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If history has taught us anything, it’s that when people are confronted with an invasion, they inevitably fall into one of two categories: collaborator or resistor. It has been that way in every war that has ever been fought; when enemy forces take over, some will fall in line and others will fight back.

There’s no reason to think that that would somehow change if said forces came not from another country, but from another world.

That’s the basic gist of “Captive State,” an alien occupation thriller directed by Rupert Wyatt from a script he co-wrote with Erica Beeney. It’s a story of what it means to live under the rule of an enemy that seems too powerful to overcome – and what it means to stand up to that enemy anyway.

It’s not a particularly subtle movie; it wears its ideas on its sleeve and is more about blunt force than surgical precision. The story is a bit overlong as well and meanders through its middle third. However, the low-fi aesthetic is interesting and there are some good performances. Add it all up and you get an acceptable (and forgettable) sci-fi outing.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:15

Monkey business – ‘Kong: Skull Island’

Giant monster flick a B-movie with A-plus production values

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 10:34

Bunker mentality '10 Cloverfield Lane'

Small cast thriller packed with frightening intensity

The current era in Hollywood is one of franchises and sequels. Much of the wide-release fare that we see is either a beginning or a continuation of some long-extant property. Multi-movie world-building has become accepted practice and good business.

'10 Cloverfield Lane' is both of and outside of that realm. Deemed a sort of spiritual sequel to 2008's found-footage monster movie 'Cloverfield' by producer J.J. Abrams, the film isn't a direct continuation of that previous film's narrative. It exists in that same type of universe, but it tells a much different story a story all its own.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 13:43

Back to school with Monsters University'

Pixar prequel takes us back to college days

 

Over the past 20 years or so, no animation studio has produced consistent excellence even close to that put out by the folks at Pixar. It is a singularly impressive body of work even when some of their recent misfires are taken into account ('Cars 2,' anyone?). Of course, most of us are of the opinion that Pixar films are like pizza even the bad ones are still pretty good (again, the aforementioned 'Cars 2' excepted).

'Monsters University' is their latest effort, a prequel to 2001's 'Monsters, Inc.' that takes a look back at the school days of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal, 'Parental Guidance') and James 'Sully' Sullivan (John Goodman, 'The Hangover Part III').

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:56

Argo' stranger than fiction

Director/star Affleck brings true story to life

One of the things that Hollywood often forgets is that some of the greatest stories are true stories. A movie doesn't have to be populated by fictional supermen and grand events that never were in order to be engaging, exciting and interesting.

Published in Movies

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