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Payne’s Picks

By Sarah Payne

Movies coming out

The Glass Castle – August 11th – The memoir The Glass Castle, which this movie is based on, is one of my all-time favorite books. Written by Jeannette Walls, it tells the story of Walls’ nomadic childhood and re-connection and reconciliation with her parents as an adult. I love all the actors in this movie adaptation, with Walls played by Brie Larson and Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson playing her parents. My only fear is the movie could be slightly melodramatic (after all, Larson is known for her starring role in the utterly humorless and depressing Room).

Logan Lucky – August 18th – Ten years ago, Channing Tatum was a D-list actor known for his role in the cheesy dance/romance movie Step Up. Back then, I would have never guessed he would become one of my favorite comedic actors. While he still stars in sappy movies every once in a while (The Vow, Dear John), he’s best in movies like 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike – where he’s a sort of lovable doofus (and I mean that in the best possible way). That’s why I’m so excited for Logan Lucky, which is directed by Steven Soderbergh (who also directed Magic Mike). There are also some really fun cameos in this film, like Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, and Hilary Swank. Tatum and Driver play brothers who attempt to pull off a heist at a NASCAR race.

Movie review

Baby Driver – What’s great about Baby Driver is it’s got a little something for everyone. There are tons of fun car chase scenes for the guys. There’s a little romance for the ladies. The soundtrack is killer for music lovers. And to top it off, it’s pretty funny, too. I can’t think of one critical thing to say about this film! From the very first scene, you’re taken on a stylish thrill ride with “Baby,” a young, quiet getaway driver who falls for the sweet girl who works at the local diner. My favorite part of the film is Kevin Spacey, who plays Doc, the criminal mastermind behind all the bank jobs. He’s dangerous, but also quintessentially Spacy – sarcastic, blunt, wry. Jon Hamm branches out a bit as Buddy, a tattooed drug addict hired by Doc (pretty far from his Don Draper days!). Overall, Baby Driver is a really refreshing thriller with way more substance and style than most other films in its category (i.e. The Fast and Furious).

Redbox review

Passengers – I admit that I avoided this film in theaters last winter because it was universally panned by critics. That’s the beauty of Redbox – you only pay two dollars and you can turn if off in the comfort of your home. Perhaps because I set my expectation so low for Passengers, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Don’t get me wrong – it’s certainly not at the level of other sci-fi films like Gravity and Interstellar. But what I like is it makes you think about the possibility of being trapped on a ship in the middle of space by yourself. What would you do? Would you go crazy? Or would you finally crack like Chris Pratt’s character and wake up one of your fellow passengers who is supposed to be sleeping for another 90 years? Where the plot lacks in action, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt make up for in their acting and several touching moments that show their chemistry.

Book review

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – I love thrillers – both movies and books. Lucky for me, thrillers are really popular right now, especially ones that are female driven (Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Good Girl, etc.). Last fall I picked up In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware while traveling for work. Maybe because it was around Halloween, I loved the eerie, mysterious mood of the book. And recently I read Ware’s second book, The Woman in Cabin 10. The mood of the book is similar – you almost feel like a dark cloud is over you while reading it. It follows the story of a travel writer assigned to cover the inaugural trip of a high-end cruise line. I found the ending to be a bit farfetched and disappointing after such a long build up. It will certainly be interesting to see how the book is adapted into a movie, which is currently in the works with CBS Films.