Day 152 & Day 153 – Whiplash & Upgrade

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Movie Title: Whiplash

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 47 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Whiplash stars Miles Teller as obsessive compulsive drummer Andrew Neimann alongside J.K. Simmons as music professor Fletcher. Andrew attends the country’s foremost music academy with the goal of becoming one of the all-time greatest musicians. He quickly becomes focused only on becoming a successful drummer at the expense of the rest of his life. He breaks up with a nice girl that he was seeing. He stops seeing his father. He becomes withdrawn from everything except drumming at the expense of his physical and mental health.

Fletcher drives him to that point. He is manic and unorthodox. He drives people in his band to tears and torments them for the most minor mistakes. He is abusive and dictatorial, regularly making unreasonable demands. He dresses down people for everything. All of it is considerably funny as an audience member, but not as something you would wish to be involved in.

The two eventually clash and the result shifts both of their lives. The plot is fantastic and funny. It has many moments you don’t see coming and it is never boring which is always a big concern with a character driven drama. The music is great and ultimately so is the message.

Verdict:

It is a great movie with great music that will stand the test of time. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Upgrade (2018)

 

Movie Title: Upgrade

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Showcase Cinemas – Seekonk, MA

Review:

Leigh Whannell watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and wondered what would happen if Hal was in your head. The result is Upgrade, a fanciful projection of the future with a message.

Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) is an auto mechanic in the age of automated transportation. He rebuilds antique cars and sells them to the mega rich. After taking his wife to deliver a classic car to his biggest customer their automated car is hijacked. His wife is killed and he is paralyzed from the neck down. After attempting suicide, he receives a visit from his best customer. He has been working on something called STEM which will enable Trace to walk.

Trace is over the moon at first, but soon discovers that STEM (Simon Maiden) has a mind of its own. STEM starts off by helping Trace follow up clues to his wife’s murderers obtained through computer analysis of surveillance videos. The relationship becomes extremely intertwined and that connection between master and machine becomes the focal point of the story alongside Trace’s detective work.

The acting in the movie is nothing to write home about, though Logan Marshall-Green is good in the lead. The other characters are forgettable. There is plenty of humor sprinkled throughout the movie. This helps soften the blow of the bleak future painted in the movie. It builds to a satisfying conclusion with plenty of twists and turns though the end result may seem a tad bit predictable.

Verdict:

It is a fun movie with a cautionary tale about technology that is always prescient. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Titanic (1997)

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