Tuesday, December 09, 2014
"Beyond the Lights", a bit self-indulgent for me, at a flashy new Regal multiplex in northern VA
I visited the new Regal facility at the Springfield Town Center today, to see “Beyond the Lights”. A few comments about the facility are in order. If you look it up on Google, you may pull up the Kingstowne, which is two miles away in Alexandria (from 2006). In fact, the entire mall is designed for easy access and exit to and from I-95/395 or the Beltway, although you need to know the Mixing Bowl pretty well. Don’t bother to get on Old Keene Mill Road first. The theater does have a bar, which is the first time I’ve seen this at a Regal facility. But the printer for the ticket machine didn’t work, and no one was available to come and take care of the matter. Finally, the attendant had to let me into the auditorium without a ticket.
The film, directed and written by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is a rather indulgent story of rap singer Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is so perplexed by her success and fame for winning a Billboard Music Award in London that she is about to jump to her death. A young cop Kaz (Nate Parker) saves her and talks sense back into her life. Over the time, they develop a relationship. But Naz is a threat to another (white) boyfriend, Kid Culprit (Machine Gun Kelly aka Richard Colson Baker), whose conveniently hairless (“thmooth”) body is decorated by tattoos, resembling Justin Bieber. After she starts performing in LA, Machine Gun usurps a performance. Later, Noni goes on a vacation with Kaz to Tijuana, Mexico, offering a little virtual travel.
Danny Glover helps anchor the film as Captain Nicol.
The official site is here. from Relativity Media (aka "I am Rogue"). Originally, it was thought that Sony Pictures Classics would pick it up.
The soundtrack has many songs that will sound familiar to those who visit discos, such as “Gratitude” (by Diane Warren, sung by Rita Ora)(during the end credits).