- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: After the death of Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), the questions on how the IP would continue without its leading man seemed endless. Black Panther‘s sequel is both the perfect memorial to Boseman and a continuation of the narrative.
- Avatar: The Way of Water: The 13-year wait for the follow-up to Avatar was worth it. The themes of climate change are just as relevant now as they were in 2009.
- She Said: Based on the book of the same name, it tells the heart-pounding story to uncover the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. NY Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) take on Weinstein and the Hollywood machine in a way that is jaw-dropping.
- Elvis: Austin Butler transforms himself into Elvis Presley, adding new layers to the music icon.
- Call Jane: Elizabeth Banks plays a housewife whose pregnancy is not going well in the days before Roe v. Wade. Denied an abortion by the local hospital, she finds an underground group and soon joins them in their mission to help women.
- Hocus Pocus 2: After 29 years, the Sanderson sisters are back. It has enough of its predecessor while holding its own in the best way possible.
- Mr. Malcolm’s List: Based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Allain, Mr. Malcolm is the most coveted bachelor in this Jane Austen-inspired narrative. In order to fend off marriageable young ladies and their match-making mamas, he creates a list of qualities that his wife should have. Little does he know that it will soon be moot.
- Downton Abbey: A New Era: This second film in the franchise opens the door to new stories while closing old ones in perfect fashion.
- Cyrano: This musical adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac starring Peter Dinklage adds new flavors to the well-known tale.
- The Tragedy of Macbeth: Shot in stark black and white, Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star as the power-hungry and bloodthirsty Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Tag: Elvis Presley
Elvis Movie Review
There are only a handful of artists who are known by a singular name. Their image and influence have permeated the culture in a way that everyone knows who they are and what they represent. Elvis Presley is one of these artists.
The new biopic, Elvis, hit theaters last week. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the film stars newcomer Austin Butler as the title character and Tom Hanks as his manager with sometimes questionable intentions, Colonel Tom Parker. The narrative follows both of them from the early days of Presley’s career until his death in 1977 at the age of 42. The Colonel tells the story, casting himself as the manager who saw the potential of an unknown artist. As Elvis becomes a megastar, he faces criticism for his supposedly “wild race music” and its effect on the nation’s young people.
As the years pass and he becomes a has-been, Presley, and the Colonel pivot. After a very successful television special, he becomes a Las Vegas regular. But while his client is on stage, the Colonel is enriching himself. When everything comes to a head, Elvis has to choose between staying with his manager or trying to go his own way.
Though Butler does not look exactly like the King, he completely inhabits the man and the legend. Playing him from his teenage years until his early 40s, Butler is enigmatic and completely convinces the audience that he is Presley. Hanks, as usual, is up to the task. His character is a man who sees an opportunity and takes it, even if means crossing some boundaries.
What made the movie work for me was the man behind the icon. Presley was a devoted son to his parents, Gladys and Vernon (Helen Thomson and Richard Roxburgh). He was also madly in love with his wife Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge) and a devoted father to their daughter. He respected the black artists whose music he “borrowed” (depending on your perspective) from. What Luhrmann does brilliantly as a filmmaker is to point out that while African-American musicians of the era were largely ignored outside of their community, Presley made a fortune singing the same songs.
My only complaint is that the middle of the narrative could have been trimmed down a bit. Other than that, the film is incredibly good and definitely worth the price of a movie ticket.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Elvis is presently in theaters.
RIP Elvis Presley
There are only a handful of artists who are known by the first name. Michael, Madonna, Bono.
But before Michael, Madonna and Bono there was the one and only Elvis Presley.
He died 40 years ago today of a heart attack. To invoke the name of Elvis Presley is to invoke a certain image. In his prime, Elvis represented a youthful rebellion that had not been seen before in American culture. Teenagers loved him and adults at best tolerated him and at worst tried to censor him.
While there was some controversy in hindsight (he was not actually the pioneer of rock and roll, he just started playing the music that the African-American community had been playing for years), he is still an icon who is still respected, adored and worshiped four decades after his passing.
RIP sir. Your physical presence maybe long gone, but your music will live forever.