'Chappie' is sci-fi action with a soul

By Things Around Town on

Yet “Chappie” is invested with such humanity, a seemingly effortless delicacy of feeling, that it makes one suspect that, even if movies continue in this machine direction, they’ll never fully give way to machines.

[…] he starts the movie with the sound track as a heavy presence, as he introduces various plot elements.

The two want to pull off a big heist, but the mechanical cops are an insurmountable obstacle.

The movie becomes, at one level, a struggle for Chappie’s soul between the good parent, Deon, and the bad parent, Ninja, with Yo-landi as the surprisingly affectionate mother figure, somewhere in the middle.

Unlike most modern sci-fi films, which deal entirely in external movements, there’s an internal quality about this. Read More…

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'Unfinished Business' is a comedy with a depressing theme

By Things Around Town on

A supposedly rollicking comedy about a sink-or-swim business trip, the movie can’t keep out a depressing awareness of modern-day corporate culture and what it does to people.

Yet we’re expected to forget about that, selectively, and laugh at the diverting antics going on in the foreground – the usual spectacle of idiots abroad getting stoned, having sex and getting into trouble.

On the way to his car, he hires Tim (Tom Wilkinson), who has been let go for hitting the mandatory retirement age, and Mike (Dave Franco), a mentally challenged young man who is in the movie for comic relief.

Yet at times, it’s a counter-productive achievement, when we’re then expected to relax and release into the comedy – as when Vaughn accidentally finds himself in the midst of a business deal while wearing women’s running clothes. Read More…

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