Tag Archives: Angela Bassett

Boyz N the Hood

ONCE UPON A TIME IN SOUTH CENTRAL L.A… IT AIN’T NO FAIRY TALE. John Singleton’s first film has become a classic portrait of African-American youth, following Tre in South Central Los Angeles from childhood to manhood, enduring violence, guns, racist cops and the consequences of broken families – but there’s also typical teenage issues and … Continue reading Boyz N the Hood

John Singleton, 1968–2019

In the clip above, director John Singleton talks about the process he went through writing the movie that launched his career, Boyz N the Hood (1991). He followed the old rule “write what you know” and grounded the film in South Los Angeles, the place where he grew up. Boyz N the Hood earned Singleton an Oscar nomination … Continue reading John Singleton, 1968–2019

Avengers: Endgame

AVENGE THE FALLEN. Five years after the events of Infinity War, the remaining Avengers realize that there can be a way of traveling back in time to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin). The fourth Avengers film is a glorious, three-hour end in 3D to what we’ve seen ever since Iron Man (2008), cleverly and nostalgically connecting … Continue reading Avengers: Endgame

Mission Impossible Fallout: Under Hunt’s Skin

SOME MISSIONS ARE NOT A CHOICE. In my original review of the first movie in this franchise, I wrote that it’s underappreciated. I still consider it the best chapter of the series, but here comes number six and it isn’t far off. It’s not just that it has amazing action set pieces, but it knows … Continue reading Mission Impossible Fallout: Under Hunt’s Skin

Black Panther: Royal Rumble

LONG LIVE THE KING.  At the premiere of this entry in the Marvel franchise, the praise was universal and looked a little bit like how Get Out (2017) was received. Not only were both movies hailed as excellent genre examples, but critics and reporters also frequently pointed out how important they were in the aftermath … Continue reading Black Panther: Royal Rumble

Malcolm X: How Little Became Huge

At first, Norman Jewison was considered as director of a movie chronicling the life of Malcolm X. After all, he had done a great job on In the Heat of the Night (1967), a film that took on the racial conflicts of that period in America. Jewison was interested in the project, but there was … Continue reading Malcolm X: How Little Became Huge

London Has Fallen

THE WORLD’S LEADERS HAVE ASSEMBLED. SO HAVE THEIR ENEMIES. When world leaders, including U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), gather in London for the funeral of the British prime minister, terrorists attack the city in full force. The director’s first American film is a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and it’s just as preposterous. … Continue reading London Has Fallen

Survivor

HIS NEXT TARGET IS NOW HUNTING HIM. After surviving an attack in London, U.S. Embassy employee Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) finds herself on the run from her superiors and one of the world’s best assassins, a man called “The Watchmaker” (Pierce Brosnan). The film ends with a message, written in earnest, about how many acts … Continue reading Survivor

Contact

A MESSAGE FROM DEEP SPACE. WHO WILL BE THE FIRST TO GO? A JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSE. When Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster) suddenly hears a signal coming from the star Vega while working for a program that is exploring extraterrestrial life, the U.S. government quickly takes control of this historic event. Based … Continue reading Contact

This Means War

IT’S SPY AGAINST SPY. CIA agents and best friends FDR Foster and Tuck Hansen (Chris Pine, Tom Hardy) start dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon) without realizing it and soon turn it into a mindless contest. McG returns to Charlie’s Angels territory with this romantic action-comedy, but he should have moved on. The cartoonish shootouts, … Continue reading This Means War

Olympus Has Fallen

WE ARE NEVER STRONGER THAN WHEN WE ARE TESTED. When a North Korean terrorist and his elite team take over the White House and hold the President (Aaron Eckhart) hostage, one Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) has a shot at saving the day. This old-fashioned, highly charged action thriller virtually plays like a remake of … Continue reading Olympus Has Fallen

Sunshine State

GREETINGS FROM SUNSHINE STATE. John Sayles has always been a socially conscious filmmaker, which is obvious also in this amusing and engaging movie about a small town in northern Florida where race relations and environmental issues surface. There’s no lead character, but an ensemble of people who are all equally interesting to follow. Sayles’s message … Continue reading Sunshine State

Green Lantern

IN OUR DARKEST HOUR, THERE WILL BE LIGHT. Test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is “chosen” by a ring brought to Earth by an alien to become a Green Lantern, an intergalactic “cop” with superpowers. This 3D adventure took a long time to get off the ground, cost a lot of money and was generally … Continue reading Green Lantern