How I Live Now

header discs all is lost

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. All Is Lost Robert Redford stars as a man sailing solo who encounters trouble out at sea. He awakens to the impact of his sailboat colliding with a derelict shipping container and quickly sets about trying to fix the damage before catastrophe occurs. His experience grows increasingly precarious, and soon he’s fighting against nature and circumstance for his very life. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s follow-up to the excellent Wall Street drama Margin Call is even more engaging, but it accomplishes the feat through an opposite degree of dialogue. While that film was filled with fast-talk and lots of it, Redford’s character is the only one onscreen here leaving him no one to talk to but himself. (Sure, that didn’t stop Sandra Bullock from being a lonely chatterbox in Gravity, but this is a smarter movie.) The drama and suspense build naturally here as we work alongside the sailor in his efforts, and the script treats viewers as intelligent enough to follow along without needing every detail spelled out. This is a beautiful film about strength, resiliency, and the will to survive. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, featurettes]

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How I Live Now

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is having a particularly rough summer for your average teenager. Sent to live with relatives in the UK, she’s having trouble fitting in to her strange surroundings until she falls for a neighborhood cutie who may also be her own cousin (George MacKay). But their young love is short-lived when an apocalyptic war breaks out in the once-peaceful nation, tearing their relationship, and their lives apart. Now, would you get any of that from this one-sheet for How I Live Now? The film, from Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland), is based on a highly popular YA novel by Meg Rosroff that is apparently all the rage with the tweens and their twerking and their emojis and One Direction and what have you. But besides showing a defiant Daisy dressed way too cool for school (and looking like someone who probably would have never talked to me in high school), the poster doesn’t reveal much. Unless, of course, that orange haze and lens flare is from a bomb casually dropping behind her. In which case, damn Daisy. That’s a bold move to be bored by warfare. Do you think that attitude is what got her sent to the UK in the first place?

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How I Live Now

It seems that this summer’s end-of-the-world movie trend (World War Z, This is the End, The World’s End, Pacific Rim…I’ll keep going) is getting extended into the fall with another film about a bleak future, this time starring a mad as hell Saoirse Ronan. Kevin MacDonald’s How I Live Now, based on the massively popular YA novel by Meg Rosoff, tells the story of American girl Daisy (seriously, guys, screw off if you call her Elizabeth – only her DAD calls her that, and he’s totally lame), who is sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives. Fortunately, Cute Boy Edmund (George MacKay) lives nearby, and they strike up the kind of love you only dream about. Their idyllic summer is cut short when WWIII begins and England becomes a violent military state; Daisy spends the rest of the film trying to escape her captors and find her lost love because that’s…how she lives now. The trailer’s hip pop-punk soundtrack played over shots of Daisy racing through the countryside and ducking under gunfire make this clear that it’s an action movie for the StephEnie Meyer generation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s probably going to be cheesy, and for anyone over the age of 17, the couple’s vows of undying love will be a bit laughable.

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Saoirse Ronan has been through a big couple of years, despite being such a young actress, the highlights of which have probably been her breakout performance in the period (time, not menstrual) thriller Atonement, and her starring role in Joe Wright’s slick assassin movie Hanna. Despite such lofty accomplishments, it’s starting to look like 2012 is going to be her biggest year yet. She’s currently filming a Neil Jordan movie called Byzantium, she co-stars in recent festival assassin flick called Violet & Daisy, and she’s also set to star in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s non-Twilight young adult novel The Host. Sounds like the girl has a busy schedule, but somehow she’s managed to squeeze another project in. Variety is reporting that the budding young starlet has now signed to head the next film by Kevin Macdonald (the guy who made The Last King of Scotland, not the Kids in the Hall guy, that’s Kevin McDonald), How I Live Now. This one is also an adaptation of a novel about young people, but decidedly less creature filled and much more war torn than Meyer’s book. “How I Live Now” was written by Meg Rosoff, and Amazon describes its plot as such:

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