Tag Archive: jordan peele


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.

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You know the rules by now; no spoilers but maybe some constructive criticism…

Horror is probably my least favorite genre but ‘Jordan Peele’ is a genre I love (like a lot of people, check those opening weekend receipts). I liked ‘Get Out’ more for a variety of reasons, but I didn’t hate this.

The legacy is deep, but at least for black actors, the Yale Drama School is definitely having a moment. Lupita, Winston Duke, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has a minor but important role to play. There have been a thousand and one paths people have taken to become ‘movie stars’; it feels like it wasn’t that long ago the complaint was out there black British actors were taking all of ‘our parts’ because they were ‘better trained’. Hopefully we can put that foolish myth behind us.

Personally, I was all in for the first half hour, and as the story twisted and expanded, I didn’t lose interest, but my ‘suspension of disbelief’ started to get pushed. I can’t expand too much there without spoiling it, but I started asking questions (and somewhat ironically getting answers) before the credits rolled. Sometimes the best suspense is letting the audience not know why things happen.

Trying to think of more to expand upon without spoiling but I really can’t, so let’s cut it there. Great cast, enjoyable film, absolutely ridiculous this is the first time Lupita has been the clear number one on the call sheet.

Motivation.

 

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For the oldheads among us, the double victory run of the studio system acknowledging that a) there’s an audience for ‘Atlanta’, ‘Insecure’, and ‘Get Out’, and b) not only that, but it’s quality storytelling, continues with the Netflix version of Justin Simien’s ‘Dear White People.’  And I know I’m not the first to say this, but I agree it’s an improvement over the film.  Taking full advantage of the platform, a line of dialogue in the film that serves as backstory is nearly always fleshed out into a half hour episode that gives the audience more empathy for ‘why’ even characters you may not gravitate toward, do the things that they do.

Was the film geek in me biased from episode one with the ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ visual tributes?  Sure, but nods like this are subtle in each episode.  (Quick setup for the completely uninitiated: like the film, the story is set off when a blackface party is thrown by one of the fraternities on a predominantly white campus).  Justin directed a few of the episodes, I noted Tina Mabry’s name in the credits, but if you have to pick one episode, yes, the now Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins ‘Episode V’ is the strongest.

Ten not quite half hours.  I honestly wasn’t planning on getting through the whole season in one weekend, but sometimes the story keeps you that engaged.

Check it out.

‘Get Out’

 

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The number one movie in America this weekend is extremely clever.

As I and others have pitched, start with a Key and Peele premise (‘black guy goes to meet the parents of his white girlfriend’) and instead of one upping on the side of silly comedy, one up the stakes with awkward, creepy comedy.  And you have ‘Get Out’.

Not even a horror guy but I dug this one.  Not scary in terms of gore, scary in terms of suspense and…not really knowing exactly what’s going on until well into the third act.  It’s a hell of a step on his own play by Jordan Peele, who provides just enough silliness to cut the tension and keep the audience relaxed.  This film is a like microaggression Hall of Fame (with Obama and Tiger compliments and more than a few passive aggressive comments on the black man’s physique).  The layers here go deep, I can’t even give you a really good comparison movie wise.  My only real critique (after I had time to think about it) was the reveal of one character’s intentions came five minutes too early.

As far as the ‘racist’ critique, I know where that comes from, but I think it’s too general.  The villains in the film aren’t ‘the white race’; it’s a very specific subset.  And even the choice of that subset is part of the social commentary of the film.

So if you didn’t get to this over the weekend, high recommend here.