June 2021 Reviews (Stowaway, Infinite, Lupin Part 2, Synchronic)

[A summary of my movie and TV reviews from last month, posted to Attrition.org, mixed in with other reviews.]

Stowaway (2021)
Medium: Movie (Netflix)
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Rating: 3 / 5 Shot for the stars, fell short
This movie had a lot going for it; a tiny cast (four people), decent budget, and a human drama as the engine. It stars Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Toni Collette, and the standout Shamier Anderson. Perhaps it is that the three characters are reserved scientists and/or astronauts making Anderson’s performance more vibrant. Somehow in every scene he invoked a world of emotion that made me feel when he was happy or sad. The movie was on track to be pretty amazing until the last third where it went downhill, falling into several traps that near-term Sci-Fi movies do. But ignoring that aspect, it still just went out into left field and broke down completely on characters whose actions just stopped making sense. It’s good for a quiet movie to fall asleep to and I hope to see Anderson in more movies. [Update: After writing this, before publishing, I saw I get my wish!]

Infinite (2021)
Medium: Movie (Paramount+)
Rating: 1 / 5 My contempt for the man who recommended this is infinite
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Just after starting the movie, during the opening voice over, I wrote down that this movie “spells out this is ‘Wanted‘ meets ‘The Old Guard‘”. Damn I nailed it. It even had some fun unique guns and bullets just like Wanted! Mark Walberg demonstrates that he has just given up on movies in my opinion. Rather than over-acting like he did in some earlier in his career, now he has resigned himself to be this flat character with no acting range, poorly manufactured emotion, and 100% reliance on his body. Like every action movie for too many years, the ending was ridiculous. Suspend disbelief on reincarnation? Sure! A motorcycle jumping off a cliff and landing on the wing of a plane flying below? Nope. The only redeeming part of this movie was Chiwetel Ejiofor having fun as the villain.

Lupin, Part 2 (2021)
Medium: TV (Netflix)
Rating: 3.5 / 5 n’est-il pas censé être un voleur?
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
When we last left off, Lupin was barely a tale about a thief who pulled heists. After the second season, he still isn’t one. Instead, it’s basically a cat-and-mouse game with the bad guy(s) in an attempt to get his kidnapped son back, then expose the bad guy for doing bad things. The last episode is supposed to be the climax where all is revealed and it falls way short. Not a single part of that episode had originality; instead it was pieces cobbled together from other movies along with several missed opportunities to end it better. The upside is that this season does put a nice bow around the story arc giving a fairly clean ending despite a credits teaser saying it would return. I hope in part 3 we get to finally see him do something remotely interesting as far as being a thief.

Synchronic (2019)
Medium: Movie (Netflix)
Rating: 4 / 5 Pretty fun and trippy
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Points to this movie for some originality and a neat premise. The time is now(ish) and a new designer drug has the ability to make you experience wild things. Instead of police, the movie is seen and experienced through the eyes of two paramedics which is a great change and appropriate. Anthony Mackie stars as one of the paramedics and does a good job in this movie, unlike some others around this time and since (he appears to star in 38% of all movies lately). A ways into the movie we learn that this drug, Synchronic, isn’t just warping perception in your mind. Instead, it allows you to briefly travel back in time. The catch? For a very short period of time, and how far back you go depends on where you are when you take the drug. It’s a good watch.

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