Hyper Sci-Fi Action Flick “Upgrade” Will Make You Laugh, Cheer, and Think (kinda)

Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade is a wonderful and devilish little concoction of a film. At its center is Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green), an old-fashioned “works with his hands” kind of guy who restores old cars in a near-future where all of the cars drive themselves. After an accident leaves him a quadriplegic, one of his more wealthy and influential clients offers to help him by implanting an experimental chip in his brain called STEM that will allow him to walk again.

It works.  And then the chip starts talking to him.

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Verhoeven and Huppert Combine to Tell a Singular Story of Feminine Strength in “Elle”

Paul Verhoeven’s Elle opens with a blank screen and the sickening sounds of sexual assault.  The first image of the film is of a cat, casually witnessing the rape.  Only after this introduction does Verhoeven confront the audience with the actual struggle:  a man clad in dark clothing and a ski mask, dominating an older woman and having his way with her.  Once he is gone, we’re introduced to Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert) wordlessly; she picks herself up, straightens her clothing, cleans up some broken glass, and then takes a bath.  The blood floats up from between her legs to color the bubbles with a crimson wisp.

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