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Kyla’s Movie Review ‘Her’ is a little strange and creepy

HER (R) - Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson (voice), Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Matt Letscher, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde and Portia Doubleday. Directed by and screenplay by Spike Jonze. The movie takes place at an unspecified time in the future. The world is recognizable, but subtly different. Everyone is plugged in. People wear earpieces to communicate with their personal data systems. Dictation has replaced typing and video games are physically immersive, using holographic technology for true 3D. The story involves Theodore (Phoenix), who writes personal letters for others for a living. His character is lonely, having gotten over a painful divorce from Catherine (Mara), and he can’t seem to connect with anyone new. Then he gets a new operating system for his home computer. She is an AI - artificial intelligence - who takes the name Samantha (voiced by Johansson). Besides handling all of the usual processing chores, Samantha wants to learn about Theodore and his world, and become a better fit with him. He starts to fall in love with her, taking her around in a miniature device that allows her to see and hear what he does in the outside world. At first I was fascinated by the story, but after a while the story becomes strange and a little creepy. Phoenix gives a great performance in his OSCAR nominated role. RATING: B-

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT (PG-13) - Starring Chris Pine, Kiera Knightley, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Lenn Kudrjawizki and Alec Utgoff. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. This is based on the characters created by author Tom Clancy. The film starts on 9/11/01, when Ryan (Pine) watches the Twin Towers burn on TV while attending college in England and decides to devote himself to the protection of his country from all enemies “foreign and domestic.” After being injured in Afghanistan, he is recruited by Commander Thomas Harper (Costner) to join the CIA as an analyst. Ryan’s role changes from analytical to operational when, in his capacity as an undercover agent on Wall Street, he discovers the seeds of a Russian conspiracy to crash the U.S. economy. Ordered by Harper, Ryan heads off to Moscow to investigate. The mastermind of the plot, Viktor Cherevin (Branagh), sees the American as “dangerous” and seeks to have him eliminated. Meanwhile, dodging bullets and thwarting attempts on his life takes its toll on Ryan’s relationship with his fiancee, Cathy (Knightley), who thinks his evasiveness might be evidence of an affair. There’s a lot of action here, but not a lot of character development. Pine is an excellent choice for this reboot of the franchise. RATING: B-