InBlack and Blue, the latest action / drama starring Naomie Harris, Harris plays a rookie police officer whose body camera captures a corrupt cop shooting a drug dealer. What I hoped would have followed is a truly engrossing, gritty and desperate race against time to get the footage in the right hands.
The race and subsequent pursuit does happen. It’s just that the end result isn’t as gripping as I’d hoped. The acting isn’t bad, but the story and execution certainly could have been stronger. Especially since soon after the film started and throughout, it felt as though something important was missing, and nothing refreshingly clever and / or new happened.
I really wanted Black and Blue to join Training Day (2001) on my list of favourite cop movies. However, even though both films share commonalities in theme / story, the gap between the two movies is simply too large – because Training Day is far more engrossing, cleverly written and well executed. Plus, Ethan Hawke’s character didn’t make any decisions that had me mad. Whereas Harris’s character did some thing’s that could hardly be excused by her rookie status. Or maybe I’ve simply watched too many cop movies.
I did actually like aspects of the way Black ad Blue handled Harris’s character’s ‘identity crisis,’ which really says more about her acting than anything else. Also, there were moments within Black and Blue that had me thinking, ‘Yes! This is when things really get good‘. But the movie never went to the point of having a scene that I could choose as my favourite moment.
Watch it if you’re super curious. Otherwise, maybe just rewatch Training Day.
In new action / comedy Guns Akimbo, Daniel Radcliffe is Miles, a nerdy video game developer. Things suddenly change for Miles when he gets caught up as the next contestant in an underground gang live-streaming real-life death match.
From writer / director Jason Lei Howden; additional key cast includes Samara Weaving, Rhys Darby, Ned Dennehy…
First Free Guy (2020), now Gus Akimbo. I wonder how many more video game themed movies are coming this year.
I’m interested because it’s different and it’s crazy. I also just want to see Radcliffe in a memorable movie that’s very different from the ones that made him famous.
Mark Rowley, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Hanako Footman, Set Sjöstrand, Racheal Ofori, Colin Moy, Jacqueline Lee Geurts and Jack Riddiford also star.
Co-written / directed by Adam Bolt, Human Nature is a new documentary about the biggest tech revolution of the 21st Century. A biological technology called CRISPR – one that provides unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life.
From curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere to designing our own children and more…
CRISPR had me wondering about just how much more time data has as ‘the most valuable asset on earth,‘ (The Great Hack (2019). Then I realised that CRISPR is data.
I’m very interested in how the tech came to be and all the arguments for and against.
Featured contributors and experts include David Baltimore, Jill Banfield, Rodolphe Barrangou Aliza Ben-Baruch, Joab Camarena, Alta Charo, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Paul Dabrowski and Jennifer Doudna.
Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sterling K. Brown, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie and Lucas Hedges, Waves is a coming of age, raw, emotional and sometimes funny drama / romance centred around the teenage children of a couple in modern day America.
I liked the way Waves opened; the colours, camera angles and music, all of which worked to remind us of the seemingly carefree youthful abandon of late adolescence. As hectic, bright and beautiful as those moments were, it’s not too long before you realise that everything isn’t quite right. Tensions become apparent and it’s clear something is going to change – and not in a good way.
Tyler (Harrison Jr.) is a promising and troubled high school athlete unable to truly open up to his parents, so he suffers behind closed doors. His younger sister Emily (Taylor Russell) who seems to fade into the background much of the time certainly doesn’t have the focus of her parents – especially her father; at least not the the way her brother does. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Tyler’s troubles that end up tragically and irrevocably altering the lives of more than just his immediate family.
Considering the themes of familial tragedy and some very modern / American issues, it’s unsurprising that I shed a few tears as Waves played. Particularly because of the very real and raw way writer / director Trey Edward Shults’s film captures the emotional turmoil suffered by its characters. Some of it so heartbreaking that I have to liken certain moments to having to watch an inevitable car crash while being completely unable to help.
Waves is the kind of movie you watch for the film making artistry, great acting and the ways it beautifully and realistically captures some of the most delightful and heartbreaking events in the lives of teenagers and parents in modern America. You will laugh and smile, be very concerned but also often moved by the generosity of spirit displayed before you.
‘Long’ is another word to describe this movie. It’s not quite the bladder busting 3.5 hour length of The Irishman (2019). However, by the half way point in Shults’s well-captured and highly affecting movie, you’ll think ‘Yeah, I think it’s wrapping up now.’ Except it doesn’t wrap up because that’s when act two – or more fittingly, ‘the second wave’ begins. And sit back you must, because you’re going to need what it has to tell you, especially after the tragedy of ‘the first wave’.
In new crime / comedy / drama The Lovebirds, Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are a couple trying to clear their name after being pulled into a bizarre murder mystery. Will their relationship survive the night following the day’s unexpected events?
Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick (2017); additional key cast includes Anna Camp, Paul Sparks, Kyle Bornheimer…
I’m not yet sure that I’m sold on the premise / believability of this movie just yet, but I do want it to be good.
Also, it’s probably safe to say at this point that Hollywood currently has a thing for murder mysteries right now. First Murder Mystery (2019), Then Knives Out (2019), now The Lovebirds – and I’m probably forgetting another one or two. Maybe.
Joe Chrest, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Moses Storm, Blaine Kern III, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Jaren Mitchell, Matthew Rimmer, Catherine Cohen, Rebecca Chulew and Kelly Murtagh also star.