Director: Lee Daniels
Writers: Danny Strong, Wil Haygood (article)
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack
Forest Whitaker plays the title role, a man who grew up in Southern cotton fields and ended up working in the White House for 34 years. His life serves as a parallel to the civil rights movement, which we witness from the DC POV and thru the struggles of his activist son. While the recreations are told with frank and relentless pain, the creation of the personal story is more simplistic, yet moving. Whitaker is brilliantly underplayed and Oprah Winfrey (as his wife) inhabits her character with surprising depth and disregard for glamour. (Wait til you see who plays Nancy Reagan). There are moments of humor to lighten the load, but this remains a heavy-handed, yet powerful history lesson.
GAY ANGLE: This civil rights struggle is a lot more intense than our fight for marriage.
Director: Robert Luketic
Writers: Jason Dean Hall (screenplay), Barry Levy (screenplay)
Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard
After he’s fired from his giant tech company, Liam Hemsworth is secretly hired back to spy on their major competitor. Predictability ensues. The inevitable twists are not surprising. You at least expect some slick visuals or neat futuristic stuff. Expectations dashed. Hensworth makes a generically handsome but bland leading man. Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman add some seasoned performances. Overall, there’s nothing about the script that’s the least bit new or interesting and the laconic direction never delivers any suspense or…wait for it…paranoia.
GAY ANGLE: The only good thing about this film: Hemsworth spends lots of time shirtless.
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.