Tag Archives: Forest Whitaker

Rogue One

A REBELLION BUILT ON HOPE. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) becomes involved with the Rebel Alliance and its quest to steal the blueprint for the Death Star; her father deliberately hid a fatal flaw inside this powerful space weapon… This 3D prequel to Star Wars (1977) was made by the Godzilla (2014) director and has a … Continue reading Rogue One

Ryan Coogler, Blockbuster Director at 30

Ryan Coogler turns 30 years old today, so congratulations are in order. The clip above is an interview with the director from 2013 where he talks about his background and his breakthrough film Fruitvale Station. Based on real events, that was a powerful film and I remember seeing it at the Stockholm film festival and watching … Continue reading Ryan Coogler, Blockbuster Director at 30

Out of the Furnace

SOMETIMES YOUR BATTLES CHOOSE YOU.  After serving time in prison, steel mill worker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) learns that his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), who did tours in Iraq, competes in bare-knuckle fights. A grim drama from the director of Crazy Heart (2009) set in an economically depressed Pennsylvania borough. The working-class locations feel … Continue reading Out of the Furnace

Crying Game: The Gal With a Secret

PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK.  In the beginning, this film had a hard time finding an audience in Britain. Opening in October 1992, London had suffered unusually many terrorist attacks and neither the press nor the public seemed willing to accept a sympathetic portrait of an IRA terrorist. When The Crying Game opened in the … Continue reading Crying Game: The Gal With a Secret

Southpaw

BELIEVE IN HOPE. Light heavyweight champ Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is struck by a personal tragedy and has to start his life over, with help from a trainer (Forest Whitaker) in a small-time gym. Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter’s script has a few themes in common with that show, as it explores the consequences … Continue reading Southpaw

Good Morning, Vietnam

TIME TO ROCK IT FROM THE DELTA TO THE DMZ!   In 1965, Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) arrives in Saigon to serve as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio Service, but starts breaking protocol right away. Williams’s breakthrough, a story inspired by the real-life Cronauer, was a big commercial and critical hit, a perfect vehicle … Continue reading Good Morning, Vietnam

The Last Stand

NOT IN HIS TOWN. NOT ON HIS WATCH. A drug lord who’s taken a hostage is speeding toward the Mexican border in a modified Chevrolet, but first he needs to cross a sleepy Arizona small town where the sheriff is a former LAPD cop… Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first starring vehicle in ten years (after his stint … Continue reading The Last Stand

Now Let’s See a Whole Movie With Rickman as Reagan

Today, I saw Lee Daniels’ The Butler and there are two things I’d like to discuss here – how the civil rights movement is depicted in the film, and the portrayal of all those Presidents. What didn’t fly and what did in fact work? Let’s start with Harry Lennix. A little over a month ago, the … Continue reading Now Let’s See a Whole Movie With Rickman as Reagan

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

ONE QUIET VOICE CAN IGNITE A REVOLUTION.  A brisk walk through American history and the civil rights movement in particular, as we follow a black man (Forest Whitaker) who serves seven presidents in the White House from Eisenhower to Reagan. How is the cause best served is the most important question asked in the film. … Continue reading Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Wrapping Up Sundance

This year’s edition of the Sundance film festival in Utah is over – and we have a few winners. The Grand Jury prizes for American films went to Fruitvale in the drama category and Blood Brother in the documentary category; both also won the Audience Awards. The World Cinema Grand Jury prize went to the South Korean … Continue reading Wrapping Up Sundance