to him and his development adamant that he will outlive the predicted lifespan for someone with his condition. At school Laurent meets Vero (Alice Dubois) and the two form an inseparable friendship, one that puts Jacqueline uncomfortably on the sidelines. Forty years later Antoine (Kevin Parent) has a dream life in Montreal. He’s a super successful DJ, he has a beautiful girlfriend named Rose (Evelyne Brochu) who he adores and two lovely young daughters. The only problem is that while he loves Rose, he is also still in love with his ex-wife, Carole (Hélène Florent), which isn’t helped by the fact that Antoine and Carole were childhood sweethearts and she’s not ready to get over him. As these two stories as well as parts of Carole and Antoine’s earlier relationship unfold it becomes clear that there is an unexpected connection between these two love triangles. Café de Flore is definitely not going to be for everyone. it’s timeline is confusing and some of it’s romantic mysticism is is a bit off the wall but I loved its moral ambiguity and found all the performances, particularly Vanessa Paradis’ really powerful. If you like your love stories a bit on the unusual side it’s definitely worth a watch. 3.5/5

Synchronised swimming: You're doing it wrong

Synchronised swimming: You’re doing it wrong

Side Effects (2013)

Rooney Mara plays Emily Taylor, a fragile woman whose husband,  Martin (Channing Tatum) has been imprisoned for insider trading. Having suffered from depression in the past it’s not surprising that Martin’s release destabilises Emily and after a suicide attempt she is referred to Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law). He prescribes antidepressants, which have a number of unusual side effects, one of which is sleep walking. When Emily stabs Martin to death while apparently asleep she is tried for murder, bringing Dr Banks’ lucrative career and reputation into doubt. As he investigates further, trying to clear his name he starts to wonder if Emily really is the fragile victim she comes across as and what exactly was her relationship with her former doctor, Victoria Siebert (Catherina Zeta-Jones)? I rather enjoyed this twisty little thriller. Mara was excellent as manipulative Emily and I loved the fact that Jude Law’s character was both a victim and snake in the grass at the same time. I also found the interesting technique of shooting the subject of every scene in focus with the background always out of focus made watching the film feel a bit like you were in a drug addled haze, which really worked with the subject matter. Catherine Zeta-Jones was awful though. She was completely miscast and the character really didn’t work for me. 3/5

Bored now.

Bored now.

10 Comments

  1. I agree with almost everything you say here especially the part about the awfulness of Bon Jovi 🙂

    1. Abbi

      Hahahahha! They are terrible but I do love the Young Guns II soundtrack.

  2. I’m looking forward to Edge of Tomorrow. Time to order the popcorn. : )

    1. Abbi

      It’s the perfect popcorn film. I never got bored and that can only be a good thing.

  3. Yeah it’s weird Young Guns II overshadowed the first one immensely, I guess it was a little more mainstream.

    1. Abbi

      It’s so rare a sequel is better than its predecessor. I need to track down a copy.

  4. Tom

    I’m the same way about EoT: a great surprise and a nice change of pace for Tom Cruise, who usually gets on my nerves as well. Have not seen Young Guns but probably will skip, but I will take a chance on Café de Flore. I do like my romance movies a bit on the unusual side. 🙂 As for Side Effects, I thought it to be brilliant as well. Very twisty and suspense-filled.

    1. Abbi

      I don’t think you’ll miss much by skipping Young Guns. Café de Flore has some great performances and asks some interesting questions. I hope you enjoy it.

  5. Great reviews! Edge of Tomorrow was such a pleasant surprise. Had a blast and loved Cruise and Blunt. Side Effects was one of my favorites from last year. Very twisty; loved seeing Law in a leading role but I actually really dug Zeta-Jones and wanted to see more of her!

  6. […] this week. (For a mere $6.50, folks! This was exciting in its own right.) As usual I concur with Abbi – this is really pretty good, and worth seeing, even if it does star Tom […]

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