Director: Steve McQueen
Running Time: 2 hours, 9 minutes
“When her husband Harry is killed in a robbery gone wrong, Veronica Rawlings is forced into committing a crime to get back the $2 million her husband stole from a dangerous politician/gangster during their fatal botched heist.
There’s no reason why ladies can’t be heisters, too, so why has it taken so long to give them a good and proper vehicle like “Widows”?…okay, don’t count “Ocean’s 8” from earlier this year, but still, it’s 2018, damn it! We should have dozens of these movies by now. This film is directed by Steve McQueen, who has directed films like “Shame,” “Hunger,” and the Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave.” McQueen also helped write the screenplay along with acclaimed writer Gillian Flynn, and it is adapted from the British miniseries of the same name by Lynda La Plante. When career criminal Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his team steal $2 million from a local politician and crime boss named Jamal Manning (Brain Tyree Henry), they are all killed and get burned up with the money when their van explodes in a violent shootout with local Chicago police officers.
Now, Manning wants his money back, and he believes that debt falls to Harry’s widow Veronica (Viola Davis). Harry has left Veronica with little means to pay Manning back. When Jamal and his brother Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya) come collecting, Veronica must gather the other widows of the men killed in the botched heist, Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Amanda (Carrie Coon), to do the last job Harry had in his notebook, which he left for her to find. This final task will net them enough money to pay off Manning and allow them to start new lives for themselves……………………………….”
They Shall Not Grow Old review – a breathtaking journey into the trenches
“There’s a familiar mantra that computers have somehow taken the humanity out of cinema. In an age when it’s possible to conjure spectacular action from digital effects, many modern movies have developed a sense of weightlessness – the inconsequentiality of artifice. Along with Avatar director James Cameron, New Zealand film-maker Peter Jackson has been at the forefront of the digital revolution, with his twin Tolkien trilogies (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) pushing the boundaries of computer-generated entertainment.
Yet with his latest project, a revivification of the Imperial War Museum’s archive of first world war footage, Jackson has done something quite remarkable: using 21st-century technology to put the humanity back into old movie stock. The result is utterly breathtaking.
Commissioned for the Armistice centenary by IWM and 14-18 NOW in association with the BBC, They Shall Not Grow Old is not a document of the world at war. Rather, it is an arresting snapshot of the lives of British soldiers who went to fight in Europe, many of them having lied about their tender ages to enlist. There are no historians, narrators or political commentators to guide us; the voices we hear are those of veterans, many gathered by the BBC during the making of its 1964 documentary series The Great War.
As we watch a line of soldiers marching through mud towards the front, something extraordinary happens. The film seems almost miraculously to change from silent black-and-white footage to colour film with sound, as though 100 years of film history had been suddenly telescoped into a single moment. Stepping through the looking glass, we find ourselves right there in the trenches, surrounded by young men whose faces are as close and clear as those of people we would pass in the street. I’ve often argued that cinema is a time machine, but rarely has that seemed so true………………………………………………”
Read the rest of the article here: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/11/they-shall-not-grow-old-peter-jackson-review-first-world-war-footage
What critics thought of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’
“The real driving force behind Crimes of Grindelwald seems to be a burning desire to set up a sequel. If only it had gone to the trouble of making me want to see one.”
Early reviews of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald reveal critics, like Mashable‘s Angie Han, are less than spellbound by the second part of the planned five film franchise.
The Harry Potter spinoff marks the tenth cinematic visit to J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World; and while trips to Hogwarts are always welcome, the monstrous flick isn’t leaving anyone wanting more. According to critics, the starring performances of Eddie Redmayne and Johnny Depp both fall flat, while the fan service remains thin and unimaginative.
In theaters November 16, Crimes of Grindelwald will need to dazzle fans better than it wowed critics to keep momentum up. If not, the beastly flick could meet a grisly end.
Check out critics’ takes on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald below.
Crimes of Grindelwald is a little too focused on its own long game
This Fantastic Beasts film is as watchable and entertaining as expected and it’s an attractive Christmas event, but some of the wonder, novelty and sheer narrative rush of the first film has been mislaid in favour of a more diffuse plot focus, spread out among a bigger ensemble cast. There’s also a more self-conscious, effortful laying down of foundations for a big mythic franchise with apocalyptic battles still way off below the horizon.
Unfortunately, even the most meticulous world-building is only half the journey; you still have to populate that world with real characters and compelling stories, and it’s that second half of the equation that comes up missing in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” The noisiest, most rhythmless, and least coherent entry in the Wizarding World saga since Alfonso Cuarón first gave the franchise its sea legs in 2004, “Grindelwald” feels less like “The Hobbit” than a trawl through the appendixes of “The Silmarillion” — a confusing jumble of new characters and eye-crossing marginalia. Most of the surface pleasures of filmic Potterdom (the chiaroscuro tones, the overqualified character actors, the superb costuming, James Newton Howard’s warmly enveloping score) have survived intact, but real magic is in short supply.
Eddie Redmayne’s Newt is still no Harry
Two movies in, I don’t know what Newt wants besides becoming the Wizarding World’s Steve Irwin. That goal involves neither Grindelwald nor Dumbledore, and, even as a reluctant protagonist, I fail to see any reason why Newt is qualified to lead this story. Things only happen to Newt. Nothing happens because of him. This was also Harry Potter’s problem, but at least Potter’s “Chosen One” schtick had legs to get him through seven books and eight movies. Newt doesn’t even have that, which makes the prospect of another Fantastic Beasts sound less exciting and more like a threat against the Muggle world……………………………..”
Homecoming starring Julia Roberts – Review
“As Amazon’s new thriller Homecoming unfolds, it becomes more and more clear that its lofty ambitions are both a curse and a blessing.
The series, which stars Julia Roberts, is built like a puzzle box, weaving a story between the past and the present that often threatens to fall apart under its own weight. Its tropes are well-worn, and its narrative doesn’t go anywhere unexpected.
And yet all these elements miraculously coalesce into a show that is still tremendously emotionally affecting. Ultimately, Homecoming has too many strengths — and is a story too strikingly told — for its flaws to find real purchase.
The title of the series refers to the treatment facility where Roberts’s character, a novice psychologist named Heidi Bergman, works to help transition military veterans back into civilian life — at least in flashbacks. In the present timeline, a few years later, she’s waitressing. When Shea Whigham’s Thomas Carrasco, a Defense Department auditor, comes calling with some questions about her former employer, her new life starts to fragment.”
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