Tag Archives: naomie harris

New films hitting the big screen Summer (July – Aug) 2015

Bought to you by Graeme Wood
01.07.15

 

As we enter the final phase of summer there are still a few blockbusters to be entertained by and even some more eclectic fare to look out for at the cinema. First up on Friday July 3rd is the much anticipated Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy”, celebrating the life and career of the much missed singer. Directed by Asif Kapadia the film has already provoked an angry response from Winehouse’s family who complained they have been portrayed unfairly though critic’s early reviews have heavily praised the film.

Watch the teaser trailer:


Channing Tatum is back this weekend (3rd July) in “MAGIC MIKE XXL the sequel to 2012’s smash hit featuring Tatum as a male stripper; the film finds Mike and the remaining ‘Kings of Tampa’ stripping team hitting the road for one final blow-out performance.

Reviews have been fair and it appears well worth watching ladies even if it’s just for the grinding!

Watch the trailer:

 

Also on release now from the British Film Institute is “Magician-The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles”, an entertaining and illuminating portrait of Orson Welles with contributions from those who knew him and rarely seen film clips illustrating the genius of one of cinema’s greatest writer/directors.

Check out the trailer:

 

He said he’d be back and he is! The much anticipated “Terminator Genisys opens Today 2nd July, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clark, Matt Smith, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney the film reboots Terminator the film that bought sci-fi action films onto a whole new level back in the 1980’s and then with CGI laden Terminator 2 in the 90’s. This film goes back to the beginning and follows those first two classic Terminator movies thus side-stepping the lack-lustre 3rd and 4th vehicles, so we’re back in 1984 as Kyle Reese arrives once more to protect Sarah Connor but this time things are different as he is expected, they then jump to 2017 and mayhem breaks loose with alternate realties, new terminators and three different ageing versions of T1 (Arnie), everywhere you turn things are not what they seem!

Enjoy the trailer:

 

Arriving July 10th is “Love and Mercy the biopic of 60’s pop group Beach Boy Brian Wilson, starring John Cusack, Paul Dan, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks. It’s the 1960s and as Beach Boys leader Wilson struggles with his psychosis he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24 hour watch of shady therapist Dr Eugene Landy. This promises to be an interesting if unconventional look at Wilson’s life set against an unforgettable soundtrack of Beach Boys sounds.

View the trailer:

 

Also opening the same weekend (July 10th) is “TED 2“ Director Seth McFarlane’s follows the original hit with a sequel that promises more laughs as the living teddy bear attempts to prove his personhood in a court of law so that he and his wife can adopt a baby.

Starring: Mark Whalberg, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman & American football quarterback Tom Brady.

View the trailer:

 

Marvel’s latest super-hero arrives July 17th, although not the biggest name on Marvel’s roster of heroes “Ant-Man” could well provide the fast, furious, fun that summer hits require. While some have written this off following director Edgar Wright’s departure, incoming director Peyton Reed seems to have delivered what Marvel required for the next phase of their cinematic saga. Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll and showing on big IMAX 3D screens around the country, this could be the next big-box office hit for Marvel.

View the trailer:

 

Also opening July 17th is director Tarsem Singh’s intriguing “Self/Less”, starring Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley, Matthew Goode and Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery. The film offers the premise of a wealthy billionaire who, dying from cancer, attempts to cheat death by using a radical medical procedure to transfer his consciousness into the body of healthy young man.

See trailer:

 

July 24th brings the latest summer offering from Disney and Pixar with “Inside Out”, a tale of emotion as 11 year old Riley’s life is turned upside down when her parents move to San Francisco. Riley’s emotions try to guide her through this difficult life changing event utilising the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black and Bill Hader.

View the trailer:

 

July 24th also sees Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second summer offering “Maggie” arrive in cinemas, after witnessing his daughter become infected with a virus that transforms her into a zombie, small town farmer Wade (Schwarzenegger) will stop at nothing to save her. The film also stars Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson and Mattie Liptak.

See trailer:

 

Also opening this weekend is the eagerly awaited authentic boxing film “Southpaw” from director Antoine Fuqua starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Rita Ora and Naomie Harris. Gyllenhaal undergoes an amazing physical transformation to play boxer Billy ‘The Great’ Hope when his impressive career is destroyed by tragedy Billy must fight his way back to save himself and his daughter.

Be excited by the trailer:

 

Arriving 30th July is “Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation” which sees Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt up against The Syndicate an anti-IMF rogue force. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie this action sequel should provide those much needed essential summer thrills. Also in the cast are Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson.

Enjoy the ride:

 

On August 6th and a decade on from their first attempt to conquer the big screen Fox bring us Marvel’s first family “The Fantastic Four”. Director John Trank’s attempt looks to try something different as four young outsiders acquire amazing abilities following a trip to an alternate universe. While the trailer promises some amazing visuals it seems to lack the charm and fun that fans might expect from the Fantastic Four. The cast includes Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell.

View the trailer:

 

Opening August 7th is director Joel Edgerton’s mystery horror ‘The Gift’, following a young married couple whose lives are thrown into a tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past delivers a mysterious gift and a horrifying secret! The cast features Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton and Rebecca Hall.

View the trailer:

 

August 12th brings director Chris Columbus ‘Pixels’ to screens from a story by Adam Sandler. When aliens intercept video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as an act of war they attack Earth using the games as models. In order to defeat the aliens the President enlists the aid of former video game champ, Brenner (Sadler), to lead a team of players to save the planet. Starring Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan.

View the trailer:

 

August 14th sees talented British director Guy Ritchie’s big screen version of small screen classic “The Man From U.N.C.L.E in cinemas. Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill takes on the famous role of Napoleon Solo and actor Arnie Hammer plays Illya Kuryakin. A big screen U.N.C.L.E. movie has been in development for many years but no one has yet been able to deliver something that could satisfy the studio and fans alike. Ritchie has a good track record with his Sherlock movies so let’s hope he can deliver something that is true to the spirit of the original while being action packed and fun.

View the trailer:

 

August 27th sees ‘Straight Outta Compton hit theatres, a biographical drama directed by F. Gary Gray that revolves around the rise and fall of the Compton, California hip-hop group N.W.A. (N**gers With Attitude) In 1980s California, a group of young men form the hip-hop group N.W.A. and their journey sees them revolutionize music and pop culture with their brutally honest songs about life in the ‘hood’. The film stars Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, Aldis Hodge, Keith Stanfield and Alexandra Shipp.

Here you go:

 

Finally, August 28th sees another sequel “Hitman:Agent 47” arrive, originally based on the video game series, the first Hitman was a hit with fans. This time another genetically engineered assassin targets a mega-corporation that wants to use his genetic code to create an army of killers.

Directed by Aleksander Bach and starring British actor Rupert Friend (Starred Up), Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware and Ciaran Hinds.

View the trailer:

*All opening dates correct at time of writing.

Have a great cinematic summer!

AFI Fest 2013 Review: ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’ Anchored by Strong Performances

by Nijla Mumin
November 13, 2013 1:20 PM

www.indiewire.com

Adapting an autobiography for film always carries a unique set of challenges: making sure to present the subject as fully as the text dictates, but also stepping back for some objectivity and complexity. When the person is Nelson Mandela- the face of the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement- the task becomes even greater.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, and directed by British filmmaker Justin Chadwick, follows Mandela from childhood, to his resistance and leadership within the African National Congress (ANC), his imprisonment, and his long-awaited election as the first black president of South Africa at the close of Apartheid. To capture the extensive amount of action in this period, the film jumps around to different events and people, never spending too much time in one place. An early scene involving Mandela’s alleged adultery in his first marriage, and the family he left behind are given little attention before being overshadowed by later themes and characters.

While the film may have too quick of a timeline, its two stars keep it grounded. During the beginning of the film, it is difficult not to notice that you are looking at a very attractive portrayal of Mandela- the Idris Elba version. I worried that this would take attention away from the story, but it didn’t. Elba gradually transforms into Mandela. Early scenes of him dancing and flirting with women were fun but not as convincing. However, a later scene where he delivers what would become Mandela’s landmark statement during the Rivonia trial showcased his mastery of Mandela’s accent, voice, posture, and presence, culminating in one of the most powerful lines in the film: “It is an ideal for which I’m prepared to die.”

Naomie Harris is a Godsend as his wife and fellow activist Winnie Mandela, showing a delicate balance of tenderness, passion, and anger. While Elba definitely masters Mandela, Harris is endowed with a fascinating character arc in Winnie.  On one of their first dates, Winnie passionately tells Nelson that she “hates” the white Apartheid regime, and they continue to flirt and kiss. Later, when Nelson is imprisoned, Winnie becomes the target of unjust government interrogation and physical abuse. That anger and hatred begin to manifest and grow inside of her. One title sequence reads: “After 16 months in solitary confinement” as she sits frozen in a dank cell, and we are introduced to a new Winnie Mandela. She yells “Amandla Ngawethu” with an earth-shattering force. Harris conveys this character with an incredible range, and we understand why and how Winnie chose a more militant path. Harris’s performance goes up notches through out the film, while is difficult to see that same kind of arc or foundation in Nelson.

In a way, Harris’ and Elba’s portrayals balance out one another, but we are aware that we are watching a great man become greater and nobler, but not always aware of internal conflict in him. Shot in contrasting tones of grays and yellows to match the decay of Robben Island prison juxtaposed with the warm hues of the rural South African landscape, Chadwick wants to convey the many worlds that Mandela experienced, but the treatment of the Apartheid regime was often reduced to scenes of massive shooting and bodies falling. While there is no denying the overwhelming violence during that time, a more distinct and affecting portrayal of the brutality during Apartheid-similar to the psychological toll shown in Winnie- would’ve really elevated the film, and given Mandela a stronger foundation.

Ultimately, this is a film anchored by its performances and reverence for the man it portrays. Harris stands out, adding an unorthodox dimension to the routine biopic format. In those ways, it should encourage viewers to reinvest in Mandela and the spirit and rebellion of the anti-Apartheid movement.

Source:http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/mandela-long-walk-to-freedom
© 2013