Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station

The Who

Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer and Ariana Neal in a film directed by Ryan Coogler.

The What

The tragic true story of Bay Area resident Oscar Grant and the 24 hours he spends before his life is cut short.

What’s The Big Deal

“Fruitvale Station” is a movie that will evoke a lot of tears and anger, not necessarily because of the film itself but because of the real life tragedy and the injustice that came afterwards. It’s not the film’s fault necessarily, but with subject matter like this, it’s easy to manipulate the audience into reacting appropriately. So instead let’s focus on what makes the film one of the best of the year: everything that follows beforehand.

Coogler doesn’t depict Oscar as an angel in order to gain sympathy. He captures the ugliness, the selfishness and ultimately the confusion of a character that desperately wants to be better to all the people he’s let down. Michael B. Jordan sells you Grant’s vulnerability and makes you feel for this person from beginning to end.

Grade: A-

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Fruitvale Station opens today in select theaters. Please click here for showtimes.[hr]

Pacific Rim Review

Pacific Rim

The Who

Charlie Hunnam, Diego Klattenhoff, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Max Martini in a film directed by Guillermo Del Toro.

The What

A movie about Giant Robots versus Giant Aliens; Humans are around really just as a technicality.

What’s The Big Deal

The one thing that truly saves Pacific Rim is its self-awareness. Just like every other summer blockbuster, it’s an excuse to destroy the world and show off some CGI; however, unlike most of the summer movies released, it has a sense of humor about itself. It’s fun, dumb and loud and it completely owns it. It may not be a Paul Verhoeven style production but it’s a pretty good imitation.

Grade: B

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Pacific Rim opens today in theaters. Please click here for showtimes.[hr]