Weekend Movie Review: 'The Current War' And 'Black And Blue'

Themes of ambition, humility and courage are set to hit the big screen in this weekend’s new releases. In “The Current War: Director’s Cut,” the fierce rivalry between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to power the modern world comes to life. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the film opens with a dazzling sequence.

In the mood for a crime drama? “Black and Blue” stars Naomie Harris as a rookie cop attempting to expose a murder she has witnessed by happenstance.

Here’s what to see and what to skip this weekend:

Movies Out This Weekend

“The Current War: Director’s Cut” — Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon; directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

A story about ambition and humility, “The Current War” chronicles the raging battle between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) over the best electrical current to light up the modern world — either Edison’s Direct Current (DC) or Westinghouse’s Alternating Current (AC).

It is winter 1880, and a trainload of New York magnates and influencers are on their way to the New Jersey countryside. As the train comes to a stop, a mysterious figure shrouded by darkness emerges with a glowing ember of cigar. Within seconds, Thomas Alva Edison flips a switch.

Suddenly, the swath of land is basking in the glow of row upon row of radiant bulbs— and it’s not magic! Rather, it’s a spectacular display of Edison’s latest invention — the electric light!

Also Related: Check out Patch’s interview with the film’s director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

Meanwhile, industrialist George Westinghouse hears of the big news, and his interest is piqued! Soon enough, through Edison’s assistant George Insull (Tom Holland), a meeting is arranged between Westinghouse and the great inventor.

But Edison decides to snub the engagement at the last minute without any warning whatsoever, causing a friction between the two men — a pivotal moment that will heighten their rivalry to light up the modern world.

Ultimately, the final showdown takes the two electricity titans to the 1893 Chicago World Fair as they compete to power the famous event. Amidst their cutthroat race comes Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla, a brilliant but impoverished inventor who aids Westinghouse in his ambitious pursuits.

See it. Rejon-Gomez’s variant is better than the film’s former incarnation. It has a beating heart and a spunky soul!

Watch the trailer:

“Black and Blue” — Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson; directed by Deon Taylor

In the crime drama “Black and Blue,” Naomie Harris plays Alicia West, a rookie cop who is barely in her third week on the New Orleans police force.

One night, during her shift, she stumbles upon three cops murdering a drug dealer. She witnesses the entire incident, and her bodycam captures the tragic footage. But when the trio of dirty cops see West, they turn their guns on her. Luckily, she gets away.

But she soon becomes a target of the entire police force and a vengeful drug kingpin who thinks she was the one who pulled the trigger on one of his own. Now a fugitive on the run, she reluctantly enlists the help of her childhood friend Mouse (Tyrese Gibson) in her attempt to expose the murder. Can Alicia and Mouse prevail against all odds?

See it. Harris’s superb performance buoys a screenplay that feels somewhat overwrought and overlong.

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