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Flash Movie Review: Split

THE only remaining open seat was next to me. I was sitting by the window gazing at the changing landscape as I was traveling downtown on the train. At the next train stop I did not pay attention to the person who sat down next to me. Before getting to the next stop the man commented on a building that came into view from out our window. I replied in agreement about the modern looking building and from that a conversation ensured between us. It appeared this man had some knowledge about architecture as he explained details about a couple of buildings that we noticed during our travels. I was surprised to hear his comments since I grew up in the city and had never heard about the things he was saying about these structures.   AS we made our way down into the city he made a couple of comments that did not ring true to me. I cannot exactly explain why but some of the things he stated came out with a slight edge to them; do you know what I mean? A twinge of irritation or anger is the only way I could describe it. I did not react to these comments except for nodding my head since I did not want to appear confrontational. It did not matter however since something obviously set him off; his talking increased in volume. It wasn’t soon after that his comments were not making sense to me. Something about one of the buildings he had just commented on was setting him off on a tirade of expletives. Being stuck by the window with him in the next seat, I was getting extremely uncomfortable. If I excused myself to go stand in the aisle with several of the other passengers he may become offended and who knows what he would do. So instead I told him my stop was next. When we reached it I walked out and ran down the train platform to one of the other train cars before the car doors closed, so I could continue on my way. It was such an odd encounter, but at least I was able to leave which was not the case for the students in this horror thriller.   CAPTURED and held against their will Casey, Claire and Marcia; played by Anya Taylor-Joy (Morgan, The Witch), Haley Lu Richardson (The Edge of Seventeen, The Last Survivors) and Jessica Sula (Honeytrap, Skins-TV); needed a plan to find a way out. However there appeared to be more than one kidnapper. This film festival nominated movie written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Lady in the Water, The Sixth Sense) was a big surprise to me because I enjoyed it so much; this was not the case for his past several pictures. What sealed the deal regarding this movie was the wonderful performance of James McAvoy (X-Men franchise, Wanted) as Kevin and Betty Buckley (Carrie, The Happening) as Dr. Karen Fletcher. The script was straight forward, but the pacing kept up the creepy intensity of the story. Though there were a couple of scenes that had showed blood, for the most part this was a psychological thriller which I enjoyed immensely. Be prepared for several different points of view in this film.

 

3 stars  

 

 

Flash Movie Review: After Earth

Since the National Spelling Bee was held last week, I thought we could do a word of the day. Today’s word is “dynasty.” The dictionary defines dynasty as a succession of people from the same family who play a prominent role in business, politics or in this case entertainment. I do not have an issue with actors bringing their children into the business. The only thing that matters to me is whether they are good actors or not. As for their personal lives I am not interested in the news that comes out of the tabloids. At one point while watching this science fiction movie, I felt a psychiatrist’s office would have been a better venue for Will Smith (Hancock, Seven Pounds) and his son Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid, The Day the Earth Stood Still). Playing father and son Cypher Raige and Kitai Raige, the two seemed out of synch. Based on Will’s story, if I had known M. Night Shyamalan (The Last Airbender, The Village) was the director; I would have seriously considered waiting to watch this movie on DVD and not waste my money. The story had nothing special to offer. Encouraged by his wife Faia, played by Sophie Okoedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Skin), Cypher brought his son along on his last space mission. The idea was for them to have some father and son bonding time; but when their spacecraft crash landed on a hostile planet, the inexperienced Kitai had to venture out alone to find the ship’s emergency beacon. The first thing that struck me about this film was the cheap looking props and poor CGI effects. Some of the items looked as if they were purchased from a home and bath decor discount store. After being mesmerized by the tiger in the film LIfe of Pi, all the animals in this movie looked phony. For a science fiction movie there was little science fiction in it. The nearly two hours were filled with stiff performances and corny lines. The problem with this film I believe is when someone is trying to build a dynasty; they do not want anyone around to question them or their motives. If Will wanted to have quality time with his son he should have taken him camping or on a road trip to check out potential colleges. Throw Mr. Shyamalan into the mix and you wind up with a science fiction movie this is stranger than fiction. A couple of brief scenes that showed blood.

 

1 2/3 stars

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