In 1969, Young Stan (Milo Coy), is growing up in the shadow of NASA in suburban Houston. Like everyone else, Stan is obsessed with the moon mission. Unlike his classmates, he plays a top-secret role in making it happen. Two NASA officials (Zachary Levi and Glen Powell) show up at Stan’s school to recruit him for a special mission: they accidentally built the lunar module a tad too small, and it’s up to Stan to fly the thing as a trial run for the actual Apollo 11 launch.
This is the stuff of childhood fantasy, and a potentially fun tall tale. Before the film even finishes Stan’s training montage, however, we get a record-scratch moment. Narrator Jack Black, affecting a light Texan twang as the adult Stan, derails his story to announce he wants to tell us about life in the 60s, which he proceeds to do for the next hour.
Linklater has always been an appealingly meandering director, and his best films usually wander as a way of letting us get intimately acquainted with his characters. The ramblings of “Apollo 10 1/2,” don’t do much beyond wallow in nostalgia for “Dark Shadows” and drive-in theaters. The rotoscoped elements work well for the lunar module-based moments, but since so much of the film is based on the ground, the format often obstructs the natural energy of Stan’s interactions with his parents and older siblings.
“Bodies Bodies Bodies,” from director Halina Reijn, featuring a script from playwright Sarah DeLappe (“The Wolves”) and “Cat Person” author Kristen Roupenian, is also big on talk. Fortunately, all the yakking here serves to ramp up the tension, broken up occasionally by raucous humor. Reijn and her collaborators’ horror-comedy is essentially a coked-up, glowstick-adorned version of “The Mousetrap,” and it’s exactly as fun as that description sounds.
On the eve of a hurricane, rich kid Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) takes her girlfriend Bea (Maria Bakalova) to a party at her best friend David’s (Pete Davidson) palatial family home. The other guests are Sophie’s backstabbing lifelong pals, including Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), David’s actress girlfriend, type-A Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), daffy podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott) and Alice’s much older new boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace).