SOMETIMES IT TAKES AN UNEXPECTED EVENT for an individual to discover their hidden ability. I have no recollection of the event, but I was told my relative ran alongside a bus to keep me safe. The story told to me was about a time I was riding a bus from the doctor’s office. When the bus came to our stop, I lined up behind my relative who had taken me. I was the last one in line to exit the backside door of the bus. Because I was young and small, the bus driver could not see me in his rearview mirror, walking down the stairs. He closed the doors and my back leg got caught between them. My relative, who had stepped off of the bus, turned around just as I yelled out for help. She immediately grabbed me to see if she could pull me out but the doors had a solid hold of my leg. The bus started to coast away from the curb; my relative kept holding me as she trotted along. Though she was active as a teenager, it had been decades since she did anything that would yield a drop of sweat to break out on her forehead, let alone running at top speed. With the bus merging into traffic it was going at a good clip by now. There were a couple of people sitting near the back of the bus that caught a glimpse of my predicament and hollered out to the bus driver to stop. He finally did but not after my relative had been running alongside for a few blocks. DUE TO THAT EVENT MY RELATIVE discovered she had a knack for running. I know, what a way to find out, right? I was told I was shaken up from the bus ride but there were no injuries done to me. Presently, I have a friend who discovered he has an artistic flair for creating art pieces. With the stay at home order in place in his state, he has been purging his house of old, discarded items that he does not need anymore. He was gathering up all kinds of items, anywhere from hardware things to clothing accessories to expired medicine bottles. Having them stacked in a pile, one day he was sitting and looking at them. For some reason, he started picking out items and laying them on his coffee table. Pretty soon he had a small group of things that he arranged into a pattern. This intrigued him and before you know it, he found a 12 x 12 piece of wooden board and started gluing all the items onto the board. By the time he was done he had created a piece of art that could easily be hung up on a wall and no one would be the wiser. I saw a photo of it and it was beautiful. At present he has several pieces created that will easily sell in an art show. Just as he discovered a hidden ability, the main character in this dramatic thriller discovered her ability. AFTER DISCOVERING HER ABILITY RUTH, PLAYED BY Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Beyond the Lights), became a target that needed to be harnessed. With David Strathaim (Lincoln; Good Night, and Good Luck) as Ellis, Lorraine Toussaint (Selma, Love Beats Rhymes) as Bo, Christopher Denham (Shutter Island, Sound of my Voice) as Bill and Saniyya Sidney (Hidden Figures, Fences) as Lila; this science fiction, film festival winning movie had a down to earth, gentleness to its story. I thought the acting was excellent and was grateful the script assisted the actors in a positive way. What I liked about this picture was the fact for a science fiction story it did not have major special effects, battles or otherworldly characters; it was rather a simple story that had similarities to other films with the same type of special ability characters. There was no new ground covered in this movie; however, its ability to be entertaining was much appreciated.
2 ½ stars
There was a time when I would think nothing of wrapping my hand around a door handle to open a door or borrow someone’s pen to fill out a form. I do not recall a specific incident or time when these actions turned into a forbidden hazard for me. If I am not wearing long sleeves or a jacket, you should see how I try to open a door without using the palm of my hand. To some people I must appear like a stroke survivor. Having individuals get offended at me when I refused their requests to borrow my pen, I now always carry extra pens with me to just hand out to folks and tell them to keep the pen. Reading up on the ways one can catch a cold or discovering what places at work have the dirtiest surfaces, I have discouraged everyone at work from sticking their hands into any communal bags of snacks that come into the office. Instead they need to pour out the amount they want on a plate or napkin. In my classes I always use a fist bump when greeting someone, in place of shaking hands with them. Before you decide that I am a bona fide germophobe, think about the times you have stood in a checkout line and seen the checker wipe their nose across their hand or sneeze into them just before they give you back your change. Yuck, I would use a charge card to make the purchase. So you see there is enough things in the real world that can be a hazard to our health which is why this horror film was scary. CELEBRATIONS over the July 4th weekend turned deadly when the citizens of a small town started showing signs from an unknown illness that was rapidly spreading through the area. Written and directed by Barry Levinson (Liberty Heights, Sleepers), this film festival winning horror movie used the found footage style of filming. Due to the story line I understood why this method was used; however, the multiple sources and the shakiness of it became tiresome for me. The idea was great to base the story in a realistic setting because it only made this movie scarier for the viewer; it could have happened anywhere, not just off the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. With cast members such as Kether Donohue (Pitch Perfect franchise, Boy Wonder) as Donna and Kristen Connolly (Revolutionary Road, The Happening) as Stephanie, I was not moved much by their performances. It was due to the script; though there were a few scary moments, I did not feel the level of fear provided the needed thrills a movie like this required to convey to the audience. However, this film sure made me think twice about what we are doing to our planet. Several scenes had blood in them.
2 stars — DVD
I felt as if I had just been dropped out of the sky in the first few minutes of this unusual movie. With no explanation given; Peter Aitken, played by Christopher Denham (Shutter Island, Charlie Wilson’s War) and Lorna Michaelson, played by Nicole Vicius (500 Days of Summer, Last Days), were going through a prescribed set of directions before meeting Maggie, played by Brit Marling (Another Earth, The Recordist). The precautions were necessary because Maggie was from the future. I hesitate to explain why Peter and girlfriend Lorna wanted to meet this individual. The two were filmmakers who wanted to infiltrate Maggie and her followers; but at what cost? An interesting story that I found engaging, to the credit of Brit Marling who shared in the writing credits. I enjoyed her performance here as much as I did in her movie Another Earth–both off center, but with emotional depth. What pulled me into this movie were the scenes when the followers were assembled before Maggie. It felt creepy, watching individuals losing their identity. There were some scenes I did not understand and the ending felt rushed to me. When the movie was over, I was left trying to figure out what was real.
2 2/3 stars