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. Continue reading “The Atoning 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.
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. Continue reading “Cents Movie Review”
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. Continue reading “VH1 Takes “A New Beat” to Drumline”
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.
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.
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.