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Flash Movie Review: Still Alice

The change is so minuscule you would not even be aware of its importance. Years later you may look back and remember it, realizing it was a warning for the oncoming seismic shift about to take place. For some the process is slow and drawn out; the occasional forgetfulness does not seem to be a big deal. Who has not forgotten where they put their house keys or forgotten a word now and then? But later on it becomes more frequent; think of it as a change from autumn to winter. Picture a majestic wide tree with a multitude of branches that curl and twist outward, filled with a thick abundance of leaves. Slowly the rich dark green of the leaves starts to fade, becoming less vibrant. The leaves that had been stretching wide like the palms of many hands were all beginning to close into gnarled fists. Memory drips out of the mind, falling away on a current of air like shriveled leaves; until the tree is laid bare. You may think the person is trapped inside their body but that is not the case; they are no longer there. You only have a living picture of who they were and even that begins to shut down due to the lack of electrical pulses from the expired brain. This is what can happen when someone has Alzheimer’s disease. ¬† ¬†JULIANNE Moore (Non-Stop, What Maisie Knew) played linguistics Professor Alice Howland. As an author and expert in her field, how was it possible that she was beginning to forget her words? This film festival winning drama’s success was all due to Julianne Moore. She was remarkable in this role, playing a middle-aged woman with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. There was one scene in particular where she was looking at her younger self and it amazed me how different she made the two images look on screen. I can understand now why she won the Golden Globe award. Some of the other actors in this film were Alec Baldwin (Beetlejuice, 30 Rock-TV) as John Howland, Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns, Blue Crush) as Anna Howland-Jones and Kristen Stewart (Twilight franchise, On the Road) as Lydia Howland. Everyone did a good job of acting; however I really did not get Kristen. It seems like she is doing the same thing in every movie; I have not seen her display any emotional variety with any of the characters she has played. Due to Julianne’s dominant performance, this drama has an effect on the viewer. Not to be funny here, but it seems as if I am paying more attention now when I forget something.

 

3 1/3 stars

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Flash Movie Review: Homefront

I can remember every single fight I was involved in when growing up. Out of all of them there was only one time where I threw the punch first and that was because the boy had been picking on me for weeks. I am not a violent person; in fact, I was never taught how to defend myself. A friend’s older brother had to show me how to correctly make a fist with my hand. I used to wonder where the aggressive kids learned how to fight and torment other students like me. It was during the parent/teacher conference nights where an answer could be found. I was not old enough to understand the reasons, only remembering how I felt when seeing the parents of a bully. More times than not the parents would frighten me. I could not explain it, but saw how they treated their spouse and child. Among my friends and family I never saw an adult act like that to someone else. In this action thriller, you will see what happens when parents get involved. Jason Statham (The Bank Job, Snatch) played Phil Broker, a former drug enforcement administration agent. After his wife’s death, Phil decided to settle in a small town to raise his young daughter Maddy, played by Izabela Vidovic (Help for the Holidays-TV movie, Raising Hope-TV). With the residents already suspicious of out-of-towners, it appeared Phil and Maddy may have settled into the wrong town. When Jason Statham stars in a movie, one already knows what to expect. There were many fight scenes that showed off Jason’s battling skills. One thing I was grateful for was Sylvester Stallone (Rocky franchise, Rhinestone) not starring in this film since he wrote the screenplay. It seems as if the screenplay was sitting on his shelf for years and Sylvester felt he was now too old for the role. This leads to my next point which concerned the script; it was simple and straight forward. There were few surprises since it was easy to figure out what was going to happen in almost every scene. I did enjoy seeing James Franco (This is the End, 127 Hours) and Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush, 21) play darker roles as brother and sister Morgan “Gator” Bodine and Cassie Bodine Klum. Though this crime film did not offer anything new, I was grateful at the end for not growing up being an aggressive kid. There were multiple scenes with violence and blood.

 

2 stars

Flash Movie Review: Black Rock

When my adult eyes gazed at my former high school classmates, I saw images of their younger selves floating in front of their now aged bodies. The memories I had of each one hovered above them like a cluster of balloons that I could easily reach out and hold on to, reliving our times together once again. When I went up to my best friend from high school who I had not seen for all these years, our memories of certain events were different. I had no idea that some of my actions were as hurtful to him as his were to me. Whether I wanted to blame it on our youth or inability to communicate our true feelings back then; it did not matter for the damage was done. Within the confines of our high school class reunion festivities, we tried to figure out how our paths became unpaved and broken; but time had built a bridge that took us away from each other. This type of discord between friends was apparent in this movie thriller. Kate Bosworth’s (Blue Crush, 21) character Sarah tricked her feuding friends Abby and Lou, played by Katie Aselton (The Puffy Chair, Cyrus) and Lake Bell (It’s Complicated, What Happens in Vegas) into a weekend trip to a remote island off the coast of Maine, that they had visited when they were teenagers. The trip was intended to heal old wounds but when the three women met hunters from a nearby camp, their weekend of healing became a night of terror. I thought the set up for this horror film was okay, just not original. In fact, there was nothing creative about the story. The acting was marginal for the most part; however, I will say the fight scenes had an intensity that surprised me. The latter part of the film kept my interest with its action and sense of impending gloom. This movie would not be something you needed to go out of your way to see; but, if you had a couple of hours with nothing to do, it would be something to pop in and watch. There were scenes of violence with blood.

 

1 3/4 stars — DVD

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