Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers: Terence Winter (screenplay), Jordan Belfort (book)
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie |
Martin Scorsese is a master filmmaker and when he gets it right, it’s a cinematic treat. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a man who made a lot of money hustling illegal financial deals. He worked hard and played full tilt: copious drugs, profuse sex and unlimited arrogance. This film is chocked full of greed, excess and amazing directorial touches (the hilarious quaalude scene is an instant classic). The cast of ferocious characters is crammed with memorable performances. At three hours, it never lags, but just keeps entertaining, amusing and exploding with energy. Scorsese at the top of his game.
(Look for the real Belfort to introduce the fictional Belfort in the last scene.)
GAY ANGLE: DiCaprio and John Bernthal both show off lots of flesh, but John’s the hot one. The politically incorrect gay stuff is the characters’ fault, not the filmmaker.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Director: Justin Chadwick
Writers: William Nicholson (screenplay), Nelson Mandela (autobiography)
Stars: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Terry Pheto
The title pretty much sums it up: a walk with Nelson from rural boyhood to his election as South Africa’s first democratically-elected president. Much of the journey is taken up with his early fight against apartheid and the subsequent 22 years in jail. To anyone who hasn’t read the autobiography on which the film is based, this will provide interesting details about his personal life and political struggles. Although Idris Elba (Mandela) and Naomie Harris (his wife Winnie) both create rich characters and the narrative is compelling, the whole thing lacks emotional power. The prison years are the most absorbing. It should take 2+ hours to chronicle a great man’s life, but it feels too long and sometimes too simplistic. Still, an informative history lesson.
GAY ANGLE: The Elba version of Mandela was very pumped.
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.