Media Update 2/18/21

Judas and the Black Messiah
Director: Shaka King

I am always very hungry for material about the Black Panthers because they have been villified for decades and they hardly ever get to correct the record. I was excited about this movie because it was written and directed by actual black people. This is a raw and real account of an FBI informant inside of the Black Panthers. LaKeith Stanfield plays the troubled and conflicted yet likable Bill O’Neal who worked for the FBI against his will to betray the Black Panthers. Daniel Kaluuya plays the infinitely charismatic and cunning Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. Dominique Fishback plays the poet Deborah Johnson who later renamed herself Akua Njeri who was also mother of Fred Hampton’s child, Fred Hampton Junior. Both of them consulted on this movie. Jesse Plemons plays the complicated but ultimately wicked FBI agent who handled O’Neal and paid him for his efforts. The movie is a chilling look at FBI complicity in the death, deplatforming, and disenfranchising of black people who wanted to improve their station in life and protect their people. Were the Black Panthers perfect? No. Did they get a raw deal? Hell yes. I really recommend this movie.

Men In Black: International
Director: F. Gary Gray

I really like the Men in Black franchise but when they finished Will Smith’s character arc, I was unsure if it would ever continue. There is a rich vein of worldbuilding work that they did and could still tap. They decided to do just that. This movie follows a new agent played by the wonderful Tessa Thompson who was delightfully snarky. Chris Hemsworth plays the charismatic bad boy costar opposite Thompson and is great. Kumail Nanjiani plays an eternally optimistic and funny sidekick alien. There are great characters by Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rafe Spall, and Rebecca Ferguson. I also really loved the body movement of Laurent and Larry Bourgeois. The movie is funny, has great action, and makes great use of new and old MIB lore. The movie felt tight and easy in a way that MIB 3 was not and breathed new life into the franchise. I would love to see this new team continue or maybe other new stories. I recommend this movie.

Directors: Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz

This movie came out a little late for me to check out for my usual Halloween event but it definitely interested me. Billed as being from the producers of Get Out and Us while being made by two relatively green director/writers. This is a horror movie that contrasts the modern life of a black woman with the life of a black slave. The movie stars Janelle Monae who is so good at being alternately confident and destroyed yet defiant. Jena Malone and Jack Huston play particular wicked and hateful white people. I absolutely loved Gabourey Sidibe as she added a lot of life and humor to a very dark movie. The movie had a lot of interesting things to say but I feel like they muddled their message a bit because of the structure of the movie. They were kind of married to having a twist which actually lessened the impact of some of the movie. Still, the plantation scenes were especially brutal and hard to watch and yet it was important that it be shown. I do not really recommend this movie as it was disappointing.

Music of the Week

DaBaby – ROCKSTAR ft. Roddy Ricch

Pharrell Williams – Entrepreneur

Tkay Maidza – You Sad

Meet Me @ The Altar – Garden

Mashup of the Week

Bill McClintock – Get Ready for the Grave

This week’s theme is “Celebrating Black Directors”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 3
I watched more The Crown Season 4
I started Sleepy Hollow Season 4
I watched more Stargirl Season 1
I watched more WandaVision Season 1
I watched Braniac (Rifftrax Version)
I started watching Vampire Diaries Season 2
I started watching Hunting Nazi Treasure Season 1

2 Responses to “Media Update 2/18/21”

  1. Liam Says:

    I don’t have HBO Max but I’m eager to see Judas and the Black Messiah when I get the chance.


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