Archives for posts with tag: Denzel Washington

Even after all these years, “He Got Game” (1998) might still do the best job of any movie when it comes to depicting the pressures and temptations of being a great athlete in the ghetto. It also has all the Spike Lee hallmarks: intelligent music choices, inventive editing and cinematography, and a strange mix of professional and amateur actors. The latter hurts the movie’s flow, because, frankly, some of the performances are awful. Ray Allen does OK as a high school basketball phenom. Among the pros, Denzel Washington is his usual amazing self and Jim Brown makes a welcome comeback.

I remember the book “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” because it sat on the back of the commode in my parents’ bathroom for something like five years. I don’t remember the 1974 movie (I was eight years old). The 2009 version, “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” (One Two Three? That’s too many words – things are faster paced these days.), is a sometimes-too-stylish, quirky thriller about a subway hostage/ransom event with an interesting criminal twist. Not bad, but when someone asks, “Can you name 10 Denzel Washington movies?” I doubt this one will come to your mind.

Denzel Washington is Clint Eastwood with a nailgun, cleansing the high plains of Boston in “The Equalizer” (2014). You will either love or hate its bloody, vigilante-style violence. I loved it, particularly as viewed through an earlier Washington character from one of my all-time favorites, “Man on Fire.” In that 2004 movie, Denzel’s Creasy is a lost soul atoning for past sins. Here, his activities, while achieving the same goal through the same methods, are that of an avenging angel. Are those characters that much different, or is it simply our perception? Either way, I look forward to the sequel.