Entries in movies (47)

Wednesday
Jun222016

NNN Episode 239 - Pacific Rim 2

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Topics: All about the squee-ful news of Pacific Rim 2 plus the news that John Boyega will take the lead role!

Friday
Jul032015

Magic Mike XXL Review

Having only seen about half of the previous Magic Mike while in a drowsy haze (and being told it wasn’t very good), I didn’t expect the sequel to be much different. I thought perhaps it would hit that elusive “so bad, it’s good” mark and be great to torture friends with, much like how we turned Fifty Shades of Grey into Fifty Shades of Grey Goose. However, If not that, at least seeing these incredibly attractive guys do incredible things with their incredible bodies would be stimulating at the very least.

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Friday
Jun262015

NNN Episode 204 - Periods & Dudes

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Topics:  In Nerdtastic News, the CW is developing a new Hawkgirl solo seriesVin Diesel is going to play 'Kojak' in the movie reinvention of the classic tv series, Black women science fiction writers we all should know, Miles Morales is offically the new Spider-Man and the tv show, Hannibal, has been cancelled. The Black Owned Business of the Week is Lady Fay Hair who offers afforable hair extensions that aloow women to protect their natural hair while expressing their personal style. 

Our main topic this week is discussing well written female characters.  Our guests, Chris & Na'amen, from The Adventures of Yellow Peril and The Magical Negro podcast come on the show to help us out! What makes a well written female character? Let's think beyond just physical strength and the Bechdel Test.  What female characters came this close to being well written but fall short?

Monday
Jan262015

Go See Selma

There has been massive buzz and effusive praise for Selma, yet we all know the dangers of too much effusive buzz. You can ride high on that wave but the silver screen reality often leads to massive let down. Nevertheless, if I were any less full of praise for Selma, I would be lying. Ava DuVernay has created an inspirational masterpiece.

Selma covers the trying times of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches. That were led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film benefits from keeping the focal point to a moment in time rather being a biopic centered on MLK. Although Martin Luther King Jr. is the core, things doesn’t stop with him. The story zooms out past the notoriously patriarchal retellings of the Civil Rights Movement to include the women who were there.  

Special attention is paid to Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey), Diane Nash (Tessa Thompson), Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo -- her second time as Mrs. Scott King!) and Amelia Boynton (Lorraine Toussaint). Selma shows how women were some of the first to act, working behind the scenes and walking on the front lines, risking their lives in effort to gain the right to vote. While the film makes it clear women had just equally important and dangerous roles, they don’t get nearly the time they should. Selma just barely passes the Bechdel test. I would have really appreciated one more scene of women talking amongst themselves.  

Although each character is based on a real person, far too often the passage of time flattens out their dynamic humanity; they become sainted and sanitized. This is particularly true of Dr. Martin Luther King. Whiteness has taken Dr. King’s legacy and turned it into their “personal puppet that says “I have a dream” when you pull the string.” Concerning the recent unrest in the U.S., some have suggested that the modern protests be more like days of old. That black people need a sensible, peaceable leader like Dr. King; completely ignoring the fact that he was assassinated by the government anyway.

Luckily, Paul Webb’s script clears strips away that revisionist history. We get to see Dr. King and Coretta as completely human people who struggle with their personal faults, as well as the dangers and sacrifices they had to face. David Oyelowo is a revelation as Dr. Martin Luther King. His speeches feel fresh and engaging. You can see why Dr. King was an enthralling leader, but also how the burden of leadership wore on him and his family.

Selma takes you to backstage of the Civil Rights Movement. We are witness to fraught and frustrating meetings between Dr. King and Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson). We’re also witness to how those in the movement reacted to knowing they were being bugged and watched. We see disagreements about which way the movement should go and how civil disobedience works as strategy. We find out how the march --which was a plan B -- even came to fruition.  We see why SNCC and the SCLC did not always get along. That even though the goal of freedom is shared, the path to achieve isn’t as agreed upon as revisionist historians might have you believe.

Not only is Selma meticulously directed and wonderfully well acted, it is gorgeously lit with strict adherence to the period. Each beautiful image slide across your eyes in rich tones, with lighting specifically calibrated for African-American skin tones.

I wanted to cheer at the end of every speech. Witnessing the violence in scenes of the march made my blood boil, but Selma isn’t a film about pain and crying. I know many have reservations about seeing another film where black people suffer, but Selma is more than that. Selma is a film about bravery, fighting for what is right, and following through. I’ve never seen so much of the audience remain seated through the credits, transfixed by what transpired.

If past is prelude and considering our current political climate surrounding civil rights, Selma feels prescient.

I was lucky enough to experience Selma before the current controversy about LBJ’s portrayal took hold in popular discourse. This burden placed upon the historical drama (not documentary) began when Joseph A. Califano Jr. (President Lyndon Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs from 1965 to 1969) inked a review for the Washington Post that included this sentence:

“In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted — and he didn’t use the FBI to disparage him.”

LBJ was supportive of the CRM, however, The March on Selma was not LBJ’s idea. Although in the movie LBJ does not march with Dr. King and tries to dissuade him from demonstrating, he isn’t a villain in any sense. The film portrays LBJ as admittedly begrudging but ultimately relenting, in agreement with MLK, and getting the VRA passed. LBJ is on the right side of history and justice, yet folks are still very upset.

Another controversy surrounding the movie is the Oscar snub. Nicole Sperling writing for Entertainment Weekly quotes a member of the notoriously majority white, senior citizen, majority male academy who says, “It’s almost like because she is African-American, we should have made her one of the nominees,” says one member. “I think that’s racist. Look at what we did last year with 12 Years.”

(Infogram courtesy of Lee and Low)

Ladies and gentlefolk, what we have here is a case of the privileged being absolutely unable to deal with the fact they are not always heros. They haven’t always been The Help we need and often been on the wrong side of justice and history. Even when the very deserving 12 Years A Slave wins awards, it’s not something Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o accomplished, it’s about what the academy members did. It says, “Your work would have been nothing without us. Aren’t we so kind to do this for you?”

The truth is Selma is actually excellent in every sense. Selma is about those who did the footwork. Those who spent their time and their bodies to achieve what is promised to every American by the Constitution. Selma is about how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.

Go see Selma.

Friday
Dec192014

NNN Episode 181: Black Movies Can Be Silly Too!


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Topics: We read through some twitter feedback about Episode 179: #DEMSLAGSBEREADIN.  We realize just how much trolling we can get from own audience.  Next, we discuss the Graveyard Shift Sisters's article about Colorism in Sci-Fi and how dark-skinned characters from books suddenly turn very light in the movie adaptations.  Our co-host, Jamie, brought up the question "Does every African-American story have to be positive?" on twitter and we discuss the topic in more detail on the show.

Monday
Jun232014

What happened at Pixie Hollow?


I am a disney fan. Not the man, but the movies. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I paricularly love what they're doing with the disney fairies series/movies. I've always been a fan of Tinkerbell and I like the glimpse into Pixie Hollow.

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Friday
Nov012013

NNN Episode 134: Halloween Edition

Image from Beyond Hollywood site



Topics: New Element in Periodic Table, Charmed reboot, LinkedIn pulling a Facebook, Facebook removing options, and Halloween movies.

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Friday
Aug162013

NNN Episode 124: Pleasure Principle

 



Topics: Michelle Obama releases rap album, Apple sue happy, Oprah denied purse, hollywood loves whitewashing, Trueblood, and Pacific Rim love.
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 Don't forget to submit your questions for the next Nosy Nerd Corner with Melissa.

Nerdtastic News:

Saturday
Aug032013

I, Sentinel #31WriteNow

So.... new X-Men movie is coming out soon.... you know, the one that's supposed to pull together the old trilogy, the two Wolverine movies and First Class using the Days of Future Past storyline from the comics. If you haven't ready that particular series, you may still be familiar with it because it was the basic storyline for the 90's X-Men cartoon.

Any of this sound familiar? I'm going to pretend you said yes either way, but just to make doubly sure you understand I'm going to show you this picture.

That's right, those big, purple robots from the cartoon/comic are set to be in the upcoming X-Men film along with apparently everyone from any X-Men movie ever, but the movie robots don't look anything like the above.

 Although I'm glad they didn't keep ANY of the design from the cartoon (let's face it, the late 80's/early 90's was not a great time for character design, no matter how badly I want Jubilee's yellow jacket) the real world Sentinel seems to fall really flat. Maybe it's because we don't see them doing anything yet, but nothing about these robots gives off a sinister-hidden-beneath-service-robot kind of feel. I'm hoping as we get closer to the release date for the movie we'll see something that makes them more interesting but until then, I'm unimpressed.

Thursday
Aug012013

NNN Pacific Rim Special - Don't Kiss on the First Drift

 



Topics: This is a very special episode of NNN featuring our friends from other sites! De takes time to talk about Pacific Rim and all of it's jaeger glory with Arturo from Racialicious.com, Martin and Sharon from Cinemosity and Grace from arewomenhuman.me. Spoiler alert: They're all potentially Drift Compatible.

Grace [Twitter | Are Women Human]

Sharon [Twitter | Nerdy Little Secret]

Arturo [Twitter | Racialicious]

Martin [Twitter | Nerdy Little Secret]


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