Edge of Tomorrow is a good movie, much better than a lot of movies which have done much better at the box office this year — and that’s a shame. Goes to show that marketing is important, and that the masses want to see plasticky one-dimensional superheroes who are never put in any real danger.
SURPRISE SURPRISE! A good action movie in 2014! And who woudda thunk it: Emily Blunt an action star? Tom Cruise does well here too — I’ve been a longtime fan of his, and was dismayed that he was shunned for a period because he jumped on a couch. In any case, Edge of Tomorrow is good old fashioned story telling and successfully executed sci-fi — a rarity these days. Essentially a dramatic version of the great comedy Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow, also like the Bill Murray classic, continues to evolve and remain fresh throughout.
Watching this movie in 2D but on an IMAX-sized screen made me realize some things about movies seen in 3D. As I’ve commented before, 3D won’t rescue a bad movie. But Edge of Tomorrow made me understand that for the most part 3D is an unnecessary distraction. It’s cool at first but after the novelty wears off (often by the time the trailers are through), 3D does nothing to further engage you. Exceptions do exist; Gravity, most notably, was obviously enhanced with 3D — though I reckon a good theater 2D presentation would not leave a moviegoer feeling let down. That’s because good movies don’t depend on 3D.
Edge of Tomorrow has a strong enough story that I am very happy I saw it in 2D, and I truly believe I would have been less engaged with the 3D glasses on. Unfortunately, vastly inferior films like Godzilla and X-Men have done much better at the box office this year. Reverse the trend! Go out and see this very entertaining movie. 8/10
Primer (2004) is a little indie made for $7,000 and has a great trailer, a good Tomatometer rating, and is free to watch on Netflix. But it is an awful film, nothing but nonsensical chatter. Give me credit for sticking through the whole thing. Don’t waste your time; 1/10.
With a good amount of critical praise, this is another case in point of why I’m writing a movie blog.
One of the pleasant surprises of last year was a little indie called Safety Not Guaranteed. It has a plot that runs somewhat along the lines of Sound of My Voice: A group of young journalists find a provocative classified ad in the local paper which reads:
*WANTED* Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.
And so they investigate. What follows is fascinating and wonderful. Roger Ebert liked the movie as much as I did:
Few descriptions of “Safety Not Guaranteed” will do it justice. It’s a more ambitious and touching movie than seems possible, given its starting point, which is this classified ad in an alternative newspaper…
It is a comedy in many ways, but there’s a serious undertow, kindhearted attention to the characters, and a treatment of time travel that (a) takes it seriously, and (b) sidesteps all of the well-known paradoxes by which time travel is impossible. That’s not to say time travel takes place in “Safety Not Guaranteed.” Or that it doesn’t. A rather brilliant ending is completely satisfying while proving nothing. What it means is that the story takes place entirely at this time, and time travel provides the subject and not the gimmick…
“Safety Not Guaranteed” not only has dialogue that’s about something, but characters who have some depth and dimension.
I like lots of different types of movies, but this type is one of my favorites — full of charm, but also with a good story. I had previously given it an 8 rating, but every time I think of it I am filled with warm fuzzies, so I’m upping it to a 9/10. This is why I like indies so much.
THERE WAS A TIME not that long ago when great, original films on a grand scale came out at regular intervals. Steven Spielberg had a lot to do with it. Nowadays a great and original movie is more likely to be a small indie. Thank goodness for Quentin Tarantino — and a select few others — who can still make movies that are big both in budget and in concept.
Everyone should be familiar with the Spielberg-produced megapop masterpiece Back to the Future (1985), directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis. But a central aim of my blog is to identify and give due adulation to all the movies I’ve seen in my life which deserve such recognition. And who knows, maybe there’s someone out there who hasn’t seen some of the most famous blockbusters. Back to the Future embodies perfection of the sci-fi pop genre. Considering recent big flops [prior post], it might be a good idea for studios to reexamine classic successes like this one, and perhaps find a little inspiration. 10/10
The perfect Easter-meets-Halloween movie. If you haven’t seen it before, there’s no better time than the present.
I just learned that it was directed by Richard Kelly, who also made The Box [“Sci-Fi Do or Die“] but not much else. There are definite stylistic similarities between the two, which partially explains why The Box was so good. Image from fanpop.com