Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Kaluuya’

Media Update 6/7/18

June 7, 2018


Deadpool 2

I have been looking forward to this movie since the credits were rolling on the first Deadpool. The first one was just so much of what a Deadpool movie should be with the self-awareness, hyper-violence, and comedy. They stayed true enough to the source material (at least from what I’ve read). The second movie was more of the same which is exactly what I wanted. They had a bigger budget so they were able to add a few more characters. However, the movie still messed with your expectations and they were masters of playing around with their trailers. I have always appreciated Ryan Reynolds’ sense of humor and he is at the top of his game in this one. As with most sequels, this one is better if you have seen the first one but why have you not seen the first one yet? Josh Brolin was a great Cable and a great straight man for Reynolds to play off of. Once again, the movie has some hidden heart to it as it explores how we treat people and the consequences of our actions. The movie was so funny and just plain fun. It made me look forward to what the Deadpool/X-Force/X-Men franchise might do in the future. I definitely recommend this one as I will probably give this one a rare second watch. (For those who don’t know, I have a loose policy of not watching things more than once as there is too much to watch out there.)


Sicario

So I really did not know anything about this one other than it had a high score on Rotten Tomatoes. After a little research, I realized that it starred Daniel Kaluuya, Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Victor Garber, and Josh Brolin (third movie in three weeks!). To me, it looked like every other military movie that all seem to blend together. I am not really a fan of the rah rah ‘Merica military movie because they creep me out (American Sniper for example). This is not that. This is a movie that shows how complicated the war on drugs can be and how our government can be tainted while trying to win a largely pointless war. The movie is full of tense scenes punctuated by great, largely realistic action scenes. It also covers some of the psychological effects of being in combat situations for so long and so often. Blunt is impressive as usual but she shares the main character role with a silent but intense Benicio Del Toro. While it is probably not an accurate depiction of the actual war on drugs, it definitely nailed my general feelings on the subject. Everybody is covered in shades of gray and nobody is innocent and there is far too much violence. It was a surprisingly good movie and I was hooked minutes in. I definitely recommend it.


Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell

After last week’s weird, harrowing journey through some crazy movies, I felt I had to watch something a little lighter to reset. Marvel animation has been on a pretty good roll. Their animated movies use a different continuity from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They lean into the cartoony nature of things without losing the sense of adventure in the live action movies. This movie teams up The Hulk, Doctor Strange, and the modern incarnation of the Howling Commandos. For those who don’t know (because I didn’t), the Howling Commandos are a SHIELD-sponsored group of monsters. In this case, it included Warwolf, Vampire by Night, Zombie Jasper Sitwell, and Man-Thing. The big selling point for me is that Doctor Strange is voiced by accomplished voice actor Liam O’Brien (of Critical Role fame). Also, Doctor Strange has recently become a Marvel character I am interested in and I have always been into the Hulk. This one deals with dreams, nightmares, and Hulk’s duality so we get a lot of both Hulk and Banner in a more meaningful way. This includes the two of them actually interacting. While this short movie is nothing to write home about, this was a solid story with some solid voice work. I recommend it if you want to watch a good comic book story.

Music of the Week:
Pay Homage – Windchill

Yungtown & Garrett Williamson – I Will Make It

Parquet Courts – Wide Awake

Fugazi – Waiting Room

Pantera – 5 Minutes Alone

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”
– I started watching Supernatural Season 13
– I started watching The Flash Season 4
– I started watching Arrow Season 6
– I watched more Gurren Lagann
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 1
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube
– I finished iZombie Season 4
– I started the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4
– I finished Season 3 of Better Call Saul

Media Update 2/22/18

February 22, 2018


Black Panther

When my friend texted me saying that they had gotten our group tickets for a Friday showing of Black Panther, I was excited all week to see it. I had heard such good things not only from critics but also from celebrities whose tastes are aligned with mine who got to see it early. Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther was one of the best parts of Captain America: Civil War. The intelligence and emotion of the character were just as important of all the cool flippy stuff he did in battles. His movie is an even deeper dive into the character and his world and it also confronts a lot of social issues that always need confronting. It explores a lot of themes that include but are not limited to the black experience in the United States, the black experience in Africa, imperialism, isolationism, and foreign aid. There are also more intimate themes of family, doing what is right, honoring your past while looking to the future, dealing with the sins of the past, and so on. Boseman was even better than he was in Civil War. He was joined by the powerhouse team of Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett as possibly the strongest female characters I have seen on film. I am talking physical, emotional, and mental strengths by the way. It was awesome to see Daniel Kaluuya again and he gave a great raw, vulnerable performance. Michael B. Jordan earned his place as one the best Marvel villains so far if not the best. Andy Serkis was really fun (and not mo-capped!) and it is always nice to see Martin Freeman. The movie is nonstop enjoyment and I definitely recommend it.


Black Lightning

I was inspired to check out this show after coming home all jazzed from seeing Black Panther. I had heard good things and I love the relatively recent trend of good DC Comics shows. This show is more similar to Black Panther or Luke Cage than it is to the Arrowverse. The show is an adaptation of DC Comics’ first African-American superhero. Jefferson Pierce is a school principal by day and a superhero by night. The show explores a lot of what it means to be Black in an urban setting with all of the traps laid in the paths of America’s Black youth. Within the first few episodes, the show introduces a lot of great characters from the comic books. There are even Outsiders references as a nod to Black Lightning’s association with Batman and his daughter’s association with future iterations of the team. While the superhero stuff is compelling, watching Pierce and his family try to navigate personal relationships is just as interesting. I cannot remember another television show that attempts to capture the experiences of a school principal, at least not with the strong community connections Pierce has. Every character so far is deep and nobody is completely good or evil. I definitely recommend this one as it is just getting started and it is self-contained for now.


Sleight

I was not sure what to expect with this movie but I did know that it shared a producer with Get Out. Of course, producers are facilitators, not artists themselves. I knew that it was kind of heralded as a new kind of superhero movie. What it ended up being was much more than that. It definitely feels like a superhero origin story in certain ways. It has science fiction/science fantasy elements but it is really about a kid who has to take care of his little sister after their parents die. It felt a little bit like a Miles Morales/Peter Parker story because of that. The kid gets caught up in a bad scene and has to figure it out. Aside from the fantasy elements, the movie really felt like a great story about surviving as a young black man on the streets of Los Angeles. There are drug dealers, cops, and gangsters all around. Jacob Latimore plays the main character and he just obviously has a good heart and I found myself really rooting for him. Dule Hill plays the villain of the movie which was really cool because I have never seen him play a bad guy before that I can remember. I really liked the movie as it was and I would not be mad if this ‘superhero origin story’ was just a one shot. However, if they could come up with a good sequel I would be hungry for that as well. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
George Clinton – Atomic Dog

Kendrick Lamar, SZA – All The Stars

Migos – Stir Fry

Future – You Da Baddest ft. Nicki Minaj

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Black Superheroes”
– I watched more of Happy! Season 1
– I watched more of Criminal Minds Season 11
– I watched more of Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I watched more of Mad Men Season 1
– I watched more of The Librarians Season 4
– I watched GT Live, Critical Role, Game Grumps, and KittyKat Gaming

Media Update 1/18/18

January 18, 2018


Coco

I have loved Mexican culture for a long time and, as I stated when reviewing The Book of Life, I love Day of the Dead most of all. I do not love it because I love Halloween because I have studied it enough to know how different the customs are. Both have magical origins but The Day of the Dead is primarily about remembering loved ones who passed away. The traditions are both touching and inspiring and I kind of wish we did more of it in the United States. It is akin to Japan’s culture of respect for their ancestors. The movie is about the balance between living your life and your family. The central message is Family Above All Else but also that your family should reciprocate that sentiment and support your dreams. The movie is also about music and is thus a musical film but not a Musical, more in the style of Oh Brother Where Art Thou? and Sing! than a traditional Disney musical. The Day of the Dead is a respectful but jubilant holiday and, from what I can see as an outsider, is about being happy about the memories you have of your departed family members. So, there is plenty of good food, candy, games, and music. That is what this movie feels like. There is the usual Disney/Pixar sweet sadness but there is also an air of celebration and togetherness that just feels really warm. I cannot recommend this movie enough.


Get Out

I had heard so many good things about this movie. I was such a fan of Jordan Peele on Key & Peele that I was intrigued by any horror movie he might have written. Comedians are all about timing and timing is also a huge element in horror as well. Also, I knew from the trailers that the plot had something to do with the black experience. The only reason that I have waited this long to watch the movie is that hypnosis is a large part of the movie. Hypnosis terrifies me and it really did a number on me while watching this movie. I was also more than correct about the movie confronting racial and cultural issues. It does so in such a new and horrific way that I think it is important for people to watch. The plot points of the movie took me by surprise as they unfolded but each of them made so much sense. There is a mystery in this movie and I will not ruin the suspense by revealing any of it here. The acting was so great but most of all I have to shout out Daniel Kaluuya who is rightfully getting nominated for his starring role. He was a fantastic character to follow around. I definitely recommend this one as it is scary but important.


The Disaster Artist

First, yes James Franco is definitely at best a problematic person. I felt that I had to push past that to watch this movie because I have been on a journey ever since I first caught The Room on Adult Swim. I clued into the Internet buzz and I was excited when Greg Sestero published a book on his experiences surrounding the movie. By the way, the movie actually cuts out some crazy bits from the book so I recommend that you pick up the book. It is not often that a truly horrible movie inspires people quite as much as The Room did. This movie goes to painstaking lengths to capture the insanity from the book and The Room itself. It recreates the look of the actors and the weird culture that Tommy Wiseau created. The Franco brothers play Wiseau and Sestero and they really do capture their weird friendship. They detail the arduous, torturous, and nonsensical path that they dragged other human beings down in order to put out a mediocre movie. The movie was interesting to me because I had only read or imagined excerpts from the book but seeing it in motion was fun. The movie is at the same time funny and horrifying as everything goes wrong. The movie celebrates Wiseau and probably lets him off the hook too much but at this point, he has probably been tortured enough. I also recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:
Jan Terri – Journey To Mars

Marlon Craft – Workin’

That Poppy – Lowlife

Bad Seed Rising – Hey Kid

Red Warszawa – Technoparty

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Award Season 2018
– I started watching Season 6 of Longmire
– I continued watching Season 2 of The Magicians
– I continued watching Season 1 of Gurren Lagann
– I continued watching Season 1 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica
– I continued watching Season 2 of Schitt’s Creek
– I continued watching Season 2 of Little Witch Academia
– I continued watching Season 1 of DuckTales
– As usual, I watched Game Grumps, GTLive and Critical Role


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