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Tag Archive: Michael Ironside


emily-blunt-edge-of-tomorrow

Review by C.J. Bunce

The challenge will fall to the coming years.  Watching and re-watching Edge of Tomorrow to count how many days take place in the movie.  How many days Tom Cruise’s character dies.  How many days Emily Blunt kills him, putting a new spin on the phrase “blunt force trauma”.  if you read movie ads or trailers none of these are a surprise.  Live.  Die.  Repeat.  No more apt tagline has ever been attached to a movie.

For decades soldiers could look to classic war movies for inspiration.  John Wayne performances, like his Sgt. Stryker from Sands of Iwo Jima or Gregory Peck’s General Savage come to mind.  Michael Ironside left an enduring mark with his Lt. Raszcak in Starship Troopers.  Now there’s a new movie to absorb some inspiration to take action, survive, and maybe even win in that next impossible battle beyond the next trench.

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL

Loosely based on the world created by 39-year-old Japanese author Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s war novel All You Need is Kill, which we gave rave reviews to earlier here at borg.com, Edge of Tomorrow is also completely different.  If you think you want to read the novel before the movie, hold off.  The first 30 minutes might leave you frustrated.  If you haven’t read the novel, Edge of Tomorrow stands by itself as a butt-kicking, take no prisoners, tale of a future in its last days before domination by an otherworldly threat.  That said, after the movie you’ll be in for an even better ride with the book.

The action and war sequences will have you comparing it to Aliens and Predator.  The otherworldly threat is of the Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers variety.  The story’s hook will have you thinking of the best video game you ever played.  Sakurazaka’s well-developed world, steeped in good science fiction tradition, is key to making this otherwise improbable story play out in an engaging way that will have you quickly jumping in for the ride.  The hook is the Groundhog Day reset of each day, and that part is a good part of the fun, but you’ll find a lot more with these characters and their persistence.

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Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

One thing every woman knows, from childhood, is not to watch movies about serial killers when you are home alone.  It’s as basic as “don’t talk to strangers” and “don’t wear socks with sandals,” but it’s hard to manage when October wanes, spookiness abounds, your husband has gone to visit his parents for the weekend… and Lifetime airs Alphabet Killer, which the DVR cable guide announces stars Eliza Dushku, Carey Elwes, Timothy Hutton, and Michael Ironside.  Had I read in advance of this film’s dismal box office showing and even worse reviews, I might have passed it over for Haunted Hotels or a Psych rerun, but I was nevertheless drawn in by that intriguing combination of genre favorites.

Although critics and viewers panned the film on its tiny (No, really–all of two theaters, according to Wikipedia) theatrical release in 2008, it’s actually entirely watchable, if you come at it as if it’s a made-for-TV movie (which is what I thought. Eventually the bleeped-out curse words gave it away, but by then I was committed).  The story is more or less loosely based on a true crime from 1970s Rochester, NY, when three young girls with “double initial” names (i.e. Melissa Maestro, a character in the film) were murdered, their bodies dumped in local towns also starting with the same letter.  I say “more or less,” because the details of the crimes are very similar to the real case, but the story is set in the present day, and all of the characters and circumstances of the plot are entirely invented.

The film follows unstable homicide detective Megan Price (Dushku) as she works the case, all the while losing her grip on reality, due to adult-onset schizophrenia.  Elwes plays her superior officer and fiance, in a casting move that really ought to be creepy (especially in a movie about a pedophile), and yet somehow works.  We don’t mind Elwes and Dushku together, thanks to Dushku playing a bona fide adult with no trace of the teenaged characters that made her famous.  Hutton appears in a nice role as the head of Price’s mental health support group, and the only character who seems to consistently believe in her.  Ironside’s role is small, as the stock, uncooperative small-town sheriff, but he’s always fun to watch.  Overall, the film (at least the edited-for-TV version) shies away from gore and horror, instead relying on psychological suspense and an incredibly moody setting.  While the identity of the killer is somewhat predictable, in the tradition of films like Clint Eastwood’s Bloodwork, it still plays out well, treading the tricky path between Price’s efforts to solve the mystery, and her efforts to hold onto her sanity.

If the film succeeds, which I think it does, it’s mostly because of the cast.  I wouldn’t seek out the film, necessarily, but if you have a gap to fill in your Carey Elwes marathon, it’s worth a view.  Luckily Netflix has Alphabet Killer available as streaming video, should you find yourself alone on a late October evening with nothing spooky to watch.