Tomorrowland_posterTomorrowland (2015) – 7/10

Shamelessly optimistic and wonderfully imaginative Disney film.  Watch it with an open mind and a desire to be inspired.

Actors George Clooney and Britt Robertson engage with a vulnerable sincerity.  Geniuses both; the older, disillusioned Frank and the youthful, determined Casey.

They save the world, literally.  Corny but true: hope or despair?  You choose.  Feed the winner.


10 Cloverfield Lane

10_Cloverfield_Lane10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – 5/10

This is a strange movie.  It hasn’t worked out what genre it wants to be.  I mean, I think it’s a thriller.  But is it psycho or sci fi?

John Goodman does a pretty good job channelling his serial killer persona from ‘Barton Fink”.  Mary E.W. does her best ‘MacGyver’ to escape from the unstable JG and the merciless extraterrestrials.

The first 3/4 of the movie takes place in JG’s doomsday prepper underground shelter.  For the final 1/4 Mary E.W. outwits and destroys an alien mothership (with a flaming bottle of whiskey).

Mary then heads toward Houston to assist the beleaguered humans because she’s an experienced medic (she’s a fashion designer) and is combat ready (ok – she is pretty resourceful).

Lesson learned – a plastic shower curtain, a large PET bottle and lots of duct tape coupled with some clever fashion design skills just may protect you from extraterrestrial poison gas.

Tender Mercies

p6951_p_v8_aaTender Mercies (1982) – 8/10

Too much apple jack.

Mac Sledge. Wakes up one day on the floor surrounded by empty beer cans and cigarette butts. Broke but willing to work.  Gives up the alcohol and settles down with a woman 20 years younger and her young son.

Big Texas sky. Long straight roads. Swinging country music. The kind of country music that tells a story about sorrow, forgiveness and love.


The Thing

ThingprequelfairuseThe Thing (2011) – 3/10

No this is not the 1982 John Carpenter cult classic.  This is the 2011 prequel directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.  His  feature length directorial debut.  Nothing since.  Hmmmm.

Same name, basically the same story as JC’s version.  No MacReady/Kurt Russell; Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) doesn’t come close.  Slick special effects and some very disturbing monster melding scenes.  Pristine, snowy surroundings.  Forgettable soundtrack.  

Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a palaeontologist who definitely has the makings of a competent hero –  intelligent, determined, no hesitation to make the tough choices.  The unspoken leader, to Lars it’s a given.  So what happens to Kate?  She makes that bad alien eat grenade and incinerates a suspect Sam Carter.  She’s unstoppable really.  And then what?   Does her vehicle run out of gas?  Does she find the Russian station?  We’ll never know. 

John Carpenter’s vision is far superior.