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Flash Movie Review: The Space Between Us

DISTANCE was never a factor until I reached adulthood. As a kid I loved all my relatives equally including the ones that lived out of state. They rarely were able to participate in the weekend family dinners and could not be present for every special occasion; however, these distant relatives were always included in our daily lives. And this was at a time before the internet was widespread; when one would buy a birthday card or write a letter that would be dropped off at the post office for mailing. Phone calls were only done on a landline phone; there was no video time to see the person one was talking to on the other end of the telephone line. Love was never brought into question. As I think about this I have to say part of the reason was the respect we had for each other. Being an aunt or uncle was a unique position because they were at times surrogate parents, confidants or pseudo buddies. Another reason why love was strong across distances was the effort everyone committed to in keeping the family bonds strong.   IMAGINE my surprise when I first started out in the dating world when my query to go out on a date was rejected because I did not live in any of the surrounding zip codes. I was dumbfounded and left speechless. Now I am not talking about some small town surrounded by farmland; we are talking in the heart of a big metropolis with several forms of public transportation, besides expressways and bike paths. A similar experience happened with someone else when we exchanged phone numbers. Because my area code did not match theirs I immediately saw the disappointment flitter across their face. It was such an odd thing to me where I had to wonder what a person does when they set up limited boundaries for themselves and they exhaust the dating pool of their area. I have to give credit to the main character in this adventure romance for the distance he traveled.   GARDNER Elliot, played by Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), was the 1st person to be born in space. Living on Mars with only scientists, his only connection to earth was through his computer screen. But what he found on it changed his life. This dramatic film festival nominee had a wonderful story; the movie trailers played it up well. Along with Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight franchise, Tinker Tanker Solider Spy) as Nathaniel Shepherd, Britt Robertson (The Longest Ride, Tomorrowland) as Tulsa and Carla Gugino (San Andreas, Watchmen) as Kendra Wyndham; the script was so hokey and basic that none of the actors came off well in their roles. With the right writers this could have been a thoughtful, exciting love story; but instead, this picture may only interest the young adult group if even them. There were a couple of scenes that were decent but I did not feel most scenes ever matured enough to help create an engaging story. I cannot tell you what to do but all I can say is with my reviews I have traveled near and far to see a film; this movie was not worth the travel time for me.

 

1 ¾ stars

 

 

Flash Movie Review: Tomorrowland

I do not know if it was because I did not go at an early age and had more time to think about it, but I used to wonder what I would find in Tomorrowland when I finally got there. Besides the usual science fiction stuff like flying cars and robots, I thought of other things that could be in the park; I was not an average little boy. I wanted there to be no sadness or pain in Tomorrowland; everyone would be kind and accepting of everyone else. The opportunity to go there did not happen until a friend and me were legal adults. It was the first trip by airplane for both of us. When we arrived at the amusement park I was overwhelmed with all the images that I had only seen on television or in photographs come to life right before my eyes. We made our way through every attraction whether it was a roller coaster ride or stage show; we felt like little kids again. From one section to another we planned on experiencing it all over the course of 3 days. On the second day we had Tomorrowland on our to do list. As we followed the signs pointing to it, I was remembering all the things I imagined about the park when I was small. I was not expecting what I found when we reached our destination. Tomorrowland had a somewhat dated look to it; almost like a retro look from a decade or so ago. I was so confused by the things around me; this was nothing I imagined Tomorrowland would be. I felt the same about this action adventure film.    Mysteriously appearing among Casey Newton’s, played by Britt Robertson (The Longest Ride, Dan in Real Life), things was a curious pin. When touched only by her, Casey ‘s surroundings would change into a futuristic world; she had to find out how and why she had this pin. Starring George Clooney (The Monuments Men, Up in the Air) as Frank Walker, Hugh Laurie (The Oranges, House M.D.-TV) as Nix and Raffey Cassidy (Dark Shadows, Snow White and the Huntsman) as Athena; this science fiction fantasy was so confusing to me, I could not even tell you what the story was about. Now I lived through Star Trek’s space-time continuum and could follow its logic; but this story made no sense to me. With all the money used for the great special effects, that was all this movie offered the viewer essentially. However, the writers wanted to make sure we understood the message they were trying to convey so it was repeated over and over to us. This was the 2nd time Tomorrowland disappointed me; I better focus on making each year better than the last. You can start by not paying full price for this confusing picture.

 

2 stars

Flash Movie Review: The Longest Ride

That moment when a person first feels love for another person takes place at different times for each of us. A mixture of intuition, common sense and infatuation play a part on the timing when the switch gets flipped and we fall in love. There are some people who need time; they have a long distance racecourse type of method for falling in love, where the person has to pass checkpoints to earn further passage. Now other individuals can fall in love with another person right at the beginning, first sight. No matter which way it happens, if that kernel of love is not nourished it will never survive. As for myself, not only do I believe love has to be nurtured and fed, I feel when it is strong it can overcome many obstacles. Having had my share of long distance relationships, the only way I was able to maintain them was due to the strength of my love. The same could be said for the past relationships that were local too. With my hectic schedule of working and teaching, it can be a challenge to find free time to maintain and further grow a relationship. I used to date a stage manager who had a schedule opposite of mine; where I had free time on the weekends, they had weekdays open. It took some creative thinking to try and find times we could get together. The relationship did not last long, due to both of us not feeling a deeper connection to make those compromises one needs to make if they want to make the relationship thrive.    DRAGGED to a bull riding competition college student Sophia Danko, played by Britt Robertson (Dan in Real Life, Delivery Man), was not enjoying it until contestant Luke Collins, played by Scott Eastwood (Fury, Gran Torino), gave her his cowboy hat. With Sophia about to move back to New York to pursue her love of art with an internship at an art gallery, she could not see how dating Luke would fit into her plans. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ (The Notebook, The Lucky One) novel, this romantic drama was dead on arrival. The main issue was the poorly done acting; Scott was stiff and wooden. In fact, the only one that came close to being believable was Alan Alda (Tower Heist, The Aviator) as Ira Levinson. It was a shame because I did not mind the story within the story aspect to this film, though both story lines were predictable. Also, the script needed a rewrite to get rid of the manipulative scenes that clearly were done to pull at the viewers’ hearts. Sitting in the theater being bored was no way to try and get me to fall in love with this movie.

 

1 3/4 stars

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