Director: Gavin Hood
Writers: Gavin Hood (screenplay), Orson Scott Card (based on the book Ender’s Game by)
Stars: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld
The earth is threatened by an alien race and it’s determined that young Earthlings are the best trainees for combat. Enter Ender, a unflinchingly serious boy, who rises thru the ranks. This movie takes place during the military training with much of the time spent as Ender endures bullies, outsmarts everyone and questions authority (especially a stern Harrison Ford). The futuristic look is stainless-steel shiny and the effects are decent if unoriginal. Ironically, the fight sequences look like video games, but it’s much more about drama than action. There are some non-traditional aspects that make it interesting, but it’s not an exciting alien adventure.
GAY ANGLE: The author of the book is an outspoken homo hater, so you may not want to spend your money.
12 Years a Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: John Ridley (screenplay), Solomon Northup (based on “Twelve Years a Slave”)
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender
Chiwetel Ejiofor delivers a stunning performance as a free black man, who’s abducted into pre-Civil-War slavery. He manages to hold onto his hope and dignity, while enduring horrendous cruelties, both mental and physical. The cast is full of outstanding performances with Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o delivering memorable moments. Director Steve McQueen has incredible skills for observation and visual artistry. Every image is beautiful. Despite the stifling oppression and unflinching violence, there’s a certain detachment that renders the outcome more observation than experience. Still, this is a masterpiece of cinematic skill and a story that’s all the more incredible because it’s true.
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.