Idris Elba

Kate, Idris, and a dog battle the elements: Who will survive!?      

Strangers Alex (Kate Winslet) and Ben (Idris Elba) must stick together to survive a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains in heart of winter.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good old fashioned, human-versus-the-elements survival story; 127 Hours is one of my all-time favorite films, and Everest, Into the Wild, and even Alive all captured my imagination and left me pondering the strength of my own survival instinct long after the credits rolled. Director Hany Abu-Assad’s new film The Mountain Between Us isn’t the best of this genre by a long shot, but it’s a decent enough addition to the canon, and, if the genre’s one you enjoy, you can easily add this picture to your viewing queue and feel okay about doing so.
[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Film Review: Zootopia

by Chad Liffmann on March 4, 2016

So good it might as well feature humans, but then it wouldn’t be as good.

The DMV scene that has everybody laughing hysterically!

The DMV scene that has everybody laughing hysterically!

Zootopia has all the makings of a classic Pixar film. Everything except the emotional heft. But seriously, it has absolutely everything else going for it — it’s inventive, beautifully animated, smart, funny, and well-rounded. Just because it doesn’t make you cry shouldn’t be any reason to think less of this Disney entry, though it’ll inevitably be compared to recent Pixar films (I’ve already been asked if it’s as good as Inside Out, which it isn’t, but it’s more re-watchable). Two of Zootopia‘s directors are Byron Howard (Bolt, Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), so you know that the sense of humor will be quick-witted and charming, and the characters quirky and varied. But more significantly than that, Zootopia sustains a maximum sense of fun while simultaneously tackling social issues with more finesse than most films.

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

MVFF Logo

The 38th Mill Valley Film Festival, showcasing over 200 films from more than 50 countries, opens today, October 8th, and runs until next Sunday, October 18th. The Festival is screening some titles already garnering Oscar buzz: Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, with Eddie Redmayne in the true story of Lili Elbe; Truth featuring Robert Redford as Dan Rather, and Suffragette, with heavy hitters Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep. This year, the Festival also hosts special evenings with Mulligan, Sarah Silverman, Brie Larson, and Sir Ian McLellan.

Here at Spinning Platters, though, we thought we’d start the Festival by spotlighting some of the lower profile films that risk being overshadowed by movies already getting their fair share of press. Full schedule, tickets, and more information are available here, and be sure to stay tuned to Spinning Platters for more updates throughout the Fest. [read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Finally, the summer blockbuster we’ve been waiting for! Pacific Rim is smart, compelling, and unleashes an exhilarating fury of battling giants.

A jaeger strolls through Hong Kong streets in Pacific Rim

A Jaeger strolls through the neon lit streets of Hong Kong in Pacific Rim

From here on out, every time I gaze up into the fog-filled night sky that enshrouds the top portions of downtown San Francisco’s office buildings, I’ll imagine a colossal Kaiju smashing through the buildings like tissue paper, the debris raining down upon the dimly lit streets…and a Jaeger behemoth emerging through the haze, crushing the Kaiju’s skull in with a downward punch and throwing the giant beast’s body down the length of Market street.  This is the lasting effect of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.  The film makes a solid effort to tell an emotional human tale in the midst of a near-future world at war with giant alien creatures.  The effort is not lost, but takes a backseat behind the extraordinarily impressive battle sequences.  As a science-fiction action movie, Pacific Rim delivers and then some.

[read the whole post]

{ 2 comments }

Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender in PROMETHEUS

starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Guy Pearce

written by: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof

directed by: Ridley Scott

MPAA: Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language

[read the whole post]

{ 1 comment }