Sep 152019
 

Bridesmaids

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PLOTAnnie Walker is a single woman in her mid-thirties, living in Milwaukee. Following the failure of her bakery due to the recession, her boyfriend left her, and she lost her savings, forcing her to take a job as a sales clerk in a jewelry store and share an apartment with an English immigrant roommate Gil and his sister Brynn. Her business failure was so painful that she has given up baking entirely. Annie has a no-strings-attached sexual relationship with the self-absorbed Ted, but she hopes for something more from him. Her best friend, Lillian, is virtually her only source of happiness.

Lillian becomes engaged to her boyfriend Doug and asks Annie to be her maid of honor. At the engagement party, Annie meets Lillian's bridesmaids: cynical, worldly, long-married cousin Rita; naïve and idealistic newlywed friend from work Becca; the groom's decidedly unfiltered sister Megan; and Helen, the rich, beautiful, and elite wife of the groom's boss. Helen and Annie, who are jealous of each other's friendship with Lillian, take an instant dislike to each other, but Lillian persuades them to spend time together.

Annie takes Lillian and the bridesmaids to a Brazilian steak restaurant in Chicago for lunch before going to a chic bridal shop. Helen uses her influence to gain entry to the shop because Annie didn't make a reservation. While trying on gowns, the whole party—with the exception of Helen, who chose not to eat before the fitting— gets diarrhea from food poisoning. Later, Annie's suggestion of a bachelorette party at Lillian's parents' lake house is overruled in favor of a trip to Las Vegas planned by Helen. Worried about her finances and too proud to accept a ticket paid for by Helen, Annie books a ticket in economy class although the rest of the party flies first-class. The trip is cut short by an outburst from Annie, who had accepted a sedative and liquor from Helen because of her massive fear of flying and begins to hallucinate. The plane makes an emergency landing in Casper, Wyoming, and the party takes a bus back home. Annie apologizes, but Lillian decides that she wants Helen to take over planning the shower and the wedding.

Annie continues to hope for a relationship with Ted, but Irish-American Nathan Rhodes, a friendly State Patrol officer who had earlier let her off without a ticket for broken tail lights, begins flirting with her. Nathan encourages her to open a new bakery, but Annie declines. Following a romantic night together, Nathan buys baking supplies as a surprise, in the hopes that Annie will start baking again. Offended and overwhelmed, Annie leaves. Annie is later fired for being rude to a customer, and kicked out of her apartment by her roommates, forcing her to move in with her mother.

Annie travels to Helen's home in Chicago for the bridal shower, which has become a Parisian-themed event, an idea that Annie previously came up with but Helen turned down. Helen also upstages Annie's heartfelt, handmade shower gift by giving Lillian a trip to Paris, an idea Helen stole from Annie. Enraged that Helen has taken credit for the Parisian theme and jealous of her relationship with Lillian, Annie throws a tantrum. Lillian kicks her out of the shower and the wedding. On her way home, Annie is involved in a car accident due to her still-broken tail lights, but the other driver flees the scene. Officer Rhodes ends up being the responding officer, and he admonishes her for not fixing her tail lights or taking responsibility for her life. When Annie dismisses him by saying she "knows" he didn't want anything but sex from her, Rhodes is upset, and storms off when Ted arrives to give Annie a ride. On the ride home, Ted asks Annie to perform oral sex on him. Frustrated, she breaks off the relationship and walks home.

Annie becomes reclusive, refusing to leave her mother's house and obsessively watching television. Eventually, Megan arrives and gives Annie a pep talk, telling her that she must stop blaming the world for her problems and take control of her life. Annie realizes her errors and begins to repair her life, beginning to bake again and getting her car fixed. She tries to make amends with Nathan, but he is still upset over her previous actions and ignores her. On the day of the wedding, Helen appears at Annie's doorstep distraught; Lillian has disappeared, and Helen begs for Annie's help in finding her. While they drive, Helen apologizes to Annie and opens up to her, revealing that people only involve her in their lives because she is good at planning events, but she does not have any true female friends, leading to something of a reconciliation between them. The two enlist Officer Rhodes to help, and he reluctantly agrees. The group finds Lillian at her own apartment, discovering that she ran from her wedding because of Helen's extravagant planning and from fear of leaving her life in Milwaukee. After reconciling, Annie helps Lillian prepare for her wedding.

Annie resumes her place as maid of honor. After the wedding, which Annie agrees with Helen is "perfect", Helen again apologizes to Annie, and states her hope that they can be friends in the future. Realizing that Annie and Officer Rhodes were falling in love, Helen also arranged for him to pick up Annie after the wedding. Officer Rhodes and Annie reconcile and the pair ride away in his police car.
2011Personal Rating70Rotten Critics90Rotten Audience76IMDb Rating68Combined Rating76.0

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May 152019
 

The Martian

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PLOTIn 2035, the crew of the Ares III mission to Mars is exploring Acidalia Planitia on Martian solar day (sol) 18 of their 31-sol expedition. A severe dust storm threatens to topple their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The mission is scrubbed and as the crew evacuates, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by debris and lost in the storm. The telemetry from his suit's biomonitor is damaged and Watney is presumed dead. With the MAV on the verge of toppling, the surviving crew take off for their orbiting vessel, the Hermes.

Watney awakens after the storm, injured and with a low-oxygen warning. He returns to the crew's surface habitat ("Hab") and treats his wound. As Watney recovers, he begins a video diary. Lacking communication with Earth, his only chance of rescue is via the next Mars mission, four years later: the Ares IV will be landing 3,200 kilometers (2,000 mi) away at the Schiaparelli crater. Watney's immediate concern is food; being the mission's botanist, he improvises a garden inside the Hab utilizing Martian soil fertilized with the crew's bio-waste, and manufactures water from leftover rocket fuel. He then plants the crew's unused Thanksgiving dinner potatoes to supplement his food supply. He also begins modifying the rover for the long-distance trek to the Ares IV landing site.

On Earth, NASA satellite planner Mindy Park, reviewing aerial Hab images, notices moved equipment and realizes Mark is alive. NASA director, Teddy Sanders, publicly releases the news, though the Ares III crew (still en route to Earth) are not told so that they remained focused on their mission. Sanders overrules Hermes flight director Mitch Henderson, who believes the crew should know.

Watney takes the rover to retrieve the nearby Pathfinder probe, which fell silent in 1997. Using Pathfinder's camera and motor, he establishes rudimentary two-way communication with Earth, first using hand-written signs, and then sending and receiving ASCII in hexadecimal. NASA transmits a software patch to link the rover with Pathfinder and communicate via text. Watney is angry that the Hermes crew is unaware that he is alive; Sanders finally allows Henderson to inform them.

Mars mission director, Vincent Kapoor, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) director Bruce Ng prepare an Iris space probe to deliver enough food for Watney to survive until Ares IV's arrival. Meanwhile, the Hab's airlock malfunctions, causing an implosion and damaging the structure. Watney repairs and pressurizes the Hab, but the Martian atmosphere has destroyed the current potato crop and sterilized the soil. Believing it a low risk, Sanders orders the routine pre-flight safety inspections be bypassed to expedite the probe's launch. The rocket explodes 40 seconds after liftoff. Watney now believes his death on Mars is inevitable.

The China National Space Administration has been developing a powerful classified booster rocket, the Taiyang Shen. Feeling camaraderie with NASA's scientists, they violate their government's secrecy and offer to repeat the Iris mission. As Watney's situation grows more risky as time passes, JPL astrodynamicist Rich Purnell devises an alternative plan: have the Taiyang Shen rendezvous with and resupply the Hermes, which will then use Earth's gravity to "slingshot" back to Mars two years earlier than Ares IV. Sanders rejects the idea, considering it too risky for the Hermes crew; Henderson surreptitiously sends Purnell's plan to the crew who unanimously vote to implement it. They disable NASA's remote controls and make the course change. Powerless to stop them, NASA concedes the issue.

Watney begins the 90-sol journey to Schiaparelli, where the MAV for Ares IV has been pre-positioned. The MAV needs to be lightened to intercept with Hermes on its new course. Watney removes many components, and replaces the nose cone with canvas. After takeoff, the MAV fails to reach the required speed. Commander Lewis maneuvers the Hermes to decelerate, consuming much fuel. She also orders an directional explosive decompression of the internal atmosphere to better align the ship. In a Manned Maneuvering Unit, Lewis is unable to reach Watney when the tether falls short. Watney pierces his pressure suit, using the escaping air to successfully propel himself to Lewis. He and the crew are reunited after Mark's 560 sols alone on Mars.

After returning to Earth, Watney becomes a survival instructor for astronaut candidates. Five years later, as the Ares V is about to launch, those involved in Watney's rescue are seen in their current lives.
2015Personal Rating100Rotten Critics91Rotten Audience91IMDb Rating80Combined Rating90.5

Movies IMDb