Archive for April, 2022

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

The Downtown Heist

Ambulance

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza Gonzalez, Garret Dillahunt, Keir O’Donnell, Jackson White, Moses Ingram, Colin Woodell, Cedric Sanders

Running Time: 2 hours and 16 minutes

Film Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Transformers and Armageddon director Michael Bay returns to the big screen with a California heist film Ambulance set in downtown Los Angeles and features to foster brothers Danny and Will Sharp played respectively by Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) and Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen).

Danny lures Will into helping him with one last heist job at a Federal building in downtown Los Angeles and soon everything literally goes pear-shaped and amidst a massive shootout, Danny and Will escape in an ambulance transporting a wounded police officer played by Jackson White and accompanied by a beautiful headstrong paramedic Cam Thompson played by Eiza Gonzalez last seen in Baby Driver.

Captain Monroe, played by Garrett Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave, No Country for Old Men) and his band of armed policemen try to pursue the Ambulance until Danny Sharp unwittingly calls in the assistance of the Mexican gang to distract the police as the chase continues through the myriad of freeways, off ramps and roadways of downtown Los Angeles.

Director Michael Bay frames the city shots of Los Angeles with some sweeping takes including all the downtown skyscrapers whilst also managing to capture the trauma and anxiety of what is happening inside the Ambulance including keeping police officer Zach alive while the vehicle is being shot at and chased incessantly.

As the situation becomes increasingly desperate, the outlandish narrative takes too long to wrap up even though the action keeps audiences glued to the screen. At 2 hours and 16 minutes, Ambulance could have been edited by at least half an hour.

If audiences enjoy a good action, car chase bank robbery film, then Ambulance is just for you. It’s filled with crazy car chases, sweeping road carnage and enough plot twists to keep audiences guessing right up until the medical vehicle reaches its intended destination.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II both are very good in their respective roles particularly the latter as he realizes how crazy his estranged foster brother really is. Let’s face it, Jake Gyllenhaal can play crazy in a cool kind of way!

Ambulance is an entertaining heist action film, big on flashy images of a city scape twisted by glass skyscrapers and fast cars on freeways featuring some desperate characters trying to get out of a really tense situation.

Ambulance gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and while not entirely plausible, it certainly is a perfect popcorn action flick.

94th Oscar Awards

94th Academy Awards took place on Sunday 27th March 2022 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Best Picture: CODA

Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Best Actor: Will Smith – King Richard

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur – CODA

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana deBoseWest Side Story

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth BranaghBelfast

Best Adapted Screenplay: Sian HederCODA

Best Cinematography: Greig FraserDune

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Best Costume Design: Jenny BeavanCruella

Best Make up & Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Visual Effects: Dune

Best Film Editing: Joe WalkerDune

Best Sound: Dune

Best Production Design: Dune

Best Documentary Feature:  Summer of Soul directed by Questlove, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein

Best Documentary Short Subject: The Queen of Basketball – directed by Ben Proudfoot

Best Live Action Short Film:

Best Original Score: Hans ZimmerDune

Best Original Song: No Time to DieBillie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Best Animated Feature Film: Encanto

Best Animated Short Film:

Best Foreign Language Film: Drive My Car directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
April 2022
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  • ‘Hunt’ Review: Trust No One in This Unpredictable Korean Spy-vs.-Spy Game
    On Oct. 26, 1979, South Korean president Park Chung-hee was assassinated by the chief of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency — a coup that ended the autocrat’s 16-year grip on a country that has wrestled with corruption and scandal ever since. The still-mysterious circumstances of that inside job (which inspired 2005’s “The President’s Last Bang”) […]
    Peter Debruge
  • ‘Money Heist Korea’ Trailer Dropped by Netflix Ahead of June Release
    A crew of thieves including Tokyo, an ex-soldier, unite under the leadership of a mastermind known as the Professor to plan an unprecedented heist – stealing money yet to exist! If that sounds familiar, it should. The twist is that Netflix hit series La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) has been given a cool Korean favor. […]
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  • Renée Zellweger Says ‘The Thing About Pam’ Prosthetics Caused Her to Break Out in Rashes
    Judy Greer admits seeing Renée Zellweger for the first time in full makeup, prosthetics and wardrobe as convicted murderer Pam Hupp while shooting “The Thing About Pam” presented a a unique set of challenges. “We both looked at each other and started laughing,” Greer, who plays controversial prosecutor Leah Askey in the true-crime series, said […]
    marcmalkin
  • PhilmCo Media Backs ‘1660 Vine’ Movie Musical About Social Media Influencers
    Sixth months after Peter Samuelson and Jonathan Prince launched PhilmCo Media, the production banner is gearing up its first project “1660 Vine,” a musical film that producers hope to adapt as a Broadway show. “1660 Vine,” follows a group of influencers who move into a Hollywood apartment complex to help each other pursue social media […]
    Wilson Chapman
  • The Long Road to ‘Spinning Gold’: Why It Took Three Decades to Bring the Story of Six Decadent Disco Years to the Screen
    The story of Casablanca Records has been told by many — in books, articles and by the larger-than-life characters who lived through the salad days of mid- to late-1970s rock and disco music. Its ascent as a hit factory — home to KISS, Donna Summer, the Village People and Parliament Funkadelic — was short and […]
    Shirley Halperin
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