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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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  • They Live Movie Review by Marshall Gordon 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “They use their tongues to deceive!!! The venom of snakes is under their lips!!! Their mouths are full of bitterness and curses, and in their paths, nothing but ruin and misery, and the fear of God is not before their eyes!!! They have taken the hearts and minds of our leaders. They have recruited the rich and the powerful, and they have blinded us to the truth!!! Our human spirit is corrupted. Why do we worship greed??? Because, outside the limit of our sight, feeding off us perched on top of us from birth to death are OUR OWNERS!!! They have us!!! They control us!!! They are our masters!!! Wake up!!! They're all about you, all around you!!!” – The Street Preacher

    This powerful and very poignant quote from the opening scene, bares the truth of a society that would rather succumb to an eternal slumber like state than know the truth around them.  Surprisingly this quote comes from a film released in 1988. “They Live”, John Carpenter’s classic Sci-Fi horror film is like a bucket of cold water poured on you when in a deep sleep. Written by Carpenter and Ray Nelson from his short story, “Eight O’clock in the Morning”. The film follows Wrestler Roddy Piper as the wandering drifter coming to Los Angeles looking for work. He approaches a construction site, gets a job there and befriends another construction worker named Frank Armitage played by Keith David. Frank then proceeds to take “Nameless” or “Nada” (During the end credits Roddy’s character is referred to as “Nada” but he never gives his name or referred by a name throughout the entire film) to a local shantytown for food and shelter. “Nada” is suspicious of the small church across the street from the shantytown because of some odd behavior going on. While investigating he realizes the church is a front and hides in the back where there are lots of card board boxes stacked. Still in hiding, “Nada” over hears a secret meeting amongst some of the inhabitants including the leader of the shantytown played by Peter Jason. Later that night, the police surround the church and bombard the shantytown and its inhabitants with violence, tear gas and bull dozers. Most flee while others pay a terrible cost. Frank escapes and “Nada” as well but the next day “Nada” returns to the small church and investigates again. The church has been emptied but “Nada’ notices a secret compartment with a card board box inside, he takes it then leaves. In an alley, “Nada” opens the box and discovers a bunch of cheap looking shades inside. He takes one pair to keep then hides the rest still inside the box underneath some trash on the ground near a garbage can. While walking down a street, “Nada” puts on the shades and discovers and sees the world in black and white with some very startling differences. A billboard that without the shades had advertisements now, displays the word “OBEY” boldly. He sees “MARRY AND REPRODUCE” on another billboard he then sees, “NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT” on a Men’s apparel sign and “CONSUME” on another sign. “Nada” in shock begins to walk lost on what he is seeing. He then stumbles onto a magazine stand and sees more disturbing messages posted, “BUY”, “WATCH TV”, “NO THOUGHT”, “STAY ASLEEP” and “SUBMIT”. He then grabs a magazine and opens it and even more messages, “DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY” and “NO IMAGINATION”. “Nada” then see an older Caucasian businessman and begins to stare because through the shades this “man” looks like some alien creature. The “man” confronts “Nada” with a question, “What’s your problem???” still in shock; “Nada” can do nothing but stare at what he is seeing. The “man” then gets in his car and drives off; “Nada” still in disbelief then gets confronted by the magazine stand attendant. The attendant’s appearance is human but in his hand is some money and seen through the shades “Nada” gets the most disturbing message throughout the entire film, “THIS IS YOUR GOD”.  “Nada” later becomes an “alien creature” killer and a wanted man in doing so. He meets and kidnaps Holly Thompson played by Meg Foster and tries convincing her of what he has seen. He then forces her to take him to her apartment. When “Nada” removes the shades they seem to weaken him and in his weakened condition, he gets kicked out of a window by Holly that nearly kills him. He also realizes he left the shades at Holly’s apartment. Back in the alley where he left the other shades in the box “Nada” gets confronted by Frank. What proceeds next is probably one of the greatest and longest fight scenes ever filmed. This fight has a much deeper meaning in my opinion. “Nada” represents the truth and he is fighting for it tooth and nail while Frank represents the blindly comfortable. It is why he refuses to simply put on the shades to see the truth because he doesn’t want to see or know it. After the melee, “Nada” puts the shades on Frank and he finally sees what “Nada” was trying to tell him…The Truth. Later, “Nada” and Frank meet up with the survivors of the small church including the leader. They are given contact lenses that work just like the shades and also “Nada” sees Holly amongst the people meeting to rebel against the aliens. She is there because she put on the shades that “Nada” left behind after she kicked out of her window. She tells him she believes now. Suddenly the police raid the meeting and begin shooting and killing anybody than can. “Nada” and Frank escape in an alley via a wrist watch that opens a portal to an underground facility. While there they run into another drifter played by George “Buck” Flower they met at the shantytown. They also discover he is one of many human collaborators with the aliens (in other words…a sell out!!!) Later, “Nada” and Frank begin a gun battle with the police and guards of the facility (Which above is a Cable TV Station where they are) in the office floors. They again run into Holly once more because she is an employee of the station. “Nada” runs up some stairs toward the roof thinking Frank and Holly are behind him but right after “Nada” runs further away enough Holly suddenly pulls out a gun and shoots Frank point blank in the temple…killing him (The brotha’ almost made it to the end).  “Nada” on the roof, notices the broadcast antenna. Holly also makes it to the roof and takes aim at “Nada”. He then finally realizes she is a sell out as well. Using a gun hidden under his sleeve, “Nada” kills Holly then takes aim at the antenna. A hovering helicopter with alien police snipers aboard fatally wounding “Nada” but he does get off a shot destroying the antenna in the process.  In a true show of defiance, a dying “Nada” flips the alien snipers on the helicopter the middle finger and with the antenna destroyed the world is forced to wake up and see the truth. 

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