This true story from 19th century America feels eerily relevant today in its depiction of the divisions that define society. It's an engaging film, sharply written and directed by actor Nate Parker to pull the audience into the world of a black preacher whose conscience simply can't take the injustice any longer. Some of the themes feel a little pushy, but the film has real power.
It opens in 1809 Virginia, where the soft-spoken Nat (Parker) works as a slave for benevolent owner Sam (Armie Hammer). The two grew up together, so Sam is familiar with Nat's intelligence and passion, and also with the fact that Sam's mother (Penelope Ann Miller) encouraged Nat to read and study the Bible. In fact, Nat is such a great preacher that Sam loans him to fellow slave owners to convey the Old Testament "slaves obey your owners" message. But Nat realises that he can't continue with this after his wife Cherry (Aja Naomi King) is brutally attacked by the cruel slave tracker Cobb (Jackie Earle Haley). And once Nat decides he can no longer support the immorality and injustice of the system, he has little choice but to lead a slave revolt.
Parker's script recounts Nat's life story with telling details, contrasting his engaging courtship with Cherry with the series of insults they suffer at every turn. Living amid such systemic degradation, exploitation and violence simply gnaws away at Nat, and Parker underplays him beautifully, letting the charisma surge quietly under the surface. Hammer is solid as Sam, although his innate compassion leaves Haley to play the villain of the piece. As always, Haley is great at this, igniting loathing from the audience with his first appearance. All of the surrounding characters are played with a lovely sense of realism, adding hints of texture to each scene but never too much personality.
Continue reading: The Birth Of A Nation Review
Johanna Braddey, Aunjanue Ellis, Priyanka Chopra and Jake McLaughlin attending the premiere of 'Quantico,' during PaleyFest New York 2016 held at The Paley Center for Media, New York City, United States - Monday 17th October 2016
Nat Turner was a former slave who on witnessing the scope of slavery across America chose to head a liberation movement in the form of a slave rebellion that resulted in a violent retaliation from the white supremacists in Virginia, 1831. This periodic drama film introduces the audience to the world in which Black people were enslaved in - inhumanly treated at the peril of the white race. The chilling shot of a young white child playing a game with a lynching rope around another black girls neck represents this serious period of history in a thought provoking scene.
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Skeeter has always dreamt of becoming a writer; fresh out of college she attempts to get a job at one of New York's best publishing houses but unfortunately isn't successful at landing the job. Returning home she starts to write a column for the local news paper but is distracted by personal matters when she learns that the family maid, who raised Skeeter, has gone missing.
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When Dr. Juliet Devereau finds a superb apartment she can't believe how lucky she's been. After moving in, Juliet begins to settle into her new life but something just doesn't feel right in her apartment. An unnerving feeling lingers in the air and leave Juliet uncomfortable.
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As melodrama goes, Perception is filled to the absolute brim with it. What seems like it will start off as a lighthearted, quirky comedy soon becomes something entirely else. Piper Perabo stars as Jen (not "Jennifer"), who's just returned to New York after a failed stint at living in L.A. Here, we find her parents are in rapid mental decline. Her semi-girlfriend (Heather Burns) is clingy and, well, stupid. Her ex-boyfriend (Seth Meyers) keeps coming around. And then Jen, in one of the big "holy crap!" moments of cinema, gets run over by a truck.
Continue reading: Perception Review
I just can't seem to get enough of the thrill of the being submerged in hundreds of feet of water with the ever-present threat of drowning all around me. You know, that feeling of small animals crawling into my wetsuit or larger animals deciding to eat me whole. The intoxicating sensation of my lungs exploding from gas build-up in my lungs. How can you argue with that?
Continue reading: Men Of Honor Review
The film stars Eddie Griffin as Undercover Brother, a modern day black man with a wild afro and everything a '70s man could want, including a solid gold caddy, platform shoes, and polyester bell-bottoms. Brother is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. organization to help overpower the evil efforts of "The Man." The Man, along with henchmen "The Feather" (Chris Kattan) and "White She-Devil" (Denise Richards) are causing havoc with race relations between blacks and whites. In "Operation Whitewash," The Man has influenced black General Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams) to not run for President, but rather to open a chain of fast food chicken restaurants.
Continue reading: Undercover Brother Review
An "Austin Powers"-style blaxploitation spoof, "Undercover Brother" doesn't miss a single joke. Its title sequence alone -- a montage depicting the rise and fall of African-American culture (from Jesse Jackson and James Brown highs to Urkel and Dennis Rodman lows) -- is a laugh riot, in a sad-but-true kind of way.
So is the plot, about The Man, a megalomaniacal Caucasian corporate billionaire, trying to stop a Colin Powell-like black politician (Billy Dee Williams) from running for president ("He's so well-spoken," says a patronizing white news anchor). The Man has him kidnapped and brainwashed into opening a chain of fried chicken joints that will serve "nappy meals" instead. (Politically correct? What's that?)
There's only one man who can stop this evil plan: Undercover Brother, baby!
Continue reading: Undercover Brother Review
"The Caveman's Valentine" is a terrible title for an intelligent movie. It sounds like some B-grade fright flick from the 1950s with screaming blondes in strategically torn outfits being abducted by ape men found living on an uncharted island.
As it turns out, this "Caveman's Valentine" is actually a provocative, stylized psychological thriller/murder mystery about a one-time musical genius long ago driven out of a normal life and into homelessness by acute paranoid schizophrenia.
Played with an astonishing array of nuance by cinematic chameleon Samuel L. Jackson, Romulus Ledbetter is a disheveled, massively dreadlocked, ranting but misunderstood madman. His mind has become a tangled, delusional plane where an unseen evil -- an omnipotent adversary with powerful ray weapons -- conspires against him to take over the world.
Continue reading: The Caveman's Valentine Review
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