Reel Reviews

By on November 22, 2016

‘The Edge of Seventeen’

While everyone was cramming into theaters to see “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” i.e. the new Harry Potter movie (without Harry Potter), I took the opportunity to relax in some of the less crowded spaces to check out two films that dared go up against J.K. Rowling’s giant.

Once in a while there comes along an instant cult classic. “The Edge of Seventeen” will go down as this generations “Sixteen Candles.” The teen coming of age film stars Hailee Steinfeld (“Pitch Perfect 2” &tstr; and 3 coming in 2017) as Nadine, a high schooler who can’t get out of her own social way. She struggles to find her place in life as she deals with the trials and tribulations affronting most teenagers. Things get worse when BFF Krista (newbie Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating Nadine’s brother Darian (Blake Jenner, “Glee”). Her mother, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick, TNT’s “The Closer”), tries to help but falls short. To the rescue comes Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson) who provides a bit of reality and solace to the struggling young lady.

Writer Kelly Fremon Craig nailed her directorial debut. After seeing the film, I caught an interview with Steinfeld who said Craig allowed the young actress and seasoned vet Harrelson to improvise several scenes. Their comedic yet serious rapport shines in each scene they share.

It’s a shame this movie had to open up against “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” I’m hoping spill over crowds will push this flick into the spotlight. So, I have to recommend getting out to see “The Edge of Seventeen,” no matter what your age. Oh, and it’s rated R.

 

Amy Adams portrays Dr. Louise Banks in “Arrival.”

Amy Adams portrays Dr. Louise Banks in “Arrival.”

 

 ‘Arrival’

Another movie opening last week put up some impressive numbers, but still couldn’t knock “Doctor Strange” of the top spot at the box office, is “Arrival.” The movie-based on the book “Story of Your Life” by award-winning writer Ted Chiang, opened at third place in last week’s box office totals, bringing in $24 million.

Amy Adams (“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) is Dr. Louise Banks, the world’s leading linguist, who is enlisted by the U.S. government to try and communicate with one of 12 alien objects, which have landed randomly throughout the world. She is joined by scientist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner, “Avengers”). The duo makes first contact with the Heptapods whose language is as mysterious as their presence. Ultimately, Banks learns how to translate some of their ethereal scripts and manages to communicate with the other-worldly creatures.

To go further into the plot of “Arrival” would give away its most dramatic element. There’s a truly original twist viewers discover two-thirds into the film. It is wonderfully shocking!

I loved this movie and I can’t wait to see it again. The only drawback is it runs a little long with the final sequences. We get it. We figured it out 30 minutes earlier. Let the movie end. Otherwise, get out and see this film, not only if you like sci-fi, but if you enjoy seriously good dramas with a heart wrenching/warming aspect.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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