From the pages of Marvel Comics comes Black Panther, directed by the very skilled Ryan Coogler, starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. The MCU continues its roll in delivering a quality entertainment, this time with more to think about beyond the run time than usual blockbuster fare.
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Taking a look at Pixar’s latest big film, Coco, which incorporates the Dia de los Muertos tradition into yet another heartwarming family tale.
This true story begins at the onset of World War II when, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill has to face one of his most critical of trials: contemplating a peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the principles, independence, and free will of a nation. As the seemingly insurmountable Nazi forces trample through Western Europe and invasion appears imminent, and with a nervous public, a wavering King, and his own party conspiring against him, Winston Churchill must find the self-resolve to inspire a nation, and to attempt to alter the course of world events.
A podcast review of Denis Villenueve’s continuation of Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction masterpiece.
The riots and looting in Detroit, 1967, were sparked by the mostly white police force coming into a predominantly black neighborhood in order to infiltrate a nightclub operating without a license, which ended up with yet another incident of police aggression and harassment in the area that has seemingly gone on unchecked. Specifically, the film concentrates on the Algiers Motel incident, which which a group of black men, and two white women, end up having a terrifying night while being interrogated by several white police officers and members of the military. The methods of interrogation includes beatings, and the horrifying deaths of those who refused to comply to the request of the authorities to produce a gun that they believed had been used to shoot at them.
The action in It takes place in the fictional small town of Derry, Maine, where we mostly follow a group of about seven adolescents on their break during the summer. The de-facto leader of the group, Bill Denbrough, has recently been plagued by thoughts of his younger brother Georgie’s disappearance, though we in the audience know that the tyke is but the latest victim of a sewer-dwelling, fear-feeding demon who mostly presents himself in the form of a clown named Pennywise. Georgie’s not the only child to go missing of late, and the group soon learns that Derry has a special history for children who disappear without a trace about once every generation, causing them to have to confront their innermost nightmarish fears, lest they become the latest victim of the sinister Pennywise.
Set in Berlin in 1989, shortly before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, we find an MI6 agent named Lorraine Broughton on a mission to try to get a much sought after highly classified list of spies working for Western agencies around the world, kept hidden within the case of a luxury watch, in order to prevent it from going to the KGB. Operating in flashbacks as the bruised and fatigued agent divulges the details of her botched mission to her immediate superior, as well as to a bigwig in the CIA, we learn of her covert mission to acquire the list, initially assigned to work with the chief operator in Berlin, David Percival. In the meantime, they must contend with dangerous Soviet operatives, the East German military, Stasi officers, and an unknown double agent working both sides of the Wall.
Kumail Nanjiani stars and co-scripts this romantic comedy about himself (more or less), a Pakistani immigrant to America turned stand-up comedian living in Chicago who ends up going out and then falling into a romantic relationship with a white, non-Muslim psychology graduate student named Emily. Contrary to both of their desires to stay unattached, things are going remarkably well, though that is also part of the problem, as his very strict and traditional Pakistani family expect – no, require – Kumail to find a Pakistani woman to court and marry, which they are busy trying (and failing) to arrange, so he keeps his relationship with Emily on the sly.
Meanwhile, the young comedian must keep his head in the game to try to secure a spot in an important comedy festival that may kick-start his career in show business beyond local gigs. Life gets even more complicated when it is discovered that Emily is suffering from an illness that has the doctors baffled, leaving Kumail and Emily’s parents flying in from North Carolina to bond during the hospital visits, while also knowing that Kumail and Emily may not end up together, if, and when, the medical ordeal is over.
In this outing, we find Peter Parker as an awkward teenager, who has a crush on schoolmate Liz, while also brushing up on his knowledge on a school team vying for a national academic competition. He also happens to have an internship with part-time father figure Tony Stark, who is using the opportunity to mentor the lad on the ways to use his technologically advanced costume that’s enhanced like a magic Swiss-army knife by an AI control device Peter dubs ‘Karen’ (all tech courtesy of Stark Industries) to thwart criminals around the city. He gets more than his match when the Vulture, a spurned blue-collar Joe turned hi-tech criminal named Adrian Toomes, comes on the scene, having confiscated alien technology (from the Chitauri, as a seen in Marvel’s The Avengers) in order to manufacture and sell ultra-powerful weapons on the black market.
Set in Atlanta, Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a baby-faced (naturally) but extremely talented driver who constantly plays music on several of his old iPods while he works to overcome his persistent tinnitus, the result of a childhood car accident that left him an orphan. The trouble is that Baby hates what he does and wants out as soon as his debt is paid off, which he does, only to find Doc knows he’s the best driver in the business and won’t let his golden goose go.