In a futuristic world, the "people" on the streets are actually surrogates remotely controlled by humans. The real humans are inside their darkened homes, living vicariously through creatures that have a fail-safe - meaning the humans can't be damaged by anything the surrogates experience. Until an illegal weapon that can kill people through their surrogates starts being used on the street.
I thought this society was very well created. There were reservations of people who rejected surrogates and wanted to live their own lives. The surrogates were all, of course, "perfect" and stayed young forever, like people living through an avatar online. I loved seeing Bruce Willis' character react to being in the real world after living through his surrogate for so long. It was a really interesting look at how much we allow technology to take over our lives. There were a few unanswered questions, but overall it was great with the suspense and action, and surprisingly touching.
11/3/13 A Slipping-Down Life (1999) - 5/5
Evie Decker doesn't have much happiness in her life. She works at for a bad boss at an amusement park, has one good friend, and lives with her widowed and distracted father. All she does for fun is listen to the radio. On the late show one night, she hears a local singer who takes her breath away. She starts going to his shows and falls under his spell until her obsession leads her to a violent act.
I've read this book by Anne Tyler countless times. It's one of my favorites because I always forget the ending, so when I read it again, it still seems new. I think this movie will also be a favorite, because it's very well acted and emotional. My boy didn't seem that interested in it initially, but was totally hooked a quarter of the way in, and might have even shed a few tears at the end. I'd say that's a success.
11/4/13 Stranger Than Fiction (2006) - 5/5
This has been one of my favorite movies since it was released, so my review is a little biased. It's really a smart, witty movie though. IRS auditor Harold Crick is living his normal, somewhat boring life until one day, he hears a narrator. The audience goes along with Harold as he discovers that he is a character in a woman's book - an author notorious for killing off her characters. Just as Harold's life is going well, with a love interest and some time off from work, he overhears that he's going to die. Very funny, well-done movie. Will always be one of my favorites.
11/9/13 Pirate Radio (2010) - 4/5
The story didn't really have me hooked because it didn't seem like much was at stake. There were also so many characters introduced that it was a little hard to keep them straight or identify with them. That being said, it was a very entertaining movie about rock music not being played on regular radio in the '60s, instead having to be broadcast from an offshore boat. It was silly and fun and of course had a great soundtrack.
11/9/13 The Time Machine (2002) - 2/5
Guy Pearce's cheekbones drove me insane - and not in a good way. It was all I could focus on. That, and the special effects seemed pretty hokey. Then again, I wasn't on board as soon as it got sappy and he decided to save his fiancé. The acting seemed really flat, which means I didn't believe the characters and didn't buy in to their emotions.
11/11/13 Can't Hardly Wait (1998) - 2/5
A coming of age movie that takes place at a high school graduation party when everyone is trying to live it up one last time. I feel like this concept is pretty exhausted - I get that it's coming of age and maybe that genre is kind of limited, but I feel like I've seen a dozen movies just like this one. I also think this is one of those movies that you NEED to see when you're in high school. Seeing it as an adult just made it all seem stale, and it was harder to relate to the characters because they seemed so flat and immature.
12/2/13 After the Sunset (2004) - 3/5
Two jewelry thieves decide to retire after pulling off a major theft. They escape to a beautiful island and live a glamorous life… until the FBI agent they foiled tracks them down. There are a lot of good action scenes in this movie, there's a little bit of humor, and I love Woody Harrelson so I liked it overall, but it's not one I'd re-watch.