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Entries in Brian Tyree Henry (5)

Friday
Jun212019

One Two Chucky's Coming For You

by Jason Adams

If you squint in the opening moments of the latest Child's Play film -- which supposes a restart, a return to the beginning, an origin story -- it might remind you of Paul Verhoeven's Robocop, another 80s property that recently got the reboot treatment, sans soul. The soul gone missing this time around though is actually a literal one (or as literal as "souls" get anyway), as Chucky's not-so-humble beginnings have been rethought. He's no longer a regular doll that got the soul of a psycho voodoo'd into him, but one whose ultra modern computer tech gets maliciously-virused by a disgruntled employee at a slave labor camp buried somewhere in the deep dark recesses of Somewhere Vietnam...

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Friday
Feb082019

There are no small parts, '18 Edition

by Nathaniel R

Our annual cinematic jamboree, the Film Bitch Awards, continue with the categories of best actors and actresses in limited roles. This category is reserved for the kind of performances given in one or two scenes where'd you'd be happy to wander outside the camera's purview just to spend more time with them. Or, more accurately, since the characters aren't always pleasant, performances so strong that you wish you could follow them into another scene or five to watch the actor dig in yet deeper.

We're talking about performances like Brian Tyree Henry's in If Beale Street Could Talk, who crystallizes the film's conceits about the systematic oppression of black men as his innocent ex-con monologues through the film's most moving sequence. His eyes drop us into the abyss of his prison memories where his words won't take us. We're talking about performances like Bradley Whitford's glib lawyer, oozing shamelessness with his soul long-since sold, who comes at a bedraggled cop threatening him with such confidence that at first you think he'll win and the movie will be a very short one. That is until you watch the star (Nicole Kidman) up her own already impressive game to spar with an actor that's sparking her inner ensemblist.

We're talking about performances like Jeanne Balibar's in Cold War or Jane Curtin's in Can You Ever Forgive Me? that are played with such precise panache that you can imagine a different type of movie just off to the side of the one you're watching, where they're the leads instead and this moment is but a subplot in their narratives.  Check out the nomination page for more on these fine performances and others from Leticia Brédice, Rebecca Field, Elizabeth McGovern, Simon Russell Beale, Philip Ettinger, and Corey Hawkins and a list of other names we also loved in tiny roles this past cinematic year.

Saturday
Dec152018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Reviewed

Every Saturday this month, Tim will be taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Fans of Marvel's iconic hero Spider-Man have had a packed 2018, between Tom Holland's third big-screen turn as the character in Avengers: Infinity War and Tom Hardy's role as the antihero Eddie Brock in the conspicuously Spider-Man-less Venom. But the best has very much been saved for last, in the form of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a new animated feature that's easily the best Spider-Man movie since Spider-Man 2 (2004) back in the distant early days of the modern superhero movie boom.

The film is the first big-screen adventure of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who first appeared in comic books in 2011 as a new Spider-Man following the temporary death of Peter Parker. He's a Brooklyn teenager, awkwardly fitting into life at an elite boarding school, living in perpetual chagrin at the overbearing authority of his cop dad (Brian Tyree Henry), and expressing himself through graffiti art (one of the things his dad is specifically overbearing about). And if that was all he ever was or did, Into the Spider-Verse would still put up a good argument for itself as a more than worthy movie...

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Sunday
Nov182018

Podcast: Green Book, Widows, and the Best Supporting Actor Race

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl talk new films and the Oscar race


Index (68 minutes)
00:01 We didn't see Fantastic Beasts 2
01:46 Steve McQueen's Widows is more than a heist movie. We dive into its themes, best scenes, and particularly its all star ensemble: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Brian Tyree Henry, Cynthia Erivo, Robert Duvall, Michelle Rodriguez,and Olivia the dog!
25:44 Widow's Best Picture chances?
28:09 'Crowd-Pleaser' Green Book does not please Murtada. Thoughts on the movie, escapist laughter, road trip tropes, and Mahershala Ali's Oscar clip.
42:05 Best Supporting Actor discussion including Richard E Grant, Mahershala Ali, Michael B Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Sam Rockwell, Adam Driver, Steven Yeun, etc...
52:00 Spirit Nominations: Suspiria for ensemble? We the Animals, Blame and other micro-indies that did well. Who is going to win?
1:07:00 Byeeee

Further Reading / References
Shadow & Act's pan of Green Book
Vox's pan of Green Book
Middleburg's Green Book audience win
• The Spirit Award nominations
Murtada's We the Animals interview
Supporting Actor Oscar Chart

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Green Book and Widows

Sunday
Sep092018

TIFF Review: "Widows"

by Chris Feil

If you thought that Steve McQueen’s Widows would be less of a body blow as his other films simply because the genius director is dipping into the mainstream, guess again. A quaint notion that is thankfully not the case - McQueen hasn't softened a bit, and thank goodness.

Watching the film is like laying on a bed of nails, danger at every turn as you dodge its narrative and formative land mines. McQueen’s previous films such as 12 Years a Slave and Shame depicted viscerally physical experiences, making for intense films that can be felt as deeply in the body as well as the soul. Though Widows is less concerned on physical tolls taken on its characters than those efforts, that doesn’t mean you don’t still feel Widows down to your bones.

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