Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Better Life

We get to follow the story of an undocumented LA gardener. He has a teenage son who is navigating all the social pressures of high school and he has an opportunity to go into business for himself instead of working for someone. This is a good father-son relationship film, where the son is seemingly ambivalent  but clearly respects the father. Hard luck puts them together, each respecting the other a bit more. This is not a happy tale, but lets us in on the subtleties of how difficult life can be living under the radar in this country.
4 stars (out of 5)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I love a good time travel movie. And based on seeing the preview, this one intrigued me. "Time travel hasn't been invented yet. But it will be in the future". Of course, the criminal underworld is able to take advantage of this technology and we get a storyline. The future criminals send people back in time when they want to get rid of them. In the past, they are killed and there are no bodies to take care of or mess to clean up. But what happens when the guy sent back for you to kill is the older version of yourself. Meet the dilema faced by our protagonist Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Bruce Willis. We get a pretty good look at how the inevitable time contradictions play out. Although I am never really sure how the people in the past get the message about when a target is going to show up, since you can't just put an ad in the newspaper for some future person to read like you do when you go forward in time. In the end we get a nice (in my mind) recognition of the cyclical nature of violence and a non-hollywood solution. Very entertaining with a decent attempt at exploring the depth of how difficult culture change really is.
4 stars (out of 5)