Matt O’Leary

drones

What does it mean to follow orders over instinct? On the outskirts of Las Vegas, Drones finds former fighter pilot Sue Lawson (Eloise Mumford) assigned to operate an unmanned aircraft in order to carry out her latest mission. The order seems simple enough: monitor a specific area for a high value target, and once that target is confirmed, eliminate it. But the target has a face, and a family, and the more Sue analyzes the situation, the more questions she finds herself asking. But Sue is not alone in her mission. She is second in command to pilot Jack Bowles (Matt O’Leary), an easygoing guy with a year of experience under his belt who prefers to focus on the mission at hand and little else. He seems like a guy who has simply played a few too many video games at first — a comparison the film addresses head on within the first few minutes — but his desire to not ask questions is more for self-preservation than ignorance. The two are tasked with watching a residence that seems to have little activity surrounding it, but when it becomes clear the family is preparing for a birthday celebration that will likely bring their designated target home, Sue and Jack work quickly to try and eliminate their target before he reaches his family.

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Natural Selection opens with a birth, of sorts, and ends with another. Kind of. A landscaper is working the grounds outside a prison, but when he takes a break and walks away from his riding lawnmower the clippings bag begins to move. A seam rips open and out pours a scrawny, filthy, mulleted man clearly thrilled to have escaped from jail. A few states away Linda (Rachael Harris) and her husband Abe (John Diehl) are waking in bed. She makes moves of a seductive nature, but he shuts her down with a reminder that God would not approve. She’s barren and unable to conceive, and God only approves of fornication in the service of procreation. It’s a struggle that she accepts without complaint, but when Abe suffers an ironic stroke that puts him in a coma while “donating” at a sperm bank she discovers he’s been doing so since they were married over twenty years ago. Double standard? Maybe, but when she’s informed he has a son named Raymond she sets off to find the young man and unite them before Abe passes.

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