Movie Reviews: Adrift, Upgrade, Beast, How to Talk to Girls at Parties | Buzz Blog
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Movie Reviews: Adrift, Upgrade, Beast, How to Talk to Girls at Parties

In the Last Days of the City, Jewel's Catch One

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Summer blockbusters are nowhere to be found in the post-Memorial Day weekend, but the offerings range from disaster drama to sci-fi horror to documentary profile of a groundbreaking business owner.

A smart structural decision provides the human drama of the fact-based disaster drama Adrift (pictured). An elliptical journey through an Egyptian filmmaker's episodic days makes for some intriguing moments in In the Last Days of the City. The story of a pioneering black lesbian entrepreneur turns into the kind of feel-good video you'd make for your grandparents' anniversary in Jewel's Catch One.

David Riedel finds a familiar-feeling plot, some nifty action and nauseating violence in the sci-fi thriller Upgrade.  The scrambled mix of sci-fi potpoiler, climate-change screed and earnest love story crashes to earth in How to Talk to Girls at Parties.

Also opening this week, but not screened for press: Johnny Knoxville tries to keep a low-budget amusement park afloat in Action Point; and the life of Joseph Smith's wife after his death gets the biopic treatment in In Emma's Footsteps.

In this week's feature review, MaryAnn Johanson praises Beast for giving a familiar tale of "vulnerable woman falls for bad boy" a complex female point of view.