- Quo Vadis, Aida?: This harrowing tale of one woman’s choice to save her family or save as many people as she can during the Bosnian War is as powerful as a film can get.
- Mass: Two sets of parents meet after one of their sons has killed the other in a school shooting to figure what happened. Along the way, they are forced to answer questions that are painful and difficult.
- Spencer: This fictional take on Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) and what might have occured during Christmas in the early 1990’s is a unique take on the myth of the late royal.
- Belfast: A young boy is growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the late 1960’s. As he starts to transition from a child to a young adult, he begins to realize that nothing is ever a simple as it seems to be.
- Black Widow: After ten years, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets the movie she should have gotten. Trying to atone for her past while living in the present, she must face reality and make up for mistakes.
- Framing Britney Spears: This Hulu documentary took viewers in the life and career of Britney Spears and how it has changed since her father took control over both.
- West Side Story: Steven Spielberg’s adapation of this beloved musical takes it into the 21st century while retaing its message about prejudice and lack of opportunity.
- The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Jessica Chastain not only brings Tammy Faye Bakker back to life, she reveals the real person behind the punchline.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: This latest addition to the MCU is more than just the first all Asian cast. It is the story of a complicated father/son relationship and a young man who cannot run from his fate.
- Moxie: A shy teenage girl stands up to the sexist bullshit at school and empowers her fellow female students in the process.
Tag Archives: Scarlett Johansson
No one’s past is crystal clear. It is full of potholes, bad memories, and mistakes that still linger in our minds. When facing our past, we can either run from it or face it.
The new Marvel movie, Black Widow, premiered two weeks ago. It takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. The film opens on an average American suburban family in Ohio sitting down to dinner. But dinner is cut short when their true identity as Russian spies is revealed and they must hightail it out of the US. It then cuts to the present. Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) has discovered a conspiracy that is tied to her previous life as an assassin and spy. When she becomes a target, she must turn to the family that was assigned to her by the spy agency. Her younger sister, Yelena (Florence Pugh), father Alexei (David Harbour), and mother Melina (Rachel Weisz) have all gone their separate ways. Revealing the source of the conspiracy and ending it requires more than a physical coming together as a group, it means facing the unhealed emotional wounds that still linger.
This movie is amazing. The action and stunts are well balanced with the humor and the emotion. As an audience member, I saw the main character as more than a superhero who is able to save the day. I saw a woman who is conflicted about both her present and her past. She makes the difficult decision to look at what she has done square in the eye instead of running from it. It a lesson that goes well beyond the genre and movies in general.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Black Widow is now in theaters.
P.S. Stay for the mid credit scene. The wait is long, but it is worth it.
In our culture, there are more than enough stories about falling in love. There are not enough stories what happens we fall out of love.
In the new movie, Marriage Story, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) have been married for ten years and have a young son. The marriage is falling apart. Charlie is a theater director and Nicole is an actress in Charlie’s theater company.
Knowing that her marriage is at an end, Nicole accepts a job in Los Angeles. Charlie does his best to see their son and keep his life in New York intact, but that is evidently becoming more difficult. They promised that they would keep the divorce as simple and lawyer-less as possible.
Then Nicole hires Nora (Laura Dern). Charlie hires Jay (Ray Liotta) and Bert (Alan Alda). Bringing in the lawyers both helps and hurts the divorce proceedings. The question is, can this couple divorce peacefully (as much as that is possible) or will it become painful?
I have mixed feelings about this film. Based on the experience of writer/director Noah Baumbach, watching this film is almost excruciatingly painful at times. But, I suppose, that is the point. At best, the divorcing couple are mature and come out of it with an adult understanding of their relationship and their relationship with their child(ren). At worst, the divorce devolves into a shouting match and accusations that get worse by the day.
My problem with the film is that while is excruciating for the characters, it is the same for audience. Clocking in at a little over two hours, I feel like the narrative could have been scaled back. There were moments that felt like the end, but then the movie continued on. By the time the credits rolled, I was more than ready to leave this world behind.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Marriage Story is presently in theaters.
For the last ten years, movie fans have come to expect a new Avengers film every year or so. All of the major male heroes (with the exception of Hawkeye) have had at least one stand-alone film over the course of those ten years.
For most of the franchise, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) was the only woman on the team. Up until very recently, she was also without a stand-alone film of her own. The trailer was released earlier this week for Black Widow.
The movie looks fantastic. The supporting cast (Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour) looks equally fantastic. But I have to question why it took so long for Marvel to greenlight a Black Widow film?
It feels like an afterthought. Its as if Marvel is trying to stretch the franchise as far as it can go instead of following the natural narrative. This film feels like it is akin to a child giving in to the pressure from their parents to eat their vegetables. I wish it was not this way, but this is the reality that we live. Women still have to fight for the opportunities that come naturally to men.
This movie is on my must-see list for 2020. But being that it will not be released for another 6 months, we can only speculate about this film. My hope is that it does well and finally breaks the glass ceiling on female superhero films once and for all.
In the world of journalism, an unsolved murder is like catnip.
In the 2006 movie, Scoop, American journalism student Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansson) has a hot tip regarding the murder of fellow journalist Joe Strombel (Ian McShane). She follows the tip to doorway of British aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman). But things get weird when Sondra begins to fall for the man who maybe Joe’s killer and begins to question if Joe might have been wrong.
Every filmmaker has at least one film where the tried and true becomes dull and predictable. Unfortunately, this is that film for Woody Allen. While his cast is stellar, they cannot make up for the fact that screenplay needed work.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
Hollywood has a problem.
They think it is 1966 and not 2016.
The problem is that instead of casting an Asian actress in the lead role, Scarlett Johansson was cast as Kusanagi.
Not that there is nothing wrong with Scarlett Johansson, and I’m not a casting director, but there are plenty of Asian actresses who I’m sure would have been just as good in the role.
Wake up, Hollywood. We are not in 1966 anymore. Actors of colors can not only play roles where the character is not Caucasian (shocking, I know), but they can play roles where the race of the character might have been Caucasian.
This white washing has to end.
Ghost In The Shell will be hitting in theaters in 2017.
Star Wars, despite the appearance of being the standard science fiction boys club, has a strong feminist streak. Even with the lack of female characters, the simple act of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) grabbing the blaster and shooting at the storm troopers in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope forever changed how women are portrayed in the science fiction genre.
Unfortunately, that feminist streak does not extend to all areas of the Star Wars Universe.
Any Star Wars fan knows that with the premiere of the movie comes the plethora of new merchandise. The one question that fans, especially young female fans, were asking was #WheresRey.
Hasbro claimed that they withheld from producing Rey merchandise because they did not want to give away the plot before the film’s premiere.
Pardon my French, but that is b*llshit.
This is not the first time Hasbro has done this.
With the release of the most recent The Avengers film last year, many fans asked the same question with the lack of the Black Widow action figure.
Wake up Hasbro. It is the 21st century. There is absolutely nothing wrong with boys playing with a female action figure. Women are just as loud and proud (and shockingly have money to pay for memorabilia) about their fandoms as men. It’s time they were represented in the toy stores.
In related news, NY Post columnist Kyle Smith called out the fact Carrie Fisher is no longer the younger woman that she was when A New Hope premiered (again, shocking). Her response is brilliant.
News flash, we all get older. Our bodies change. The figure we had at twenty may not be the figure we have at fifty. Ms. Fisher is also a mother. Having a child forever changes your body.
Kyle Smith, being a man, will never have the experience of being a woman who is judged by her looks and put aside after a certain age because she has gotten older.
Bravo, Carrie Fisher.
Star Wars is 39 this year.
There is no one on the planet who does not know something about the series. It’s legacy of feminism and strong women will live on and continue to inspire women to speak up and fight for what they believe in.
One of the more vocal complaints that has come out of audiences and female members of the Hollywood community is the limited number of strong female driven films and television programs.
Last night, Saturday Night Live hit the nail on the head.
Last year, a study of the top grossing films released in 2013 revealed that only 15% of the films had women in the lead role.
The host was Scarlett Johansson. Her latest movie, Avengers: Age Of Ultron seemed to be the audience favorite this weekend.
As much as I love this series, I have to wonder, when will Black Widow get her own movie? Every male character (except Hawkeye) has had at least one film under his own name. Is Marvel afraid that she cannot carry a film?
I think she can, with the right script and the right supporting players. It’s just a matter of taking that chance and finally proving that female characters can carry an action film as much as they can carry a rom-com or a drama.
In making their rounds with the various media outlets to promote their new movie The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, actors Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner have made rather unpleasant comments about co star Scarlett Johannson’s character, the Black Widow.
They quickly apologized, stating the following:
“We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize”- Chris Evans
“I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone,” he said. “It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour”.- Jeremy Renner
I will give them that they maybe exhausted. Answering the same questions asked by different reporters for days on end sounds like it becomes tedious quickly.
But that is still no excuse.
The other issue within this article is the double standard. Why are we so quick to attach a love interest to a female character, but not to a male character? No one would think to ask if Thor or Iron Man would hook up with Maria Hill and the implications of such a hookup, if it was within the plot of the film. As I have seen and enjoyed this franchise so far, Black Widow is just part of the team. The fact that she happens to be a female does not make the audience or the other characters question her role in the film.
And even if Black Widow was to become involved romantically with one of her teammates, that should not be a barrier to her ability to defend the world from the villain.
It is not funny and not acceptable.
The Age Of Ultron is in theaters on May 1st.