Connect with us

Movies News

Best Tessa Thompson Movies to Watch After ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’

Published

on

Best Tessa Thompson Movies to Watch After ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’

The terrific actress that is Tessa Thompson may be most recognizable to some for her role as the heroic Valkyrie in the newest Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder or for her turn as a host in the currently airing HBO series Westworld. However, these are not the only works that Thompson has to offer. Her best performances have come in movies that are all similarly strong, spanning a variety of genres and tones that all are worth checking out. Therefore, for anyone looking to dig deeper into her filmography and all that it has to offer, we’ve got the best of the best you’ll want to see for yourself as soon as you can.

RELATED: Tessa Thompson on ‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ Taika Waititi’s Imagination, and Using the Volume Technology

Advertisement

Josie Radek in Annihilation (2018)

A science fiction exploration of the self and what it means to destroy what you were to begin anew, Annihilation has the most stunning visuals of any of the films on this list. Directed by Alex Garland and loosely based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, it follows a group of women who undertake a dangerous expedition into an unknown zone known as the “Shimmer.” What they discover there will fundamentally alter who they are and everything they have come to know about themselves. If you haven’t yet seen it, it is a film best experienced with as little foreknowledge as possible. What I will say is that Thompson as the astrophysicist Josie Radek has one of the most striking scenes in a film that is full of them. As she undergoes a transformation towards the end, the monologue she gives and the gravitas she brings to the scene are nothing short of breathtaking.


Bianca in Creed (2015)

A soft Rocky reboot of sorts that has no business being as good as it is though still proves to be anyway, Ryan Coogler’s Creed is a knockout punch of a film that benefits from consistently outstanding performances. It centers on Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis, the son of the late Apollo Creed who died in the previous films. He is looking to get training from a little boxer by the name of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in a journey that he hopes will bring both redemption and a connection to his father. Along the way, he will meet Thompson’s Bianca who becomes an integral part of the experience. A talented musician who is more than just a love interest for Adonis, the chemistry they have is undeniable in every scene they get to share together. In a film that is full of strong actors and performers, Thompson proves that she can once again carve out an outstanding presence in anything she takes on.


Samantha in Dear White People (2014)

The breakout Sundance hit that launched a series and showed Thompson could walk a tonal tightrope with ease, Dear White People is a film with an abundance of snark that it uses to tell a satirical tale all its own. Set at the fictionalized Ivy League college Winchester University, it follows four Black students as they navigate the still-present racism that is baked into the foundation of the institution. At the center of this is Thompson’s Samantha ‘Sam’ White, an art student who runs a witty radio show that gives the film its title and takes on the establishment. However, when she finds herself thrust into a leadership role that brings more pressure, she will have to reflect on what it is she wants for herself and her future. The film often plays out with skits of sorts as interludes, taking on all of the casually racist aspects of college life in America with a wink and a smile. Thompson excels throughout, bringing both humor and heart to give the story an emotional foundation. When it all reaches a climax and ends on a perfectly timed final joke, it emerges as an enduringly funny work worth revisiting.

Advertisement


Ollie in Little Woods (2018)

A crime thriller of sorts that challenges our understanding of the genre and those who must struggle on the margins of modern life, writer-director Nia DaCosta’s Little Woods is a reflective work that proves to be just as involving as it is quietly devastating. It centers on two sisters, Ollie (Thompson) and Deb (Lily James), as they struggle to make a life for themselves in rural North Dakota. It hasn’t been easy following the death of their mother, a loss that they knew was coming though still has left a hole in their lives. Now, Ollie is trying to get back on her feet after legal troubles though gets blindsided by a crisis that will leave the duo with few options for their future. It is a film that is a deeply felt portrait of their lives that also reveals how cruel and callous the world can be. Driven by desperation and with nowhere to turn other than each other, it is a grim reflection of how fraught American life can be for those that get left behind. Beautifully shot and sharply acted by a resolute Thompson, it is the type of film that sneaks up on you before taking your breath away in one fell swoop.


Irene in Passing (2021)

Poetic and profound in equal measure without ever overplaying its hand, Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut Passing is a precise portrait of two people that takes on something more. Shot in beautiful black and white, it centers on two friends who reconnect after not seeing each other since high school. Based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, it sees Irene (Thompson) discover that Clare (Ruth Negga) has been passing as white. In doing so, she has been able to marry a wealthy white man and get access to far more than a Black person would typically get in 1920s New York. What follows is a series of tense and incredibly well-shot scenes where the respective worlds of the characters begin to intertwine with disaster looming on the horizon. While Negga received a whole host of praise for her work and the way she shifted from scene to scene, Thompson is similarly outstanding. They both complement and conflict with each other, two friends who have grown distant as their trajectories have gone in vastly different directions. By the time it all comes together in tragedy, it leaves a lasting impact that is as revealing as it is utterly riveting to witness.

Detroit in Sorry To Bother You (2018)

The surrealist and uncompromising satire that also is the most vigorous feature debut of recent memory, writer-director Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and likely ever will. Placing itself in a dystopian present-day Oakland that is all-too-similar to our own, it follows the down-on-his-luck Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield) who takes a telemarketing gig to make ends meet. When he discovers he has an ability that can help him achieve personal and professional success, he will be thrown into a world where greed rules everything. Providing a crucial counterbalance to Cassius is Thompson’s Detroit, an artist who works as a sign spinner on the side. In addition to having the best earrings of any movie ever, the character also is cutting and challenging of Cassius when he begins to be corrupted. As Riley has said, she and all the characters represent the different parts of himself that he has been over his life. The result is a character that, even as a supporting one, pushes the story forward into interesting new places in the briefest of moments. In particular, an art installation scene is strange yet silly in the best way possible and a standout moment in the film.

Advertisement


Sylvie in Sylvie’s Love (2020)

A richly textured film about love and the lingering way it can take hold of your life, Sylvie’s Love is the type of work that will sweep you off your feet as its story unfolds. Written and directed with a passionate eye by Eugene Ashe, it follows two young people who meet in the 1950s and are forever changed by the encounter. The titular Sylvie (Thompson) is working at her father’s record shop though aspires to work in television. Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha) is an aspiring saxophonist that is looking to break into the world of music. Both begin a cautious flirtation which turns into a passionate love that is complicated by their respective lives and situations that threatens to keep them apart. Shot on gorgeous Super-16 mm that makes every single frame come alive, it is a film that coasts on the charm of its leads and the dynamic settings they inhabit. Thompson in particular shines once more, capturing the nuances of the character as she tries to build a future for herself with a compassionate touch. When it all comes together, you’ll be glad to have gotten swept up in its fully realized world.

Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

While the new Thor isn’t nearly as good as what has come before for the God of Thunder, Thor: Ragnarok still remains an uproarious good time that will make you forget about the most recent misstep. To see Thompson first appear as Valkyrie, drunkenly attempting to descend from her ship and falling before getting back up, is still the best entrance of a superhero the series has ever done. As we learn more about her character and the past that she carries with her, Thompson is tactile in hitting all the right comedic notes that mask her greater trauma. The way she carries herself imbues the character with a clear sense of strength and street smarts, making every scene she is a part of endlessly entertaining. When things really kick off towards the end where she struts into battle with fireworks exploding behind her, you can’t help but be stunned by the sheer magnetism she brings to the role. Sure, there are lots of other fun moments, but it is Thompson that completely steals the show.


Read more about Thor: Love and Thunder here:

Advertisement

Movies News

Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Published

on

By

Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

Advertisement

The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

Advertisement

Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Movies News

Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

Published

on

By

According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

Advertisement

To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

Continue Reading

Movies News

Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

Published

on

By

Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

Advertisement

Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

Continue Reading

Trending