The Boston Marathon bombing occurred a mere four years ago, and we already have two major feature films that depict the attack. This makes sense, as the story has an inherent emotional core to it, a strength and determination of a city that is inspiring. But where Peter Berg’s Patriots Day takes this emotional core and uses it to an end that is more akin to a thriller than a historical drama, Stronger takes a more sensitive approach.
David Gordon Green, a director who is adept at transitioning between comedic and dramatic projects, takes on in Stronger the story of Continue reading Stronger (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)
Birth of the Dragon is a biopic of legendary martial arts and action film star Bruce Lee (portrayed here by Philip Ng). It tells the story of his rise to prominence in the Western world, and the confrontation between him and martial arts master Wong Jack Man (Xia Yu).
Except, Birth of the Dragon really wants to focus on Continue reading Birth of the Dragon (2017) Movie Review
The biopic is a tiresome genre. It is predicated on formula and stuffy grandiose representations. When a film like Jackie comes around, then, it acts as a feat of restorative faith in the biopic.
Jackie is shot with opaque symmetry. There are many angular, straight on shots that mirror the subject’s mournful resolve. It is an elegant Continue reading Jackie (2016) Movie Review
A movie by a veteran (yet perhaps out of touch) director starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt depicting a true story that was previously depicted in an acclaimed documentary. Is this The Walk. No, this is Snowden.
Snowden follows the CIA career and subsequent “whistleblowing” of Edward Snowden (Gordon-Levitt), as well as his relationship with Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley).
Snowden’s script at times reads more like a civics lesson than a drama. Feeling the need to Continue reading Snowden (2016) Movie Review
Sully is literally marred by explosions. They are the nightmares of the title character—pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), who successfully landed a crashing plane into the Hudson River in 2009—a streaking jet plane striking into Times Square. These are the volatile internal demons of an outwardly calm man.
Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial outing works on two levels of conflict. There is this internal struggle, and there is the closed-door politics of the man’s otherwise heroic actions. The divide between the two, stylistically, is two different movies. It is arguably more effective to Continue reading Sully (2016) Movie Review
Race is the biopic of Olympic athlete Jesse Owens. The film follows Owens (Stephan James) as he tackles adversity in 1930s America and Germany. It also explores the relationship between Owens and his down-and-out coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis).
What it boils down to is that this film is a Continue reading Race (2016) Movie Review
Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs depicts the life of the computer innovator through three separate product launches, all depictions taking place seemingly moments before the show is set to begin.
When we first see Jobs (Michael Fassbender), it is with immediacy. Immediately frustrated. Immediately aggressive. Immediately demanding. All of this surrounding a simple issue: Continue reading Steve Jobs (2015) Movie Review
Straight Outta Compton is a biopic centering around legendary rap group N.W.A. The film chronicles the rise of artists Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) from the unforgiving streets of Compton, California to super stardom as hip-hop pioneers. All the while, bitter racial tensions flood the streets and the nation as the characters encounter multiple run-ins with police and follow the Rodney King trial on television.
Director F. Gary Gray and writers Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff use this biopic as a platform to engage in topical social commentary. The tension in the film between police and African Americans takes Continue reading Straight Outta Compton (2015) Movie Review