REVIEW: JUMPER

CAST

Hayden Christensen (Star Wars)
Rachel Bilson (Chuck)
Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers Assemble)
Max Thieriot (Bates Motel)
AnnaSophia Robb (The Reaping)
Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four)
Diane Lane (Man of Steel)
Teddy Dunn (Veronica Mars)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Afterlife
Jesse James (The Butterfly Effect)

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, 15-year-old David Rice (Max Thieriot) gives his crush, Millie Harris (AnnaSophia Robb), a snow globe. A bully, Mark Kobold (Jesse James), throws it onto a frozen river. While trying to retrieve it, David falls through the ice and is pulled away by the current. He suddenly finds himself in the local library and discovers his ability to “jump” from one place to another. Amazed with his new ability, he leaves his abusive father (Michael Rooker) and runs away from home.

Eight years later, an adult David (Hayden Christensen) lives lavishly on stolen money. One day, he is ambushed in his home by Roland Cox (Samuel L. Jackson), a member of the Paladins, a group of religious extremists who have been tracking down and killing “Jumpers”. Their reasoning is that Jumpers’ alleged omnipresence is considered blasphemous. Roland tries to capture David with electric cables designed to nullify his ability, but David escapes. He returns to Ann Arbor, seeking his old crush Millie (Rachel Bilson). When Mark (Teddy Dunn) attacks him, David teleports him into a bank vault and leaves him there. David then returns to Millie and invites her on a trip to Rome. Roland later discovers Mark in police custody and learns David’s identity.In Rome, David and Millie grow closer, though he keeps his ability a secret. They visit the Colosseum, where David meets Griffin (Jamie Bell), another Jumper. A group of Paladins appear, and Griffin casually kills them, then jumps away. David tries to leave with Millie, but he’s detained by Italian police and questioned about the deaths. David’s mother, Mary (Diane Lane), who had left him when he was five, appears and helps him escape. She urges him to leave Rome with Millie, to protect her. Millie, upset and afraid when David tries to skirt around the issue, demands to know the truth. David declines and puts her on a plane home.David runs into Griffin again, and follows him to his hideout in a cave. Griffin reveals that he has been trailing and killing Paladins for years and plans to kill Roland to avenge his parents. David sees Mary’s photo on the wall and realizes she is also a Paladin. Griffin tells David that the Paladins will target his loved ones to draw him out. David teleports home and finds his father lying bleeding. He gets his father to a hospital and returns to Griffin to ask for help. Realizing Roland is personally hunting David, Griffin agrees.

They go to pick Millie up at the airport, but she is no longer there. Griffin returns to his hideout to get weapons. David breaks into Millie’s apartment, angering her. Seeing Roland arriving, David decides to reveal the truth to her. He teleports her to Griffin’s hideout. Using a machine that keeps David’s “jump scar” open, the Paladins, including Roland, invade the hideout. David and Griffin subdue most of them. Roland is chased back through the jump scar, but he manages to snatch Millie with him. He sets up a trap in Millie’s apartment, expecting David to come back for her.

Obsessed with killing Roland, Griffin plans to bomb the apartment; but David objects, wanting to save Millie. They fight and David traps Griffin with power lines in Chechnya. Ignoring Griffin’s warning, David jumps to Millie’s apartment and is quickly trapped by Roland’s cables. The cables “link” him to the apartment, making him unable to jump away alone. Mustering his strength, David teleports the apartment and everyone inside to a river. Once free of the cables, David teleports Millie to safety and dumps Roland in a cave in the Grand Canyon. He leaves Roland there, explaining that not all Jumpers are a threat to be destroyed.David visits his mother and discovers his half-sister, Sophie (Kristen Stewart). Mary tells David that when he was five, he made his jump. She is a Paladin and had to either kill David or leave. After leaving her house, David meets with Millie outside, and they jump to an unknown location.

I saw this film last night, and i must say i was pleasantly surprised, it’s a decent popcorn type movie where you don’t have to think too much.

REVIEW: ADVENTURELAND

 

CAST

Jesse Eisneberg (Batman V Superman)
Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Kristen Wiig (Zoolander 2)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Margarita Levieva (Spread)

 

It would have been easy to typecast Greg Mottola post-Superbad as a director of teen sex comedies, and based on the trailers, you’d be forgiven to jumping to that conclusion regarding his new film, Adventureland. Sure, the kids are in their early 20s this time around, but even in the first twenty minutes or so, Adventureland looks like Michael Cera’s Superbad character has just grown up a little, graduated with a bachelor’s degree, but still hasn’t managed to go all the way with a girl. And it’s not like it would have been a bad thing had that been the case, because I love Superbad, but the surprise of Adventureland is how much more adventure it has in mind.
Adventureland is actually a semi-autobiographical film, written by Mottola about his own gig at a rundown amusement park in the summer of 1987. The director’s stand-in, what could have been the Michael Cera role, is taken over by Jesse Eisenberg from The Squid and the Whale–and right there, the Superbad comparisons dissolve. James is not Evan four years later, he’s an older Walt Berkman exiled to the suburbs. It’s like Noah Baumbach lost his summer internship and has to crash on Judd Apatow’s couch to get back on track.James is all set to spend his post-undergrad/pre-graduate student summer lollygagging around Europe when the effects of Reaganomics hit too close to home. His father (an appropriately shattered Jack Gilpin) has been demoted and now James is going to have to figure out how to pay to live in New York and attend Columbia on his own. Having had no prior job experience and carrying a B.A. in comparative literature, the wannabe journalist ends up stuck working the scam games at the local amusement park, Adventureland. There, the sheltered boy meets the legion of disaffected like himself who also have nowhere else to go. Sure, amongst their ranks are the perpetual losers, like James’ childhood nemesis Frigo (Matt Bush), but there is also Joel (Martin Starr), the pipe-smoking Russian-lit enthusiast, and the intense, rebellious Emily (Kristen Stewart). A cut above in rank is the too-cool rockstar, Connell (Ryan Reynolds), biding his time as Adventureland’s maintenance man until he can move his musical career to Los Angeles. And, of course, there are the bosses, the slightly creepy and oddly square Bobby and Paulette (two of SNL’s best cast members, Bill Hader and the adorable Kristen Wiig). They aren’t really parental figures, more like that tragically uncool aunt and uncle who always want to be involved in your business.It is among these people that James will get his first taste of the real world. A devotee of Dickens’ travelogues because the writer visited prisons and insane asylums, the pretentious college boy is going to realize that life is one big prison and insane asylum itself–but only if you let it be. A romance with Emily has unforeseen complications, since Connell is cheating on his wife with the youngster, but so too does James find distraction in the theme park’s resident hottie, Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva). The summer world of Adventureland is like one giant pause, a period of figuring things out, of realizing that most parents don’t have a clue (actually, James’ college pal tells him that in the second scene) and it’s not because they are parents, but because no one has a clue. Least of all James.  MV5BMjIxNTE3OTQzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTU3MjU0Mg@@._V1_Most filmmakers tend to treat the 1980s as an alien world built out of kitsch and spandex, but Greg Mottola thankfully keeps that almost entirely at bay. Maybe it speaks to the reality of what he really went through, maybe it’s a reluctance to fall back on faux nostalgia, but outside of a running gag about Falco and one appearance by Ronald Reagan on a television set, there aren’t a lot of signals that this is even a period piece. Loser twentysomethings, just like loser teens, are timeless. Honestly, I was in high school in 1987, and I used to hang out with a lot of these kids.
What adds a whole new twist to Adventureland is that the smarty-pants stuff is put right up against more lowbrow funny business so they can duke it out like some kind of West Side Story for comedy styles. So, a Brian Eno reference is immediately followed by a guy peeing on a window. Vomit, nut punches, and disco dancing can actually be complementary to ivy league wordplay and nebbishy navel gazing. Hell, there is even room for a Foreigner cover band! It’s a fabulous balance–chuckle at the dry humor of Jesse Eisenberg saying things no one else understands, guffaw at Bill Hader losing his temper and going ballistic. Adventureland may not be the gutbuster some of other films were, it’s got way more of the human element. That’s because growing up and growing in love is the greatest adventure of all.