Naomie Harris

Mandela

At the start of Justin Chadwick‘s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) says his father named him to mean “troublemaker,” a stigma Mandela ostensibly spends his life trying to erase, before running headfirst into. With segregation encroaching on the lives of all those living in South Africa and military oppression getting worse as those in power attempt to keep this divide intact, Mandela finds himself pulled into a movement to fight for the rights of his people – not to overtake their oppressors, but to become their equals. Starting from his time as a boy living in the rural outskirts of South Africa to his political ascent, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom attempts to capture the story of this extraordinary man, but falls short when it comes to depicting the affection behind his actions. Mandela began his career as a lawyer, but after one of his friends is beaten to death after being arrested for simply not having proof of his citizenship on him, Mandela realizes he is upholding laws that do not protect him and needs to do something to bring about change for not only himself, but his fellow citizens. Unfortunately, Mandela feels more like a series of historical reenactments rather than a moving narrative. Elba plays Mandela as a strong, layered, compassionate man, but Mandela spends more time recreating the man’s memorable speeches and political moves and not enough time crafting the emotional backbone that drove his relationships with his family and colleagues.

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Skyfall

Skyfall feels, in many ways, like the last film in Daniel Craig‘s tenure as James Bond. It’s only his third go round as the British secret agent, but he’s already haggard, unshaven and tired of the back-stabbing, gun-toting rat race. When a list of MI6′s undercover agents is stolen (that’s right, it’s the old NOC list chestnut!) Bond and Agent Eve (Naomie Harris) are tasked with recovering it, but the mission goes awry and Bond is left for dead. He’s not, obviously, but he’s enjoying the peaceful anonymity and seaside screws too much to give a damn about anything else. But when MI6 is attacked back in London Bond rises from the dead and returns to duty. He tries to anyway, but injuries, indifference and a battered spirit threaten to keep him on the bench. It’s only when the stakes get personal for him and M (Judi Dench) that he musters the will needed to fight back. But will it be too late? Skyfall is big, beautiful entertainment that delivers the expected action set-pieces but adds truly artistic visuals and multiple odes to Bond films of the past fifty years. It’s never dull, occasionally surprising and unafraid to delve into Bond’s life more than any film since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Unfortunately (and unnecessarily), all of that comes at the price of gaping plot holes and staggering lapses in logic.

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One of this fall/winter’s more anticipated films for action junkies is the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. This time around, Bond’s 23rd to be exact, the titular agent is tasked with protecting M and looking cool while doing it. He may also get to slip in a quick shower or two with an attractive woman between all the shooting, running and falling out of things. The official synopsis is here: Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.” Sam Mendes directs Daniel Craig in his third go round as Bond, and they’re joined by Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw. Check below for the new Skyfall teaser that aired during last night’s Olympic Games opening ceremonies. It was a nice pairing with the Bond-themed video featuring Craig escorting the Queen to the games by helicopter before the duo skydived down to join the masses.

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Big James Bond action, big screen, it’s a natural fit. Oh, and MGM probably needs the money that an IMAX release will pull in. IMAX, Eon Productions, MGM, and Sony announced today that their upcoming James Bond installment, Skyfall, will also be available on IMAX screens in tandem with the film’s wide release. The film has not been lensed for IMAX screens or sound, but it will reportedly be “digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology.” So it’s going to be big and loud and probably just really kickass. Skyfall will be the first James Bond film to be available in IMAX, and its release marks the fiftieth anniversary of the franchise and the twenty-third film in the series. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film will see Daniel Craig back as Bond and Judi Dench returning as M – an important casting note, as the film will reportedly center on the relationship between Bond and M, as “Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her.” Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, and Naomie Harris round out the film’s cast, which will be a more classic standalone film, after the last two Craig-starrers (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) all worked within the same story. You can read the full press release after the break, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Whatever it was last night has been shed, and tonight it is back to its old self: a movie news round-up that appears nightly, pulls no punches and always delivers the goods. For those who were disappointed in last night’s non-entry — especially that guy who called me “LAZY” — please accept my apology in the form of tonight’s exquisite assortment of entertaining goodies. Tonight’s lead image comes from Pixar’s new short, Luna. It’s the coming-of-age story of a young boy who is taught the strange details of his family’s business. As with everything Pixar-related, it looks beautiful. And we can only imagine that it will have some sort of heart-warming human elements. Nothing plucks heart strings like a little lineage and a father with a massive mustache.

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JustinChadwick

The BBC is heading down to Kenya to check in with a very old First Grader.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr heads out to the movies this week, giving his take on Old Dogs and Ninja Assassin

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ff-ninjaassassin

An orphan named Raizo, raised and trained by an ancient ninja clan, cuts a bunch of heads off while an investigator from Europol, Mika tracks down the group in connection with several high-ranking assassinations.

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Rain, Naomie Harris and James McTeigue at Comic-Con for Ninja Assassin

Dark Castle unleashes trailers for Ninja Assassin and The Hills Run Red on the unwitting masses at Comic-Con, sending horror fans and teenage Korean-Pop-Singing fans into paroxysms of joy. At the same time.

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