Tag Archives: forest whitaker

LEE DANIEL’S THE BUTLER serves a up sentimental story

27 Jan


The most striking aspect of Lee Daniel’s The Butler is Forest Whitaker’s (Cecil Gaines) in the title role. It was a beautiful performance about a man, a father, and a husband attempting to provide for his family while attempting to come to turns with his role in life and his place in history. At the center of the film is a story about a father and a son at odds with one another about what actions should be taken to make a positive difference in the world. The film begins with the embarrassing truth of America’s most shameful behavior and follows Mr. Gaines as he becomes a butler at the White House, while his son, Louis grows up to become an activist fighting for African-Americans’ civil rights at most of the major points in history. It is a sentimental story that takes on too much at once, but Whitaker should not have been ignored by the Academy Awards.


Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: N/A

The Last Stand ends at an impasse

14 Jun


What does Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, and Eduardo Noriega have in common? Absolutely nothing and it can be seen in Kim Ji-woon’s action film, The Last Stand. Schwarzenegger creaks his way through the film as a retired LA police officer working as sheriff in a one street town is an injustice to his legacy because it is obvious his action days are over. He simply stands there while everyone else moves around him frantically to give the appearance of motion. The film alternates scenes between Whitaker’s F.B.I. war room to the inside of Noriega’s super car to the deserted border town, but none of it comes together like it should. There are some ultra-violent moments that will satisfy the sickos, but really the film takes a predictable road that leads to an uncompromising impasse.


Chuck’s Grade: D

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai honors its director

9 Jun


Writer/director Jim Jarmusch puts together his most mainstream film to date when he explores the idea of a man living by a code.  Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a film about an African-American hit man named Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) contracted by the mafia to assassinate special targets that cannot be traced back to the mobsters. He lives by a code modeled after Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai, a strict lifestyle that promoted an honorable, but humble life dedicated to carrying out his chosen master’s orders. Jarmusch inserts passages from the book throughout the movie that helps frame the story and its ideas. Whitaker embodies this role and convinces audiences of this character’s unusual choices. He makes it difficult to see anyone else playing this part, which demonstrates the singular commitment of the code. Whitaker is a modern day samurai/actor that really serves his director with great honor.


Chuck’s Grade: B+

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Freelancers work familiar roles

6 Jan


Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent is quickly becoming the undisputed star of straight to REDBOX/NETFLIX films these days. Freelancers is another gangster film made for a modest budget with some big name actors, such as Robert De Niro (Captain Sarcone) and Forest Whitaker (Detective Lurue) to give the film some respectability and credibility. These two Academy Award winners are a pair of dirty cops that run an intricate underground crime organization right beneath the noses of the NYPD. Jackson (Malo) is a new member of the force and is asked by De Niro to join his “special” unit because Malo’s father used to be Sarcone’s partner. There are many familiar gangster motifs found in the film that keep it moving forward, but at the same time the unoriginal scenarios produce a predictable script. Jackson’s acting is noticeably getting better with each film, but he is still far from being a capable anti-hero character that wears the street on his sleeve.


Chuck’s Grade: C+

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Repo Men: Take it Back

10 Aug

I went into this film knowing the basic premises. Man works for a company that sells organs, if you don’t make the payments, they take back what is rightfully theirs.Remy (Jude Law) explains it in short.: “Can’t pay for your house? The bank takes it. Can’t pay for your car? The bank takes it. Can’t pay for your liver? Well, that’s where I come in.” Armed with stun gun and a scalpel, Remy can jack a human organ quicker than a thief can steal your car radio. Pretty Original…Right? Repo Men combines several different elements into one film, using some of Blade Runner, Minority Report, Logan’s Run and even Vanilla Sky. The first act was pretty good, but the rest of the film falls apart at the “stitches”. The dialogue becomes absurd. The acting is mediocre at best. The dark humor is not funny and the soundtrack is annoying. I will stick with my DMV donor card.

Word count: 158

Adam’s grade: F

Chuck’s grade: C-