Queen of Katwe

October 5, 2016

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Coming into existence under the Disney banner, it’s easy to dismiss Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe at first glance as your typical, live-action inspirational sports film. Easy going, the expected story beats and climax, and the fuzzy feeling at the end with just a bit of guidance and some determination anyone can achieve their dreams. There’s a fair amount of that, though only occasionally does its sentimentality get the better of it, but what’s surprising is just how much it, if not subverts the formula, it takes a sideways glance at it. Indeed, the film’s most significant problem is the way it tends to rush through the expected plot points and scenes just to get them overwith. In a lot of ways, Queen of Katwe is the kind of coming-of-age drama we’ve come to expect from the art house circuit rather than the Disney feel-good production line. Read the rest of this entry »

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THE LONE RANGER

Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp must be greatly annoyed that notable US Box Office flop The Lone Ranger didn’t open overseas day and date, as has been the trend with tentpoles over the past decade or so.  Now they’ve been forced into the unenviable position of promoting a film that is already leaden with bad press (and bad reviews).  To summarize, both Hammer and Depp blame the movie’s Stateside failure on critics who pre-judged due to the troubled production news that was, quite frankly, everywhere.  Now, briefly, let’s pause for a series of “on the one hand”: Read the rest of this entry »