DRAWN eyes come to life with a spot of white properly placed close to the center of the eyeball. I learned this in an art class years ago. It worked for the eyes in the portrait I had drawn because they became vibrant with vitality. That one little artistic, creative trick spurred me to always look into a person’s eyes to see if they were really alive inside. I could give you a multitude of examples about how a person conveys much about themselves through their eyes but I do not want to bore you all day. Let me just say I have seen enough confirmations to trust what I see in a person’s eyes. From the hard times I had during my school years I still can remember some of my attackers’ eyes. This may sound like a cliché but each one had darkness in their eyes mixed, with what may surprise you, fear. There may have been other emotions but they paled in comparison to these two even when they were laughing or sneering at me. THOUGH it is harder to see, if you look carefully into people’s eyes in photographs, social media postings or on news channels you sometimes can still get a sense of that person from their eyes. Even individuals arrested and broadcasted on the news for a hideous crime usually have something in common regarding the look of their eyes; there is a certain dullness that blurs the line between the pupil and iris. I am sure you have heard the saying “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” To me this is certainly true and I would even extend it to one’s pets. I knew a dog that had some of the most expressive eyes I had ever seen; it felt as if they were actually talking to you. Eyes are truly a wonder but I have to ask you, do you think you can figure out the terrorist in this crime thriller? TIMES Square was the target for this young, female suicide bomber, played by Luisa Williams (To Each his Own Cinema). All she had to do was get prepared for it. This film festival winning dramatic thriller written and directed by Julia Loktev (The Loneliest Planet, Moment of Impact) was interesting because a majority of the scenes were focused on the bomber’s face. Without saying too much, I found this technique fascinating because the viewer was not able to figure out the bomber’s motivation. In essence it made the movie more intense for me. With Josh Philip Weinstein (One Life to Live-TV, Mars Attacks!) as the commander, Gareth Saxe (Public Enemies) as the organizer and Annemarie Lawless (Hackers, We are What we are) as the bomb maker’s assistant; at times I caught myself wondering if this picture was a documentary. The area where this film became a letdown was towards the end; I would have appreciated more explanation or better yet just closure. I felt the story was cut off. As for the script there was some filler used because several scenes seemed redundant which led to boredom for me. I may have had a hard time reading the young woman’s eyes but I can tell you it did not distract from the chilling authenticity of the movie.
2 ½ stars — DVD
I always enjoy meeting friends of friends and relatives or the significant others of friends. There is this fascination I have regarding how different people form relationships. In regards to friends I do not expect that all of their friends have similar traits, but I actually look at what I think is their stronger attributes and how they fit in with our common friend; it is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. I had a friend who had a friend I felt was an irritating individual. Whenever we were together in a social setting we remained polite, but kept our face to face time down to a minimum amount to avoid getting on each other’s nerves. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a friend who introduced me to their best friend and we immediately bonded as friends. It was not too long before we felt we were each other’s best friend, we had so many similar traits. Our mutual friend actually became jealous of our relationship. Now have you ever noticed how two people in a relationship can be opposite of each other, where one is an introvert and the other an extrovert? This fits so well into my thinking the world is made up of pluses and minuses; sort of on the same lines as that theory about there is an opposing force for every force or something like that. I think that is one of the reasons why I found the main characters interesting in this comedy film. FINDING herself alone and in a new city; college freshman Tracy, played by Lola Kirke (Gone Girl, Reaching the Moon), decided to reach out to her future stepsister Brooke, played by Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, No Strings Attached). Starting in Times Square Brooke would take Tracy on a wild adventure through New York life. I have been a fan of Greta for some time and give her credit for her work on this film where she also co-wrote the script. There were some fun exchanges and great lines in the dialog. Unfortunately it took a long time for this movie to grab me; I found the first half slow and boring. Once Heather Lind (A Single Shot, The Weekend) as Mamie-Claire came onto the scene I found myself becoming more interested in the characters. The role of Brooke was a fascinating study for me; I enjoyed the idea of chasing one’s dreams and creating plans while not letting any setbacks pull you down attitude. The issue I had with this picture was trying to decide if it was purposefully trying to be shallow because I never felt totally invested in the characters. I still cannot tell. Like I said earlier it took a long time for me to get into this film and by the end I was left with a feeling of, “That is it?”
2 1/2 stars