You’d think that after “Inception” the creative teams in Hollywood would come up with new tricks and twists on the omnipresent themes of dreams, double-identity and exploration of self. That is not the case. Continuing the genre’s legacy of optional innovation, most Hollywood action films remain just like your old computer: changing your desktop picture won’t give you a new machine.

It was an early January evening, when, along with four other cast members, I was invited to a house dinner by our choreographer and director Philip Dupont ’12, whose senior project in Theater and Dance, “BelReso Curvus,” would be staged in less than two weeks. Shrouded in blue misty twilight, the path to North Amherst rose up and became narrower as I double-checked the directions on my iPhone.

You might not be familiar with the name Lasse Hallström, but if you were once a softie like me who used to fall for eye-candy cinematography, a twist of love and life philosophy and breezy plots, you might have dwelled happily on such films as “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993), “The Cider House Rules” (1999), “Casanova” (2005) or “Dear John” (2010), all crowd-pleasers directed by him.

Writing on a film that makes more money in its opening weekend than the combined domestic box office of all the films I have reviewed for The Student in over a year is quite a departure for me in many ways. For one, instead of having an entire theater to myself (or so I used to pretend), I had to swim in a sea of fresh, glowing teenagers whose popcorn crunching rivaled their pre-show chatter.

The timeline began exactly half a century ago, when the first volume of Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers” series was published. Followed by five sequels, the children fantasy novel spun a plethora of film and TV adaptations, yet each, in some way or another, failed to revive the crystal-clear innocence that made the series a sensation. Meanwhile Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, two young Japanese animation artists took notice and decided to render the series their way.

Whether you will enjoy “PINA” or not largely depends on your attitude toward modern dance. For dance aficionados (like me), “PINA” is a vivacious feast of inspirations; for the rest, it is an almost two-hour long chronicle of crazy people dancing their limbs and brains out.

A seven-year gap is not long enough for Alexander Payne to erase his penchant for contemporary satire nor alter his signature style. With “The Descendants,” his first directorial feature since the now legendary independent hit “Sideways,” an Academy-Award winning black comedy released in 2004, the Payne formula seems to be working again. The question is: Have we had enough?