Showdown in Kyoto

Bullet Train

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Sandra Bullock, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman

Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Running Time: 2 hours and 6 minutes

Based upon the novel by Kotaro Isaka, Dead Pool 2 director David Leitch stitches together a complex crime film in Bullet Train featuring a lot of dialogue and some bizarre action sequences, referencing Pulp Fiction but set on a high speed train from Tokyo to Kyoto involving a group of very weird assassins including the twins Lemon and Tangerine wonderfully played by Brian Tyree Henry and Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), the Hornet played by Zazie Beetz (Joker) and the main star Ladybug played with charisma by Oscar winner Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

Bullet Train involves a sinister crime boss named White Death, a Russian emigrant who infiltrates the Yakuza or Japanese organized crime and the length he goes to to draw out his arch rival The Elder, played with panache by Hiroyuki Sanada (Mortal Kombat, Mr Holmes, The White Countess) and the Elder’s son Kimura played by Andrew Koji.

As the Bullet Train speeds from the Japanese capital of Tokyo to the artistic capital Kyoto, a menagerie of assassins appear on board including Lemon and Tangerine, The Prince played by Joey King and Ladybug whose simple task it is to steal a briefcase filled with cash and alight at the next station. Literally everything goes wrong, from bad guys drinking sleeping tablets to an escaped boomslang slithering through the high tech train.

Using multiple flashbacks to such places as Mexico and Johannesburg to establish backstory, the assassins square off against each other, as one by one they get eliminated or so we think, as they speed ever faster with deadly efficiency to the showdown in Kyoto whereby The Elder is going to meet The White Death.

Fortunately Brad Pitt’s charm carries Bullet Train to its thrilling conclusion amidst lots of witty dialogue, the occasional samurai sword, many guns and an errant poisonous snake. Amidst all the nuanced innuendo’s and gory action, there is a complicated plot which unravels itself like a boa constrictor killing everything in its path.

With flashes of anime, traditional Japanese imagery and sparkling with originality, Bullet Train is a fascinatingly bizarre film with sufficient action and fight sequences to keep audiences glued to the screen. Of particular note is the brilliantly choreographed fight sequence between Tangerine and Ladybug played by Aaron Taylor Johnson and Brad Pitt.

If audiences are looking for a weirdly entertaining film filled with cameo appearances, gory action and an exotic location, then buy a ticket for Bullet Train and make sure not to disembark before the showdown in Kyoto. It’s a riveting ride.

Bullet Train gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and will find an audience that enjoys quirky action with strangers fighting each other on a high speed locomotive.

The Sophiatown Singer

1960

Directors: King Shaft and Michael Motumbo

Cast: Zanile Madiwa, Sanda Shandu, Ivy Nkutha, Clyde Berning, Chris Gxalabla

Running Time: 1 hour and 37 minutes

Film Rating: 6.5 out of 10

1960 was the opening film of the 43rd Durban International Film Festival https://www.durbanfilmfest.com/ held in July 2022 and is directed by King Shaft and Michael Motumbo. Set in Sophiatown in 1960 around the events of the Sharpeville Massacre of the 21st March 1960, this musical drama focuses on the life of the young singer Lindi played by Zanile Madiwa as she escapes the shackles of her destiny in a grim apartheid South Africa and eventually escapes to go and live in Germany and then returns years later in a post-apartheid country to reconcile her past.

1960 takes place in two eras in the obvious 1960 and in 2019, when the remains of a white police officer are discovered in Johannesburg, Constable Kobus Bernard played by Clyde Berning.

The best part about 1960 is the music although the scenes set in Sophiatown in a local tavern do come across as a play rather than a film due to the excessive theatricality of the acting, however the singing is what shines through.

The characterization and dialogue is very mixed and apart from some cringe worthy scenes featuring two caricatured white madams, most of 1960 is interesting if slightly didactic as if trying to explain the events surrounding the Sharpeville massacre and the Sophiatown music scenes to a contemporary South African audience that is unfamiliar with the history.

Sanda Shandu takes on the exuberant role of Lindi’s shy love interest whose fateful meeting will forever be etched into the older Lindi’s memory as she recounts the era to a young policeman in 2019 Johannesburg. The older Lindi is played by Ivy Nkutha as she tells the young policeman never to forget what happened during apartheid.

Unfortunately 1960 will have very limited appeal beyond the borders of South Africa as the historical aspect of the film might not be as well-known internationally but as for the co-directors and writer, their aim with this film is to create more awareness about the complex issues during the Apartheid years including exile, betrayal, protest, racial segregation and fame in another country.

Co-writer Bruce Retief does a good job of tying up all the loose ends of the narrative and the true mystery surrounding the death of Constable Kobus Bernard is revealed as the older Lindi reconciles the secrets surrounding what made her famous as she pursued a musical career abroad.

While the music makes up for the lack of characterization and subtext, 1960 is an interesting film but not as brilliant as director Angus Gibson’s Back of the Moon which premiered at DIFF in 2019 and won the Best South African Feature Film that year.

Streaming audiences can catch 1960 which is available via virtual screening on the Durban International Film Festival official website https://www.durbanfilmfest.com/ until 30 July 2022 when this festival ends. Catch 1960 now and support South African cinema.

Some Viking Space Magic

Thor: Love and Thunder

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Chris Pratt, Jaimie Alexander, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillen, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn

Running Time: 1 hour and 58 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

New Zealand director Taika Waititi follows up his success of Thor: Ragnarok in 2017 with a sequel entitled Thor: Love and Thunder featuring Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as Thor and Oscar winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan) reprise her role as Jane Foster with the villain being an evil God killer Gorr played by Oscar winner Christian Bale (The Fighter). This time Thor has some initial assistance from The Guardians of the Galaxy crowd led by Peter Quill played again by Chris Pratt.

However, when the evil Gorr steals all the innocent children from New Asgard, Thor calls on the assistance of King Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson and Dr Jane Foster who suddenly appears in New Asgard to soak up some Viking Space Magic as she calls it.

The trio travel to the omniscient city to steal the lightning bolt from Zeus, played with a bizarre panache by Oscar winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator). The scene whereby Thor faces Zeus is literally stripped of all significance as Thor lands up butt naked much to the pleasure of Jane and Valkyrie while Zeus’s muses all faint simultaneously in the background.

Basically the storyline of Thor: Love and Thunder is utterly bizarre co-written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kayten Robinson making Chris Hemsworth struggle through the film in terms of acting while thankfully Natalie Portman and Christian Bale are strong enough actors to highlight the significance of loss, revenge and love lost, as their character’s arc is more prominent and filled with depth and motivation.

There are some uniquely funny moments in Thor: Love and Thunder and while the first half of the film battles to find its tone, it’s really in the second half and particularly the ending that the narrative settles down to a rather interesting compromise concerning the evil Gorr superbly played by Christian Bale and the ravishing Natalie Portman as The Mighty Thor aka Jane Grey who adds a strong feminine quality to an essentially male centric film.

While not as good as Venom: Let There be Carnage or The Batman, Thor: Love and Thunder is wacky entertainment, psychedelic and fascinating but equally bizarre which is what you would expect from the director Taika Waititi who achieved international fame with his Oscar winning skit on Nazism in 2019’s JoJo Rabbit.

Audiences should look out for an uncredited cameo by Matt Damon as one of the mock Viking players in New Asgard. Thor: Love and Thunder gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is strictly for fans of the original three films. Viewers can catch some Viking Space Magic in Cinemas now.

Reaching for Eternity

Elvis

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia deJonge, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Luke Bracey, Dacre Montgomery

Running Time: 2 hours and 39 Minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Outlandish Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet) returns to the big screen after a nine year hiatus after 2013’s The Great Gatsby, with a brittle and glitzy biopic of the King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley simply entitled Elvis starring an incredible Austin Butler in the title role opposite two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) as his shady business advisor Colonel Tom Parker.

In a similar vein to Rami Malek’s transformative performance as Freddie Mercury in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, American star Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) does a superb job portraying Elvis Presley from the incredibly gifted singer who transforms into the most legendary musical performer of all time who combined expert showmanship with extravagant costumes and lewd gyrations of his pelvis much to the delight of his infinite female fans.

Elvis Presley was the original rock star before all the other rock stars came along in the 1980’s, he was the trailblazer, the film star and unbelievably talented singer who got financially abused by his controlling business advisor Parker who sought only to commodify Elvis’s talent so he pay off his own gambling debts.

Director Baz Luhrmann captures the zeitgeist of what made Elvis Presley so original, from his Baptist revival roots in segregated Tennessee to become the most famous rock n roll star of the 1950’s through to the 1970’s as the film takes us to Elvis’s troubled residency at the International hotel in fabulous Las Vegas, when Presley realizes that he has been duped into a contract which he cannot get out of.

Elvis’s unbelievable fame came at a cost to his family, his wife Priscilla played beautifully by Olivia deJonge and as he tried to cope with his immense fame, and the undue influence of the sleazy Tom Parker superbly played by Tom Hanks who coaxes Elvis to stay on stage no matter what using all kinds of narcotics to keep the show going. After all this was Las Vegas and crimes of lust and perversion pervaded sin city.

Director and screen writer Baz Luhrmann hints at so many different themes in this brilliant and dazzling biopic from segregation to discrimination, from exploitation to extravagance, but at the heart of this glittering film are two exceptionally well-conceived performances by Austin Butler and Tom Hanks as two lonely men reaching for eternity.

Unlike Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s fame is unsurpassed and legendary. Elvis was the original rock star, the King which defined a generation and created Rock n Roll with a subtle touch of gospel and blues thrown in. Presley invented youth culture when it never existed back in the 1950’s.

Austin Butler deserves an Oscar for his dazzling performance as Elvis Presley and the costume designs by Oscar winning designer Catherine Martin are equally sizzling. Martin won Oscars for her work on The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge and is married to the director.

For those that love musical biopics, Elvis is highly recommended viewing, a poignant and sparkling tribute to the King of Rock n Roll who conquered Las Vegas and became legendary.

Elvis gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is brilliant, absorbing and alluring.

Three Meals Away from Anarchy

Jurassic World: Dominion

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Campbell Scott, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon, DeWanda Wise, Dichen Lachman, Mamoudou Athie

Running Time: 2 hours 26 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

To round off the reboot trilogy of Jurassic World which started in 2015, director Colin Trevorrow returns to the director’s chair for the third and final instalment Jurassic World: Dominion reuniting the new cast Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with the cast of the original 1993 Jurassic Park film consisting of Oscar winner Laura Dern (Marriage Story) as Ellie Sattler, Sam Neill as Alan Grant and the ever quirky Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.

In the 2022 version, Dinosaurs mix freely with humans in a bizarre social world however something is amiss when giant locusts start attacking the food supply in West Texas.

Campbell Scott (The Sheltering Sky) plays a peevish version of a Steve Jobs type character, Lewis Dodgson who runs an extremely shady Biosyn Tech company in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy and is involved in all sorts of weird genetic engineering, playing God with creatures which just become more lethal and uncontrollable as the story unfolds.

Dodgson and his gang of thieves kidnap Maisie Lockwood from the guardianship of Owen Grady and Claire Dearing played respectively by Chris Pratt and by Bryce Dallas Howard.

In the meantime Sattler and Grant investigate the splurge of these giant locusts at the highly sophisticated Biosyn Tech company headquarters, where literally everything goes wrong including letting loose some Apex predators.

Dodgson’s greedy fascination with genetic engineering and dinosaurs sees him become a pathetic villain. Unfortunately, Campbell Scott is not a strong enough actor to play a convincing villain. For Jurassic World: Dominion, the producers needed a really charismatic actor to play the evil villain who is akin to Hugo Drax in Moonraker.

Before the entire world’s food supply gets threatened, Sattler realises that the mutation of the locusts need to be stopped before the general population is three meals away from anarchy.

The first half of Jurassic World: Dominion is really action packed particularly the chase sequence on Malta however the second half in the Dolomite Mountains is nothing original and is really the same group of characters being threatened by scary dinosaurs. The kids will love it!

DeWanda Wise is fantastic as the kickass aeroplane pilot for hire Kayla Watts and Mamoudou Athie is equally good as the only honest employee left at BioSyn. Audiences should look out for Dichen Lachman from the Animal Kingdom TV series as the ruthless henchwoman Santos.

Judging by how packed the cinema was, Jurassic World: Dominion is not a bad summer blockbuster film and gets a film rating of 7 out of 10.

If audiences enjoyed the first two films, then they will love this one. The third installment has all the ingredients of an action packed exotic film filled with dinosaurs, fascinating side characters and sweeping shots of unbelievable locations from Malta to Texas to the Italian alps.

Time is the Enemy

Top Gun: Maverick

Director: Joseph Kosinki

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro 

Running Time: 2 hours and 11 minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Only the Brave and Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski does a sterling job directing the highly anticipated long awaited sequel to the 1986 smash hit Top Gun directed by the late British director Tony Scott. Fortunately, superstar Tom Cruise reprises his role as test pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as he returns to the San Diego Airforce base to train a new set of elite air force pilots including Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw the son of the original Rooster and Maverick’s wingman in the 1986 film.

This time the younger Rooster is played superbly by prolific actor Miles Teller of Whiplash fame as he tries to prove himself as a test fighter pilot while reconciling his father’s legacy and his grudge against Maverick, the less than orthodox fighter pilot instructor.

Following a glittering and highly successful film premiere at the 2022 Festival du Cannes, in which Tom Cruise and co-stars showed off Top Gun: Maverick to the Cinema world and now on world wide release, Top Gun: Maverick as a 2022 cinematic spectacle does not disappoint as the screenwriters skillfully weave elements of the original Top Gun film into this stunning adrenalin fueled film filled with bravado, awe-inspiring aviation stunts and a group of muscular and strong test pilots all vying to be the best. Watch out for the infamous beach scene.

Pete Mitchell’s only concern in teaching his new group of recruits besides building team spirit is to make sure every member of the team comes home from their nefarious mission against an omniscient and unmentionable enemy alive and kicking. Maverick, which is his call sign, tells all of the young aspiring pilots, don’t think, just do it because time is the enemy.

Throughout the story of Top Gun: Maverick there are hints to the original film which was a 1980’s smash hit blockbuster and launched Tom Cruise as a superstar.

Complete with glossy shots of Maverick riding a motorbike into the Californian sun or assisting his love interest Penny wonderfully played by Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) steering a huge yacht off the coast of San Diego, Top Gun: Maverick works as a glossy and sleek homage to the 1980’s action film and a tribute to military aviation, which does not disappoint. In fact it glows in admiration at the courage and spectacle of fighter jets doing dog fights across icy landscapes.

As a film and a fitting sequel to the original, Top Gun: Maverick excels on every level and shines through as Tom Cruise’s passion project a film that he had to get made right and with the correct co-stars.

All the supporting cast of Top Gun: Maverick are superb including Oscar nominee Ed Harris (Pollock) as Chester Cain, Jon Hamm as Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, actor Bill Pullman’s son Lewis Pullman as Lt Robert “Bob” Floyd and of course the other alpha male of the squadron Glen Powell as Lt Jake “Hangerman” Seresin.

Audiences should watch the original film first, however Top Gun: Maverick is equally thrilling providing a stand alone big screen spectacle of flying, action and tension seldom seen in 21st century cinema.

Saturated with golden Californian sunshine and a huge dash of nostalgia, Top Gun: Maverick is a brilliant aviation film and will certainly keep audiences engaged especially in the last section of the film as Maverick and the young Rooster land in enemy territory.

As an adrenalin fuelled fighter jet action film, Top Gun: Maverick gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended viewing only to be appreciated on the big screen.  

Dream Walking and Witchcraft

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejifor, Benedict Wong, Xochitel Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Krasinki, Patrick Stewart, Hayley Atwell, Lashana Lynch, Anson Mount

Running Time: 2 hours and 6 minutes

Film Rating: 6 out of 10

Six years after the first Doctor Strange film was made in 2016, Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, The Power of the Dog) reprises his role as the neurosurgeon turned warlock Doctor Steven Strange in director Sam Raimi’s utterly bizarre sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring a new batch of stars while only Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejifor reprise their roles from the first film.

Director Sam Raimi best known for doing the original Spiderman trilogy with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst but the director is far better known for helming some classic horror flicks including Drag Me to Hell in 2009 and The Evil Dead in 1981, takes this Doctor Strange sequel and turns the superhero genre on its head and transforms it into a ghoulish mixture of the bizarre with an extremely heavy dash of CGI thrown in. The storyline is incoherent and utterly weird.

This time Doctor Strange has to save a multiverse superhero called America Chavez played by Xochitel Gomez from the clutches of the Scarlett Witch also known as Wanda Maximoff wonderfully played with a demonic edge by Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Infinity War, Wind River) as she seeks to use America’s superpowers to open the elusive book of Ashanti. Elizabeth Olsen is by far the best actress in this film as she gives the Scarlett Witch a degree of emotional depth and conflicting maternal instinct, making her character a far more unlikely villain.

Plenty of witchcraft and dream walking abound through a multitude of crazy universes including a particularly bizarre scene whereby Doctor Strange faces the Illuminati made up of Baron Mondo played by Chiwetel Ejifor (12 Years a Slave, Dirty Pretty Things, Kinky Boots), Captain Carter played by Hayley Atwell and wait for it…. an X-Men Professor and one of the characters of The Fantastic Four. Clearly this is not the multiverse of reality one expects.

Here the film completely loses the plot and director Sam Raimi goes for an utter freak show of scary scenes involving ghosts and demons instead of rounding off the narrative in a tightly controlled script.

After watching Benedict Cumberbatch deliver such a brilliant performance in The Power of the Dog, he looked continually anguished throughout this film at having to do a Doctor Strange sequel and not even a good one at that.

Essentially, my question is that if Marvel is so desperate to control the cinematic universe why did they get a horror director to take charge of what is meant to be a superhero film?

After watching the success of Spiderman: No Way Home and the excellent origin film The Batman, I was quite disappointed with the visual mess that is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness even despite some lavish special effects.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gets a film rating of 6 out of 10 and audiences should expect a superhero film which is way more scary than expected.

An Evolving World

Downton Abbey: A New Era

Director: Simon Curtis

Cast: Maggie Smith, Hugh Dancy, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Dominic West, Tuppence Middleton, Elizabeth McGovern, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton, Allen Leech, Nathalie Baye, Laura Haddock, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Samantha Bond, Phyllis Logan, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michael Fox, Harry Hadden-Paton, Kevin Doyle, Charlie Watson, Jonathan Zaccai, Douglas Reith

Running Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes

Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Capitalizing on the success of the 2019 film Downton Abbey, a star studded sequel returns in its all glittering allure and this time Lady Violet Crawley wonderfully played with her usual coy dexterity by Oscar winner Maggie Smith (California Suite, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) reveals to her large and extended family at Downton that she has a villa in the South of France that was mysteriously left to her by a long last lover.

As Lady Crawley departs the gorgeously decorated drawing room she leaves with a final comment: “I will say good night and leave you all to discuss my mysterious past.”

Oscar winning screenwriter of the acclaimed Robert Altman 2001 film Gosford Park, Julian Fellowes once again returns to fine form with a familiar cast and adds a touch of glamour as half the cast set off for the French Riviera to meet the previous owners a French mother and son, wonderfully played by Nathalie Baye (Catch Me if You Can) and Jonathan Zaccai.

As Lady Mary, beautifully played once again with a crisp diction by Michelle Dockery, holds the fort at Downton Abbey as some fast and fashionable film people arrive to use the lavish estate as a location for what they would soon learn to be one of their last silent films.

The film crew is headed up by the dashing director Jack Barber wonderfully played by Hugh Dancy (Hysteria, Late Night) accompanied with flamboyance by the film’s stars Myrna Dagleish played by Laura Haddock and the male lead Guy Dexter superbly played with nuance by Dominic West (Chicago, Colette, Tomb Raider) as he reveals that he has hidden desires..

Fellowes cleverly gives all the cast members from the servants to the landed gentry equal screen time and an intriguing backstory, condensing the entire narrative into a poignant yet lavish affair which delicately reflects England and the Mediterranean at the end of the 1920’s, an evolving world which saw cinema become talkies, in which American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald made the French Riviera fashionable in July.

From the beautiful costumes to the witty dialogue, from the elegant subplots to the age old rivalry between the British and the French, Downton Abbey: A New Era is a cinematic treat expertly crafted with an ensemble cast that achieve a formidable pitch with humour and grace.

Definitely made for the fans of the brilliant TV series and the 2019 film, Downton Abbey: A New Era is highly recommended viewing and a perfect cinematic outing, which gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Romancing The Page

The Lost City

Directors: Adam and Aaron Nee

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Brad Pitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Oscar Nunez, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Bowen Yang, Hector Anibal, Thomas Forbes-Johnson

Running Time: 1 hour and 52 minutes

Film Premiere: South by South West Film Festival – Austin, Texas, USA SXSWFF – March 2022

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Directing duo and brothers Adam and Aaron Nee bring the fun filled adventure comedy The Lost City starring Sandra Bullock as best selling romance novelist Loretta Sage and Channing Tatum as her handsome buff cover model Dash as they have to contend with an evil media mogul wonderfully played with a sort of British panache by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.

The Lost City had its world premiere at the South by South West Film Festival in Austin, Texas, USA in March 2022 and clearly the brothers drew massive inspiration from the highly successful 1984 adventure film Romancing the Stone starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny Devito.

The onscreen chemistry between Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and Magic Mike star Channing Tatum is undeniable and clearly both actors had loads of fun making this popcorn adventure film. Audiences should look out for a brief appearance by Oscar winner Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) who plays the action man Jack Trainer who when initially rescuing Loretta Sage says to him:

“Why are you so Handsome?”

Trainer replies casually after taking out six swarthy looking Dominicans, “My Father was a Weatherman!”

Other notable performances is Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) as Loretta’s exasperated publisher and book agent Beth Hatten who takes it upon herself to track down her No. 1 wayward romance adventure novelist Loretta Sage after mysteriously being kidnapped by the crazy Abigail Fairfax played by Daniel Radcliffe (Victor Frankenstein, Kill Your Darlings, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) who clearly relished the chance of playing the villain in The Lost City.

It was comforting to see a near full auditorium when watching The Lost City and if audiences love an entertaining action adventure comedy then this film is for them.

Directors Adam and Aaron Nee kept the tone of the film extremely light making it a pure escapist adventure film helped by the sheer entertainment value of seeing the Miss Congeniality star Sandra Bullock act opposite two much younger leading men: the hilarious Channing Tatum and the super talented Daniel Radcliffe.

Take the kids, go and watch The Lost City, it’s a well-rounded adventure film shot in the Dominican Republic. The Lost City gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is recommended viewing.

75th BAFTA Awards / The British Academy Film Awards

The 75th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFAs, were held on 13 March 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2021.

Best Film: The Power of the Dog

Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Best Actor: Will Smith – King Richard

Best Actress: Joanna Scanlan – After Love

Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur – CODA

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana de Bose – West Side Story

Best British Film: Belfast directed by Kenneth Branagh

Best Original Screenplay: Licorice Pizza – Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Adapted Screenplay: CODA

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Best Costume Design: Jenny Beavan – Cruella

Best Foreign Language Film: Drive My Car directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

Rising Star Award: Lashana Lynch

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