Creed, review

What does it say about a film-maker when his second film is an inventive take on a familiar story that wins the hearts of critics and audiences, and the first was a sociopolitical feature that told the tragic story of a young man who had his life stolen from him? Unsurprisingly, it says a lot. It says that this film-maker, Ryan Coogler, is an absolute force to be reckoned with. It says he has drive, talent and a flare for contemporary cinema. It says he knows the rule-book but he’s not afraid to toss it out of the window when needed. Creed, the Rocky hit for a new generation, exemplifies the skill of Coogler as a young director who has a bright future behind the camera and a fierce bravery. Sylvester Stallone put his faith in the man, allowing him to direct, write, and develop the story almost single-handedly and it seemingly paid off.

Creed follows Adonis Johnson a.k.a Adonis Creed; the illegitimate child of Apollo, he is ready to prove his worth as a serious boxer, and relocates to Philadelphia to seek out Rocky for personal training Stallone steps up once again as the beloved Rocky Balboa, training Creed and teaching him discipline and respect. Michael B. Jordan – a firm favourite of Coogler – plays the titular boxer, and he’s good. Really good. Jordan was cemented in the minds of most film aficionados following his role in Fruitvale Station. That was an independent biopic exploring the shocking actions of Californian police, this is a blockbuster epic that takes audiences directly into the ring. In both, the actor exceeds expectations and embodies his roles appropriately. As Creed, Jordan exhibits a streak of rebellion and cockiness alongside a quiet gentleness and fragility that only present themselves at the necessary moments. Had the casting been different, the film could have gone down a precarious road.

Creed Movie Film Trailers Reviews Movieholic Hub

Creed Movie Film Trailers Reviews Movieholic Hub

Coogler is a director with an aesthetic eye, he knows what looks good and what should be where and he’s sure to work with his crew to utilise every aspect of a feature to create a finished product. Lighting is used effectively in the final fight sequence, while the score is important throughout – transcending a change in time and neighbourhood from that of the earlier Rocky films meaning Creed now stands independently (and audience-goers are likely eagerly awaiting a sequel). The film escapes genre cliches and a feeling of unwanted nostalgia by bypassing the cornier elements of 1970’s cinema perhaps seen in earlier efforts to deliver something truly contemporary. That modernism is needed in order to impress a new wave of viewers, but there’s this sense of remembrance that ties the feature together and welcomes back returning fans.

This is solid film-making that simply does not disappoint. At only 29 years old, director Coogler is one to seriously watch as he goes from strength to strength in his career as he takes his time to tell a story through his level of artistic brilliance. See it, love it.

 

2016: Five Films To Look Forward To

2016 is just around the corner and with it comes a fresh new batch of movies. Below are just a few of many that will grace our big and small screens in the New Year in a super speedy round-up of what to look out for. Watch out for an indie version coming soon!

And kind folks of the interwebs, this is based on UK release dates.

jordan and stallone in creed

jordan and stallone in creed

Creed – Director: Ryan Coogler, Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Tompson

2016 appears to be the year for filmic revivals, Creed being a spin-off of the much loved Rocky series. There are myriad reasons in which to get excited for this early-year release, including the direction of Ryan Coogler; the presence of his Fruitvale Station collaborator Michael B. Jordan; a return to the world of boxing, as seen through the tinted eye glass of Mr Sylvester Stallone, and a contemporary spin on a series that was becoming tired after six installments.

Suicide Squad – Director: David Ayer, Cast: EVERYBODY..Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne 

David Ayer meets DC? Surely that’s a quick winner in itself. It’s a long wait until August to see this supervillain film which boasts the best in Hollywood acting talent, but if the trailer is anything to go by, Ayer’s portrayal of an America brimming with ‘gifted’ bad-guys is going to change the game for comic-book adaptations. With a Watchmen aura to it and an ensemble cast to please any cinephile, Suicide Squad and its team of anti-hero’s could just be the one to sway naysayers of the genre. Watch this space.

X-Men: Apocalypse – Director: Bryan Singer, Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult

The new reboot of X-Men, in which Matthew Vaughn revitalised the old-hat series alongside a fresh-faced young cast of men and women was initially really pretty good. It all changed with the second installment which saw original director Bryan Singer come back on board. But, we can forgive the faux-pauses of Days of Future Past and gleefully welcome Apocalypse. Why, you ask? As briefly as it can be:

  • Tye Sheridan, Sophie Smith and Evan Peters are just three of many new actors joining the already beloved ensemble, with Apocalypse shaping up to be a satisfying entry into the series.
  • Apocalypse himself, played by Ex_Machina‘s shining star Oscar Isaac, looks like one of the most malevolent antagonists the franchise has had (and that’s really saying something).
  • The presence of Rose McGowan is always welcomed. Clearly.
russell and jackson in the hateful eight

russell and jackson in the hateful eight

The Hateful Eight – Director: Quentin Tarantino, Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

Quentin Tarantino’s latest foray into the Western might seem like an obvious choice, but the auteur always surprises his audience with one or two tricks. He also always manages to nab a bloody fantastic cast of veteran actors who you kind of forgot about but who’s acting abilities are drawn out through the magic of the Tarantino vision. Django Unchained was universally loved and it wasn’t anywhere close to the directors best efforts (yes, Jackie Brown could just be the best) so its likely that The Hateful Eight will be on a similar par. A return from Reservoir Dogs co-stars Tim Roth and Michael Madsen will no doubt bring about nostalgia for long-standing fans of the enigma of a director, and it’s always Tarantino himself who audiences are so beguiled by.

Chi-Raq – Director: Spike Lee, Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett

Spike Lee’s latest cinematic effort is already out, but I figured it would probably take most us until the New Year to make the effort in viewing it. In a joint partnership with Amazon Studios, Lee brings back his urgent thematic content surrounding race and America with Chi-Raq, a film that – if it’s anything like its trailer portrays it to be – is unsure of its genre. It’s all a little up in the air thus far, with critical consensus being positive but public response drawing controversies from Lee’s portrayal of a contemporary Chicago swarmed in gun crime. Either way, Lee is back on our radar and his material is generally a winner – make this one to see.

 

 

Actor Profile: Michael B. Jordan

From cult football drama Friday Night Lights, to political true-story Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan, currently the hottest ticket in the film industry, never does the same thing twice. Diverse, bold, and exceptionally talented, Jordan is on his way to super-stardom (which should arrive some time after Creed does). Don’t wait around to see him first then, have a look-see at his back catalogue, which demonstrates the actors filmic smarts thus far.FRUITVALE

Despite the re-boot of Fantastic 4 not sitting so comfortably with audiences or critics, don’t let that cloud your judgement on Jordan himself, who won five awards for his performance in Ryan Coogler’s Frutivale Station – yes, five for one performance. At only 28 years old, Jordan has starred in ten feature films – eleven when boxing drama Creed makes its debut – and eighteen television series’, with acclaim for his roles as Vince in Peter Berg’s FNL, Oscar in Frutivale‘, and Steve Montgomery in hand-held sci-fi Chronicle.

Not just making waves amongst spectators, Jordan is becoming a firm favourite within the industry itself, teaming up with Ryan Coogler for the second time on Creed – a film which is produced by, and stars, Sylvester Stallone. Despite being in the early stages of his film career (in terms of playing leads), the actor has played roles in an array of acclaimed dramas, including the Idris Elba-led series The Wire.

Having just signed on to join Josh Boone’s Pretenders, expect plenty more in the way of distinct roles from Michael B. Jordan, an actor intent on making a name for himself – and a career – in this coveted industry.