Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Review by Tarek Fayoumi


 

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Won best original song award- motion picture( Ordinary Love)
A film where Idris Elba, gives an award-winng performance, but focuses more on the violent life than the biography side of Nelson Mandela. Mandela: Long walk To Freedom is a film that I expected to honor Mandela after his passing. I guess the movie was already finished before his death. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, has its moments where the film seems amazing, but really there is nothing happy about this movie. It is just disturbing and depressing through most of the film.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gears on the legendary South African President Nelson Mandela (Elba). He is a fearless man and cares about freedom and does not care about going over the limits until everyone is treated equally. His protest movements, his gangs, and his enemies keep expanding. His wife, Winnie Madikizela (played by Naomie Harris) supports him entirely in what his strategies are to gain freedom. This is all setup around chaos, not very much background on Mandela, which I would have rather watched than people getting shot and places burning down.

Mandela serves prison time for leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. He is sentenced to life in prison but continues to provoke the government. His words, his requests, and his attitude sum him up to be a man of his word until he gets what he wants. Even if what he wants requires his life.

I am not saying this movie was good or bad, it was just average. I am into films about real people. The film’s violence is more centered making it look like Mandela wanting nothing but violence which makes Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom seem like a film to skip and watch a documentary on National Geographic instead.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed, it had good moments but for now two stars. Its honestly a hit or miss.

Nebraska Review: By Tarek Fayoumi


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Nothing can be better than watching an Alexander Payne movie with two men on a road trip. Nebraska is a heartfelt comedy that is just a knee-slapper. Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and Bob Odenkirk are tremendous in this quirky, art-house comedy. No better film can compete with a Payne film all focused on a retired man wanting to drive all the way to Montana just to claim a prize.

The film is set on an old, typsy fellow named Woody Grant (Dern). Woody is a man who drinks constantly and frequently forgets his memory a ridiculous amount of times. The drinking side of him has been an issue to years and has bought shame to his two sons David Grant (Forte) and Ross Grant (Odenkirk). Without taking care of himself, Woody is sitting around drinking, cussing, and just being a royal nightmare to anyone around him including his wife Kate Grant (played by June Squibb). No matter how much people try to be nice or help Woody be involved he remains as his self-centered self.

Woody keeps a lottery number with him all the time and is hoping to be able to claim a million- dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing Prize. It is a lottery number he has kept for years and he never takes the time to think about the prize being worth it or not worth it. Since he is a drunk, has dementia, and lost his driving privileges he has no way going to Montana (where the prize money may or may not be). Therefore, his son David volunteers to drive him on a road trip to Montana to help him claim the million dollar prize he obsesses about frequently.

This movie is one of my all time favorites. I am a man who has been on road trips a variety of times. The acting and the dialogue between Dern and Forte defines how a relationship can be when you go on a road trip with one of your parents. Especially when it is for hours at a time and on roads that are deserted. The films witty behavior, crazy situations, and language, makes you want to re-think a vacation if your between flying and driving.

This is the sixth film directed by Payne. Payne’s films have gotten better every time he has made a new installment. For the screenplay he hired a writer for TV series named Bob Nelson. Nelson credits include shows ranging from Almost Live, The John Report with Bob, The (206), The Magic Hour, and Eye of the Nye. With Nelsons talent in writing for ridiculous shows, he helped Payne with the screenplay to bring the audience of Nebraska to be laughing hysterically. Nebraska is a film with tons of quirky dialogue that may seem ridiculous but once it is seen, people will laugh hard.

The technology sides of Nebraska is done in a very artsy way. Payne hires the cinematographer Phedon PapaMichael who he had hired to do the cinematography for his 2004 masterpiece Sideways and the Photography for his sensational 2011 drama The Descendants. PapaMichael creates an entirely black and white film in the highest resolution we have with filming technology today. It takes audience into a journey feeling like were in the sixties watching a classic. Dern is amazing playing Woody. His grumpy, yet alcohol-savvy self and driving everyone up the hill really fits his style of acting and his appearance. Up front he may be a grumpy man but is a brilliant actor. Forte is satirical playing David. He never breaks character, his annoyance with his drunken and opinionated father just drives him up the hill more and more. On the road trip with his dad, his dad getting out of the car to walk Montana, Forte loses himself so many times and it just happens frequently to the point where it goes from funny to serious. Nebraska is a hilarious masterpiece that is at a quiet tone and requires attention, but it is truly brilliant.

Does Woody win his money? Best for you to see it and find out. Payne is quite known for having twists to the ending of his movies. However, when Woody and Grant go further into there road trip, the film keeps getting funny as it progresses. Payne’s films never disappoint. I am now hoping he makes a new one soon. Do not miss Nebraska. Four stars.

 

Prisoners Review


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Prisoners is a suspense masterpiece that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal go overboard with their roles. I have never seen Jackman nor Gyllenhaal play intense roles so well. Prisoners is skeptical, haunting, chilling, you will be asking for more.

Prisoners focuses on a father named Keller Dover (Jackman) a man that takes his family to a neighbors house for a Thanksgiving Dinner. After the feast is finished the children scatter and do their own thing while the grown-ups socialize. Hours later Dover’s daughter goes missing and there is only one clue to her missing. The stranded RV, since Dover’s daughter wanted to play on the RV, but was denied by her brother. That is introduced to Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), a detective assigned to the case. Also we are introduced to the main victim Alex (played by Paul Dano): a man with an IQ of a ten year old but may have something to do with Dover’s daughter. However, with very little evidence and Loki’s trouble of understanding the situation, Dover chooses to put risks into his own hands.

Prisoners honestly is paced just the way it should be. The film literally grasps every key moment to the missing of Dover’s daughter. The people being listed, the search parties, and the forces between Dover and Loki is just engrossing. The film had the message listed “Every Moment Matters.” In that case the movie felt like the whole attention span on it mattered the most.

Prisoners is fairly disturbing on one hand. The fact that Alex gets kidnapped by Dover and punished for answers. At moments (I am not giving away details) but the scenes were quite disturbing where at times I felt I could not handle it.

Overall, Prisoners is one of the best thrillers of 2013. It left me in shock by the ending, but also amazed by how my mind was blown away. It is a two hour and thirty-two minute film. It just feels like ninety when you get into it. Four stars.

Treating cinema in many forms of art!

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