Frequencies (2013) – A thought-provoking, engrossing sci-fi flick set in a world where one’s “frequency” (a scientifically measured level of luck) determines their place in society. Those with higher frequencies experience lower levels of emotion. Marie (Eleanor Wyld) tests at a very high frequency, one of the highest ever recorded. Zak (Daniel Fraser) tests at a very low frequency, and bad luck follows him everywhere he goes. As an experiment, the two are allowed to meet for one minute each year. During these meetings, bad things usually happen. A sudden storm hits one year, and another, the cargo hold on a passing airplane opens, dropping luggage from the sky. What will happen if they ever spend more than one minute together? I like the fact that the story is told from both Marie and Zak’s perspectives. We see them both get their test results, and we see them deal with the consequences of their scores. The performances are good by the actors playing both lead characters at various ages. The pace is slow at times, but the story is incredibly interesting. Nice job on part of writer/director Darren Paul Fisher (Inbetweeners).
Insurgent (2015) – A little bit cheesier than the first film at times, but also more action-packed. A very entertaining watch, and a solid adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novel. This installment has us delving more deeply into faction politics, and finding the truth about the purpose of divergents in dystopian Chicago. Some of the things I took issue with in the book, like the too-angsty, misunderstanding-filled, stressful turn of the relationship between Tris and Four, are absent in the film. (This was my favorite book from the Divergent series, but there were a few little things that annoyed me about it, their unnecessary relationship drama being the largest, haha.) Additionally, the scenes where Tris must complete simulations from each faction are very nicely done. I didn’t immediately love this film as much as the first one, but I did enjoy it. And with some huge changes made from book to film (particularly the ending!), I’m very curious how the Allegiant films will play out.
Save the Date (2012) – Decent indie drama about life, love, and sisterhood. Talented cast (Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber, etc.) and they all give solid performances. Lizzy Caplan in particular has a strong screen presence. I would have liked to see the relationship between Caplan and Brie’s characters developed more fully, with more of a focus put on the relationship between sisters, rather than a love triangle the likes of which we’ve seen on screen a million times (despite a few attempts to throw in twists). This isn’t my best random Netflix discovery, but nowhere near my worst either; I rated it 3/5 there, and enjoyed watching it for the most part. Tiny bonus points for the main character being a library school drop-out/bookstore manager, haha.