Posts Tagged ‘Terence Blanchard’

MALCOLM X – Terence Blanchard

December 1, 2022 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Malcolm X is a biopic of one of the key figures in the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and tells his life story – growing up subjected to Jim Crow racism in Michigan in the 1920s, dealing with his father’s death and his mother’s mental illness, his youth as a juvenile delinquent, becoming a Muslim while in prison, and eventually joining the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist organization that was denounced as a terrorist group by the FBI. Along with leaders like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X was a prominent campaigner for civil rights, until – like King – he too was assassinated, just as he was giving a speech in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom in February 1965. The film was directed by Spike Lee and starred Denzel Washington as Malcolm, alongside a supporting cast that included Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., and Delroy Lindo. The film was a huge critical success, and earned Washington an Oscar nomination for his powerful lead performance. Read more…

THE WOMAN KING – Terence Blanchard

September 21, 2022 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the 1800s in the Kingdom of Dahomey – which is now part of the current Republic of Benin – there was an all-female military regiment called the Agojie, whose fierceness and prowess in battle was so well-known, even in Europe, that they were nicknamed ‘the Dahomey Amazons,’ a reference to the stories of the female warriors from Greek mythology. This new film, The Woman King, takes this real life history and tells a new story through the eyes of two fictional characters: Nanisca (Viola Davis), a veteran commander in the Agojie, and Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), an orphan girl newly recruited to the group. The story touches on several real historical and political issues – the revolutionary reign of King Ghezo, Dahomey’s clashes with the rival Oyo Empire, and its involvement in the Atlantic slave trade – while also presenting a rip-roaring action adventure full of female warriors, enormous battle sequences, and powerful depictions of tribal culture. The film co-stars Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, and John Boyega, and was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, based on a screenplay by Dana Stevens and Maria Bello. Read more…

DA 5 BLOODS – Terence Blanchard

June 9, 2020 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Considering that this week has seen worldwide protests relating to the death of George Floyd, systemic racism against black people, and the cause of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is perhaps appropriate that there is a new movie by director Spike Lee. Ever since he broke into the mainstream with his scintillating directorial effort Do The Right Thing in 1989, Lee has been at the forefront of African-American filmmaking, creating movies which tackle many of the aforementioned issues with insight, clarity, depth, emotion, and no small amount of theatrical skill. His latest movie is Da 5 Bloods, a Vietnam-era drama in which four African American war veterans return to Vietnam with a dual purpose: to search for the remains of their former squad leader, who was killed in action but was never returned home, and to uncover a hoard of gold that they found during the war, but which they were forced to bury. However, as the men journey back to what was once the front lines, they also find themselves confronted with the memories of their worst experiences, and how it shaped their lives since the conflict ended. The film was written by Lee with Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, and Kevin Willmott (who co-wrote Blackkklansman), and stars Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Jonathan Majors, and Jean Reno. Read more…

BLACKKKLANSMAN – Terence Blanchard

August 28, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Spike Lee doesn’t make subtle movies. He never has. He makes films about race and politics and social injustices and relationships and American life, and then hammers the point home, so that even the most culturally unaware viewer will be left with no doubt as to what his film is saying and – more importantly – why we need to listen. Films like Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and Jungle Fever established his credentials as an important filmmaker, while films like Inside Man, 25th Hour, and He Got Game cemented his box office potential. His latest film, Blackkklansman, is the first Spike Lee joint in quite some time to combine commercial success with a major cultural statement, and it has become a significant talking point in a year where race and politics have become vitally important in American society. The film tells the embellished but mostly true story of Ron Stallworth, a black cop in the Colorado Springs Police Department in the early 1970s, who successfully leads an investigation to infiltrate a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan by posing as a white supremacist – at least on the phone – while a white Jewish colleague, Flip Zimmerman, stands in for him when the time comes for Ron to meet the Klan in person. The film stars John David Washington and Adam Driver as the cops leading the charge; they are ably supported by Laura Harrier as Ron’s student activity girlfriend Patrice, Topher Grace as KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, and Ryan Eggold and Jasper Pääkkönen as local Klan members, with powerful cameos from Corey Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, and Harry Belafonte. Read more…

MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA – Terence Blanchard

September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When thinking about popular and enduring composer-director collaborations, a number of names are mentioned regularly: Steven Spielberg and John Williams, Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, Robert Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri, Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann. It would take a while for anyone to get to Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard, but these two have collaborated on over a dozen films since their first work together in 1990 on Mo’ Better Blues, and since then have quietly become one of the most enduring artistic collaborators in Hollywood. Titles such as Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Clockers, 25th Hour and Inside Man have cemented their relationship. Read more…