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  • The Problem With Moonlight Written by Terrance Knight

     

     

    A few weeks ago, the 89th Academy Awards ended with a stunning fiasco, Moonlight was revealed to be Best Picture after LaLaLand was announced the winner by accident. A lot of people called Moonlight’s Oscar win to be “a landmark in diversity for Hollywood”, especially for black cinema. However, it seems clear that there are shenanigans at

     

    While Moonlight is a well shot, well acted film, featuring heavy subject matter about being black and gay in the ghetto, the movie is honestly rather dull. People praise Moonlight for it’s elegance and subtly especially when it comes to Chiron, the understated main character; the only problem is that he’s doesn’t really do anything. He’s such a passive protagonist; he doesn’t really make any decisions to push the narrative forward, making Moonlight quite the chore to watch.

     

    I know some might say, “how dare you? Moonlight is a masterpiece!” but honestly ask yourself, do you really come out of the theater knowing anything about Chiron, other that the fact he’s gay and lived a troubled life? People love to criticize LaLaLand for being “Hollywood escapism” and having mediocre singing, but at least Ryan Gosling’s character had goals, ambition, and interests; he made decisions that impacted the story. The same goes with Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, he played a combat medic in WWII who made the decision to be a pacifist during WWII. That’s called a compelling protagonis.. Moonlight simply asks the audience to feel sorry for this boring black kid in awful circumstances.

     

    You could never convince me that Moonlight didn’t win in order for old white Hollywood to prove “hey, we’re not racist! See!” The very fact that Damien Chazelle won Best Director for LaLa Land was further indication that Moonlight’s win was a smart political move on behalf of the Academy, and a smart one at that. A year ago, Creed and Straight Outta Compton, two incredible films that featured black characters, directed by black men, were not even nominating despite being among the best films of that year. The Oscar for Moonlight simply feels like an apology for hashtag #Oscar’s So White. To clarify, I’m not beating on Moonlight for the sake of it, I just want films to be recognized for it’s own merits, not for fulfilling a SJW quota. I do believe Moonlight is a really good film, with some amazing shots and thought provoking content… but the most exciting things in this blatant Oscar bait involved a chair and a hand job at the beach. Let’s keep it real.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Secret Window and Blow Dvd Movie Review by Keith Henry

     

     

     

    Watching the trailer of Johnny Depp's latest film Black Mass that will be released later on this week, inspired me to go to my Johnny Depp collection and review two of some of my favorite JD films Secret Window and Blow are the films i choose.

    Secret Window directed by David Koepp is a psychological thriller about writer Matt Rainey (Depp) secludes himself to his cabin to combat his writers block and depression that was brought on by him discovering his wife's infidelity. John Shooter played brilliantly by John Turturro comes to Rainey and claims that he plagiarized his story. The psychotic Shooter is willing to do anything including murder to get justice.

    This is JohnnyDepps most Hitchcockian film, yeah I said Hitchcockian. Depp and Turturro play well off each other a must see for any Johnny Depp fan, if you haven't seen it. it has a great ending that Hitchcock himself would be proud of. 

     
      Blow directed  by Ted Demme, Depp is a Johnny classic. Based on a true story about one of the most notorious drug traffickers in U.S. history. George Jung was largely responsible for making Pablo Escobar the richest drug lord in the western hemisphere . Ray Liotta who plays George's father in my opinion stills scenes from Depp he's fabulous in this film. This is also one of Penelope Cruz most memorable roles. Depp really makes you like this character, I doubt that the biggest drug dealer in America was this charming a  Great film definitely worth revisiting.
     

     

     

     
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  • Mark Hamill Speaks about the Absence from Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

     Star Wars: The Force Awakens International Teaser Trailer

    When the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted online two weeks ago, one of the many things fans were quick to notice was the lack of characters from the original trilogy. Speaking with Yahoo!, original and returning cast member Mark Hamill talked about the reasoning behind this.

    “This is about the new generation of characters; I think that’s the most important thing. It’s the opening act of a whole new approach to the storytelling. So I never thought that the stories would be – first of all, I never thought I’d be involved in it again, period. And then when George [Lucas] said that they wanted to do more, I rightly assumed that it wouldn’t be our story, because we had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This must be our offspring and the current generation, with us there lending the kind of support that Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness did in the original. So no, that didn’t surprise me.  And I mean, I’m one of those people where I just think, ‘Keep me out of it. I’ll ruin it, I’m sure!’ [Laughs] I’ll show up and just ruin the whole thing.”

    Hamill also spoke about the practical effects used in the film, including the previously-dubbed “Ball droid,” which we now know is called BB-8 and Hamill reveals is a practical effect.

    “They never cease to amaze me with what they’re able to come up with, you know? I said, ‘How are you ever gonna top R2-D2, the most adorable droid in movie history?’ And then they have this new one. I can’t even tell you his name, but you saw it in the trailer, and when they were demonstrating how they did this thing, live on set — because it’s not CGI, that’s a live prop — I was just amazed. They let me play around with it. [Laughs] I was running it all around at the creature shop up in Pinewood. I’m telling you, it’s an absolute delight. And not having thought that I’d ever go back there, to go back into that world, is just – I get the chills. It’s just so much fun.”

    Also starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou, the J.J. Abrams-directed film will debut in theaters on December 18, 2015.

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  • Watchmen, why i loved the comic book, but have mixed feelings about the movie! By Van Young

     

     

    Back in 1988 i work for a small Special Make-up company i came across the Graphic Novel Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons.  i immediately rush out to buy the book after reading it. being in love and being behind two years after it was published in 86. i always said to myself this would make a great movie. 

    After hearing rumours a movie version was in the works i was hyped! but hearing the great action producer Joel Silver brought the rights to it and was attaching cast name like Arnold Swarzenegger, Burt Reynolds, Kevin Costner and the first draft Scripted written by comic book writer Samm Hamm screenwriter for 89' Tim Burton's Batman. i got a hold of Hamm's Draft of the script. when i read it i was appalled! Hamm's draft had no character development to a graphic novel that was all about characters. especially to one of my favorite characters Rorschach a superhero who had no superpowers only a mask to hide his idenity, and a grapple gun, for those who read it, Rorschach is the main reason i loved the book! his character comes across as a Travis Bickle. like Batman he is psychologically damaged goods. if Hamm's version would have got produced. i would have protested, maybe being the only one.

    Thats why the book resonated with me for many years. Warner Brothers shelf the script. and sat on the shelf for years, until rumours resurfaced that director Terry Gilliam was interested in doing his adaptation of the book. Gilliam being a wise choice and one of my favorite directors i knew it couldn't go wrong from the man who gave us the movie Brazil and the Adventures of Baron Munchausen. i got a chance to attend a los angeles convention in the mid 90's he was telling his audience that he prefered doing Watchmen in a HBO mini series. which i thought would have been a good idea, you could cover the all of the 12 issues. but Gilliam's version never got off the ground either. i got a hold of his draft of the screenplay too! his version was way better, than Hamm's version. the only problem i had with Gilliam's version he changed the ending, for those who read the book know what i've been talking about.

    Flash to 2008, director Zack Snyder got a greenlit to do a movie version, coming off the success of the movie 300 which i didn't careful but i didn't like gladiator either so what the hell! when Watchmen came out, saw it the first weekend it came out my reaction was somewhat pleased but still numb over movie version. Alan Moore called Watchmen the unfilmable.  i disagree with the author. he later would come out and say Snyder's version was close to the book. my opinion Synder's was not the director for doing this movie! his adaptation was looking too much at the source material in the comic book instead of adding something on his own, which make a good director. take notes from Peter Jackson's Lord of Rings films although i liked the mood, costumes, production designs, even the acting in the film. all of the actors believable. Early Haley's Rorschach, Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, Patrick Wilson as the Nite Owl. Malin Ackerman as the Silk Spectrer 2. the miscast was Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt the Ozymandias my opinion they should went for a Tom Cruise, he did have a blond hair in the movie Collateral. i tryed watching Watchmen for a 2nd time, but my opinion still stays the same on the greatest comic book that could have been made into the greatest comic book film. which still hold 1978 Superman!

     

     

     

     

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  • Gangster Rap! a love and hate...... and my Movie Review for Straight Outta Compton! by Van Young

     

    Relocating to Los Angeles from phoenix Arizona and being a native from Chicago i've witness Hip Hop in it's embryonic stages. from Rapper delights to the Breaks to the masterpiece the Message by the Furious five.

    Being a lover of all kinds of music, and a lover of Hip Hop during the late 80's, the crack epidemic was in the last stages, and the prison industrial complex was emerging. albums like It takes a nation of millions to hold us back by Public Enemy and Ice-T album power!

    West coast rap group Nwa came out of nowhere, with very little airplay,  remembering  seeing them on the cover of a Rolling stone magazine or was it Spin magazine? there was allot of Hoopla over the name itself. i remember a female friend saying why they gotta called themselves niggas? i had never really listen to the group when they came out. i 've herd the song Boys in the Hood by Eazy E, that song was so popular i went to my sister's funeral in Iowa, the song had reach out there! i didn't hear the Straight Outta Compton album until early 90's. my friend's cousin, now turned Los Angeles best morning radio personalty, used to play the album in his cadillac.

    West coast gangster rap was taken it's toll. even when the Chronic and Doggiestlye album came out i've refused to listen to the music. i immediately went back to disco music, i didn't appreciate west coast music until 4 years later when me and my friend Eric we're hitting the club every weekend. now i jokingly say gangster rap grows on you like herpes.

    Now over 25 years later a biopic film comes out about the rap group Nwa. in fact after seeing the trailer, i had no desired to see the movie even posting the trailer on this site! but after seeing the movie i was wrong! this 

    movie grabs you in the first few minutes, introducing newcomer actor Jason Mitchell playing Eazy E to actor Corey hawkins playing Dr dre listening to Roy Ayers everybody loves the sunshine in his bedroom, to O' Shea Jackson Jr playing his father Ice Cube writing lyrics in his notebook riding a school bus. director F Gary Gray Images of the 80's 90's hits home, the scene of Dr Dre struggling to make ends meet, giving his mother $50 she telling him to take a job, instead of inspiring your dreams, a lot of black males dreams are crushed by the women in they're life. Dr dre persuade Eazy E to start a record label and Ruthless records was born. Eazy meeting Jerry Heller played by actor Paul Giamatti who gets eazy and NWA a record deal, the group records straight outta compton album with the running into the police, Ice Cube comes with the song F... the police! which they preforms and get threats from the police and the FBI. seeing them preform the song on stage, i could only imagined, if i was in the audience amped up, with the my middle finger in the air!

    Director F Gary Gray got good preformance out of all the cast! giving the world's most dangerous group a human side to them. i remembered ice cube when he left the group, leaving because manager jerry heller didn't pay him royalties. showing how blacks for so long got screwed over in the music industry. he left the group doing the Death Certificate which he cover's the song No Vaseline, probably the greatest dissed record in history! This movie has a lot of antagonists. but i can't say who. dont know if it was jerry heller, the police, suge knight or even eazy e. Dr Dre leaves ruthless, starting his own label with suge knight starting Death Row Records, where he's introduced to a young Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, who looks haunting a like. after a second viewing, a friend said to me if they dubbed his voice to sound like Tupac. one scene Giamatti's Jerry Heller character looking at Suge Knight at a pool party no words exchanged. letting Heller know there's a new sheriff is coming!

     I wish they could have made the film 10 mins longer, the two who didn't get much screen time were Mc Ren and Dj Yella. Mc ren character was looking mad on the screen while Dj Yella was the comic relief in the film. but the actors who stood out were Mitchell eazy and giamatti's heller, alot of great dialogue between the two. director F Gary Gray has made a instant classic, right up there with his first film Friday, i hoping they release a longer version of Straight Outta Compton for the dvd. if not, i'll settle this version, making this film the best of 2015!

     



     

     

     

     

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