Archives for posts with tag: Jeffrey Wright

If the goal was to take the James Bond franchise on a dark turn, then mission accomplished, “Casino Royale” (2006). As the next 007, Daniel Craig offers plenty of pursed-lipped pensiveness as he walks with his John Wayne swagger, but lacks the Sean Connery glint in his eye (let’s don’t bother with the other, lesser Bonds). The plot is worthy of a Bond film, with sexy women, fast cars, exotic locations, quirky supporting characters and wild action sequences. But the tech is more techy than gadgety, which is a microcosm of the difference in the reboot: a lack of fun.

Some of us are old enough to remember black-and-white reruns of “The Twilight Zone,” the show that set the standard for twisting our perceptions of reality. If it were still around today, “Source Code” (2011) could be an episode of that TV series. Here’s the plot: Assuming that when people die, the last few moments of their life remain in their memory as their brain slowly shuts down; what if someone else could occupy that memory space and find clues to solve a crime? Cool, huh? Or too complex? Maybe that’s why it didn’t do better at the box office.

Muhammad Ali was the first great sports figure created by the television age. Everybody knows his story. So instead of trying to retell that story via a conventional biopic, “Ali” (2001) just kind of does its own thing. It’s a cross between an art film and a faux documentary. It’s fascinating, because, I mean, you know the real story, but you never know when the movie is going to stick to reality or just start freelancing a non-linear rearrangement of somewhat actual events. Best of all, Will Smith’s supporting cast is an awesome combination of minimalist and scenery chewing performances.