Tribeca Festival 2021 capsule reviews: ‘Settlers’, ‘Glob Lessons’, and ‘7 Days’

Settlers

Mankind’s earliest settlers on the Martian frontier do what they must to survive the cosmic elements and each other.

Undeniably riveting, Settlers pits one family unit against another. Brooklynn Prince, who burst onto the scene in The Florida Project, captivates as a child whose survival depends on the lies she’s been fed by adults. Sofia Boutella skillfully plays her mother and ardent protector. As the reality of the situation of humanity is slowly revealed, the peril grows for everyone involved. Settlers is a film about trust, through and through. As time passes, Remmy’s role is taken over by Nell Tiger Free. She must navigate loneliness, and more importantly, the advances of the man who keeps her both alive and captive. Settlers’ unique script by director Wyatt Rockefeller allows us to question what we would do when faced with extreme circumstances. The landscape beautifully mimics the surface of Mars. Its desolate surroundings create palpable isolation and ceaseless desperation. The addition of a robotic character is the only thing that brings levity. Ismael Cruz Córdova as Jesses walks a precarious line between savior and villain. His beliefs steer the story into the darkest regions of human nature. Settlers is worth the watch for extraordinary performances and one hell of a feature debut from Rockefeller.

DIRECTOR
Wyatt Rockefeller
CAST

Sofia Boutella, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Brooklynn Prince, Nell Tiger Free, Jonny Lee Miller


Glob Lessons

Two mismatched strangers confront their fears of intimacy and inadequacy as they tour low-budget children’s theatre out of a minivan across the frozen Upper Midwest.

Nicole Rodenburg and Colin Froeber give us every emotion on screen. As a theater major, I know Jesse and Alan. But as a human being, everyone will know them. The concept of pouring your soul into your passion with little in return is universal, be it children’s theatre or any other occupation. There is a fine line between love and loathing. The laughs are plenty lying within awkward non-conversation and road movie tropes. Tension and tolerance levels eventually come to a head with creativity as their savior. In Glob Lessons, the moments of genuine intimacy between Froeber and Rodenburg grab hold of the viewer. Jesse and Alan are fleshed-out characters. At times they are pathetic, other times endearing. The chemistry between Froeber and Rodenburg is the stuff of movie magic. Glob Lessons isn’t flashy and that’s the point. Life is messy. Let’s own it. I am excited to see what comes next from a voice like Rodenburg’s. If Glob Lessons is any indication, we’ll be seeing more very soon.

 

DIRECTOR
Nicole Rodenburg
SCREENWRITER

Colin Froeber, Nicole Rodenburg


7 Days

As if their pre-arranged date, organized by their traditional Indian parents, wasn’t uncomfortable enough, Ravi and Rita are forced to shelter in place together as COVID-19’s reach intensifies.

This film snuck up on me. Filmed during lockdown and using COVID as a major plot point, 7 Days turns the concept of traditional arranged marriage on its head. Geraldine Viswanathan brings the laughs as Rita. Breaking the mold of the dutiful would-be bride, she begrudgingly comes to Ravi’s rescue with little to no hope of being his match. Karan Soni, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Roshan Sethi, plays straight-laced, Ravi.  As boredom sets in and guards are let down, a genuine connection slowly develops. The chemistry between Viswanathan and Karan feels grounded and made for some incredibly memorable moments. 7 Days is funny and heartfelt. I was not expecting the darker turn in the script. It was a bold move that paid off in spades. Filmed mostly in one room created the tension and awkwardness we needed to experience alongside Rita and Ravi. It takes the idea of close quarters to the extreme. 7 Days is a true gem from this year’s festival.

DIRECTOR
Roshan Sethi
SCREENWRITER
Karan Soni, Roshan Sethi
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Roshan Sethi, Karan Soni, Geraldine Viswanathan

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters…Universals’ Dark Universe!

Universal Pictures announced today that its series of films reviving the studio’s classic monster characters for a new generation will be known as “Dark Universe.”

Dark Universe films will be distinguished by performances from some of the most talented and popular global superstars stepping into iconic roles, as well as electric new talents whose careers are starting to break through.  While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the attached photo: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, blockbuster icon Johnny Depp and Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem, who appear together later this summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who lead the all-star cast of The Mummy, along with Sofia Boutella, the actress who embodies the title role in that film.

At its organizing principle, Dark Universe films are connected by a mysterious multi-national organization known as Prodigium.  Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll, Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world.  Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society…and will go to any length to contain it. For more visit: www.WelcometoProdigium.com.

In another exciting development, Oscar® winner Bill Condon will follow his worldwide smash Beauty and the Beast, one of this year’s biggest hits—which crossed $1 billion at the global box office and became the most successful musical of all time—by directing Bride of Frankenstein, from a screenplay by Koepp.  The next film from Dark Universe, Bride of Frankenstein will be released on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

In a related move, Universal announced that it will not release a Dark Universe film as previously planned for April 13, 2018, and that Bride will instead be the next chapter in the unspooling series of movies following this year’s The Mummy.  The actress chosen to play the lead role in Condon’s version of this timeless story will be announced soon.

“I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent,” stated Condon.  “The Bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece—which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.”

The restricted trailer for ‘ATOMIC BLONDE’ has just debuted online ahead of its SXSW Film Festival debut this Sunday, March 12th

Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission.  Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

A blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style, Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch (John Wick, upcoming Deadpool 2).  Also starring John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones, the film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel “The Coldest City,” by Antony Johnston & illustrator Sam HartKurt Johnstad (300) wrote the screenplay.

ATOMIC BLONDE – In Theaters July 28

Sneak Peek of ‘The Mummy’ is Here!

the-mummy

Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (upcoming King Arthur, television’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson) and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator).

The creative team on this action-adventure event is led by director/producer Alex Kurtzman and producer Chris Morgan, who have been instrumental in growing some of the most successful franchises of the past several years—with Kurtzman writing or producing entries in the Transformers, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series, and Morgan being the narrative engineer of the Fast & Furious saga as it has experienced explosive growth from its third chapter on.  Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, produces alongside Kurtzman and Morgan.

Come back Sunday for the full trailer!

The Mummy arrives June 9, 2017

Michael’s Review: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’- A New Generation of Spy Film

Kingsman

One of the things that makes a Matthew Vaughn movie an event is the stylistic nature of his interpretation of the source material and his knack for creating a unique movie experience that everyone can enjoy. Taking from the comic book The Secret Service, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar (Vaughn previously adapted Millar’s Kick Ass for the screen), this up tempo, high powered action film is exactly the adrenaline jolt that the spy sction thriller genre needed. Enlisting an all star supporting cast and mixing them with a group of fresh faces creates an environment on film that enables the director to get the very best out of the story which will no doubt make Kingsman: The Secret Service the movie to see this weekend.

colin firth

Colin Firth stars as Harry, an impeccably suave spy, in KINGSMAN THE SECRET SERVICE.

Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, an old school super spy, reminiscent of the old Roger Moore James Bond days, where a suit was more powerful than the weapon in the eyes of the man. When the loss of a protege on a mission leaves Harry carrying a guilt that has haunted him for nearly two decades, his natural tendency is to reach out to the man’s family and make sure they are looked after. Leaving behind a wife and a young boy named Eggsy, Harry leaves a medal with the young family with a number to call if they ever need anything from the organization.

Harry (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy, helps Eggsy (Taron Egerton) turn his life around by trying out for a position with Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organization.

Harry (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy, helps Eggsy (Taron Egerton) turn his life around by trying out for a position with Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organization.

Now a young man, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has lost his way and has turned to a life of crime and hooliganism. His mom has remarried to a town crime boss and life has never been worse for the young man. After an altercation in a local pub leaves Eggsy in jail, he decides to call the number his family was given all those years ago. Harry and Eggsy meet once again after all these years and Harry recruits the young man into the Kingsman, an mSpy secret agency free of government regulations. Eggsy is selected along with eight other young prospects, who must pass a vigorous training regiment which will test them both physically and mentally. One of the young recruits is a girl named Roxy (Sophie Cookson), whom Eggsy becomes fond of. The training is overseen by Merlin (Mark Strong) and Arthur (Michael Caine), each of whom have their own vested interest in the candidates.

Harry (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy, helps Eggsy (Taron Egerton) turn his life around by trying out for a position with Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organization.

Harry (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy, helps Eggsy (Taron Egerton) turn his life around by trying out for a position with Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organization.

When a technology tycoon named Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson), becomes a threat, the Kingsman begin to investigate the aspiring philanthropists actions. Deeming him a threat to the world, Harry must go deep undercover to infiltrate Valentine’s organization and learn the true nature of his plan. As the training comes to a close, it’s up to Eggsy and Roxy to make hard decisions, in the final stages, to ensure their place in the Kingsman organization. As the plot of the tech villain unfolds, it will be up to the young group of recruits to spoil the plot, but will the unseasoned rookies be up to the task? The fate of the world is in the hands of the Kingsman.

Harry (Colin Firth) and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) meet Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a tech billionaire with devastating plans for the world.

Harry (Colin Firth) and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) meet Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a tech billionaire with devastating plans for the world.

The film is a non stop action thrill ride which never takes itself too seriously. The campy nature of the film allows the over the top story line to unfold with ease and never allows for the cliche’s to engulf the fun nature of the film. Director Matthew Vaughn loves to incorporate stylistic action sequences into his films which are both memorable and as important to the telling of the story as the script itself. This action driven film really relies on the actors to flush out the story and help the audience believe in their characters arcs. Colin Firth is wonderful as the old school super spy. Never have I seen the award winning actor in such an action packed role, but he pulled it off with ease and has shown he can be just as effective with his fists as he can with his mouth. The supporting cast that features Mark Strong, Mark Hamill, Michael Caine, and Sophie Cookson, is tremendous and each character adds his or her own unique style into the film, but its Taron Egerton that is the star of this film and rightfully so. Egerton is humorous and charming as the would be Kingsman, and the young actor shows veteran prowess in his first feature film and shows he is ready for the big time.

Harry (Colin Firth), an elite member of a top-secret independent intelligence organization known as the Kingsman, prepares to teach some ruffians a lesson.

Harry (Colin Firth), an elite member of a top-secret independent intelligence organization known as the Kingsman, prepares to teach some ruffians a lesson.

Overall, Kingsman: The Secret Service is wonderful and will no doubt entertain all those who give it a shot. Nevermind that other film opening this weekend, this Valentine’s Day, spend your evening with the Kingsman!

Stars:

4 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

During credits there’s a new scene, end of credits there is nothing

Trailer: