Saturday, January 21, 2017
Friday, January 20, 2017
Film Review by Kam Williams
The high-octane thriller so overshadowed the relatively-mundane Die Another Day that year that Pierce Brosnan would soon be replaced by Daniel Craig as 007. Ironically, Vin Diesel was also replaced by Ice Cube in xXx 2, a drismal sequel that bombed at the box office, leaving a once-promising franchise on life support.
It's taken a decade and a half, but Vin is finally reprising the role he originated. The good news is that the picture arrives laced with the sort of death-defying feats that made the first xXx such a hit. That means a plethora of action sequences in which our superhuman protagonist proves impervious to bullets and the laws of gravity.
There are also tons of the trademark titillation, coming courtesy of both Vin's beefcake and a bevy of adoring beauties. Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), xXx: Return of Xander Cage even tips its hat to earlier episodes via cameos by Samuel L. Jackson and Ice Cube.
At the point of departure, we find Xander living under the radar in self-imposed exile in Latin America. He's still an extreme sports enthusiast, and just for fun skis across the treetops of a verdant rain forest before switching to a skateboard for an equally-breathtaking ride down a winding mountainside highway.
Next thing you know, he's being coaxed out of retirement by a CIA chief (Toni Collette) to keep the world safe for democracy. The mission involves retrieving a devastating weapon of mass destruction code-named "Pandora's Box" that's fallen into the hands of a gang of daredevils led by a diabolical trio (Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa and Deepika Padukone) bent on world domination.
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and pervasive violence`
Running time: 107 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
To see a trailer for xXx: Return of Xander Cage, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQEFmHsseaU
Posted by Kam at 12:53 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for action, violence, profanity, disturbing images, mature themes and brief sensuality
In English, French and Italian with subtitles
Running time: 121 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; Ron Howard: A Director's Journal; A Look at Langdon; The Billionaire Villain: Bertrand Zobrist; This Is Sienna Brooks; Inferno around the World; and Vision of Hell.
Posted by Kam at 2:59 AM
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Posted by Kam at 2:06 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Posted by Kam at 12:25 PM
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Film Review by Kam Williams
Curious Adoptee Tracks Down Birth-Mom in Bittersweet Biopic
Saroo (Dev Patel) had the misfortune of being born into poverty in India's Khandwa district. He lived there with his single-mom, Kamla (Priyanka Bose), along with his big brother, Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), and younger sister, Shekila (Khushi Solanki).
His illiterate mother was reduced to carrying rocks for a living, and she could barely afford to keep a roof over their heads. So, when Guddu found a night job hauling bales of hay, Saroo leapt at the chance to contribute, too, even though he was obviously a little small.
And he promptly fell asleep after the long ride to the worksite sitting on his brother's bike's handlebars. "It's my fault," Guddu lamented, before leaving Saroo alone to spend the night on a train station bench.
Trouble is, when Guddu failed to return by daybreak, the frantic 5 year-old inadvertently stowed away aboard a freight train headed to Bengal, a port-of-call 1,600 miles east. Upon arriving, Saroo couldn't get any help from strangers, between his not speaking the language and his mispronouncing the name of his hometown, "Ganestalay."
Consequently, he ended up struggling to survive on the streets until he landed in a local orphanage. Since Saroo didn't know his own last name or where he was from, he was ultimately shipped off to Melbourne to meet Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John Brierley (David Wenham), an Australian couple eager to adopt him.
For the next quarter-century, he enjoyed an idyllic life, whether playing cricket, swimming in a cove off the ocean, or dating Lucy (Rooney Mara), a lovely Aussie lassie. All was well until the fateful evening a childhood memory was triggered during a dinner of Indian food.
Suddenly curious about his roots, Saroo was subsequently encouraged by Lucy to use Google Earth to find the spot on the planet that he hailed from. Once he recognized a few familiar places from his formative years, all that was left to do was to hop back on a plane and reunite with his long-lost family.
Adapted from Saroo Brierley's autobiography, "A Long Way Home," Lion is a heartbreaking biopic that definitely packs an emotional punch, thanks to powerful performances by Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel as the young and adult Saroo, respectively. The supporting cast features equally-evocative turns by Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman as the women who played pivotal roles in the protagonist's life Down Under.
A bittersweet variation on the "I was lost, but now I'm found" theme of the parable of the Prodigal Son.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and some sensuality
In English, Hindi and Bengali with subtitles
Running time: 118 minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
To see a trailer for Lion, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RNI9o06vqo
Posted by Kam at 4:04 PM
Friday, January 13, 2017
Posted by Kam at 10:24 AM