Tag Archives: Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington’s 10 Best Movies

Denzel WashingtonDenzel Washington and Tom Hanks are, in my mind, the two best actors of their generation.  Both started in TV, Hanks in comedy with Bosom Buddies, and Washington in drama on St. Elsewhere.  Where Hanks’ career has exceeded Washington’s is not in talent, it is in project selection.  Washington elevates anything he’s in, no matter how mediocre, but he’s unfortunately had stretches of his career where he’s picked projects way beneath his astounding talent level.  Lately, though, Washington has been on a roll balancing commercial successes like The Equalizer and The Magnificent Seven with astounding dramatic performances in films like Flight and Fences.  Like the best actors, there is no limit to what he can achieve if paired with the right cast, project, and director.  He can be eminently likable, intensely despicable, sympathetic, heroic, noble and fallen all with an ease that lulls the audience until he turns it up and he grabs the screen by the throat and sears a moment into your mind forever.  Glory, Philadelphia, The Hurricane, Flight, Fences, all of these films have moments that transcend what even great actors can do, and you realize that you’re watching someone whose work will be remembered as long as they’re showing films.  He’s that good, and he keeps getting better.  Washington is also a talented director, helming Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters, and Fences
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Roman J. Israel Esq. Trailer #1 (2017) “Each One of Us is Greater Than The Worst Thing We’ve Ever Done.”

When you give Denzel Washington a script worthy of the talent that shoots out of every look he gives the camera, something special happens.  Conventional wisdom has had it that Gary Oldman has had Best Actor sewn up for months for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.  Then Roman J. Israel Esq. began making the rounds at festivals, and Denzel looks like he may be back in the hunt for his third Oscar (he should’ve won it for Fences last year).  He gained weight and uncapped his teeth to play an unconventional lawyer thrown into a series of increasingly dangerous and out-of-control events.  Directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) and co-starring Colin Farrell, this just became appointment viewing for fans of Washington’s work and movies in general when it opens on November 3, 2017.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.

This cast features also includes Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, Hugo Armstrong, Sam Gilroy, Tony Plana, DeRon Horton and Amari Cheatom.

Roman J Israel Esq Poster

In Theaters This Week Christmas Edition-Passengers, Assassin’s Creed, Why Him?, Sing, Fences

Passengers, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  This week is a little different as Christmas falls on Sunday and studios are releasing films all through the week to catch vacationing filmgoers. Continue reading In Theaters This Week Christmas Edition-Passengers, Assassin’s Creed, Why Him?, Sing, Fences

Trailer Time: Fences Trailer #1 (2016)

Fences will be the fourth time Denzel Washington has stepped behind the lens as director.  Fences will be his third feature film following Antwone Fisher and The Great Debaters.  Washington also directed an episode of Grey’s Anatomy earlier this year.

Washington has also starred in all the films his directed, which is one of the most draining undertakings in the field.  Both his previous films were well-received, if not wildly so.  Personally, I thought The Great Debaters was very good and an intelligent film that showed a growth in Washington’s prowess behind the camera.  Then he didn’t direct another thing until .the episode of Grey’s earlier this year (which has one of the highest ratings on IMDB for any episode in the series).  Nine years away from directing is a long time.  Washington is adapting August Wilson’s award-winning play Fences, and the trailer is an intense look at African-American family life.  Fences is set to open Christmas Day 2016.
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Movie Review: The Magnifcent Seven (2016) *So Far So Good?*

Chris Pratt, The Magnificent Seven

Hollywood has gone so remake crazy that it is literally eating its own tail at this point.  There may be multiple versions of every movie ever made in a decade, but of all the ridiculous, stupid, and offensive attempts to present a new take on a classic film, The Magnificent Seven is not an offender.  The original film with Yul Bruyner is now 56 years old, the Western genre is much better at remakes/reinventions than most (True Grit, for example), and this isn’t an attempt to update or override the classic.  The 1960 film is, itself, a reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, so unlike most remakes, this story has already lent itself to reinterpretation.  It’s a Magnificent Seven for a new generation, and while it’s not quite magnificent, it is enjoyable. Continue reading Movie Review: The Magnifcent Seven (2016) *So Far So Good?*