Posts Tagged ‘Don Cheadle’

Miles Ahead – *

Posted: December 23, 2016 in 2015, Experiment, USA, X
Tags: ,


This is a tough one.

This is just so damn weird that you just can’t say it’s good or bad.

There’s a reason why the release of this movie was postponed so often. It’s just difficult to sell. It’s definitely not a biopic. It’s a kind of action movie in which Miles Davis teams up with a music journalist and runs around chasing a stolen tape, while taking lots of coke and waving a gun around like some wannabe gangster. This happens 5 years after he quit the music business and became a messed-up addict, being pushed by fans and producers to release new music. There are flashbacks to a time when he met his wife, married her and struggled with paranoia already. There’s a performance at the end. And that’s it.

Both McGregor and Cheadle are disappointing. Keith Stanfield looks like he can do great things later on.

Luckily, it’s a very short movie.

A friend invited me to go see Iron Man 3. I didn’t even know there was a third instalment on its way, especially since the atypical superhero was one of the main characters in last year’s (incomprehensibly popular) The Avengers. But it’s this weekend’s most anticipated release and my friend is a fan. I don’t like this franchise at all, but I like my friend, and I could do with some mindless entertainment, so I accepted the invitation.

It won’t come as a surprise when I write that the story is crap. Something about a scientist who once got humiliated by Mr Stark and years later teams up with a super villain who uses his invention (which reproduces body parts once they are damaged) for a bad cause. But I have to admit that I was entertained thanks to the funny dialogue. Especially between Iron Man/Tony Stark and his sidekick Warrior Machine/James Rhodes. And between Tony Stark and a young Tennessee kid whose help he needs throughout the movie. The acting is quite acceptable, with notable mentions for Don Cheadle, Ty Simpkins (as the kid) and Ben Kingsley who plays the super villain. Too bad Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man acts and sounds like his Sherlock Holmes, just in a different costume.

Yet, however funny some of the dialogue is, in the end this is a crap movie. The special effects and the action scenes look like they were shot in the eighties. There’s nothing original or cool about them at all. The locations are far from being inventive (a Malibu house on a cliff, an oil rig) and I’ve seen b-movies with better fights than here. You have to wait until the end credits to see some real cinematic magic. I guess this is just for the fans (and their friends).

Seen at UGC de Brouckère / Sunday, June 20

I went to the cinema to see El Secreto De Su Ojos, but changed my mind when I noticed a billboard from Brooklyn’s Finest. Yes, billboards do work sometimes. I had never heard of the movie, never seen the trailer, never read anything on imdb about it. I guess my cinema passion is dying out slowly. However,just having been to Brooklyn and the fact it was directed by Antoine Fugua (who made the classic Training Day) were apparently two good enough reasons to go see this flick. And a good decision it was.

In short: the movie focuses on three cops from the NYPD who each have their own issues. The least interesting one is Don Cheadle’s character who is an undercover cop in the BK projects torn between the desire to get promoted to a normal office job at the police department and choosing a life as a drug lord criminal. As much of a great character actor Don Cheadle is, there was not one moment I believed he would choose for the crime world. I did believe his frustration and his anger (there’s an excellent restroom scene where he needs some time for himself), but I didn’t believe his tough guy act. The two other characters are more intriguing, especially because the actor performances were surprisingly strong. Richard Gere’s bland expressions worked for a change as he plays a worn out cop waiting for his retirement, mocked at by younger aggressive cops and ready to just give it up by one pull of the trigger. I believed this character! Even when he gets a blow job from quite an attractive whore. No macho – I’m still that young stud from An Officer and A Gentlemen – behaviour, but just an older guy struggling with his libido. My favorite character though was performed by Ethan Hawke who starts to look like Matt Dillon the more I see him act. His catholic guilt driven cop needs fast money and does what he has to do to get it, which includes stealing drug money and killing as well. Killing out of necessity, because his wife may lose their unborn twins if they don’t move to a bigger, moist free house. Just for your information: he’s ‘catholic’ so he already has four or five children (wasn’t really clear).

I first gave the movie two and a half stars, because the directing, editing, soundtrack, storylines aren’t that original or extraordinary, but writing about and thinking back at the actor’s performances, it’s definitely worth three stars. The trailer may not look promising (I probably wouldn’t have gone to see the movie, if I had first seen the trailer), but it gets my thumbs up. And it was nice to see Wesley Snipes again and  Michael K Williams (Omar from The Wire) even though their parts were futile.