THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 is a timely political drama lacking conviction

Chants of “the whole world is watching” linger after sitting for Aaron Sorkin’s timely ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’. Having absorbed news on protest movements all week; from Nigeria to Belarus to Hong Kong, this chant rings even truer and may score my future engagements with fiery citizen power. However, the conviction of protestorsContinue reading “THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 is a timely political drama lacking conviction”

Black trauma resides at the heart of the incendiary DA 5 BLOODS

Is Spike Lee influenced by the pioneers of African cinema? As his 21st joint, the buoyant, pulsating yet tragic ‘Da 5 Bloods’, overwhelmed me, the tip of Lee’s incisive creative and didactic spear here, the excellent Delroy Lindo’s Paul seemed to be in conversation with one of the more devastating characters from Ousmane Sembene’s catalogue;Continue reading “Black trauma resides at the heart of the incendiary DA 5 BLOODS”

BAMAKO puts the World Bank and IMF on trial as the soul of Africa withers on the margins

There are some uber aggressive didactics on display as Mauritanian-born Malian director Abderrahmane Sissako drags totems of neoliberalism; the World Bank and the IMF before a tribunal that is still going on till this day. The surrealism and idealism of the trial at the centre of 2006’s ‘Bamako’ waver between tedious and electric. But blinkContinue reading “BAMAKO puts the World Bank and IMF on trial as the soul of Africa withers on the margins”

ALOE VERA offers some charm in its vibrant retort to irrational tribalism

Frenzy on the staircase. A packed cinema lobby and sold-out screenings. No, Disney did not spring a Black Panther sequel on us out of the blue. It was Peter Sedufia’s latest feature, ‘Aloe Vera’, that holds the torch as the biggest film released in Ghanaian cinemas so far in 2020. The support from the GhanaianContinue reading “ALOE VERA offers some charm in its vibrant retort to irrational tribalism”

SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL is a tepid waste of its two leads’ potential

As the years go by, it seems Mark Wahlberg’ grasp on the quasi-B movie star mantle is getting tighter and tighter. Netflix’s ‘Spenser Confidential’ is the latest uninspiring exhibit in this argument after films like ‘Mile 22’, ‘Contraband’ and ‘Broken City’. His partner in crime over the years, as he is here, has been directorContinue reading “SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL is a tepid waste of its two leads’ potential”

BIRDS OF PREY offers a fantabulous emancipation and a hoard of trashy men

‘Birds of Prey: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn’ and Men are Trash. Yes, men are trash, the incendiary dog whistle known to bring out the savage in many a folk online, should have been part of the gloriously eccentric title because zero fucks were given for the feelings of the so-called superior sex.Continue reading “BIRDS OF PREY offers a fantabulous emancipation and a hoard of trashy men”

JUST MERCY offers inspiration and urgency but wants for a nuanced dissection of hope

Based on a true story, ‘Just Mercy’ is at its most effective when it highlights the disconcerting ways the bar of justice and decency for black people is lowered to upsettingly low levels. It tells the story of Harvard law graduate Bryan Stevenson’s (Michael B. Jordan) idealist charge towards righting some wrongs on the deathContinue reading “JUST MERCY offers inspiration and urgency but wants for a nuanced dissection of hope”

The zestful BAD BOYS FOR LIFE proves life can begin after 50

We are partying like its 1995 in ‘Bad Boys For Life’ as Belgian directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah inject streams of wit and vitality into a series that left a sour taste in many mouths some 17 years ago. The only way was up for the iconic Will Smith-Martin Lawrence vehicle whenContinue reading “The zestful BAD BOYS FOR LIFE proves life can begin after 50”

THE INFORMER ticks the box for serviceable January action fare

‘The Informer’ offers more genre thrills that its lame title would have you think. This Joel Kinnaman led vehicle is the kind of January action cinema fare we have come to expect, packaged in a semi tedious confidential informant drama that finds its feet when it finds itself within the confines of a prison movie.Continue reading “THE INFORMER ticks the box for serviceable January action fare”

GOLD COAST LOUNGE offers fleeting pleasures despite an undercooked script

Is Afro-noir going to be a thing after ‘Gold Coast Lounge’, the latest cinematic offering from writer-director Pascal Aka? Film noir serves as the obvious inspiration for this post-independence crime flick which is rife with distracting anachronisms brought on by budget constraints and drab archetypes given life by an undercooked screenplay. Whilst the aesthetic andContinue reading “GOLD COAST LOUNGE offers fleeting pleasures despite an undercooked script”