A solid star

Blogging, Film, Opinion, Writing

In the last few weeks, there has been outcry over the lack of diversity at the Oscars. Black people quite rightly are aggrieved with the situation at present. But in a time of negativity, one bright moment has been swallowed up by the Oscar crisis. That bright moment being Denzel Washington winning the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes.

It wasn’t the Oscars but nevertheless very few actors achieve the Cecil B. DeMille award. As Tom Hanks noted in his speech when presenting the award, the list of great actors to achieve this award are finite. Possibly aside from Sir Sidney Poitier, Washington is the only other black actor to receive this accolade. In the company of De Niro and Al Pacino, Hoffman.

Washington is just as deserving as the others. Add in the fact that compared to some of the previous winners on the list, Washington has maintained a high performance throughout his career. Compared to the likes of De Niro who goes through highs and lows. It is hard to point out one bad performance by Washington. but he is in the minority. He should have been celebrated more in the aftermath. Instead negative headlines dominated the news.

Washington compared to the likes of Will Smith, Jamie Foxx or any major block buster black actor, may not draw in the same box office figures. However, undeniably if a survey was carried out, Washington would surely be seen as the most reliable, respected and consistent of the major black figures in Hollywood today. At a time when outrage dominates the headlines. A possible alternative is push to Washington forward and use him as a shining example. A black actor who has achieved all the top accolades. Promote him as the champion of black film community.

Add in the reality is that there is not enough films and opportunities being made with black actors/actresses. For a black actor/actress to win, they have to deliver not a great performance, but quite simply an exceptional one in order to stand a chance. Washington has beaten those odds time and time again. The black acting community should look to him to guide them forward.

The reason he possibly hasn’t spoken out yet could be down to him not wanting to be seen as hypocritical. When he has just won the Cecil B. DeMille award. Nevertheless, he should be encouraged to add his voice to the debate. His voice like his performances will not be one of rash, ill-judged move. But one of considered, well-thought opinion. He truly is a solid star that stands out. One that should be celebrated more and should be listened to.

Blomkamp’s Bluff.

Blogging, Entertainment, Film, Opinion, Popular Culture, Writing

Blomkamp interview

Halo short film : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BaVb2TlWb0

When Blomkamp made District 9, like the rest of world I saw it as innovative and really exciting. His short film on Halo only added to that excitement. The combination of Blomkamp as director and Peter Jackson as producer was a mouthwatering prospect.

Alas, it never came to be. Blomkamp in the meantime has delivered Elysium and Chappie. Visually both beautiful films, but that’s where the praise stops. Characters in both films felt underdeveloped. Plots and stories felt disjointed.

This has created a worrying trend. District 9 is a clear career high. But ever since, Blomkamp is struggling to match that. A recent interview with Total film revealed a lot about his thinking.

Blomkamp in the interview stressed how much he loves illustrations and concepts. But he wasn’t interested in reading stories at all. Stories meant nothing to him.

George R.R. Martin in a interview with the Sunday Times a few months back stressed anyone can come up with an idea, it’s the execution that marks people out.

That’s Blomkamp’s weakness. He has wonderful ideas and concepts. Elysium screamed potential, but the execution just wasn’t there to match the potential. Blomkamp has a brilliant mind, but he needs a serious scriptwriter that will bring balance to his concepts.

He can go to be a one of the top Sci-fi directors of all time. Potential is there. However, if he doesn’t match his concepts with solid stories. His vision for a new Alien film will flop despite serious promise with his illustrations.

Otherwise, he will be on borrowed time and will only be able to point back at early promise of District 9. There is only so long he can do that.

Lundgren’s Logic

Blogging, Entertainment, Film, Popular Culture, Writing

Skin Trade

Skin Trade is a new film that is expected to be released on April 23rd 2015. The trailer does nothing but scream Taken all over once again.

To boil it down to it’s essence. The main character Nick played by Dolph Lundgren goes out for revenge once his daughter and wife is killed. Goes on to hunt Eastern European terrorists. They really don’t get a break there. At least the film is based in Bangkok.

Nevertheless it’s nothing original. Then again, the film is written by Lundgren himself.

You can somewhat understand Lundgren’s logic in pursuing this. It’s a formula that has worked for Neeson and Luc Besson, three times. As a ageing action star, it is a perfect vehicle for Lundgren. No doubt his fellow action star Sly told him it was a no-brainer.

Lundgren though is a highly educated man with degrees in Chemistry and Masters in Chemical engineering. Maybe it was naive hope that Lundgren might stray from his predictable role of action star and branch out into more serious territory.

Unfortunately for us though, Lundgren judging by this trailer wishes to stay in his comfort zone and follow the rapidly tiring Taken formula.

Reboot or Remake?

Blogging, Entertainment, Film, Popular Culture, Writing

Barely a few weeks ago, It was announced that Spider-man was once again was being rebooted. Not even a decade before being rebooted again previously.

Reboots are very much the trendy thing to do these days. As are remakes. Problem with remakes, is the aim quite often is to replicate the original success. Which 9/10 times doesn’t work.

In the information age, people can be notified instantly if a film is worth going to. The real question to be asked is why keep trying? the success rates of remakes aren’t pretty.

Surely a possible route to go is remake the failures! Yes on paper it sounds insane. But on further reflection, it could work. Think Waterworld. It was a failure, no debate. But it is an ample opportunity. You can walk in and tear up the original script and no-one is going to protest about it.

Why would they? it gives you the chance to twist the film to your likening. People will naturally say ” Waterworld was terrible.” The simple response is to say,” it can’t get worse” .

Everyone has talked about at length as to why it was bad.You know what to avoid as a result. Consult the original cast and crew. They will surely help you in order to help eradicate the original memories.

The original pushed to the back of the mind as the new one goes on to flourish. Win-win for all.  The original Judge Dredd was terrible with Sly. But the new one with Karl Urban was nothing short of fantastic. Let’s hope it’s start of a trend.