And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave is yet another weak offering typical of January that may hold some appeal to those hungry for something (very) remotely resembling a Hunger Games or Divergent style flick. In other words, it caters to the Young Adult crowd, by showcasing a world in which kids and teens are the ultimate saviors of humanity!


Tom Cruise plays quintessential Tom Cruise (aka a heroic guy named Jack) in this epic post-Armageddon sci-fi fantasy flick about a drone repairman who goes rogue in an effort to save humankind. You go, Jack! There’s more to the plot, of course, but good luck trying to figure it out. Perhaps it should have been called “Oblivious”. The movie is a bit like Top Gun meets Independence Day – set in the future. Cruise plays a pilot, and aliens are out to destroy the Earth. Oblivion is quite loud, with an overabundance of musical crescendos. But it’s also visually impressive, with lots of sweeping vistas of raw devastation and pristine beauty. Put it all together and you’ve got an engaging yet perplexing movie.

Cowboys & Aliens

If you like westerns and you like sci-fi then trust me, you’ll like Cowboys & Aliens. It really is that simple. This movie is a strange hybrid that somehow works, mostly due to its stars (Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford) and its director, Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf) who knows how to make a crowd-pleaser. The best way to describe it is True Grit meets Independence Day. Chew on that for a while.


I’ve heard it described as Dances with Aliens and that is a pretty good description, though I think Dances with Wolves had better character development. Avatar tells the story of a paraplegic soldier, Jake, who goes to the planet Pandora where evil corporate humans want to mine for a super-expensive, rare mineral, but the local population (Na’ vi) stands in the way. Jake is taking his dead brother’s place in a science program that infiltrates the Na’ vis by using avatars, earth people inhabiting Na’ vi bodies as they sleep in the lab. At first Jake is a gung-ho Marine ready to do his duty, but once he becomes a Na’ vi, falls in love with the head guy’s daughter and gets into their new agey lifestyle, he predictably decides to fight the power.