Life

“How is it that even though there’s so many of these distressed-in-space movies that come out with such frequency, we (I) eat them up every time? It’s not like we don’t know what’s gonna happen. Something goes wrong. People start dying. No one can hear you scream, or something. There’ve been instances where I’ve predicted every beat (I’m looking at you Sunshine), yet I still find reason to keep coming back (still looking at you Sunshine, love and kisses!).

For the most part, predictability wasn’t a problem for Life. Okay maybe some of it I saw coming, just from the nature of the formula for these movies. But there were a lot of creative solutions to common pitfalls. And there were a couple of twists I legit did not see coming. I have one comment I really wanna make on the subject, but I really don’t wanna give anything away. Let’s just say I walked out of there shocked and impressed.

The other major strength was the suspense. Very effective. The cast was another great strength. Jake Gyllenhall, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds and all his snark.

Oh and special award for the best ever use of “”Goodnight Moon””. Even in the trailer, I cannot say how much I loved using that to cast an ominous tone over the whole thing. Just an example I can actually point to that shows some of the creativity of the writers. And I just found out that they also wrote Deadpool and Zombieland, so their genius can never again be subject to question.

Life – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

CHiPS

“I’m sure I saw the original show at some point. I don’t have specific memories of watching it, but I do remember it being an important part of pop culture in my predominantly Hispanic hometown. CHiPs was synonymous with motorcycle cops, to the point where one often visible local cop was given the nickname Chips. You couldn’t go more than a couple days without seeing him, either riding down the road or (more likely) perched on the side of the road waiting for some speedster to drive by. Yeah, he had quite the rep for doling out speeding tickets. To this day, I don’t think Erik Estrada when I hear CHiPs. I think of our local motorcycle cop, and I picture him in the khakis.

Following in the footsteps of movies like 21 Jump Street that took a more irreverent comedic approach to the (please don’t make me say it) reboot (uggggh), our new CHIPS stars Michael Pena in the iconic role with Dax Shepard at his side. Dax also wrote, directed, and produced. And according to an antecdote from Kristen Bell, Pena was giving Dax such a hard time about having his name everywhere on the film that Dax served as Pena’s stunt double for a scene just so that he could add “”Stunt double for Michael Pena”” to his growing list of credits.

Plot is mostly irrelevant. California Highway Patrol motorcyle cops. Got it. Not nearly as clever as Jump Street, although it did start to find a groove by the end. Maybe it could have gone for a harder R, but as it was, the comedy was just okay. What sold it and made it enjoyable was the bromantic chemistry between our leading men. I’ve been a fan of both for a long time, and when I saw their names attached to this I got very excited. Part of the excitement is simply from the fact of Pena, longtime standout sidekick, getting a high profile lead role. I think this pair could do well with pretty much any material, but this fit them well. I doubt the box office and critical reception were enough to warrant a sequel, but I’m hopeful they can find some excuse to work together again.

The other thing that was a bit of a standout was that the motorcycle scenes looked really cool. Specifically, Dax can actually ride. That meant that they were able to put a camera on the end of his bike facing him, so we’d get a lot of close up shots of him riding that looked fantastic. Those really pulled me in to scenes that I may not have otherwise paid as much attention to.

I kinda don’t care that this movie is getting crap reviews. I enjoyed it, and it was exactly what I needed during what turned out to be a rather frustrating weekend. Okay maybe I do care because I would like for there to be another one.

CHIPS – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”

Moonlight Mile

“How did I not know until a week ago about a movie that stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Susan Sarandon, and Dustin Hoffman? Yeah, I don’t get it either. But I immediately went on Best Buy’s website and ordered it.

The reason I heard about it is that it was mentioned in passing in an article in EW about Rebecca Schaeffer. She was an actress who was killed by a stalker in the late 80’s, and her death led to a huge sweep of anti-stalking laws being established. This movie is relevant because it was written by her boyfriend at the time, and it’s very loosely based on the circumstances around her death.

In the movie, a young girl has been senselessly killed. We’re dealing with the aftermath from the funeral onward. Her fiance has been living with her parents, and three of them are coping with the fallout together.

This is some pretty heavy material, obviously. I was already in a funk when I chose to put this DVD on, and by the end I didn’t wanna get up off the couch, ever.

I really loved Susan Sarandon’s character here. Her main strategy for dealing with things was blunt and sarcastic honesty. She’s the one out of them all that I’d love to have around in a crisis.

I kinda get why this movie never really gets talked about. It was interesting and the performances were great, but it really didn’t do a whole lot. I can see how it would have been incredibly therapeutic for writer/director Brad Silberling and likely for others in a similar situation, but for me it just sort of slogged thru. With so much other film out there to watch, it’s not a tragedy if this one gets put away and forgotten.”