A night where Ali was fighting was probably already exciting. But what takes place in this movie between the legendary boxer and three others was extraordinary.
“One Night in Miami” is set in 1964 and mostly takes place after Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) wins the heavyweight title. Following the fight, Clay meets up with activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and NFL running back Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). On top of celebrating Clay’s win, the night also marks a turning point, where the champ is going to announce that he’s joining the Nation of Islam.
Clay’s decision then sparks debate and conversations between the four men about politics, the Civil Rights Movement and the extent to which artists and athletes should get involved. The movie features the four both finding common ground and having complete disagreements.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘One Night in Miami’ is a magnificent movie”
Netflix’s latest picture takes audiences back to the Roaring 20s with a Blues tale based on a play.
Viola Davis plays the titular character here, who was a real life singer. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey was a woman with several hits during the 1920s, including “Black Bottom.”
This movie picks up with her and her band visiting a Chicago office to record that song and others for an album. The movie follows Ma’s experiences, and her band members’, such as Levee (Chadwick Boseman) as the recording session goes on.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Ma Rainey’s story doesn’t translate well to Netflix”
Two Oscar caliber actresses lend their talents to the screen in “Ammonite,” but what they have to work with doesn’t live up to their abilities.
“Ammonite” is the sophomore feature directing effort by Francis Lee. Taking place in the 1840s, the film follows the fossil researcher Mary Anning, who works along the shores to find preserved animals, like Ammonites. It’s quickly shown that Anning mostly keeps to herself, as the only company she has is her mother played by Gemma Jones.
However, one day a man fascinated by Mary’s work visits her office. After the’re introduced, he suggests his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) observe Mary’s work and research as a way to alleviate the young woman’s depression. As the two spend more time together, Mary and Charlotte begin to form a relationship.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Romance in ‘Ammonite’ has a spark, but never ignites”
The foundation for what many consider to be one of the greatest films ever made is showcased in David Fincher’s latest project.
The Netflix film, titled “Mank,” tells the story of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman). The movie picks up with Mankiewicz, who’s recovering from a leg injury suffered during a car accident, being hired to help write the movie “Citizen Kane” by Orson Welles (Tom Burke).
Mankiewicz, with the help of his secretary Rita (Lily Collins), manages to pen the script, despite a few hiccups along the way. As the movie shows him doing so, several flashbacks to Mankiewicz in the 30s are shown, displaying where the writer picked up his inspiration. Namely, the movie features several sequences where Mankiewicz interacted with William Randolph Hearst.
Continue reading “REVIEW: The movie magic in ‘Mank’ is good, not great”
Nikola Tesla is a man whose legacy has nearly made him into a sort of mythical figure. This film, directed by Michael Almereyda, attempts to capture Tesla’s career with an artistic flair.
“Tesla” follows the titular character, played by Ethan Hawke, in the middle of a corporate competition between Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). The two are trying to take hold of the electric industry and Tesla’s ideas are coming into play.
However, unlike those two, Tesla was thinking ahead of just the competition of electricity. As the film shows, he has a lot of ideas that go beyond just lighting a bulb.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Tesla’ is far from terrific”
In most court movies, there’s just one defendant on trial. This Netflix release gives seven for the price of one.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, “Trial of the Chicago 7” takes place in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. On the outside of the convention were large protests, and following the political event, eight were charged by the government for inciting riots.
The defendants included Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin), John Lynch (David Dellinger), Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Bob Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). During the trial, though, Seale’s case was severed and the defendant list went to seven. The federal prosecutor in the case is Tom Foran (J.C. MacKenzie) while the main lawyer for the defense is William Kunstler (Mark Rylance).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Chicago 7’ is a compelling look at justice and politics, despite flaws”
Julianne Moore was already partly ready for this role, as just a couple years earlier she played another character named Gloria in “Gloria Bell.”
The Gloria in this movie, though, is the real life Gloria Steinem. In this biopic, written and directed by Julie Taymor, the influential women’s rights advocate is played by several actresses, as the film explores multiple periods of Steinem’s life.
The audience gets to see Steinem’s experiences in childhood, her early jobs as a journalist, and later her involvement with ERA passage efforts. Along with insight into her career works, the film dives into many of the relationships Steinem had, from family to friends.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Glorias’ is scattered but insightful”
This movie isn’t for the faint of heart. However, even those who can handle more intense films can probably avoid “The Devil All the Time.”
The picture takes place in rural America, with settings in both Ohio and West Virginia. The movie centers mainly on Arvin (Tom Holland), a young man who grew up in a difficult environment and often has to look out for his surrogate family.
Along with Arvin, the film gives attention to several other characters, with many of them doing a plethora of awful acts. As the film progresses, these characters begin to cross paths.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Devil All the Time’ offers little more than gratuitous brutality”
Being the guardian of a child seems like enough work as it is. This movie throws a world war into the mix, too, so no wonder the main character is stressed.
“Summerland” takes place during World War II as the Battle of Britain is going on. Because London is being bombarded, children, including a young boy named Frank (Lucas Bond), are sent to live in the English countryside.
Upon arrival, the government places Frank with Alice (Gemma Arterton), a writer and researcher of mythical literature. Alice isn’t sociable and doesn’t like kids all that much. However, as time goes on Alice becomes more of a mentor and true guardian for Frank.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Summerland’ slumps after strong start, but still good overall”
I’m not exactly a person who’s easily distracted. However, the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons kept making its way in my head during this movie.
Starring Rosamund Pike, “Radioactive” tell the story of Polish scientist Marie Curie, who accomplished her groundbreaking work in France. The movie depicts her relationship with her husband Pierre (Sam Riley), as well as their discoveries of the elements polonium and radium.
As the movie progresses, Curie’s life continues to be documented, and both the negative and positive impacts of radioactivity are shown. From this, the audience is able to learn how Curie’s life work went hand in hand with her relationships.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Radioactive’ drags despite strong Pike performance”