Aloha (2015)

 

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It’s amazing how the most common of situations can be manipulated by our mind, as we dream, into something truly strange, unusual, impossible, and then, unforgettable.  As an example (some people might say e.g. here, but not me. I’m not an e.g. type of guy) after watching an episode of Star Trek I had a dream that a man was shooting at me. That might seem not too unusual, especially since I live in South Florida. But the man was not using a normal gun. He was using a ray gun (yes, like they would use on Star Trek). What made this even more interesting was that the ray d not come out like a laser, or like an energy bullet, but it spread out like a cone. Now something that would seem not too unusual for a dream, goes to the next level of peculiarity. You see, the ray of energy resembled a cone they use to represent the path of a hurricane. Just the week before I was watching the weather channel quite a bit to keep track of hurricane Matthew. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Anyway, back to my dream….. I was crawling on the ground, and this guy shoots this energy cone over me. Why over me? Because this gun was designed to spread out like a cone, then settle down like a mist on the intended target. Fortunately for me, this gave me the time needed to roll away from under the deadly mist. Unfortunately for me, I proceeded, in my sleep, to physically roll to my right. If I had rolled to my left, I would have been blocked by Jenny, but instead I was blocked by nothing, which sent me on a short, loud (as in THUMP!) journey to the floor. Mind you, falling off the bed to the hard floor in the middle of the night can be very disconcerting, but hey, AT LEAST I ESCAPED THE DEADLY MIST!

Was that a strange dream? Yes. Did it make sense? No. Will I soon forget it? Never!

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Which brings us to the movie Aloha (2015). Jenny and I assumed this would be a romantic comedy. Since it was written/directed by Cameron Crowe, who has been described as idiosyncratic, we knew it could be not typical. As we watched the movie, we felt it was just okay…..interesting. The more we watched, it followed story lines that you don’t usually see in a romantic comedy. Certainly not a movie we would encourage others to watch. But then came the ending. Specifically, the last three minutes. W.O.W. Imagine being sound asleep in the middle of an unusual dream, then suddenly BANG! YOU HIT THE FLOOR! That’s what this movie was like.

Bradley Cooper plays a former soldier, now a military contractor. He comes to Hawaii to help his new billionaire boss (Bill Murray) broker a deal with the local inhabitants and the military to build a private rocket launch site. Also on the island is his former girlfriend (Rachel McAdams) who shortly after their break-up married his friend (John Krasinski), and now they have two children. Thrown into the mix is Emma Stone, his perky and idealistic Air Force liaison.

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The movie doesn’t just stay on the story line of relationships past and present of the main characters, but also takes detours into the territories of indigenous people’s rights and military espionage.

The actors are charismatic (and let’s not forget Alec Baldwin, playing Cooper’s former Air Force boss), and the script and direction are good enough to make you want to find out how it ends. But then something happens at the very end. Not toward the end, but the very end. The last three minutes. Up until this point, the movie is a 5 out of 10. This scene makes it a 10 out of ten, maybe even 11 out of 10. Is it because there is a twist at the end? Not at all. All the questions raised in the movie have been answered. But at this point, two characters communicate something to each other in a way that is brilliant.

According to IMDB, one of the executives at Sony Pictures said that many aspects of the movie’s characters and plot made “no sense. I’m never starting a movie again when the script is ridiculous, and we all know it. I don’t care how much I love the director or the actors. It never, not even once, ever works.”

Most people seemed to agree with  that executive; the movie was a financial and critical bomb. But just remember this: They. Are. Wrong.

So pick yourself off the floor after that scary dream, tell yourself you’re in the mood to see a nice romantic comedy, and then prepare in the end to be amazed. BANG!

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