See You Yesterday (2019)

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Flatbush wiz-kids CJ and Sebastian have done the impossible. They’ve built real, functioning time machines. The catch is that they can only go back for 10-minute stretches before needing to return to the present. So what do they do with their first, incredibly valuable 10 minutes? Humiliate CJ’s asshole ex-boyfriend. They don’t think anything of it at first until they realize that changing the past caused the trajectory of CJ’s brother’s day to shift. And when I say “shift” I mean, he winds up getting killed by police. This devastates CJ, who decides to use her technology to go back and save him. When she does so, however, she discovers that it’s not so easy to correct the past, since every change brings about new, unforeseen consequences. Continue reading

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Luce (2019)

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On the surface, Luce Edgar seems like the perfect son. He’s a star athlete. He’s valedictorian of his entire school. And that’s not even considering his past. He’s a former child soldier from Eritrea who, against all odds, seems to have put his trauma behind him, and formed a healthy, stable social life. “Seems” being the keyword here. See, one day, a teacher asks him to write an essay in the voice of a historical figure, and Luce delivers a piece emulating the style of Frantz Fanon, a pan-Africanist who argued that violence was necessary to settle political disputes. Disturbed, this same teacher breaks into Luce’s locker and discovers fireworks there. She alerts Luce’s parents to both of these things, and while neither of them wants to believe that their son could be capable of violence, as they do more digging, they realize that there might be more to their baby than once thought.

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Dragged Across Concrete (2019)

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When they’re caught on tape crushing a handcuffed suspect’s face into the pavement, racist, corrupt police officers Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are put on unpaid leave. Enraged that “the entertainment industry, formerly known as the news” has treated them “unfairly,” and believing that they have “the skills and the right to acquire proper compensation” the men decide to follow a tip from one of their criminal connections and rip off a bank heist. Of course, everything goes south when the robbers kill the tellers and take a woman hostage so our “heroes” won’t have as easy of time stealing the gold they believe they’re entitled to. Will they make it out alive? Watch the movie to find out. (Or don’t. You’ll be fine if you skip this one). Continue reading

Widows (2018)

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When their husbands are killed in a botched robbery, and the gangster they stole from comes demanding reparations, a group of widows are forced to pull off an impossible heist to save both themselves and their families. This involves them finding a getaway car, a driver, codes to a safe, and guns. Lots of guns. They don’t want to kill anyone, but when you’re backed into a corner, who knows what will happen? Continue reading

Is Crazy Rich Asians Good For Representation?

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I read an article in The Atlantic recently. It was by Mark Tseng-Putterman, and titled “One Way That Crazy Rich Asians Is A Step Backward.” What it argued, essentially, was that, despite the films groundbreaking nature, it also took care to represent its Asian characters according to White norms. Those norms being things like having Western names, going to Western universities, wearing Western-style clothes, and being wealthy and materialistic. To Mr. Tseng-Putterman, the fact that the Asian characters in the movie were all so well off and Westernized made them un-relatable, and not at all emblematic of the experiences shared by the vast majority of Asian Americans. Now, normally, I wouldn’t give an op-ed piece like this much thought. Every time a movie about a certain group or issue comes out, even if the intentions of the filmmakers are clearly good, there will inevitably be detractors. There were women who thought that Wonder Woman wasn’t Feminist enough. There were Black people who thought that Black Panther perpetuated Western stereotypes of Africans as being warlike and tribal. So, of course, Crazy Rich Asians will have its fair share of Asian detractors. But two things happened, the publishing of Kelly Marie Tran’s New York Times piece, and the release of Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, that got me thinking about the article and its questions of Asian representation more seriously. So I decided to address them, and, hopefully, figure out what, if any, solutions can be found. Continue reading

Blackkklansman (2018)

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In 1979, Ron Stallworth is hired as the first Black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Eager to prove himself by making a big bust, Ron answers a KKK recruitment ad in the local paper. He calls the group, posing as a racist White man, and, much to his surprise, they say they want to meet him. So he gets a fellow officer, Flip Zimmerman, to go in his stead. The charade works, and Zimmerman is accepted into the group, despite the fact that he sounds nothing like Ron, and is, in fact, Jewish. Ron and Flip continue their subterfuge, getting closer with the Klan, and even becoming friends with David Duke, the head of the KKK. But all is not well, as some members of the organization suspect Flip isn’t who he says he is, and Ron uncovers a plot to blow up his girlfriend’s house. Can he and Flip stop the Klan in time? Well, you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out.
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Sorry To Bother You (2018)

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In an alternate reality Oakland, Cash Green is a regular dude, struggling to get by. With no money, and few prospects, he takes a job in telemarketing, where he quickly learns that he’s far more likely to sell products if he uses his “white voice.” Doing so allows him to climb the corporate ladder, eventually getting promoted to the position of “power caller,” meaning he gets to sell weapons of mass destruction to dictators. All this success puts him into conflict with his girlfriend, Detroit, and co-workers, Sal and Squeeze, who want the telemarketers to unionize, and fear that Cash is selling out. Things only get worse when the head of WorryFree, a company that turns people into slaves by forcing them to sign life-long contracts, comes to Cash’s door with a frightening proposal.
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