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Flash Movie Review: Terminator: Dark Fate

THOUGH I DISLIKED HIM IMMENSELY, I was stuck having to work with him. If you pressed me to say something complimentary about him, I would have a hard time finding something nice to say. From the day I started working at the company, we never really clicked; however, we were cordial towards each other. From my perspective, it was important we had an open line of communication since we worked in the same department. It was not like I would see him sporadically; we were sitting in the same work space every day. It was within the first couple of weeks I realized I did not care for him. The first thing that set me off was when he started telling me what I should do. I would not have gotten a negative reaction if I had asked his opinion, but I knew what I was doing. He was taking it upon himself to explain his method, which he felt was the right way. There was no right or wrong way; it simply was a question of which order one did the steps needed to get to the conclusion. From listening to the way he treated customers and fellow employees, I felt he was pompous and arrogant.      DESPITE MY FEELINGS ABOUT HIM, I was not about to jeopardize my position nor the reputation of the company. I was not into drama; so, I was not going to make a scene over any of the comments he expressed to me personally or to other people. As far as I was concerned it was up to upper management to deal with his behavior. However, there were times where it was tough for me not to react to him. At some point we finally got into an argument where he resorted to name calling. That turned out to be the turning point in my relationship with him. From that time, I had nothing to do or say to him beyond anything work related. If he tried to start a conversation with me, I would walk away. When I came to work in the morning, I would say hello to my fellow employees, while bypassing him. If I happened to bump into him in the bathroom, I would look beyond him without saying a word. You might think my behavior was childish and it might have been; however, it served me well. I no longer had to pay attention to him expounding on his beliefs and the proper ways of living. If it had to do about business however, I would talk to him. We were working for the same company; so, it had to be done, just like one of the main characters had to do in this action, adventure science fiction film.      THERE WAS SOMETHING SO SPECIAL ABOUT Dani Ramos, played by Natalia Reyes (Birds of Passage, 2091-TV), that old enemies would have to learn how to work together if there was any chance of saving her and the planet. With Linda Hamilton (Dante’s Peak, Defiance-TV) as Sarah Connor, Arnold Schwarzenegger (Escape Plan, True Lies) as T-800/Carl, Mackenzie Davis (The Martian, Blade Runner 2049) as Grace and Diego Boneta (Rock of Ages, Summer Camp) as Diego Ramos; this latest installment of the film franchise took a lot of its material from the previous stories. I enjoyed this movie for what it was trying to do; relive some of its past glory. Essentially the script was one long series of chase scenes. Some of the action was fun and exciting; however, there was nothing new or fresh about it. I did like the way the writers created a few sly, humorous moments for Arnold’s character and what they did for the character of Sarah Connor. Overall, this was an easy picture to watch that did not require much brainpower.

 

2 ½ stars    

Flash Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell

WHEN I saw Rosie helping the Jetson family and Data assisting the crew of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, I believed an opportunity was being created for mankind to better itself. Removing some of the unimportant necessities of the day would allow man to study and learn more about life; in other words humans could reach a higher level of consciousness. Witnessing the blending of mechanical objects with people really has been an extraordinary event. Just think about individuals who received mechanical hearts and valves or athletes getting artificial arms and legs; it has changed people’s perceptions about what it means to be physically challenged. Just in the past several months the news reported on an artificial hand that a person could control with their mind; did you ever imagine this becoming reality during your lifetime? I vaguely remember an advertisement tagline that said something like, “better living through science.” This idea certainly has validity; however, I have a growing concern that science, depending on who is calling the shots, could dominate mankind.     ONE of my concerns for some time has been the manipulations taking place in our food chain. I am not comfortable ingesting a food item that has been genetically modified. The idea of animals being injected with growth hormones to create supersized creatures to yield more meat or milk frightens me. This was one of the reasons I gave up red meat years ago. Another area that concerns me is the “beauty” industry. With the amount of chemicals people apply to themselves on a daily basis with their soaps, dyes and makeup; I just wonder what the body does with it when the products get absorbed into the skin. Even seeing people who have gone through extensive plastic surgery to maintain their youthful appearance troubles me. I remember standing next to a television celebrity who was talking to their aide. Their face barely budged as the lips were forming words; their facial expression was totally void of any emotion. The title of this futuristic action film could easily apply to this celebrity.     MAJOR, played by Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers franchise, Lost in Translation), was the first of her kind; she was the ultimate blend of human and machine. At least she thought so until she started experiencing flashbacks. Watching this dramatic crime movie was a wild visual ride. All I could think about was it looked like a cross between the films Blade Runner and The Fifth Element. Based on the graphic novel this movie also starred Pilou Asbaek (Lucy, A Hijacking) as Batou, Juliette Binoche (Godzilla, The 33) as Dr. Ouelet and Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths, The Dreamers) as Kuze. I am not familiar with the story; however, the first half of this picture had me totally into it. Scarlett was good with the physical demands of the role, but I thought the acting part was one dimensional; unless that was how the character was written in the book. The last half of the film for me turned into a typical action movie; in fact, I am concerned Scarlett is being typecast since her character shared similarities with her Lucy and Avengers characters. I would have preferred if the script had stayed focused on the storyline regarding the flashbacks. The title of this movie remained with me afterwards as I wondered if this is where science will be going in the future.

 

 

2 ½ 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: Sound of My Voice

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

 

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