Sometimes the word “favorite” isn’t exactly the right descriptor for this column. This isn’t a scene I watch over and over because it’s fun. It just happens to be one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever seen in any film, and it’s a reminder that when Denzel Washington is paired with great material, he’s probably the best actor on the planet.
Glory is a criminally underrated film from 1989 that tells the story of the Massachusetts 54th: the first all-black, all-volunteer company in the US Army. Some were free men from the North, others escaped slaves from the South. All were fighting in a war that would be run by white men to determine the fate of their people, and they did so in the face of contempt from both sides. Directed by Edward Zwick and starring an ensemble that includes Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, Cary Elwes, and Matthew Broderick, Glory is the film that made Denzel a superstar and won him his first Oscar (for Best Supporting Actor). Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Glory (1989) “One Tear”
I don’t really know that people were clamoring for Tom Cruise to reprise his role as author Lee Child’s anti-hero Jack Reacher. The first film wasn’t bad. It wasn’t necessarily memorable either. The best thing that came out of it was a good working relationship between director Christopher McQuarrie and Cruise that translated well into Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (McQuarrie is also scheduled to direct MI:6 next year). For Jack Reacher: Never Go back, Edward Zwick (Glory) takes the helm, which is-honestly-the only reason I’m interested in this. Zwick is one of the most underrated directors of the last 30 years, and I’m hoping that he and Cruise will deliver something that warrants a return to the character. The cast, aside from Cobie Smulders (The Avengers), is thin. The plot has Reacher returning to his unit only to be accused of a 16-year-old murder. We’ll see if JR2 can outstrip the first installment when it releases October 16, 2016.
Eight years after his death, Bobby Fischer continues to fascinate people. He was the most unlikely of weapons in a war between super powers, a deeply disturbed individual, and a prodigy the likes of which comes alone perhaps every hundred years. There are a number of good biographies about the chess genius and there have been several films, but none has really captured Fischer and no actor has given a definitive portrayal of one of the 20th century’s most complex minds. Edward Zwick, who has directed some of my favorite films (Glory, Legends of the Fall), takes a stab at encapsulating Fischer’s life in Pawn Sacrifice.
Continue reading Movie Review: Pawn Sacrifice (2015) *Still Searching for Bobby Fischer*