So Thursday night when I should have been watching Takeover and/or hockey, I told #Klout I'd take them up on a #Perk to attend an advanced screening of the latest Tom Cruise action blockbuster, a combination of Groundhog Day and ... I dunno ... Pacific Rim. I've been stalling on saying something about it but can procrastinate no more. It - was - - - OK!
Cruise establishes his character, a former advertising executive happy to represent the military so long as he can avoid anything resembling dangerous conditions, as very unlikeable very quickly, and through a series of improbable blah blah blah suddenly finds himself warping back to the same point in time every time he "dies," video game save point style, yet retaining all the knowledge of his previous experiences.
Many, MANY iterations of this happening are mercifully skipped for the viewer, but it still felt kinda weird, pace-wise. Along the way, the former Maj. Cage (Cruise) meets - and meets and meets and meets - superhero soldier Sgt. Forgot-her-character's-name (Emily Blunt), who rather quickly becomes one of the very few people to believe his crazy story, and offers to train him to help him achieve the one scenario that should break the cycle - winning the war with the alien adversaries by killing the Big Boss at the end of the level.
Stakes never seem very high, even as they are somewhat artificially raised in the final act, and neither Kim or I found ourselves caring much about the main characters. There are also A LOT of points where you just need to keep your brain turned off or you WILL go nuts.
King of seasickness/director Doug Liman keeps the shakycam in the trailer except during some relatively quiet conversation scenes (where it's still glaringly unnecessary, but dude needs a trademark and that's it).
All in all, it was great to see free, and I probably wouldn't have minded paying a matinee price, but not much more. The Real3D was fine, but a little obvious-y gimmick-y in certain shots - I don't know that you need to pay extra for it. It's close to two hours and feels like it. Kim thinks this may be the worst TITLE for a film in yonks.
I know I sure did! Just a good straight-up action movie with an interesting premise, Emily Blunt and almost a puzzle-book approach to an action plot given how Cage and Rita have to figure everything out step by step.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
I'll add some love for Burt Reynolds's FedExapalooza. Was I the only W who, when requirement #6 (groin kick) came on, quoted Homer: "Football in the groin! Football in the groin!" And the girl from the Tabasco's ad!? 3 words: