‘Triple 9’ is a frustrating near-miss that falters beneath the weight of its own ambitions.
The Martian is a fantastic movie — it cannot be stated quickly enough. Ridley Scott’s film about a man stranded on Mars after his crew evacuates without him is the director’s best work in years. The Martian features a stellar supporting cast, a well written script that’s clever and funny, and an Oscar caliber performance from a Hollywood A-lister at the top of his game.
Pop music warns us that you can’t hurry love. Apparently, you can’t hurry the apocalypse, either. The new sci-fi flick, Z for Zachariah, has all the hallmarks of a Young Adult schmaltz-fest, but too much depressing reality to appeal to its target audience. Genre miscalculations aside, this movie fails because of the lethargic pacing and a lack of romantic tension between its three impossibly-handsome leads. The apocalypse has never been so boring.
In 1853, Solomon Northup published his memoir 12 Years A Slave, a story of how a black man born free in New York was kidnapped, sold into slavery, and for a dozen years worked on various plantations around Louisiana just before the American Civil War. Acclaimed British artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen has now brought this extraordinary tale to the big screen, following his physically harrowing films Hunger and Shame, in what is more than a mere film but a cultural milestone in the representation of slavery, a major work that is spearing in its intensity, incandescent in its soul.
British artist-turned-film-director Steve McQueen has said in interviews that he wanted to make a movie about slavery in America for some time; he was just searching for the right story. He’s found it in 12 Years a Slave, the 1853 book by Solomon Northrup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped out of his career as a successful violinist and sold into bondage.
Every few years, a film with a variation on this plot comes around: “Social strife is happening in x African country. The story is being told through the eyes of x, whose private life is changed forever in the face of a country crumbling around him”. You know these films. They’re your Blood Diamonds, Hotel Rwandas, and Last King of Scotlands.