Benjamin Cleary’s thoughtful movie is set in a near future that feels within reach: people travel in tight trains and in self-driving electric cars; they have cameras in their contact lenses. And while it isn’t widespread (yet), human cloning has become a reality. With a terminal illness, Cameron (Mahershala Ali, who carries the film effortlessly) decides to secretly replace himself with a duplicate so as to spare his wife (Naomie Harris) and their young son the grief of his death. Cameron flees to a remote facility run by Dr. Scott (Glenn Close), where his consciousness is uploaded to a “molecularly regenerated” copy of his body. But then Cameron finds it hard to let go: Cameron 2 is himself – only a small mole distinguishes them – and yet he isn’t, evoking complex feelings of fear, jealousy and defensiveness. One of the few people who understands the predicament is Kate (Awkwafina), a dying woman who spends her last days on Dr. Scott after being replaced in the outside world by a clone. Bathed in the cold palette and cool details (these characters listen to music on vinyl, of course) that are de rigueur for this kind of arty sci-fi, “Swan Song” gets a little mopey, but it’s also insightful about the hard-to-make big decisions. to take. And it represents a situation that may not be that far off.
Roland Emmerich’s latest iteration — a pleasure so guilty it deserves a life sentence — is the opposite of “Swan Song,” but the films share a major plot element that would be cruel to spoil. The bombastic disaster author of “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012” stays true to himself with a story in which the spinning moon is breaking out of orbit large scale destruction on earth† A former astronaut (Patrick Wilson), a NASA mucky-muck (Halle Berry), and a “fringe astronomer” (John Bradley, Samwell Tarly in “Game of Thrones”) team up to find out what’s going on and prevent the destruction of our planet. Of course, Emmerich also makes room for a frayed father-son relationship that is in dire need of repair. The movie really takes off when it recycles well-known conspiracy theories to amusing effect — it turns out the moon isn’t made of cheese after all. Emmerich builds it up to a finale that is nutty even by its own standards. The madness (pun intended) is epic and the best possible response is to embrace it.
Despite the name, the second entry in this month’s double-headed moon takes place on Mars, or usually on the way there. An polarizing rom-com with a YA slant, the film pairs the barista Walt (Cole Sprousefrom “Riverdale”) and high-achieving student Sophie (Lana Condor, from the “To All the Boys” franchise) on a journey to the red planet, where they plan to meet their respective loved ones. The two leads have a comfortable chemistry, especially once you get used to Sprouse’s gravity-defying hair. the moral of “Moonshot,” set in 2049 is that going to Mars won’t fix what ails you, which is a good lesson for young people in love and billionaires. Christopher Winterbauer’s film does indeed have some pointy zingers beneath its fuzzy exterior – Zach Braff is perfectly cast as a manipulative Elon Musk-esque tycoon who prefers slogans like “Together we can build a better world…on another world.” .”
“Attack on Titan” is one of the most critically successful anime franchises of the past decade, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for when one of the lead directors, Tetsuro Araki, steps into a different project — and a different atmosphere. While gigantic, violent creatures hunt humans in the dark “Titan”, Araki .’s new feature “bubble” takes a softer stance. In it, Tokyo has flooded, forcing the remaining residents to compete in parkour teams around the half-submerged city (the setting evokes a friendlier version of JG Ballard’s “The Drowned World” or Kim Stanley Robinson’s “New York 2140”). The plot coalesces around the battle champ Hibiki and the mysterious Uta, who draws him in with her song. Their relationship mirrors that in Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid” with a touch of “The Odyssey,” which admittedly aren’t the most feminist of stories. But the film, despite some haphazard moments, creates a fascinating world, and Araki is a great director of video game-esque action scenes – it’s easy to go with the flow.
Last month Amy Seimetz left the HBO series “The Idol”, starring the Weeknd and which she directed. There was the usual arguing about creative differences and the like, and one has to wonder if those in power had paid enough attention to the actress-director disturbingly strange movie from 2020 before hiring her – they may have been a little better prepared for her style. “She Dies Tomorrow” uses disruptive narrative methods to tell a story of fractured inner landscapes, starting with that of Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), who is suddenly struck by the knowledge that she will perish the next day. As if this wasn’t bad enough, people around her are beginning to think the same fate awaits them. “I feel like you’ve put this idea of dying in my head,” Amy’s friend Jane (Jane Adams) tells her. It’s hard to say whether we’re talking about social contagion, a startling case of ransom influence, or a powerful apocalyptic hunch. This is the kind of movie that would rather get under your skin than explain, and it begs to be accepted on its own broken terms.