|INVISIBLE LIFEDONNIE YENBOMBSHELLIP MAN 4IP MANAMAZON|
There came a point early on in Karim Aïnouz’s drama of separated sisters, Invisible Life, where I wondered if the way he depicted a scene veered a little too sharply into the melodramatic and borderline hysterical. Then I remembered how the poster billed the film: a tropical melodrama. Once I reset my bearings a bit, I found the narrative quite engrossing and the story rather moving.
“Melodrama” often carries a pejorative connotation, a malady from which I am not exempt as shown by my near dismissal of Invisible Life from the jump. The term makes for a frequent descriptor tossed out when emotion gets dialed up to unrealistic or exaggerated levels. It’s used to decry the efforts of filmmakers who go big when they should instead go deep and mine the interiority of their characters. These grandiose moments serve as a cheap substitute for feeling rather than the way they should in the hands of a gifted practitioner like Aïnouz. Invisible Life provides artistic representation of the quiet tragedies and unspoken miseries affecting individuals. Women in particular, as marginalization can often amplify the tensions. In doing so, it offers a similar scale of sensation to the audience as is experienced by the characters themselves.
Why this quasi-academic rambling about the nature of the genre to which Invisible Life belongs? It’s of the utmost importance to understand the tradition and context in which Aïnouz operates. Without this knowledge, the film would probably feel like a carousel of misfortunes befalling siblings Eurídice Carol Duarte and Guida Julia Stockler in mid-20th century Rio de Janeiro. The former sticks around Brazil to please her family, yearning to spread her wings as a classical pianist yet seeing them clipped by her partner in a loveless – and often abusive – marriage. The latter, on the other hand, elopes with a Greek sailor only to return pregnant and abandoned soon after. Yet their family’s strictures around tradition, honor and gender performance prevents the sisters from ever knowing that they walk the same city streets once more.
The sense that Eurídice and Guida are rendered ships passing in the night, unable to share the burdens that crush them in Brazil’s heavily patriarchal society, lends a pervasive aura of sadness to the film. They’re separated by life’s circumstances but inexorably connected by the inevitable struggles endured by Brazilian women. Their geographical proximity provides no comfort and only serves to underscore the larger challenges faced by women. So much basic freedom, dignity and autonomy remains in sight yet just outside their grasp. It’s in this intractable, untraversable gap where the exquisite melodrama of Invisible Life organically arises.
Aïnouz treats their situation with great empathy and sincerity, never allowing compassion to...
The underwater superhero caper Aquaman ended up being a massive hit upon release back in 2018. As much as audiences enjoyed the DC comic book movie, they might have enjoyed it even more had Zack Snyder gotten his way. See, Aquaman director James Wan did not get the privilege of casting many of the main parts for his movie, no, that honor was Zack Snyder's who, in fact, offered a role to martial arts legend Donnie Yen.
Donnie Yen has discussed this offer recently, and surely fans can agree that his inclusion would have been an excellent one.'Actually I was approached to be in the first Aquaman by Zack Snyder. I think I was in commitment with another film at the time somehow. But we still talked, and I'm still open for any possibility as an actor.'
The role was offered to Donnie Yen during the lead up to Zack Snyder helming the ill-fated Justice League movie. This was, of course, meant to set up all of the sequels and spin-offs that were going to happen had the superhero team-up movie been a bigger success. It is unknown who exactly Donnie Yen was asked to portray, but the knowledge that he was offered something is sure to spark a whole host of theories and fantasy-castings. Atlantis did not play a huge part in the Justice League movie, only featuring in a sequence that depicted the villainous Steppenwolf dispatching Mera and her forces before swiping one of the all-powerful Mother Boxes. Supposedly there was originally a longer sequence, which makes up part of the infamous Snyder Cut, but regardless Donnie Yen would still not have been in it, so, what does it matter?
It is very possible that Donnie Yen was offered the mentor role of Nuidis Vulko, a part that was ultimately played by Willem Dafoe. The role of Aquaman's trainer and friend is certainly one that Yen could have pulled off, and would have no doubt played it very differently to Dafoe.
While it is a shame that audiences have yet to see Donnie Yen suit up as any superhero or supervillain, with the comic book movie genre still dominating the big screen there will be plenty of opportunities for him to do so should the opportunity arise. There are many who would like to see Yen take on the mantle of a different underwater royal over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that of Namor the Sub-Mariner. The actor certainly sounds open to the idea, so watch this space.
Aquaman is based on the comic book about a half-human, half-Atlantean man named Arthur, who is born with the ability to communicate with marine creatures. He goes on a quest to retrieve the legendary Trident of Atlan and protect the water world. The legendary underwater hero was brought to life by Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa and went on to gross over $1 billion dollars at the box office. This news comes to us courtesy of IGN.
Mulan and Rogue One star Donnie Yen reveals that he was almost in Aquaman after Zack Snyder reached out to him....
In honor of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate has given us digital download codes for movies featuring some of the studio’s favorite leading ladies, and we’re passing them along to you. You could always use more things to watch during this time of self-isolation, right? Read on to find out how to win copies of Bombshell, Judy, The Hunger Games, A Simple Favor, and The Spy Who Dumped Me.
One lucky winner will win a bundle prize containing a digital download code for each of these films. To enter, send us an e-mail at [email protected] with the words “Lionsgate Giveaway” in the subject line. And since this giveaway is honoring Women’s History Month, we want to hear about your favorite performances from the women who play prominent roles in these movies. So in the body of the email, explain what your favorite performance is and why! from Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Mila Kunis, or Kate McKinnon. If you’re bored and looking for something to do to kill some time, feel free to write about more than one of them. We’ll choose the answer we like best, and email the winner with their winning codes. The contest begins now and ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
First up is Bombshell, director Jay Roach‘s 2019 film about the sexual harassment scandal that took down Fox News chief Roger Ailes. The movie won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling for the incredible work the team did, transforming actress Charlize Theron into the spitting image of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Read our review here.
Next up is The Hunger Games, Gary Ross‘s 2012 dystopian action film that launched Jennifer Lawrence to the next level of her career. This movie kicked off one of Lionsgate’s biggest franchises, and continued the trend of YA adaptations that dominated much of the 2000s and 2010s. Read our review here.
Then there’s A Simple Favor, director Paul Feig‘s sexy, funny mystery thriller starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively from 2018. This is an underrated and underseen movie, and now is the perfect time to catch up with it. Read our review here.The Spy Who Dumped Me Giveaway
And finally, we’re also giving away five copies of Susanna Fogel‘s The Spy Who Dumped Me, the goofy 2018 spy comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Read our review here.
High school can be a battlefield, but rarely has that battlefield seemed so dangerous as it does in Amazon’s stylish Sundance drama Selah and The Spades. The feature film debut of writer/director Tayarisha Poe, Selah and The Spades follows a young girl who is chosen to be the protégé of the Queen Bee of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, and discovers that she wasn’t the first to be given this dubious honor. Watch the Selah and The Spades trailer below.Selah and The Spades Trailer
Amazon Studios has released the official trailer for Tayarisha Poe’s feature film debut, Selah and The Spades, a stylish high school drama set in the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school. In this exclusive world, the student body is run by five factions: The Spades, The Sea, The Skins, The Bobbies, and The Prefects. Commanding the top faction is the titular Selah Summers Love Simone, who decides to choose a young protégé to take her place upon graduation. But as that sophomore upstart Paloma Celeste O’Connor soon finds, it’s a treacherous path to the top.
Selah and The Spades seems like a teen drama in the tradition of Brick or Thoroughbreds — stylish, razor-sharp, and populated by very good-looking teens who all act like characters in a noir film. The cast of fresh faces playing those characters include Jharrel Jerome, Jesse Williams, Gina Torres, and Ana Mulvoy Ten.
Here is the synopsis for Selah and The Spades:
In the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, Haldwell, the student body is run by five factions. Seventeen-year-old Selah Summers Lovie Simone runs the most dominant group, the Spades, with unshakable poise, as they cater to the most classic of vices and supply students with coveted, illegal alcohol and pills. Tensions between the factions escalate, and when Selah’s best friend/right hand Maxxie MOONLIGHT’s Jharrel Jerome becomes distracted by a new love, Selah takes on a protégée, enamored sophomore Paloma Celeste O’Connor, to whom she imparts her wisdom on ruling the school. But with graduation looming and Paloma proving an impressively quick study, Selah’s fears turn sinister as she grapples with losing the control by which she defines herself.
In her feature debut, writer/director Tayarisha Poe immerses us in a ened depiction of teenage politics. This searing character study encapsulates just how intoxicating power can be for a teenage girl who acutely feels the threat of being denied it. Exciting newcomer Lovie Simone’s performance beautifully embodies both Selah’s publicly impeccable command and the internal fears and uncertainty that drive it.
Selah and The Spades premieres on Amazon Prime Video April 17, 2020....