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Monday, May 30, 2011

DVD Review - Tangled

Rating: 8/10 - Excellent




This is the best Disney film in years. It is not on the same level as Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast but it is still a very good family film.



Director: Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. Screenplay: Dan Fogelman. Based on Rapunzel by Brothers Grimm Producers: Roy Conli, John Lasseter and Glen Keane. Editor: Tim Mertens. Music: Songs by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater. Score: Alan Menken. Studio: Walt Disney Animation Studios. Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy and Ron Perlman (all voices). Age Restriction: PG. Running Time: 100 Minutes.

The film plays with the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel. Mandy Moore plays a more wild Rapunzel than the trapped and bored character many people may have become accustomed to as children. Rapunzel was abducted as a baby by the witch, Mother Gothel, voiced by Donna Murphy. She was trapped in a tower and closed away from the world.

She has spent her young life within the tower with Mother Gothel and a tiny, silent chameleon called Pascal But, Mother Gothel should have realised that eventually Rapunzel would become too inquisitive about the possibility of their being a world beyond the tower. full of curiosity about the outside world. One day while Mother Gothel is away, Rapunzel is surprised by a visitor who has found her. He is the bandit, Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi). He is on the run from his former robber friends, the Stabbington Brothers, one of whom is voiced by the brilliant Ron Perlman. It turns out that she has something he wants and he has something she wants. Adventure ensues.

The film may be CG-animated but it does not feel that far away from Disney's 2-D movies of the 1990s. As long as a movie looks interesting, it does not matter what dimensions it is delivered to viewers in.

The songs are not that good but they work suitably well. Murphy's solo piece is in line with Aladdin's Whole New World in terms of quality.

The main characters work well together most the time. Flynn and Rapunzel show some chemistry but they are not Aladdin and Jasmine. Nevertheless, it would be harsh to compare Tangled with one of the finest films of all time, Aladdin. I enjoyed the villains more. Perlman and Murphy are very entertaining. Disney has a good track record of villains with the likes of Shere Khan in the Jungle Book and Scar in The Lion King. Tangled's ending disappoints, however. It kills a fair bit of the creativity in the film.

Verdict:

If you want to watch a Disney movie that is not over-the-top in terms of its action scenes and ideas and that is not held back by Miley Cyrus' gut-wrenching it's cool to be young but act grown-up numbers, Tangled is a good start.

Alistair Anderson

Tangled is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Twitter is taking over


This post was made for the IE Corporate Communicator Challenge. Prospective MA in Journalism at IE students were encouraged to: "Expose a case of disruptive innovation within the industry of journalism and the essential factors that made it a triumph".

In line with Harvard Business academic, Clayton Christensen's definition of "disruptive innovation", Twitter became a service that took root at the bottom of the media market, and then relentlessly moved up market, eventually replacing letters as a tool of communication to the masses, for example. It has not yet replaced television or newspapers but it may in the future. Digital book sales have overtaken print book sales already. Means of media consumption are changing quickly. Twitter is as major gamechanger in this evolution.

Some may argue that Twitter started as a way of social communication between a person and their friends or acquaintances.
It was, in a sense, a competitor to Facebook. It was a simpler Facebook because it allowed people to express how they feel or tell the world where they were and why. This was communicated in a concise manner.

People did not then need to scrawl a person's Facebook page. But one cannot understate the ability of Twitter as a tool to voice opinion. People can unleash their opinionson the "Twitterverse". There, other people can expose themselves to these opinions. If you are famous, you will probably gain more exposure, or, at least, gain it more quickly than the non-famous do.

The media quickly realised that it could use Twitter to spread itself throughout the globe. They could improve brand awareness on an incredible scale. They could gain new customers too. Newspapers and television media outlets could use Twitter to get into peoples' heads. People did need to agree to follow these companies but if enough people tweeted about corporate ideas and news, the companies would "trend" as newsworthy subjects. Twitter was used for finding information for stories and stories themselves.

If it is trending on Twitter, it is worth looking at for a news agency. These topics help to fund profitable stories in terms of news reach . More money can be made as a result of more people subscribing to paid online conetent because they liked a link on Twitter. Even if the contentwas free, they could be exposed to advertisements, which would make money for the site displaying them.

Journalists also develop their profiles by using Twitter. They are essentially standing on gigantic soapboxes. Their voices have been boosted. However, much of Twitter may not be trusted because the checks are not there. How much can one regulate a soapbox?

Alistair Anderson South Africa

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brad Chasing Oscar


Terrence Malick's The tree of life won the Palm d'Or yesterday. Brad Pitt was commended for his performance. Will it win him an Oscar or will one of his other films coming out this year?

An official synopsis was later released at the 2010 American Film Market:

We trace the evolution of an eleven-year-old boy in the Midwest, Jack, one of three brothers. At first all seems marvelous to the child. He sees as his mother does with the eyes of his soul. She represents the way of love and mercy, where the father tries to teach his son the world’s way of putting oneself first. Each parent contends for his allegiance, and Jack must reconcile their claims. The picture darkens as he has his first glimpses of sickness, suffering and death. The world, once a thing of glory, becomes a labyrinth.

From this story is that of adult Jack, a lost soul in a modern world, seeking to discover amid the changing scenes of time that which does not change: the eternal scheme of which we are a part. When he sees all that has gone into our world’s preparation, each thing appears a miracle—precious, incomparable. Jack, with his new understanding, is able to forgive his father and take his first steps on the path of life.

The story ends in hope, acknowledging the beauty and joy in all things, in the everyday and above all in the family—our first school—the only place that most of us learn the truth about the world and ourselves, or discover life’s single most important lesson, of unselfish love.

Pitt's first nomination for an Academy Award was for his supporting role in 1995's Twelve Monkeys. He then garnered a second nomination for his leading role in 2008's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For much of his career in the 1990s, he was seen as a bad boy and perhaps limited actor. Yet, he is starring in films that are at least interesting critics and I would not be surprised if he did not win an Academy Award within the next five years.

Pitt is set to star as Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane in the drama Moneyball out this year. This coming-of-age story smells like an Oscar. Next year, he will feature in Cogan's Trade as Jackie Cogan, a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game. Then, in 2014, he will play Max Brooks.

"Ten years after the human victory over the world wide Zombie epidemic, referred to as World War Z, Max Brooks scours the world collecting the stories and experiences of those who have survived the conflict that almost eradicated humanity," the imdb.com synopsis on the film reads.

Alistair Anderson

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Woody Allen - The Wanderer


Woody Allen does not want to make films set in the US anymore.

OK, that is not definitely true. I have not managed to contact the acclaimed writer and director and very strange actor to ask him.

But, judging by his recent films, I believe that Mr Allen is enjoying himself arsing about Europe making stories featuring some of the world's most interesting or potentially good actors.

Matchpoint (2005), Scoop (2005) and Cassandra's dream (2007) were all set in London, England. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) was set in, well, Barcelona. You will meet a tall dark stranger (2010) then took Allen back to London. His latest film, to be released this year, Midnight in Paris (2011), is set in Paris.

Then next year, he releases yet another film directed by him, The wrong picture, which is set in Rome, Italy.

Therefore, I conclude that he likes to travel. Maybe he should stick with films about people being alienated about countries other than America, though. I don't buy him understanding that much about Europe.

Americans may have lost some interest in him but keeps on making movies. He isn't winning Oscars anymore but he is going to Cannes often.

Be sure to read ScreenForum's review of Midnight in Paris soon. And then The wrong picture, which Allen stars. He does: "I'm a weirdo and I have a problem with my life" well, even if many people find him to be annoying.

Are you looking forward to the next Woody Allen movie to reach your country?

Alistair Anderson

Movie Reboots

Hollywood loves to reboot movies. They redid Star Trek. Fast Five is also a "sort-of" remake.

Here is a list of potential hollywood remakes courtesy of imdb.

Back to the Future
The Beastmaster
Beverly Hills Cop
Caddyshack
Die Hard
Evil Dead
The Fast and the Furious
Home Alone
Jackass
The Matrix
The Mummy
Ocean's Eleven
Rambo
Revenge of the Nerds
Rocky
Rush Hour
Saw
Scary Movie
Smokey and the Bandit
3 Men and a Baby

I'm not sure why Hollywood would remake Saw or Ocean's Eleven already but if it could get leverage out of a remake it owuld probably try.

Would you like to see any of the above films redone? Are there other films that you would like to see on the list? Let Screenforum know by posting a comment below.

Alistair Anderson

DVD Review - The Concert

Rating: 4/10 - Bad



You need to be into the schmaltz of As it is in heaven (2004) to enjoy this film. However, that may still not be enough. As it is in heaven, is a much better art film than this drivel. The music is its only redeeming feature so ratehr buy the soundtrack CD.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

DVD Review - Night Drive

Rating: 7/10



Night Drive is an entertaining locally made horror film. It provides the viewer with gore, action and some decent performances from its actors. An ex-cop joins a group of tourists on a night drive safari but he becomes embroiled in something "worse than dying", according to the film.

Screenforum SA's Alistair Anderson (AA) met with the film's producer, Susana Kennedy (SK), soon after the nationwide release of its DVD.

AA: What is it that you want audiences to take from the film?

SK: Night Drive is a multi-layered film. Distributors and audiences argue as they attempt to lock it into a single genre but, honestly, it has elements of thriller, horror and action.

It is also layered in the way that although it is primarily geared towards keeping everyone at the edge of their seats with action packed pure thrill seeking entertainment, it also has a deeper message.

A few years ago our director read an article about a farmer who had found human body parts stacked up in an abandoned farm house on his property.

Police investigations revealed that the poachers up along the boarders of SA where no longer only hunting for animal parts but were also hunting for human body parts.

Night Drive is the fictional story of a group of tourists who go on a night drive and their worst nightmare is realised as they encounter a group of such poachers.

So, although the film is geared towards thrill seeking entertainment, it also brings awareness to a very scary, very relevant and horrific reality; that people are being poached like animals for their body parts.

AA: How does the film fight human poaching then?

SK: The reality is that there is not enough being done specifically to target the fight against poaching for human body parts or the fight against poaching. The Night Drive team supports the fight against poaching and we have even produced adverts in support of the fight against poaching. We believe that awareness needs to be raised and more needs to be done.

AA: What could you have done better in making the film?

SK: As filmmakers there are always things you wish you had done differently. Night Drive has been an incredible learning curve and so of course there are many things I wish I had done differently. But all in all I am very proud of Night Drive. I was very blessed to work with an incredible team: two excellent producers and an incredible director, cast and crew.

AA: What aspect of the film are you really proud of?

SK: The whole thing, I think Night Drive is a film worthy of international attention and it is already proving itself on international screens.

AA: Are you happy with the film’s box office performance? How has the film fared overseas? In which territories has it been picked up and why?

SK: In terms of its genre, from a South African context, it has done more or less what it was estimated to do, but our aim with Night Drive was always to make it travel and it has already begun its international tour in Germany, Japan and the Middle East. Our international sales agents have been very excited about the film and we are currently in negotiations with various states in the American regions, in European countries and in Australia.

AA: What film project are you working on now and when is it due for release?

SK: I am currently editing a film, which I’m hoping to release by the end of the year, finishing the first solid draft of my next film and have several other projects at different stages of development, but as they are ready I will certainly keep you posted.

Verdict: It is not a brilliant horror movie but it is fun, pop corn fare and the film makers do manage to portray a genuinely felt message.

Night Drive is now available on DVD countrywide.

Cryer and Kutcher together



In a Screenforum SA tidbit, E! Online has reported that popular television show star, Jon Cryer is excited to work with Ashton Kutcher.

The Two and a Half Men star will be joined by the ex That 70s Show and Punk'd actor come host. E! Online said Cryer was looking forward to what was ahead in his career, including working with Ashton Kutcher.

"I'm jazzed about the news this morning that Two and a Half Men is coming back!" Cryer said in a statement to E! News.

"For all the rest of the cast and crew I'm sure they are equally excited.

"I want to express my enormous gratitude to Charlie Sheen for eight great seasons. I'm extremely proud of the work we've done together, and I will miss him. But I'm also looking forward to this new beginning," he said.

Can Ashton Kutcher bring something fresh to the Sheen vehicle? Tell us what you think.

Alistair Anderson

Film Review - Your Highness

Rating: 6.6/10 - Decent


If you want to watch a film that is free of bizarre, dirty jokes, do not watch Your Highness.



This film is uneven and tries too diligently to be entertaining. Still, a number of silly bits in the film are funny. It does not look for strong morals or much of a message. One would think writers Danny McBride and Ben Best wanted to be as foul as possible. I gave into all the penis jokes and enjoyed myself but I think McBride can write better than this. He has done a splendid job with the television show Eastbound and Down already. There he played an obnoxious but likable sports star. here he plays an obnoxious but likable medieval fighter.

Director: David Gordon Green. Screenplay: Danny McBride and Ben Best. Producers: Scott Stuber, Jon Mone, Danny McBride, Mark Huffam and Andrew Z. Davis. Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Charles Dance and Justin Theroux. Studio: Stuber Productions. Age Restriction: 13NL. Running Time: 102 Minutes Thadeous, played by Danny McBride and Fabious, played by James Franco, are the sons of King Tallious, played by Charles Dance. The are the typical talented and not-so-talented brother combo. Fabious is an impressive knight while Thadeous is a slob.

Fabious wants to celebrate yet another victory. To do so, he decides to marry his girlfriend, played by Zooey Deschanel, who happens to be virginal.

Unluckily for him the ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of the evil sorcerer, Leezar, played by Justin Theroux, who kidnaps Belladona and imprisons her in his dungeon. He wants to have his way with her but only when the two moons of the film's world converge. The timing is important for a reason which the viewer finds out.

Natalie Portman the joins the cast. Her acting performance is nothing special but it is not woeful like that of No Strings Attached. McBride and Franco are probably the best thing about the film because they play their characters as most people would expect them to be played.

I am not sure why the conservative folks in SA did not see to it that this film kept the R rating it received overseas. It is age restricted 13NL in our cinemas, which suggests to me that the ratings boards here think our teenagers are well-versed in filthy language and practices. Yet, concerned groups have made a noise about Naked News, which is screened during the adult period on our television screens on Friday nights and is censored. Logic was lost in the washing.

In any case, the language in Your Highness is disgusting. It is clever too but it is puerile.

The movie should have also been better edited. Some of the jokes are not remotely funny and things drag on at times.

Verdict: Not the best film McBride will ever make but still worthy of a viewing to catch some solid jokes.

Alistair Anderson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pacino goes back to crime

Film legend, Al Pacino is returning to gangster films with a part in the long awaited John Gotti biopic.


The man who launched his career with the greatest crime film ever made, The Godfather, Al Pacino is set to star in another crime film, according to website, The Wrap.

Pacino was twice nominated for an Academy Award for playing mobster Michael Corleone in "The Godfather" series. He will join the cast of "Gotti: Three Generations."

He will play the Gambino crime family's under-boss, Neil Dellacroce. The classically-trained actor will join John Travolta, who is set to play John Gotti. Kelly Preston, Travolta's real-life wife will star as Gotti's wife and Joe Pesci, will play a Gotti lieutenant. I am excited about seeing Pesci in a mobster role again. It has been sixteen years since Casino and Eight heads in a duffel bag.

Lindsay Lohan has also been cast. I suppose she will have learned a few things from jail by the time filming begins. Respected film director Barry Levinson meanwhile will helm the picture. He last directed Pacino in a multiple award winning role in the made-for-TV-movie, You Don't Know Jack, about controversial right-to-die doctor, Jack Kevorkian.

Do you think Pacino can do anything new in starring as a gangster? Can he bring anything to such a role that he has not in the past?

He had been messing around in bad films such as Righteous Kill and Simone.

Alistair Anderson

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Whatever happened to Jean-Pierre Jeunet?


Some directors do not work very often once they make a well-received film or a blockbuster. Some take years to make their films and end up with fairly short filmographies.

One director who has not been especially active over the last few years is the brilliant Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Yet, since 2009 he has disappeared and my research does not seem to indicate that he will return to making films soon.

Born in 1953 in Loire, France, Jeunet and friend Marc Caro, a designer and comic book artist, made short films throughout the 1980s before they broke into feature films, with Jeunet leading the way.

The first feature film he released as a writer and director was 1991's Delicatessen.
The story deals with a microcosm of a post-apocalyptic society. It is a fun French film that evokes emotion out of the magic of food. Food is so rare it's invaluable and is used as a currency. There is also a Delicatessen in the story.

Jeunet's next film was 1995's The City of Lost Children. We already have a four-year break here. If he thought that he needed four years to ensure that this film was well-made, he was correct.

Mad scientist, Krank (Daniel Emilfork), kidnaps children so that he can take their dreams away from them. Unluckily for him, he kidnaps the little brother of carnival strongman One (Ron Perlman). One missions to rescue his brother. The movie was shown in a very limited number of cinemas worldwide, especially in the US. This was probably because it was "too French" for the US, or maybe just too strange. A video game was made of the film. The film actually made a loss on its relatively small budget, in terms of art films.

Nevertheless, someone must have seen it as Jeunet was approached to direct Alien Resurrection (1997). This was the fourth film in the Alien blockbuster series. It was well-received with quite a few fans of the series. It was better than Alien 3 but could not measure up to classics, Alien and Aliens.

Audiences had to wait another four years for another performance from this stylistic French director. Amelie, released in 2001 tells the story of Amelie Poulain (Audrey Tautou), an innocent, naive girl from Paris. I will not give away many details of her adventures in the film but will say that she tries to help people in what she feels is a quaint life. It is a fantastic fable.

If Amelie was supposed to be a cute film, the next Jeunet feature which also starred Tautou was far from that. A Very Long Engagement released in 2004 is a powerful, sad film about the value of love. It tells the story of a young woman's search for her fiancé who disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One.

Then, five years later, Jeunet released Micmacs (2009). A group comes up a plan to destroy two weapons manufacturers. This film has had a very small release and its story is rather bizarre in my opinion. But, judging by Jeunet's previous work, I have to see it.

So, what's your favourite Jeunet film? Post a comment to let us know.

Alistair Anderson

DVD Review: The Tourist



Rating: 5.8/10 - Watchable

A fair story is let down by weak chemistry between the leads.



Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Screenplay: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes. Producers: Graham King, Tim Headington, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman. Based on Anthony Zimmer by Jérôme Salle. Editing: Joe Hutshing and Patricia Rommel. Cinematographer: John Seale. Score: James Newton Howard. Studio: GK Films, Spyglass Entertainment, Studio Canal and Relativity Media. Starring:Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Paul Bettany.

The Tourist tells the story of Frank (Johnny Depp), an American tourist. On a train to Venice, he is approached by a mysterious woman called Elise (Angelina Jolie). There is intrigue and people run around pretty locations.

Watch this movie if you like to look at Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. They are not hard on the eyes and the plot and action scenes in the film are not either. The Tourist is a throwback to the caper films that were released decades ago. It is an enjoyable experience as long as you do not want to enjoy some sort of chemistry between Depp and Jolie. When this film was made, it was rumoured that Brad Pitt was worried about how his partner, Jolie, would take to her scenes with Depp. Would the chemistry lead to Depp leaving Pitt? Well, Pitt had nothing to worry about. The chemistry between Depp and Jolie is boring in The Tourist. They do not work well together and I hope they will not join up for another film any time soon. Thus, please Ms Jolie, do not star in Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Penelope Cruz acted well alongside Depp in Blow and she appears with him again in Pirates 4, so the producers of that film must remove any suggestion from their heads of bringing Jolie into that franchise.

The Tourist was directed and co-written by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He made the brilliant study into human privacy, The Lives of Others. Released in 2006, it dealt with how the state's secret police pried into people living in East Germany's lives. It won many awards and was a moving film. It was on the back of this strong reception that von Donnersmarck was chosen to direct The Tourist. One of the co- writers was Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote the Usual Suspects (1995). The Tourist is neither von Donnersmarck nor McQuarrie's best work then but it does not represent a total loss form either.

As an aside, it may interest you to note that The Tourist is effectively a remake of Anthony Zimmer, a 2005 Luc Besson film. That film was average and fairly entertaining too. Are you a Luc Besson fan? Would you like Screenforum SA to review some Besson films? Do let us know with a comment.

Verdict: This is an enjoyable, predictable film that is full of pretty fluff but lacks character depth and chemistry.

The Tourist is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Alistair Anderson

Coldplay to play SA at the end of a cold winter

I have it on good authority on these guys are playing in SA this year:


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Much-loved and much-hated English supergroup Coldplay is set to play South Africa in October this year. The news will be announced tomorrow. Let's hope that they get Soccer and not Sun City and do not charge around R1 000, so that true fans actually go.

I suggest the would-be fans who don't dance at concerts but have to go anyway start to learn some songs.

I hope they play my favourite Coldplay track, the one which broke them as a band, Shiver. They must all play Trouble and Amsterdam. Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head were great albums. The ones since have been good and all but I prefer their old stuff.

Alistair Anderson

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comic book films that I would like to see - Part One



Ever since the movie studios became confident in the ability of then new technology, they have embraced comic books as a source of film. The Matrix, released in 1999, brought exceptional technology to the world and was based on a graphic novel. It was the ultimate cyber punk film. Other graphic novels such as V for Vendetta and From Hell soon followed. Comic book juggernauts such as Spiderman, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Batman and The X-men were all converted into celluloid.

Interestingly, not all the comic book to film transfers, were reliant on special effects. A film like Ghost World could have been made in the 1960s. This suggests that the technology made studios confident that they could re-realise graphic printed art on film and then they decided audiences would show an interest in any graphic novel or comic book, no matter how many buildings were blown up or how many characters bent time and space for the camera.

So with this in audiences' tastes in mind, I have decided to jot down a list of comic books and graphic works that I wish to see on film and why? I have suggested a few people who could work on the projects too. Do you agree with my suggestions? Do let Screenforum know your thoughts using the comment link at the bottom of this post.

Here is work of art number one:

Preacher

Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a man who had terrible, abusive upbringing. He is a preacher by profession but does not preach very often. he lives in Annville, a tiny town in texas. He is possessed by a supernatural creature named Genesis. His church is destroyed during the possession. It's a violent, demented story but it's very entertaining and it uses the comic medium brilliantly.

Many people rate it as one of the best ever graphic novels. I get tired of "best ever" lists often because I may just like a piece of art because of some nuance within it, which sets it apart from other things in its genre, however big that class may be. I enjoyed Preacher after I got over the perverse characters within it. When I was 11-years old, I heard about how dark it was and did not bother with it. But, in my twenties, it has been far easier to appreciate.

Still, the question people will ask is can the craziness of the story being translated into film? It could if the makers focussed on the main plot and only a portion of the Preacher tale. It would also have to be R18 and probably get rid of some of what the hillbillys do to people and animals.

Or am I wrong? Should filmmakers tone things down at all? The Swedish movie, Let The Right One was toned down compared with the novel that it was based on.

A whole subthread about pedophilia is only touched on. Pedophilia is an emotionally demanding subject for many people and maybe to visualise it can be too off-putting. Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, though, hinted at it and dealt with child murder. I leave audiences to watch that film to see what is actually shown in this regard. The book it was based on was much better.

But, back to Preacher; I would like to see Edward Norton in the role of Custer. It has been too long since he used his talent. Ryan Gosling would also fit well or even Eric Balfour, who has experience from the paranormal series Haven.

As far as the director is concerned, I do not really mind. Sam Mendes was once attached but he dropped out to direct James Bond 23, which is tentatively set for release next year. I think he should do Preacher and Bond or leave Bond to someone else.

Alistair Anderson

Wednesday, May 4, 2011



Every now and then an actor interests me for some reason. This interest can develop into fascination which can last for a while, even a large portion of the star's career.

One of those actors is Idris Elba. Already 38-years old, Elba has worked his way through many films and television series to get himself into prominent roles such as that of the gatekeeper in Thor, Heimdall which was released this year.

He has played so many bit parts in good films such as 28 Weeks Later and Rock 'n Rolla that surely it is time for him to get a lead role.

Elba began his career in an episode of the funny British sitcom 2point4 Children, where he played a parachute instructor. He then appeared in interesting roles in Absolutely Fabulous, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Silent Witness and underrated vampire series, Ultraviolet.

Elba's best performance is arguably the one that he gave in the TV series: The Wire. That show has been rated one of the best ever crime shows in entertainment history.

Elba played Russell "Stringer" Bell, a drug kingpin in the series. Bell's character is supposed to look more intelligent by having him take economics classes at Baltimore City Community College and by maintaining a personal library. The library includes a copy of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.

He tries to legitimise his Barksdale Organisation by investing in housing properties and paying off politicians.

Elba later starred in Luther, a British series as a policeman in a lead role. He was quite powerful in Luther but he is falling into the typical Black actor role of cop or criminal. He plays both well but I hope to see him bringing a different person to our screens soon.

I have some faith that he could play the role of Superhero, Luke Cage, AKA: Power Man. Unfortunately Tyrese Gibson is attached to that role but I believe Gibson should stick to average action films like Fast Five.

Alistair Anderson