In Tupac: Resurrection, the story of late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur is told viscerally through the use of his own words. Veteran documentary filmmaker Lauren Lazin uses Shakur's music, images and past interview clips to weave the complexity of this artist's abrupt life.
The 90-minute film opens to the sound of gunshots that signify Tupac's birth into a violent world, as well as his ultimate violent death. From here, the documentary chronologically depicts Tupac's life, taking the time to focus on his relationship with his mother, former Black Panther Afeni Shakur, for whom he had a great deal of respect.
What's most impressive about the documentary is how the viewer is drawn to Tupac's multifaceted character. He portrays himself as a tortured artist whose life task was drawing focus to the horrific poverty that he grew up with and that still plagues America. Still, the film manages to be celebratory, focusing on Tupac's life ambitions rather than the mystery that surrounds his murder.
-- Leah Colins
Russell Crowe plays Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubery in this adaptation of Patrick O'Brian's series of novels following the adventures of Lucky Jack and his best friend Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) during the Napoleonic wars. The film begins with the French vessel Acheron attacking and crippling Aubery's ship, the HMS Surprise, and follows Jack as he hunts down the Acheron on a quest for vengeance … la Captain Ahab.
Master and Commander is overall an entertaining period epic, and the battle scenes, while at times confused, are fun. The true heart of the story, however, does not lie in the battles between the Surprise and Acheron, but in the relationship and interaction between Aubery and Maturin. Crowe and Bettany give heart-warming and often comical performances. Most scenes in the movie, however, feel disjointed from each other, leaving the audience slightly bewildered as to the point of the story as a whole. While Master and Commander lacks the qualifications of an excellent movie, it will leave the audience satisfied.
-- Clayton Neuman