Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Fault in Tomorrow

I'm having one of those days where I don't feel like writing anything. Consequently, yall get a short post today.

Over the last week, I saw two new movies: The Fault in Our Stars and Edge of Tomorrow.

The Fault in Our Stars is based on the bestselling YA novel by John Green. Hazel is dying of cancer, resultant in depression (which, she snidely points out, is a symptom of dying, not of cancer). Her mother makes her go to a support group where sarcastic silence is her survival mechanism...until she meets Gus. They become friends and then more, exploring the hard edges and soft lines of dying and living, too.

This movie is about the characters, not the cancer. It asks some very basic questions and gets some very basic answers, but also leaves us open to the inexplicable experiences of joy and grief.

I didn't cry. Until the mom started talking near the end of the movie. This is a human-feely movie, but critics of the genre will find something to love too. You don't walk away feeling depressed, despite the content.

Edge of Tomorrow is the latest Tom Cruise movie, packed with action, silent scenes waiting for the monster to jump out, and timey-wimey goodness. Officer Cage is on the front lines of a modern-day Normandy invasion against the aliens invading Europe. Humanity finally has a weapon that can crush the aliens once and for all. But when Cage dies in the invasion, he wakes up the day before. He proceeds to go through the exact same day, dying in the invasion again--to wake up the day before.

He is caught in a time-loop reminiscent of Groundhog Day, having somehow hijacked the aliens' power over time. Unlike Groundhog Day, however, I didn't leave halfway through. The repetition is pulled off with a mix of humor and jumping ahead expecting you to catch up. It was--dare I say it?--perfectly done.

The aliens looked awesome. The dialog was minimal but well-written. This was a movie that breathed subtlety and understatement, something that's rare to find and even rarer to pull off. The plot was never dull, never predictable. After it was over, my husband and I had nothing to say; it's that kind of movie. If you liked Looper, you'll like this.


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