Benjamin Cleary’s thoughtful film takes place in a near future that feels within sight: People travel on sleek trains and in driverless electric cars; they’ve cameras of their contact lenses. And while not widespread (yet), human cloning has grow to be a reality. Because he has a terminal illness, Cameron (Mahershala Ali, effortlessly carrying the movie) decides to secretly replace himself with a reproduction in order that his wife (Naomie Harris) and their young son might be spared the grief of his death. Cameron elopes to a secluded facility run by Dr. Scott (Glenn Close), where his consciousness is uploaded right into a “molecularly regenerated” copy of his body. But then Cameron finds it hard to let go: Cameron 2 is himself — just one small mole differentiates them — and yet he isn’t, scary complex feelings of fear, jealousy and defensiveness. Considered one of the few individuals who understands the predicament is Kate (Awkwafina), a dying woman spending her last days at Dr. Scott’s compound after having been replaced in the skin world by a clone. Bathed within the cold palette and funky details (these characters take heed to music on vinyl, in fact) which are de rigueur for this kind of arty sci-fi, “Swan Song” does get a little bit mopey, but it is usually insightful concerning the difficulty of constructing huge decisions. And it posits a situation that will not be all that far-off.
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Roland Emmerich’s latest — a pleasure so guilty that it deserves a life sentence — is the polar opposite of “Swan Song,” however the movies share an enormous plot element that it will be cruel to spoil. The bombastic disaster auteur of “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012” stays true to himself with a story through which the moon spinning out of its orbit wreaks large-scale destruction on Earth. A former astronaut (Patrick Wilson), a NASA mucky-muck (Halle Berry) and a “fringe astronomer” (John Bradley, Samwell Tarly on “Game of Thrones”) team up to seek out out what’s happening and forestall our planet’s annihilation. Naturally Emmerich also makes room for a frayed father-son relationship in urgent need of mending. The movie really takes off when it recycles familiar crackpot conspiracy theories to amusing effect — because it seems, the moon isn’t fabricated from cheese in spite of everything. Emmerich builds it to a finale that’s nutty even by his own standards. The lunacy (pun intended) is epic, and one of the best possible response is to embrace it.
Despite its name, the second entry on this month’s moon doubleheader actually takes place on Mars, or mostly en path to it. An opposites-attract rom-com with a Y.A. bent, the movie pairs the barista Walt (Cole Sprouse, from “Riverdale”) and the high-achieving student Sophie (Lana Condor, from the “To All of the Boys” franchise) on a visit to the red planet, where they’re planning to satisfy up with their respective family members. The 2 leads have a cushty chemistry, especially when you get used to Sprouse’s gravity-defying hair. The moral of “Moonshot,” which is ready in 2049, is that going to Mars isn’t going to repair what ails you, which is a superb lesson for young folks in love in addition to billionaires. Indeed, Christopher Winterbauer’s film has some pointed zingers under its fluffy exterior — Zach Braff is perfectly forged as a manipulative Elon Musk-like magnate who favors such slogans as “Together we will construct a greater world … on a special world.”
“Attack on Titan” is amongst probably the most critically successful anime franchises of the past decade, so it’s price being attentive when one among its lead directors, Tetsuro Araki, steps into one other project — and one other vibe. Whereas gigantic, violent creatures hunt humans in the dead of night “Titan,” Araki’s recent feature “Bubble” takes a rather more gentle view. In it, Tokyo has flooded, leading the remaining inhabitants to compete against one another in parkour teams across the half-submerged city (the setting evokes a friendlier version of J.G. Ballard’s “The Drowned World” or Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Latest York 2140”). The plot coalesces across the “battlekour” champ Hibiki and the mysterious Uta, who draws him along with her song. Their relationship echoes the one in Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid” with touches of “The Odyssey,” which, admittedly, should not probably the most feminist stories. However the film, despite some haphazard moments, creates an enchanting world, and Araki is a terrific director of video game-like motion scenes — it’s easy to float.
Last month Amy Seimetz exited the HBO series “The Idol,” starring the Weeknd and which she was directing. There was the standard brouhaha about creative differences and such, and you may have to wonder if the powers-that-be had paid close enough attention to the actress-director’s disquietingly odd film from 2020 before hiring her — they might need been a little bit higher prepared for her style. “She Dies Tomorrow” uses disruptive narrative methods to inform a story of fractured inner landscapes, starting with the one among Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), who’s suddenly struck by the knowledge that she’s going to perish the subsequent day. As if this weren’t bad enough, people round her start pondering the identical fate awaits them. “I feel like you set this concept of dying in my head,” Amy’s friend Jane (Jane Adams) says to her. It’s hard to inform if we’re taking a look at social contagion, a startling case of influencing run amok or a potent apocalyptic premonition. That is the form of film that prefers slithering under your skin to offering explanations, and it demands to be accepted by itself fractured terms.