Thursday, September 14, 2017

3 Short Paragraphs: Life

2017, Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) -- download

This is one of the long list of current movies I should have seen In Cinema. But, I am just Not That Guy Anymore. I am not the one from Ottawa who saw every movie that was in the theatres at the time. I am not the one from Ottawa and Montreal who loved the rep cinemas and their collections of older well-loved movies, the crowds who were often more fun than the movie choices themselves. I am not even that guy who created the blog with Graig Kent, because we were strolling out to film fest movies, and genre premieres and arguing over drinks about why a movie was great or greatly terrible. I am now that guy who just wants the couple behind me to shut the fuck up, that the old guy to my left to just turn off his fucking smartphone and the audience to just generally settle in and watch the trailers. So, I don't get out to The Movies as much as I used to, and often when I do, I am not sure I really wanted to.

Life is one of those movies where the paranoia of extra-terrestrial life being a killer alien is proven accurate. The ISS is awaiting the return of a probe from Mars, which has a sample of soil that could and does contain dormant, amoebic life. You know, safe stuff that we can observe under a microscope in a box with those gloves. Of course, it immediately grows bigger and after they zap it a few times, to inspire life, it gets hostile. And bigger, and more hostile. From a plot, its been seen a dozen times. Kill it, before it kills all the astronauts on the ISS.

What makes this movie, and I am not sure how they got them all in there, are the stars. Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, and some recognizable B's like Rebecca Ferguson (the spy in the yellow dress, from Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and Hiroyuki Sanada ("that Japanese guy"), make this an enjoyable cast in a C-grade movie. Ryan is Rory Adams, playing a typical Reynolds likable asshole. Unfortunately he is first to die; I guess he got some good money to do a short bit. After his death, the rest of the movie is about containing the homicidal giant amoeba while maintaining the protocol that, should it escape, they are to sacrifice themselves before letting it get to Earth.

[added 9 hours later?]

Bonus Paragraph: Oh oh oh, I completely forgot to add in why I actually thought I should have seen this in the theatre. One of the tag lines for this movie was Alien meets Gravity. Its not exactly accurate as it is pithy, but its an apt description. Gravity just looked good, from all the tech space mashup stuff to the beautiful use of lighting; this movie does a enthralling job of envisioning an active ISS and crew.  I love that kind of stuff. From the Alien point of view, its less xenomorph than it is The Thing with its amorphous blob creature doing all sorts of "where the fuck is it" shit. And all of this just fits better on a large screen, in a dark dark room. Alas, I know that I would have had to find a time when nobody else was watching (which shouldn't have been hard, considering it bombed) to truly enjoy.