Tom Cruise has been reliving the same situation over and over for a seemingly infinite amount of time, learning from his mistakes, but failing over and over regardless of what he does. The situation in question is his career.

It’s only fitting that Cruise’s role in Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow reflects the path his career has taken in recent years. Since his quasi-comeback of sorts in 2008, he’s drifted from project to project whether it be Knight and Day, Jack Reacher or Oblivion, with hopes that it’ll be the next Mission: Impossible for him. And after each respective film underperforms, he reboots and starts again. But his incessant trial and error has finally paid off with Edge of Tomorrow, a well-made and fun sci-fi flick that transcends the cliches it’s compiled from.

Cruise stars as Major William Cage, who acts as a U.S. Army Spokesman more than an Officer, and against his will is thrust into the front lines of a war against an Alien race known as “Mimics.” Outfitted with only a battlesuit exoskeleton, the combat fearing Cage is launched with a bunch of other soldiers to the beaches of Northwestern France as part of a final offensive against the Mimics (Whether Liman planned the release of the film to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of D-Day is still up for debate). However, the Mimics surprise the humans by attacking first, and rather predictably Cage is one of the many casualties, getting killed along with a Mimic he was up against.

Then *SMASH CUT*. Cage wakes up in the same location and situation he was in the day before he went to battle. Everything plays out exactly the way he first experienced it, including the invasion and his eventual death, but in a different way than the first time. Then *SMASH CUT*. He’s back again. Cage eventually figures out from war hero Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) that he’s inherited the Mimics’ ability to revive themselves after death, and Rita would know: She had the same power once upon a time. With her help, Cage is transformed from an unwilling, disgraced soldier, to the best weapon the humans have against the Mimics, and possibly the only hope of victory for them.

At this point, everyone has made the comparison between this and Groundhog Day or any other film where time loops play a major role in the plot. And yeah, one wouldn’t be far off if they nicknamed this movie “Groundhog Independence Day” or something. But I like to refer to it as something else: “Epic Groundhog Day.” Time loops are a concept that while not entirely original, filmmakers always come up with new ways to incorporate them into the story. Whereas the stakes are usually focused around one person (usually the one experiencing the loop), this time the fate of the entire planet is in Cage’s hands. It gives the film a grand feeling. In addition, we get a legitimate reason as to why Cage is looping, as well as having it factor into the story and character.

Cruise handles the burden of being the unwilling holder of this power with remarkable grace, delivering his most likable performance in a long time. He’s neither a glum, emotionless soldier or an over the top caricature, and his character is surprisingly relatable. He is helped a lot by the script though, which balances being clever and funny at the same time, delivering perfectly timed bits of dry humor into what could have been a very somber film. Blunt, no stranger to strong female characters in smart Sci-Fi films (Looper) also does great, with her taking on the role of the grizzled combat hardened veteran. The gender swapping of the usually experienced and unexperienced characters provides a refreshing change of pace from what movies of this kind generally consist of.

The only place the film loses some steam is the ending, which feels like a copout after everything we’ve seen. The final set piece moment could have been epic if everything wasn’t darker than the inside of a cave, and the resolution is kind of rushed and leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and not in the “open for interpretation” way. Thankfully, it doesn’t completely kill the film, and we’re still left with a movie that turned out a lot better than probably anyone thought it would. It proves that old concepts can still be given fresh twists, and that former “biggest stars on the planet” don’t go down without a fight. It’s good to have you back, Mr. Cruise. Hopefully, there won’t be another time where you have to reboot everything.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Read full article

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!