Holding on for Dear Life


What to Watch in the Theater:
The First Purge (R) is in theaters now. This prequel shows that the original purge was a psychological experiment backed by political motivations. Set in Staten Island, the isolated event gave residents a chance to earn money for their participation. Given the socio-economic status of the area, there are clear race lines drawn here. When ordinary people don’t seem as into the violence as hoped, there’s suddenly an influx of hate groups to take up weapons and push the purge forward. As in the other Purge movies, we get to follow a small group of people who are determined to make it out alive. Violent, of course, but also an interesting backstory to the franchise.
Our rating: 4 out of 5


Skyscraper (PG13) opens today. This action film bears some similarities to both Die Hard and San Andreas. Dwayne Johnson’s Will Sawyer performs many amazing feats of strength and endurance, while defying the laws of physics at every turn, in an attempt to rescue his family from the world’s tallest building – which happens to be controlled by terrorists and and on fire! The suspension of disbelief helps, but you too will find yourself rooting for Will and applauding his preposterous stunts. Typecasting? Absolutely. And we’re buying every bit of it.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
I Can Only Imagine (PG) is on DVD. This Christian film, based on a true story, gives the inspiration behind MercyMe’s hit of the same name. It’s pretty well-acted, with Dennis Quaid a believable sourpuss as an abusive dad, and an impressive turn for Broadway’s Michael Finley as the lead, in his first Hollywood role. Of course there’s a message here, but it’s not heavy-handed. Not bad for a faith-based biopic.
Our rating: 3.83 out of 5

Terminal (NR) is on DVD. Margot Robbie is so good at playing crazy characters! This film skipped the box office in the US, which is a shame. It’s got some beautiful design, with a striking setting that’s simultaneously drab and stylish, and a complicated plot full of murder and revenge. It’s a deliciously complicated tale that also includes Simon Pegg, and the first cinematic appearance of Mike Myers in several years. There are lots of twists and turns to wrap your head around, but it’s a fun enigma to unravel, if you like movies that are a bit strange.
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

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