A Week In Film #441: Hmmm

Oklahoma City title screen
Oklahoma City
Powerful documentary by Barak Goodman about the bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in 1993 by Timothy McVeigh, and the circumstances leading up to it, such as Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Ambushed 1998 title screen
Ambushed (1998)
Started promisingly for a shlocky thriller – a man is brutally murdered one night witnessed by his son! Turns out he was a KKK leader! The FBI team includes a black Agent! Soon the kid and the Agent are on the run together! – but it’s spoiled by a prematurely signalled twist and over-long, poorly staged action sequences.

With Courtney B Vance (Law & Order), Virginia Madsen, Robert Patrick and Jeremy Lelliott as the kid (with a voice seemingly borrowed from Edward Furlong), plus super-brief cameos from the likes of William Forsythe, David Keith and William Sadler. Director Ernest Dickerson was a long-time Spike Lee collaborator who debuted helming his own movies with Juice; but after a bunch of lacklustre efforts like this, by the mid 2000s he wisely concentrated on directing epsisodes of TV shows like The Wire, The Walking Dead, Dexter and Treme.

Crossfire title screen
Solid noir from Edward Dmytryk about GIs returned home after the war getting caught up in an anti-semitic murder (changed from the homophobic killing of the source novel). With Roberts Ryan, Mitchum and Young, plus Gloria Grahame and Jacqueline White.

TITLEstarwarsepisode7theforceawakensStar Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens title screen
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Kudos to JJ Abrams for taking the series back to its in-camera effects, live action roots. Some stunning action sequences, great characters, great villains, and a sweeping, epic arc. Plenty to commend it.

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