Monday, April 3, 2017

Midnight Special

Year 9, Day 93 - 4/3/17 - Movie #2,587

BEFORE: It took two hours yesterday at H&R Block, but our tax returns are done.  I'd probably still be scratching my head, trying to figure out form 8889 and calculating the limited deduction of the employer contribution to my wife's health savings account.  Which is quite difficult, I maintain.  Who knew that healthcare would be so complicated?  Donald Trump sure didn't.  But we got it done, then rewarded ourselves with a trip to IHOP so we could have breakfast for dinner.

Kirsten Dunst had a small role in "Bonfire of the Vanities" as the daughter of the main character, Sherman McCoy.  That allows me to connect to this film, where she plays the mother of the young boy character, Alton.  Really, I had two medium-sized chains with current films (2015-2017), and I used those two 1990-1991 films with Donald Moffat as a sort of connective tissue.  Tonight I kick off the 2nd chain with (mostly) recent films, which is great because I'm eager to get to these.

THE PLOT: A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.

AFTER: There's something sort of X-Men like about this, especially with the type of powers that the boy has, mixed with the "one child and two adults on the lam" plot, which greatly resembles the one seen in "Logan" (seen and reviewed but not yet's coming soon) and the fact that I've been re-watching "X-Men: Apocalypse" a lot late at night, after my movie ends and I need to scroll through the upcoming listings.  The sci-fi tie-ins are also highlighted by the presence of two "Star Wars" actors and one DC movie actor - so yes, this is sort of the film where General Zod and Owen Lars go on the run with a young Cyclops-like boy, pursued by Kylo Ren.  Only, not really.

There's also a strong similarity to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", where people (particularly one small boy, his mother and Richard Dreyfuss's character) are compelled to make their way to a particular location in Wyoming, because they feel something important will happen there at a certain time.  The boy here, Alton, also appears to be receiving some kind of messages, and is being drawn to a certain location, but I don't think there's the same pay-off as that film from 1977.  (Umm, it's a little hard to tell.).

There's also a religious cult that's been built up around this boy, and the messages he's received - there's a strong similarity to "speaking in tongues" after all.  But it's also very unclear how the cult perceives the boy's powers, and what benefit, exactly, they get from interacting with him.

When Alton finally figures out his powers, and what he can do, and what it all means, is the payoff enough?  That's a question that viewers have to answer for themselves.  Me, I've got more questions than answers, and that doesn't usually make me happy.

Also starring Michael Shannon (last seen in "The Night Before"), Joel Edgerton (last seen in "Exodus: Gods and Kings"), Adam Driver (last seen in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), Jaeden Lieberher (last seen in "Aloha"), Bill Camp (last seen in "Love & Mercy"), Scott Haze, Sam Shepard (last seen in "Bandidas"), Paul Sparks (last seen in "Mud"), David Jensen (last seen in "Hot Pursuit"), Sean Bridgers, Garrett Hines (last seen in "Stolen"), with a cameo from Nancy Grace (last seen in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice")

RATING: 5 out of 10 state troopers

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