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items tagged with Mackenzie Davis

Ridley’s Believe It or Not: "The Martian" and "Sicario"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-10-03 22:01:02

Matt Damon in The MartianTHE MARTIAN

If you, too, are a devotee of Ridley Scott’s Alien, you’ll no doubt remember how its title came into view during the opening credits: as a series of vertical, diagonal, and horizontal white lines that slowly appeared, beginning with the “I,” one or two at a time until the capitalized “ALIEN” was wholly spelled out. Thirty-six years later, the title for Scott’s sci-fi tale The Martian is revealed in the exact opposite manner: as a full, capitalized “THE MARTIAN” that gradually fades away, one portion at a time, until only the “I” remains.

Obviously, that disappearing act is a decidedly minor touch, especially in a film that runs just shy of two-and-a-half hours. But it might also be Scott’s most quietly clever touch, and not merely because The Martian’s chief narrative concerns an “I” that winds up left all alone. By offering a literal reverse of his 1979 achievement’s opener, Scott seems to be suggesting, with an wink, that his new endeavor will be 180 degrees removed from the claustrophobic, stomach-bursting horror of Alien, and that proves decidedly to be the case. While this adaptation of Andy Weir’s bestseller (with its script by Drew Goddard) does share some of Alien’s themes, principally the life-and-death imperatives behind deep-space problem-solving, Scott’s latest is expansive instead of spare, chatty instead of terse, heartening instead of nihilistic. It’s also, far and away, and from beginning to end, the most sheerly likable movie Ridley Scott has yet made – an exciting, moving, and altogether glorious sci-fi bear hug that leaves you feeling almost ridiculously happy. Given a career that’s found him exploring every conceivable shade of dark, it turns out that Scott looks pretty great in the light.
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There’s a Hole in Your Vessel, Dear Redford, Dear Redford … : "All Is Lost" and "That Awkward Moment"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-02 21:13:59

Robert Redford in All Is LostALL IS LOST

Continuing to earn cool points following their November booking of Enough Said – a marvelous movie that finally landed in our area several months after its initial national release – schedulers for Moline’s Nova 6 Cinemas have done it again with the booking of All Is Lost, another critically acclaimed title that managed to bypass the Quad Cities’ first-run cineplexes. And given the overall strength of writer/director J.C. Chandor’s achievement, I couldn’t be happier about its arrival, late though it may be. (Not too late, however, for those of us wanting to catch as many Oscar-nominated films as possible prior to the March 2 ceremony. Chandor’s follow-up to 2011’s exquisite Margin Call – which also made its local debut at Nova 6 – is nominated for Best Sound Editing.) You may have heard about the film: It’s the one in which a lone sailor played by Robert Redford has to contend with a slowly sinking ship while adrift in the Indian Ocean, and with the exception of roughly 50 words, it’s as lacking in dialogue as The Artist. It’s also, for the majority of its 100 minutes, both wrenching and exhilarating.

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