The Week in Film: Sci-Fi Do-Over edition


Edge of Tomorrow
(Warner Bros.)

In Theaters

Source Code meets…well, every alien invasion move ever in Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise as a soldier who keeps dying in battle only to be transported back in time to try again.  Helping him do the right thing is a fellow soldier played by Emily Blunt and hopefully helping the film’s chances overall is Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) behind the camera.

Its big competition is certain to be The Fault in Our Stars, an adaptation of the weepy John Green YA novel, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teens who fall in love at a cancer support group.  The Cult of Green is large indeed, but don’t rule out Cruise, still a viable box-office draw whose last film, 2013’s Oblivion, pulled in $37 million on its mid-April opening weekend.

We can, however, pretty much rule Palo Alto out of the big money race, and perhaps even in the quality one as well.  Based on James Franco’s composite novel about disaffected teens in the titular California town, the film is written and directed by Gia “Granddaughter of Francis Ford” Coppola and stars Franco, Emma Roberts, and Jack “son of Val (who also has a bit part)” Kilmer.  The film looks great and has some nice moments, but I found the material to work far better on the page than it does onscreen.

Fleeing the Scene

Two good ones are on the way out this Thursday evening.  The emotionally brutal yet ultimately/unexpectedly rewarding Railway Man had a good multi-week run, but the same can’t be said of Locke.  Tom Hardy’s one-man show never really stood a chance, though I heartily recommend checking it out once it’s available on DVD.

When I Walk
(In Face Films)


Two respectable action films this week in the underrated RoboCop remake and the fairly rated Navy SEAL mission gone wrong Lone Survivor. Leveling the scales are a pair of documentaries: Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself and When I Walk, directed by my step-brother-in-law Jason DaSilva about his daily struggles with MS.  Jason’s film (a hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival) will also be shown June 23 on PBS documentary series “POV” and I look forward to catching it then and there.

On Netflix Instant

Joining series three of BBC’s Sherlock on the new new front are Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan’s much maligned narrative take on the West Memphis 3, starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Dane DeHaan, and Mirelle Enos) and Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, a documentary on the resilient character actor, who’ll turn 88 on July 14.

Also, it being a new month, there’s a heap of older titles to sift through.  To help with your browsing, I made this handy dandy key:

FFC = directed by Francis Ford Coppola
RAMP = a Robert Altman motion picture
ONR = original, not remake
RNO = remake, not original
V3 = part of Park Chan Wook’s “Vengeance Trilogy”
ISM = inspirational sports movie
AAA = animation for all ages
AA = animation for adults

  • 1941
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • The Adventures of Milo and Otis
  • Annie Hall
  • Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux (FFC)
  • Barbershop
  • Born Free
  • Carrie (ONR)
  • Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams
  • The Chorus
  • Clear and Present Danger
  • Coffee and Cigarettes
  • Cold Mountain
  • The Craft
  • El Dorado
  • Ever After
  • First Knight
  • Five Easy Pieces
  • Fool for Love (RAMP)
  • Funny Lady
  • Gothic
  • I.Q.
  • Iron Monkey
  • Ishtar
  • Five of the Tom Selleck Jesse Stone movies, based on the beloved Robert B. Parker novels (Death in Paradise; Night Passage; No Remorse; Stone Cold; Thin Ice)
  • Johnny Mnemonic
  • Julia
  • Lady Vengeance (V3)
  • Loser
  • Major League (ISM)
  • The Man from Snowy River
  • Mission: Impossible III
  • Oldboy (ONR) (V3)
  • One from the Heart (FFC)
  • Picture Perfect
  • Popeye (RAMP)
  • Reign Over Me
  • The Replacement Killers
  • A River Runs Through It
  • Rudy (ISM)
  • Smila’s Sense of Snow
  • The Stepford Wives (RNO)
  • Swept Away (RNO)
  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (V3)
  • That Cold Day in the Park (RAMP)
  • The Triples of Belleville (AAA)
  • Two Girls and a Guy
  • Waking Life (AA)
  • Wayne’s World
  • We Were Soldiers
  • Wild Style


indie June 5, 2014 - 12:47 pm

Don’t support movies with scientologists.

indie June 5, 2014 - 12:48 pm

Don’t support movies with scientologists.

Pulp Fiction can be an exception.

Orbit DVD June 5, 2014 - 2:15 pm

Are you arguing with yourself now?

Big Al June 5, 2014 - 6:51 am

I am not sure Altman would thank you for reminding anyone that he directed “Popeye”.

Edwin Arnaudin June 5, 2014 - 11:49 am

Popeye is a delightful movie!

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