'High Flying Bird' review
Steven Soderbergh's 'High Flying Bird', produced by Netflix, is among other things a politically charged heist movie. Yes, on the surface it’s a sports drama about the minutia of an NBA lockout and how an agent and a prized client navigate their way through it, but we are working with an incredibly smart and layered screenplay here. Soderbergh and writer Tarell Alvin McCraney prod at ideas having to do with the commodification of sports talent, player agency and the capitalist system that is forced to taste its blood for the first time.
'Five Fingers for Marseilles' (2017) review
The window to one’s soul is through the eyes, we are told time and time again. But sometimes the hands of a man can paint an accurate portrait of his essence as South African director Michael Matthews shows in his 2017 debut feature ‘Five Fingers for Marseilles’. He does so in a manner that recalled Nicolas Winding Refn’s gripping angling of his protagonist in ‘Only God Forgives’.
January, action and 90-minute running times. Just a few of my favorite things. After weeks of mulling over prestige products as we enter Oscar season, spending time with Noomi Rapace in Netflix’s bodyguard thriller ‘Close’, was a welcome reprieve for aficionados of the genre, even if the film itself isn’t breaking new grounds.
The shatter and brittle puns should be out in full force. 'Glass' was not good. Following a week where John Wick laced its boots to enter the echelon of masterful trilogy’s, M. Night Shyamalan’s sneaky superhero trilogy proved to have too much of glass jaw to go the distance.
The Genevieve Nnaji-directed ‘Lionheart’ opens with the intersection of violence and the mundane I hope a Nigerian filmmaker tackles one day. The eponymous transport company, based in Enugu, is overrun by men demanding payment for helping fill seats in their buses. They troop in with a sense of entitlement roughing up workers as onlookers stand helpless.
'The Godfather' (1972) retrospective
In a previous life, before what we could call, for want of a better word, my cinematic rebirth (or my Scorsese phase), I associated 'The Godfather' with bloodied silk sheets, the grisly image of a decapitated horse’s head and the visceral shrieks of a grown man that put Jamie Lee Curtis to shame.
'Leave No Trace' review
'Leave No Trace' is one of those films I will never truly appreciate till I have a kid. The world of cinema has seen countless portrayals heartfelt parent-child relationships and I am still at the phase where siding with the children in the equation comes more naturally. But it’s clear writer/director Debra Granik is telling an incredibly complex story with a certain understated precision that really caught me off guard.
Steve McQueen’s surprises with his latest feature 'Widows'. I was ready to bet the farm and more that his venture into genre filmmaking would be nothing short of brilliant – and it is. But the surprise for me lay in how he goes about crafting a caper that is aware it is subverting rules of the genre on a few layers.
'I Am Not a Witch' (2017) review
By the time I had sat through Zambian-Welsh director Rungano Nyoni’s debut film, ‘I Am Not a Witch’, there was a small cloud of guilt hovering over my head. It's to do with how hilarious I found this film about ingrained misogyny and blatant human rights abuses.