The stress, the urgency, the ingenuity, the sense of wonder. Ridley Scott’s The Martian masters them all. While most space movies rely on sensationalized drama and special effects, this one is different. Don’t get me wrong, the special effects are stunning and the drama is engaging, but neither rules. The scientists are real, NASA seems simultaneously human and political, and the zany solutions and discussions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) all read as if from the history books of space programs. The Martian is a very human story that is surprisingly feasible and realistic, leaving you mesmerized while watching and for a good while after.
The opening scene of Blue Sky Studios’ The Peanuts Movie begins with four black lines outlining the edge of the screen, magically creating the borders of a comic strip. Inside this box several small circles are drawn. From these simple lines, it seamlessly transitions to a 3D winterscape, somehow maintaining the look and feel of a comic strip. The characters are painstakingly replicated, staying true to the five-decade comic strip from which they originate. I was consistently surprised by how accurately the characters’ expressions were reflected in 3D. In short, the movie remains ‘authentically Peanuts,’ from beginning to end.
Terrorist attack, FBI, mystery, investigation, inside job. These are the themes of Joshua Safran’s new ABC show “Quantico” which explores a topic covered a dozen times before. It hits on all the key target words to make a national audience interested, and it has a diverse cast of improbably good looking recruits. But these alone aren’t enough to make this show watchable or even begin to approach an accurate representation of the FBI in the manner in which it masquerades. Continue reading Quantico, a Melodrama with a Side of Cheese