11 September 2017

The Atoning Review

The filmmakers provided a screener for review. This review avoids mentioning major spoilers.

The horror-suspense film The Atoning, directed by Michael Williams, gives a distorted view of an American family. The first act of the movie show this family, mother Vera, father Ray, and son Sam going through the motions inside of their home. Witnessing routine after routine is odd enough until the family sees strange visions of other people. Later, the movie shows who has to do some actual atoning, including confronting some coal-black demons, and why. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: 

20 January 2017

Accidental Courtesy Review

Unlike his profession as a musician, Daryl Davis’ methods of fighting racism isn’t always a crowd pleaser. Accidental Courtesy, the documentary featuring Davis, covers his befriending some Ku Klux Klan members and the impact of his actions. It’s a fascinating watch for how Davis thinks outside the volatile box of race relations.

As a younger (millennial) Black man, I have some mild ambivalence to Davis’ work. He has had success in turning some of his hood-and-robe-wearing friends away from the Ku Klux Klan and its sociopathic hate. For that, I am grateful that Davis illustrating face-to-face social interaction can make a difference. However, it’s a one-man movement about crossing the aisle meaning it’s slower kind of change, doesn’t end the Klan, and can send mixed signals. Some of the tensest moments of Accidental Courtesy is when Davis talks those who don’t approve of his methods, such as a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a meeting with two younger Black protesters in Baltimore. Also, Courtesy throws in footage of Donald Trump in a seemingly last-minute attempt of relevance. Davis remains hopeful while living on the brink of the Trump presidency, but how Davis deals with the alt-right would require an update a few years down the line.

Accidental Courtesy is sometimes hard to watch, but I find Davis’ effort a net positive for improving race relations. It has shown me, someone who practically lives online, how we, in general, should value getting to know each other in the flesh. Americans should be exposed to more films showing the fight against racism in action.

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: 

17 November 2016

Cents Movie Review

cents-movie-poster-topper

From an advance screener copy provided by the filmmakers.

Middle school provided some of the worst moments of my childhood. Kids were reaching peak immaturity before high school came along when we all had to make important decisions about launching our adult lives. Cents, written and directed by Christopher Boone, captures the atmosphere where kids only think they have things figured out. While Cents is free of profanity and explicit stuff, there’s plenty of bad behavior.

Math whiz Sammy Baca (Julia Flores) concocts a major tweak to her school’s penny drive program. She convinces the students operating the drive to tell one other person a day to give a penny, that other person gets another to give a penny, and so on. Sam didn’t think up a pyramid scheme out of the goodness of her heart; her taking a cut of the proceeds beats selling gum on school grounds. Penny by penny, Sammy’s saves up for a brand new toy. Sammy’s intelligent, but only at the end of the movie she shows empathy, contrition, and even a bit of wisdom.

These girls aren’t criminal masterminds, so complications arise in executing the plan and egos are bruised. Because I had trouble keeping up with names, I made names for the other members of the group: ex-BFF, Mean Queen Selena Gomez lookalike, and MQSG’s lackey. The young ladies do fine portraying basic character types, but cartoonish MQSG acts as though she’s on The Suite Life of iCarly or whatever. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: 

20 February 2015

Birdman Flies Into Overrated Territory

Birdman isn’t about the adventures of a superhero, but the adventures of a tortured soul. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: 

8 October 2014

VH1 Takes “A New Beat” to Drumline

drumline-new-beat-topper

Drumline: A New Beat steps up on VH1 premiering 27 October. The Fox TV Studios-produced sequel swaps genders for the lead as Alexandra Shipp’s Dani Raymond enters the faltering Atlanta A & T Drumline program. However, Nick Cannon will make an appearance, hopefully in a more harmonious role than gossip fodder. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

11 August 2014

A Positive Look at the Ninja Turtles Movie [REVIEW]

tmnt-2014-movie-topper

I am going to try and tackle this one from all sides. Mirage, Nickelodeon, IDW…you name it. If you are a fan of the Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) you will walk out of the movie liking the teamwork and violence in it.

If you are a Nickelodeon comic fan, then you will like Michelangelo… that’s it. If you are an IDW fan, this is as close to perfect as you can ever hope to imagine. With that in mind, I will explain the reasons why I absolutely loved this movie. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: 

4 August 2014

Smiling Rocket Raccoon Co-Creator Will Make Your Week

rocket-raccoon-gotg-movie-topper

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy kept the positive momentum for its Cinematic Universe making over $160MM worldwide in its first weekend. My friend, Roshawn Rochester, thinks Guardians is the “movie of the summer.” Now there’s further reason to delight in Marvel’s spectacle: Bill Mantlo “thoroughly enjoyed” the movie according to his brother. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: ,

1 August 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy May Be “Movie of the Summer” [REVIEW]

guardians-galaxy-movie-topper

Guardians of the Galaxy is the wildest and most fantastic Marvel movie yet! If you are looking for an out of this world, drag you by the seat of your pants, sci-fi action comedy, look no further!

THE movie of the summer is out now and it is amazing! Even with all the fantastic jumps we’ve made in technology, this movie is teeming with the 80’s, and the amalgamation of old and new school is mind blowing. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: ,

8 July 2014

Punk the Capital Spotlights Early DC Punk Scene

punk-the-capital-title-card-topper

The underground music scene in Washington D.C. forever altered the definition of punk, taking it from nihilism and pulling it towards something constructive. Within this unlikely town in 1979, generations, musical genres and powerful personalities created a volatile mix that has influenced music and culture around the world.

Punk the Capital, Straight from Washington D.C., directed and produced by veteran D.C. filmmakers James Schneider and Paul Bishow, captures the essence of D.C. punk from its source and steers shy of nostalgia, making this history relevant 35 years later. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: 

22 June 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction Review: How Good Is It?

transformers-age-of-extinction-optimus-dino-bot-web

This has been my favorite Transformers movie YET! I went in expecting the worst, after seeing the changes made to Grimlock, but walked out completely entertained. This new series builds on the first trilogy and does it in a way that you don’t have to watch all of the movies again. But if you watched Dark of the Moon again, it wouldn’t hurt.

Though series alums Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and the always funny John Turturro are not in this movie, that doesn’t mean the cast is any less exciting. … Continued &#187

Posted by | Email the author

Tags: