American Made

Maverick is taking to the skies again! So nice to see Tom Cruise on screen with that signature swagger and charm. This time, however, that charm lives in a morally gray area as he plays a real life pilot who did covert work for the CIA and combined that with drug smuggling. Made for a different dynamic than we've seen from Cruise before.

For some reason, though, I wasn't all that into it and I can't quite figure out why. The story was simultaneously new yet the same (it was like a bunch of familiar stories tied together differently). The pacing wasn't quite there either.

I think that most of it was that I didn't like his character. His greed rubbed me the wrong way, as did his seemingly lack of moral compass. I know, I'm saying that as someone who adores Patrick Bateman, but it's different when your protagonist is being portrayed in a more positive light despite their questionable choices. I just couldn't get behind him, and therefore couldn't get behind the movie.

Cruise was very much at ease in the role, and was mostly fun to watch. However, I was more impressed with Domnhall Gleeson, who has been moving higher and higher up my ranks of favorites. This was a showy-er role than we've seen from him, and simply put I found him more interesting. Although my real favorite was Jayma Mays in her two scenes. I've never seen her play such a forceful character and I loved it (this was no Glee guidance counselor). Could we redo the movie from her perspective?

American Made – \m/ \m/ \n

Flatliners

I totally knew what I was getting myself into. Nothing from the trailers screamed that this would be a good movie. Just the opposite. But I'm stubborn. And the cast was so likeable! And the premise was interesting, so maybe it could be the good kinda bad?

I haven't seen the original Flatliners, but I did see an episode of Smallville that basically ripped it off. So I can't say whether or not it holds up or if it warranted a remake (there's an argument that Kiefer Sutherland is playing the same character so it's actually a far removed sequel). Anyways, med school students experiment with dying and being revived so that they can experience the afterlife. When they come back, their brains are seemingly rewired in a way that heightens their congitive abilities, but also leads to hallucinations and other terrors.

I was kinda into the first half. Cheesy but good kinda bad psycho-thriller. Suspense was built well and again, likeable cast (Ellen Paige and Diego Luna!) But then once a significant portion of our characters had flatlined, the movie lost all sense of purpose and direction. It started go go less psychological and more horror and was incredibly disjointed. It felt like different ideas were thrown out and written into the screenplay without any thought of connecting them or completing them, so very poorly written.

I said on Stardust that if you do think you might find merit in the film, it's possible you will. Again, I was kinda into it at first. But if you're one who actually listens to the warnings in your head (I'm clearly not) then stay away. It ended up being a frustrating experience lamenting the lost potential and cursing the lack of effort

Flatliners – \m/ \m/