Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

valerian and the city of a thousand planets

Director: Luc Besson

Cast: Dan DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Sam Spruell, Kris Wu, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke, Rihanna

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe. – IMDB

Adapted from a French comic series titled Valerian and Laureline, Luc Besson’s latest piece takes us on a sci-fi adventure to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets where we follow the adventures of two young agents and partners, Major Valerian and Sergeant Laureline. Luc Besson heading back to a sci-fi premise and seemingly calling back to The Fifth Element days is an endearing thought. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a visually stunning adventure full of new aliens and characters to discover, perhaps more so for those that have not read the source material. While filled with great performances what does let  down the overall experience is the story itself being adventurous and fun but slightly predictable.

The performances here focus mostly on Cara Delevingne’s Laureline and Dan DeHaan’s Valerian. As a team, they work together well and while on missions, there is a friction and conflict they have as Laureline fights for her recognition and importance. While some of their dialogue feels cheesy and oddly out of place, they have a certain chemistry that helps in certain ways. It adds in some laughs here and there and their bickering while overused in movies does help ease in some relaxing moments between the action. There are some bigger names here as well such as Clive Owen as the Commander who gets taken by an alien race that was deemed to have been destroyed. While not a huge role, he excelled at commanding his scene. What is also a nice face to see here is Kris Wu, a young actor that appeared earlier this year in XXX:The Return of Xander Cage, who gives a good performance while in a supporting role as well. Aside from that, Ethan Hawke has a cameo role that draws similarities to Jack Sparrow’s free spirit and this leads to Rihanna who is really showing off as a performer more than she is an actress as she dazzles us with a beautiful on-stage transformational dance which is followed shortly after with an emotional scene that falls short from its intentions.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets does lack depth in its story. Perhaps the length of over two hours did more harm than good, as there was a certain level of suspense in the beginning however, the ending became increasingly predictable. What does make this flick worth your time is how Luc Besson brings this world to life in every single way. The City of a Thousand Planets is fascinating to discover at every corner and the effects are done incredibly well. While some may complain about the drawback of having too much CGI, this is a strength in creating this fictional fantasy world. The action and technology here makes those moments feel like we are immersed in great adventures as Valerian and Laureline go on their own mission. It almost feels like we are in a video game. The best example is when Valerian’s gun can shoot platforms as he vaults through a gap with all these fantastical creatures that are both beautiful and dangerous simultaneously.

Overall, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has its flaws. It is meant to be a popcorn flick that will dazzle its audience visually with its beautiful and mesmerizing world along with its action-packed sequences. There is no doubt that this one has decent cast that delivers even with a story that lacks depth however it is a fun and entertaining flick.

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Book Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files 02) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Let’s take a break from Fantasia Festival madness and get  a book review in! You may  not need it, but I absolutely do! 😉

Gemina is the sequel of Illuminae, the first book of The Illuminae Files (as you can see in the cover below). I read Illuminae earlier this year and totally loved it. If you want to know why, you can read all about it in my review HERE.

Gemina
(The Illuminae Files 02)
by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. – Goodreads

Gemina is an exhilarating ride. A fantastically amazing one. This author duo has truly created a writing style that works truly remarkably. Presenting the story through dossiers and recordings are amazing. In fact, I remembered talking at the end of the review of the first book.avoit how it was hard to make that one into a movie and I was honestly disappointed in that choice. On the contrary, Gemina is so descriptive making everything so vivid that while it will be hard to live up to the images of everyone, with the right director, this one could be a fun ride. It might be because it embraces Die Hard set in a dystopian future in space and adds in am an Alien theme with their creatures. The idea is that they can take the first book to have enough success to get this one made also. I’m a little more excited about the idea.

What works for both of these books is how they choose to lay it out. The different recordings and files give you juat enough to understand what is going on but also leaves gaps and blindspots as to what is going on behind the scene and that creates mystery. Continuing after the first book, this hops onto another space carrier and with new characters, however having still managing to comnect to the characters in the first book. That is important as it gives a continuity to the story. It makes the readers care about this world because the new pair of characters are every bit as intriguing to read as they come to life also, two very different people from the first but still with equally intriguing stories that make them survivors but also human. Hanna and Nik are two acquaintances wrapped up in a lot of stereotypes and prejudices towards each other and grow to see each other more.

Its amazing how the Illuminae Files series has embodied so much. Other than the characters, it definitely feels like there is a lot of unanswered questions. The virus in part one, the creatures in part two, the secret agenda from Beitech: the main question at the end is a lot of why’s. Hopefully we will get the answers soon to pull everything together in the third book.

Overall, I love Gemina. There’s so many great things about it that makes it incredible. Not quite as mindblowing as Illuminae however still very awesome.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 01) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Its been a long time since I’ve had a book review go up. I’m so sorry! I started about 3 books on my Kindle and just couldn’t get into it. It was time to admit that it is time to pick up one of my physical books and see if it will do better.

Illuminae has had a lot of buzz about its awesomeness. Being not so into Young Adult books and really not much of a sci-fi enthusiast, I still decided to give this a go because I just can’t miss out on what others call awesome and I needed a change in pace. I’ve read books like this before where its comprised of telling a story through reports and such. It is one of my favorite sorts of reading because it does feel really authentic most of the times. World War Z had a similar set-up and Carrie was definitely this type of story except a different genre. Anyways, just when you pick up the book, it looks so intriguing and fun!

Let’s check it out!

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 01)
by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again. – Goodreads

 WOW! I don’t go all googly eyes and crazy about books. Illuminae is definitely something. It is nice to feel the same passion and excitement as others. There is so much creativity in this one and the way it shows off the situation through hacked documents and camera footage and making it authentic and forbidden by striking out sentences and having spaces and having little images created through words and binary numbers is so smart and suitable for a story like this one. It takes us not only in the future of 2575 but a dystopia. We can believe in the Kady and Ezra who has broken up over something that seems so random now. Aren’t most teen break-ups like that? However, life does throw them lemons and that comes in the form of a war that they can’t control and are split up over the two ships that remain. There’s a lot of politics as the captains of the ships have to make difficult decisions. And we see these in memos.

Other than the creative elements of using different mediums to tell their story so we get a pretty good picture of what is going on, it is the progression and pacing of the events that make it so fun. Also, the fact that we are zeroed into various characters more and the story makes the feeling of well-rounded, its easy to forget that other things are happening and then when it does have a reveal, the moments tend to build up in several surprises and twists that truly make this one big. What starts off as a sci-fi, war and dystopian novels quickly turns around and becomes a futuristic “zombie-esque” movie. Somehow revealing that probably makes it worse because that was one of the bigger twists in Illuminae that I embraced and was shocked because I didn’t read any synopsis before jumping in.

In terms of characters, Kady and Ezra are an interesting pair of characters. There’s a clear connection between them and right away for two kids nearing adulthood (aka 18 years old), there is a striped away innocence that we can’t push away. Both of them have their secrets while Kady seems to have something more. As the readers, we get a third person view of reading these reports and we get a clear idea of where everyone stands and how they both feel and what they are going through. Aside from them, perhaps the other character is the all powerful AI called AIDAN who takes on a huge role as it takes control in this 2575 future of almost everything and humans are rendered almost dysfunctional and slow when they lose the power to use it. I won’t tell you why but it brings on a whole new meaning to technology and aritificial intelligence being a double-edged sword.

Illuminae is a book that you jump into to take an adventure. It almost feels like watching a movie and yet, I don’t want this to be adapted into a movie (although its already announced that it will be – of course). There’s something about reading these passages that work so much more than what a movie adaptation can do. The fact that its like we are watching this in third person recap from different footages gives such a nice imaginative journey. It does so much more to what we can see going on. There are twists that can only work because of the between the lines and hidden facts on paper along with the imagery. Illuminae is a must-read. It has been a long time I haven’t felt this excitement for a book before: a pageturner full of thrills and twists and some compelling characters, moral and ethical choices. It is so awesome!

Rambling about adaptations ahead… skip if you’d like

Before I go, I just need to ramble about movie adaptations because both my darling husband and fantastic co-host has heard about it. I’m all for adaptations, heck, I’m starting a freakin’ segment on it, right? However, there are exceptions to the equation. It is why I wish some people would realize why its okay to not adapt every book (or video game) that is popular. The whole execution can be the death of what was a great book: look at I Am Number Four. A great book series that just didn’t take off as a movie which is a shame because it can do so well in the right hands. Another example more along the lines of this one is World War Z which was a great movie but it wasn’t an adaptation or even an inspiration, it was a zombie movie that leeched off the idea of World War Z. The book wasn’t about that: it was about survival and the different citizens and their stories and escape. It wasn’t about almighty Brad Pitt solving the mystery of it all. I liked the movie but calling it an adaptation is just trying to sell it as something it isn’t. To be fair, Carrie did a fairly good job for something with similar structure. There are some great adaptations but with something that works so well, perhaps I’m just not creative enough to see how they can make Illuminae great and I think part of it is how much involvement the authors have in this matter to use their creativity to work it all out. I’m happy that the adaptation will probably get a bigger reach for Illuminae, however, I will try to tuck away the subjective views and wait for the first trailer to see how they approach it all.

Rambling done…

Have you read Illuminae? Are you planning to?

Fantasia Festival 2016: Rupture (World Premiere 2016)

Fantasia Festival is here! I know that I probably should be posting up reviews right away but I kind of want to take a new approach to give myself a few days to let the movie sink in a little and give it some thought. The first movie to kick off the festival for me is Rupture! What caught my eye for this one wasn’t even the plot but rather the director Steven Shainberg and lead actress Noomi Rapace. Not to mention it was hosted by the director Steven Shainberg and with the bonus of cinematographer Karim Hussain and one of the producers as well.

Rupture

Let’s check it out!

Rupture (2016)

Rupture

Director and co-writer: Steven Shainberg

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Peter Stormare, Kerry Bishe, Lesley Manville, Percy Hynes White, Michael Chiklis, Ari Millen

A single mom tries to break free from a mysterious organization that has abducted her.-IMDB

 Rupture is a strange film. It is exceptionally unique but so very bizarre. From the choice of color and tone for the cinematography to the characters and their development to the story itself, it highlights a very indie all genre movie. Rupture is a fantasy and sci-fi thriller with hints of horror splashed around but also manages to remember to give its audience moments to relax in its somewhat oddly fun moments even when the situation that our main character Renee is nothing but tense and mysterious. The best part is all the attention to detail it has put in. Everything in there has a reason to be there from the lighting to the colors to the characters and the slow reveal of what is this mysterious organization. It had effective unsettling scenes as well that gave it the emphasis of a horror even if this is very much more of a thriller.

Rupture

Noomi Rapace is the main actress here and we follow a lot of her character Renee around the story. We see her from the start as a single mom and one that is independent. She is brave and smart.  Her mind moves fast in solutions on how to escape. She does what she has to to survive. These are all her traits revealed to us. Who can be so calm in situations like this hers where she is abducted and sent far far away to a closed reinforced room with strange people that she has never met asking her questions on her fears and medical history. What do they want from her? That is the question that lingers in the air throughout most of the film. It is amazing how the imagery and set up of the entire movie has such a good pacing to make us remain interested. It takes the time to set up the atmosphere of dread as she tries to escape and Renee is the hero we cheer for, even if the little criticism is that when things went crazy or she was screaming, I had a hard time understanding her dialogue, but what is great is that most of the movie can be understood by observing the surroundings

Rupture

Noomi Rapace may be the character we cheer for and a fantastic character at that, especially getting a lot of support from the local audience because her character in Rupture is from Montreal. However, we cannot overlook the other characters, especially those in the mysterious organization. There is no need to say how great Peter Stormare is in the offsetting way but some of these other characters are also familiar faces who capture the awkward roles that they are required to deliver. Kerry Bishe was in Argo before this and while there hasn’t been much from her, she definitely carries a balance to the characters. Ari Millen also reaped a lot of reaction from the audience and has the most bizarre dialogue and that is probably because he is in Orphan Black (which I have not seen yet). Another familiar face was Lesley Manville which I couldn’t pinpoint but was in Maleficent as one of the fairies. During the Q&A session, they were asked about the casting and in the end, it was focused on whether an actor could portray the vibe they didn’t to sink into this hard to grasp character that was able to deliver the mystery cleverly. This group of characters were fantastic.

Rupture

Overall, Rupture is a clever thriller that keeps its audience wondering about what the big mystery is and waiting for the reveal. It is very detail-oriented and little subtleties will all make sense at the end. The characters are constructed really well and casted well to be able to deliver the role whether it was members of the mysterious organization with their awkward personalities to the main character Renee played by Noomi Rapace who delivered a captivating performance in a strong female role who never is the damsel in distress despite the situation she is thrown in. There is a lot to love about Rupture especially the care put into every little detail. I highly recommend it.

Netflix A-Z: Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Continuing on with our Netflix journey is a sudden change of heart, mostly because I’m having a feeling my original one would be all about the feels and well, I’m not down for that right now.  I just want to watch a fun movie and shut my brain off.  With that said, for those you who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of Sharknado.  You can read the review HERE! I watched that back in 2014 for the Halloween marathon, and I’ve been meaning to watch the second one since then and just never did. I think the key with sequels is the fear that the second won’t live up to the thrills of the first one, especially in the case of Asylum movies.  Still, it seemed like time to check it out!

Let’s go! 🙂

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Sharknado 2

Director: Anthony C. Ferrantes

Cast: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Courtney Baxter, Dante Palminteri, Judd Hirsch

When Fin & April are on their way to New York, a Category 7 Hurricane spawns Heavy rain, winds, storm surges, & deadly Sharknadoes. And it’s up to Fin & April to save the Big Apple from total devastation.-IMDB

 Back in the Sharknado-verse sure feels great! Sharknado 2 is not better than Sharknado, not by a long shot but the heart of what Sharknado is is no doubt will there. Its full of bad CGI, overacting, and plain suspension of belief crazy to the next level. But, Sharknado was exactly like that and its kind of Asylum’s staple.  This is the sort of movie you shut off your brain and logic, turn it on and just enjoy.  You will cringe and laugh at the movies and roll your eyes and say WTF, but that’s okay because the movie doesn’t take itself seriously so we don’t have to either.  The key is to be larger than life, amplifying the Sharknado into a bigger damage than before in a much bigger Sharknardo than the one in Los Angeles in the first film but now its in the busy New York. What’s great is that the main cast is back with Ian Ziering playing Fin and Tara Reid playing his wife, April.  They are famous for the Los Angeles incident, Fin can’t deal with the popularity, April writes a book about it and they are there to have a family meet up and mend some relationships, except, they get caught up in this EF5 Sharknado.  All this is amplified with what I think is even worse CGI than the first one and that’s when I wonder, how? I know they are out to make a guilty pleasure, so bad its good sort of film but you’d think that with the popularity that Sharknado pulled in, they’d have a little more to work with.  Maybe I’m wrong? I didn’t check the budget and I don’t plan to so let’s just leave it at that because I’m a fan of the first one so I can easily forgive it.

Sharknado 2

Talking badass, no one quite beats Ian Ziering’s Fin who just ups the level of crazy.   Its like the producers or screenwriters or director sat together at a table and was brainstorming what he could do to just blow this out of proportion.  I mean, how do you beat a man surviving being eaten by a shark in the first one.  If you didn’t see the first one, I’m sorry to have spoiled it for you but trust me, that doesn’t matter.  If you like this sort of movie, it makes no difference. Fin this time treats the sharks in a fearful but taunting death sort of way and kind of pulls up his courage and just does it. That’s what makes his personality so fun to watch.  He’s a chain-sawing toting, sword welding, shark hopping type of guy.  You know he’s going to survive this second Sharknado even before you finish and no matter what happens in the process.  Everyone around him, well, let’s not make any guarantees just yet.

Sharknado 2

I’m not a fan of Tara Reid.  I’m just not.  The last film, she redeemed herself a little in a matching way to the tone of Sharknado but this one, nope. Tara Reid kind of scared me.  Her acting was WAY over, like Sharknado is overacting but she was over over the top that it kind of made roll my eyes in the bad way and not laugh at the movie.  However, that scene up there as absurd as it is was the best part of her role.

I think in general, that’s the issue with Sharknado 2.  In the first one, I mention that all can be forgiven because its okay that everyone knows they are in a crisis and they need to do what they need to do.  Shift all the stupid issues aside and just take care of business but in this one, there are lot of talky moments in the most ridiculous times.  I like that Fin and his brother in law’s character rekindle their bromance and its fun to watch but when they try to work it out or April and Fin are talking it out, or Fin’s old flame played by Vivica A. Fox is reminiscing the past, its a little too much for the situation than I would have hoped. I know that Sharknado might want to give these characters a backstory but in no disrespect meant here and fully applauding them is that Sharknado isn’t about the story, its about having fun watching a bad movie with almost nothing that makes sense and just having a good time.

Sharknado 2

I couldn’t resist putting this scene in because in the most ridiculous ways, its hilarious to watch this absurdity go down. Yet, its a memorable movie moment.  There really isn’t much more to say about Sharknado so I’m just going to wrap it up.

Overall, Sharknado 2 doesn’t live up to the ultimate “so bad its good” vibe from the first one but for those who appreciate the brainless guilty pleasure movies, this is still a decent choice.  There are many absurd moments to laugh about.  There are lots of sharks to see flying above and twisting in a tornado or attacking and being attacked.  There’s Fin being his usual bad-ass self that I truly love.  Sure, there’s a bit more stupid relationship/family issues brought up and Tara Reid is not good but that doesn’t ruin what Sharknado 2 offers. Of course, Sharknado 2 isn’t for everyone. Its only reserved for those who can not take a movie seriously once in a while and give your brain a break.  I promise you, you won’t need it for this 95 mins.  Just have fun and laugh! That’s what its about! 🙂

Have you seen Sharknado 2? What do you think of it? Are you fan of the first Sharknado?

Hardcore Henry (2016)

Hardcore Henry snuck up on us quietly.  At least, it snuck up on me.  I didn’t hear much about it until I caught the trailer.  Let me tell you, that trailer was like Crank but you know, in a video game where you just take a seat, take a deep breath and survive. We have video games that are becoming more of a cinematic experience, so why not change the movie viewing experience into a video game experience especially when its in first person shooter.

Let’s check it out!

Hardcore Henry (2016)

hardcore henry

Director: Ilya Naishuller

Cast: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kovlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth

A first-person action film from the POV of Henry, who’s resurrected from death with no memory. He must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.-IMDB

I was excited for Hardcore Henry.  I mean, how can you not, if you remotely love adrenaline rush sort of games? The trailer was done perfectly to do a movie not taking it too seriously but in first person perspective and making it feel like we were in the action. Except, on the way to the movie, I started thinking of doubts and what could make Hardcore Henry not work. What if they took themselves too seriously? What if the story itself isn’t done well? You know, those questions.  But I had a feeling and I decided to push it away and try to stay positive.  After all, I wanted to enjoy this movie and that it was going to be a game-changer for the movie industry. My expectations weren’t set high mostly because I wasn’t sure what to expect except having fun.

Hardcore Henry

I want to say that I enjoyed Hardcore Henry.  I really do. Let me break down this movie for you.  The first 30 minutes was a new experience and fun to learn about what was going on, getting connected with the situation and the characters and learning what the situation was.  There was chase scenes and some tension and it was pretty good with a few laughs even.  Then the second portion came around and this was a lot of the same thing going on as they chase around from one location to the next in Russia and it just dragged on.  We saw some more of characters we saw from the first part, Jimmy (played by Sharlto Copley), the wife Estelle (Hayley Bennett) and the villain, Akan (Danila Kovlovsky).  In many ways, Hardcore Henry feels like Crank except its hard to care about the on screen character.  The story is really simple but its just set up in a weird way [maybe this part is spoiler so highlight to read it] where its like people who die aren’t really dead? Eventually Jimmy coming back in his various forms just got a little boring and felt like padding.  [end of spoilers].  And then the finale is where we get the adrenaline rush again and the story fights to be closed and this attempts to step it up a notch except even that isn’t enough to make up for the momentum its lost. Its fairly apparent where the story would go so even the ending didn’t quite have the impact it was looking for. 

hardcore henry

Rest assured though, Hardcore Henry does have its good features.  My favorite part of it was the music and the soundtrack.  I helps to pump up the action scenes and fill up the space with no dialogue because our character can’t talk. The best parts are mostly in the trailer music that they used.  Plus, Tim Roth makes an appearance and I just love the man a lot. Hardcore Henry has some nifty stunts and the action scenes are decent even if they were with a GoPro sort of device.

Hardcore Henry

Overall, Hardcore Henry was the first to put a novel idea into action except what started as a good concept falls apart in a overly simple storyline and lack of character that we could care about.  While there is some nice stunts and fantastic music, the thrill of the chase looses its momentum in the second act and never really picks up.  Hardcore Henry would probably be much better as a short film, expanding on what the trailer had or simply as a feature film with a much better script. First person shooter styles are still something that I’d look forward to seeing other filmmakers expand on in the future but Hardcore Henry will not be the one that prove that it works.

Have you seen Hardcore Henry? What did you think?

Netflix A-Z: In Your Eyes (2014)

Moving along with the Valentine’s movies! The next Netflix selection is going to be a little sci-fi romance called In Your Eyes.  Well, I guess the premise is sci-fi but its really a romance for a good part of it.  I find it funny that this coincided with the fact that I had rewatched Cloverfield for The Random Chat Show and it had the same actor playing the main guy.  I never see Michael Stahl-David in much and suddenly I watch two back to back movies with him in it.  In Your Eyes has been on my mind since it landed on Netflix.  It looks like a really fun story and with Joss Whedon as a writer, it shows great promise.  I lie though because I didn’t know that until the movie started playing and the credits were flashing around the screen (I think), then I started fearing about how things would turn out…

Let’s check it out! 🙂

In Your Eyes (2014)

in-your-eyes-poster

Director: Brin Hill
Writer: Joss Whedon
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Mark Feuerstein, David Gallagher, Jennifer Grey, Steve Howey, Nikki Reed, Reed Birney, Steve Harris

Two seemingly unconnected souls from different corners of the United States make a telepathic bond that allows them to see, hear and feel the other’s experiences, creating a bond that apparently can’t be broken.-IMDB

 In Your Eyes is a romance with notes of science fiction, mostly because its about a telepathic connection where the two can see and feel each other as well. I’m all for the premise.  It called for fun moments of just how having someone else in your head and not being able to remove that voice and how it becomes a crucial part in your life.  However, its not only about that.  Its about finding yourself when someone else can see and live the life that you are living and see it in a different light.  Its a clever story and one that I found builds on the connection really well especially since the two main characters acted out the scene by themselves.

in your eyes

I did some research on how they filmed it and it was the female lead, Rebecca (played by Zoe Kazan) that filmed her parts first and then the male lead Dylan (played by Michael David-Stahl) would do his part.  While they would be on set together, they were never on the scene together.  Its an interesting concept and seems like a truly challenging task. However, what more could you expect when the script is written by Joss Whedon, right? Originality is a strong suit in his work. The story is special and its one that usually we don’t quite ever think about (at least I haven’t). We’ve seen telepathy and romance and voices but combining the fact that there’s this mysterious phenomenon that two people never really know that they are connected since they were young (but we do) until later on in their life when they truly need each other.  They don’t only connect, they can see and feel everything around them.  That just takes it to another level and one that I love so much. While its about a connection being built between Rebecca and Dylan, there is an undeniable romance going on in the background but I thought the idea that they saw more out of each other was the key here and sending a message that others can see what our judgemental selves don’t usually see.

in your eyes

What makes it amazing in this one other than the story itself is the chemistry between Dylan and Rebecca.  Michael David-Stahl and Zoe Kazan are fantastic in their roles capturing the wounded selves they are and just what has lead them to where they are.  Finding each other kind of saves them because they bring a new hope even though its not right next to each other physically.  It feels like there’s a statement somewhere here about how knowing someone is there is much stronger than a person physically being there.  Knowing how this was filmed after watching it makes me feel that they both are excellent actors and deserve much more opportunities. On a side note, there’s a minor supporting roles with Nikki Reed and Jennifer Grey.  They had rather simple roles but helped move the story along a little also.

in your eyes

Overall, there isn’t much to say about In Your Eyes! It was a great premise and a beautiful storyline acted out with a fantastic chemistry between Michael David-Stahl and Zoe Kazan playing Dylan and Rebecca respectively.  Its not all about romance but more the connection of having someone with you and the message it sends is one that deserves some thought.  On top of that, there are a ton of great moments in this one and one that just blew my mind. From the contrast in their life and how they relate to each other, and even just watching how the world reacts to them in public when they are in their world looking like they are talking to thin air, it even shows how the outside opinion from people around is really influential but at times also very fun. This isn’t a conclusion anymore if I continue.  Point is, I love this movie. Its been a while that I’ve seen a modern day  romance that truly blew my mind and just made me fall in love with the characters. Its an amazing feeling! 🙂

Have you seen In Your Eyes? What did you think about it?

We have one more Netflix A-Z movie in this Valentine’s Marathon for letter J! Any guesses?