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Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Review


Based on his autobiography, this film is clearly designed to be the definitive film about Nelson Mandela. And it tells his remarkable story with skill, tracing his life from 25 to 75 while touching on why he's perhaps the most important figure of the past century. So it's no wonder that the film feels far too constructed and polished.

It starts in his Xhosa village birthplace, then follows Nelson (Elba) to Johannesburg in the 1940s as a sparky young lawyer with a loving wife (Pheto) and children. But the vicious injustice of Apartheid gets under his skin, and as he starts speaking out and taking action, his marriage falls apart. South Africa's government responds to protests by cracking down even further, so Nelson's African National Congress turns to violence. As a result, its leaders are sentenced to hard labour on Robben Island. Now married to the outspoken Winnie (Harris) with two more daughters, Nelson is sent away for life. But he refuses to let bitterness gain a foothold, and devises a way for the nation to peacefully transition into democracy.

Mandela's legacy lies in his wisdom and open-mindedness, avoiding a bloodbath by seeking reconciliation rather than revenge. And these themes play an important role in Nicholson's script, which of course has to condense the events drastically, even for a two-and-a-half hour movie. But all of the key moments are here, and even if the film sometimes feels like it's racing through them, there's plenty of subtext for the actors to grab hold of.

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The UK Premiere Of 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom'

Anant Singh - The Royal Film Performance of 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 4th December 2013

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AFI FEST 2013 Presented By Audi Premiere Of The Weinstein Company's "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"

Anant Singh - AFI FEST 2013 Presented By Audi Premiere Of The Weinstein Company's "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" At the Egyptian Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 11th November 2013

Anant Singh
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Prey Review

It's lions, lions, and lions (oh my!) in this overwrought and only vaguely insulting woman-and-children-in-jeopardy thriller. Here's the gist: Engineer dad (Peter Weller) and his new, impossibly young wife (Bridget Moynahan) split for Africa with dad's kids in tow. He's there for work, so during the day, kids and stepmom decide to go on safari. Well, they quickly decide to go off the "main road," and junior decides he needs to go potty. He hasn't even unzipped before he's promptly consumed by a den of lions.

Kids and mom end up holed up in the car as the lions prowl outside, still hungry. To make matters worse, grating and bratty teenage sis (Carly Schroeder) hates the stepmom and blames her for everything when she isn't listening to her iPod. Gosh! Why can't the lions just leave her alone!? Finally they spot the keys outside, and mom makes a run for it. Five seconds later she's wrecked the car completely. Eventually natives wander by and help them. Meanwhile dad has hired a ranger to search for the missing car.

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I Capture The Castle Review

Movies teach us the power of love. Reality, quickly and without apology, demonstrates its limitations. Rarely does a film show us the flipside, but I Capture the Castle is that special exception.

Based on Dodie Smith's novel, I Capture the Castle gives us a 17-year-old named Cassandra (Romola Garai), who spends most of her time writing in her journal. There is plenty of material around her. At the height of his literary fame, her father (Bill Nighy) bought an isolated castle on the English countryside. Twelve years later, circa mid-1930s, he hasn't written anything more than a laundry list and looks like a fine candidate for a straitjacket. As his creativity crumbles, so does his family, while the castle remains dank, dark, and home to quite a few rats.

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The Theory Of Flight Review

As unlikely as comedy gets, The Theory of Flight is a perverse buddy comedy between Branagh's manic-depressive artist-cum-amateur plane builder and Carter's motor neuron disease-affected (and dying) quadriplegic. When Branagh is assigned to care for her as a public service sentence for one of his hijinks, the two form an unlikely bond -- involving Carter's desire to lose her virginity before she dies. Strange, unique, and funny in a Lynchian way.

Cry, The Beloved Country Review

We had an execution, jilted lovers, big-time payback, and at least three sprawling examinations of someone's life. Now we get an apartheid film: another in the string of "serious movies" coming out in the last few weeks.

Cry, the Beloved Country is James Earl Jones's magnum opus, a film in which he gets to really stretch his range as an actor, even though the film doesn't give him much room to do so. The movie is the story of aging Zulu priest Stephen Kumalo (Jones) and his search for his sister and son in 1946 Johannesburg. A stranger in a strange land, Kumalo soon finds his country ways unsuited for life in the bustling city, and he is victimized by thieves almost as soon as he arrives.

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Bravo Two Zero Review

They were an elite unit of the SAS, eight Brits sent behind enemy lines in Iraq to knock out Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles -- facing incredible odds, wearing 210-pound packs, out of touch with HQ, facing bad weather, going uphill both ways.

And I just can't bring myself to care.

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