Category: Movie Reviews


One thing I’ve been asked about more than a few times referencing ‘1/30’ is how has it been having someone who is not Black or Muslim directing this story. I’ve told anyone who would listen that Vishnu (the director) from pre-production on has been hyper sensitive (in all the right ways) about not being disrespectful to my point of view.

Lena backs this up (which should surprise no one) in the intro to today’s behind the scenes webisode for the AT&T Hello Lab.

Enjoy!

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Episode 3 of the behind the scenes webseries for the AT&T Hello Lab doc is live now. More Lena in this one.

Enjoy!

Pioneer. Rebel. Activist. Sammy Davis Jr. is definitely one of my ‘historical’ mentors.

American Masters is nominated for an Emmy this year; one of the episodes is a full documentary on Sammy.

In light of an actual review, since it’s Public Broadcasting the full doc is still available to view for a few more days. If you have an hour and a half free, I highly suggest checking it out.

Enjoy.

A few non spoilery thoughts on number 9 out of 10 from Quentin…

  • This was his love letter to the LA he grew up in, and it shows. The atmosphere is before my time, but Hollywood and some of the specific locations played well (especially with the LA crowd I saw it with). The Dome, the Valley, even a freeway on ramp I take all the time, but seeing it in the movie was a very ‘Oh wow’ moment.
  • Kind of crazy this is the first Leo/Brad collaboration. They reportedly want to work together again, and it shows on screen. Leo’s new school Methodness and Brad’s eternally laid back cool are perfect compliments. And in actor’s speak, for two of the guys of my lifetime to play actors who never came close to being ‘The Guy’; I’m sure that was fun.
  • The Manson Family: Wasn’t ruined for me so I won’t do it for you. Even within the film, the suspense of how ‘that night’ played out was not overly telegraphed. It’s the most Tarantino sequence of the whole movie, and the way it plays with history is generally accepted. Tarantino rarely wastes words or elements in his scripts, so things that are set up early (that seem meaningless) do come into play at the end, and I had to nod at the craft a little.

Enjoyable if not great by his own standard.

100% True.

A couple of nights ago, I was reading Idris’ profile on Vanity Fair where he talks about his path in Hollywood.

The next day, I’m quoted and featured on their website.

When things move sometimes, they move SWIFTLY.

Thanks to Vanity Fair, THEM, and Mitu for the coverage of my AT&T Hello Lab class.

Links below:

https://www.vanityfair.com/branded/article/vfr/lena-waithe-helps-emerging-filmmakers-tell-their-stories-with-the-atandt-hello-lab-mentorship-program

https://www.them.us/branded/article/them/lena-waithe-empowers-emerging-filmmakers-to-tell-their-stories-with-the-atandt-hello-lab-mentorship-program

Don’t think it was an all time Marvel movie (admittedly that bar is pretty high now) but I didn’t really dislike it either. A few non spoiler thoughts:

  • Tom Holland: these kids don’t know how good they have it. Tobey was fine, Andrew was fine, but man this kid IS Peter Parker. Young looking, earnest, always in just a LITTLE bit over his head in and out of costume. It feels like it’s going to be awhile before I get tired of this kid in the role. Likewise…
  • Zendaya: as MJ is also pitch perfect. Their chemistry together is fantastic. Playing ‘too cool for school’ as a defense mechanism as opposed to actually playing too cool for school, she’s great on her own, and teamed with Holland they have the high school crush thing nailed down.
  • Mysterio: genuinely knew nothing of the character going in, I had a feeling of what the reveal would be, but HOW they did it was interesting. Don’t know if it felt completely plausible, that’s my biggest nitpick with the movie. But the special effects tied to Mysterio’s character were fantastic. Scary in the right way.

Not completely sure yet how Marvel’s next Phase is going to play out, but I’m still interested. Recommend.

Liked it, didn’t love it. Spoiler free thoughts as usual. First what I dug…

  • The celeb who makes fun of themselves is ‘kinda’ played out at this point, but Ed Sheeran hit the perfect balance. He never really goes into over the top mode, whenever Jack one ups him, he falls back into ‘I mean, man, that’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard’ mode, which is a nice in joke for this story.
  • Kate McKinnon. She still hasn’t really had her solo breakout yet (as a movie star), but man when she is put in the right part, so much fun to watch.
  • There’s a line early on where Lily Allen’s character says (I’m paraphrasing), ‘How do I get out of the friend zone and become the woman who inspired ‘And I Love Her’ and ‘Something’? And I audibly said ‘DAMNNNNNNN’ in the theatre and I really wish the whole movie would have focused on that and not kept going back into fantasy world.

Also in the ‘ehhh’ file…

  • You probably know the premise here: ‘the Beatles’ never existed so the main character writes their songs and takes credit for it. Some other things apparently didn’t happen in this alternate universe, and it’s REALLY random and some of it predates the Beatles and the ‘joke’ of it takes you out of the story when it happens.
  • To clarify, the Beatles don’t exist as the most iconic pop band of their generation, but the lads from Liverpool do exist, just as completely anonymous people living ‘normal’ lives. They never see the perks of fame, they never see the dark side of fame. You can probably take an educated guess where this goes. I won’t spell it out other than to say, it’s cute and idealistic, but still a little off putting.
  • I will spoil this since it has no real effect on the story: Lily Allen’s character dates a guy, when the A romance comes together, her live in boyfriend LITERALLY steps to the side with a smile and says something like ‘well those are the breaks mate.’ WHAT IS IT WITH DUDES IN RICHARD CURTIS MOVIES?!? Or is it English guys in general who are like this? Either you think love is this rare but magical thing that, if you’re lucky, happens a handful of times in your life (and thus you will deal with some type of devastation/heartbreak when it doesn’t work out), or you’re just ‘well maybe next time’ all the time which is not freaking love?!? I need answers.

With all my complaints, I still have to recommend this. The kid does a credible job covering most (not all) of the songs. Especially one of my all time favorites by any artist. Worth seeing (or getting the soundtrack).

Free time is always a question these days, but if not next weekend, I’ll be catching this movie as soon as I’m able.

Even to be much more of a John guy than a Paul guy, I have to admit I was never as crazy about this song as others. Maybe because the first version I heard was the Boyz II Men cover? Who knows.

But this is a nice cover. Even let him sing it at Abbey Road. OK…

What? No, I’m not jealous anymore. Really.

Also, me watching this…

Related image

Enjoy!

This will be short (I think.)

I’m not going to try to name check everyone who helped me get to this point, cause someone would be left off.

What I will say, to both my ‘day ones’ (or whatever the kids are saying these days) and to the communities I’m here to represent: I’m one man, telling one story that comes from my experiences, but I’m also respectful of the opportunity and the platform (and the potential reach). I think every religion/spirituality has some version of ‘God does not place a burden on you beyond your ability to handle it.’ Whatever people have thought of my ‘potential’ over the years, this is happening now, I feel, because I’m truly ready for it.

Looking forward to you all seeing ‘1/30’.

Hope all had a good Father’s Day.

Everyone doesn’t have good relationships with their fathers. Some don’t have any relationship. Some do but it’s really toxic.

I have a great one. First of one of many good breaks I’ve caught in life, but probably the most important.

So I’m running back the ending from ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to start the week. I catch the ‘allergies’ every time. One of my favorite character actors working today. Great, mostly monologue lifted directly from the book.

Enjoy.