Category: Movie Reviews


 

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Quincy Jones has had a career and a life that just won’t me duplicated.

EGOT.  He opened the door for Oprah to go to the next level.  He opened the door for Will Smith to go to the next level.  Nearly any creative I know would feel like his 90th biggest accomplishment would easily be their 1st.

So it’s impressive that ‘Quincy’ does such a good job of giving an overview for how much he’s done over the years while blending in enough of a personal element to balance the story out.

I could be hear all day talking about Q’s accomplishments, so I’ll just pick a few highlights:

  • Sinatra is one of my guys, so the chapter detailing their relationship was riveting for me.  How much respect Frank had for him, how Q was right there with Sammy when Sinatra spoke up about really integrating Vegas, the album ‘Sinatra at the Sands’ (a personal favorite).  All gems.
  • Like Kendrick said, my generation was introduced to Q through MJ.  The music nerd in me was equally happy to hear him credit Rod Temperton as one of the great songwriters, but getting behind the scenes footage of their professional bonding over ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘Thriller’ was cool.
  • I should have figured as much, but Q produced the concert that opened the Smithsonian African-American Museum.  Just seeing him walk through the pop culture exhibit and realize he produced or worked with damn near every person in the music section is another shake your head ridiculous moment; but seeing this man still producing massive events in his 80s is…humbling.

The film is co-directed by his daughter Rashida (side note: I’m far too young to know of a young Peggy Lipton, but seeing her with no context, my first reaction was still, ‘Oh, that’s Rashida Jones’ mom), and it’s well worth the two hour watch if you’re any kind of pop culture nerd.

High recommend.

 

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Still buzzed from watching an IMAX print of ‘the Dark Knight’.  Tenth anniversary and on a weeknight the place was still packed (well played Warner Brothers.)

No film is perfect of course (the ‘Heat’ and ‘Se7en’ influences feel heavier now),  but that film is still a quick 2 and a half hour ride.

  • Adapting comic book characters in a ‘realistic’ setting…
  • the villain who is actually brilliant and not simply ‘crazy’
  • practical stakes (humanity as a whole wasn’t going to end no matter who ‘won’)
  • And Heath Ledger…still…

And the hero had to lose in order to eventually win.  I said it ten years ago, I knew at some point Warners was going to reboot the IP (too much money to be made), and I’m still fine with whatever comes next.  My generation got the hero we deserved AND wanted.

Last post before the holiday, have a good one.

Back next week.

 

 

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Not exactly what I was expecting, and also all in at the same time.

Making a note to self to make sure I’m back on HBO to start 2019…

 

 

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Mahershala.  In an awards season release.

I’m there.  Done and done.

 

 

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So yes, to say Spike is ‘back’ is condescending.  He’s been working.  The word I thought of last night as I walking out of the theatre was ‘accessible.’  This is the most accessible Spike Lee joint in a little bit.  My parents have no interest in seeing (and probably don’t even know about) ‘Chi-raq’ and ‘Da Sweet Blood of Jesus’, but they already asked me if I have an awards screener for ‘BlackkKlansman’ (which makes me chuckle).

Co-written by my old KU professor Kevin Wilmott, this film dramatizes the true story of Ron Stallworth, a black police officer who ‘infiltrated’ the KKK in the 70s.  John David Washington does fine carrying the movie as the title character.

Adam Driver: hates doing press, says absolutely nothing about his personal life, just wants to work his craft (so naturally I like him) probably plays his most ‘likable’ character so far.  Minor spoiler but he has a mini monologue about ‘passing’ about halfway through I thought was really good.

Actually, the character acting across the board here is A+.  Corey Hawkins shows up near the beginning as Kwame Ture and sets the tone for the film with a great sermon.  Topher Grace is hilarious as the kindly, corporate Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke.

Anytime we (the audience) got too comfortable, there was always a subtle (or at the end an overt) reminder of how dangerous and scary things get when we don’t check extremism.

Definitely a film of ‘America 2018’.   High recommend.

 

 

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Barry Jenkins’ trailer dropped this week, and I’m about to hop back onto HBO for Issa, and pretty high odds I’ll have some thoughts on Spike’s new movie next Sunday, and Tessa is…Tessa…

So this is as good of a video to start the week as any.

Enjoy!

 

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I’ve already been hit up by multiple homies about ‘Transformers: the Movie’ coming back to theatres for a one night only showing.

Then my buddy Dio just sent me this video…which I never knew existed until now, so of course I have to share it…

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

 

 

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Been cackling at my desk for the last ten minutes…

I’m a big fan of the first Mission Impossible, but never really thought of them as heist films (which I also love) until now.

Time to cede the floor today to Michael Tucker and ‘Lessons from the Screenplay’…

 

 

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Still keeping it light…

Discover hit me this morning with ‘Everybody Dance Now’.  Not a bad video.  I remember C + C Music Factory.

But when I hear that song, the first thing I think of is not THAT video…

But this all timer from the Simpsons in their peak.  Homer is worried Bart might be gay and tries to introduce him to more ‘masculine’ role models.  You know the rest…

OH BE NICE!

 

 

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‘Lessons from the Screenplay’ has quickly become my favorite video essay series in breaking down why some films and TV shows work (and some don’t)…

Today, Michael Tucker breaks down Killmonger and Black Panther, and to say I was enthused by his thesis is an understatement.

Enjoy!