The Adam Project The Adam Project

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The Adam Project: Sci-fi fun with a heart

Easily the best Ryan Reynolds X Netflix tandem so far

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Time traveler goes back in time to team up with his old self to foil a villain’s nefarious plans. The premise of The Adam Project is generic sci-fi, but it’s generic sci-fi done well. 

The movie stars Ryan Reynolds (as adult Adam Reed) and is easily the best from his Netflix films. The previous ones are 6 Underground which is a feature-length Michael Bay trailer and Red Notice which was a fun heist flick but ultimately felt hollow. 

With The Adam Project, Reynolds teams up again with Free Guy Director Shawn Levy, to deliver something geeky but also with a lot of heart. 

Generic, but still fun, sci-fi 

In terms of the sci-fi elements, The Adam Project doesn’t really offer anything new or original. And that’s mostly okay. Instead, it’s self-aware of the references it makes. There’s even a quick scene capturing this as the older Adam tells younger Adam (played by Walker Scobell) how they watch too many movies. This, after Scobbel asked if there is such a thing as the multiverse which has become a staple of late in mainstream comic book franchises. 

The other obvious reference as shown on the movie’s trailer is Reynolds’ weapon which looks a lot like a lightsaber from the Star Wars franchise. 

Overall, the sci-fi and geeky references made are cool and should get at least a smile or a chuckle from fans. But ultimately, these just serve as the dressing for the story and themes of the film. 

Dealing with repressed emotions

The Adam Project

The Adam Project (L to R) Ryan Reynolds as Big Adam, Mark Ruffalo as Louis Reed and Walker Scobell as Young Adam. Cr. Doana Gregory/Netflix © 2022

The overall narrative structure is also pretty simple. My guess is this is to appeal even to younger audiences. The action and story that ensues after old Adam meets his younger self is pretty standard and predictable especially if you’ve been exposed to several blockbuster films before. 

But the key difference here, and from the rest of Reynolds’ Netflix films, is that this one really feels well-acted. Every A-list actor (the film also stars Jennifer Garner, Zoe Zaldana, and Mark Ruffalo)  in the cast plays their characters well. No one was just mailing it in. 

Quick side note on the acting

I initially thought Reynolds will pull back on the merc-with-a-mouth persona here but that isn’t the case. Instead, he’s still mostly playing himself with Scobell embodying the smart mouth attitude as a kid. 

The Adam Project

The Adam Project (L to R) Jennifer Garner as Ellie and Mark Ruffalo as Louis Reed. Cr. Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2022

What elevates The Adam Project are the interactions between the main cast and their relationships with each other. The conflict between them feels real and it has a lot to do with repressing emotions. In particular, the relationship of Adam Reed (both old and young) with his parents played by Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, play a central part on the core theme of the movie.  

It’s a familial struggle that I’m pretty sure plenty will be able to relate to in one form of the other. The exchange between the two Adam Reeds during a turning point of the movie felt a little on the nose, but it still delivers the right level of emotion to pull you in and make you feel what they’re feeling.

And the eventual release, when the two Reeds have their moment with their parents, actually pays-off. 

Should you watch The Adam Project

The Adam Project

The Adam Project (L to R) Ryan Reynolds as Big Adam and Zoe Saldana as Laura. Cr. Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2022

The majority of this piece might have made the movie sound underwhelming but those were strictly my objective observations. Overall, it’s a really enjoyable film. 

The action set pieces were very entertaining. The special effects were eye-popping. The geeky references are smile-inducing. And the culmination of the story is heartwarming. 

The Adam Project doesn’t offer anything new for sci-fi. What it is, rather, is a celebration and poking a little fun at the genre all while telling an engaging story. 

It might not blow your socks off, but I definitely see this as a movie that the whole family can enjoy. 

The Adam Project streams on Netflix on March 11. | All images courtesy of Netflix.

Entertainment

Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier

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Netflix is currently in a bind. As the platform’s rivals grow, Netflix has started shrinking and losing subscribers. The company has also started pondering on alternative strategies to maintain its grip on the streaming world. One of the most recent ideas involves the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier. Now, after much strategizing, Netflix has all but confirmed its addition later this year.

During the recent Cannes Lion advertising festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the platform is indeed adding a cheaper option for subscribers by the end of the year. While the platform was initially averse to including ads, Sarandos has stated that some subscribers actually don’t mind ads in return for a cheaper price per month.

Prior to an official announcement, Netflix has not announced how much the new subscription will cost on launch. Likewise, they haven’t confirmed whether the tier will come to all countries and territories where Netflix is present.

If anything, Netflix isn’t alone or the first in adding an ad-supported subscription tier. Hulu, for example, already offers such a tier. Hulu’s partner streaming platform, Disney+, is also considering adding a similar tier later this year.

Besides adding the ad-supported tier, Netflix is also pumping up its presence in the gaming world. They are also considering another payment system meant for users who share their passwords to non-subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

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Squid Game is getting an actual game show

You can sign up as a contestant now

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Without a doubt, Squid Game has been one of Netflix’s most popular titles of recent history. The South Korean series has sparked all sorts of tributes, parodies, and similar titles. That said, it’s no surprise that it’s getting a sequel. And apparently, a sequel isn’t the only thing it’s getting. Netflix has announced that Squid Game is also getting an actual game show.

And of course, it is. If you’re unaware of what Squid Game is, it’s a show that has those with outstanding debts participate in children’s games but with a deadly twist. Only one participant will walk out alive with enough money to pay off their debts. It’s a premise that practically begs for a reality show.

Obviously, Netflix’s planned reality show won’t involve any do-or-die stipulations. According to the company’s announcement, the show will pit 456 English-speaking players across the globe against each other for a US$ 4.56 million cash prize. All of the challenges involved will take inspiration from the show’s games.

Netflix has not announced which games will be involved or then the show will be released. The platform, however, has announced that the ten-episode series will be shot in the United Kingdom. Eager viewers can sign up to be a participant now through this site.

If reality isn’t your thing, Squid Game has also recently confirmed that a second season is coming soon.

SEE ALSO: Netflix confirms second season for ‘Squid Game’

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#NowPlaying: Lightyear

Ain’t your typical Toy Story film

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I wasn’t born yet when Disney and Pixar released the first ever Toy Story film back in 1995. Back then, it was a talk not just of the town, but the whole planet for being the first ever 3D-animated feature film.

Still, I’m one of those lucky kids who were able to catch up and watch the Toy Story franchise several times back when Disney Channel (not Disney+) was still the thing of the past. Woody and Buzz Lightyear are two of the most iconic characters I cherished since then.

During the pandemic, it was mentioned that a special spinoff film of Buzz named Lightyear will come to cinemas. Fast forward this 2022 (still under the pandemic), kids and kids at heart (like me) were all ecstatic to know that Lightyear has his own story to tell.

The Special Screening

Last Saturday, June 11th, selected people were invited to watch the special screening of Lightyear at SM Megamall — one of the biggest malls in the Philippines.

Other than these free Lightyear pins, the real treat is the Lightyear film itself being shown through the gigantic IMAX 3D screen — a feast in the eyes, I must say.

Overall, the experience was fun — and the film itself, well, I have many things in mind but here are…

6 reasons why you need to watch Lightyear right now

⚠️ Warning: Some spoilers ahead! ⚠️

1. Voiced by Chris Evans

 If you miss Captain America, now is the chance to hear him again, but in a different suit. Pretty much like Captain America, Lightyear is also a wise-sounding hero that does it all for his teammates.

2. A Rollercoaster Ride of Emotions

As told by Chris Evans, Lightyear isn’t your typical film. It’s an “epic sci-fi” one, and I attest to that.

Other than the usual action-packed fight scenes, there are also melodramatic parts that will truly make you cry if you’re onion-skinned (like I do). And it wouldn’t be a classic Disney film without the hilarious comedic parts in it.

And as we’re already on the topic, Emperor Zurg reveals himself around the middle part of the film.

The real spoiler here is that, Emperor Zurg is none other than Buzz Lightyear himself — but from the future.

This either makes or breaks the part when Emperor Zurg revealed he IS Lightyear’s father in Toy Story 2 — though this can very easily be just a gag referencing the Star Wars moment between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

3. Sox

That’s it. That’s the tweet — I mean how can you resist this adorable cat?

Sox isn’t your typical feline. It is actually a robot assistant made by Space Ranger Hawthorne to Buzz Lightyear.

As adorable as it looks, it can do more than that — anything and everything between hacking into systems, examining the inconsistencies in Buzz’s hyperspeed fuel compound, and heck even play sleepy sounds to make you asleep.

That said, Sox, whether just a pseudo-cat, still lives to the spirit of a real and cute cat — just the friendlier one.

4. The (Not-so) Epic Dream Team

After Lightyear’s lone hyperspeed experimentation for more than half a century, the dynamic duo between him and his Space Ranger partner Alisha Hawthorne didn’t actually go as planned. Even so, Hawthorne parted happily and peacefully.

The almost epic dream team is actually far from being perfect. Together with Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy, Sox, and the two nutheads namely Mo Morrison and Darby Steel, they’re gonna make a huge leap in and out of space that no one will expect — not even Lightyear has even thought of.

5. Interstellar-like

If you’ve watched (or a huge fan of) Interstellar, chances are you might love Lightyear even more. From terms like “time dilation”, “Space Rangers”, and even the existence of “Hypersleep Pods”, Interstellar fans will surely get the unintentional connection and references between the two films.

It should come to no surprise that the film was produced by Warner Bros. and not Disney — but the similarities are uncanny to many eagle-eyed Interstellar fans.

6. #Pride Over Prejudice

Saving the sixth number for the sixth month is none other than the portrayal of homosexuality in the film. Well, we’re not talking about Buzz here.

As already reported by a lot of news outlets, Lightyear is banned in several Middle Eastern and Asian countries due to this “controversy” where Space Ranger Alisha Hawthorne and her wife had a subtle kiss upon celebrating their marriage. They even created a family through surrogacy and resulted into a son — which is Izzy Hawthorne’s father btw.

If you’re homophobic, chances are you would feel “disgusted” by the same-sex family portrayal in the film. But not today son, not on my watch. Especially not during Pride month. And also, educate your kids not to hate same-sex parents. A loving family, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, is still a family.

The much-awaited premiere

If you have time (I say you need to make time), Lightyear will start showing on cinemas this June 15 — at least if you reside in the Philippines — or June 17 in other parts of the world.

And just like other Disney films, you should wait for post-credits before leaving the cinema 😉  (and please, don’t leave your garbage, too).

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