Category: Movie Reviews


It’s not an exaggeration to say I idolized Michael Jackson as kids. There’s no movie star, athlete or musician even close to his level now. So I’ll start there and add, my head hurt watching this, and I’ve seen/heard enough of the stories calling the centerpiece of this documentary an opportunist and a liar. I can’t prove anymore than you what did or didn’t happen so I’ll take the Oprah route and try to talk about this ‘one step removed’…

The artistry is one thing obviously, but for us reclusive, creative types, the way Michael carried himself was in some ways equally as appealing (for a while). Depending on where your biases lie, you have fun with some of the rumors you hear about yourself. Is he gay? No? Well, is he interested in black women? (I’ve had my own dances with these ‘false but no harm really done’ misdirections.)

But if you have people asking ‘Is he a pedophile?’ See… that’s WAY too far over the rumor line. That should never be something the people who like you/love you/want to believe you should have to wrestle with.

Next…

I’ve had over the course of my life, more than a handful of women confide in me their own stories of sexual assault.

(Taking a moment to let that number and that statement sink in.)

Every story is unique but there are some definite patterns. The power play taking complete precedence over the actual need for pleasure. Someone very familiar as the perpetrator (although the ‘complete stranger in a dark alley’ scenario does happen, but by percentage maybe not nearly as much as we (men) think). And because the perpetrator is familiar and more powerful, the no win situation: people don’t believe you and your self-value is crushed, or people believe you and multiple relationships are permanently altered in a negative way (and the guilt that comes with that.)

Washington and Me Too and Corporate America. I think most of us who are self aware have a better vocabulary for this now. Again, I don’t know what happened either way, just speaking to patterns I recognize.

Now the music. We’re talking the Jackson 5, the Jacksons, all of the solo stuff. I think Michael is just way too big and too iconic to ‘cancel’. If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say we’re looking at a Roman Polanski/Woody Allen situation: this is some of the best art of a generation but now there’s a moment where we wince or at least have to think about things we didn’t want to think about it before when we experience it.

So no one wins.

‘Finding Neverland’ is hard to watch but worth the conversation we’re having…

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The more, the merrier I say. The more, the merrier…

Have a good weekend everyone!

Enjoy!

The next building block we’ve been working on is putting some of my more serious clips together in a highlight reel. So here it is.

Major credit here to my brother Jesus for putting this (and the other clip reels together.) Any TV or film actor worth a damn will tell you the editor can make or break a performance. My guy has been doing that for me the past year.

Feels like all the old work is organized now. On to the future…

Meanwhile, enjoy!

So who’s ready for ‘Endgame’?

There are plenty of major and minor twists in ‘Captain Marvel’ so as usual I’ll try to stay away from talking about those for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet. But I liked pretty much every turn the story took.

A few other highlights:

Mendelsohn is, my guy. It’s not even Character Actor Envy, it’s admiration. Maybe our best ‘That Guy’ working right now. Even (especially) the humor they gave him worked.

The third act fight scene is par for the course now, but for the millionth time in the past twenty five or so years I thought, ‘And we still can’t get another entertaining Superman film?’ Hell, even ‘Shazam’ is tracking to be fun. What a shame…

Annette Bening, Djimon, Gemma Chan… you could make a damn good smaller film with those three as the leads, they’re all further down the call sheet on this one. Marvel really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Recommend of course. The hits keep coming with this Universe.

A day of a Beatles playlist, and rehashing old stories with the homies that made me laugh myself to tears three different times, and now I’m out of tears.

In a ‘We Are the Champions’ mood.

So let me go backward one more time for this one. Very smart producing choice to get the people in the crowd warmed up to open the show. And maybe this year was the anomaly with so many good movies people liked but…

(Not sure if the Oscars really need a host now…)

Anyway, enjoy!

So I think this dropped right before the Oscars…

But, very tragically, one of the trailers that played before the movie I saw yesterday was ‘Sam Rockwell is the leader of the local Ku Klux Klan…but he has a heart of gold!’…

So to say this is an evergreen joke is all too real…

Brilliant.

Enjoy.

My buddy Dio sent this trailer to me this morning, and…

Let me get this straight…

A character, surnamed Malik, is transported to an alternate universe where the Beatles didn’t exist, and HE becomes the Beatles?!?

I’m not exaggerating; I’ve been so white hot with envy I’ve been walking around most of today looking like Danny Boyle just asked me what did the five fingers say to the face…

Image result for charlie murphy gif

Enjoy. I guess…

Soderbergh’s latest, ‘High Flying Bird’ is now streaming on Netflix. A few quick points:

Directed by Soderbergh is usually an automatic plus one. The ensemble is rounded out by Bill Duke, Zazie Beets, and Sonja Sohn. And when features usually take their time, this one clocked in at 90 minutes. That’s like a plus seven before the story started.

For the second time, Soderbergh shot a feature on an iPhone. And I mean, I don’t consider the technical side of things my forte, but if you can shoot on an iPhone, you understand lighting during production, and you understand color correction in post production… we all should be making features at this point if we really want to.

The story itself, about a young black agent trying to hold onto his job and his clients during a lockout; not a story you see everyday, but in our current generation where sports documentaries have killed the drama of sports fiction films other than ‘Creed’, I don’t know if it ‘pops’.

Still definitely worth seeing though. Recommend.

Happy for my KU professor, Kevin Wilmott.

Happy for Mahershala.

Happy for the Black Panther crew.

Happy for Ruth E. Carter.

Happy for Regina.

And of course, I’m happy for the Godfather.

Anything can happen a month from now, but today we celebrate.

Melissa McCarthy as “Lee Israel” and Richard E. Grant as “Jack Hock” in the film CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? Photo by Mary Cybulski. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Three quick notes about the SAG Award nominated, ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’

Not all, but most artists, after they establish they can throw fastballs in one genre, want to branch out and prove they do other things. Especially actors. Melissa McCarthy is one of our best working comediennes, of course she wants to prove she can do dramatic stuff. Even the comedic undertones here are toned way down so you have to focus on the acting. McCarthy carries the film without relying on over the top theatrics, can’t take that away from her.

Everyone wants to play the villain, but most people want to play the ‘cool vilain.’ Playing someone a little skeevy, and completely self-centered, and very unlikable: everyone doesn’t have the right ego to play that. So give Richard E. Grant credit for just going all in to play someone, not really evil, but just one of those completely self-centered types who knows how to play on other people’s sympathies to get over.

Finally, this whole film takes place in the NYC literary world. Doesn’t scream cinema, but beyond that as I was watching this, as a film geek, I thought that whole genre of films and TV shows that speak to ‘upper class Manhattan’ that a lot of us grew up on. No need to name names, but how much of that good work can we still just watch without thinking too hard about the people who created them? I say all of this to say, ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ isn’t a Hall of Fame movie by any means, but I can just watch it without thinking twice about any conflicting feelings about the author.

For that reason alone, recommend.