Movie of the Week: Marshall

From the pages of history comes this week’s main feature film chronicling the rise of one of this country’s most influential lawmakers. Before he was the first African-American to be nominated to the Supreme Court, he was an African-American with a law degree setting up shop where no one has ever seen a African-American lawyer before. Thurgood Marshall was a hotshot, a fighter and ready to take on the case that would jumpstart his legendary career. Stepping into the role of Marshall is none other than Chadwick Boseman.

Director: Reginald Hudlin

Written by: Jacob and Michael Koskoff

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Keesha Sharp, Jussie Smollett, John Magaro and Roger Guenver Smith.

What am I expecting to see?: The moment I heard that Boseman was portraying Thurgood Marshall, my reaction was “I’m in!” I think this is going to be another career-defining performance by Chadwick Boseman, once again stepping into the shoes of another prominent African-American historical figure. I expect Marshall to be a rather riveting film providing insight into Marshall’s life before the Supreme Court and I hope to be more educated and entertained.

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Movies of the Week: Victoria and Abdul & Blade Runner 2049

This weekend, I’m going back and forth through time as I watch two of my most anticipated films of 2017. From the director of The Queen, Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins comes the story of a very unlikely and refreshing friendship between a meager servant and a monarch of great longevity. From the pages of Shabrani Basu’s book, Dame Judi Dench stars as her majesty Queen Victoria who becomes reinvigorated after striking a kinship with a lowly attendant named Abdul. Victoria and Abdul finally makes its way to a theater near me and I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.

Director: Stephen Frears

Written by: Lee Hall

Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard, Michael Gambon, Tim Pigott-Smith, Adeel Akhtar, Paul Higgins, Olivia Williams, Fenella Woolgar and Julian Wadham.

What am I expecting to see?: Plain and simple, Dame Judi Dench at the top of her game. Stephen Frears’ films, at least for me, I received them in a very lukewarm fashion; I think that they are solid on their own standing with a tremendous leading performance as the headline of why you should see them and Victoria and Abdul doesn’t look any different. I also want to see if newcomer Ali Fazal can hold his own against a acting legend such as Ms. Dench.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the work of the director of films such as Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival. His newest film promises to be one of the most dazzling of the year and his most ambitious to date. We’re going back to Ridley Scott, Philip K. Dick and Hampton Fancher’s post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, where a young cop uncovers a dangerous discovery and must track down Rick Deckard, who hasn’t been seen for three decades. Blade Runner 2049 is ready to get to work.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Written by: Hampton Fancher and Michael Green

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Lennie James, Barkhad Abdi, Mackenzie Davis and David Dastmalchian.

What am I expecting to see?: This movie has so much going for it, regarding cast and crew, how could I not turn this down? I had the opportunity to see Blade Runner for the first time almost a month ago, so I have an idea of what I may be getting myself into as we find Deckard 30 years later. I want to come away from Blade Runner 2049 blown away, visually and thematically! Denis Villenueve has directed many excellent features over the past few years and I think this has the potential to top them all!

Movie of the Week: Battle of the Sexes

I had to wait a week for this film to expand into my area but it was worth it. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of seeing male athletes and female athletes squaring off against each other rather than just against their respective matches and I guess this weekend will be my chance to see something pretty darn close in the latest film from the directors of one of my favorite comedies Little Miss Sunshine, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Emma Stone and Steve Carell will step into the tennis shoes of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs and face off on the court in Battle of the Sexes.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Natalie Morales, Eric Christian Olsen and Fred Armisen.

What am I expecting to see?: This could be a fun sports drama to watch considering the players involved and who is shaping the picture. Little Miss Sunshine was a refreshing comedy and Simon Beaufoy’s writing has been very enticing in my experience, so I think I will enjoy this under-the-radar indie comedy.

Movie of the Week: mother!

After a thoroughly long dry spell which saw the season of summer come to a close, we’re back with another feature film of the week and this one promises to be a feature to shake audiences to the core. From the man behind Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Noah and Black Swan, comes a new thriller starring Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, who play a seemingly content couple whose existence is roiled into a frantic frenzy when strangers with mysterious purposes arrive, take up space in their quiet home and invite darkness into the space they all occupy. This is Darren Aronofsky’s latest simply dubbed mother!

Directed and written by: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfieffer, Ed Harris, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, Jovan Adepo, Amanda Chiu and Patricia Sommerset.

What am I expecting to see?: mother! promises something dark, disturbing, enigmatic and powerful to witness and considering that this is an Aronofsky picture, if it is anything on the level of Black Swan, I believe we’re in for a true treat! I’ve kept up with the news about this picture and about the lengths mother!‘s leading lady went to for this film and I expect nothing less than another Oscar caliber performance from Jennifer Lawrence. mother! better be one of the year’s most powerful films.

Movie of the Week: Detroit

The tandem of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have delivered compelling cinema over the past few years. The Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker was an intense examination of how war can be addictive to man. Zero Dark Thirty was a relentless depiction on the manhunt for the world’s most infamous terrorist and now the two are ready to take audiences back in time to one of the most recent darkest chapters in American history. In 1967, one of America’s most prominent cities was ready to explode due to racial tensions and hostilities toward the police and the incidents which occurred at the Algiers Motel, may as well lit the fuse on those tensions. It’s time to go to Detroit.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Screenwriter: Mark Boal

Starring: John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jason Mitchell, Jack Reynor, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, Jacob Lattimore, John Krasinski, Kaitlyn Dever and Hannah Murray.

What am I expecting to see?: From what I’ve heard going in, this movie is very polarizing; either people will enjoy it or people will see it as a mess, which is strange considering Bigelow and Boal crafted it. The subject itself is tantalizing considering how societally relevant it seems but even the great ones can make mistakes. I’m looking forward to being enlighted, educated and entertained by Detroit considering how much I enjoyed Bigelow’s last two features but I’m bracing myself for the worst all the same.

Movie of the Week: Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan has been one of my favorite filmmakers for years. Whether it is Memento, his prolific Dark Knight trilogy, the ingenious Inception or the spectacular Interstellar, his movies always incite discussion, excitement and fervor among fans, critics and students of cinema. This week, Nolan’s newest project Dunkirk arrives in theaters, attempting to live up to the legacy and adhere to the expectations Nolan has set for himself. In the throws of WWII, 400,000 soldiers are trapped on a beach in Great Britain and the enemy is closing in ready to finish them off. With no way out, there is only one path toward victory: surviving the ordeal before them.

Director and Writer: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Barry Keoghan, Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, Damien Bonnard, Jack Lowden and James D’Arcy

What am I expecting to see?: It is true that I have been looking forward to Dunkirk, because I am a fan of Nolan’s films, but I believe this is the biggest boom or bust movie of the year because of a multitude of reasons. For starters, as far as war pictures go, this looks clean compared to a film such as Hacksaw Ridge, also I’m unfamiliar with the story of this battle or campaign and it’s significance in World War II. Nolan also claims that this is a survival story but the fact that it is set in war time with war iconography is something I cannot wrest away. I’m looking to be educated and surprised by Dunkirk; it has much to prove.

 

Movie of the Week: War For the Planet of the Apes

The epic conclusion to the legend that is Caesar is coming to a close this weekend. The first of the super-apes has inherited the sins of the wicked Koba and now what is left of mankind has dispatched a military force to quell the threat the apes possess. Caesar led his species to freedom in Rise, he did all that he could to maintain that peace in Dawn, but now that seems so long ago. For his home, his family, his future, Caesar has finally embraced the fact that now is the time to fight for his future and this is War. This is the war that will determine who is the superior species on Earth. This is the war that will shape the course of the future going forward. The War For the Planet of the Apes has begun!

Director: Matt Reeves

Screenwriters: Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback

Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer, Terry Notary, Max Lloyd-Jones, Gabriel Chavarria, Ty Olsson, Michael Adamthwaite and Devyn Dalton.

What am I expecting to see?: I have enjoyed this rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise thus far and from what I’ve heard regarding this film in the past few weeks, is that War For the Planet of the Apes is the best one yet and could be the best film to come out this summer! I expect this movie to do what every final installment in a trilogy should do: tie everything together and turn up the intensity another notch. I expect Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson to command the screen and this movie to be technically elite in every aspect. I’ve been looking forward to War for the Planet of the Apes for a long time.