Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom: Great Man, Mediocre Movie

by Ethan Alter November 27, 2013 11:03 am
<i>Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom</i>: Great Man, Mediocre Movie

A modern-day hero whose life is still a source of inspiration, Nelson Mandela has been the subject of numerous films over the years, in which he has been portrayed by such actors as Dennis Haysbert (Goodbye Bafana), Morgan Freeman (Invictus) and Terrence Howard (Winnie Mandela). The majority of these films have opted to laser in on a specific period of his life or, as in the case of Winnie Mandela, present his experiences through another person's eyes. What makes the newest entry in this burgeoning biopic sub-genre, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, somewhat unique is that it takes a pillar-to-post approach, packing his entire life into two-and-a-half hours. Director Justin Chadwick's ambition appears to be nothing short of creating the Gandhi or Malcolm X of Mandela movies: the definitive dramatized account of this extraordinary man's biography.

Skyfall: Your Burning Questions Answered

by Ethan Alter November 9, 2012 12:01 am
<i>Skyfall</i>: Your Burning Questions Answered

Let's start off by answering the biggest question first: yes, Skyfall really is as great as you've been hearing. The 23rd entry in the venerable James Bond franchise isn't just the best studio blockbuster of the year -- featuring a better story than The Avengers, fewer logic gaps than The Dark Knight Rises and rip-roaring action sequences that easily outclass pretenders like The Hunger Games and Battleship -- it also ranks in the top five (hell, maybe even the top three) Bond adventures that have come along in 007's now 50-year big-screen history. In a fall that's packed with awards-friendly prestige pictures, Skyfall is reminder that a smart, beautifully-crafted and, in general, kick-ass action movie can be as worthy of serious acclaim and respect as any historical biopic or weighty drama. With that out of the way, time to get to some of your other burning queries:

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem Scale Great Heights In Skyfall

by Ethan Alter November 6, 2012 7:00 am
Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem Scale Great Heights In <i>Skyfall</i>

After the strong start that was 2006's Casino Royale, the re-booted, Daniel Craig-led James Bond series hit a major rough patch with Quantum of Solace. After a four-year break, though, Bond is back and better than ever in Skyfall, which is already burning up the box office charts overseas. (It opens in the U.S. on Friday.) The cast and crew of Skyfall -- including Craig, Javier Bardem (who plays his nemesis, Silva), Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe (the requisite Bond Girls) and director Sam Mendes -- passed through New York recently and spoke with the press about celebrating Bond's 50th anniversary with one of the best 007 outings to date.

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