ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – N – Nina (2016)

Director: Cynthia Mort

Writer: Cynthia Mort (Screenplay)

Starring: Zoe Saldana, David Oyelowo, Kevin Mambo, Ronald Guttman, Chuma Gault, Allison Sarofilm, Mike Epps, Keith David

 

Plot: The story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson.


Tagline – Singer. Activist. Survivor. Legend.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Biopic 101

 

Story: Nina starts as we see Nina Simone (Saldana) performing one of Nina’s iconic songs as we see how the rise and fall of the iconic star happened through the different eras of music, now in the early 90s, she finds herself in a rehab centre needing to clean herself up after learning she doesn’t have al the money she has earnt in her career.

Becoming friends with Clifton Henderson (Oyelowo) who she makes her manager to help keep her appointments in order and keeping her on the right medication, the two fast become friends as Clifton learns about what drove Nina down the spiral she went down.

 

Thoughts on Nina

 

Characters – Nina is the iconic jazz and classical musician that broke boundaries, we follow her in the mid-90s where she is considered an icon but has fallen out of the limelight after struggling with her personal addictions to drinks. She hires a new manager to help her try and turn her life around, though her paranoia towards people in her life doesn’t help her and her sickness needs help from Clifton. Clifton is an orderly at the rehab centre Nina stays at, she trusts him, making him the only one she does, he gets recruited into being her manager as he helps to try and turn her career around and bring her back to the spotlight, where she deserves to be. The rest of the characters we meet are family, lawyers, promotors and celebrities that Nina would have met in her life.

PerformancesZoe Saldana did face backlash for her choice in the role because her background isn’t the same as Nina’s, away rom this conversation this is a performance that show Saldana isn’t all action with this being her strongest acting performance of her career. David Oyelowo is great too as he seems capable of stepping into any role he wants challenging Chadwick Boseman for biopic-man title. The supporting cast are great too where they help with the important scenes in the film.

StoryThe story focuses on the real people of Nina Simone and Clifton Henderson as they try to help bring Nina’s career back on track. This is where the story becomes disappointing to see, sure it is great to see how she was aiming to make her comeback, but we don’t learn enough on the first rise, the struggles she faced and what led her down the addiction problems, which are always the more interesting part of any celebrity’s lives.

Biopic/MusicThe music shown here are the iconic songs of Nina Simone’s career and if you didn’t know she sang them you will by the end of the film. the biopic side of the film does show us a crucial part of Nina’s life though it would have been nice to learn more about getting to this stage.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show where Nina heads to recover to get in the mood for her music and creative energy, they do end up looking like locations you could imagine the celebrity would be around.


Scene of the Movie –
The return gig.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning enough about her original rise to fame.

Final ThoughtsThis is the standard biopic, we get to see the once famous star try to turn their career around, though we don’t learn enough about their career in the first place.

 

Overall: Standard biopic.

Rating

 

 

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Terrence Howard Weekend – The Brave One (2007)

brave oneDirector: Neil Jordan

Writer: Roderick Taylor, Bruce A Taylor, Cynthia Mort (Screenplay) Roderick Taylor, Bruce A Taylor (Story)

Starring: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen

 

Plot: A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brooding Revenge Thriller

 

Story: The Brave One starts with our radio host Erica Bain (Foster) who loves and knowns the streets of New York, her fiancée David (Andrews) is a doctor and the two plan to get married as soon as possible. The two never seeing too much wrong in their day find themselves victims of a group of thugs who beat David to death and leave Erica fighting for her life.

Once Erica recovers she finds out the truth about what happened to David before having to face the questions from Detectives Mercer (Howard) & Vitale (Katt) as she remains haunted by the events of that night. Worried about her safety Erica purchases her own gun as she starts her own trail of vengeance against anyone who has wronged people as she cleans up the streets she learns that her killing isn’t having the desired affects she would desire.

The Brave One is a revenge thriller that plays into vigilante with revenge. The film follows the victim who doesn’t get the answers needed from the law so she takes it into her own hands. While this isn’t a direct revenge thriller our leading lady finds herself in the chance to kill or be killed before getting into the idea of cleaning up crime work. The film is slightly slow when it comes to getting into the action as it focuses on the effects on Erica dealing with what happened to her. It is a nice spin on what we have seen before but the final act is really exciting.

 

Actor Review

 

Jodie Foster: Erica Bain is the victim of a vicious attack from a group of thugs that leaves her fiancée dead and her fighting for her life. Once physically recovered she doesn’t recover mentally as she sets out on her own path of vengeance against the men responsible for her situation and the people leaving others in similar ones. Jodie is great in this role as we see her go through a large change through the film.erica

Terrence Howard: Detective Mercer is getting tired of all the criminals getting away crimes as he starts to praise the vigilante taking out the criminals as he tries to find legal loopholes. When he starts to become friends with Erica he hints at criminals as he looks to take down a powerful drug lord. Terrence is good in this supporting role as the worn out cop tired of the criminals.mercer

Nicky Katt: Detective Vitale is the partner for Mercer who never full seems as worn out by the legal side of police work as Mercer is. He treats it like a job and nothing more. Nicky is a basic supporting character not really offering much to the rest of the film.

Naveen Andrews: David Kirmani is the fiancée of Erica, he is a doctor and the two plan to be married, when the pair run into a group of thugs they both are left fighting for their lives where David takes the worst of the beatings as he is killed leaving Erica alone in the world. Naveen is good in this small supporting role that is pivotal to the outcome of this film.davd

Support Cast: The Brave One has a supporting cast that all end up being either side of the law as Erica goes on her clean up mission.

Director Review: Neil JordanNeil gives us a good brooding revenge thriller that keeps us on the edge without fully pulling us through.

 

Crime: The Brave One brings us into the world as a victim gets to witness the crimes and has to make the decision on how to act.

Thriller: The Brave One keeps us on the edge of as we wonder what Erica will get to up next.

Settings: The Brave One uses New York for the setting showing both the good and bad sides of the popular city.
Special Effects
: The Brave One uses great effects to show kills being involved.

Suggestion: The Brave One is on to try, if you want a well told revenge thriller this is great but if you are looking for a quick blood filled revenge thriller you will be disappointed. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final Kill.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Act.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $70 Millions

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: How many wrongs to make it right?

 

Overall: Slow moving thriller that really ends up packing the punches needed

Ratingcard