Tag Archives: Jeffrey Wright

Shaft

STILL THE MAN, ANY QUESTIONS? The son (Christian Bale) of a wealthy real estate tycoon kills a black man, is released on bail and leaves the country; when he returns a few years later, New York cop John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) is determined to see him punished. When this blaxploitation hero was revived a … Continue reading Shaft

Angels in America: Love and Suffering

THE MESSENGER HAS ARRIVED. In the early 2000s, the AIDS epidemic had not been portrayed on TV and in movies in a fully satisfying way. There were respectable attempts, such as Philadelphia (1993) and the TV movie And the Band Played On (1993), but they also faced criticism for various reasons. It seemed as if … Continue reading Angels in America: Love and Suffering

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