WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 07/15

NIGHT OF THE KINGS

(If you want a quality new drama)

Vincent Georgie: A powerful new film from the Ivory Coast, this film was that country’s submission for Oscar consideration this past year. The film is well-acted, engrossing, intensive, and ultimately, a memorable night at the movies. If you want to take an unexpected risk, you won’t be disappointed.

Synopsis: A new arrival to an Ivory Coast prison is unaware that his storytelling skills will determine his life or death.

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SNEAKERS

(If you want an entertaining spy film)

Vincent Georgie: If you’re in the mood to supremely entertained by an incredibly appealing cast, in a film that mixes both adventure and comedy, look no further than this film. A solid hit upon its release in 1992, the film benefits from a smart script, strong pacing and, without a doubt, a winning cast lead by Robert Redford. This one’s a no-brainer. Seek it out this weekend.

Synopsis: Martin Bishop heads a group of experts who specialize in testing security systems. When government agents blackmail him into stealing a top-secret black box, his team is embroiled in a dangerous game.

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AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

(If you look for strong storytelling)

Vincent Georgie: Based upon the Pulitzer-Prize winning play (a true sensation on the stage), this film adaptation is galvanized by a remarkable cast of actors (Not just the marvelous Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts performances, but also the memorable work from Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale, among others). Ultimately, it is the strength of the storytelling by Tracy Letts that anchors this film. His ability to have the film be incredibly dramatic, effortlessly funny, frequently dark and always wildly entertaining is an incredible writing achievement.

Synopsis: When a family tragedy occurs, three estranged sisters visit their hometown and reunite with their dysfunctional mother who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

DOUBLE FEATURE

THE ICONIC VILLAIN

I must admit that I had always found Jack Nicholson’s take on The Joker to be quite entertaining, but nothing had prepared me for the haunting psychopathy of Heath Ledger in 2008 nor the haunted sociopathy of Joaquin Phoenix in 2019. Both Ledger and Phoenix elevate their films beyond what ever could have been expected, and made The Joker a villain of fascinating dimension.

THE DARK KNIGHT

After Gordon, Dent and Batman begin an assault on Gotham’s organized crime, the mobs hire the Joker, a psychopathic criminal mastermind who offers to kill Batman and bring the city to its knees.

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JOKER

Arthur Fleck, a party clown, leads an impoverished life with his ailing mother. However, when society shuns him and brands him as a freak, he decides to embrace the life of crime and chaos.

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