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Siege of Jadotville
Directed by Richie Smyth from a screenplay by Kevin Brodbin, Siege of Jadotville a Netflix Original Film based on the true story of the 1961 siege of a 150-strong Irish UN battalion by 3,000 Congolese troops led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Jamie Dornan stars as Commander Patrick Quinlan, alongside Guillaume Canet, Sam Keeley, Charlie Kelly, Conor MacNeill, Michael McElhatton, Mike Noble, Jason O’Mara, Fionn O’Shea, Mikael Persbrandt, Conor Quinlan (grandson of Pat Quinlan), Ronan Raftery, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Mark Strong.
I’m a sucker for siege stories so the Siege of Jadotville immediately got my attention. It looks solid, if a bit generic. It certainly appears to deliver on the action front and if the characters are compelling and well-acted, this could end up being pretty good.
Siege of Jadotville is set for a global Netflix release on October 7.
Ben Wheatley (High-Rise)’s latest movie Free Fire debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and distributor A24 have released the red-band trailer for it. With executive producer Martin Scorsese and starring Brie Larson (Room), Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger), Sharlto Copley (District 9) and Cilian Murphy (Batman Begins, Inception), Free Fire is the story of a weapons deal in the 1970’s gone horribly wrong.
Reviews for the movie have veered on the positive side and the trailer certainly looks promising. The biggest question is whether or not Free Fire can sustain the audience’s interest, considering the movie is almost exclusively a prolonged, bloody gunfight with lots of dark humor. A lot of the jokes in the trailer don’t really land, but that could be down to editing and lack of context, and with a talented cast and a critically-acclaimed director, this certainly seems worth your attention.
Free Fire has no set release date as of yet.
Live by Night
Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, Live by Night is An adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 2012 prohibition era thriller about an outlaw who crosses a powerful mob boss and must pay the price. Elle Fanning (Maleficent, The Neon Demon), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges), Chris Messina (Argo), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Academy Award winner Chris Cooper star alongside Affleck.
Had the trailer been nothing but a black screen with the words ‘Directed by and starring Ben Affleck’ on it, I would have been sold on this movie. The fact that it’s a 1920’s era gangster movie with a great cast just makes it all the more enticing. Really, the only slightly weird thing about this trailer is Affleck’s almost comically oversized outfits. I can’t tell if that’s just era-appropriate or if it’s because he had to gain so much muscle mass to play Batman.
Live by Night is set for a January 13, 2017 release.
In the Netflix Original Documentary Amanda Knox, directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn explore the notorious, highly divisive case that has made headlines all over the world. Is Amanda Knox a cold-blooded murderer or a victim? Featuring unprecedented access to key people, including Amanda Knox herself, former co-defendant and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa, as well as never before seen archival material, the documentary sets out to find an answer.
While I’m unfamiliar with the true story, it certainly sounds gripping and complicated enough to warrant a documentary. What’s more, the dual trailers, ‘Believe Her’ or ‘Suspect Her’ imply that the movie will try to take a nuanced approach, which is important not just for the subject matter, but in documentaries in general.
Amanda Knox premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday and is set for a global Netflix release on September 30.
Loosely based on the Bre-X mining scandal and directed by Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan, Gold stars Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells, a desperate prospector who strikes, well gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Co-starring alongside McConaughey are Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help), Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum, Joy), Corey Stoll (Ant-Man, House of Cards), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek (2009), Capote) and Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach.
Gold looks like your run-of-the-mill rags-to-riches story, as well as the latest in a number of films exploring the pitfalls of Wall Street and obscene amounts of wealth. Familiarity isn’t necessarily a bad sign, and with a solid cast and a promising trailer, Gold could be well worth your time.
Gold is set for a December 25, 2016 release.
Directed by David Frankel from a script by Allan Loeb, Collateral Beauty stars Will Smith as a New York ad executive who suffers a personal tragedy and closes himself off to the world. While his friends and loved ones try to reach out to him, he meets three mysterious individuals, describing themselves as Death, Love and Time. The movie co-stars Edward Norton (Birdman, Fight Club), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game, Pirates of the Caribbean series), Michael Peña (The Martian, Ant-Man), Naomie Harris (Spectre), Jacob Latimore and Oscar winners Kate Winslet (The Reader, Steve Jobs) and Helen Mirren (The Queen, Trumbo).
This looks like bland Oscar-bait, packed with critically acclaimed actors that appear to be playing underdeveloped mouthpiece characters that only exist to revolve around Will Smith’s protagonist. While Will Smith appears earnest, most of the rest of the cast appears to be phoning it in, speaking to the audience, instead of to the characters. Best case scenario, this is a bad trailer for a decent movie, but honestly, this looks like it’s destined to be forgotten as soon as it comes out.
Collateral Beauty is set for a December 16, 2016 release.