Black or White
After Elliot Anderson (Kevin Costner) watched his daughter die in childbirth, he and his wife took responsibility for raising their granddaughter together.
The film opens as Anderson’s wife has just died, leaving him as the sole carer of Eloise (Jillian Estell). Despite the difference in both age and race, the two make a good team, but when Eloise’s absent father reemerges after drug problems, her paternal grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer), stakes a claim for shared custody that will ultimately end up in the courts.
Costner puts in a great comeback performance and really holds the film together, along with Spencer, as the whole thing succumbs to becoming a rather drawn-out courtroom drama.
Mike Binder is a director used to handling uncomfortable emotions with films like Reign Over Me and The Upside of Anger, but while Black or White has good intentions, it ultimately doesn’t push the boundaries far enough, preferring to play out as a very safe race relations melodrama.
The Protector 2
When the prized elephant Khon is stolen from a rural Thai village, Kham (Tony Jaa) must once again battle to free his lifelong companion, this time coming face to face with Mr LC (rapper RZA), an arms dealer and ringleader of a circle of brutal fighters. This is a film that hinges on its (many) fight scenes and, while the physical ability of Tony Jaa is jaw-dropping, if you take them away, there really isn’t much there. Poor acting and an even worse plot.
Mikel (Álex González) falls for Ari (Adriana Ugarte), a waitress he meets at the engagement party organised for him and his fiancée. As his involvement with Ari grows deeper, he is sucked into her underground world of illegal street races and jewellery store heists. No matter how you look at it, director Daniel Calparsoro has essentially produced a souped-up, second-rate Spanish take on The Fast and the Furious.
REC4 comes full circle as it extracts the young TV presenter who was trapped in a building full of zombies in the 2007 film that kickstarted the Spanish horror franchise. She is taken out to sea on an oil tanker for examination and mistrust quickly spreads throughout the crew as the demonic virus breaks out once more.
Bollywatch: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy
Based on the fictional character created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is set in Calcutta during World War Two and follows the eponymous detective on his first adventure. Fresh out of college, the young Byomkesh Bakshy (Sushant Singh Rajput) is forced to pit his wits against one of the most villainous criminals the world has ever seen in order to foil his evil plans.