Friday, December 2, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
AMSTERDAM
ANOTHER ROUND
BARBARIAN
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (2022)
BINGEABLE: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (2022)
BINGEABLE: ALASKA DAILY (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANDOR (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: HACKS (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: INSIDE MAN (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LAST LIGHT (2022)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (SEASON 2) (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BABY (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE BEAR (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE ENGLISH (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE WATCHER (2022)
BINGEABLE: WELCOME TO WREXHAM (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: YELLOWJACKETS (2021-present)
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
ENOLA HOLMES 2
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CAUSEWAY
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DAY SHIFT
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HALLOWEEN ENDS
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: MONTANA STORY
NEW FLICKS: MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE CITY
NEW FLICKS: PREY
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: SIGNIFICANT OTHER
NEW FLICKS: THE GOOD NURSE
NEW FLICKS: THE GRAY MAN
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: THE OUTFIT
NEW FLICKS: THIRTEEN LIVES
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE MENU
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
THE WOMAN KING
THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING
TILL
TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: CLEAN (2021)

‘The Woman King’ delivers an emotionally resonant epic adventure

THE WOMAN KING

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF TRISTAR PICTURES, JUVEE PRODUCTIONS, AND WELLE ENTERTAINMENT

THE WOMAN KING


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Movies Lompoc, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

In this fictionalized historical epic based in truth, Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights, The Old Guard) directs Dana Stevens’ script from a story by Stevens and Maria Bello about the Agojie, a band of all-female warriors that protected Dahomey, a West African kingdom, in the 17th to 19th centuries. Set in 1823, the story centers on Nanisca (Viola Davis), who is training a new generation of Agojie that are determined to protect the Dahomey way of life. (135 min.)

Glen: Colonialism and the slave trade were joint horror shows, and at the heart of this particular story is a civilization trying to survive an invasion of evil while also saving the soul of their society. In what is undoubtedly an idealized and sanitized story, we have the Kingdom of Dahomey, which just wants to live in peace but is being threatened by nearby tribes. When they engage in battle, they take captive the enemy survivors and sell them to the Europeans (and in this case Portuguese Brazilians), just as their captive soldiers have been sold. King Ghezo (John Boyega) is walking a tightrope, and his General Nanisca (Davis, in a fierce, thoroughly compelling performance) seeks to guide him away from the slave trade and toward palm oil. Warlord of the neighboring Oyo tribe, Oba Ade (Jimmy Odukoya), is a willing participant in the slave trade and seeks to overthrow and subjugate the Dahomey people. That’s the backdrop, but the heart of the story is Nanisca and her female warriors, in particular new recruit Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), an insolent but deeply motivated trainee. The characters are thoroughly compelling, the performances are engrossing, and the world they inhabit is detailed and tangible. This is a helluva epic adventure tale complicated by layers of drama.

Anna: Why this currently has only a 5.8/10 rating on IMDb right now I can’t fathom. Davis is such a strong lead, and this role gives her a lot to work with. Nanisca is tough but also loving, headstrong but for good reason. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the historical happenings in Dahomey to speak on whether this movie follows any threads of truth or is simply using the setting and circumstances as a jumping-off point, but either way, the story is compelling from beginning to end. The group of recruits is a mix of young women either rejected by their families or captives brought from other villages the Agojie defeated. The young women are told to look out for themselves, yet they also must look after each other. They can never get married, never have children—they give their lives to the cause of protecting Dahomey. I found both the storyline and the visuals worthy of nothing less than a view on the big screen in a darkened theater.

Glen: IMDb may be off the mark, but Rotten Tomatoes seems more representative of our experience with a 94 percent critics’ score and 99 percent audience score. The film is stunning, and it’s worth noting that this is a very female-centric production. The director, the screenwriter, the story writer—all female—as are the director of photography, Polly Morgan; the film editor, Terilyn A. Shropshire; and the casting director, Aisha Coley. The battle and action scenes are incredible (within PG-13 constraints), but the film has more heart than most epics, in large part because we come to realize how much these women support each other. In a male-dominated world, they hold their heads high and never look away, and we feel their pride. Bring your tweens and adolescents to this one. Lessons abound.

Anna: It’s definitely a great film to share with your kids who are old enough to handle the violence. It isn’t overly gory or anything, but there are definitely a few moments that could upset younger or more sensitive kids. It felt empowering and important, and I can’t sing higher praises for the cast and crew that put this film together. Both visually and story-wise, it was a total winner in my book.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










Weekly Poll
What do you think about a farmworker resource center in Santa Barbara County?

It's a great way to create a network of collaboration and reach people in need.
It's been needed in the county for a long time and should have been made earlier.
We don't have the funding now, but we should come up with ideas in the meantime.
We don't need it. There are plenty of resources readily available.

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