Tag Archives: Alice Eve

Change My Mind

Replicas

by Hope Madden

Sometimes, dead is better.

That Stephen King quote flashed through my mind as I watched Replicas, Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s SciFi thriller starring Keanu Reeves.

Reeves is William Foster, a scientist working nobly to put human consciousness into robots because this way we can save so many dying soldiers. I’m confident they would totally want to come back as robots.

Foster quickly loses his family in a car accident, his bestie (Thomas Middleditch) conveniently dabbles in cloning, and the mad duo concoct a plan to combine their specialties and bring the Foster family back to life.

Back one step: Will Foster loses his family in a car accident. This requires Reeves to emote.

I would call that Problem #1, but I already covered the plot.

Nachmanoff and writers Chad St. John and Stephen Hamel deserve credit for quietly upending the ages-long moral conundrum at the center of any cloning/Frankenstein/AI film. Good for them for opting out of Judeo Christian finger-wagging.

Also, Alice Eve—when she’s allowed to do something besides look good sleeping—offers a nuanced and often funny performance that makes the most of the moral quagmire the story articulates.

How capable is Reeves at lobbying back answers to her profound and life-altering accusations?

I think you know.

Reeves has proven to have some heretofore unimagined talents via recent supporting turns in The Bad Batch and Neon Demon. His hollow performance in John Wick works strangely well, too. But as a scientist struggling with enormous moral choices and debilitating grief? It is distracting enough that I almost didn’t notice those plot holes I kept falling into.

That King quote didn’t flash through my mind as I thought about the Foster family and their existential paradox. I was thinking about me having to sit through this movie.

 

An Intimate Battle

 

by George Wolf

 

Rarely has the Battle of the Sexes been more confined than in Neil LaBute‘s Some Velvet Morning.

In fact. in writer/director LaBute’s latest look at the subject, all of the drama occurs at the tastefully decorated residence of one young woman.

Velvet (Alice Eve) is surprised one morning when Fred (Stanley Tucci) appears at her door, with several pieces of luggage in tow.  After four years, Fred has finally left his wife, he says, and he wants to again explore the chance of a life with Velvet.

Over the next 83 minutes, we learn about all the dark corners of their relationship. History is relived and ugly acusations are unfurled as Fred and Velvet take turns wielding the power in their exchanges.

That Tucci is wonderful should comes as no surprise, but it is Eve’s performance that should open some eyes to the depth of her dramatic talent.  Velvet is a young woman with secrets, and Eve strings us along deliciously in the emotional dance with her old flame.

At its core, the film is a return to LaBute’s early roots as a playwright, as his favorite theme of the dark, cynical nature of relationships is explored using just two characters, but from rotating perspectives that constantly surprise.

As the meeting escalates toward the ending you think you know, LaBute throws the ace he’s been holding back since Fred rang the doorbell, but it doesn’t result in quite the jackpot he may have been seeking.

Often absorbing and sporting two fine performances, the final reveal in Some Velvet Morning ultimately leaves you wondering if LaBute’s destination was worth the journey.

 

Verdict-3-0-Stars