Director-cowriter Dee Rees (Bessie) gives this 1940s drama such an epic scale that it might have played out better as a TV miniseries, with more time to flesh out the characters and complex situations. But the themes are so vivid that it still gets under the skin, and the nonstop voiceover from a variety of characters adds plenty of thoughtful insight. If only there were fewer plot details brought over from Hillary Jordan's source novel, it might be an easier film to identify with.
It's set just as the US enters World War II, and Henry (Jason Clarke) buys a farm in Mississippi. His wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) isn't thrilled about leaving her comfortable home in the city to raise their two daughters in the muddy fields, accompanied by Henry's racist father (Jonathan Banks). She gets some support from their black tenant Florence (Mary J. Blige), wife of sharecropper Hap (Rob Morgan), who hopes one day to have a farm of his own. Florence and Hap's son Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) is fighting in Europe, as is Henry's charmer of a brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund). And when these two soldiers return, their friendship stirs resentment among the bigots in the surrounding community.
The film's approach to segregation in the Deep South is riveting, and makes it important to see, especially as it so vividly depicts how this kind of racial division degrades everyone in ways that are both brutal and eerily subtle. And as the story progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that something horrific is going to happen. Rees gives the film a soulfulness that makes it thoroughly involving, even if she gives away a couple of key plot points in the prologue. She also creates a strikingly realistic atmosphere, with a rainsoaked landscape so vivid we feel damp closing in around us.
Continue reading: Mudbound Review
After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to tell a true story from half a century ago, finding unnerving present-day resonance in the details. Using exhaustive research, they recount the events surrounding the Detroit riots for the first time, with characters who feel achingly real. It's so impeccably assembled that it carries a strong punch to the gut.
It kicked off in July 1967 when white police raided a peaceful party, brutally arresting the blacks in attendance. People hit the streets in protest, and the officials cracked down. Caught up in this, aspiring Motown singer Larry (Algee Smith) and his pal Fred (Jacob Latimore) take refuge in the Algiers Motel, where they meet some other men (including Anthony Mackie and Jason Mitchell) and two white girls (Hannah Murray and Kaitlyn Dever). Thinking they heard shots fired, local cop Krauss (Will Poulter) and his partners (Jack Reynor and Ben O'Toole) charge in, lining everyone up and menacing them brutally. Caught in the middle, security guard Melvin (John Boyega) tries to diffuse the situation without further aggravating these viciously bigoted policemen.
The film opens with a lucid prologue tracing the roots of America's racial tensions in the continued segregation between inner-cities and suburbs, creating a police state with whites marginalising blacks. Bigelow's direction and Boal's script then recount events journalistically, throwing the audience right into the situation without character back-stories. This makes everything feel urgent and dangerous, a situation in which absolutely anything can happen. So when it leads to murder, we're deeply horrified.
Continue reading: Detroit Review
It's the 1970s and Captain James Conrad and Lieutenant Colonel Packard are leading a group of soldiers and explorers to a seemingly idyllic unmapped location in the Pacific.
Unfortunately, their journey requires some serious collateral damage, as they are forced to bomb the island and unwittingly incite the treacherous ire of Kong, the King of Skull Island. He crushes them - literally. That's what happens when you bomb the habitat of a giant ape. But soon they realise that Kong isn't the only outsize creature they have to fear, because the island is home to a group of demonic monsters as well, some that resemble spiders and others that resemble reptiles. Their only hope is to enlist the help of the island's inhabitants, tribal men and women who worship the great Kong but disapprove of the Americans' willingness to attack their home.
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts ('The Kings of Summer'), 'Kong: Skull Island' is a re-imagining of the King Kong story, following him to his home on Skull Island where he first originated. The screenplay was written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein, and filming spanned locations the likes of Hawaii, Australia's Gold Coast and Vietnam. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly, the film is scheduled to be released on March 10th 2017.
Jason Mitchell at the San Diego International Film Festival's Night of the Stars Tribute sponsored by Variety held at La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, United States - Thursday 29th September 2016
James Conrad is a British captain who leads an international envoy to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to charter some of Earth's most distant and mysterious lands. The captain is accompanied by a number of other members on the team including Randa, a government official who appears to know a few of the islands mysteries; a female photojournalist called Weaver who is known for her war photography; US Lieutenant Colonel Packard who is in charge of the UK troops who are also part of the mission.
As the vessel approaches the island, spirits are high and the team are ready to take choppers to the green land known as Skull Island. Soon their mission becomes disastrous as the inhabitants are far more feral than they could ever imagine. Equipped with guns, Ammunition and rocket launchers, the humans feel that they're able to overcome whatever may await them on the island but the truth is that they could never come face to face and beat the beast that awaits them.
Kong: Skull Island is the latest reboot of the King Kong story and it focusses on the start of the story originally told in 1933.
Continue: Kong: Skull Island Trailer
Jason Mitchell and various other celebrities gathered on Saturday night for Entertainment Weekly's annual Comic Con party held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, California, United States - Sunday 24th July 2016
O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Common, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr. , Aldis Hodge - Celebrities attends the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 9th April 2016
O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge , Common - 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios - Arrivals at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 9th April 2016
Neil Brown Jr., Jason Mitchell, O'Shea Jackson Jr. , Aldis Hodge - 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium, Screen Actors Guild - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th January 2016
Rell has just broken up with his partner and he's in a complete self-absorbed world. Continuously housebound and alone, he feels like his life has ended. Enter Keanu. When Rell hears a faint meowing coming from outside his house he discovers a young kitten on his doorstep just waiting to find a new home. Suddenly, Rell feels a new sense of life, his kitten is the best thing to ever happen to him and Rell's best friend, Clarence, completely confirms these feelings.
Finally able to leave the house, Rell and Clarence go out only to return to find Keanu gone and only his little kitten collar left. So begins a quest to save Keanu. It turns out that the kitten has been taken by a local gangster, in order to get Rell's new pride and joy back, the two are going to have to get down and dirty in a world far from their usual suburban lifestyle.
Keanu was directed by Peter Atencio and written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens.
This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through a checklist of the major events. There isn't much of a plot otherwise, which can be bewildering for anyone who doesn't know all of the people portrayed on-screen. But the acting and filmmaking is confident, which makes the movie feel strikingly relevant.
It opens in late-1980s South Central Los Angeles, a time when rap was dismissed as a little more than a violent chant. But artist Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) launches Ruthless Records with his manager Jerry Hiller (Paul Giamatti) as a way to promote the music he makes with his friends Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge). Working together as N.W.A, their album Straight Outta Compton strikes a nerve, selling millions even though its controversial lyrics make it impossible to play on the radio. As money starts rolling in, problems develop in the group. Cube is annoyed that Jerry isn't paying him a fair share of the royalties, so he goes solo. And later Dre also leaves to start his own label, Death Row, with hothead friend Suge Knight (R. Marcos Taylor).
The movie is structured as a series of set-pieces, usually drawing on the musician's camaraderie, which turns into rivalry, sparking tensions and some sort of verbal or musical battle, which escalates into physical violence. These are alpha-males who don't like being told what to do, so they struggle to trust each other. Their clashes begin to feel somewhat repetitive, but the actors are excellent.
Continue reading: Straight Outta Compton Review
In the 1980s, the streets of Compton were brutal. Five friends were brought together by their raw talent for translating the struggles they faced into powerful, poetic music. As the group came together, adopting the name N.W.A., their world steadily began to change around them, becoming a far darker place. And with the release of one particularly controversial song in the wake of a horrific tragedy, N.W.A. were thrown into the public eye, and became the forerunners of a revolution. But looking back, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella still saw themselves as just a group of friends, straight outta Compton.
Continue: Straight Outta Compton - Redband Trailer
Date of birth
1st January, 1987
After nearly thirty years since his first solo record Mark Lanegan has just released one of his very best and there's not many artists who can claim...
Listen to their new single 'People Change'.
For the first, and almost certainly last, time Cambridge indie rockers Mallory Knox performed at The Booking Hall in Dover.
'Devour You' is a fantastic follow up to Starcrawler's debut album and represents a move on in terms of sound and, in part, direction.
Salvation Jayne's third birthday bash was a riot of colour and a celebration of a band very much enjoying what they do.
We're feeling the nostalgia this month.
American Thighs was released on this day in 1994.
Gloo is a new supergroup consisting of UK mystic-beat producers Iglooghost and Kai Whiston as well as nu-pop singer/producer BABii.
Director-cowriter Dee Rees (Bessie) gives this 1940s drama such an epic scale that it might...
After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...
It's the 1970s and Captain James Conrad and Lieutenant Colonel Packard are leading a group...
James Conrad is a British captain who leads an international envoy to the middle of...
Rell has just broken up with his partner and he's in a complete self-absorbed world....
This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...
In the 1980s, the streets of Compton were brutal. Five friends were brought together by...