I always watch the way their fingers move like spider’s legs weaving a web. There is a rhythm to it that is not familiar to me. These fingers always belong to a younger person, even those all the way down to 5 year olds. When I see them playing their video games my focus is more on their dexterity than the actual game, especially if the game is filled with guns and violence. I see enough of that in our everyday life. This is the reason why I will not teach any aerobic classes that involve punching and kicking, with titles like aerobic combat or fitness war. I have seen enough people playing video games that I sit and marvel how we created this whole new generation of humans who have this incredible eye and hand coordination; besides video games, where else could they apply this skill? My years of playing piano have given me a certain control over my fingers, but I do not come close to those individuals referred to as gamers. There is one aspect of the video game experience that I am curious about that concerns the long term effects of playing violent games. Will a person become less shocked or even oblivious to seeing violence? Seeing war footage from the various news services, will it only be perceived in a video game context? These are things I think about and this movie could be used as an example for it. AFTER serving several tours of duty as an air force pilot Major Thomas Egan, played by Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Training Day), found himself sitting in a metal box looking at a video screen all day as a drone pilot. As the level of targets increased something was starting to eat away at his conscience. This film festival nominee was a chilling thriller. I was riveted to the movie screen because I could not tell if I was watching reenacted or real military scenes. The cast which also included January Jones (Unknown, Mad Men-TV) as Molly Egan, Zoe Kravitz (Divergent franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road) as airman Vera Suarez and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek franchise, Deja Vu) as Lt. Colonel Jack Johns only added to the dramatic tension throughout this film. There was some predictability to the story which slowed the pace down; however, I found Ethan’s performance exceptional enough to power through any of the negatives I had about the script. I really was stunned or maybe I should say enlightened by this whole other world filled with drones. It really gave me food for thought, where I had to wonder what qualifications were needed to become a drone pilot. Do you think military experience will be necessary or will it be more important for the person applying to list gamer on their resume?
In a single moment’s time, the calm road one has been walking on can turn into an icy precipice; causing a slide into stark confusion. I stopped at the health club to pick up some paperwork on my way to teaching a class at another fitness center. It was a cold winter morning where during the night a layer of thick new snow had covered the ground. Returning to my car, I reached into my coat pocket to get my car keys but they were gone. I had the keys when I locked the car a few minutes ago. Panic began to course through my veins as my mind crashed into several possibilities on where my keys could be. With each passed second landing heavily on my shoulders I retraced my footsteps; looking for the imprint of the bottom of my boots in the snow. Halfway to the club’s front doors a discoloration in the snow caught my eye. Tucked into the snow like a priceless gem in a white velvet jewel box were my car keys. All of the confusion spiraling in my mind fell to the floor of my brain with a thud as reality started to seep back into me once again. Where I panicked over my lost car keys; imagine what Dr. Martin Harris, played by Liam Neeson (The Grey, Taken franchise), must have felt when he thought he was losing his mind. Waking up in Berlin from a coma due to an accident; Martin discovered the woman he thought was his wife Elizabeth, played by January Jones (Pirate Radio, Mad Men-TV), had no idea who he was since she had never seen him before. Adding to the confusion, Elizabeth was already married to a Dr. Martin Harris, played by Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, The Missing). This action mystery movie was a fun mental diversion for me. Even with its improbabilities and convenient coincidences I enjoyed the story’s twists and surprises. Liam was very good in this role as were Diane Kruger (Inhale, Troy) as taxi driver Gina and Bruno Ganz (Downfall, Eternity and a Day) as former Stasi agent Ernst Jurgen. The directing kept the story going at a fast clip, helped with some good editing. There was no confusion on my part in watching this thrilling movie. I knew I wanted to see an entertaining film that would enable me to mentally escape for a couple of hours and I got it. A couple of brief scenes that showed blood.
2 2/3 stars — DVD