Locked Down has some memorable moments. Yet, overall, director Doug Limans romance/comedy about a couple’s attempt at a high-risk, high-stakes jewellery heist during the Coronavirus pandemic isn’t great.
Starring Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ben Kingsley; the most memorable scenes for me feature Kingsley and Ben Stiller. There’s also the scene that has my favourite line of dialogue in the whole movie: ‘Live wild or die, Linda.’ My love of this line is more to do Chiwetel Ejiofor’s delivery of it, more than anything thing else.
As for what’s seriously wrong with Locked Down, it doesn’t help that I found the chemistry between Hathaway and Ejiofor lacking. This lack then fed into their relationship feeling underdeveloped. It’s then no surprise that I didn’t buy the evolution of the characters; including the decisions they made.
To put it another way, both the film’s central relationship and the story needed more time. Because it had an overall silly and unbelievable quality which I doubt was intentional. The issue isn’t the performances, but near enough all else, especially the story.
I can understand that Locked Down exists in part, because of a desire to take advantage of a locked-down London. It’s therefore unfortunate that the thoughts running through my mind while watching the movie include:
‘I wonder if the actors regret saying yes to this script?‘
‘This kind of feels like a literal dream, but a bad one. A bad script for an actual dream that could have been very exciting.‘
‘How on earth did Harrods allow themselves to be used for this? That is assuming the Harrods scenes were shot in the famous luxury department store.‘
Should you watch this movie? I mean, if you’re extraordinarily curious, do. Otherwise, I say wait for a quality lockdown film. One that’s taking its sweet time to be developed and developed right.
Eiza González, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown and Rebecca Hall are the stars of new action/sci-fi/thriller Godzilla vs Kong.
Directed by Adam Wingard; Godzilla vs Kong pits two of motion picture history’s greatest monster icons against one another. The fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong find themselves in an epic fight; all while humanity is caught in the balance.
The cinematography and visual effects are what I’m absolutely in for. Second, I’m hoping for a very thrilling monster showdown. Especially since I remember watching Kong – Skull Island (2017) and loving the well-choreographed scenes of Kong and another monster he fought with, to the death.
Are you ready for the epic visual feast?
Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, Kaylee Hottle, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Ronny Chieng, Chris Chalk and John Pirruccello also star.
The White Tiger, though not perfect, it’s a good movie with flawless performances.
Starring Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao and Adarsh Gourav; director Ramin Bahrani’s crime/drama tells the story of a poor Indian driver named Balram. Particularly his use of wit and cunning to break free from servitude to his rich masters.
I found several things to enjoy about The White Tiger. From the generally well-paced, compelling story, to its commentary on India’s socio-economic ills, and the broken systems that maintain them. It was interesting to see the different paths the characters of The White Tiger took to survive. And where possible, drastically change their fate within said system. No wonder then, that none of the people in the story are angels.
Another thing to appreciate is how none of the main female characters in The White Tiger are stereotypically ‘helpless.’
After seeing the trailer several weeks earlier, I’d been looking forward to a story of epic proportions. I can now say that epic is not too far from the truth. However, there are things I wish were different about director Bahrani’s movie. For example, the way the story seemed to slow down at approximately three-quarters of the way. Secondly, the ending felt a tad abrupt and not as thoroughly satisfying. I was therefore left wanting, and reminded that the start of the movie was also awkward.
I’ve never read Aravind Adiga’s bestselling book that inspired this movie. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that everyone who has read the book loves it more than the film.
Watch The White Tiger because it is a good story overall.
Andra Day, Natasha Lyonne, Trevante Rhodes and Garrett Hedlund are the stars of director Lee Daniels’s latest music/biography/drama, The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
The story follows the American soul/jazz singer during her career as she’s targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation. An operation led by Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, a man with whom Holiday had a tumultuous affair.
I knew Holiday was targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics but I didn’t know that a Federal Agent ex lover was the one behind it.
Even though I’m not very familiar with Holiday’s music, I’m into her boldness, style, strength and unique voice. Plus, it looks like a good performance by all, especially Day is coming our way.
Lastly, I can’t say that I don’t suddenly have an urge to start wearing flowers in my hair, because I do.
Tyler James Williams, Evan Ross, Rob Morgan, Tone Bell, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Dana Gourrier, Melvin Gregg, Erik LaRay Harvey, Miss Lawrence and Tristan D. Lalla also star.
I quit watching reality TV shows a long time ago. Especially the ones where manufactured conflict always seemed to be the order of the day. The way the shows get edited is another factor that forced me to quit. You know, the kind of editing where only a morsel of information gets divulged per episode. And by ‘divulged,’ I mean ‘teased and drip-fed.’
Soon enough, I eventually realised that if you play the first few introductory minutes of an episode, the part that starts with ‘previously on (insert show name),’ and then watch the last few minutes of the same episode, you won’t miss a single thing. But, what you’ll get back is at least twenty two minutes of your life. Fast forward to a few days ago when I decided to watch Netflix’s latest Reality TV show Bling Empire.
Undoubtedly inspired by the success of the 2018 movie, Crazy Rich Asians (2018); Bling Empire follows some pf LA’s wildly wealthy Asian and Asian American fun-seekers. We get to watch as they live their lives and attend fabulous parties while showing up in their finest jewels and attire. The reason I decided to watch Bling Empire include my love of Crazy Rich Asians, my desire to be back in LA without actually going back to LA, and just wanting to see a version of the LA-based rich life, but distinctly Asian, of course.
There are aspects of the show that borrow from the most well known and successful reality shows. For example, from the dramatic drink hurling to other scenes that seemed so contrived, that you could almost see the producer speaking to the cast via earpieces and telling them to do something outrageous and disrespectful for ratings.
The reason I kept watching even after all the annoyances is an emotional investment in the character stories. Mainly entrepreneur Kelly Mi Li, unmarried young mother Cherie Chan, and Christine Chiu a ‘socialite’ whose real story I couldn’t wait to figure out. If you stick with Bling Empire long enough (beyond episodes two and three), you may find that it’s quite engaging, however imperfect.
The good news for me is that as the show continued, it seemed to move away from applying the most recognisable reality TV tropes, and instead turned into stories of the lives of some of LA’s most privileged Asians. Stories that still weren’t the full reality. However, I was glad to see that overall, Bling Empire is not edited in the irksome fashion mentioned earlier.
Would I say that Bling Empire is a show ‘you don’t want to miss?’ The quick answer is no. What I will say is this, give it a chance if you’re curious enough. And especially if you’re a fan of the movie that inspired it and are open to learning more about a version of the Asian experience.