Archive for September, 2009
In the not so distant future, advances in robotic technology will allow humans to stay safe at home while their puppeted robotic selfs, known as surrogates, engage each other out in the real world. But when several users of the technology are killed by a mysterious device that can kill surrogates and their owners, it appears that surrogate technology isn’t as safe as thought. This prompts an investigation by FBI agent Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) who inadvertently discovers a much larger conspiracy at work. Who to trust, who is real, and more importantly who will survive if this new deadly technology winds up in the wrong hands?
As with any science fiction tale, allegory and metaphor are hard at work reflecting our current society and our current social structure. And, while some critics may pan this film for its large plot holes and implausibility, the moral and ethical questions that are raised give pause for thought and reflection. Meanwhile, on a less esoteric level, solid action sequences effectively drive this film as a twisted whodunit plot is unraveled. For sci-fi fans this will provide solid bang for your buck at a matinee. Surrogates is rated PG-13.
The New York Academy of Performing Arts is a grueling school for aspiring students looking to achieve the highest heights in the performing arts world. Every year thousands of hopeful students apply to the school, only a small handful get in. Instructed by stern but caring mentors such as Joel Cranston (Kelsey Grammer), Fran Rowan (Megan Mullally), and Lynn Kraft (Bebe Neuwirth), the students are grilled from day one until graduation, prepping to become some of the best dancers, actors, and musicians in the world. But who will graduate and who will go on to fame?
In this updated script based on the 1980′s film of the same name, there’s certainly a lot of spirit, and there’s a fair amount of similarity to the original; unfortunately, there’s not a lot of new material, that hasn’t already been explored many times over since either. The dancing and the music are both updated, but realistically only the dance comes across as worth while, even then, many scenes feel edited to be too hip for their own good. Overall a Disney-esque film with more of a realistic outlook seems to be the outcome. Maybe worthwhile for aspiring artists as a matinee. Fame is rated PG.
Based loosely on true events, this is the tale of Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), a vice president of a major company in the agricultural business who voluntarily leaks information to the FBI on a giant price fixing scheme. The only problem is, unbeknownst to agents Shepard (Scott Bakula) and Herndon (Joel McHale) Mark also happens to be a pathological liar. As the truth comes out, bigger and bigger lies are told, perhaps undermining the entire investigation and turning the spotlight in a completely different direction.
Baffling to the viewer how such events could possibly ever happen, we are once again reminded sometimes truth is stranger than fiction; and, in this case the truth is also the making for an interesting story and screenplay with an inner dialogue that provides a fun and creative insight to a number of characters. Solid acting from all actors makes this quirky film even more enjoyable. Worth a matinee, the Informant is rated R.