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2015 LA Art Show

Bokeem Woodbine and Johnessco Rodriguez - 2015 LA Art Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center at Los Angeles Convention Center - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 14th January 2015

Bokeem Woodbine
Bokeem Woodbine
Bokeem Woodbine and Johnessco Rodriguez

Riddick Review


Good

Vin Diesel and filmmaker David Twohy wrestle their iconic intergalactic character back to his leaner, meaner roots in this bluntly titled thriller. This movie harks back to what made 2000's Pitch Black such a discovery: one misunderstood man fighting idiotic reactions to real danger. Thankfully, the filmmakers have set aside the murky mythologising of the 2004 sequel The Chronicles of Riddick.

There's a brief mention of things like necromongers and the underverse before Riddick (Diesel) is abandoned on a harsh desert planet apparently populated by only two species: stripy, spiky-haired wild dingos and slimy two-legged scorpion-stinging beasts. Riddick gets to grips with both, even domesticating one of the doggies, then sends a distress signal that is answered by two teams of bounty-hunting mercenaries. First up is a motley crew led by Santana (Molla), and they're soon joined by a muscle-head team captained with military precision by the steely Johns (Nable), who has a secret personal reason for being here. But of course Riddick is ready for them.

All of the characters are beefy hotheads, challenging each other's authority with gruffly shouted taunts. Even as they play it straight, the cast members have a lot of fun with this banter. As Johns' first officer, Sackhoff is clearly in her element as the only female in sight, happily giving the men a taste of their own machismo. Even man-mountain Bautista gets into the fun as Santana's brutish thug, calmed down by Danby's true-believer nice guy. Everyone is sure they can capture Riddick easily, of course, but he picks them off one-by-one until they accept his terms. This heightened human interaction gives the movie a kick of energy that holds our attention even as things begin to feel faintly ridiculous.

Continue reading: Riddick Review

The Host Review


Good

While the premise of this sci-fi thriller feels like yet another of Stephenie Meyer's two-boys-one-girl fantasies, a superior writer-director and cast make this is a stronger film than Twilight. The plot may be rather contrived, but the actors bring out some sharp intelligence in the script to make it surprisingly involving.

It's set in a future time after aliens have snatched the bodies of 90 percent of humanity, eliminating hunger, crime and the environmental crisis. But secret pockets of rebels have avoided being possessed by these white mini-jellyfish beings, and are seeking ways to fight back. So when the alien being Wanderer is implanted in the resistance leader Melanie (Ronan), the head Seeker (Kruger) hopes to infiltrate her memories and find out where they're hiding. But Melanie is stronger than anyone thinks, managing to remain conscious alongside Wanderer, winning her to the rebel cause. She heads to the human's secret desert hideout, where Uncle Jeb (Hurt) renames her Wanda and accepts her into the fold. But some humans aren't so sure, and the Seeker is hot on her trail.

It's deep in this maze of rather too-sophisticated caves that the crinkled romance develops, as Melanie is reunited with her boyfriend Jared (Irons), but doesn't want him kissing her when Wanda is in control of her body. Then Wanda falls for Ian (Abel), and their kissing makes Melanie even more furious. Yes, like Twilight, this film seems to think that kissing is the ultimate expression of human connection, giving this film a quirky four-sided love triangle at its centre. Meanwhile, the more thriller-like plotline builds as the Seeker gets ever closer. All of this is played out very seriously, with almost no offhanded humour or humanity, but the emotions are intriguingly resonant.

Continue reading: The Host Review

Total Recall Review


Weak
Audiences weren't exactly clamouring for a remake of that 1990 sci-fi hit starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, but here we are. The filmmakers promised to return more closely to Philip K. Dick's original story, but instead they merely lift visual references from a series of much more involving movies. And with only one decently realised character on the screen, the only other thing to hold our interest is the way it looks.

That one good character is Doug, played with real depth by Farrell. After a chemical war has left just two inhabitable spots on earth (Britain and Australia), Doug is working as a robotics engineer and living a quiet life with his wife Lori (Beckinsale). But he keeps dreaming about running for his life with another woman (Biel), so he heads to a Rekall memory-implant centre to clear his mind. Of course he instead opens a can of worms, discovering that he's not who he thinks he is. But what's the truth? And who's side he really working for - the totalitarian chancellor (Cranston) or the violent rebel leader (Nighy)?

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Picture - Bokeem Woodbine and guest , Wednesday 1st August 2012

Bokeem Woodbine - Bokeem Woodbine and guest Wednesday 1st August 2012 Los Angeles premiere of 'Total Recall' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Bokeem Woodbine

Picture - Bokeem Woodbine , Wednesday 1st August 2012

Bokeem Woodbine Wednesday 1st August 2012 Los Angeles premiere of 'Total Recall' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Outside Arrivals

Picture - Bokeem Woodbine, Hill_Harper , Thursday 19th July 2012

Bokeem Woodbine - Bokeem Woodbine, Hill_Harper Thursday 19th July 2012 Film Set for the movie '1982' in West Oak Lane, Philadelphia

Black Dynamite Review


Good
This outrageously wacky blaxploitation pastiche keeps us laughing nonstop for its first hour, simply because it plays everything dead straight. After this point, it may still be sharply funny, but the thrill is gone.

Muscled ladies' man Black Dynamite (White) is a legend in 1970s drug-ridden Los Angeles. When his brother is murdered in a drug deal gone wrong, he teams with his former CIA colleague O'Leary (Chapman) to solve the mystery. He gets help from his pals, the flaming Cream Corn (Davidson) and tough-guy Bullhorn (Minns), and also has time to romance the orphanage activist Gloria (Richardson). And the trail to the killer leads him through the kung fu treachery of the fiendish Dr Wu (Yuan) right to Tricky Dicky's White House.

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The Breed (2001) Review


Weak
In the near future, vampires exist peacefully alongside man until a renegade group seemingly tries to rebuild a kind of Nazi regime, with bloodsuckers herding humans into concentration camps. This strange WWII allegory is unfortunately neither very successful as a political drama nor as a monster movie; the flashbacks are too obvious, and the buddy cop plot is overwhelmingly impossible to follow. Our cop heroes (Adrian Paul and Bokeen Woodbine: one's human, one's a vampire) jump from suspect to suspect without so much as a word of explanation why. The moody atmosphere (pitch black, everywhere) and illegible computer readouts with dossiers on each character don't help.

Edmond Review


Grim
There's a slight chance, very slight, that David Mamet is a genius. As a writer, his blunt, edgy, and constantly interrupted dialogue has earned him a lot of weight, so much so that he is considered one of the more important playwrights of the last 25 years or so. As a director, he is precise and extremely-well calculated, if not a bit lacking in aesthetic substance and style. When he directs his own work, it tends to go remarkably smooth, as it did in the fantastic Heist and his best film, State and Main. However, when put in the hands of others, sometimes it goes exceedingly well (James Foster's Glengarry Glen Ross) or exceedingly bad (Michael Corrente's American Buffalo). The latest is a retelling of his play Edmond by King of the Ants helmer Stuart Gordon.On his way home from work, Edmond Burke (William H. Macy) decides to stop at a fortune teller. She simply tells him this: "You are not where you're supposed to be." This causes him to leave his wife (a brief Rebecca Pidgeon) and to go out on the town to get an old fashioned piece of tail, as suggested by a stranger at a bar (the reputable Joe Mantegna). He goes through strippers, booth girls and expensive call girls, played by a who's who of young actresses ranging from Mena Suvari to Denise Richards. He finally settles on a waitress (Julia Stiles) who he picks up after attacking a pimp and finding a newfound love for life. This passion, however, leads to a terrible act that lands him in jail and doing things that he was scared of before, constantly saying "every fear hides a wish."Mamet's sly style of writing somehow seems lacking here. In Glengarry, he wrote with blood and thunder about the rigorous work of real estate salesmen and in Oleanna, he split the sexual harassment debate so thinly that you couldn't see his opinion without microscope eyes. With Edmond however, he lays everything out for the audience and world to see, allowing the character to often pontificate on basic musings like what it's like to feel alive and the mundane nature of normal life. There is a serious lack of subtext that gives off the feeling of extreme annoyance.Gordon directs with a simple enough structuralism and he gives impressive terror to the climactic scene where Edmond goes over the edge. However, this simplicity also leads to a considerable loss in mood and atmosphere, which seems devoid after the excellent opening scene in the fortune teller's room. The actors, chiefly Macy and Stiles, struggle to keep the story afloat and exciting, but it's a losing battle. Reliable character actors like Bai Ling and Dylan Walsh (so good in Nip/Tuck) are given scant screen time to show their prowess, but Bokeem Woodbine works wonders as Edmond's bunkmate when he enters prison. None of this, however, allows Edmond to make more than a small ripple in the water. It's a fussy little movie that wants to be much more controversial and important than it is. Did I say those chances were very, very slight?The dead hooker's under the card in the middle.

The Breed Review


Weak
In the near future, vampires exist peacefully alongside man until a renegade group seemingly tries to rebuild a kind of Nazi regime, with bloodsuckers herding humans into concentration camps. This strange WWII allegory is unfortunately neither very successful as a political drama nor as a monster movie; the flashbacks are too obvious, and the buddy cop plot is overwhelmingly impossible to follow. Our cop heroes (Adrian Paul and Bokeen Woodbine: one's human, one's a vampire) jump from suspect to suspect without so much as a word of explanation why. The moody atmosphere (pitch black, everywhere) and illegible computer readouts with dossiers on each character don't help.

It's the Rage Review


Terrible
Quite a cast has been assembled for this Altman-esque tale of interlocked lives, all clamoring around the "serious social problem" of gun control. While there's no denying that the USA has over fifty million gun owners and it's a subject worthy of address and debate, this movie thuddingly hits the same numb point over and over again: guns are bad, guns can kill. That's about as resonant as It's the Rage will get.

Jeff Daniels and Joan Allen play a miserable suburban couple whose marriage is disrupted by an accidental shooting in their living room at midnight. As it turns out, the guy was Daniels' business partner. Allen moves out in disgust and, through a process of self-discovery, figures out that her happy little life was nothing more than a middle class prison. She hides away at her new workplace, in the employ of eccentric millionaire and computer guru Gary Sinise. Daniels sits at home fuming, renting pornography and playing with his gun.

Continue reading: It's the Rage Review

The Big Hit Review


Unbearable
Why would any producer gamble $13 million on a trash heap like The Big Hit? There's no excuse to give such a horrendous movie the green light. I hope Ben Ramsey's script was a very good read, because that's the only explanation producers Warren Zide and Wesley Snipes have.

According to the production notes, director Che-Kirk Wong actually had considerable confidence in the project. "The script was very original," explains Wong. "I enjoy doing action sequences, but action means nothing if we don't have decent characters. They're both equally important to me." Is Wong thinking of the same movie I just endured?

Continue reading: The Big Hit Review

Almost Heroes Review


Terrible
Farley and Perry, as powerful a comedic force as, say, Nixon and Hawking. Farley's final movie before he died, and pretty representative of his work on the whole.
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