The best – and most iconic – photographs tell stories. They’re single frames, but they tell so much about their subjects and the emotions that ran during the moments that were captured. That’s why the photographs of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walking between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 are so breathtaking, and you can’t be faulted for wondering why a non-documentary film about this pivotal event even needs to be made. Director and writer Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) has a response to that sentiment with The Walk, which seeks to tell a story about the man on the wire and place the audience in his shoes. While it’s an unremarkable film for most of its running time, it does soar when it absolutely needs to.
What a time it is for those who desire to be among the stars. Just a little over a week ago, the public looked to the sky to witness a total lunar eclipse, AKA a blood moon. The following day, NASA announced that new findings provided the strongest evidence yet of liquid water flowing on Mars. Public interest in space programs probably hasn’t been this high for a long time, and what better to boost that interest than a blockbuster movie about the brilliant men and women who explore and research what is beyond our planet? Why, if said film turns out to be an entertaining, inspirational, and a mostly scientifically accurate one, which The Martian is.
Sicario is a film that doesn’t beat around the bush. From this, you may get the impression that it’s a film raring to get in our faces and show us what it’s got, but that’s not exactly the case. Yes, it’s direct and possesses a thrilling story, but what’s so striking about this picture is its calculated, restrained approach. Before it detonates, it hints and teases, and in doing so, it uses every element and tool it has in its arsenal. It’s a controlled, disciplined film, and to watch it unfold is marvelous.
You know what’s criminal? Turning a compelling story into a monotonous one. Sure, it can look pretty and show off enough flair to attract attention, but those won’t completely cover what it lacks. That was the issue for last year’s American Sniper (which doesn’t hold up to repeat viewings), and it’s the same case for this year’s Black Mass, which takes the fascinating true story of James “Whitey” Bulger, one of America’s most notorious criminals, and makes it pedestrian.
Good readers of MediaBrewPub, it’s time for another e-mail exchange! You’ve read what ensued when we paired Andrew and Jason (5 times, to be exact), and also when we paired Andrew and Jun for the last e-mail exchange. Andrew and Jun are back again, and they’re here to tackle Straight Outta Compton, currently the #1 movie in America. WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
Top Five was released last year but I have only just had the opportunity to watch it. For those who don’t remember or have not heard of the film, it is a Chris Rock movie about a comedian (Andre Allen) who has battled alcoholism, critical backlash to his move away from comedies and into more serious films, and a fiancee with her own reality show. We follow him as he spends a day with a reporter who really just wants to know, “Why did [he] quit doing stand-up and comedy?” For fans of Rock and his predecessor Eddie Murphy, you can see parallels of between the character’s life and those of real-life comedians (in particular Murphy). Continue reading
It’s incredible how far the Mission: Impossible film franchise has come along. From bursting into Hollywood in 1996 to being brought to its knees in 2000 with an underwhelming sequel, to finding some hope in a third film in 2006 before coming back strong in 2011 with Ghost Protocol, the series has been through both the best of times and the worst of times. What a life it has had, especially with the one who has been with it through thick and thin: Tom Cruise himself, whose passion for the franchise never died out. This sounds like either a marriage or an inspirational sports tale, doesn’t it? Whatever it may be, it’s clear that the series continues to stride forward with its latest entry, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.