They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

15% to 100%

Tuesday was apparently the hottest day of the summer in West Michigan, peaking at 92°F in Holland. Cooler later in the week. Then back up to 80-82°F and humid for the weekend.

Gas was running up to $3.56.9 midweek, but I saw $3.36.9/gal north of Holland and it was $3.45.9/gal in Allendale.

We thought of maybe going to Woodland to see the doc on Roger Ebert. But we haven't been to the Holland 7 -- our favorite -- in a while. So we were off to see a highly anticipated SF action flick.

Lucy [R]
Holland 7 Theatre 2, 2:30pm, 2×$6.50

Scarlett Johansson is amazing. She played a voice in Her and now in Lucy, she plays a cold stare. There are some comparisons with The Matrix -- what Neo can do in the Matrix, Lucy can do in the real world. We often joke about Keanu Reeves ability to act the gamut of emotions from A to B -- and we LIKE Keanu. But Scarlett can transmit so much in just a tiny twitch in her eye, that you can't take your eyes off her. Especially the eyes.

So how did we get here? A drug that unlocks all the capability of the human mind -- and all the other cells. The trailer made it look like Lucy was a science project gone awry from Morgan Freeman. Instead, it is all that much darker. Lucy is forced to be a drug mule for vicious Taipei drug lords. Their viciousness is their undoing -- and our gain.

Ordinary Lucy is terrified by her situation and rightly so. The movie is rated R, which I assume is for the old ultraviolence. Or maybe it's for a discussion of science, evolution, or having a kickass heroine... naw, it's R for violence.

Timing is big in this movie. Lucy has perfect timing, cutting it rather close as she peaks at 100%. And we know, because there are title slides announcing the mental power levels. But don't take the sciency part of the movie too seriously, as it's fun not accurate. Still, I adore listening to Morgan Freeman -- and his opening lecture, peppered with a multimedia presentation of examples from Nature, sets up the plot. Alas, it was hard to watch hippos mating without thinking of Colin Mockery last night on Whose Line Is It Anyway and a green screen insert gag of wildly mating animals.

Ultimately we root for Lucy. Even in the second original Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, we learn that amping up the human brain always results in megalomania. But Lucy doesn't go there.

She's also so goal oriented, that either it doesn't occur to her to simplify some of the later situations or else she's concentrating on her task and doesn't want to divert scarce resources. As a result we get a series of increasingly wild chases and events.

Interestingly, it looks to me that Lucy, which features such a strong female protagonist, fails the Bechdel Test. There are few women other than Scarlett to even have any kind of conversation between women.

This is a very stylish film with strong locations. Several times there are obvious ways to go or set piece visual to show -- and they don't go there. But even if the pseudoscience galls or the bad guys' violence seems too cartoonish, you'll still want to watch Scarlett Johansson. You'll be impressed.

Highly Recommended

TRAILERS: The First Look video pregame show let us look at Denzel Washington in the update film version of The Equalizer for October. Looks terrific. We've seen Expendables 3 and Kingsmen: The Secret Service, both of which have killer casts. And for Valentine's Day 2015, we get the schmaltzy gooey romance, 50 Shades of Grey. Not.

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