Edge of Tomorrow Fails to Stick the Landing

edgetomorrowI, for one, am glad to see Tom Cruise settling into the science fiction genre. With Oblivion and now Edge of Tomorrow, he has moved up my list. Unfortunately, it appears that movie goers either don’t trust Cruise anymore, or they simply aren’t interested in quality science fiction thrillers not titled Matrix.

While Edge of Tomorrow hasn’t done well at the box office, it seems to be generating positive reviews. And I liked the movie. I didn’t like it quite as much as Oblivion. The key reason is the ending. No worries, no spoilers here. But the ending just didn’t work for me–not for this movie. For a simpler one, sure.

But it wasn’t so disappointing as to ruin the entire movie.

Cruise and his supporting actress, Emily Blunt, were both excellently cast and made the most of their parts. The Groundhog style time loop plot device worked for me. What makes the technique really work is the fact Cruise starts off as completely incapable of fighting. He describes himself in the movie as an ROTC student in college who lost his job and took a new one as a military recruiter. He’s a smooth talker who finds himself on the tip of the spear for reasons the film viewer is to assume revolve around politics and a scramble to cover asses.

While the reasoning isn’t totally clear, it sets up the main device of the movie–Cruise’s character replaying the same day over and over. Since he starts off as unskilled, it gives him all the more space to improve and mature and grow as a hero. [Read more...]

Why I Liked Oblivion Better Than Star Trek

oblivionskystationThe past couple of months have been good for sci-fi movie goers. I actually managed to get away for Iron Man III (sort of sci-fi), Star Trek into Darkness and Oblivion. Here is why I like Oblivion better than the other two.

It felt like a science fiction movie. It was a science fiction movie. I like science fiction movies.

I suppose I should elaborate. Oblivion put considerable time and energy into the atmosphere and the ethos and the cinema-graphic beauty of the film. I’m not placing it on a level with Blade Runner, but that’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. [Read more...]

Cowboys and Aliens: Mot Juste!

Cowboys and Aliens movie postermot juste/ˌmō ˈZHYst/ Noun: The exact, appropriate word.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me say how ecstatic I am about the timing of this new weird-Western movie. (Fine, the graphic novel has been around since 2006, but how many of you have heard of it?) But I mean, holy alien prodding! I’ve planned the release of Fistful of Reefer to be July 31st (formerly June 31st) for several months. And now it’s announced that Cowboys and Aliens will be released nationwide on July 28th?

I tell you, it’s exactly appropriate. And for those of us who have always rooted for the Indians we can now root for our future galactic overlords. (I jest! I love the Cowboys *grumble, grumble. Stupid, evil Jerry Jones*) Not only is the timing perfect, but the content is perfect as well. [Read more...]