Archive for February, 2017


 

jedisteps

So last night around this time I was in Texas with Aaron and my old professor Dr. Rodriguez talking about ‘Trojan War’ and the Business and life.  I’m familiar with Southern hospitality because of my roots but it was still a fun night for myself and Aaron and judging by the immediate feedback it seems the feeling was mutual.  I talked on a live microphone about a lot of the things many of you are used to hearing me say here: I’ve had an incredibly blessed life I wouldn’t trade with anyone else, I have more I plan to do, but the state of the world and my age has reignited my desire to be very active in helping the next generation do things I probably won’t see.

So short version I was on full Kenobi mode last night, thus today’s song choice.

Enjoy!

 

‘Get Out’

 

get-out-allison-williams-daniel-kaluuya

The number one movie in America this weekend is extremely clever.

As I and others have pitched, start with a Key and Peele premise (‘black guy goes to meet the parents of his white girlfriend’) and instead of one upping on the side of silly comedy, one up the stakes with awkward, creepy comedy.  And you have ‘Get Out’.

Not even a horror guy but I dug this one.  Not scary in terms of gore, scary in terms of suspense and…not really knowing exactly what’s going on until well into the third act.  It’s a hell of a step on his own play by Jordan Peele, who provides just enough silliness to cut the tension and keep the audience relaxed.  This film is a like microaggression Hall of Fame (with Obama and Tiger compliments and more than a few passive aggressive comments on the black man’s physique).  The layers here go deep, I can’t even give you a really good comparison movie wise.  My only real critique (after I had time to think about it) was the reveal of one character’s intentions came five minutes too early.

As far as the ‘racist’ critique, I know where that comes from, but I think it’s too general.  The villains in the film aren’t ‘the white race’; it’s a very specific subset.  And even the choice of that subset is part of the social commentary of the film.

So if you didn’t get to this over the weekend, high recommend here.

 

hell-or-high-water

KIMMEL: And here to present tonight’s final award, from ‘Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later’ Malik Aziz, and the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

(Malik and Obama walk on to the stage.  There’s a fifteen minute standing ovation, shattering Chaplin’s record.)

OBAMA: Thank you.  West Texas outlaws.  An African-American homosexual in Miami.  A female linguist who discovers how to take to aliens.  The films nominated for Best Picture this year are as diverse as the American experience itself, and by recognizing these films, we acknowledge that no matter who you are, or where you come from, your voice is a valuable part of why, this country has always been great.

(polite applause).

MALIK: I couldn’t agree more.  Three of the nominees are driven by female protagonists (possibly four, depending on your point of view); as you noted, one is a window into the homosexual experience, and three of the films take place within different eras of the African-American experience. If we’ve learned nothing else over the past ten years, it’s this: when we acknowledge or even agree that the most qualified option might look different than us, than racism is over.  So is sexism.  So is xenophobia.  And so is homophobia. And anyone who complains that any of that stuff still exists is a sad loser who needs to get over it. Right, Mr. President?

(Malik and Obama both try to hold in their smirks as the audience laughs…)

OBAMA: Come on man…

MALIK: Here are the nominees for Best Picture:

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Who Should Win: In another decade, I’d easily say ‘Hell or High Water’ or ‘Moonlight’ (best picture that feels nothing like a studio picture).  ‘Hell’ is this year’s best ‘right of center’ pic, ‘Moonlight’ the best ‘left of center’.  You already know what’s in the ultimate center (everyone likes something about it): La La Land.

Who I’m Cheering For: I’m not the crying type, but the only one of the above films that had me suffering from allergies in the third act was Moonlight.  And I was truly impressed by most of the field this year.

Who Will Win: As I said before, its ‘passionate’ fan base may be smaller, but across the board nearly everyone ‘likes’ something about La La Land.  Will be surprised if it doesn’t win the big one.

 

L_00129.jpg

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Isabelle Huppert – Elle

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Emma Stone – La La Land

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Who Should Win: Oh boy.  Well, let’s see.  We’re talking ‘best use of 2017 Emma Stone’ or ‘best use of 2017 Natalie Portman’ in most film geek minds.  They have two different career types, but within each of their ‘types’, my feeling is Portman’s performance is more Oscar worthy.

Who I’m Cheering For: Portman is my generation so there’s a lot of obvious bias there, but as a comedy fan I dig Emma Stone too.  The worst thing I have to say about her is in relation to her peers, she’s been very quiet as far as ‘the state of the world’ is concerned.  That doesn’t automatically mean she’s Tom Brady, just one of those things I notice.

Who Will Win: Emma Stone.

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling – La La Land

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington – Fences

Who Should Win: Very much a personal preference category.  Funny because on actor terms I like Gosling a lot, but I consider him the ‘weakest’ of these five.

Who I’m Cheering For: You look at that list and guess. Your first four guesses don’t count.

Who Will Win: Casey Affleck.

 

octavia

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel – Lion

Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Who Should Win: It’s been a good year for movies, which means the supporting categories could easily go 6 or 7 deep with worthy candidates.  None of the five nominated feel out of place in my opinion.  It’s a genuine personal taste choice.

Who I’m Cheering For: My akhi of course.

Who Will Win: Feels like this is the finishing touch for a career year for Mr. Ali.

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Viola Davis – Fences

Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Nicole Kidman – Lion

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Who Should Win: Same general feeling as with the guys, I could add a couple other great supporting roles that didn’t make the cut, and there’s one that’s really a lead but, it is what it is.  By the definition of the award, Naomie was heartbreaking in her few scenes.

Who I’m Cheering For: We’re here now so I agree with the consensus that it seems off that Viola Davis doesn’t have an Oscar, so hopefully nothing really wild happens Sunday.

Who Will Win: Viola.

 

melgibson

Here are the nominees for Best Director:

Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Who Should Win: Might as well start the ‘La La Land’ vs ‘Moonlight’ debate out the blocks.  Like MVPs in sports, is this a reward for ‘putting the most moving parts together into a solid film’ or ‘the director of the most compelling film’?  For the first but not the last time this week, there’s not really a ‘wrong’ answer and you can make a strong case for more than one person (so it’s been a good year for the overall quality of the ‘prestige pic’).  Based on what’s happened so far this season, this category has been won by the director of the film that had two movie stars (one giving a career best performance), gorgeous cinematography of the city a lot of voters work in and a story that pays tribute to old Hollywood.  That would be Chazelle.

Who I Would Have Mixed Feelings About Winning: [REDACTED]

Who I’m Cheering For: It feels like he might get his in writing but I’ll still cheer for Barry Jenkins anyway.

Who Will Win: More and more I feel like the smaller ‘Whiplash’ was a superior film, but timing and politics, so the boy wonder. Chazelle.

 

otis

Made it to another weekend.

I’m enjoying a three day weekend, so we’ll start our Oscar Predictions Monday night.

For now, may I interest you in some live Otis?

Enjoy!

 

 

erykah

Feels like I’ve been living in my rage nonstop for months now. And I know I’m not alone.

This has been the first couple of days in a long while where I’ve been able to properly channel my anger and be balanced and focused on the work I’m trying to do.

So…we hustle with love music in the background again.

Enjoy!

 

 

pun

#mood

Enjoy!

 

 

roger

MY MIND IS BLIND AT TIMES

I CAN’T SEE ANYONE BUT YOU…

THOSE OTHER GIRLS DON’T MATTER NO…

THEY CAN’T SPOIL MY VIEW…

I MUST…

MAKE YOU…

UNDERSTAND…..