Sunday, May 24, 2015

Blackface in Fantastic Four

The new Fantastic Four movie is coming up quick. I’m a nerd girl and ordinarily I would be excited for this. We aren’t going to get into t he fact that I don’t believe the movie needed to be rebooted; this is about the casting of Michael B. Jordan. Let me say this, I am thrilled that Michael is working and I am over the moon for him. He is a great actor and I see him going far in Hollywood. So this is not about me dumping on him or calling him a horrible actor. I think he is a great actor and I wish him nothing but the best, but I have a problem with the coloring of Johnny Storm.

I believe that Hollywood is just being lazy. Instead of creating movies featuring black superheroes or movies with a majority black cast, they are giving us token blacks.

My bone of contention is that we didn’t need the Human torch to be black! We didn’t need for Michael to be cast in a role for a white actor. He could have been Static Shock, Black Panther, Firestorm, Panther, or even Patriot. There are hundreds of black superheroes Jordan could have been. Hundreds of other movies Marvel could have made with black superheroes.

There are thousands of out of work and looking for work writers in Hollywood that could have written a superhero movie about black or minority superheroes. I’m a looking for work writer that could have given them that movie.

We as POC have become so used to the table scraps from Massa’s table that we aren’t questioning why we can’t get a seat at the table. We aren’t wondering why in 2015 this is still a conversation. We aren’t scratching our heads as to why the first black president has to have his Twitter account flooding with “nigger” and “monkey” tweets. We are so used to not seeing ourselves reflected in popular culture that we will take any bone that is throw our way without question. We are so used to seeing TV shows with all white casts that we immediately attack the shows with all black casts as not being uplifting or doing nothing more than portraying stereotypes. We are conditioned to be crabs in a barrel. So that way when anything is dangled over the barrel we are grateful.

Well I’m sorry that is not good enough and I’m not buying it. I am not going to rejoice over this “victory” I am not just going to sit back and take it and be glad for this bit of toast. This casting is hush money. This casting is to make us forget that Hollywood since its inception has kept black actors and actresses at the back of the bus. This is make us forget that in the 87 year history of the Academy Awards only 12 black men or women have won and only 32 have been nominated. This is to make us forget that a light skinned black woman on one of the highest rated black shows, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, replaced a dark skinned woman. Blackface Human Torch is to make us forget the only Oscar nominations that black actors and actress get is when they are portraying offensive stereotypes about black people. The maid, the whore, the crooked police detective, or the magical negro. This is to make us forget that the first Disney prince spent three quarters of the movie as a frog. This is to make us forget that the promos for the animated movie Home featured a purple alien on the posters in mixed and majority white neighbourhoods, but the black kid was slapped on the posters in the majority black neighbourhoods.

Having a problem with this blackface Human Torch doesn’t make me any less black than any other black person on the planet. I am allowed to be black and have a problem with token black characters. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 To Watch List

These are the movies that I am eagerly anticipating for in 2015. This will be expanded as trailers catch my eye.

MAY 2015
Tomorrowland (in 3D)
JUNE 2015

Jurassic World (in 3D)

JULY 2015
Mr. Holmes (Limited)


The Last Witch Hunter



Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in 3D)

Spooks - The Greater Good

I will admit I had high hopes for this film. Ok wait let me back up for a minute. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a rabid Game of Thrones fan. A massive fan and consumer and I am a proud House of Stark supporter, Kit Harington is my new love affair. The boy is gorgeous with a capital G. I mean that silent smoulder and dark curly hair, excuse me while I find a fire extinguisher for my ovaries. Glued to my TV every Sunday at 9pm (yes I’m an American) I watched him grow from the awkward bastard son of the Warden of the North, to the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch. It’s been a glorious five seasons I have to say. I went into Spooks expecting the Harington touch. I waited for it; I yearned for it. Finally I had to give up hope and just pray for a quick death. Death evaded me for 104 minutes.

The United Kingdom for the better part of my life has been dominating the box office with spy movies. There is no movie icon dead or alive that does spy like James Bond. The man revolutionized a cocktail with a cocky smile for Pete’s sake. When I go to see a spy movie in the United Kingdom I am expecting the Earth to move. I am expecting the sky to crack and God caress me gently on the face. I am not expecting the main character to blunder around from one disaster to another because of daddy issues.

This movie started circling the bowl almost at the onset. MI5 is coordinating the handoff of a high profile terrorist to the CIA. While sitting in traffic, central command for the operation notices several fast moving motorcycles heading toward the caravan. Now I might just be a trigger happy American, but the last time I checked when officers feel threatened they are trained to protect themselves and the mission, but these highly trained operative just sit in their cars whistling Dixie and waiting for traffic to let up. Forgive me but I didn’t know this movie was a one-way ticket to Wonderland. I thought this was a spy movie, not a fantasy thriller. It didn’t get better from there. If anything I wished it was one of those movies that’s so bad its actually good if you watch it long enough. Spooks is not Big Trouble in Little China. It’s more like Glitter and Waterworld. A mistake for everyone involved.

Since the War on Terrorism commenced scriptwriters and directors have found an untapped villain resource. I can’t fault them for falling into that trap, but I can call them on their BS with lazy writing. Elyes Gabel put in a command performance as the villain, but I just didn’t believe his motivation. I will give him kudos for shooting an unarmed and bound woman in the stomach. I believed that.

Kit’s character was like a newly birthed baby horse. Stumbling around the world hoping someone will take pity and point you in the direction of your mother’s teat. He believed everything everyone told him. HE IS A SPY!! PEOPLE LIE! After the fourth time he got burned by a person that was supposed to be a friend I gave up. Bella Swan in Twilight had more of a backbone and she was going to jump off a cliff because her boyfriend dumped her.

If this movie is any indication of the sort of operatives MI5 churns out I’m going to need Sean Connery to show them a thing or two about spying, and great one-liners. This movie was in desperate need of a great tagline.

Spook had no idea what sort of movie it wanted to be. Did Spooks want to be a proper spy movie, a straight thriller, or just a plain action movie? It was more confused than a virgin on their wedding night. Nothing it did worked out and in the end the audience was left wondering how the hell this movie went from concept to screen time.

Save your money on this one folks and be content to drool over Kit on Game of Thrones

Monday, July 8, 2013

Despicable Me 2

We are all painfully aware that a series starts to lose its touch after the first movie is out. Though I had always manged to see my way to see the sequels. If for nothing else than to placate my morbid curiosity.

this weekend I had the pleasure of taking my nephew and my cousin to see Despicable Me 2. Was I scared it wasn't going to be a good? Of course I was. Anyone who subjecting themselves to The Matrix Reloaded would be.

Was I pleasantly surprised? Oh hell yeah! Despicable Me 2 more than lived up to the promise of its predecessor. This movie managed to incorporate every cast member without making the movie seem cluttered.

If the Minions did not receive Oscars for their performance in this film I will shun Hollywood for three weeks.

Some parts were predictable like the addition of Lucy to the film, we could all see where that was going, and I find myself convinced that he filmmakers wanted that to be the case. I mean after all predicable can still be surprising. They weren't trying to reinvent the wheel like so many of their squeal compatriots. They simple set out to make a great film.

I say bravo!!

5 out of 5 stars 

Monday, September 10, 2012

All Hail The Bitch!

Why does no one ever celebrate the Bitch in films? She drives the action forward and usually has a few good laughs for us; often, the Bitch gets the best one-liners, completely overshadowing the main characters of the film. 
But the audience rarely gives the Bitch her cinematic due - it's always the sweet girl next door that gets the applause and sympathy. It's always the nerdy math geek being shoved into the locker that we cheer for. Well I say no more! Little girls aren't always made of sugar and spice; sometimes you get a few girls made of mace and malice. So here I stand ready to salute the Bitch. If you are brave enough to admit you find the Bitch funny, join me in giving the Bitch her proper due. No longer will she be relegated to the sidekick supporting role! All hail the Bitch!
7. Regina George in Mean Girls
Regina was the Bitch we all loved to hate, and hated ourselves for wanting to be her. Regina commanded boys and girls alike and was the undisputed queen bee in her little hive. She was such a Bitch she inspired a nickname for herself and her group of wanna-bes: The Plastics. She would have ranked higher but in the end she got taken down a few notches by a backwater math geek (with the help of a bus), and after the Revenge of the Nerds, stuff like that just shouldn't be happening.
Best Bitch Quote: "I gave him everything. I was half a virgin when I met him!"
6. Baroness Rodmilla DeGhent in EverAfter
The Baroness actually started off capturing our sympathy. Her brand-new husband dropped dead right before her eyes on her second day in her new home. However, our sympathy quickly turned as she demoted her step-daughter from family-member to servant. We might have been able to forgive her - I mean who among us wouldn't want a servant that doesn't make waves and sleeps in the fireplace? Plus, the Baroness had enough on her plate, trying to marry off her snotty twit of a daughter to the Prince of France. Rodmilla - in true Bitch form - used her womanly wiles of seduction and manipulation to further her plans; but made the equally fatal mistakes of lying to the Queen and underestimating her step daughter.
Best Bitch Quote: "Darling, nothing is final 'til you're dead, and even then, I'm sure God negotiates."
5. Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct
Catherine Tramell redefined the phrase 'sex pistol', and she did it with an ice pick, no less! She was an ice-cold killer in the sexed-up body of a mystery-thriller writer. Catherine knew exactly what she was doing as she played with the emotions of a homicide detective and the entire police department; before sending her girlfriend on the side on a murderous rampage and setting up her college girlfriend to take the fall for another set of murders. Then, of course, there was the infamous interrogation room scene; any woman who could manipulate an entire room full of hard-boiled policemen with a shift of her shift dress is bound to be labeled a bitch. Any woman that can inspire utter, uninhibited craziness in others is a first-class Bitch, and that Bitch is a dying breed.
Best Bitch Quote: "Killing isn't like smoking. You can stop."
4. Madison Lee in Charlie's Angles: Full Throttle
The 'fallen angel' Madison Lee was once an ass-kicking member of the Angels, but a mission gone wrong left her shot up and bitter. (A cautionary tale: always wear your bulletproof push-up bra.) Did Madison Lee sit around and get fat like many of us would have done? Hell no! She waited patiently, kept in amazing shape and hit those overly sweet Angels like a ton of bricks. Madison rocked a string bikini with her 41-year-old self. With a pair of gold plated 9mm, in a pair of killer heels she shot her partner in crime and tried to have a cute little kid murdered. She was a cold-hearted bitch in a beach bunny body.
Best Bitch Quote: "Why be an Angel when I can play God?"
3. O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Vol. 1
What could be worse than a so-called friend who turns up at your wedding rehearsal to kick your behind and then kill your entire wedding party? (Watching Avatar the Last Airbender comes to mind, but that is another article entirely.) At first glance O-Ren inspired our sympathy: she saw both her parents brutally murdered; driven and shaped by that brutality, she launched herself into the world of murder as a premier assassin and killed the man responsible. You don't get any more badass then that, but no, she was a Bitch with dreams and the Tokyo underworld was in her crosshairs. She assumed control of the Yakuza, and when one of the bosses protested, she jumped on the table, and cut off his head with a single blow. O-Ren was the epitome of one of our favorite Bitch qualities: assertiveness.
Best Bitch Quote: "Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, now's the fucking time!" (beat) "I didn't think so."
2. Queen Jadis, White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Obviously, any woman who calls herself queen has got to be a bitch and Jadis does not disappoint. Jadis manipulates and lies to children and the sentient creatures of Narnia, turns enemies to stone, kills Aslan in cold blood, and causes a world of never-ending winter without Christmas. Who the hell stops Christmas? A queen Bitch, that's who.
Best Bitch Quote: "The great cat is dead!"
1. Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

Miranda Priestly is the top Bitch because she ruled her kingdom with a silver bob and a curl of her lip, manifesting all of the essential bitch qualities: she was brilliant, manipulative, uncaring and used her razor-sharp wit to the detriment of everyone who crossed her path. Never once did she raise her voice over the decibel of a  whisper, a brilliant show of power. Miranda Priestly is the Head Bitch in charge of an entire industry. No one makes a move without seeking her blessing, even people as highly regarded in their world as Miranda is in hers. With a single facial expression she can send a designer back to the drawing board to recreate an entire collection. Who does that! The Bitch in Prada.
Best Bitch Quote: "I thought you would be different. I said to myself, go ahead. Take a chance. Hire the smart, fat girl. I had hope. My God. I live on it. Anyway, you ended up disappointing me more than, um- more than any of the other silly girls."
As my favorite #1 Bitch once said: "That’s all."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

The title of this movie promised the perfect marriage between John Wayne and his six shooter and Will Smith and his deatomizer. I thought this movie was going to give the king of the summer a run for his money.

However the combined acting chops of an aging Harrison Ford and a smoldering Daniel Craig couldn't keep this western from dying of thirst.

The opening sequence was fantastic. A lone man awakes in the desert with the sun beating down on his face. A posse of scalpers surrounds him and threatens to take him to town for a reward. The audience scoots the edge of their seats waiting to see how the man handles himself. And before our grubby hands can get to the bottom of the popcorn button the man has killed all three scalpers, stripped the shoes off one and ran off with their hunting dog.

Wow, we were sucked right in. Well I know I was. I mean how can you go wrong with a sun bathed Daniel Craig?

Well I will tell you how wrong it can go.


The premis of this movie is that alien gold hunters land on Earth and start killing people just to find out the best way to kill us? So wait you are telling me these aliens that can suck liquid gold from the very bowels of Earth and vaporize people with the flashy light thing can't figure out how to kill us without killing us first?

Forgive me if I have a little trouble suspending disbelief right now.

And don't get me started on the unnecessary casting of House's 13 in this movie. I mean what would a Western be without the saloon girl turned "gun slinger" Except this chick didn't even sling a gun. She fainted, she ran, she died, and then turned out to be another alien.

Cowboy and Aliens couldn't figure out just how to give the aliens a plausible reason for being on earth.  They couldn't go with a take over plot. Independence Day already did that. They couldn't go with the alien refugee camp, Men in Black took care of that....So wait, two of the best alien movies in the recent cinema history starred Will Smith. So maybe Jon Favreau should have cast Will instead of Olivia Wilde.

The mini story plots simmering under the surface didn't add anything to the movie. They were mere distractions that weren't even that distracting they were so bland. The boy looking for his courage. The father finally seeing his son. The son learning responsibility. The husband finally appreciating his wife. It was all as dry as a English muffin straight from Sonya Morgan's toaster oven.

I was sorely disappointed in this movie.

I give it 2 1/2 stars only because of Craig and Ford.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not Bruce Lee's Game of Death

In my house there was a picture on the wall of Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr, and Bruce Lee. My father was a huge fan and so was I. So to hear Game of Death was akin to finding out there were Krispy Kreme in the UK. Pure heaven. Game of Death hinted at being a remake of the Bruce Lee movie as it was mostly set in a near empty hospital with Wesley Snipes battling it out with jaded assassins and former CIA agents in the Motor City. I was excited to see this movie. I got all
my Kung Fu movie watching paraphernalia ready. A quart of House Fried Rice with sweet and sour chicken, a liter of sprite and my Bruce Lee action figure that my dad got for me on my first day of Karate class. Don't judge me.

I thought I was in for a beautifully acted and written movie that pay homage to the
unfinished film by the late and the very great Bruce Lee.

I was sadly and very rudely mistaken. I've seen conspiracy movies done, and done well. I've seen Wesley Snipes movies done and done well. Who could forget the swagger that was Nino Brown? To this day the name Nino Brown is shouted from every rap song from Chris Brown to Guccie Mane, and we all know how hard it is to get a mention in a rap song without paying out the nose. And Blade. Need I say more? Unfortunately for all who spent that dollar at the Redbox, Game of Death wasn't done well. Not even the barest hint of a well made movie. I wonder if I can get that
dollar back.

If Snipes needed to get back into the acting business to pay off that IRS debt this was the wrong movie for that comeback. Snipes plays Marcus Jones, a CIA agent running his own team under the watchful eye of his mentor. He is apparently the top dog in the CIA agent food chain. So he has to be good. His latest mission is to play bodyguard for slimy arms dealer Frank Smith played by Robert Davi. Smith is on his way to a meeting with a 100 million dollar payoff. Jones has his team ready to take Smith into custody. His team of sidekicks consists of Zander played by Gary
Daniels and Floria played by Zoe Bell. En route to the meeting, Smith suffers a heart attack, forcing Jones to take Smith to the hospital. This is where the double cross begins, and the sharks start circling.

The plot does hint at something running afoul when the mission that Snipes was charged by his mentor takes a turn for the worse. So you sit back and await to be sucked deep into the spy world. With twists and turns at every corner. The ex CIA ops surround the hospital and you just know you're in for some great shoot out scenes and even some nice hand to hand combat. After all Wesley is a kick ass martial artist. He brought the Daywalker to life for Merlin's sake. He should
know his way around a fight scene, but for the love of all things Depp that is not what Game of Death nor Wesley delivers. Instead you get slow, dim witted combat scenes that the could have been the graduation project for a film school student.

It is a lazily written, sloppily produced and slow acted movie. Its almost as if the actors themselves weren't convinced of their lines and characters. The writers seemed to run out of things to say. So the great revelations in the movie that are meant to be the cliffhangers, are just some hastily spat one liners that leave you on the edge of that climax and then fall's asleep on top of you, without a promise of the orgasm.

The oddball casting of Ernie Hudson is worth pondering. Hudson has played some great
roles. Most notable is Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters and Warden Leo Glynn in the HBO series OZ. Hudson has shown he has the acting chops, so its just a wonder why he choices to act in these B-rated movies all the time. He should really rethink who his agent is. Though Hudson as a soul saving priest is as laughable as Christina Aguilera singing the National Anthem during the Superbowl. And that was pretty funny if you missed it.

Gary Daniels was cast to play opposite Snipes as the leader of the rouge CIA operatives. His bad guy is just an abomination. Hermione Granger punching Draco in the nose during Prisoner of Azkaban frightened me more than Daniels' Zander character. If you are going to play a bad guy with a funny accent and you can't bring it like Alan Rickman did in Die Hard, then you just need to go back to Evil High School with Dr. Evil and the kids from Sky High and take good notes. Or
maybe just pick a different role to play.

Zoe Bell, stunt woman, turned actress should stick to her day job. A woman wielding a gun, killing innocents and threatening the good guy has got to be bad ass. She has to bring it on her worst day and Bell fell flat. Though her fight scene in the vault was the best fight scene in the movie. She took a whooping and kept on ticking, and she came out on top. Dropping both men with a single gun shot and a expertly thrown knife. Bell proved she can be deadly but the jury is still out on her acting abilities.

The closing fight scene on the rooftop between Snipes and Daniels was maybe the biggest letdown of the movie. We've seen Snipes in better fight scenes. Hell the shootout scene in New Jack City offered more of a nail biting, edge of your seat experience than this dance of the nimrods Snipes and Daniels offered in their three minute fight scene. It was just too long for the lethargic fight they were having. Believe me you will feel every stinking, dragging minute of that scene and
when its over you will thank your lucky stars this movie was only 98 minutes of your life.

I pose to repeat a question William McKenzie asked his fellow Inbetweeners in season two before they ran off to go clubbing in London, “Is it possible to unsee something?” That's how I feel after watching Game of Death.