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Payne’s Picks July 2018

By Sarah Payne

Movies Releases

Mission: Impossible – Fallout – July 27th

Say what you want about Tom Cruise as a person (and there’s a lot that’s been said), but one thing is difficult to deny; he makes really fun, entertaining movies. There’s hardly a night when one of his movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Oblivion, or A Few Good Men isn’t playing on TV. And it’s impressive that as he’s aged, the quality of his work has remained constant (maybe with the exception of last year’s The Mummy, but I’ll give him a pass on that one). Tom Cruise also performs his own stunts. And in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, to be released later this month, he has really upped the ante. A new featurette for the film claims he is the first actor to ever do a HALO (high altitude low open) jump on camera. The painstaking work it took to get the shot of Tom falling 200 miles per hour out of a plane traveling 165 miles per hour is remarkable. They developed a special helmet that served as a prop and lifesaving devise and built one of the world’s largest wind tunnels to practice. In the end, it took more than 100 jumps to get the shot, which could only be taken once a day for exactly three minutes. You have to give the man credit for his discipline and attention to detail, all for us viewers.

TV Show Review

13 Reasons Why – Season 2

When it was first released in 2017, I didn’t pay much attention to 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix show about a girl who commits suicide. But when I was on maternity leave last winter, I binge watched the first season. I was hooked because I had plenty of time on my hands, but I always felt uneasy about the subject matter. Even when I finished the series, I felt somewhat depressed. Season two was released last month and I struggled to get through all the episodes. Thankfully, I read about the most controversial scene in the season finale so I could fast forward through it. I’m shocked that Netflix is renewing the show for a third season, especially given recent news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s deaths and new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show the rate of suicide has jumped 28 percent from 1999 to 2016. How can Netflix feel good about the content its delivering, when we are facing a serious public health crisis of suicide? With more companies making social responsibility a part of their business practices, I think Netflix’s commitment to the series shows just how tone deaf the company is in today’s climate.

Movie Reviews

Upgrade

Every once in a while I manage to see a movie in theaters that I know absolutely nothing about. I never saw a trailer for Upgrade and I’m not familiar with any of the actors, but what a treat this film is! It’s like a 2018 take on Terminator, crossed with the movie Her, and it seriously makes you question our collective dependency on technology. It imagines how the line between man and machine will blur in the future and even some of the very real risks posed by emerging technology, like self-driving cars. Upgrade stars Logan Marshall-Green, who only has a few films under his belt (Prometheus, Spider-Man: Homecoming), but I suspect this film is going to supercharge his career. So if you like sci-fi thrillers, I highly recommend you see this one!

Hereditary

This is one of the scariest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, I was that girl who yelled in the theater – more than once. Hereditary stars Toni Collette, no stranger to scary (remember her as the mother in Sixth Sense?), who is mourning the loss of her mother in the opening of the film. We quickly learn, however, that something is not quite right in the house where she lives with her husband and teenage daughter and son. It’s difficult to write about Hereditary without giving anything away, but I will say there is a fair amount of supernatural in the film, which requires some suspension of disbelief on the viewer’s side. It will make you think, and you’ll probably have to see it twice to connect all the Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. Because the themes are so disturbing, I’m not sure I’d want to go through the ordeal of seeing it again!