Take Me To The Movies: Upgrade, A Kid Like Jake


A futuristic sci-fi thriller from the co-creator of the bloody “Saw” franchise and the “Insidious” franchise, Leigh Whannell, who also guests on “Sonstein Sunday” this week.

I expected bloody, considering the “creator” but this one is much more sci-fi meets “The Terminator.” Set in the not-too-distant future, Logan Marshall Green of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” & “Prometheus” plays an old school car mechanic whose wife is murdered in a mugging that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. A billionaire inventor cures him with a new implant called “Stem,” which also gives him super strength. You know where this one’s going but it’s still highly entertaining. You can save it for a Netflix night.

2 –and-a-half stars

“A Kid Like Jake”

Director Silas Howard guests on NEXT week’s “Sonstein Sunday” when the movie goes to DVD. Claire Danes and Jim Parsons star as Brooklyn parents of preschooler Jake, who is bright, creative and gender-expansive, as GLAAD puts it. Octavia Spencer stars as the pre-school teacher and family friend who tries to guide the family. Ann Dowd is the overbearing grandmother. The movie shows how even the most “woke” families can be thrown off when child gender issues turn up in their own family. A lot of food for thought here. Clare Danes is especially effective.

2-and-a-half stars

“The Doctor From India”

Jeremy Frindel, the director of this documentary, guests on “Sonstein Sunday” this week. The movie introduced me to the ancient holistic medical care called Ayurveda. It’s a portrait of the life and work of India Dr. Vasant Lad, who introduced Ayurveda to the U.S. I’m still not sure how it works, but it shows how much more we could probably get health-wise from nature. It’s also a poignant reminder of what’s important in life. Dr. Lad’s life was simpler and probably happier when he lived in abject poverty in India, compared to our fast-paced lives.

2 stars

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