Six new March reviews from Danielle Solzman on Solzy at the Movies

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MIDNIGHT SUN

Midnight Sun is a Nicholas Sparks-esque film that goes for comedy until the melodrama heats up in the third act.

Katie Price (Bella Thorne) is a high school senior and rather than have a normal life, she’s stuck at home due to her being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, xeroderma pigmentosum.  She spends her days hanging out with her dad, Jack (Rob Riggle) and her best friend, Morgan (Quinn Shepard), while writing songs and playing guitar.  As she grew up, she would watch Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger) walk or skate by her house as he grew up.  This eventually leads to Katie developing a crush on the swimmer.

UNSANE

Steven Soderbergh follows up Logan Lucky with the iPhone-shot Unsane, featuring a great performance from Claire Foy and treads into Me, Too territory.

Unsane will have viewers on the edge of their season as Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) isn’t sure what’s real and what isn’t.  After being stalked by David Strine for a good two years, Sawyer has relocated from the comforts of Boston to Pennsylvania for a fresh start.  Sawyer’s mother, Angela (Amy Irving) isn’t a fan of her moving to an entirely different town.  Even as she has an office job in this new town, Sawyer is still having a rough go of it, searching for support groups for those being stalked.

PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING

Pacific Rim Uprising isn’t able to bring the excitement that the first installment of the Pacific Rim franchise did upon release a few years.

It’s ten years after the events of Pacific Rim and Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the son of the legendary Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) has left Jaeger program.  He isn’t in the best of places when the film starts out.  It’s after he discovers Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) and her built-from-scratch Jaeger that the two get arrested and the only way he’s able to avoid prison time is to head back to the Jaeger Pilot Academy to train a new generation of pilots.

ISLE OF DOGS

With a film that pays homage to Japanese cinema, Wes Anderson has done it again with the crowd-pleasing stop-motion animated feature, Isle of Dogs.

Isle of Dogs is as much the story of Chief (Bryan Cranston) and Spots (Liev Schreiber) as it is 12-year-old Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin). Although it left him in a three-year coma, Atari had survived an accident while his parents perished.  He was left as a ward to his uncle, Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura).  Unbeknownst to him was just how corrupt and dog-hating that his uncle is.  Even though his uncle gave him Spots as a bodyguard, he soon decrees that all the dogs of Megasaki City be sent to Trash Island to live in exile.

FLOWER

A dark comedy about meaning and connection, Flower gives actress Zoey Deutch a big opportunity with a star-making role.

Erica Vandross (Zoey Deutch), a defiant 17-year old, lives with her mother, Laurie, (Kathryn Hahn) and Laurie’s boyfriend Bob (Tim Heidecker).  With her father in prison, Erica goes around town with her friends, Kala (Dylan Gelula) and Claudine (Maya Eshet), to blackmail police officers.

TOMB RAIDER

Oscar winner Alicia Vikander gets the opportunity to kick ass in Tomb Raider in what is no doubt the best film based on a video game in quite some time.

Films based on video games usually go one of two ways–they are good or they are downright awful.  What Tomb Raider does is allow for Lara Croft do get a new origin story on screen in a way that reboots the franchise.  Vikander takes the character places that puts Angelina Jolie’s take on the character to shame.

 

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