Monday, December 1, 2014

Movie Quick Takes

Movie-wise, here's what I've been watching lately: lots of post-apocalyptic (I'm also into the CW show The 100), a generous helping of science fiction, and plenty of adventure. Life has been hectic, but I didn't want to let these go by without at least a few words.

Interstellar (In Theaters)
The world is dying, overrun by dust storms. People survive by farming, but crops are still dying out. A group of explorers goes through a mysterious wormhole in space in search of a new planet to call home. A father must choose between his daughter and the survival of humanity. Cool science fiction taken at a slow pace that does not feel labored, and at three hours, it doesn't feel too long either. Explores love's power over even the dimensions of space and time. Great acting! Stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and a host of other A-list names, some appearing only briefly. Definitely one to see in theaters, but hurry before it's gone! PG-13.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (In Theaters)
Katniss must choose whether or not to be used as a weapon against the Capital as she joins the rebellion in District 13. Meanwhile, the Capital's weapon is the boy she loves: Peeta. The movie is well-made and provides an interesting look at propaganda. (We watch a movie about people who create propaganda for TV, and we get to watch them watch their own propaganda and see the fallout of it. And isn't the message of these movies a sort of propaganda in and of itself? Have we got the message, or are we just glorifying everything the story is supposed to be against?) It's true to the book, which means it's also very depressing. The politics are interesting, but the movie just doesn't have the action appeal of the other two. Jennifer Lawrence and her co-actors are great, as always. I could watch Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks in their roles forever. I was slightly distracted by any scenes containing Philip Seymour Hoffman, remembering how he died before filming ended and wondering which parts were affected by that. PG-13. Two hours.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Now on DVD)
In the future, the X-Men have nearly been exterminated by unstoppable robot creatures created using mutant biology. The only way to stop them is to ensure they are never created in the first place. So, Wolverine is sent to the past to Professor X and Magneto's younger days in order to stop loose cannon Mystique from making a costly mistake. Fun romp. Great characters. Needed more Quicksilver. Enjoyed it very much, but a month or two later, I don't have lasting impressions. PG-13. Just over two hours.

Snowpiercer (On DVD)
The world is frozen over, and the only people alive ride a 1000-car (supposedly 1001, at least in the graphic novel, but in the movie, it looks much smaller) train that never stops and completes one circle of the globe every year. A group living in the slums at the back of the train tries to force its way to the front. This two-hour movie is rated R and is dark, disturbing, and graphically violent (but no sex). Its bleak ending has the barest sliver of hope. I wouldn't watch it again, but I found it intriguing. What would a world like that do to a person's psyche? Everyone is just a little touched by insanity. Chris Evans (known for his role as Captain America) stars as a much dirtier, darker, grittier kind of hero.

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