By Mr. Will Wong
On July 7, 2017, former Lance Corporal Bryan Brown-Easley (John Boyega) was shot to death after barricading himself inside a bank where he held two bank workers hostage, pretending to carry a bomb. After an honourable discharge from the Marines, he had been struggling to get by and after a payment of $892.34 he was due from the Department of Veteran Affairs was withheld after it was used to pay off a garnishment from a past college loan, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t looking to take the bank’s money, he was looking for the money has was due and was willing to risk his life to make a statement.
Directed and written by Abi Damaris Corbin, 892 is a riveting recounting of the events leading to Brown-Easley‘s death, that day almost five years ago. Corbin gives us a sympathetic look at the PTSD, Schizophrenia and Paranoia our fallen hero was going through, resulting in his demise. We also get a sense of what Brown-Easley meant to others around him. We meet his ex-wife, the young daughter he left behind, a bank worker (Nicole Beharie) at his mercy, and an empathetic Chief in Eli Bernard (the late Michael Kenneth Williams in his final role) who also was a former veteran, trying to talk him off the ledge. The Film is tight, suspenseful but most importantly a tragic education about a broken system.
Boyega is unbelievable in this career-defining performance. He is driven, terrifying and at once raw and vulnerable, particularly in scenes with Brown-Easley‘s daughter, Kiah (London Covington) re-align us with a sense of his moral compass. This is sublime work we won’t soon stop talking about and comparisons to a younger Denzel Washington are unavoidable. We cannot wait for the world to witness this.
892 screens at Sundance as follows:
JANUARY 21, 2022 1:30 PM ET
JANUARY 23, 2022 10:00 AM ET
This looks amazing! Chris Evans and Michael Kenneth Williams star in THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT, only on Netflix!
Inspired by remarkable true life rescue missions, THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT is the incredible story of a group of international agents and brave Ethiopians who in the early 80s used a deserted holiday retreat in Sudan as a front to smuggle thousands of refugees to Israel. The undercover team carrying out this mission is led by the charismatic Ari Kidron (Chris Evans) and courageous local Kabede Bimro (Michael Kenneth Williams). The prestigious cast also includes Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michiel Huisman, Chris Chalk, Greg Kinnear and Ben Kingsley.
See the Trailer:
THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT streams on Netflix Friday, July 31, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Netflix)
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
After premiering earlier this year in Santa Barbara, Writer/Producer/Director/Star Emilio Estevez has brought The Public to TIFF. Stuart (Estevez) is a supervisor at the Cincinnati Public Library. One cold evening, homeless Jackson (Michael K. Williams) stages a sit-in with a large number of other homeless patrons. They refuse to leave, and after the doors are barricaded shut, news of the situation quickly reaches the police and local television media – and only becomes bigger from there.
Estevez admirably tackles a number of topics and ideas within The Public. But from the very beginning, the Film has trouble honing in on where to properly focus. The sit-in that forms the crux of the Plot does not take place until nearly 45-minutes into two-hour Film, and everything that comes afterwards feels very long and drawn-out. The sprawling Ensemble Cast do the best with what they are given (especially Williams and Christian Slater as a slimy mayoral candidate), but many are cast aside after they serve their characters’ purpose. With some choice edits, The Public could easily become a much stronger Film.
The Public screens on Sunday, September 9 at 2:30 PM at Roy Thomson Hall, Monday, September 10 at 10:30AM at Winter Garden Theatre, and Friday, September 14 at 4:15PM at Elgin Theatre.
Paramount Pictures Canada and Mr. Will want to take Readers in Toronto and Montreal first to see THE GAMBLER starring Mark Wahlberg! Already drumming-up some buzz as we enter Awards Season, many are calling this perhaps his best performance yet. The Screening in Toronto takes place Wednesday, December 17, 2014 and Monday, December 22, 2014 in Montreal.
English professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is a high stakes gambler who routinely loses hundreds of thousands of dollars at blackjack and roulette tables. A risk taker, he’s already in debt for $240,000 when he borrows $50,000 from a brutal gangster named Neville (Michael Kenneth Williams), putting up his own life as collateral.
Bennett blows the $300,000 his mother (Jessica Lange) gives him to bail him out during a single trip to a Palm Springs Casino and immerses himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of loan shark Frank (John Goodman). It isn’t until Bennett develops a relationship with student Amy Phillips (Brie Larson) and she’s threatened, that he finds himself taking the ultimate risk to get a second chance.
See the Trailer:
See the Poster:
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Good luck, Willionaire$!
Paramount Pictures release THE GAMBLER Christmas Day.
(Photo/video credit: Paramount Pictures)
Although we don’t know for sure, I’m almost certain this will be at TIFF ’13 this September as it would be the perfect Launching Pad for its Oscar Campaign. Everything about the Drama 12 Years a Slave says Awards and a brand new Trailer just surfaced today for it! How can we resist the Canadian connection this Story and above all, Brad Pitt playing one of us?
12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true Story of one Man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent Slave Owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian Abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.
Solomon Northrup Day celebrates its 15th Anniversary on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
The Drama also stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodard, Chris Chalk, Taran Killam and Bill Camp; Steve McQueen directs.
Watch the Trailer below:
Fox Searchlight releases 12 Years a Slave on October 18, 2013.
(Photo/video credit: Fox Searchlight)
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