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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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  • Rocky 3 Dvd Review By Marshall Gordon 3

     

     

    Rocky III is fantastic film on facing and overcoming the number one obstacle that holds back millions of people from achieving their goals…Fear. In the previous films, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone…also the writer & director of the film) was the “everyman”, the relatable “lug” with the issues that some and/or most of us have faced at some time or another at one point in our lives…In other words, in “Rocky’s  1 and 2”, Rocky was you, Rocky was me, Rocky was us. What made Rocky III stand out was that from the very beginning of the film starting with Rocky winning the ‘chip from Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) at the end of Rocky II, the film goes immediately into a montage of Rocky’s rise of fame, celebrity and wealth (…with Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” playing throughout the montage).

    All while that is happening, there are glimpses of a large brotha’ rockin’ a ‘hawk attending Rocky’s fights…Then the film shows him training with a determination and a fire like he is ready to do battle. Rocky has had 10 successful title defenses after defeating Apollo and someone else has been winning and steadily rising in the ranks…the mysterious ‘hawk rockin’ brotha’ known as Clubber Lang (Mr.T…In his acting debut) but Rocky’s trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith) has noticed and has been watching Clubber’s fights and Clubber in turn notices Mickey and then proceeds to tell the crowd and Mickey after he just knock a guy out through the ropes of the boxing ring, “I WANT BALBOA!!!...I WANT BALBOA!!!”…YOU HEAR DAT OLD MAN!!!...YOU TELL BALBOA I’M COMIN’ FOR HIM!!!...NOBODY CAN BEAT ME!!!...YOU TELL HIM WHAT I SAID!!!...HE’S NEXT!!!...I’M GONNA KILL HIM!!!” Damn…It’s a lot going on in that montage but still great and quite unusually bold to start a film like that. This is definitely a different Rocky from the previous films. Rocky III would probably be considered the “comic book” film of the Rocky series but that doesn’t make it any less of a film with a deep message behind it. Rocky’s rise, fall and rise again are a character study on complacency, narcissism, fear, doubt, drive and determination…Brilliantly written. Clubber Lang is easily top ten best villains in cinematic history but is he really a villain??? Clubber wasn’t evil…Clubber is a warrior…He was frustrated…He was hungry…A Beast that wants to be recognized as such…and he was simply put tired of being pushed to the side and being “ducked”. Hear was a very talented boxer with superior skills and consistently being over looked…Sound familiar???...Clubber is Rocky (before the wealth and fame)…A very angry and disrespectful Rocky but he is Rocky…He wants his shot…He deserves his shot. Clubber said it himself perfectly in another scene from the beginning of the film speaking to reporters after his fight, “I want a shot at the title and if Balboa got the guts he’ll meet me in the ring or anywhere else…My whole life has been directed towards this here title and nothing else…I live alone and I train alone and I win the title alone...I want him…He can’t duck me forever…He can run but he can’t hide.” That sounds like a man driven by pure fearlessness, conviction and tenacity not some villainous nature. Mr. T’s performance was fantastic…He stole the film from everybody and had the best lines. The scene where Clubber confronts/provokes Rocky while Rocky is receiving a statue from the city of Philadelphia is one of the best scenes in the entire Rocky series. The scene shows the audience exactly who Clubber Lang is and what Rocky will be dealing with later on in the film. Clubber not only calls Rocky out and hits him with some hard factual truths but he also hits on Rocky’s wife, Adrian (Talia Shire) right in front of him while questioning Rocky’s manhood…Like I said earlier…Disrespectful but great. Apollo gets some of that disrespect as well…Mickey got that disrespect in a couple of scenes then died later and not because of the disrespect but because he had a heart attack. As morbid as this may sound, Mickey had to be sacrificed in order for Rocky to reach a level of confidence he never had before.

    Every great heroic “comic book” character has traveled this  road…Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Daredevil…etc.…etc.…Losing Mickey and being pummeled by Clubber during the first fight destroyed Rocky on so many levels…His confidence, courage and persistence perished right along with Mickey and his Championship title reign. Apollo saw what Rocky was lacking and why he lost the way he did…Rocky didn’t have that hunger…As Apollo put it, “You lost that fight Rock for all the wrong reasons…You lost your edge.” Apollo then becomes the trainer that Rocky needs to defeat Clubber Lang but there is still several obstacles in his way…Rocky’s fear and self- doubt are the hurdles in the way of him truly receiving the knowledge and confidence to overcome his own uncertainty. This fight is more than just about regaining a title…This fight is about regaining what Rocky had…The eye of the tiger…The edge. They went back to square one with the training…back to the beginning…To Los Angeles…The hesitancy still lingers within Rocky even while training. Apollo notices and calls Rocky out on it…Apollo’s, “THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!!...THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!!” phrase toward Rocky is still a very chilling wake up call to anyone feeling down and out about themselves…”Never put off tomorrow, what you can do today.” Another fantastic scene right after that was the Rocky confronted by Adrian scene…Very powerful…Adrian gets “The Greatest Wife in Film” award from me for this scene.  We all know how the film concludes and in my version of the film Clubber Lang is STILL the Champ!!!... (I’m just sayin’)…but I could go on and on about this film and how fantastic it is. Rocky III is one the best part 3’s in cinema and definitely one of the most motivating films as well. Watch this film and get that edge. I guarantee Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” will be on the playlist afterward.  

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  • Dope Movie Review! By Van Young

     

    Rick Famuyiwa's new movie Dope is coming of age story of three high school students from Inglewood. Malcolm played by Shameik Moore along with his two friends Diggy a lesbian played by Kiersy Clemons and Jib who's has a small percent of african american so he claims played by Tony Revolori.

    Lovers of 90's Hip Hop culture and have they're own punk rock band. Malcolm dream of going to Harvard university the three friends wind up going to nightclub for a underground party which he falls for a girl Nakia played by Zoe Kravitz. Malcolm and friends get in trouble when meeting a local drug dealer stash Ecstasy in malcolm's backpack which he must makes a choice. Having to deal with SAT test other drug dealers chasing him. His choice to be a geek or become Dope like the title of the movie!

     Famuyiwa's Dope movie is a Quirky comedy that's fun fresh with energy with unexpected twist. Along with a killer soundtrack, a must for 90's pop culture and Hip Hop fans.

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