Edge of Tomorrow Review

13 06 2014
tom cruise emily blunt

Watch out Matt Damon. A better mech suit’s in town.

 

Edge of Tomorrow, inspired by every gamer’s attempt to beat a video game on Insane mode (I’m assuming), serves as a superior alternative to last year’s political (and drearily boring) ElysiumBoth featured blockbuster stars who donned a crazy mechanical suit (although Tom’s is less painful to put on), so I was a little wary going into the theater. I’m pleased to say it was not only better than I thought, but it could very well be my favorite summer movie so far. It’s definitely more original than Tom Cruise’s other recent sci-fi Oblivion, which was interesting but felt like it borrowed an awful lot from other movies. Edge of Tomorrow could at most be compared to Groundhog Day; that is, if Bill Murray had been shooting terrifying aliens the whole time. But what makes it stand out?

 

Cage

Cruise. Does. Not. Age.

 

First of all, it’s Tom Cruise playing against type. Yes, he plays an officer named Cage, but he’s more of a PR guy for the military who never gets close to the field. After being thrust into battle by comically unfortunate circumstances, he jumps out and…dies (whoops, spoiler alert!). He then wakes up screaming the previous day, and it’s then he realizes that the movie just gained a very interesting premise. As he replays the day, he gets better and makes progress in finding out what’s happening to him. Don’t worry, even though he relives the same day, it doesn’t get stale thanks to smart editing that conveys the events without dragging down the pace. How many different ways can one day go? Quite a bit, apparently. There are also quite a few hilarious shock moments that come from Cruise getting untimely destroyed, but we only cut back to the previous few seconds. It would be interesting to figure out just how many days his character had to live through, because he dies constantly.

 

Rita

(Game Over Screen)

 

So far we have a proven lead actor, solid CGI (the “Mimics” are super creepy) and a promising premise. The other key part of this success formula is named Emily Blunt. I’m a fan of her acting (and may or may not have a crush), but usually she gets stuck in sort-of-OK movies like The Adjustment Bureau or Looper (notice I haven’t reviewed either). In this film, she easily holds up her side of the movie as Rita, and makes a character believable that could have easily come across as outrageous. To top it off, she’s great with Tom Cruise. I don’t remember one scene where the chemistry or dialogue felt forced, and to be honest she had the harder acting job- she had to start from scratch each new day while still developing her character. Both her and Cruise both had the action pieces down as well, selling the tension in CGI-fueled battles. I don’t say that to indicate that the battles looked fake- again, the CGI was effective, and coupled with some tight choreography and sound effects, each battle sequence held my attention.

 

General

Punch him in the face with Scientology, Tom!

 

But there’s got to be some downers in this movie, right? Well, if I nitpick a little I could mention the reason for Cruise’s gift/curse is a little simplistic, but really it’s done so well I can’t complain. If anything, my main beef would be how unlikeable the military is for the majority of the movie, especially that half-witted General. I get that they aren’t supposed to be perfect, but if we’re supposed to be rooting for humanity, it wouldn’t have hurt to have them be a little more sympathetic.

 

All in all though, this is a solid action movie with surprisingly strong writing. The plot could be repetitive but it’s not, and in hindsight the day goes so many different routes it’s hard to remember the exact path the movie took. Ultimately, it’s a serious, heartfelt and somehow fun sci-fi journey through time.

 

tom cruise meme

Much like when you notice Christian Bale’s eye wart…

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“Oblivion”- Spoiler-less Review

23 04 2013
Oblivion Poster

At beautiful Scientology Falls

 

1. Like many of you, I went to see Morgan Freeman’s voice last weekend. He happened to be in Oblivion, whose writer of Oblivion either wanted to pay tribute to other sci-fi movies/video games or just couldn’t think of anything new. Maybe both. Anyway, I kept having flashbacks during the movie- flashbacks of other movies that had already explored whatever plot device was onscreen.

 

Wall-E Oblivion

I need to watch Wall-E again.

 

2. That’s not to say I disliked the movie. Think of it as a comedic Presidential impersonator- you know that’s not really the Commander in Chief, but he looks good, he’s entertaining, and everyone’s having such a good time, so how can you care?

 

And it has Morgan Freeman's voice.

And it has Morgan Freeman’s voice.

 

3. This came from Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, so of course there’s a lot of visual and aural pizazz and glowing things to go around. What can I say? Cruise’s space ship gave me chill bumps when it first started up and back-flipped off the pad. The drones were pretty sweet too, until I started imagining them as flying killer R2-D2s.

 

R2D2 drone

R2’s tired of your #$@&.

 

4. For me, the film lost a little bit of traction towards the end, mostly because at that point the sorta-generic science fiction plot twists went into hyper mode, and it was a little hard to have everything sink in as much as it should have. It felt like they drew titles out of a hat for ending ideas (“The Matrix? Is that still cool? Hmm, how about all the drones look like something from “Portal?”)

 

Are they an effective team?

Are they an effective team?

 

5. Surprisingly, Tom Cruise didn’t get on my nerves once this movie, so that’s something I guess. Also, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) was my personal favorite, not that Olga Kurylenko as Julia was bad (not in the least). Riseborough just nailed every little nuance of emotion, creating a rather intricate character. And Morgan Freeman? Well, he looked pretty BA in his costume, but he wasn’t really a standout in the grand scheme of the movie, but the writing didn’t give him much to chew on.

 

Morgan Freeman Oblivion

Not pictured: Morgan Freeman’s voice

In conclusion, Oblivion really wishes it was more original, and it’s so slick, stylish, and stirring, you’ll probably wish it were, too.

 





Facebook or Failbook?

19 04 2012

So, I was thinking about my love/hate relationship with Facebook. Sure, it looks great on the surface- stay in touch with friends, discover new friends, stalk that one person you could never actually get a date with, etc. As a PR major, I’ve heard enough about how to use Facebook that I honestly think I could rebuild Facebook if the need ever came up.

 

Thanks, Captain Facebook Man!

 

However, sometimes it seems like for every little puppy Facebook gives you, there’s a whole shoe full of puppy poo. Take for example the multitude of mandatory changes that Lord Zuckerberg has imposed, such as the new timeline. Not only is it a stalker’s dream, Facebook also changes your page for you if you refuse to change it yourself, despite the majority of users crying out in terror before every change. It’s not that Mark and Co. don’t care, it’s just that they don’t seem to need to care. Think about it. Everyone and their dog now has a Facebook. No one wants to leave and find several hundred friends over again on some obscure new social site (what’s up Google +). It’s like trying to move a giant party’s location midway through; too many people are already there, and they probably couldn’t figure out how to get to the new spot anyway.

 

Leave?! I just learned how to poke!

 

However, some people are leaving altogether for other reasons. What if you have friends who have a more exciting life than you? “Oh, look, Annie’s taking another trip to LA…she met Tom Cruise…he told her to stop spying on his Scientology ritual. What was I going to post about, again? Oh yeah, I finished reading a book.”  I’ve heard this called Facebook depression, and it’s pretty widespread.

 

Tom Cruise

"Next we either need a young virgin or your bank account number."

 

There’s also the endless “friend” spam that we willingly sign up for. You know, stuff like, “Help me with this survey! It’s really tedious and pointless, and I never talk to you for any other reason, but I’m really lazy!” Or maybe, “John Boy is listening to “Pocketful of Sunshine” on Spotify!” You know, stuff you’d smack a person for if they had called and just told you out of the blue. And don’t even get me started on the fun single people have reading their friends’ endless proclamations of love for each other.

All this said, I don’t see my profile going down anytime soon, at least until Facebook becomes the new MySpace.

 

Condescending Wonka will take us home.