Review by Mr. Will Wong
Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) seems to be on the verge of greatness under the persistent urging of his father (Sterling K. Brown). While everything seems fine initially, things take a drastic turn for the worse after his girlfriend Alexis (Alexa Demie) finds out she is pregnant with his child and his world crumbles. In the face of a tragedy, which threatens to tear Tyler’s family apart, his father, mother (Renée Elise Goldberry) and sister (Taylor Russell) are left to pick-up the pieces and find themselves again.
Filmmaker Trey Edward Shults’ (Krisha, It Comes at Night) hits you like a tidal wave in its first act but calms into a ripples in the second. While dialogue is sparse and the Film takes a nuanced tone, this is where Waves finds its flow in its meditation on grief.
Harrison delivers pure intensity in a performance which solified him a TIFF ‘19 Rising Star, while Russell shows a quiet maturity in her ability to express a deep undercurrent of emotion with little dialogue. Shults gets the honour of a Score by Academy Award winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross which intensifies the Film. Drew Daniels‘ Cinematography is breathtaking, whether it be his gorgeous captures of the Florida waters or çloseups that bring us up-close and intimate to these characters, particularly Harrison in his panic.
While Waves’ unevenness might not be for all, it is an ambitious effort even if it asks for your patience. It screens at TIFF Tue, Sep 10 at Ryerson Theatre, 8:45pm, Wed, Sep 11, Scotiabank Theatre, 6pm and Sun, Sep 15 at Ryerson Theatre, 2:45pm.
#SXSW: 2019 SXSW FESTIVAL DAY THREE RECAP
By Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
We are on Day Three of the SXSW Festival and the majority of our day was spent walking around some pretty great installations.
The first one we attended was a fan art installation for Jordan Peele‘s Us. The moment you walk in, you’re faced with the costumes the Actors wore and the soon to be iconic scissors they use. You are then given a card that gets you one free download for the Soundtrack of the Film. They also treat guests to two drinks as they walk around the Exhibit. The Art is stunning to look and even more amazing considering it is Fan Art based on its Trailer alone.
Then we headed to Amazon Prime Video’s Good Omens exhibit, taking place over an entire outdoor parking lot, and had quite the queue to get in. Once inside, you are given a free umbrella and tote bag that displays the Show’s title. As you walk around, Top 40 music is blared from Drake, Ariana Grande, Cardi B as you are treated to free chicken and pork, drinks, beers and wines. There is an area for people to get their hair and nails done, once again for complimentary, and a huge floor chess board for people to use. However, one of the greatest parts for us was getting to see the adorable puppies they had for guests to pet and swoon over! It is hands down one of the best times I’ve experienced so far this SXSW. It’s also certainly put the new show Good Omens, starring David Tennant and Martin Sheen, on our must-see list with all its hype. Check out the Trailer if you don’t believe us!
When it came to the evening, the Premieres started down at the Stateside and Paramount Theatres. The first of the evening was Netflix‘s The Highwaymen, starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner. Word has it that Willie Nelson and Matthew McConaughey came to the Premiere also.
Next was Adopt A Highway, it’s a Blumhouse Production and stars Ethan Hawke, Betty Gabriel and more. While fans were waiting to catch a glimpse of Hawke from outside the theatre, they were surprised by two actors who were waiting to go in. Both André Holland (Moonlight) and Sterling K. Brown (This is Us) were outside Stateside Theatre talking on the sidewalk. When fans noticed it was them, they formed a crowd circling around them. Both were very patient and took Selfies with any fans who asked.
The final Premiere of the night was Booksmart, which is the directorial debut for Olivia Wilde. Nearly everyone in the Cast was on-stage for the affair. When they arrived at the Red Carpet, many were friendly with the fans, but none more so than Wilde and her partner, Jason Sudeikis who stars in the Film too. Both came over immediately from exiting their vehicle and took time with fans. It was an extra special night for Wilde as she was celebrating her birthday. When she came on-stage to intro the Film, the SXSW team surprised her with a cake and the entire audience serenaded her with Happy Birthday. When the Film was over, the audience gave a standing audience with loud cheers. It’s true, Wilde‘s first Feature is a beautiful and near-perfect coming-of-age story. Review here.
Some Snaps! Hover cursor right to move forward in our gallery:
There are no signs of SXSW slowing down as there are even more Red Carpet Premieres are taking place tomorrow. There will also be some Panels consisting of Jason Blum, Ethan Hawke, Aidy Bryant and Elizabeth Banks. So stay tuned!
(Photo credit: Amanda Gilmore)
#TIFF18: “THE PREDATOR” REVIEW
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Nearly 32 years after the Predator landed on Earth, Co-Writer/Director Shane Black has returned to his roots and brought TIFF along for the World Premiere. A group of soldiers haunted by their PTSD must fight off the Predator after he crash lands on Earth, avoiding the massive government cover up along the way.
The Predator is the very definition of a mixed bag. I went in with a fair amount of hype and trepidation, but was ultimately left cold. The Film has the trademark Shane Black-written wit and laughs, and is also rather viciously violent with its gore. The beast delightfully murders anyone he crosses paths with in increasingly more inventive ways. And while there are plenty of arguments to be made about the right balance between CGI and practical make-up effects, The Predator’s biggest issue is its editing. It distracts in some instances with how choppy it is (and how some scenes feel completely tacked on), and in others, does away with some characters entirely. But the Film’s MVP is without a doubt, Sterling K. Brown. He has a blast hamming it up for the camera, leaving smouldering ash in his wake.
The Predator screens on Thursday, September 6 at 11:59 PM at Ryerson Theatre [World Premiere], Friday, September 7 at 9:30PM at Scotiabank Theatre and Tuesday, September 11 at 9:45 PM at Scotiabank Theatre.
#FIRSTLOOK: “BLACK PANTHER” LOS ANGELES WORLD PREMIERE PHOTOS
Los Angeles got lit last night as the World Premiere of BLACK PANTHER took place. The starpower was incredible with several A-List names came out to show support for what is looking to be a smash hit for Marvel/Disney. Initial reviews coming-out are incredible and we’re super-excited for this Film. Names like Jon Voigt, Elizabeth Banks, Usher, Jamie Foxx, Martin Lawrence, Kendrick Lamar, Donald Glover and several more attended the night.
See some Pics of the Cast and notable guests:
If you’re in Quebec City or Southern Ontario, don’t forget to check-out the BLACK PANTHER EXPERIENCE as it tours these regions and experience AR Technology and connect Black Panther to Avengers: Infinity War!
• Winter Fest, Blue Mountain Village – January 27 & 28
• Carnaval De Quebec – February 2-4
• Winterlude Festival – February 9-11
• Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP – February 13
• CN Tower – February 17 & 18
• Cineplex Cinemas Scarborough – February 20
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release BLACK PANTHER Friday, February 16, 2018.
(Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
#GOLDENGLOBES: “BIG LITTLE LIES” + “THREE BILLBOARDS” DOMINATE 2018 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS
The 75th annual Golden Globes Awards took place tonight in Beverly Hills, California. With the #TimesUp initiative front and center of our attentions, we saw all talent uniformly wearing black to draw attention to the cause for equality and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Seth Meyers hosted the affair boldly poking-fun at the likes of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. In the face of change, he calls 2018 “the year marijuana was allowed and sexual harassment wasn’t anymore.”.
Oprah Winfrey who next can be seen in Disney‘s A Wrinkle in Time, was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Her Wrinkle Co-Star Reese Witherspoon introduced her as being all “a noun, a verb and an adjective”. And even Meyers joked DeMille should be honoured she was given the award. Winfrey recalls herself as a kid in Milwaukee back in 1964, watching Anne Bancroft speak a historic five words on television, “The winner is Sidney Poitier“. She hopes to inspire another black girl watching tonight seeing her be named the first ever black Cecil B. DeMille Award Winner. Winfrey states, “I wanted to express gratitude to all women who endured years of abuse and assault as they like my mother had mouths to feed, bills to pay and dreams to pursue.”. Recounting the story of rape (1944) victim Recy Taylor whose six attackers never were persecuted, she defiantly states that we are at the end of an era, “Their time us up!”.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scored huge in the Film categories including a win for Motion Picture Drama. Martin McDonagh was awarded Screenplay for the Film which he also directed. He jokes, “My mother really wanted Lady Bird to win.”. Oscar Winner Frances McDormand before tonight had been nominated seven times for a Globe, but finally received her first win for Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. She declined to make political comments but expressed pride that the Film still is filling seats in brick and mortar theatres across the U.S. the “old-fashioned” way. Sam Rockwell, after a career spanning almost three decades, finally won a Golden Globe for his work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. “It’s nice to be in a movie people saw”, he kids before thanking others involved with the TIFF ’17 People’s Choice Award-winning Film and also wife Leslie Bibb.
HBO’s Big Little Lies was a major force in the Television categories winning TV Miniseries or Movie. Nicole Kidman was awarded her fourth Golden Globe for her Actress work, thanking her Co-Star, Co-Producer and fellow Nominee Reese Witherspoon with whom together she brought the HBO release to Television. Kidman despite getting the cue to shorten her speech, thanked her husband Country Star Keith Urban last, telling him “When your cheek is pressed against mine, the whole world just melts away, I love you.”. Co-Stars Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgård also won for their work as Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress (Dern‘s fourth Globe too!) in the Miniseries.
Lady Bird, which premiered at TIFF ’17, won Comedy or Musical. The Film which loosely is based on Greta Gerwig‘s life, also is her directorial debut. Gerwig thanked her hometown Sacramento for giving her the wings and roots needed to succeed in life. 23-year-old Saoirse Ronan already has been nominated for three Globes but alas gets her first win tonight for her acclaimed work in Lady Bird. She kept pointing-out in her humble speech how her mom out of excitement was in the audience on FaceTime while she was on-stage.
Visionary Guillermo del Toro made a teary acceptance for Director with The Shape of Water while the Orchestra had tried drowning his speech out due to time restrictions. “Turn the music down, it’s taken me 25 years to get here” he said, drawing cheers from the audience. Moments before, Natalie Portman presenting his award alongside Ron Howard, pointed-out how all Nominees in the Category were male.
Gary Oldman was awarded Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in TIFF ’17 selection Darkest Hour. In his speech, he told us how his wife puts-up with his incredible dedication telling others “I go to bed with Winston Churchill and wake-up with Gary Oldman.”.
Jeered widely for having made the worst movie of all time, The Room, Filmmaker and Cult Icon Tommy Wiseau got the last laugh joining Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy Winner James Franco on-stage tonight. Franco stars in and directs The Disaster Artist which recounts Wiseau‘s process making that Cult Classic. Franco thanked his younger brother Dave in his speech saying “He always wanted his own Coen Brother” to make Films with and it looks like he too along with Wiseau saw his dream come true.
Allison Janney who delivers a chilling portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in I, Tonya, was awarded a well-deserved Globe beating-out some stiff competition including Laurie Metcalf whom many also feel is deserving for her work in Lady Bird. Janney made a poignant statement about perception of truth in Media, an enlightenment after having worked on the Film which gives us a fresh perspective on the disgraced Figure Skater. It was a good night for both Tommy Wiseau and Tonya Harding.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was this year’s Dark Horse, winning Comedy Series and also Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) winning Actress in a Comedy Series. The Amazon Series centers on a Jewish housewife in the ’50s who becomes a Stand-up Comedian.
Elisabeth Moss shone a light on Canada dedicating her Actress in a Drama Series win to Margaret Atwood who wrote the source material on which Toronto-made The Handsmaid’s Tale is based. The Series also took home a Globe for Drama Series. This is her second Golden Globe win, her first for Miniseries Top of the Lake.
After four nominations, Ewan McGregor finally gets his first Globe win for Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie with Fargo. Another Canadian connection, the Series was filmed in Calgary.
Sterling K. Brown was awarded his first Globe for his work on Series This is Us. The rising star next can be seen in Marvel’s Black Panther and reminded his kids in his speech he’d be there to take them to school tomorrow morning, in addition to expressing his awe of Oprah Winfrey being seated before him on the podium.
After getting a nod last year and seeing MASTER OF NONE, for which he has directing and writing credits, Funnyman Aziz Ansari gets a Globe for Actor in a Comedy Series. He becomes the first ever South Asian Actor to win a Globe.
In addition to having grossed almost $600 million worldwide, Disney•Pixar‘s Coco goes on to Globe success, winning Animated Feature.
Hot off its #1 success on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart, The Greatest Showman also wins a Globe for Original Song, This is Me, sung by Keala Settle and also Kesha.
Fatih Akin‘s In the Fade won Foreign Language Film. The German Film starring Diane Kruger as a woman dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist attack, received a TIFF ’17 Premiere.
Awards Season culminates in the Academy Awards which air Sunday, March 4, 2018 on ABC, 7 PM ET.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)