"Flick Chick" Vique Rojas gives her review of Boyhood, Wish I was Here, and Lucy.

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By Christina Duggan By Christina Duggan

Boyhood:  Misspent Youth?

“Boyhood” markets itself as a 14 year epic.  In many ways that is true.  Writer/Director Richard Linklater spent 14 years filming “Boyhood”, the story of life as seen through the eyes of a young man, Mason, from 5 to 18 years of age.  It is an audacious undertaking that at times pays off.  But there are a great many times that it seems like a tremendous missed opportunity.

The cast of Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and newcomer Ellar Coltrane as Mason, committed themselves to the 14 year process of playing a family in various stages of their lives for the 2 hour and 40 minute movie.  Yeah, it’s long.  Sadly it feels long, too.

Not that the cast doesn’t do an admirable job but the very things I love about the movie are oddly there very things I’m not too crazy about.  I love that it is made up of a string of inconsequential, everyday events:  meals, rides, conversations.   These kinds of scenes really give the movie a reality show feel.  But these precious little moments get pretty boring as the movie drags on.

There is very little drama.  No conflict.  No obstacles to overcome.  No passion fully realized.  I swear Mason is the most even keeled kid ever.  Even in his angst prone teen years he is a wan vanilla.

While I whole heartedly applaud the experiment and find it fascinating to see an entire cast age 14 years before your eyes, I feel like Linklater let his cast down with such a nondescript script.  A 14 year commitment could have seen a really dramatic script play out in seemingly real time.  Audiences could have been cheering, soaring or sobbing.
Instead they are more likely to just be glad the ordeal is finally over.  

“Boyhood” grows 3.5 Red Vines for a once in a lifetime effort

Wish I Was Here:  Crowd Appeal

 “Wish I Was Here” is Zach Braff’s long awaited second feature but don’t call it a sequel to “Garden State”.   Taking a page from the successful crowdsourcing that got “Veronica Mars” on the big screen, Braff reached his Kickstarter goal within hours.  I doubt his fans will be disappointed but all the same this is no “Garden State”.

This time around, Braff plays a family man who seems as stuck as Braff’s character was in “Garden State”.  Yes, he’s still an actor but now his struggle is to provide for his family.  There is a lot of angst, even more introspection and quite a few laughs along the way.  And once again, there is a great soundtrack for all those montages.  Yet the lightning that was “Garden State” doesn’t quite strike again.

But no matter, just seeing Braff on the big screen reminds one of how darn likeable the guy is and how much he has been missed since “Scrubs” went off the air.  And speaking of “Scrubs”, the audience gave a big sign of approval when Donald Faison popped up for a brief scene.  If you are a fan of Braff’s, go see “Wish I Was Here”.  I doubt you’ll regret being there.  But do see it at a bargain matinee.

“Wish I Was There” kicks in with 3 Red Vines for being a good way to spend an afternoon

Lucy:  Sci-Fi Chick Flick

The premise for “Lucy” claims that humans only use 10% of our brains and explores the possibilities of what would happen if a brain was able to access 100% of its ability.  Most of the criticism of “Lucy” hinges on disputing that tidbit of science fiction.  My problem with those complaints is the apparent discarding of the word ‘fiction’ because if you don’t tax your own brain with the merits of that premise, you can enjoy a really wild ride in “Lucy”, particularly if you are a female.

Scarlett Johansson does a kick butt job as “Lucy”, a young woman whose only offense is picking the wrong guy to hook up with for a week of partying.  Thanks to him she ends up abducted by an Asian drug cartel and forced to be one of their many international mules.  But accidental ingestion of the drug she must transport suddenly unleashes her hidden brain power.

After hooking up with a neuroscientist extraordinaire (Morgan Freeman), “Lucy” gets a better grasp of what might be in store for her and it is soon a race against time to learn as much as she can so she can pass it on.  Oh yeah and there’s a little pay back coming to the cartel that so foolishly purses its rogue mule.

“Lucy” is fun, stylish and totally freaky.  It is an incredibly fast-paced ride that is so reminiscent of Writer/Director Luc Besson’s 1990 French thriller “La Femme Nikita”, with a sly side of 1963’s “X:  The Man with the X-Ray Eyes”.  I was a huge fan of both of those films.

If you like movies where a wronged female deals out justice to the scum of the earth, with incredible style and visuals, don’t obsess over with plot holes real and imagined and just enjoy the ride.