Everybody’s Chattin’ + First Look of ‘Queen of Katwe’ + ‘Free Fire’


Happy Wednesday everybody! I’m still high from seeing the first look of my dahling Sam Riley in Ben Wheatley’s new movie (more of that below). It’s been ages since I see anything new with him on social media… ah the peril of loving an underrated actor. But y’know what they say, you can’t choose who you love.

So about those links…

Jordan reviewed a terrific film Mia Madre, that’s perfect for Mother’s Day [or any day]

Everyone’s fave series Game of Thrones is back, and so is Margaret‘s awesome episodic reviews!

Steven lamented on Brian de Palma’s Bonfire of the Vanities

Speaking of lamenting, Mariah posted her thoughts on the whitewashing in Hollywood, most recently the casting of Ghost in the Shell

Thursday Movie Picks are still going & going… Dell just posted on his three fave droids/cyborgs

Eddie‘s entry to the Rob’s Genre Grandeur series talks about how Fast Five holds up 5 years later

Now here’s a real head scratcher, Paul asks which body of work you prefer Michelle Pfeiffer vs Meg Ryan

Mickey reviewed one of my fave films out TCFF last year – Room

Last but not least, don’t forget to stop by Mark’s blog on Monday for his Decades Blogathon!

Time for a couple of First Looks…


Ok so I’m a sucker for inspirational true stories. This one is based on a book of the same name by Tim Crothers. Though there have been films made about chess champions before, I actually haven’t seen any of them. The fact that this one tells a non-American story makes me more interested in it. The film, shot in Uganda and South Africa is directed by Mira Nair (a female director is always a plus in my book!) I had only seen Vanity Fair and The Reluctant Fundamentalist from Nair, but most people are probably more familiar with her famous film Monsoon Wedding.

Here’s the synopsis per Screenrant:

The film tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), a chess prodigy from Uganda who earned Woman Candidate Master status in 2012, following the deaths of her father and brother.

I love both David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, so that’s another big plus. It’s one of those stories you likely can predict how it’ll turn out, but still intriguing nonetheless. I’m already tearing up watching the trailer so I’ve got to bring tissues when I do watch the movie.


I’m still so very giddy just from seeing the first photo of this gangster flick, I don’t know what I’ll be when the trailer comes out!

I had already heard of this when Sam mentioned it in a couple of Pride + Prejudice + Zombies interviews. He called it a 1.5 hour gang shootout, which sounds epic cool! The filmmaker du jour Ben Wheatley, fresh from all the buzz of High Rise is directing this, AND it’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese!

The synopsis per EMPIRE:

Free Fire is set in Boston in 1978. The story, which Wheatley is pitching as a muscular crime flick in the spirit of Melville, Hawks, Scorsese himself and Walter Hill, charts the fallout from a gun-running hook-up orchestrated by Larson in a deserted warehouse. At its centre are two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley), on a connect with a pair of arms traffickers, Ord (Armie Hammer) and Vernon (Sharlto Copley), but soon wishing they’d given the whole enterprise a wide berth when the bullets start flying.

The film also stars new Oscar winner Brie Larson, Noah Taylor and of course, my darling Sam Riley!

Look at the mustaches + 70s outfits on these guys!

Per EMPIRE article: “The idea for Free Fire came from my love of hard-boiled crime movies,” Wheatley tells Variety. “The Asphalt Jungle, The Big Sleep,The Killing and The Big Combo through The Driver, Le Samourai andThe French Connection, to the modern cycle of GoodFellas, Casino,Hard Boiled and Reservoir Dogs.”

“It will take you and stick you in the middle of the action,” he elaborates. “I want the film to have the stylish, no-nonsense feel that you get in [Sam] Peckinpah’s The Getaway. It’s a modern ‘70s movie. Muscular, tough and spare.”

Hmmm, I actually didn’t care for The Getaway, but maybe because I didn’t really like Steve McQueen who’s just so damn smug, but I do like the cast here and it looks more of an ensemble piece than just centered on a single hero. And of course seeing Sam Riley (with 70s ‘tache AND glasses? Oh my!) on the big screen again is a major plus! A24 has acquired the US rights, so I can’t wait to see a trailer soon.

Both of these films are scheduled to be released later in the Fall.

So what do you think of either one of these new films?

34 thoughts on “Everybody’s Chattin’ + First Look of ‘Queen of Katwe’ + ‘Free Fire’

  1. I definitely want to see Free Fire despite haven’t seen anything by Ben Wheatley. As for Queen of Katwe, I might see it since it is Mira Nair as I am going to see her first film as part of my Cannes Marathon which started today.

    1. I haven’t seen anything by Wheatley either but I’d watch anything w/ Sam in it! Oh cool that you’ll be seeing Nair’s first film, I’ll check out your review!

  2. Looking forward to Free Fire especially when Wheatley’s mentioned Sam Peckinpah as one of his inspirations. Also, I’m a sucker for good gangster violent films. Just a warning Ruth, Wheatley’s loves graphic violence in his films so I assume this one will be quite bloody too! There’s a scene in Kill List that I had to look away because it’s so brutal.

    1. Hi Ted, I knew you’d be keen on Free Fire. Yeah I knew his films are violent from what I’ve read, but I’m still curious about Free Fire because I’ll watch anything w/ Sam Riley in it. Hopefully it would be something I could handle, LOL.

      P.S. Have fun in Vegas!

  3. Thank you very much for the link! 🙂

    Nice to see Brie Larson cast in Free Fire, the rest of the cast looks great too. Sounds like an intense movie. I haven’t seen any movies by Wheatley, only his Doctor Who episodes.

    1. My pleasure Eddie! I heard she was cast long before ROOM became an Oscar contender, but that’s cool how her career has shot up since then. Oh I didn’t even know he directed Doctor Who episodes, which season was that?

      1. That’s cool to know about Larson. I think Wheatley directed in Season 8, the episodes are very different tonally from Free Fire. He’s got a great cast to work with here.

        1. Yeah I suppose the Dr Who shows can’t be as violent as his films. He seems to have a distinctive taste, I hope I can handle the violence in this one but I’ll give it a shot because of Sam Riley 😉

    1. Fair enough Cindy. Well these two won’t be out until Fall 🙂 Boy I haven’t even reviewed a single Sam Riley movie yet, I really need to get on that!

    1. Hi Dell! Yeah probably, but Disney’s done a bunch of good biopics before so I guess I’m a bit more optimistic, esp with this cast.

  4. Thanks for the link! I have not heard of Queen of Katwe before. I will put that on my watch list this year. Lupita and David are fantastic actors. Didn’t Mira Nair also direct Kama Sutra?

    1. Yes I believe she did direct that one, but I haven’t seen. I want to see Monsoon Wedding at some point though. Yeah I love both Lupita and David, so cool to see them together in a movie!

    1. It’s a bummer about High Rise, though I’m still curious about it. I heard the opening scene w/ the dog is brutal though, so I’m a bit apprehensive. But this one has Sam in it, I’ll watch him in anything!

  5. Queen of Katwe looks so good! I’ve seen both Vanity Fair and Monsoon Wedding and really enjoyed them, so hopefully Nair doesn’t disappoint with this one!

    1. Hi Tiff! So you like Monsoon Wedding, that’s the one I really want to see. Yeah I hope this one is good, it certainly has a great cast!

            1. Ok Tiffany, my review of Love & Friendship is finally up! Can’t wait to watch it again, I hope it’ll get released near me soon!

  6. Thanks so much for the link love Ruth! 🙂

    Free Fire looks AWESOME! And I just watched High-Rise, which I really enjoyed, though I’m not sure I could recommend it to anyone! I need to see more of Wheatly. I’m glad your crush is in Free Fire 😛 I still need to catch that German movie you mentioned to me…. The Dark Valley I think?

    BTW I went and saw Cap America. I spent the whole time with my head cocked, resting on my hand. The same thing happened with GOTG. What is wrong with me!?! 😦

    1. Hey Jordan! I’m looking forward to reading your review of High Rise as it’s proved to be pretty divisive. I knew you’d be keen on Wheatley, his projects sound like right up your alley. He..he.. yes my excitement for it increased tenfold w/ Sam Riley’s involvement, apparently he replaced Luke Evans here. YES check out The Dark Valley! I think you will like it Jordan, judging from your taste! It’s as far away from all the superhero/big budget Hollywood stuff. Sam is the only non-German actor in it which makes it even more interesting.

      Ok now, about Civil War. I’m not sure what you mean that you have your head cocked resting on your hand. Is that a good or bad thing?? It gives me an impression that you’re relaxed as you’re watching it but maybe I’m missing something? Totally ok if you’re not into those movies man, nothing wrong w/ you at all!

      1. I kinda meant, i wasn’t leaning forward, I wasn’t captivated, I was just kinda sitting there watching all this stuff, but was uninterested in almost all of it. And when your butt starts to hurt, you know you’re not immersed in the experience at all. I didn’t like The Hateful 8 or The Revenant all that much, but they at least held my attention so that my sore backside wasn’t really an issue.

        Sorry I am rambling, I should make a post about it and subsequently lose anyone who bothers to read my blog, haha!

        I loved High-Rise. Interesting that Riley replaced Evans – Evans is in High-Rise and probably outshines Hiddleston

        I still need to get onto that German flick!

        1. Hi Jordan! Ah ok, I was thinking that’s what you meant, that you were relaxed as you weren’t engaged in what’s going on on screen. No you should do a post on it, I mean films are subjective, just because others like something doesn’t mean you would as well. I wasn’t as crazy about GOTG as most ppl were, but having seen Civil War twice, I really like it (even more so the second time), but then again I’ve always liked Captain’s journey and this one still is mostly about him & his friendship w/ Bucky feels genuinely personal. At the same time, I can see why people who aren’t into the characters might not care about it as much as I did. I hope you do the post, Jordan, for sure you won’t lose MY readership 🙂

          YES, get on Dark Valley please, so I have someone I can talk to about it 😀

  7. Pingback: A trio of brand new trailers: FREE FIRE, LIVE BY NIGHT and THE PROMISE

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