Tag Archives: Jeffrey Wright

Confirmation

IT ONLY TAKES ONE VOICE TO CHANGE HISTORY. In 1991, President Bush nominates Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) for the Supreme Court, but a law professor (Kerry Washington) steps forward, claiming that Thomas sexually harassed her. The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy is an epic he said-she said story where we still don’t know which one of … Continue reading Confirmation

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

THE REVOLUTION IS ABOUT ALL OF US. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her allies prepare to liberate the people of Panem and defeat President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and his troops once and for all. The fourth and final chapter in this franchise is largely an overblown war movie, with scenes that might remind audiences of … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

FIRE BURNS BRIGHTER IN THE DARKNESS. After surviving another Hunger Game, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is in District 13 where the rebel leader, President Coin (Julianne Moore), wants to turn her into the Mockingjay, a symbol of the resistance. The third and fourth films in the franchise cut the last novel into two. A pointless … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Boardwalk Empire: Bringing Back the Booze

  This period gangster show was created by a man who cut his teeth as a writer and producer on the seminal HBO mafia saga, The Sopranos (1999-2007). With lots of attention preceding its premiere, and the Emmy-winning pilot episode directed by none other than Martin Scorsese, it would be easy to just kneel before … Continue reading Boardwalk Empire: Bringing Back the Booze

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

EVERY REVOLUTION BEGINS WITH A SPARK.  After winning the Hunger Games, tributes Katniss and Peeta (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson) inspire rebellions in several districts, and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) comes up with a new version of the games. The sequel has a new director and a somewhat darker shade of colors, but it is also … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Broken City

PROOF CAN BE A POWERFUL WEAPON. Former NYC cop turned private eye Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) is hired by Mayor Nicholas Hofstetler (Russell Crowe) to spy on his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones); is she being unfaithful? As you might guess, there’s a lot more beneath the surface in the director’s first big picture without his brother … Continue reading Broken City

Source Code

MAKE EVERY SECOND COUNT. Army pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) learns that he’s been thrown into an alternative timeline where he’s bound to experience another person’s last eight minutes alive over and over until he can stop the bombing that killed the person. Director Duncan Jones’s Moon (2009) was an original piece of sci-fi; this … Continue reading Source Code

Only Lovers Left Alive

Adam and Eve (Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton) are vampires who have been married for ages; during a stay in Tangier, Eve senses Adam’s depression and goes to see him in Detroit where he’s gained a reputation as an underground rock genius. When Jim Jarmusch makes a romantic film about vampires, the results are neither horror … Continue reading Only Lovers Left Alive

Cadillac Records

FOLLOW THE BEAT TO ITS SOURCE. In 1940s Chicago, Polish immigrant and jazz club entrepreneur Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) gets involved with a record label and starts signing black artists that will change the history of rock ‘n’ roll… Darnell Martin’s chronicle of the rise and fall of Chess Records invites us into the lives, … Continue reading Cadillac Records

Presumed Innocent

ATTRACTION. DESIRE. DECEPTION. MURDER. NO ONE IS EVER COMPLETELY INNOCENT.   When a prosecutor (Greta Scacchi) is found raped and murdered in her apartment, a colleague (Harrison Ford) takes charge of the investigation… even though he had an affair with her. Alan J. Pakula’s first thriller since the 1970s is reminiscent of those films, with … Continue reading Presumed Innocent

Chicago 10

SPEAK YOUR PEACE.   This is undeniably an original way to tell the story of the Chicago Eight and their lawyers. Director Brett Morgen’s partially animated documentary portrays the chaos surrounding the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago where police and protesters clashed violently in Grant Park, but it also dramatizes the subsequent trial against some … Continue reading Chicago 10

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Some time after the death of his father (Tom Hanks) at 9/11, young Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) finds a key inside an envelope marked with the word “Black”, and embarks on a quest to find the right “Black”. Considering the talent involved here, this is a huge disappointment, especially from a director who made The Hours (2002) work … Continue reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Ides of March

AMBITION SEDUCES. POWER CORRUPTS.   Shortly ahead of a Democratic presidential primary in Ohio, Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris’s (George Clooney) junior campaign manager (Ryan Gosling) learns a few lessons about the difference between ideology and politics. Clooney and his crew expanded Beau Willimon’s play (which was based on the 2004 Howard Dean campaign) and turns it … Continue reading The Ides of March