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Logan

Logan, Professor X, and Caliban are of the few surviving mutants in 2029 when they live in hiding on the Mexican border. Logan maintains a low profile while supporting the trio financially by serving as a driver and caring for an elderly Professor X. All is well until a woman introduces Logan to little girl named Laura (Dafne King) who has powers similar to his and is in need of protection from Dr. Rice.

Logan is indeed a brutally violent concluding episode of Wolverine’s legacy and a sincere tear-jerking performance all at once. Although this is an aged version of Logan, he is still fierce. The film finds interesting ways to compare and contrast Logan’s strengths, weaknesses, personal battles and character flaws through his relationship with Daphne, Professor X, and Dr. Rice’s secret weapon.

Get Out

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Rating: R

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out is a satirical horror film about an interracial couple, Rose (Allison Williams) and Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that visits Rose’s parents, Missy (.Catherine Keener ) and Deen (Bradley Whitford) at their home town. All seems well at first. However, strange events reveal a sick truth about the race relations of the suburb.

Get Out is both bold and thought provoking because it challenges the social ills associated with racism through a seemingly innocent love story. The film score is reminiscent of the string ensembles in the Tales from the Hood (1995) and sets an eerie tone early on. Initially, it’s easy to fall in love with both couples, their quirky hang ups, and their efforts to establish a solid relationship. However, Missy and Deen’s black servants, Georgina (Betty Gavriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson) exhibit strange behavior that draws concern for Chris’ safety. Get Out is a must see psychological thriller that will make the viewer think, laugh, and root for Chris every step of the way.

I Am Not Your Negro

Genre: Documentary
Rating: PG 13

“I Am Not Your Negro” examines the lives of three historic figures (Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and Medgar Evers) through the experiences of the author and historian, James Baldwin. Samuel L. Jackson narrates exerts from the book that Baldwin never completed entitled, Remember This House.

“I Am Not Your Negro” is in My Movie Pot because it utilizes raw footage of Baldwin’s lectures, recent riots, and Samuel L. Jackson’s narration to illustrate race relations in America.  This empowering documentary compares and contrasts these leaders while expressing many of the challenges that Baldwin faced during the process.

Richard Pryor: Icon

Title: Richard Pryor: Icon
Genre: Documentary
Produced by Outpost Entertainment
Director: Marina Zenovich

Richard Pryor: Icon is a documentary about the legendary comedian, Richard Pryor that shows his rise to stardom from a poverty stricken background and the demons that contributed to his deteriorated health. Guest commentators include notable comedians such as Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, and George Wallace. Professor Todd Boyd of the University of Southern California Cinematic Arts provides commentary on the cultural impact of Richard Pryor’s controversial style and how it originated as an impersonation of Bill Cosby. Film Director Michael Schultz speaks of Pryor both as a friend and colleague while Rashan Khan elaborates on his experience as Pryor’s bodyguard.

This documentary show how Richard Pryor grew up in a whore house that his abusive grandmother ran and where his mother was employed. Despite his obstacles, Pryor became a socially conscious performer who abandoned the safety of his Cosby-like routine. However, an almost fatal burn accident with cocaine and journey to Africa contributed to his evolution into a more spiritually aware being.

“What Happened Miss Simone?”

What happened Miss Simone?

Genre:  Documentary

Year:  2015

Directed by:  Liz Garbos

Runtime:  1 hour 42 minutes

 

 

Prior to her death in 2003, Jazz singer and classical pianist legend Nina Simone received 15 Grammy nominations and was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fall in 2000.  “What Happened, Miss Simone?” chronicles the life and transformation of Nina Simone, from her humble beginnings in Tryon North Carolina to the pinnacle of her career while examining the political involvement that crippled her advancement in the United States.  The documentary explains that she was born as Eunice Waymon in 1933 in when her mother served as a preacher and allowed her to play the piano at her revivals.

 Similar to Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune, her early education was funded by the philanthropic contributions of white women who saw her potential.  Key interviewees who shed light upon her personal struggles include her daughter, Lisa Simone and her ex husband, Andrew Stroud who both illustrate the abuse she encountered as Stroud abandoned his career as a police officer to manage Simone.  To his disdain, Simone became a radical civil rights movement leader which left many radio stations and booking agents unwilling to support her.  The struggle intensified as she watched her personal affairs suffer at the expense of her passion to voice her people’s pain.

“Blue is the Warmest Color” Reviewed


A flaming controversy erupted in 2013 when Lea Seydoux complained that Director Abdel Kechiche made her feel like a prostitute during the filming of a ten minute lesbian sex scene in the Palme d’Or award winner, “Blue is the Warmest Color”. Consequently, the film was banned in many theaters in the United States and given an NC-17 rating. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is the risk that critics run of discrediting the film’s artistic and aesthetic value the raves of attention that the sex scenes receive.

“Blue is the Warmest Color” stars Adele Exarchopoulos as Adele, a typical teenage girl who is anxious to fall in love with the ideal Prince Charming. Her friends observe and feel the physical attraction between Adele and Samir (Salim Kechiouche) a fellow classmate who is considered one of the most handsome boys in the school. The relationship runs its course and an interesting turn of events take place when Adele meets Emma (Lea Sedoux), an older mysterious art student with blue hair.

In contrast to a previous female love interest that stalemates, Emma sparks Adele’s curiosity like no other human being. She’s more aware and appreciative of her sexuality, while being artistically inclined enough to encourage Adele to pursue her passions for reading and writing. The pair doesn’t rush getting to know one another and discover that spiritual and physical connection.

Another refreshing aspect of the movie is the emphasis that is placed on the family values of both women. It also shows how the women’s relationships evolve over time. Adele’s friends interpret her relationship with Emma totally different from her family. The contrast also makes it easier to appreciate the triumphs of Emma and Adele’s relationship and makes it heartbreaking to deal with the defeats.

To many critics, “Blue is the Warmest Color” straddles the fence between innocent infatuation to lustful debauchery. Many agree that the sex scenes are not accurate portrayals of lesbian sex. Nonetheless, the film welcomes discussions on sexual explorations, friendships after romance, and love at first sight. “Blue is the Warmest Color” is both endearing and bitter-sweet.

“Life After Beth” Reviewed

“You never know what you have until it’s gone” is a cliché and recurring theme that is most fitting for “Life After Beth” starring Zach Orgman (Dane Dehaan) a heartbroken adolescence who copes with the tragic loss of his girlfriend, Beth Slocum (Aubrey Plaza).  Directed by Jeff Baena, the comedy-horror leaves the audience entertained, grossed out, and hopeful all at once.  “Life After Beth” has elements of the typical zombie movie- the walking dead and frenzied panics of despair along with a few unique ingredients.

In “Life After Beth,” a teenage girl named Beth Slocum passes away leaving her high school sweetheart, Zach to mourn her memory while struggling to maintain his sanity.  He seeks her parents’ home as a refuge where her father, Maury Slocum (John C. Reilly) consoles him as a friend rather than a father figure.  Beth’s mother, Geenie Slocum (Molly Shannon) remains peculiarly calm during the wake of her daughter’s death, and also welcomes young Zach into their home with open arms.  Zach’s hot-tempered brother, Kyle (Matthew Gray Gubler) intervenes and forbids Zach from frequenting the Slocums who seemingly begin to avoid him.  Nonetheless, young Zach persists and finds that the Slocums are hiding a resurrected Beth in their home.

Initially, Zach’s prayers appear to have manifested into reality, until he realizes that the Beth he fell in love with is far from the same Beth that returned from the grave.  Indeed, she is a flesh-eating zombie that gets a thrill out of listening to smooth jazz and violent tantrums.  Although she puts forth maximum effort to subdue her true zombie nature, her wrath is unleashed and the zombie fever spreads throughout the small town.

In comparison to other zombie romantic films such as “Warm Bodies” (2013), the humor in “Life After Beth” is much cornier and at times a bit drier.  Unlike “Warm Bodies,” “Life After Beth” is depicted from the perspectives of others affected by Beth’s resurrection- prompting the audience to sympathize more with the other characters rather than the actual zombie.  Similar to “Warm Bodies,” the romance between the two main characters is both disturbing and outright creepy.  Perhaps one of the creepiest elements of the film is Beth’s choice of wardrobe.

Overall, the film is goofy, gruesome, yet comical to say the least.  Despite the genre and R-rating, it is mild enough to be enjoyed by a younger crowd- especially those who enjoy zombie flicks.  “Life After Beth” is a quirky zombie flick that’s too corny not to like.

Life After Beth @ Cinematique November 22, 2014 @ 9:30 pm


In “Life After Beth”, Kyle (Matthew Gray Gubler) copes with the sudden death of his beloved girlfriend, Beth (Aubrey Plaza) as best as he can. His biggest regret is the realization that he neglected to express his feelings for her while she was still alive. He soon realizes that he will get a second chance as Beth resurrects from the grave and returns with a new identity and strange habits. http://www.cinematique.org/cult-classic/
November 22, 2014 @ 9:30 pm.