Saturday, November 30, 2013


Spike Lee's remake of the Korean thriller Oldboy is grim, cynical and pretty repugnant and a resounding disappointment. Lee continues to squander not just the gravitas he earned with some outstanding (though often maddeningly uneven) feature films  -- Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, 25th Hour, Inside Man) but the good will of those, like me, who love the man's cinematic vision if not to the man himself. Josh Brolin stars and Samuel L. Jackson delivers that thing he does but the most intriguing performance comes from the South African actor Sharlto Copley (Elysium, District 9) as the mystery psychopath who imprisons Brolin's Joe Doucett in a mock hotel room for 20 years and then releases him with the charge to find out why he did so or else Joe's daughter will be killed. It's all a sick and morally bankrupt affair and suggests that Lee may be channeling his creativity into his much more satisfying documentary projects.

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Queen & Slim

In the soon to be iconic photograph from Melina Matsoukas's distressing Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith...