Celie and her younger sister Nettie are being raised by an abusive father in southern USA, near the start of the 20th Century. They have just lost their mother, and so far their father has taken the two children he raped into Celie and killed them in the woods. Now, though, their father’s eye has begun to wander onto the blossoming Nettie, so Celie is married off to a widowed man who needs a wife to take care of his house and his three unruly children. This new man turns out to be just as bad as Celie’s father, and it doesn’t help when he spends all his time pining for a lost love, in the form of Shug Avery.
On the planet Krypton, the elders have disrupted the planet’s core and caused it to begin to erupt. Everyone on the planet is doomed, except for a small, barely explained plot contrivance that allows one newborn baby to be launched in a pod and sent to another planet that will be hospitable to him, but where the atmosphere and density are different enough to provide him with extraordinary powers. Krypton explodes, but the baby arrives safely on Earth, where he lives his life as a loner, the last of his kind, until General Zod, an exiled Kryptonian soldier, and his crew discovers the baby – now a man named Clark – on Earth. Look, it’s fucking Superman, alright? You know what happens. Alien baby, adopted by Ma and Pa Kent, Dad dies, kid can fly, run really damn fast, x-ray laser vision, falls in love, glowing green rock, Daily Planet, threat against the planet, saves the world. Yadda yadda yadda.
Chaos descends onto the world when a deadly, and highly contagious, illness descends worldwide, seemingly beginning with Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has just returned from a business trip to Hong Kong. The CDC are soon brought in to deal with the situation, but things rapidly spiral out of their control as the illness spreads across the country. We follow the outbreak from the points of view of those desperate to stop it, members of the public affected by the crisis, and the few who see it as an opportunity for personal gain.
Christopher Walken landed a rare starring role in Abel Ferrara’s 1990 thriller as NY crime lord Frank White, recently released from prison and patrolling the rain lashed, neon-lit underbelly of his city. With the aid of his crew, Frank sets out to fix the city that has fallen apart in his absence, whilst retaining his criminal status, something cops Wesley Snipes and David Caruso rather object to. Also featuring Lawrence Fishburne, casting a shadow over everyone else’s performance as Walken’s right hand man and overall manic chicken-eatin’ mother fucker Jimmy Jump, and small roles from Steve Buscemi and Lost’s Harold Perrineau, if anything this film focuses too much on the policemen, and would have benefitted greatly from more Walken (as indeed could every film). He is the titular king, the film is his story, yet he seems to be a lesser character in it, though he is the most interesting as he disposes of the competition that have been running his city into the ground, and walks coolly and calmly away from a kill. I don’t think the ending did him justice either.