8 items from 2017
Ron Perlman would have us believe that war never changes, but the movies about it certainly have. The last 15 years have brought no shortage of films about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (for obvious reasons), but World War II continues to fascinate filmmakers most of all. That includes Christopher Nolan, whose recent hit “Dunkirk” manages to bring something new to a genre that constantly feels at risk of becoming old hat.
And while those two conflicts have dominated the genre of late, everything from the Civil War to the Battle of Red Cliffs has found powerful expression onscreen. Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” tells us that “war is a drug,” and the films below suggest that movies about war are just as addictive — maybe even more so. »
- Michael Nordine and Anne Thompson
The depiction of Native Americans in the movies is notorious for its reductive stereotypes. By those standards, “Mohawk,” a bloody, low-budget survival saga about members of a flailing tribe facing off against brutish American soldiers during the war of 1812, arrives like a revelation. The sophomore feature from Ted Geoghegan is a far cry from the haunted house tropes of his debut, “We Are Still Here,” but it explores a much more realistic horror — the struggle to survive against ruthless persecution, even as the future looks grim.
It’s a fast-paced action-thriller that, while rough around the edges, delivers a wild ride — and an implicit rebuke to the limitations of Hollywood storytelling.
The movie, which premiered at the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival, revolves around the plight of Oak (Kaniehtiio Horn), a young member of the Mohawk tribe in upstate New York, and the two men with whom she enjoys a polyamorous »
- Eric Kohn
Newly minted blockbuster superstar Gal Gadot was hardly a household name when she was picked to play Wonder Woman in DC’s Extended Universe, including turns in “Batman v Superman” and “Justice League” and a starring role in the studio’s newest smash hit, “Wonder Woman.” Best known to action-loving audiences for her supporting roles in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, the former Israeli soldier is now a bonafide breakout, thanks to her work in the long-awaited and instantly beloved superhero film. Fortunately, she’s not the only actress who made the jump from rising star to tentpole leading lady.
Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is toplining the newly re-launched “Tomb Raider” franchise, while “Kingsman” and “Star Trek Beyond” standout Sofia Boutella will star in the upcoming “The Mummy” reboot and presumably continue on in the planned “Dark Universe” franchise. Daisy Ridley has handily taken over chief badass status on the »
- Kate Erbland
If the career of Sam Worthington — bland and boring in leading man roles, much more interesting when he gets to play character parts in indies like “Somersault” or “The Keeping Room” — was anything to go by, people maybe shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss his fellow Australian Jai Courtney. Yes, Courtney was a bit of a charisma vacuum in films like “Terminator: Genisys,” but he was a lot more fun when he got to ugly-up in “Suicide Squad” — indeed, he was probably the best thing in the movie.
- Oliver Lyttelton
Since Wrath of the Titans in 2012, Sam Worthington has successfully made the transition from leading man in studio blockbusters to dependable supporting actor in independent films. Following his last appearance as Perseus, the actor has peppered his resume with excellent turns in efforts like The Keeping Room, Everest and Hacksaw Ridge. Now, he’s back in theaters to play lead Mack Phillips in the upcoming film adaptation of the bestselling novel, The Shack.
Mack’s life is destroyed when his youngest daughter is abducted during a camping trip, with nothing but her clothes recovered from a secluded shack. After receiving an invitation possibly from God, he returns to the shack where he embarks on the spiritual journey of a lifetime.
A few weeks back in New York City, we had the chance to sit down with Worthington for an exclusive interview. The actor dished on his new film, how he selects his roles, »
- Joseph Hernandez
Director Julia Hart made waves at last year’s SXSW Festival with her breakthrough film “Miss Stevens.” Now, the writer and director is gearing up to helm her next feature, “Fast Color, which has just found its lead actress: Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Co-written by Hart and Jordan Horowitz, the actress will portray Ruth, a woman who is forced to go on the run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.
Principal photography for the film will begin in New Mexico on March 13.
Hart’s directorial debut, “Miss Stevens,” was among »
- Liz Calvario
Dubois Records, in cooperation with Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece will release the Victoria – Original Soundtrack digitally on all music streaming platforms to coincide with the Us release of the television series on PBS this coming weekend. The album features the limited series’ original score by multi-bafta and Ivor Novello winning composer Martin Phipps (Woman In Gold, The Keeping Room) and Ruth Barrett (City Of Tiny Lights, Whitechapel) with vocals from the Mediaeval Baebes. Victoria was first aired on ITV in the UK on August 28, 2016.
Phipps says: “The idea was to give Victoria a dynamic voice, an explosive theme through which we could rejoice in her strength & courage. The Mediaeval Baebes were the perfect sound for this. With one foot in the classical world & one in the commercial, they gave Victoria the mixture of refinement & attitude I was after.”
Barrett says: “I started composing from episode 2, weaving in some of Martin »
- Michelle McCue
Mbatha-Raw will portray a woman forced to go on the run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.
“This is exactly the kind of movie I want to see in the theater – three generations of strong women finding their power,” Liddell said. “Gugu and Julia are extraordinary talents and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them both on this special project. »
- Dave McNary
8 items from 2017
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