Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Chris Weitz (screenplay)
Stars: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden
Disney has created a lush, but somewhat lackluster live action version of the classic fairy tale. Lily James glows with kindness and beauty in the title role, while Richard Madden make a dashing Prince Charming. Cate Blanchett brings old world elegance as the stepmother without adding much evil charm. Director Kenneth Branagh has emphasized the earnest emotional content, but it’s really the visuals where this film shines: Dante Ferretti’s art direction and Sandy Powell’s exceptional costumes are simply gorgeous. There’s not a lot of personality or comic relief in the cast, but the sincerity of the performances keeps it involving. NOTE: The animated short before the feature is a new song from the “Frozen” sisters.
GAY ANGLE: Madden is easy on the eyes, but the dresses are the real beauty!
Run All Night
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman
Liam Neeson continues his run of action flix. This time, he’s a washed-up alcoholic hitman for his mob-boss best friend (Ed Harris). Their sons have an inadvertent encounter that leaves one of them dead, which means Neeson has to bring out his gun to protect his son (Joel Kinnaman). If this sounds familiar, it is. Although it’s moderately interesting to watch how they evade and defeat the bad guys, there’s almost nothing original here. To make matters even more mediocre, the chases and fights are downright dull. The three lead actors bring a certain gravitas to the proceedings. Still, this is one of many quickly forgettable revenge/action films.
GAY ANGLE: Joel Kinnaman has beefed up from his skinny frame on “The Killing” to play the boxer son.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.