Craig Brewer

Craig Brewer

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The Legend Of Tarzan Review

Good

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still feels too soon for another remake. Thankfully, this is actually a sequel (perhaps it should have been titled Tarzan Returns), and along with a first-rate cast, this movie has a surprisingly beefy script that hints at a much more high-brow adventure epic. But clearly the studio preferred to make a mindless bit of blockbuster action.

After leaving the jungle, Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) has settled into life in damp 1880s England as the Earl of Greystoke with his American wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Meanwhile, deep in the Congo, Belgian diplomat Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) has made a deal with Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), who has a personal grudge against Tarzan. Planning to hand over Tarzan in exchange for diamonds, Leon lures Tarzan back to Africa, accompanied by Jane and the American explorer George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who suspects that the slave trade hasn't ended. On arrival, Leon pounces, and Tarzan must revert to the instincts he learned from the gorillas who raised him, while calling on help from old friends.

The plot is actually quite compelling, sparking lots of whooshing action (including plenty of vine-swinging) while grappling with some bigger themes involving colonialism and racism, plus more personal issues of identity and responsibility. The actors pack their scenes with textures that touch on these ideas, while also providing a spark of wit. With his impossibly sculpted physique, Skarsgard looks rather too gym-fit for the role, but he gives Tarzan a soulfulness that makes him likeable. He also develops some steamy chemistry with Robbie, who shines in her role as a feisty woman happy to return to the village where she was raised. The best scene in the film is when she has dinner with Waltz' sneering villain, gleefully swapping innuendo. And even with the action and gunplay, this is Jackson's deepest role in years.

Continue reading: The Legend Of Tarzan Review

Footloose Review


Very Good
A surprisingly faithful remake of the iconic 1984 hit, this crowd-pleasing romp finds some intriguing present-day resonance without pushing it too hard.

Instead, it centres on the interpersonal drama and exhilarating dance moves.

After his mother dies, Boston teen Ren (Wormald) moves to small-town Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle (Dickens and McKinnon). Teens here are prohibited from dancing due to a tragedy three years earlier, so Ren is soon at loggerheads with the local minister (Quaid), whose daughter Ariel (Hough) is a wild child with a redneck boyfriend (Flueger) and an eye for Ren. As Ren deals with his own issues, he teams up with new friends Willard and Woody (Teller and Blain) to take on the system.

Continue reading: Footloose Review

Craig Brewer Monday 3rd October 2011 Los Angeles Premiere of Footloose held at Regency Village Theatre Los Angeles, California

Footloose Trailer


Ren McCormack moves to Beaumont, Tennessee from Boston. He soon becomes friends with a boy named Willard, who tells him that the council has banned dancing and loud music, due to a tragic accident a few years' prior involving teenagers after a night out.

Continue: Footloose Trailer

Black Snake Moan Review


Excellent
Such an unfortunate title for this interesting movie about kindred spirits on a slow, low rumble to personal salvation. Yet for Memphis-bred filmmaker Craig Brewer, Black Snake Moan represents more than your conventional character study. It is a suspension bridge stretched over the dreaded sophomore slump that swallows far too many promising young directors these days.

Brewer's debut feature Hustle and Flow took open-minded viewers on a realistic foray into the world of do-it-yourself hip-hop, proving how hard life can be out there for a pimp (unless, of course, you are a member of Three Six Mafia on Oscar night). Moan continues to bathe in Tennessee hardship and failure as it alternately convinces us that life isn't much easier for backwoods Southern skanks and the men they love but who done them wrong.

Continue reading: Black Snake Moan Review

Hustle And Flow Review


Very Good
As is duly noted in the chorus of the catchiest of the songs used in Hustle & Flow: It's hard out here for a pimp. Especially when said pimp only has three girls working for him (one pregnant, all with pretty lousy attitudes), his car has no air conditioning, and he's sliding into a mid-life crisis. In Craig Brewer's hot and sticky Memphis homebrew of a film, the pimp is far from what we're used to seeing. He's not a character of impossible swagger or campy ridicule (no fur coats, it's too damn hot). He's just DJay, a guy stuck in his way of life because he came from nothing but has a gift for bullshit that lends itself to the profession. As personified by Terrence Howard, this pimp becomes far more than the sum of the job's cliches, even if the film itself doesn't always know how to be quite as original as its star.

Until recently, Howard has been one of American film's mostly unnoticed gems. A journeyman actor since the early '90s, he came into his own in Malcolm Lee's romantic comedy The Best Man, in which he served as the sleepy-eyed provocateur, wisely watching all the fools who surrounded him, goading them into fury by slyly undercutting their fantasies with his keenly observed truths. It was one of that year's great performances, but being mired in such a conventional work (not to mention being in a black film aimed at black audiences, and thus mostly invisible to the critical establishment), he never received his due. He's worked steadily since then, coming into his own with this year's Crash - turning in an open wound of a performance that stood out even in that film's excellent ensemble. In Hustle & Flow, he's found a role that puts him in the spotlight, and he grabs the role tight with both hands, though never so showily as to make you notice how hard he's really working.

Continue reading: Hustle And Flow Review

Craig Brewer

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Craig Brewer Movies

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Footloose Movie Review

Footloose Movie Review

A surprisingly faithful remake of the iconic 1984 hit, this crowd-pleasing romp finds some intriguing...

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Footloose Trailer

Footloose Trailer

Ren McCormack moves to Beaumont, Tennessee from Boston. He soon becomes friends with a boy...

Black Snake Moan Movie Review

Black Snake Moan Movie Review

Such an unfortunate title for this interesting movie about kindred spirits on a slow, low...

Hustle and Flow Movie Review

Hustle and Flow Movie Review

As is duly noted in the chorus of the catchiest of the songs used in...

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