Hello there, ladies and gents! I trust your week was fine? Mine was okay. I patched things up with a frenemy. I mean, what’re you gonna do? Everyone has their own agenda, and in all honesty, you cannot blame them for it. You all know the story of the scorpion which stung the frog. It’s just the way of things. And, speaking of monstrous things, there’s an absolutely delightful family of them awaiting you at the theater. Let’s take a look!
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
The umpteenth sequel based on the cartoon novel by Jeff Kinney. The old players are gone, having had the sense to quit while they were ahead, but the studio’s still trying to milk it despite diminishing returns from past entries. And so here we are, with a fresh cast and a tired iteration. Alicia Silverstone’s a tad miscast as the controlling mom who forces the family on a road trip to go see Grandma. Tom Everett Scott is the dutiful dad, James Drucker capably plays Greg, and Charlie Wright is the dimwit rocker brother Rodrick. To make things up-to-date, Mom confiscates all electronic devices to control Snap Chatting and FaceBooking, and Rodrick is not as much of a bully. Potty humor abounds, as do stereotypes and the usual shenanigans. But you’ll be hard-pressed finding anyone to care about, which I thought was the real reason why the flick feels so much longer than its 1.5 hours. Pass.
Teen girls may enjoy this flick that explores the emotional intricacies of romance. Due to an autoimmune disease, eighteen-year-old Maddy’s (Amandla Stenberg) always lived isolated from most of her peers: they’d rather not risk the rigorous ‘scrub down’ required of anyone coming into her presence. Then bad boy Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in next door, and soon Maddy finds herself struggling with what she’s willing to sacrifice as their romance blossoms via texts and chats. One truly amazing aspect of the film—or perhaps it’s just me—is that it does not focus on the inter-racial aspect of the relationship. Oh Thank You Jesus. Or rather, director Stella Meghie. Don’t look for plot holes, for there are plenty of those. Try instead, to focus on the longing looks and kisses, and you’ll have a good time 🙂
Hands down the winner for this weekend. Absolutely, absolutely worth that over-priced theater ticket. Please go see this—you’ll be glad you did. And forget the popcorn and sodas—you’ll be too busy gaping at the screen, mouth open, white-knuckled, and way too horrified to use those chompers.
And on the way to the theater you’ll see signs: this famous reviewer or that other one dissing Sir Ridley Scott’s latest effort. Saying it’s by-the-numbers. Lacking character arcs. Predictable. One-note.
But let’s face it. You’re the serious movie-goer. You’re not going to a theater to see mundane things or to ponder the depth of character arcs. You want your mind to be taken, twisted, stretched, and blown away so crazily you don’t remember where you parked.
In short, you’re going there for some glorious amnesia. You’re there to be transformed, to be transported to another world. And you’re doing the right thing by voluntarily putting yourself in the loving hands of this director… who’ll gently transport you onto the COVENANT, a ship on a terraforming mission, headed for the remote planet Origae-6. But there’s a disaster, the captain is killed, and you along with the crew and passengers are awakened from stasis by the ship’s friendly android Walter. Soon you’re forced to land on a nearby moon. You exit the ship, thankful to be alive, and admire the incredible interstellar vista before you…
I thought the star of the show was Michael Fassbender, who plays both—Walter and his ‘father’ David. He’s truly a joy—both looks and talent. Billy Cruddup is excellent as religious first officer Oram. James Franco doesn’t even get a chance to impress us since he’s axed so fast. Katherine Waterston is the present-day Ellen Ripley. The rest of the crew’s there mostly so they can get their guts ripped out. Yes, there’s a fair amount of gore. But what’s truly stunning is that in the midst of this lovely bloody mayhem you’ll find yourself wrestling with the philosophy behind your very existence: who’s the real monster (is it you)? Who really made the human species? And when will we go with Elizabeth Shaw to the alien homeworld as they promised us in PROMETHEUS?
Follow my lead and you won’t be disappointed. And you know what? If you hate my choice, I suggest—nay, insist—that you spew venom onto my Twitter page. Adios!