Edge of Tomorrow, Obvious Child and The Fault in Our Stars are new in theaters. But which is worth your $11.50? Check out our Cineast movie previews before heading to the theater.
Edge of Tomorrow
How many times will the basic outline of the film Groundhog Day get recycled? Granted, it’s a brilliant conceit: someone has to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. The fantasy of this ultimate do-over has universal appeal: who wouldn’t want a chance to undo something that went terribly wrong, or to know what’s going to happen and be able to do the right thing at all times. That Groundhog Day idea returned in the thriller Source Code, in which Jake Gyllenhaal played a dead man who keeps getting sent back to relive the same terrorist bombing until he finally is able to prevent it from happening—and then he somehow gets his life back, which goes unexplained. Now, in Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise plays Lt. Col. Bill Cage and Emily Blunt plays Rita Vrataski, two human soldiers in a seemingly hopeless battle against the invincible Mimics, an alien army. Killed, they somehow wind up in a time loop, reliving the same battle over and over again until they figure out how to overcome the enemy. Of course, this also parallels the way video games are played, and so Edge of Tomorrow might also represent the further incursion of gaming culture into films.
Taking its title from an enigmatic Paul Simon song, but making it more, well, obvious, Obvious Child is an indie-flavored romantic comedy about a stand-up comic named Donna Stern, played by Jenny Slate. Donna gets dumped and gets knocked up, all in time for Valentine’s Day, which leads to an obvious crisis for this bohemian in her mid-thirties. Her first instinct is to end the pregnancy, but her conscience demands that she alert the father. The father turns out to be a big-time Christian (although one who appears to engage in casual sex), which obviously complicates Donna’s plan. We’ve been here before—Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up comes to mind, as does Juno—but Obvious Child is a purposeful attempt to alter the usual expectations audiences bring to this storyline. Is continuing the pregnancy the only way to get a happy ending?
The Fault in Our Stars
Can you say “tearjerker?” The Fault In Our Stars tells the story of Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort), two teenagers who meet and fall in love in a cancer support group. What could be more tragic than young, beautiful love that’s doomed? Clearly intended for those who need a good cry now and then, The Fault in Our Stars is the latest installment in the “bad diseases make good people” series.