Archive for April, 2019


$1.2 Billion. You’ve all seen it by this point but as usual won’t be too detailed…

Someone half joked they should go ahead and give Kevin Feige the Thalberg at the Governor’s Awards this year (which is basically the Academy acknowledging someone has had a Hall of Fame career as a producer). It’s a funny line but I mean… he’s got to get it someday right?

We’ve all been trained to think of the great film series as trilogies (Star Wars, the Godfather, the Lord of the Rings, etc.) We’ve just witnessed a nearly universally agreed upon great film series told over TWENTY PLUS FILMS. It’s absurd. We’re all even conditioned now to not get up until after all the credits are rolled. They’ve changed the movie going experience.

As far as this film on its own, ‘The Dark Knight’ is the last time I remember everyone (film geeks, hardcore fan boys, casual fans, adults, kids) ALL being this happy with a sequel walking out of the theatre. The nitpicking can begin after repeated viewings, but as I started telling people Friday morning, ‘It’s as fast a three hour film as I can remember.’ From the first scene to the last, you’re in. The payoffs feel earned all the way through.

What’s really scary now is what’s next. The last ‘Skywalker’ film is coming out this year, and it’s lot of ‘Well OK’ right now. This generation of Star Wars is supposed to be ‘we have women and diverse leads now’ but the MCU can very easily take that thunder. DC seems to have found its way by finally saying ‘Don’t worry about a ‘Universe’; this is this story and sure we’ll reference other characters in this world from time to time.’ You’re telling me the next generation of Marvel films can’t start being true one-off stories (and probably do it much better with an already well established Universe)? My, my, my…

Genuinely looking forward to seeing it again in the theatre…

Advertisements

I’m about…80 percent into ‘Malik X’ mode as the homies call it (bring on Ramadan 2019…)

I have a good feeling ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is going to bring me down. I have a good feeling this Sunday’s episode of ‘Thrones’ is going to bring me down even more.

So let’s go into the weekend with something sweet and positive and innocent before we get our feelings hurt.

Have a good one gang; movie review Sunday night.

Like most of everyone in the KU circle, I was shocked when word got to me that Justin Vanoy passed yesterday.

We weren’t close. Different fraternities, different inner circles. But the black social circles at KU are pretty small; and if you’re in the Greek life, you absolutely knew of each other if you weren’t hanging out. I can still clearly see Justin dancing when I walked into the Burge like it was only a couple Saturday nights ago.

Time has passed; our last connect was surely my birthday and his. Hope you’re well, glad you’re healthy, that type of thing. I’m about a week or so away from the annual social media vanishing, but I have to say it was nice to see how many of you posted pictures and kind words about your memories of Justin. I went through this with my Frat brother passed, but we should all hope when our time comes, the people we leave behind have really GLOWING memories of how we left them.

This was definitely a jam from our youth. I don’t even remember this video but the song takes me back. Enjoy.

Rest in Power Justin.

Oh yes…

So, other than giving me bittersweet flashbacks of the young Moroccan girl who was the first one to call me habibi, I can’t say enough good things about the new Hulu series ‘Ramy’.

The premise is super simple, Ramy is a young Muslim American living in New Jersey trying to find his place in his own culture and his place in the world while making his way in modern day society. ‘Master of None’ came to mind for some obvious reasons but you quickly have to put that comparison away. Aziz’s story was/is about a young New York actor with only passing references to his Muslim heritage.

‘Ramy’ goes all in.

All in to the point where I know there are words and phrases and customs used for in jokes here that killed me that many of you may not realize why it’s funny. All in to the point that the personal life history of the character (the Muslim girl whose maybe ‘too’ traditional for you, the Jewish girl you connect with because, ‘not celebrating Easter’ for example, is a better bonding point than you would think, the white person whose a little too attracted to your ‘otherness’ and not interested enough in you as a person (the sister’s story), there was a lot of ‘Oh damn’ as I worked through the ten half hours. Let’s leave it at that.

The cliffhanger at the end of episode ten…I don’t know where we go from here. But I want to find out.

High recommend, even with my obvious bias.

I mean…

This woman is my generation’s Michael. There’s no more debate. I’m old, that might not have been up for debate for a while. But this concert film closed the book on that. Michael, mixed with Tina Turner. I’m also the product of HBCU grads, my childhood had the Homecomings and the Bayou Classic trips, so the visual themes she used for this show; I was one of those people sitting at home saying ‘Yeah, ya’ll don’t know about that.’ But it’s still super impressive. To say the least.

Another common link, which some of you share: I know how many months go into a crisp, ‘perfect’ live performance, whether you’re talking about a step show or a play for the theatre. So the part of the film I enjoyed the most personally was seeing her show how much goes into the ‘one night’ you actually see. Even if you’re not in the Beyhive, how can you not respect the damn work ethic?!?

Final point from me, which Very Smart Brothas devoted a whole post too: she covers one of the most iconic Black songs of all time at the end, ‘Before I Let Go.’ You didn’t know you wanted it. You didn’t even think anyone would have the guts to even TRY to cover it. Then you hear how she modernizes it and personalizes it for how soul has evolved since Frankie Beverly and Maze first did it, and even now I’m just listening to this like…

COME ON!!!

The movie is well worth the public discussions we’re all having.

Here’s her cover. I dare you not to enjoy…

I was worried I was catching this exhibit at the end of its L.A. run, but as it turns out, it’s here til September 1st.

For the L.A. folks, if you haven’t made it down to the Broad lately, I can’t recommend enough ‘Soul of a Nation’. The exhibit covers several decades of black art (up to the present), and how artists specifically have tried to use their platforms to express their own feelings of isolation and rebellion.

There are pieces that reference Dr. King of course. I was naturally drawn to the pieces that referenced Malcolm, Angela Davis and Fred Hampton. Even the photographs and some of the Black Panther materials are interesting to see for those of us too young to have lived through that time (even if you don’t think of them as ‘art’ in the traditional sense.)

I still feel fired up just thinking about it. Again, the exhibit will be here til September 1st; if you get a chance and you’re in town, must see.

In my zone to start the week. Things are in motion.

Here’s some live Sammy to get you going.

Enjoy!

I’m not here to argue with any of you about the company he keeps, or if he’s truly ‘redeemed’ from past indiscretions.

I’m acknowledging the athletic accomplishment and the man’s kids being old enough now to appreciate in person how good their dad is at what he does.

I knew Nike wasn’t go waste any time.

Enjoy.

Has DC figured it out? It’s starting to figure out DC has figured out its lane…

Every movie is its own thing (like most comic books). Some silly, some over the top, some stories great metaphors…

I’ve heard about the allusions to Taxi Driver and the King of Comedy for awhile, now that I’m seeing this trailer…

I’m intrigued. I’m definitely intrigued.

We shall see…

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 21: Actor Jordan Peele attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_011 (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner Image)

RIP Nipsey Hussle. The kid is not of my generation but I knew who he was. I still feel very upset by his murder, like many of you. So nothing silly to start the week.

Don’t know if you want to go in on the new ‘Twilight Zone’ yet? CBS All Access did us a solid and put the first episode online.

Enjoy.