Category: Sunday Soapbox


On the off chance you haven’t seen this yet…

I’ve followed Matthew for years on the Twitter so I remember when he had his Kickstarter for this. Wasn’t in a place to give like that but liked the idea.

Missed seeing it on the big screen as well, but now that it’s online…

My, my, my! Like a lot of others, I’m so impressed with everything about this short.

Under 10 minutes, limited dialogue, nice little ‘twist’ in the last act.

All the Chef Kisses for this!

Enjoy!

No movie review to start this week but here’s a video from Vanity Fair interviewing ‘The New Hollywood Guard’ of writers trying to expand the narratives you see.

You may see a very familiar face among those interviewed.

Enjoy!

https://video.vanityfair.com/watch/the-new-hollywood-guard-writers/

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Vishnu Vallabhaneni, Lena Waithe and Malik Aziz attend the AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program Premiere at NeueHouse Los Angeles on November 07, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program)

‘1 Out of 30’

Written by Malik Aziz

Directed by Vishnu Vallabhaneni

Produced by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani

An AT&T Hello Lab Short Film

Enjoy.

Saying ‘Eddie Murphy is back’ is a little insulting, but I think it’s fair to say ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ definitely leans as far into R rated Eddie Murphy as we’ve seen in a long time.

Based on the come up of Rudy Ray Moore, ‘Dolemite is My Name’ on paper feels like a traditional ‘A Star is Born’ rags to riches story. But how many movies have you really seen that takes you into the chitlin circuit (the stand up road tour for black stand up comics)? How many movies have this cast list: Eddie, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Titus Burgess, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, and Wesley Snipes just off the top of my head? What about the meta irony of ‘I know there’s an audience for my movie but I don’t know how to get it to them? (wayyyyyyy before Netflix was a thing). This is a fun time capsule movie for that reason alone.

As long as you know what you’re getting into (the language and themes), definitely worth seeing. ESPECIALLY if you kind of know what you’re getting into.

Recommend.

Episode of the ‘making of’ webseries of the AT&T Hello Lab shorts focuses on Fragile.com. Alison and Brittany have created this dark horror story that speaks to the times we live in.

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.

Me and Vishnu talking about 1/30 in our own words.

Enjoy.

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).

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.