If I Stay

HOUSEBOUND discs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Housebound Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) has made a series of poor decisions of late with the most recent one seeing her sentenced to several months of house arrest in the home where she grew up, and the prospect of living beneath the same roof as her mom is more terrifying than jail. The two clash almost immediately, but their battle of wills is interrupted by the realization that the house may be haunted by the restless spirit of a teenage girl who was murdered there before Kylie’s mom bought the place. With the help of Amos (Glen-Paul Waru), a security guard with a belief in the supernatural, she sets out to identify the murderer and set the trapped spirit free. It should surprise no one that this may not be a wise decision. I’m not sure what New Zealand has been pumping into their water supplies, but this makes the second film from the country this year to deliver an immensely entertaining mix of horror and comedy. The other one, What We Do In the Shadows, puts a much heavier focus on the laughs than it does the thrills, but Housebound is still a frequently funny film that also happens to feature plenty of scares and overall creepiness. The pair will make for a damn fine double feature once they’re both available, but for now fans of high energy scares with […]

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Warner Bros.

Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) is an outcast in her own family. We know this because she tells us via narration, but also because while her parents and younger brother like rock music her preferred jams are of the classical variety. It’s enough to make you think she was switched at the hospital after birth isn’t it? She’s seventeen and in love with Adam (Jamie Blackley), the lead singer of a local band that will change your life — they’re opening for The Shins! — and she’s eagerly awaiting a letter letting her know whether or not she’s been accepted into Juilliard. An impromptu snow day sends the family on a road trip and into the front grill of a truck leaving her parents dead, her brother injured and Mia standing over her own comatose body. She quickly discovers that the decision to live or die is hers to make. We know this because a doctor whispers in Mia’s ear that it’s her decision to make. (The unspoken implication being that Mia’s parents — particularly her father who reaches the hospital alive — have decided to leave the kids behind and go.) Her ghostly, yet still meaty form wanders the hospital’s halls eavesdropping on loved ones, recalling her life to this point and deciding if the trouble she’ll get by staying is a better choice than the double she’ll get by going. If I Stay plays to the basest needs and desires of teenage girls everywhere by crafting a lead character who defiantly makes […]

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Coma patients

In the movie If I Stay, Chloe Grace Moretz plays a teenage girl who winds up in a coma when she’s in a car accident with her family. As her body lies in a hospital bed, her consciousness stands to the side, able to observe what’s going on in the room. She can watch her loved ones visit, see her boyfriend play her a song. And she also flashes back to past events while contemplating whether or not she should wake up and stay alive. Her choice, apparently. Do comatose patients actually have out-of-body experiences? Some claim so, but OBEs are not really scientifically recognized, at least not as anything other than a dream. Movies aren’t subject to the rules of accepted science, though, and that goes for depictions of comas in general. In 2006, a doctor conducted a study of 30 movies featuring comatose persons (not including Liz Garbus‘s solid HBO doc Coma, made after the study) and concluded that only two of them were accurately portrayed: Reversal of Fortune and The Dreamlife of Angels (the study is published in the medical journal “Neurology”, which you can pay to read here; but you can download the data-supplement list of movie titles here). That was mainly for what comas are like externally and for the patient afterward, however. There’s not really much to go on as far as what it’s like internally from the perspective of the person in the coma. So, this week’s edition of The Movies Tell Us is only briefly focused on […]

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Warner Bros.

Hope you haven’t had your fill of beautiful yet tragically ill teens this week because Warner Bros. has a pretty young corpse heading your way soon. A special in-depth look into the mind of a girl stuck somewhere between the living and the dead — she’s not a girl, not yet a ghost-woman — has popped up to make us dive back into our crumpled tissue collection and pull out the old “raining on our faces” excuse. You may recall the full trailer for R.J. Cutler‘s If I Stay a couple months back, the story of a 17-year-old girl whose near-perfect life comes to a halt when she’s the victim of a devastating car crash along with her entire immediate family. We’re talking Nicholas Sparks-level schmaltz here people. Mia (Chloe Moretz) is a gifted cellist who has just auditioned for Julliard, has a loving family, tons of friends and a boyfriend who runs with the wild crowd and actually is a pretty decent dude. It’s particularly unfair, then, that this horrific car crash sends her into a deep coma that gives her the ultimate choice: walk into that bright light at the end of the tunnel, or keep fighting and stay here on Earth to wake up to another day. The newly released teaser below, called “Prologue” for reasons that shall become obvious, goes into more detail than the trailer in attempting to explain Mia’s dilemma here. Mia’s parents (Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) have died in the crash, so staying alive would be horrible, but dying and […]

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If I Stay Movie

In If I Stay, Chloe Moretz plays a talented musician on the cusp of auditioning for The Juilliard School. She’s got all the happiness that being 17 can afford, but it’s all taken away by a severe car accident that leaves her in a coma. While she hangs on the edge of death, she has an out of body experience that allows her present life (with all the threat and promise of its future) to flash literally in front of her eyes. It shares a surface-level spiritual connection to the recent Heaven is For Real, but it more obviously resembles The Lovely Bones. Hopefully that won’t hold it back. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Chloe Grace Moretz

Rising starlet (or, in this case, “starlette” might be more appropriate – like a little tiny star, just beginning to shine) Chloe Grace Moretz hasn’t always made the most traditional of choices in her film career, though that’s not to say they’ve been bad choices. Yet the next segment of Mortez’s career, one that is now set to include starring in a multi-film YA adaptation about a girl in some terrible futuristic settings and situations, looks to be going in a direction that’s not just traditional – it’s expected – and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Moretz certainly started off in an expected enough way, as her younger years were spent with small appearances on television shows and a series of horror films (including The Amityville Horror and Wicked Little Things), before turning her charms on for something a little offbeat. Moretz co-starred as the sassy younger sister in (500) Days of Summer, but the romantic comedy really took that sass to a new level – Mortez’s Rachel was a wise-beyond-her-years tween who served as the central voice of reason. Sure, “sassy younger sister” sounds standard, but the role of Rachel was not. From there, Moretz started making some bold (and, frankly, brave) choices.

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Dakota Fanning

It might sound creepy to hear that a fresh-faced, young actress like Dakota Fanning has been cast as the romantic interest of a crag-faced, old dude like Kevin Kline in a movie, but you have to understand that The Last of Robin Hood needs two actors with a huge age gap between them because it’s telling the real-life story of honest-to-God creep Errol Flynn. The film will be about the final years of Flynn’s life, when he was between the ages of 48 and 50 and carrying on with young actress Beverly Aadland, who was between the ages of 15 and 17. Susan Sarandon will be playing Florence Aadland, Beverly’s mother, who wrote a book that called Flynn out as being a statutory rapist. Sounds like a charming film? [via Deadline]

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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