A Teacher Review — A Teacher had some nice moments here and there, and shows some real promise in Burdge and Fidell but, on the whole, it kinda missed the mark.
Life According to Sam — Progeria is a goddamned f*cked-up disease. Caused by a shockingly simple genetic mutation (one single bit of DNA code clips this way when it should go that way), it’s extremely rare, striking one in about every four million children. This means that about 250 kids today suffer from progeria, a disease which, in its simplest terms, causes advanced aging. While the children remain children in their minds, their bodies quickly deteriorate — skin thins, bones become brittle, hair is lost and, worst of all, arteries narrow and harden as the cardiovascular system crumbles.
Mud Review — More than anything, this is a movie about love. It seems cheesy to just say it like that, but it’s true. The plot is driven by Mud’s love of Juniper. Ellis is a teenager just getting his feet wet in what it means to fall into and out of love, and he’s practically compelled to help Mud because of Mud’s relationship with Juniper. There’s one scene in particular, where Shannon has a conversation with his nephew’s friend about this adventure the boys are on. While it’s about them staying out of trouble, it’s also about how to cope with heartbreak. While the dialogue is delivered in a funny yet touching way, which leads to the funniest line of the whole movie, it’s also really the heart of the film. We all love and, sadly, we all have our hearts broken. But we keep at it, because of the hope of the next love.
Breathe In Review — The Reynolds family is the prototypical suburban New York family. Mother Megan (Amy Ryan) sells antiques and not only does all the chores a suburban mom is “expected” to do, but she does it with an odd joy (when someone tries to relieve her of her duties of transporting her daughter’s swim team, she declines because, said with a smile, she likes driving). Father Keith (Guy Pierce) plays cello in the local orchestra and teaches music classes at the town’s high school. Daughter Lauren (Mackenzie Davis) is the perfect high school senior, good grades mixed with championship swimming abilities. The family take seasonal photos by their backyard gazebo (taken by a professional photographer, of course), cheerfully play games of Jenga while discussing the day’s activities and work together to send end-of-summer letters to friends and family with updates of what’s been going on in the Reynolds house. They’re basically living this perfect, lovely and peaceful existence when foreign exchange student Sophie (Felicity Jones) comes to stay for a semester.