Tag Archives: Aldis Hodge

One Night in Miami (2020) Review

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One Night in Miami

Time: 114 Minutes
Cast:
Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X
Eli Goree as Cassius Clay
Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown
Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke
Director: Regina King

On the night of Feb. 25, 1964, in Miami, Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) joins Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Malcom X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), and they discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement.

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One Night in Miami was one of the big awards movies recently, and it was receiving quite a lot of praise from those who have seen it. It was based off a play focussing on a fictionalised meeting between 4 major famous African American figures in the 1960s. Not only that, but it’s Regina King’s directorial debut, so with all of those factors, I was looking forward to this movie quite a lot. I have to say, it really had lived up to all the hype and is very deserving of all the acclaim.

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As I said, the movie is based off a play, and you can definitely that is a stage movie. With that being the case the dialogue would have to be great as it’s carrying much of the movie, and the dialogue is brilliant, incredibly well written and compelling. The structure of the story really worked for me because it showed each character living their separately lives at the beginning, and then coming together in Miami. It does take a while to get going, but by the time the four main characters meet up, you’re invested in the characters and the movie. It is a pretty simple movie, mostly taking place in one general area, but the screenplay dives into many conversations and holds your attention the whole way through. It becomes a heated debate of the Black experience between the 4 people. The topics range from Islam, to music, and especially about each of their influences on the civil rights movements. The most interesting conversations were the ones between Sam Cooke and Malcolm X, those two are particularly in conflict mainly because their approaches were very different. Much of the movie is powerful and thought provoking, as well as very relevant. From beginning to end I was invested.

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TOne of the highlights of the movie are that there are truly outstanding performances from the main 4 actors, that being Eli Goree as Cassius Clay (AKA Muhammad Ali), Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, and Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X. The chemistry between these 4 were great, you really believe that they are friends and they play off each other very well (especially in their lengthy dialogue scenes). In fact it’s pretty hard to pick a best performance between them, all of them deserve a lot of praise.

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Regina King is a fantastic actress as we’ve seen with performances in Watchmen, If Beale Street Could Talk and more, and now she’s a director. This is her debut film, however the direction feels very assured, as if it wasn’t a debut. I definitely want to see what she makes next. On a technical level it’s great, it’s shot and edited very well. There are plenty of problems that directors face when having to adapt a play to a movie. The movies always end up feeling like plays, and can often end up just being people in a room talking with long monologues. While One Night in Miami does have those to a degree, King actually manages to make the movie feel somewhat cinematic. So while at first it might not appear to be anything special or flashy, her work here is great.

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With an excellent script and amazing performances from its leads, all under the confident direction from Regina King, One Night in Miami is a very impressive movie that I was invested in from beginning to end. Check it out as soon as you can, it is well worth your time.

The Invisible Man (2020) Review

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The Invisible Man

Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, cruelty, self-harm & domestic abuse
Cast:
Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass
Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Adrian Griffin
Aldis Hodge as James Lanier
Storm Reid as Sydney Lanier
Harriet Dyer as Emily Kass
Michael Dorman as Tom Griffin
Director: Leigh Whannell

The film follows Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), who receives the news of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) suicide. She begins to re-build her life for the better. However, her sense of reality is put into question when she begins to suspect her deceased lover is not actually dead.

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The Invisible Man was one of my most anticipated movies of 2020, although the concept of a remake of a classic horror monster movie seemed like it was destined to fail. There were a few reasons I was very interested in this movie however. First of all, you have Leigh Whannell directing, who showed himself to be a massive talent behind the camera with his last film Upgrade, so I knew that this movie was in good hands. Second you have Elisabeth Moss in the lead role, I haven’t seen her in a ton of movies or tb, but she’s been great in the few things I’ve watched her in. Third of all, they seemed to be modernising the story into something different, which at least showed it had potential to have a fresh and different take on the story. I was really excited for the movie, but it was actually lot better than I thought it would be.

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The Invisible Man is a modern version of the original story, both of the book by H.G. Wells, and the original 1933 movie of the same name. Of all the classic horror stories, this seemed the hardest to adapt, since it’s pretty hard to make one invisible man actually scary, even though I liked the 30s movie, the titular character really wasn’t all that scary. However, Whannell and co. managed to pull it off. He definitely reworked a lot of the story to modernise it, but it works to some great effect. Although the movie features a man who it is invisible, the story is really about domestic abuse and gaslighting, and explores the traumas on an abusive relationship. That aspect was handled very well, and was probably more unsettling than the actual invisible man part. The movie can be very unnerving, and you feel paranoid throughout, just like the protagonist. Some of the concepts and ideas on paper at first sound silly, specifically the whole invisible aspect (without spoiling anything), but Whannell manages to make it work. I know that some people were a little worried about the trailers showing too much, but I can assure you there’s more to the movie than what was shown there. There’s only a couple of slight issues I had with the movie. The second act had some slow moments, even though I was invested in the movie throughout. Also, while cameras play a part in the movie, there are times where they are conveniently involved, and felt conveniently not involved at other specific points. They didn’t affect the movie too much for me however. Overall I was consistently captivated by The Invisible Man.

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Elisabeth Moss is one of the best parts of this movie, she plays her part excellently. As well made as the movie is, much of the film is riding on her performance, she provides such an effective emotional centre throughout and really sells everything the main character has to endure throughout. A lot of the time she has to essentially act on her own with an invisible person, and sell it convincingly, and she definitely does that. The rest of the cast with the likes of Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen are good, and play their parts well enough. However, it really is Moss’s show throughout.

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Leigh Whannell directed this movie excellently, and was one of the parts that made it work so well. It’s one thing to just have an invisible person as a villain messing with the main character, it’s another to make it feel a threat to the audience, and he definitely did that. The use of camera shots and movements are so effective, really making you unnerved at what you’re seeing (or rather what you’re not seeing). It’s not just seeing a seemingly invisible person throwing objects (or people) around that’s scary, it’s the lingering shots at empty rooms that really gets to you, as you’re not sure whether The Invisible Man is indeed there. The actual visual effects on the Invisible Man could’ve been really goofy, but they work greatly here. The sound design and the score by Benjamin Wallfisch are powerfully effective, escalating the tense atmosphere. There are so many sequences in The Invisible Man that are among the most memorable scenes that I’ve seen in recent horror movies.

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The Invisible Man is an incredibly effective, unnerving and suspenseful horror movie, an excellent modern take on the source material. It’s very well directed by Leigh Whannell, and led by Elisabeth Moss’s powerhouse performance. I can’t wait to see Whannell direct even more movies, he’s shown himself to be a great filmmaker, especially within the horror genre. If you’re a horror fan, definitely check it out as soon as possible.

Hidden Figures (2016) Review

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Goble Johnson
Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan
Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson
Kevin Costner as Al Harrison
Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell
Jim Parsons as Paul Stafford
Glen Powell as John Glenn
Mahershala Ali as Jim Johnson
Aldis Hodge as Levi Jackson
Director: Theodore Melfi

The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) – brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

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Hidden Figures seemed interesting when I first heard of it. It had a large and very talented cast, an interesting premise and story, and yes, it got many nominations for awards. So, I was curious enough to check it out. However, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Hidden Figures is full of great performances, solid direction and also a very compelling story. Hidden Figures is really worth seeing, a pleasantly surprising movie.

The story in Hidden Figures was quite good. It’s easy to follow what’s going on throughout the movie, there was no confusion and I never felt bored throughout the movie. The leads were likeable (which was also helped by the lead actresses, which I’ll get into later), and so I was interested to watch what was going on. The stories were interesting for me, it was interesting seeing how big of a role these women had in historical events. Each of their stories was very interesting and it’s easy to be invested in their stories. As for how the bigotry is handled, it’s subtle, at no point does it seem over the top or forced for dramatic effect. This movie wasn’t put in black and white, the way people acted and the decisions made were more complex than most movies which portray this time period. It feels genuine and so its easy to believe what the characters are feeling when they encounter obstacles, almost experiencing what they are feeling. It was an easy movie to watch overall, not complicated but at the same time very enjoyable and interesting enough.

Hidden Figures has a very talented cast all around and they were all great here. The three main leads, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae were all fantastic, they were all very likable and believable in their roles. As I said, all of their stories are interesting to watch and these talented actresses really did carry their storylines well. If there is a main character between the three of them, I’d say that it’s Henson, she was personally a stand out to me. Other very talented actors like Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali and others were great in supporting roles.

The direction by Theodore Melfi was pretty good overall, this is the first film of his I’ve seen. The costume design, music, production design, soundtrack, everything fitted the time period well. So on top of the writing, story and acting, the direction made it a lot easier to be invested in this story. However it wasn’t really the highlight of the film, the story and acting were more the focus. Still solid direction nonetheless.

Hidden Figures is quite a good movie, the acting was great, direction was solid and the overall story was investing and riveting. It was interesting learning about all these events and how significant these people are. It definitely deserves the praise its been getting. Check out this movie when you get a chance. It’s not one that you need to immediately see, but I do think it’s worth a viewing.