Jim Brown - 'The Real Housewives of Miami' star Lea Black hosts a launch party for her new book 'Red Carpets and White Lies' at Pump in West Hollywood at Pump Restaurant - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 4th June 2015
Packed with never-released material, this documentary tells the life story of Muhammad Ali from angles we haven't seen before, even as it has a tendency to drift into hero worship. But filmmaker Clare Lewins assembles the material with style and personality, mixing home movies and previously unheard recordings with firsthand interviews with the people who know Ali best. Oddly, many of them speak in the past tense, which makes the film feel like a eulogy for a man who's still alive.
Watch any clip of Ali and it's clear that this man is a force of nature. In his heyday, his charisma was legendary, infusing new life into the boxing world when he emerged as Cassius Clay and was banned from boxing for refusing to participate in the Viet Nam draft. A lifelong activist, Ali has never compromised his principles, being true to himself while sticking up for those around him. He also broke rules by talking directly to the world through the media's cameras, chanting at and dancing around his competitors. But the film's most intriguing aspect is its depiction of him as a doting father who has always had time for his kids. At 72, he lives in Arizona with his wife, and is seriously ill with Parkinson's.
Everyone on-screen has been caught up in Ali's magic, with one noting that looking into his eyes is like seeing God. These kind of comments are a bit too intent on creating a legend while skipping over some of the grittier details of his life. Yes, Lewins seems to get caught up in the mythology as well. The film only briefly touches on his four marriages and children from extra-marital affairs, but it does spend some time exploring his more shocking public comments. Although even these are recalled through the prism of time, offering explanations and even redemption.
Continue reading: I Am Ali Review
'I Am Ali' is a documentary about the life of the boxing champion Muhammad Ali, as much as it is also a documentary about the people who were inspired and motivated by his image, or through meeting him. The documentary is told, in part, through never before heard audio journals from the boxing legend and human rights activist. Through his huge heavy weight career, as well as his racial justice and religious freedom avocation, Ali became a hero to many people. The film is set to be the third documentary about Ali, although with this new, more personal insight into the man behind the gloves, to could yet prove to be the greatest.
Continue: I Am Ali Trailer
Jim Brown - 14th Annual Harold & Carole Pump Foundation Gala raising money for the treatment and cure of cancer - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 8th August 2014
In this, er, documentary, residents of a Canadian 'burb are juxtaposed with academic talking heads, riding empty buses into town and bemoaning the very existence of the suburbs, decrying everything from their architecture to their absurd design that puts park benches opposite the freeway and a chain-link fence.
Continue reading: Radiant City Review
Continue reading: The Dirty Dozen Review
At its core, Any Given Sunday is the story of Miami Sharks coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino - The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon) and his two quarterbacks, Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx - The Great White Hype, Booty Call) and Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid - The Big Easy, Innerspace). The quarterback is the most vital position in the game. He is the team spokesperson and field chief, and he serves as a crucial link between coaches, administration, and players. When legendary two-time Pantheon Cup (aka: Super Bowl) champion Cap Bowman ruptures a disk after a bone crushing hit, coach Tony is left with Willie Beamen (Foxx), an athletic, yet untested QB. His team has lost four straight and appears to be plummeting in a downward spiral with the playoffs right around the corner. He's got delusional team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) and sports analyst Jack Rose (John McGinley, doing his best Jim Rome impersonation) breathing down his neck because of his outdated coaching style, and a team of players he's losing control of.
Continue reading: Any Given Sunday Review
Lee's initial target for censure is the crooked corporate culture that fosters brazenly greedy and duplicitous companies such as Enron and Worldcom. Jack Armstrong (Anthony Mackie) is a vice president at a pharmaceutical company whose new HIV cure has been rejected by the FDA. When he discovers a conspiracy orchestrated by the corporation's arrogant, racist CEO (Woody Harrelson) and his ruthless Martha Stewart-ish boss (Ellen Barkin) to cook the books and keep employees and shareholders in the dark about the new drug's ineffectiveness, Jack rats out his superiors to the SEC, and the price for betraying "the family" is immediate dismissal. As luck would have it, though, a new money-making venture falls directly into his, ahem, lap - his ex-fiancé Fatima (Kerry Washington), who left him for another woman, now wants to pay him $10,000 to impregnate her and her Dominican girlfriend. Before long, Armstrong - in some sort of filthier version of the Patrick Dempsey '80s cult classic Loverboy - is occupying his time spreading his seed through NYC's upper-crust lesbian community (which includes Monica Bellucci as a Mafioso don's daughter) for wads of cash.
Continue reading: She Hate Me Review
That movie is The Running Man, the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger action vehicle that resembles a lot of the Governator's best work: He kills people by the dozens, says some funny puns in that fist-thick Austrian accent and tags along with a hot exotic beauty. If that formula works for you, read on.
Continue reading: The Running Man Review
The film is Mars Attacks!, and with it Tim Burton serves up the worst production of his once-blossoming career, a movie wherein he indulges every excess of his demented psyche, pays no attention to entertaining the audience, and recycles every joke he can get his hands on.
Continue reading: Mars Attacks! Review
Jimmy divides his day among busting caps, piano practice, and auditions for Carnegie Hall. The comparison to Taxi Driver is obvious, but these are far different films (and that said, Taxi Driver is a far better one, too).
Continue reading: Fingers Review
There's only about 22 minutes of plot in "Any Given Sunday," Oliver Stone's innovative, bone-crunching ballet of sound and fury football, so lets get that out of the way right now:
Al Pacino stars as the embattled, old-school coach of a fictitious pro football team. Cameron Diaz, is the willful, profit-zealous daughter of the franchise's recently deceased owner. Jamie Foxx is a hotshot young quarterback whose know-it-all attitude and colossal ego threaten team unity. He's just replaced the injured, aging, Elway-esque veteran QB Dennis Quaid, whose compound back injury has spelled curtains for his career -- if only his ruthlessly ambitious, harpy of a wife (Lauren Holly) would accept that fact.
During the last two minutes of the fourth quarter of the Big Playoff Game that serves as the film's climax, each of these characters (especially the selfish ones) will have an epiphany about what's really important in their lives.
Continue reading: Any Given Sunday Review