First Man

When I first heard about First Man, I didn’t realize it was a biopic on Neil Armstrong. I thought it was just a space movie with cool visuals, and would be about the first man on Mars or something like that.

The poster is just really sexy like that.

Despite not knowing the real topic, I knew I was really excited. Damien Chazelle has yet to disappoint, with his first two big breaks being, well, big breaks. Whiplash was breath of fresh abuse, and La La Land is goddamn La La Land, my favorite movie of that year.

So yeah, let’s try a real person story about a space man!

A bunch of men that totally want to break out into dance, but can’t in this movie.

In the 1960’s, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) became an Astronaut for the NASA program. He was already a test pilot for other companies as an engineer, not a military man, and he needed to get a new start. His daughter, Karen, had died when she was two, of some cancer. That sucks. That sucks a lot. He needed to get away.

Not just from the fact that his daughter died. But other friends as well. When doing science in the sky, and reaching the upper parts of the atmosphere, things can go wrong. They HAVE gone wrong for Armstrong, but he generally keeps a clear head on these sorts of things and lucks his way into not dying.

Is he afraid of dying? Is he ready to die? Is he afraid if he gets too close to people, he will become a wreck should they die in an accident? His wife (Claire Foy) loves him, and is helping raise their family, and is fully aware of the many risks of space travel. But she supports him, even when he is hard to reach. Physically, and emotionally.

And of course, eventually, Armstrong does some pretty impressive historical stuff.

Also starring a whole lot of white people. Most of them playing real white people too, I assume! Played by Pablo Schreiber, Christopher Abbot, Ethan Embry, Ciarán Hinds, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Shea Whigham, Olivia Hamilton, and Corey Stoll playing the Buzz Aldrin.

I assume this dance is not my tempo.

Chazelle started us out on his film trajectory by giving us people who wanted to achieve stardom at all costs. The next film also involved achieving stardom, but in a city full of stars, people who already made their life successful. And now, in this film, we still have that achievement desire behind the scenes, but instead of reaching a city of stars, it is a whole sky full of stars. An interesting path and one that is keeping Chazelle fresh by clearly trying very different things.

The most interesting aspect of this movie, to me, is that it isn’t really about the moon landing. It is called First Man. Why? Because it is about the First Man on the moon, not the successful events, just the person himself. Neil. Armstrong.

That might sound like a normal biographic movie, but I assure you, this one feels different. We see things from his point of view and mindset, without having to actually go into first person point of view. It is easy to feel the claustrophobic nature of the capsules. Of viewing the edge of space for the first time. To walking on the moon, to losing a child or friend, to having to make life saving decisions despite not knowing the right answer.

It is so damn personal and at the same time it is hard to connect to him. Armstrong comes across a very distant person, dealing with a lot on the inside and less likely to talk about his feelings or actually deal with the reality his job is creating. He is a humble person and a quiet person, not looking for fame, but looking for something else hard to pinpoint.

First Man is a great film, with terrific acting, and is likely to be a lock for several nominations, especially in the sound mixing areas this upcoming Oscars.

3 out of 4.


Mudbound is a Netflix original film that came out, heard good things, then I still didn’t watch it for over a month.

But I did see it before it was nominated for a few Oscars, even if you don’t believe me due to when the review came out. In fact, Mudbound has a bit of Oscar history going behind it.

You see, Mary J. Blige was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for this movie. She is also nominated for Best Song for this same movie. First time a single person has been nominated for an acting and song category.

But that is not all! Rachel Morrison has an even bigger first. She is the cinematographer, and is the first ever female cinematographer to be nominated for this award. Ever. In 90 years. Insane!

Not as insane as those green items.

Mudbound tells the story of two families, living in the south and struggling to survive. Yes, one is white and one is black.

So let’s talk about the Jackson family first. Hap (Rob Morgan) and his wife Florence (Mary J. Blige) are raising their family in a small building as tenant farmers on land. They have dreams of really owning land in the future. Ronsel (Jason Mitchell), their oldest, joins the army during World War II and becomes a tank commander, which is a sexy title on a business card.

The McAllan family moved down to Marietta to buy a farm, featuring Henry (Jason Clarke) and his pregnant wife Laura (Carey Mulligan). They also bring Henry’s dad (Jonathan Banks), who is old, and therefore really racist. They don’t have the best of a time down there, as some plans fell through, but they make it work and develop a working relationship with the Jackson family. Also Henry has a brother, Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), who also went to the war, but to fly a plane, pew pew pew.

Either way, the majority of the movie is about these two families, their connections, and their built tensions. Also featuring Kerry Cahill.

Sure that’s a large wad of cash, but also, he is white and probably evil.

Mudbound ends up being a relatively beautiful movie, set in a really ugly time. I wasn’t a fan of the old timey filters, I never am. Too many browns, greys, washed out feeling on certain scenes. But the camera was still set up excellent, giving some powerful imagery in normally non powerful scenes, so I find the nomination completely warranted.

The biggest issues with Mudbound come from the script. It takes for ever to really feel like what you are watching matters. We have generally two separate family stories that are obviously interacting, along with the two son stories over in the war. But for everyone to get done, for the stories to finally reach the point it was trying to make, it takes too long. The payoff doesn’t just feel good enough for feeling pointless for that much time.

The only characters that really felt enjoyable were the Jackson family. Laura was set up to be a main character, but she just did absolutely nothing for me. I still enjoyed where certain characters ended up at the end, happy for them, despite their struggles. I just wish that it had a bit more that mattered early on to keep my attention the whole film.

2 out of 4.


Here is a dumb question you can ask your friends and coworkers if you want them to dislike you a little bit more than they already do.

“Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?” This will make them ponder and come up with some bad guess, and you can quickly toss in a “It was still Mount Everest, it just wasn’t discovered, dipshit!” And again, you will lose friends.

My main problem with this joke, as a geophysicist/movie reviewer, is that it assumes that Mount Everest was always the tallest mountain on Earth, and that things don’t change. But we know they change, we know India and Asia weren’t always smashing into each other, so there is a real answer to the question of what used to be the tallest mountain before Mount Everest took over.

Turns out this knowledge is hard to get to and a bit awkward. But know there is a real answer out there. Just modern technology hasn’t always existed.

Oh yeah, I am supposed to talk about Everest. I think I should watch it on a large screen to give the large mountain its necessary honor.

Like a very gentle soft touch on its top most tip.

About 50-55 million years ago, India collided with Asia. It was probably the fastest moving tectonic plate ever, as it split with what is now Madagascar, presumably looking for a new climate. India was on an oceanic plate that was subducting under Asia at the time, which is the why it moved so fast. Once they crashed, the Himalaya mountains decided to be a thing, as the two land masses crumbled into each other, upward and forward! They grew fast and grew hard, making some really tall mountains that are still growing today. Mount Everest, aka Sagarm?th?, aka Chomolungma, currently sitting at 29,029 ft above sea level. Everest’s main purpose seems to be looking tall and killing crazy white assholes.

Oh, but maybe you care about those assholes? Well in that case, the film itself takes place in 1996, based on a real life disaster that took place that year and had like, five books written about it from survivors. Lot of primary sources to work with.

But our main character is Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), owner of Adventure Consultants out of New Zealand leads groups up Everest for large sums, helping them the whole way. He was the first to do this as a commercial business. There is also Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), main guide of Mountain Madness, who started doing the same thing later. In 1996, it was extremely popular though, and there were dozens of groups up there, all trying to use the few mountain paths to make it to the top, around the same time, causing a lot of problems.

Speaking of people, we have a few more notables. Like the fact that Rob’s wife (Kiera Knightley) is at home, pregnant, ready to give birth not long after his return. And Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), a journalist who is going to write about his experience. And Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), a regular guy who worked three jobs to save up money to hike Everest, making his second attempt to the peak to help school kids realize that dreams come true! And Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), from Texas, a cocky dude who feels good when he climbs, but is depressed back at home. And and and and of course Anatoli Boukreev (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson), one of the guides working with Fischer, and a general bamf climber.

Honestly, plot reviews are easy in this case, because I don’t have to describe bad things happening. I just have to talk about who is involved. And since it is such a big cast, here are a few other people involved!

Emily Watson played the base camp leader with Elizabeth Debicki as their team doctor. Thomas M. Wright, Martin Henderson, and Tom Goodman-Hill play the other 3 guides and Sam Worthington plays a literal Guy who works with Adventuring Consultants, and in real life later becomes their director and CEO. Naoko Mori plays Yasuko Namba, who had climbed 6 of the 7 main peaks with Everest as her last, and Robin Wright as the wife of Beck Weathers.

Color coding the hikers is a good strategy, but I feel bad for anyone who got stuck with red.

Apparently, sometimes, I get a little bit emotional over some geology. Because at least one scene in particular had me bawling my eyes out. I mean I found myself crying in the dark theater, surrounded by strangers, crying for like two minutes. It wasn’t even at the end of film, it was probably about 80% of the way through. I am just an emotional wreck since I had a baby, I guess.

Everest is an intense, dramatic, and gorgeous film. It was made in particular to be experience first hand on an IMAX screen. Sure, in the beginning, it is a bit weird as we get some character introductions, watching them hike to base camp and the weeks of training before they finally climb. It isn’t just a group of people running up a hill and facing constant threats. They don’t slowly die one at a time like it is a horror film. This is based on a true story and the attention to detail is astounding. It is easy to get things right when you have multiple books to figure it all out.

The last 40 minutes is extremely gripping. Not knowing the actual story, I didn’t know who would make it out alive so I was afraid for everyone. They all feel like real people and it is easy to connect with many of them before their eventual ascent.

Finally, I think my favorite part of this movie is that it isn’t about a group of people trying to battle nature and show their dominance. It is really about a mountain, who gives zero fucks about the insignificant life forms that sometimes explore its slopes. It is about how nature is unforgiving and doesn’t care about how much prep work occurs, it will do what it wants, when it wants. It is about how life doesn’t care if you are a good person, or a bad person, a newbie or a trainer climber, you are just as likely to get killed in a heart beat.

Nature is a fucking beast. And Everest is fucking good.

4 out of 4.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes did something miraculously a few years ago. It was able to bring back a cherished series, put its own stamp on it, and not suck completely.

You know, like what Planet of the Apes couldn’t do a decade and a half ago.

But still! Well done Rise. It relaunched a series and gave us a good story. Outside of a really terrible forced romance, it was an exciting movie that I have watched many times.

So, no pressure Dawn of the Planet Of The Apes.

Pressure is Caesar’s middle name. Wait. No. That was Julius.

Dawn is set ten years after the events of the first film. The virus spread throughout the human race, killing most of them. Sure, there were people immune to the virus who are now survivors. But their numbers are few in small cities across the globe, running low on resources and technologies that once were plentiful.

Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his band of merryapes are living peacefully in the red wood forests outside of San Francisco. They haven’t seen humans in years. They hunt deer, protect their own, have rules, are teaching the youth. But then? Humans.

A group of them, including Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Ellie (Keri Russell), Alexander (Kodi Sit-McPhee), and Carver (Kirk Acevedo). They are to go to the nearby dam to try and turn it on. Supplies are low.

However Ape/Human relationships are quite tense. Caesar is willing to trust them and forgive, but other apes in the vicinity, like his general Kobo (Toby Kebbell) might not be as trusting. Add that with the human fear of the apes, lead by the San Fransisco ex-military leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) and you got the potential for quite a boondoggle.

Also, Nick Thurston plays Blue Eyes, the son of Caesar (because Augustus would be silly).

I know what you’re thinking, human. You’re thinking “did he fire six shots or only five?” and “Does that Ape know how many shells are even in a shot gun” and “Does he think that gun is candy?”

I will definitely give this movie one thing. It did a great job at world building after the events of the first film. Of course, we only get to see a small area, San Francisco + forest. It would have been cool to see more of the world. For instance, just how many humans are there? I assume that will be answered in future parts.

Caesar / Serkis was also really cool. Everything about him was awesome. Speech, movements, plot line. What a baller guy/ape.

But other than that? This movie disappointed in some ways too. At times the CGI was really jarring, standing out, and even looking kind of shitty. Some of the characters looked awful and I was taken out of the experience. When the Apes and Men clashed for the first big fight? That looked terrible. The other fire scene? Didn’t really work for me either.

The film also dragged on at different times. All of it part of the world building and getting used to this new civilization. And I kind of just wished it would get to the point closer. The ending itself felt a bit predictable too, offering not a lot new minus the fact that it involved apes.

The movie had a lot of good, and a lot of average going on for it. So although parts were awesome and the movie had a good vibe, I couldn’t help leave feeling a bit disappointed. Also for those who hate reading, 1) thank you for still reading my reviews, and 2) there is a bunch of subtitles.

2 out of 4.

White House Down

Some people enjoy eating competitions, fireworks, and BBQs for their Fourth of July celebrations. Not me. As a heavy movie consumer, I tend to spend a lot of time watching patriotic movies. You know which ones I am talking about. The kind that cause you to get out of your chair and start chanting U-S-A at the top of your lungs, or maybe even run down your street with an American flag (usually reserved for the Olympics). I am talking about the big heavy hitters, like Top GunRocky IV, The Mighty Ducks II, Red Dawn, and of course Independence Day.

Which is why I’m glad we have new movies coming out around the same time as the festivities, that only want to help us express that pride we have deep down inside ourselves. What is more patriotic than a movie involving an attack on the White House, by Americans, for Americans? My fellow Americans, I give you, White House Down (Trailer).

Guns Means Patriotism

The movie takes place in a time when America is dealing with a lot of conflict in the Middle East. AKA, modern day America. President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) wants to be a great man and known forever in history. He has decided to pull all of the troops out of the Middle East and also offer up a peace treaty for around twenty countries in that area. It is a pretty bold move that has a lot of people angry, including the vice president who will quit if it goes through.

John Cale (Channing Tatum) might not think too highly of the new order either, after all, he served three tours in Iraq/Afghanistan himself. But now he is back to living in DC, working as a body guard for the Speaker of the House (Richard Jenkins). His dream is to work for the secret service, the highest honor in the land, especially since his daughter Emily (Joey King) is obsessed with politics, and he wants to get back on her good graces.

But while on a tour at the White house (lead by Nicolas Wright), a bomb explodes on the Capital building, putting most of DC on lock down. Too bad a group of mercenaries have all infiltrated the White House to take the president prisoner. Why you might ask? Plenty of reasons, just pick one. Surely it isn’t just for money though. Either way, it is time for John Cale to prove himself capable of being a member of the Presidential Guard, or else there might not be a country to save.

We also have Maggie Gylenhaal as a head secret service agent, James Woods as the Head of the Presidential Detail, Jimmi Simpson as a big bad hacker, and Jason Clarke as a mad mad mercenary.

Yep. Everyone in this picture will kill someone by the movies end. For America.

I am not allowed to review White House Down without mentioning Olympus Has Fallen, which I loved. It had great action, it was tense, but it still had its weak moments. Olympus Has Fallen was a much more serious film, whereas White House Down is going for Action/Comedy and is much closer to being a Die Hard variant. It isn’t rated  but even the smallest details seem to be throw backs to Die Hard. Just look at Tatum himself. His garb mimics Bruce Willis in the first film, with the white tank top and ruffled hair as seen here.

Roland Emmerich is used to bigger disaster films, so I am surprised he was able to contain the destruction to basically only two buildings. Despite the small scale, I found myself at the edge of my seat as Tatum and Foxx were running around the White House trying to be action stars. Foxx’s character wasn’t as much of a bad ass, as he is the President, but he has a few moments.

But here is what I didn’t like. The run time is over two hours, far too long for this kind of movie. I think the main problem lies in the pre-explosion intro, which dragged on and on, trying to set up everyone’s story. None of the twists are really too surprising, as it fits a very common formula. I didn’t see the last twist coming, only because a twist there felt nonsensical. The final twist was also a bit rushed and a bit anti-climatic.

Regardless, I am willing to state that both White House invasion films from 2013 are probably worthy of a watch, at least once. This one has a limo chase seen on the presidential lawn, while Olympus Has Fallen has a limo fall into an icy river of death. The difference in limo usage probably highlights the main differences in the films. I wouldn’t describe this as a “dumber” version of OHF like other critics, but it definitely takes itself less seriously.

I am looking forward to 2014 when I get to see two versions of Hercules. (Hint: You can already tell which one will be better).


3 out of 4.

The Great Gatsby

If you frequent the internet, you will most likely hear about how rustled certain peoples jimmies are now that The Great Gatsby (Trailer) has been made into a movie. Again. For whatever reason, there is popular opinion that movies shouldn’t be made from popular novels, despite that is how its always been done.

People are also afraid of Baz Luhrmann. Okay, that is more understandable. Baz is a weird guy. Sometimes his films are too long. Sometimes they are just weird. But they can also be extraordinary.

So I will give it a shot. I know the imagery will be in your face, the music pumping, and probably a guy on a typewriter. The trailer features 2.5 minutes of in your face imagery and music, just to prepare you for this trip.

Ohh,, I forgot the fireworks. Fuck!
Despite guessing that everyone had to read “The Great Gatsby” in high school, here is the plot in a nut shell.

Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) has moved to New York to be a stock broker, since his writing career has failed. He has a small shack next to many large mansions, and is neighbors with Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), but he is a recluse who know one really knows. Gatsby is a man of many secrets, but one of his biggest is his crush on Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), Nick’s cousin, and married to Tom (Joel Edgerton).

Aww snap. Tom is also unfaithful though, cheating on his wife with the wife (Isla Fisher) of a gas station attendant (Jason Clarke).

Basically, everyone in New York is an asshole and a liar. Except for Gatsby of course! Sure, his secrets involve him working with a man who fixed the 1919 World Series (Amitabh Bachchan), but at least he doesn’t hide who he is. Much. Alright, he is a liar too. Also featuring Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker, a friend of the Buchanans and Gatsby, and might be the only other sane person after Nick.

Dat wolfshark
Because who wears that much clothing in a club? Need to take stuff on, not add more layers.
Just as expected, this movie was pretty crazy, in more ways than one! There are some minor changes from the book, to set up the story, but of course that isn’t really important.

Early in the movie, I was getting kind of sick of it all though. I was overwhelmed by too much, too soon, just like the beginning of Moulin Rouge!. But eventually in the story, the parties die down, and all of the problems with the characters come to the forefront hard and fast, and to me it is when this movie gets exceptional. From the first time Gatsby and Daisy meet in the present, to the discovery of all the lies, to the final conflict, The Great Gatsby provides a whirlwind of emotion. Well acted emotion at that.

I think everyone was on their A-game during the filming and despite already knowing the story, it seemed like I was being told the story from the first time.

So while not perfect, I definitely loved the second half. Everything seemed so genuine and real, despite the CGI heavy backgrounds. If there is one thing I could have less of, it would be the green light. Definitely over used in my eyes, but I could just be jealous of the green light. That and the phrase “old sport” which I hope to never hear again.

Although I know for certain this movie won’t be DiCaprio’s Oscar winner, he still was a fantastic Gatsby and brought the character great justice.

3 out of 4.

Zero Dark Thirty

It took me awhile to get excited about Zero Dark Thirty. I mean, what, Osama Bin Laden died a year and a half ago? It didn’t help that its original trailer was boring as crap (The second one was a lot better!). I was also a pretty big skeptic when I heard it was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. How can I trust a movie about this subject so close to the actual event? There is no way that a lot of the actual information was declassified that quickly, given the subject. Unless of course, because she made The Hurt Locker, she clearly deserves the information and resources to make another war movie?

Just seems a bit unfair is all I am saying.

You know what else is unfair? Jobs that let you wear shorts. I want in on that racket! Fucking social norms.

The story begins a bit classier than I expected with the September 11th attacks. I was a bit worried they’d use that to help rile up the emotions, but it didn’t recreate the crash, show the fall, any of that. Just kept a blank screen and used real media outtakes to explain what happened. Okay, maybe that is still a cheap trick, but it could have been worse.

A few years after that, Maya (Jessica Chastain) has just arrived in Pakistan, after spending most of her career in the CIA so far working on Al-Qaeda intelligence. Her new partner is Dan (Jason Clarke), who she gets to meet during a nice torture session. Weee torture!

Long story short, Maya begins grasping at straws, trying to get a lead anywhere. She thinks she has found the name of Osama’s secret courier, but her boss (Kyle Chandler) isn’t having any of it. Well, it turns out she is right! Eventually she is able to figure out who he is, find him, find a nice Mansion/Fortress in Pakistan, and heat signatures show an extra man inside who NEVER leaves. I wonder who it could be!

Zero Dark Thirty of course also goes through the extraction of Osama, featuring such fine gentlemen in the Seal Team, like Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, and Taylor Kinney.

“Hey, let’s show mostly scenes of the actual take down of Osama! You know, a small minority of the movie!”

Let me break the movie down for you, with fractions! I would say that the first quarter of the movie deals with torture as a way of gaining information. Three eights after that involves slow, non torture means of getting what they want. Another quarter of the movie takes place after they find the fortress and deciding what to do and who is in there, with the last eighth involving the Seal Team and their assult.

That second part? I didn’t really like that part. It felt very slow and I almost fell asleep in my seat. But that leaves a pretty solid five eighths of the film, which is a lot better than most movies out there.

Unfortunately I am still left wondering how much of what I watched is accurate, and how much is just dramatic license in the greatest manhunt in modern history. The acting was decent, but didn’t feel like anything worth writing home about. Word on the street is that they are hoping to do a prequel to this movie, yet I have no idea what it would be about. Al-Qaeda before 2001? I don’t think that counts as a prequel, I think that is just a different movie.

But hey, at least it ends with the US coming out on top. That is the take home message, right? Right?!

3 out of 4.


I am surprised at how little Lawless was talked about when it first hit theaters. They didn’t really give away any of the plot, but made it seem like a ganster/western movie of some sort, with some bad ass actors.

And you know, uhh, Shia LaBeouf.

Shia Get OUt
Damn it Shia, what did I tell you about showing up in my movies?

Franklin County, Virgina, early 1900s, prohibition is a bitch. But thankfully this is the wettest county in the world and basically everyone is growing Moonshine, so much that even some gangsters from Chicago are getting their hands wet out here.

The Bondourant brothers are immortal, through legend and talk from their brother Forrest (Tom Hardy). He survived a flu that killed most people who got it, and his other brother Howard (Jason Clarke) was the only surviving member of his platoon in WW1. The youngest brother, Jack (LaBeouf) is the runt of the group and wants to join in on all of the activities but, you know, he is small.

He has big dreams though, and even worships the great gangster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman), and is hoping to start his own moonshine batch with his weird friend Cricket (Dane DeHaan) who is at least good with tinkering.

Things are going great! That is until some DA Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) is brought in, from Chicago, to clean up this moonshine business in the area, even though the local cops don’t care. His style and aura is definitely not welcome, you know, because he wants to arrest them and maybe kill them.

Kill them? Yeah, life is brutal in this time period. People die, lots of people, and it is fucking gruesome. Most people would fear for their lives, you know, if they weren’t immortal (and missing a lot of their brain cells). All while this is going on, Jack is working on seducing a local Amish like chick (Mia Wasikowska) and a former dancer from Chicago is here to work at their restaurant (Jessica Chastain).

Hardly working
Basically a nice quiet life. But with lots of guns and violence.

Despite my best attempts to make the movie seem lame, it was a blast to see. Hardy and Clarke as the older brothers were both unique and brought a lot to their characters, especially Hardy. His low witted self always made me either chuckle or grimace based on what he was doing (or had done to him).

Gary Oldman is barely in this movie, but Guy Pearce definitely plays his own extremely unique character, so much that I couldn’t even remember what Guy Pearce actually looked and sounded like.

But Shia? Well he did a fine job too. Didn’t ruin the movie like I thought he would, but I am disappointed that he was the main character and not Forrest.

I think the movie could have been a bit shorter than what happened though, or even better, just less “down” scenes. The church scene was really odd, and I do’t know why they never really explained what the heck was going on there. There won’t be any sequels to the movie, as the entire story is told, which is a shame. I’d almost want to see more of Forrest and Howard when they were younger and just getting started.

3 out of 4.


Hey look, another movie about Trust. This time it is less subtle though.

“See, even I waited until Rapunzel was 18 before tappin’ that. This I cannot condone.” – Flynn

Story is like any other. Liana Liberato has a birthday for turning 14! She already likes to text, but he got her a new MacBook. And really, that’s where the problems start. Damn you Mac! She starts talking to some boy Charlie, who is a couple years older, and also into Volleyball. Gives her tips to train and make the team. Yay. She also likes him kind of now. Especially since he returned pictures. Too bad his phones camera doesn’t work for iChats or whatever. Also it turns out her is a sophomore in College. Also he lied about that. Now he is a grad student. Okay that is a lie too.

Through months of chatting though, she doesn’t care that much, but when she meets him at the mall and he is in his 30s or 40s. Well. That is kind of weird. Reluctantly, she goes with him, gets food, etc. And then, YOU KNOW what happens.

Needless to say, when her parents Catherine Keener and Clive Owen find out, they flip out. In completely different ways. The important to the movie scene happens a little less than halfway through it too. Not the conclusion. It happens quick. Instead the movie is more about the aftermath of it. How the girl thinks the guy loves her, her dads problems with anger and not trusting anyone, and the mom trying to fix everything.

Said creepy pedo is Chris Henry Coffey, and he hasn’t been in much, but he is sufficiently creepy. Jason Clarke is the FBI guy in charge of helping find him.

Apparently telling them to take a seat works both on predators and the predatorees.

Everyone does a pretty good job acting in the family. Especially the girl. Probably follows some sort of “Stages” after a trauma, but I don’t know that stuff. Clive reminded me of Russell Crowe, just wanted to go everywhere and fight everyone. Seemingly it had just the right level of creepiness to make you go “Wtf!” and keep watching.

3 out of 4.