Tag Archives: mackenzie davis

IRRESISTIBLE (2020) – My Rating: 7.5/10

Irresistible is a political comedy written and directed by Jon Stewart. The film follows a Democratic strategist who tries to help a local candidate win an election in a small right-wing town.  Irresistible was released during the COVID-19 pandemic and cost a whopping $20 bucks to stream right into my family room.  Despite the inflated cost, I thought the movie was decent.

Irresistible opens with a successful Democratic campaigner, Gary Zimmer (Steve Corell) in despair due to the results of the 2016 election. One of Gary’s colleagues shows him a viral video of Marine Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) reprimanding the mayor in a speech regarding the undocumented immigrant population who lives in his conservative hometown of Deerlaken, Wisconsin. Gary decides if he can run Hastings as the Democratic mayoral candidate in the next election, he can convince the American people in the heartland to vote democrat in the next presidential election. After arriving in Deerlaken, Gary soon meets Hastings and his daughter Diana Hastings (Mackenzie Davis) and pitches his idea. Hastings initially declines considering himself more of a conservative and having no real interest in politics, but later relents and agrees to run under the condition that Gary runs his campaign.

Despite the fact incumbent, Mayor Braun (Brent Sexton) is being funded by the Republican National Committee, Gary and Hastings must come up with new and innovative ideas to counter the endless money the RNC has to spend on the campaign. Gary has to depend on Democratic donations from elsewhere enabling him to upgrade their campaigning methods.

Irresistible turns out to be quite exciting and funny.  Of course in order not to spoil the movie, I will stop here except to say that there is so much more to Irresistible than you can figure out.  It’s not predictable and you will probably never see the end coming.  The film has many familiar comedians like Debra Messing and C.J. Wilson to liven up the plot.  I think this movie is a much needed comic relief in this time of tragedy and upheaval.  Irresistible was initially due to be released theatrically in May of 2020, however, the  COVID-19 pandemic happened, which caused Focus Features to release the film on video, on-demand, and in limited theaters, June 26, instead. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who called it “a soft political satire”. Irresitible is available via most cable carriers, Prime Video and Itunes.  DVD release is scheduled for September 1, 2020.  Check it out!

 

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (2019) – My rating: 8/10

Terminator: Dark Fate is a science fiction action film directed by Tim Miller. The screenplay is by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray from a story by James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, Goyer and Rhodes. Cameron also produced the film, alongside David Ellison. It is the sixth installment in the Terminator franchise, and acts as a direct sequel to The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), while retconning other related works such as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), and the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009) from the franchise’s canon following the return of creative control to Cameron. It’s sad when we go to a movie starring old stars to see how well they perform and what they look like now.  Terminator is such a movie but I must say, Arnold and Linda were great.

It is now 1998, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son, John Connor (Edward Furlong) are enjoying life without the threat of being hunted by a Skynet Terminator from the future.  For three years, John and his mother were free.  However, while on a beach in Livingston, Guatemala, John is attacked and killed by a T-800 Terminator / Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger), sent by Skynet prior to its demise. Twenty-two years later, an advanced Rev-9 Terminator is sent back in time to Mexico City, to kill Daniella “Dani” Ramos (Natalia Reyes), at the same time a cybernetically enhanced soldier named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) is sent to protect Dani. So we end up with good (Grace) vs. evil (REV-9) + Sarah who Grace has never heard of because Sarah nor John existed in Grace’s timeline.  Humanity is now threatened by an AI called Legion, which was developed by SAC-NORAD for use in cyberwarfare.

You can expect the usual special effects, which are fantastic, an older Arnold and an older Linda.  Both are brilliant actors and their age is just a number. It also helps to have Mackenzie Davis, who is energetic and just the right cup of tea for this role.  Being human and unknown, Sarah had to gain Grace’s respect. You will learn the plight of mankind, Dani, Grace, Carl and Sarah in Dark Fate in what promises to be the last Terminator in this series.  Following the film’s underwhelming opening at the box-office, sources close to Skydance told “The Hollywood Reporter” that there are no plans for further films. Dark Fate was very entertaining and has an excellent plot.  It received mixed reviews from critics, who believed it to be an improvement over previous installments and praised the performances and action sequences but criticized the recycled plot points and narrative choices. The film also became a box-office bomb, having grossed $249 million against an estimated production budget of $185–196 million. With a break-even point of $450–480 million, projected losses for the studios involved are estimated to reach $130 million. Despite the earnings, I recommend Terminator: Dark Fate to all.  Check It Out!

 

THE MARTIAN (2015) – My rating: 10/10

TheMartianLook for The Martian to be nominated for best picture and more.  It is worth every second of it’s 141 minutes.  When I heard The Martian being compared to Gravity, I didn’t want to see it because I didn’t particularly like Gravity.  The only similarity is deep space aliened with crisis.  Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an Astronaut on a manned space mission to Mars along with five other crew members, Rick Martinez (Michael Peña), Beth Johanssen (Kate Mara),  Chris Beck (Sebastian Stan), Alex Vogel (Aksel Hennie) and Mission Commander, Mellissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain).  During a daily routine task, the crew was hit with an intense storm that caused Mark to disappear from their sight while also putting the lives of the crew at stake. Considering the situation, Mark was presumed dead forcing the Mission Commander to reluctantly leave Mark behind as the crew fled from planet Mars.

Mars provides nothing we as humans would need to survive.  Water, oxygen, fertilized soil, gravity, animals and for the most part, no light exists on Mars.  Unable to contact NASA, Mark uses his knowledge as a botanist to grow potatoes within the mission’s artificial habitat, anticipating that he will need to survive for at least four years before the next crew was scheduled to land.  He would have to  journey to the landing site of Ares IV which already has some infrastructure on Mars. To maintain morale, Mark begins to modify the habitat’s rover to make it capable of long journeys while keeping a series of video logs.  Without giving away the whole movie, I will conclude the revealing the plot at this point saying that NASA does find out that Mark is alive and though some ingenious manipulations and thought process, he finds a way to communicate.

Between the efforts of  Jeff Daniels who plays Teddy Sanders, Head of NASA, Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays Vincent Kapoor, NASA mission director, Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park, satellite planner in Mission Control, Donald Glover as Rich Purnell, NASA astronomer, Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson, NASA mission director and Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose, NASA spokesperson, the journey becomes both enlightening, intense, complicated and exciting.  Involvement from the China National Space Agency (CNSA) offers NASA classified information and help which was both exciting to hear and learn what they had to offer.

From the cast to the plot, to the intensity of the story to the brilliance of the acting and the efforts and planning of all who worked on this movie, I applaud The Martian and thank Hollywood for a movie that truly makes a difference when we really needed one.  There is so much more that I couldn’t tell as not to spoil any more than I did.  Whether you like science or not, The Martian is worth seeing.  Great job, great directing, great writing, great movie!

[THE MARTIAN is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Costume Design, Best Director, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects]