Now out on Blu-ra via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 100 Streets is an ensemble driven narrative that’s headlined by Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton. Although the indie drama is powered by the star power of its leads, the feature’s most arresting moments come from co-stars Charlie Creed-Miles and Franz Drameh.
Set within one square mile of a London area, 100 Streets tells three seemingly disparate stories that eventually thread together. Max (Elba), a retired rugby player who’s struggling to save his crumbling marriage to Emily (Arterton), is further detoured by womanizing and drug abuse. George (Charlie Creed-Miles) is a cab driver who seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and his seemingly strong bond with his wife Kathy (Kierston Wareing) may be forever altered due to a recent tragedy.
Serving as the de facto anchor of the narrative is Kingsley (Drameh), a troubled youth who makes money as a drug dealer. Kingsley’s life may take a turn for the better after befriending a theater director (Ken Stott) and Emily (tired of being just a sportsman’s wife, Emily is resuming her acting career).
Director Jim O’Hanlon, a veteran TV director (Shameless, Sleepy Hollow), brings a seamless efficiency to the proceedings and never lets these interweaving narratives go off the rails. Elba and Arterton do solid work within their respective stories, but it’s the sheer desperation and turmoil that Drameh and Creed-Miles that makes 100 Streets a memorable experience. Drameh, in particular, is a talent to look out for, and his natural charisma and talent is probably one huge reason he’s a regular on the CW series Legends of Tomorrow (he plays Firestorm).
Although an audio commentary from O’Hanlon would have been welcome, the Blu-ray comes with the 15-minute featurette “A Look Inside 100 Streets.” It’s an in-depth look at the logistical challenges of making the ensemble drama (the picture was shot in just 35 days). O’Hanlon, the producers, Elba, Arterton, and Drameh are among the cast and crew that’s interviewed in the featurette.
Zombie apocalypse movies are a dime a dozen, but the new film The Girl With All The Gifts puts an innovative spin on the well worn genre.
Set in the near future, a young girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua) has a special bond with a nurturing teacher named Miss Justineau (Gemma Arterton). They both live in a military base that’s surrounded with zombies, and when the base is overrun by the undead, the pair, along with several military officers (led by Paddy Considine) and a doctor (Glenn Close), fight for their survival.
Although most humans are immediately turned into zombies upon infection of a fungal disease, but a group of children still retain a semblance of their humanity even after being exposed to this virus. Thus, Melanie is a blend of a human and a zombie, and her struggle to embrace both parts of her identity drive the film. Thanks to first rate storytelling and engaged performances from ensemble, The Girl With All The Gifts is a top notch and surprisingly evocative thriller.
Also covered on this week’s CinemAddicts is Dying Laughing, an insightful documentary on the joys and pains of being a stand-up comic. Although it’s mainly a talking head documentary, the movie never grows wearisome thanks to its stellar line-up of humorists (Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Kevin Hart are among the interviewees). The comics don’t pull their punches when describing their respective challenges, especially when it comes to bombing on stage. Though Dying Laughing isn’t as funny as the title suggests, the documentary is worth watching, especially if you’re passionate about stand up comedy.
Click on the media bar below to hear this week’s episode of CinemAddicts.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters took out the box office competition to debut at the #1 spot. Starring Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner, the adventure flick grossed $19 million, easily besting second place finisher Mama ($12.8 million). Budgeted at $21 million, the acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook took in $10 million for third place and an overall domestic take of $69.5 million. The Jason Statham feature Parker had a miserable weekend opening, taking in just $7 million and sputtering to fifth place, with the comedy misfire Movie 43 laying an egg with $5 million and a weak seventh place result.
Here is this weekend’s top 10:
1. Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters – $19 million. To hear Gemma Arterton talk about playing Gretel, click on the media bar below:
With a lack of buzz surrounding Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, I fear the worst for this 3D movie, which does boast the lead talents of Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) and Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans).
Fifteen years after escaping a witch, Hansel (Renner) and Gretel (Arterton) are now bounty hunters who are more than willing to take down numerous witches at the drop of the hat. Written and directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola, the feature is lensed by cinematographer Michael Bonvillain (Cloverfield, TV’s Lost) and is produced by Will Ferrell and director/writer Adam McKay.
I’ve been eagerly waiting for another excellent Arterton showcase after her overlooked work in 2010’s Tamara Drewe, and while Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters probably won’t reach that film’s creative heights, at least it gets her further up the Hollywood ladder.
Hollywood Outbreak interviewed Arterton for Tamara Drewe, and during our talk she expressed her deep love for the theater (she mentions Mark Rylance’s work in the acclaimed play Jerusalem in the clip):
With Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and the James Bond flick Quantum of Solace under her belt, Gemma Arterton was pretty much primed to topline her own high profile action film. She gets her chance, opposite Jeremy Renner, as the two play the titular heroes in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
While promoting the underrated drama Tamara Drewe a couple of years back, Arterton said that even with her success in film, one of her biggest goals is to direct theater. “I suppose my ultimate goal is to direct theater,” said Arterton. “And that’s why I do varied work all the time. I just want to learn enough about it that people will listen when I try to direct them in something (laughs) and respect it. But every time I get a new part offered or I go up for something, I’m always surprised what it is. I’ve not got anything in my mind on what I want to achieve, I just want to do good work that I’m proud of.”
To hear Gemma Arterton talk about the close knit relationship between Hansel and Gretel, click on the media bar below: