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a u s t
i n c h r o n
i c
l e
. c om
JULY 25, 2014
T H E A U S T I N C H R O N I C L E
59
Green’s first feature still makes for a brisk, appealing
adventure, capably anchored by four young actors.
On their last day together in their suburban Nevada
hometown, our intrepid videographer Tuck (Bradley)
and best friends Alex (Halm) and Munch (Hartwig)
follow a mysterious beacon into the nearby desert
to discover its sender, a wide-eyed robotic alien they
decide to name Echo. Of course, they’re not the
only ones looking for him. Updating an old-fashioned
journey with newfangled, digital distractions,
Earth to
Echo
is a small-scale and squeaky-clean alternative
to blockbuster bombast, about as unoriginal as it is
fundamentally inoffensive.
(07/04/2014)
HHHH
n
– William Goss
CM Cedar Park, Hill Country Galleria, CM Round Rock,
Southpark Meadows, CM Stone Hill Town Center,
Tinseltown North, Tinseltown South
edGe oF toMorroW
D: Doug Liman; with Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan
Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh,
Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley. (PG-13, 113 min.)
The unabashed Tom Cruise vehicle
Edge of
Tomorrow
is a sci-fi riff on the Eastern philosophy of
enlightenment: If at first you don’t succeed, die, die
again. An Earth-vs.-aliens
Groundhog Day
in which the
loveable rodent resembles, rather, a flaming land-squid
intent on world domination, the first half of the film is
entertaining – a perversely adroit comedy about the
inexperienced American officer William Cage, who’s
given the unique opportunity to hone his combat skills
as a result of his ability to constantly reboot the day
upon which he dies in battle with extraterrestrials on
the beaches of France. The film’s second half, how-
ever, disappoints. The final sequence, in which Cruise
and company (including a miscast Blunt) finally destroy
the invaders, requires the audience to shift to auto-
pilot because the film’s attempts to explain the whys
and hows simply don’t stick. What the hell? Just turn
off the brain; you’ll be fine.
(06/06/2014)
HHH
n
– Steve Davis
Hill Country Galleria, CM Round Rock, Metropolitan
J
the FAult In our StArS
D: Josh Boone; with Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern,
Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff, Willem Dafoe. (PG-13, 125 min.)
Yes, teenagers are prone to hyperbole, but when
16-year-old Hazel (Woodley) warns “I’m a grenade,”
she’s not far off the mark. Diagnosed with Stage IV
cancer in her early teens, she worries about her par-
ents (Dern and Trammell), who will inevitably survive
her, wearing the burden as heavily as the oxygen tank
she must lug with her everywhere. Gus (Elgort), a
cancer survivor and self-described 18-year-old virgin
with only one leg, is more foolhardy, or maybe just
seize-the-day sensible, doggedly ignoring Hazel’s
efforts to keep a safe distance. That they will fall in
love is foregone, even for those who hadn’t already
gulped John Green’s gorgeous source novel. After
a slow, sweet build to an adventure in Amsterdam,
the film dramatically plateaus, but not ruinously so.
If you’re looking for anthemic,
The Fault in Our Stars
falls short. But the film is bundled in kindness, and
that’s nothing to shrug at.
(06/06/2014)
HHHH
n
– Kimberley Jones
Gateway, Metropolitan
GodzIllA
D: Gareth Edwards; with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe,
Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins. (PG-13, 123 min.)
Godzilla, cinema’s most beloved and feared
monster, returns once more to save humanity from
its own arrogance, as well as a couple of new
radioactive MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial
Organisms). Honoring the creature’s Japanese Atomic
Age, Japanese, origin story, this epic Hollywood mon-
ster mash proves to be a lot of fun once it gets going
and cities are tromped to bits. The film’s human
drama only bogs things down, with expository dia-
logue between scientists (Watanabe and Hawkins); a
former nuclear plant manager (Cranston), presumed
to be crazed with grief over a 1999 meltdown in
Japan, who talks of another impending crisis; and a
focal family (Taylor-Johnson, Olsen, and Bolde) who
struggle to reunite amid the mayhem. Director Gareth
Edwards (
Monsters
) marshals all the creature effects
admirably, but the human interactions are uninvolv-
ing. This
Godzilla
befits our cinematic era of 3-D,
digital special effects. It’s a creature feature for the
Subatomic Age.
(05/16/2014)
HHH
– Marjorie Baumgarten
Movies 8, Lake Creek 7
59
f i lm
l i s t i n g s
“bold, original
&
involving.”
todd m
c
carthy, the hollywood reporter
Austin
Regal Arbor 8 @ Great Hills
(800) FANDANGO #684
eXclUSIVe eNGaGemeNt StartS FrIday
,
JUly 25