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Midnight Special

by JC Alvarez
Thursday Jun 30, 2016
Midnight Special

While the distraction of the big budget blockbuster films is almost impossible to avoid, whether it be alien invaders threatening our independence, or heroes in kevlar tights and body army bringing down a city around them, science-fiction and fantasy don't have to be relegated to loud explosions and faster than light travel. Director Jeff Nichols has brought about a story unlike anything imagined in the spectacular film "Midnight Special" available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

The always riveting Michael Shannon plays a father, Roy, hopelessly devoted to defending the life of his son, who is more than other-worldly. Alton (played by Jaeden Lieberher) is born on a religious commune, but when he begins to exhibit startling abilities -- objects move around him and his eyes glow bright -- he becomes something of a horror and a revelation. When the FBI begins to investigate the mysterious matter, Roy sees no other choice but to run.

Roy believes that his son must be returned to where ever Alton is really from -- a world "in-between" worlds, a parallel place not of our understanding, but a higher dimension. He enlists his friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton) and Sarah (played by Kirsten Dunst) who is also Alton's mother, and finds an unlikely ally in an FBI investigator played by Adam Driver (HBO's "Girls" and the hit film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"). Now with time at their backs, Roy must lose, in order to save him.

No doubt Jeff Nichols found a great amount of inspiration from the early works of Steven Spielberg. "Midnight Special" is mysteriously intense and paced very similarly to Spielberg's classic "Close Encounters." The revelation of Alton's true identity is wondrously imaginative and excitingly unique. The characters, especially Shannon's devoted father Roy are so deeply developed that their plight will resonate; everyone is so focused on Alton's journey, it's impossible not to become invested in the film.

Compared to other sci-fi films "Midnight Special" depends on the very grounded nature of its lead characters, and even Alton's extra-terrestrial origins become extremely believable -- certainly we would want to believe that there is a world out there somewhere, parallel to ours that is bathed in light -- a world so beautiful that the fight to return to it is brilliantly worth it! "Midnight Special" proves that it is! Imaginative and inviting "Midnight Special" is unlike anything anyone has seen before.

The Blu-ray features some bonus behind-the-scenes looks with the director and writer that reveal Alton's mysteriously "Unseen World" and delves deeper into the characters inside the film.

"Midnight Special"
available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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