Under microscope from age 5 to 18, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), an average boy growing up in America provides the mirror for which we see ourselves, for better for worse, honest and unforgiving. Raised by his separated parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) and paraded past a handful of bad choices in step parenting. Forging his own world view, finding love and losing it, Mason’s experiences are all his own but totally relatable, sometimes painful and introspective, moving all the while. Written and Directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood is in fact a masterpiece, 12 years in the making using the same cast. More than your average film, Boyhood provides an “experience” that will force you to examine your own life choices, reminisce on your own upbringing, and give pause to the wonder and the meaning of it all. If there’s one film you should watch this summer, this is it; don’t let this life story pass you by as fast as you may have already let your own. Boyhood is rated R.
As the human race has evolved over thousands of years the ability to use more than a small percentage of our brain’s actual potential has proven to be a solid obstacle, that is until now. Through a series of unfortunate events young Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is exposed to a new synthetic super drug– an experience that propels her brain’s ability to transcend current potentials. Now, literally the smartest girl in the room, Lucy will need to outsmart a ring of Asian drug lords, meet with the smartest minds on human consciousness, and pass on her newfound knowledge before her time expires. And, what will happen when Lucy’s brain use reaches 100% Written and Directed by Luc Besson, what starts with directorial flare, panache, and clever juxtaposition quickly fades into a film that’s a lot less intelligent than it would purport to be. Eh, but lets not poke holes in this delicate rubber raft of a script, I mean, when you’re the most powerful thinking thing on the planet, you’d think you could perhaps plan a less invasive and altruistic way to pass on your knowledge to humanity rather than becoming a merciless warrior, just a thought. None the less, we’re still left with a fairly entertaining yet predictable dark ride. Computer graphics throughout do leave a bit to be desired, and the relatively low count of choreographed battles and showdowns feels a smidge underwhelming. Although with a runtime of 90 minutes, welcome’s are not overstayed. Mediocre fun, Lucy is rated R.
Cranky and cantankerous, real estate tycoon Oren Little (Michael Douglas) is the lion with a thorn in his paw, hardened, selfish, and rubbed raw to what life has thrown at him; but, when his newly discovered granddaughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), comes to stay with him for a few months his heart begins to thaw. Helping and guiding the cause is his next door neighbor Leah (Diane Keaton). Still, Oren’s ways are fairly firmly set, how to heal his broken heart and mend ways with his remaining family, is it too late? Written by Mark Andrus (As Good As It Gets, Georgia Rule) and Directed by Rob Reiner (Spinal Tap, The Bucket List) And So It Goes stays safely in the known quantity realm/wheelhouse for both and doesn’t challenge either’s talents; the word milquetoast comes to mind. However, for all of it’s simple and predictable blandness there’s still an endearing quality within the performances and chemistry between Douglas and Keaton, sappy love story be darned, a soft and warmhearted smile is still garnered. Plus, a fun performance from Frances Sternhagen adds to the charm factor. So, while it’s not high brow or cinema perfection, there’s still something for fans of the less crass romantic comedy. And So It Goes is rated PG-13.