"IF YOU DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER, THEN HOW THE HECK ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE A BOOK TO READ" - me
apparently my wife, miranda, and i don't believe our 3 year old child, kes, should be exposed to technology and media at his young age. the reasoning behind this has become a bit foggy to me in it's logic but we have made it a commitment and stuck to it. kes has been told and seems to believe that the tv is perpetually broken. the broken tv limits my film watching to the 30-55 minutes i am awake longer than my son. as i fade into the comforts of a few childless minutes with miranda, that short stack of dvd's containing the work of the great thai auteur, apichatpong weerasethakul, become less appealing in their sealed plastic wrapped cases.
i then give up all hope in entertaining myself with anything in the film medium and settle for 30 minutes of watching guy fieri behaving like a human garbage disposal as he harasses people trying to enjoy their 10 pound hamburger in peace. but a few nights ago i went the extra mile and downloaded a film on amazon.com.
i looked for the dumbest, most generic poster i could find in the new release section. something i knew i wouldn't regret turning off after 30 minutes and retiring to bed. i found a poster and movie title so generic and vanilla that it felt like wall paper... a poster so uninspired that a graffiti artist wouldn't even bother to paint over it. the movie was "edge of tomorrow".
once miranda stopped saying "it's ground hog day" for the 10th time and went to bed, i was completely engaged with this smart film. it's well cast, the script is original and the distribution of information keeps you in a state of suspense, and the performances are really really good. I would say it's the best tom cruise preformance in years-- tom cruise the way we like him: douche bag turns into really sympathetic guy after having his ass kicked.
the perfect casting goes to bill paxton as a deranged yet dedicated drill sergeant, bringing back his performance from weird science as the sadistic older brother. paxton is definitely on a roll and was also mind-blowing in "night crawler", a movie i avoided watching for some time due to thinking it was about a super hero named night crawler.
after doing 10 minutes of internet research i discovered i wasn't the first person to figure out that this movie was great and mishandled in its release. don't just listen to me, the smartest american director currently working, paul thomas anderson, has been quoted at saying, "it's fucking great".
cage (tom cruise' character) unwillingly gets thrown from his military p.r. job into the front lines of a battle he is drastically unprepared for.... after getting doused in special alien blood and simultaneously being killed during battle, cage now must relive the same day over and over again. this script uses the "groundhog day" trope in a new and clever way. unlike groundhog day which never explains why the day is repeating, the trope is directly linked to the plot of the film. the film echoes the video game analogy of "restarting" the game/narrative as a strategic plan to get ahead.
to many, i probably just described the dumbest film ever, but in all seriousness "edge of tomorrow" is as good or better then the great paul varhoven films of the 90's, like "robocop" and "total recall". it might even be as good as john carpenter's "they live". it's a genre that is geared to adolescent boys but it's intellegent enough to be appreciated by imature men of all ages.
in conclusion, bla bla bla bla.