Year 9, Day 131 - 5/11/17 - Movie #2,626
BEFORE: This might seem like an odd next choice, but according to the IMDB, Bradley Cooper is in this film. Well, OK, his voice is, but for me, that counts. I had no other way to link in or out of this film up until about a day ago - so at first I had this one coming before "Guardians of the Galaxy 2", but I just figured out another way to link from here to "Mother's Day", so I'm going to change things up, just a little. I was going to link via Kurt Russell to "The Art of the Steal" and from there through Matt Dillon to "Drugstore Cowboy", but now the plan has changed. (That plan would have required me to watch a linking film on iTunes for $3.99, but now I found a cheaper way to get to the same place. I'll get back to those other films I just mentioned in a few weeks.)
THE PLOT: After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.
AFTER: Yes, it's true, Bradley Cooper's voice is the first one you hear in this film - he's the boyfriend talking with the main character, Michelle, on the phone, trying to convince her to come back. Apparently they had some kind of fight, and she drove off. Never drive angry, kids. Because then she gets into an accident, and wakes up in the situation described above. And that's really all I want to say about the plot, because of possible spoilers. As it is, I probably read too much about this film before I saw it, and that would be a mistake, because the twists are pretty good.
But a loose theme is developing for me this week, and not just because this is the second film this week set in an underground location ("Ex Machina" also featured a house that was mostly underground). I just paid $1.99 for the film "Room" on Demand to pair with this one - this is about where I'm at now with movies, if I can pair a film with another one like it, and that costs me a couple of bucks, that's OK, it's worth it to keep my watchlist full and my DVR empty. Also, if I can maintain or extend my linking chain by watching a film on iTunes or borrowing an Academy screener from my boss, I'm just going to do that. Not often, just whenever necessary - maybe two or three times a month each, because I still need to make progress on that watchlist, and I'll never do that if I'm adding films by streaming them, instead of watching what I already have on DVD.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, this week's theme. It's something about family and teamwork, but also deception is in there somewhere. The men in the raft and POW camp in "Unbroken" formed a loose working team, and then in "Ex Machina" there was supposed to be a romantic connection formed between the robot and its examiner, but the deception got in the way. In "Burnt" the people working together in the restaurant formed a team and loose family, but even then, there was deception lurking among the chefs. Tonight it's the team bond that gets formed between three people in a fallout shelter, and the (possible) deception that might lie behind the situation as we see it. (This topic ties in very well topic with my last post on "Guardians of the Galaxy"...)
I don't want to say much more, because the best option on this is going in as cold as possible, so you're just as confused as the main character is. But this is where the casting of John Goodman turned out to be so genius, because that's the guy who played lovable Dan Conner, lovable Sully from "Monsters, Inc." and that guy in "True Stories" who maintained the "consistent, huggable, panda-bear shape". But it's also the guy who played the evil Cyclops in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", the bank robber in "Raising Arizona", and that boisterous Speaker of the House on "The West Wing". So he could go either way here, or just be playing a well-meaning lunatic on the edge, like he did in "The Big Lebowski". The whole film here sort of hinges on figuring this out.
Also starring John Goodman (last seen in "The Flintstones"), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (last seen in "Death Proof"), John Gallagher Jr. (last seen in "Whatever Works"), Suzanne Cryer.
RATING: 5 out of 10 jigsaw puzzles