The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By D.K. Holm
For The Courier 

Film Shorts: Valley Cinemas, Streaming, The Worx

 

Courtesy of Warner Bros

De Niro and Anne hathaway star in The Intern (rated by Tarantino as on e of the year's best), available at The Worx.

This week the Valley Cinemas carries on with The 5th Wave and adds the family friendly Kung Fu Panda 3 to the mix.

Panda has received glowing reviews, and the previous two films were successful as funny and touching and also tolerable to parents chaperoning their kids. The 5th Wave, meanwhile, is the latest teen dystopian multi-part narrative based on a popular YA series. What's unusual about this first entry, however, is that it tells the story of the alien invasion from the day before. Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz, of Hugo), is a happy teenager one day, at a party and getting a crush on a QB, then, at school the next day, plunged into the maturing horror of hovering flying saucers, a la Independence Day. The "waves," like biological extinctions (we're waiting for the sixth), come first as the end of electricity, followed by floods, then pestilence. Cassie flees with her family, but her main goal, eventually, is to reunite with her younger brother. Miss Moretz is quite winning in her survivalist mode, as she finds depths of determination untouched until the world is terminal.

Quentin Tarantino named The Intern of all things as his favorite rom-com of the year, and now thanks to The Worx, the local video shop at 700 1/2 1st Ave N (406-228-4474) we can compare notes. Aside from a few ideological issues (that hardworking little lady Anne Hathaway still needs a man, Robert De Niro, to help her run a business), the film is a peaceful if predictable narrative arc. Also on hand are ng>Burnt with Bradley Cooper as a high-profile chef trying to win back his tattered reputation, in a disorganized story that shortchanges some of the other characters, and Goosebumps, a clever adaptation of the kids' horror story series, with Jack Black playing the author whose creations escape from his books and terrorize a town.

Meanwhile, over at the Glasgow City-County Library (408 3rd Ave S, 406, 228-2731) is a pair of good if diverse offerings. The 20-year-old Die Hard with a Vengeance is the third of five movies with Bruce Willis as John McClane, this time in NYC with Samuel L. Jackson trying to thwart the brother of the German terrorist from the first film from robbing the Federal Reserve. Chaos and destruction ensue. In contrast, is a pretty good adaptation of Jack Kerouac's fabled beat novel, On the Road (2012). The best thing about it is Kristen Stewart, as Marylou, who among other things shows that she's a great dancer.

Also on hand for home viewing is a six-part mini-series version of The Ⓧ-Files, airing on the Fox network, with premiers last Sunday and Monday, and four more episodes each airing on upcoming Monday nights. The show is of course the cult hit from the 1990s, in which FBI agents Mulder and Scully investigate unusual and unnatural phenomena-related crimes. Murder (David Duchovny) has a hidden agendum: he wants to discover the truth about his sister's disappearance and possible abduction by aliens. Scully (Gillian Anderson) is a doctor, a Christian, and professional skeptic, originally assigned to Mulder to quash his endeavors. But various events during the nine seasons of the show have (inconsistently) shaken her disbelief.

I say inconsistently because over the course of the original show so many weird things happened to her that it beggars belief that she doesn't yet believe. As the mini series opens, she is once again back in her skeptical scientist mode, though by the end of the first episode, she has some doubts. Scully has gone back to medicine, as a surgeon; Mulder lives somewhere on his own, tracking the unorthodox on his computer. They are contacted by an Alex Jones-style radio-TV provocateur named Tad O'Malley (Joel McHale) who has information that is going to tear the ground of certainty out from under Mulder – and Scully.

The first shock of recognition comes when we see the duo back in their old duds, looking old. Well, it has been almost 15 years, and though they have been on television continually since then, nevertheless seeing them in an Ⓧ context as aged is jarring. The whole mini-series in fact seems to exist to jar, as the writers seek to get caught up with everything that has happened since 9-11, including wars, Snowden, and the NSA. It remains to be seen if the miniseries can navigate reality the way it did in the 1990s, but despite reservations, one can still enjoy TheⓍ-Files as a late flourishing of a great show.

 

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