After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film version of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. First staged in 1983 (the Washington-Davis revival was in 2010), the story explores the experience of an African-American working class family in the 1950s. And its most powerful kick is in the balance of power between husband and wife, something that easily transcends the racial themes.
In Pittsburgh, trash collector Troy (Washington) is proud to be able to support his wife Rose (Davis) and teen son Cory (Jovan Adepo), who wants to attend university on a football scholarship. But Troy thinks this is unnecessary, forbidding him from playing on the team. Troy and Rose's other son Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson) is disabled but living on his own, and Troy has an older son, Lyons (Russell Hornsby), who regularly needs cash to top up his income as a musician. As he slowly builds a fence in the back yard, Troy is beginning to resent having to give in to all of these people, blaming his problems on white-majority culture. But Rose has had enough of his complaining.
Wilson's dialogue is heightened and gorgeous, with a poetic ring like modern-day Shakespeare as it explores enormous issues using clever wordplay and epic monologues. While Troy continually rants at how hard life is for a black man, the interaction points out that his main problem is actually his need to be in control of everyone around him. This makes Troy increasingly unlikeable, and Washington goes for broke in the performance. It often feels like he's playing to people sitting in the top of the theatre balcony, but it's impossible not to be moved by his words. By contrast, Davis' much more intimate Rose is the film's heart and soul. As the story progresses, she becomes the lead character, and Davis delivers a series of devastating scenes with raw power.
Continue reading: Fences Review
Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo, Constanza Romero and Stephen Henderson seen at a screening of Fences. Denzel Washington was joined by Jovan Adepo, Myklti Williamson, Stephen Henderson and Constanza Romero, widow of playwright August Wilson. - Curran Theatre, San Francisco, California, United States - Thursday 15th December 2016
Troy Moxson works hard as a garbage collector to support his family. He has two sons, one who lives in his home with his wife and one from a previous marriage who is older but still turns to his father for support. Set in the 1950's, racial discrimination is still rife and Troy and his family are just one of thousands of families who live a life surrounded by enforced limitations.
In his younger years, Troy was scouted to be a baseball player but being a black man once again worked to his disadvantage and his dream was over before it even really began. Despite everything, Troy stands strong in adversity and instils a few words of wisdom in to his son, 'Don't go through life worrying about if someone likes you or not, you best be sure they're doing right by you.'
Troy's wife, Rose is a strong woman who's stuck by her husband's side through many hardships, she's also a constant support for their son Cory who wishes to gain a place on the football team.
Continue: Fences Trailer
Straight-A student and valedictorian Henry Burke is set to gain a scholarship into university, things really couldn't be better for him. However when he finds himself in detention it brings on a chance meeting with one time friend and prominent stoner Travis Breaux that leads to another chance meeting, this time with Mary Jane. His first time with the drug looks to be a positive one, however this is soon marred the next day as his school principle institutes a zero policy drug policy and administers a mandatory drug test for all students.
Henry is caught between two opinions: fail the drugs test, get expelled and lose his scholarship to MIT or team up with Travis to beat the system. Not wanting to jeopardise his future without a fight, the duo team up to steal a high powered blend of ganja from law student turned drug dealer Psycho Ed and spike the school bake sale's brownie supply, getting the whole school - faculty included - to a whole new level of stoned. With every brownie consumed the boys have to contend with the intoxicated student body as well as an enraged Psycho Ed who really starts to live up to his name as he tails the pair for stealing his stash. The stakes are high as they must find a way to keep their half-baked plan from going up in smoke.
Starring: Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks, Cody Longo, Adhir Kalyan, Matt Bush, Mykelti Williamson, Sean Marquette, Yeardley Smith, Michael Vartan,Curtis Armstrong, Luis Chavez, Alicia Sixtos, Mary Birdsong, Julia Ling, Camille Mana, Brett Kelly, Andrew Wilson, Erica Vittina Phillips, Joseph Julian Soria & Nadine Crocker
Director: John Stalberg
Muscled ladies' man Black Dynamite (White) is a legend in 1970s drug-ridden Los Angeles. When his brother is murdered in a drug deal gone wrong, he teams with his former CIA colleague O'Leary (Chapman) to solve the mystery. He gets help from his pals, the flaming Cream Corn (Davidson) and tough-guy Bullhorn (Minns), and also has time to romance the orphanage activist Gloria (Richardson). And the trail to the killer leads him through the kung fu treachery of the fiendish Dr Wu (Yuan) right to Tricky Dicky's White House.
Continue reading: Black Dynamite Review
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Chris Chalk, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby and Mykelti Williamson - Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Chris Chalk, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby and Mykelti Williamson New York City, USA - on stage during the opening night curtain call for 'August Wilson's Fences' on Broadway at the Cort Theatre Monday 26th April 2010
While attending a car race, Nick (Campo) has a vision of impending disaster and drags his girlfriend Lori (VanSanten), womanising pal Hunt (Zano) and Lori's best friend Janet (Webb) out just in time. But of course, Death won't let them off so easily, and everyone who escaped is killed in outrageous freak accidents in the order they should have died. So these four young people, with the help of an equally doomed security guard (Williamson), try to break the gruesome chain.
Continue reading: The Final Destination Review
Unfortunately, aside from a few tastes of local flavor, this buffed-clean Boyz n the Hood could have been set on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. The mansions meant to represent the city's wealth could stand beyond any iron gate in Beverly Hills. The greasy spoon diner that attracts the film's high school slackers could be housed in Greenwich Village - the fact that the kids order sweet tea doesn't automatically make ATL southern. Heck, the film's life lessons are obvious to anyone, whether they're from the streets or the suburbs.
Continue reading: Atl Review
But what a crazy chain of events Forrest Gump has spawned: a poorly-received book sequel, a restaurant chain, and hordes of imitators -- not to mention a critical backlash.
Continue reading: Forrest Gump Review
Now, with Michael Mann's lengthy biopic of the heavyweight king hitting theaters, kids can think of former "Fresh Prince" Will Smith. And I'm still not sure if that's a good thing.
Continue reading: Ali Review
One thing being a film critic has taught me is that in Hollywood, images can change faster and more frequently than Dennis Rodman's hair dye.
Continue reading: Three Kings Review
Feet are mid-tour and promoting their debut album, and tonight they played Ramsgate Music Hall with support from local band Malpractice.
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We're feeling the nostalgia this month.
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