The Hate U Give is a drama directed by George Tillman Jr. and written by Audrey Wells. It is based on Angie Thomas’ 2017 novel of same name. The Hate U Give focuses on racism and the numerous shootings of young Black unarmed men by White cops. The plot follows the fallout after a high school student witnesses a police shooting and is easily one of the best films I’ve ever seen.
Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is a young high school student who tries to live a normal life in the suburb of an all-black district of Garden Heights, with her family. Starr’s mother, Lisa Carter (Regina Hall) and father, Maverick Carter (Russell Hornsby) sacrificed to send her and her half brother, Seven Carterto (Lamar Johnson) to Williamson High, a predominately White private school in a White neighborhood, to avoid the downfalls of a ghetto school and a ghetto neighborhood. Starr is quite popular among the students and has several White girlfriends, Hailey (Sabrina Carpenter) and Maya (Megan Lawless) are among her prep school friends, which also includes a White boyfriend named Chris (KJ Apa).
One night, Starr attends a local house party and runs into her childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith). A brawl breaks out and shots are fired, so Khalil and Starr flee the party in his car. While driving Starr home, Khalil is pulled over by a police officer. In an unforgettable turn of events, Khalil is gunned down and shot dead in front of a horrified Starr, when the policeman mistakenly thinks Khalil is a criminal who was reaching for a gun that turned out to be a hairbrush.
Later, Starr is approached by an activist, April Ofrah (Issa Rae) who tries to get Starr to speak her truth to the media and the neighborhood. To complicate matters, Starr’s uncle Carlos (Common) is a police officer and King (Anthony Mackie) a local drug dealer who employed Khalil and is also Seven’s half sister’s Kenya (Dominique Fishback) father. In the aftermath of his death and funeral, citizens all over the city begin to demand justice leaving the traumatized but courageous Starr to find her voice and speak the truth about what happened the night of the shooting. Starr was concerned that the students at her school would single her out as a “poor Black kid” from the ghetto and feel pity while adopting a “hands-off” approach. Confused and angry, Starr eventually finds her footing and her truth. The back story regarding King, the neighborhood drug dealer is a little ify, in my opinion, but can easily be over looked.
The Hate You Give was so touching, I was not able to withhold my emotions, causing me to sob at the mere idea of an innocent person of any color being shot several times by a frightened cop. The story was told in such a way that it truly gets under your skin. Amandla Stenberg’s performance was flawless. I love the way the officer was portrayed as he makes a traffic stop displaying his over the top nervousness which in my opinion, is the reason rookie or improperly trained police should not be assigned to the streets. They appear to be so afraid of getting shot they cannot think straight. Maybe all police should wear bullet proof vest. Injustice on all sides are brilliantly addressed in The Hate You Give, making it one of the most powerful films to come along in quite some time. Excellent movie — check it out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged algee smith, amandla stenberg, anthony mackie, april ofrah, Chris, common, dominique fishback, hailey, issa rae, kenya, khalil harris, king, kj apa, kr lewis, lemar johnson, lisa carter, maverick carter, maya, megan lawless, regina hall, Russell Hornsby, sabrina carpenter, sekani carter, seven, seven carter, starr carter, the hate you give, tj wright, tony vaughn, uncle carlos
John Wick: Chapter 2 is an action thriller sequel to the 2014 film John Wick. The plot follows the popular hitman after he goes on the run when a bounty is placed on his head. There is so much fighting and killing in this sequel, it made me tired just watching. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is well connected and has everything he needs to get the job done. The only thing he doesn’t have, that he really wants, is freedom. After the first John Wick film, John considered himself a former assassin who just, going forward, wanted to be left alone to live his life as a free man. The sequel opens with John tracking down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang, which he finds at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare), brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef from the first film. During the recovery of his car, it gets heavily damaged so he calls on Aurelio (John Leguizamo), the owner of a high-end chop shop to repair it.
After a visit from Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), John learns he is not free until he fulfills an oath sealed by blood years ago as a commitment into the assassins secret society. When John refuses to honor his commitment, Santino burns down John beautiful home using a grenade launcher as a warning. Winston (Ian McShane), the owner of the Continental hotel in New York City, reminds John that if he rejects the Marker, he will be violating one of the two unbreakable rules of the underworld: no killing on Continental ground, and the Markers must be honored. John accepts his duty and meets with D’Antonio, who tasks him with assassinating his sister Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini) so he can claim her seat on the “High Table,” a council of high-level crime lords. D’Antonio sends Ares (Ruby Rose), his personal bodyguard, to follow and keep an eye on John.
From here, the movie moves to Rome where John is expected to carry out his commitment. Here he encounters Cassian (Common) an old colleague and bodyguard of Gianna’s. There is much fighting, killing and counter plots as John fights to free himself from the Assassins underground organization. Eventually, John seeks help from the underground crime lord Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). What ensues from this point is definitely a twist you won’t see coming. John Wick is a killing machine — it’s all about survival and beating the odds. The odds are bigger than any odds I’ve seen, which makes John’s journey seem pretty hopeless. I wasn’t particularly fond of the sequel because of the endless killing and the hopeless plot. John Wick: Chapter 2 has plenty of action and is not predictable. If you don’t mind all the violence, check it out.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged abram tarasov, ares, aurelio, bowery king, cassian, claudia gerini, common, continental hotel, franco nero, hitman, ian mcshane, iosef, john leguizamo, john wick: chapter 2, keanu reeves, lance reddick charon, laurence fishburne, peter serafinowicz, peter stormare, riccardo scamarcio, ruby rose, santino d’antonio, viggo, winston
Barbershop: The Next Cut is a comedy with a profound message. A third sequel to the barbershop series tries to send a message about the senseless killings of our youth in our communities who are too often hit by stray bullets intended for those involved in gang activity. Children are being killed so often, this Chicago neighborhood is trying to come up with a solution that can be implemented quick and easy. Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) and his wife Jennifer Palmer (Jazsmin Lewis) are watching their son Jalen (Michael Rainey, Jr.) change from a sweet loving kid to a hard headed rebellious type that is staring to head down the wrong path. Calvin and Jennifer, being in denial, is blaming their son’s new attitude on his current buddy, Kenny (Diallo Thompson) who is the son of Rashad Jones (Common), Calvin’s best friend. In the meanwhile, gangs are running rampart in the Chicago neighborhood and more youths are getting killed in the crossfire and recruited by these gangs. One-Stop, (J.B. Smoove) a hustler who sells real estate among his many other talents, works in Calvin’s barbershop, which is now co-ed as the barbershop is also a beauty salon with Angie (Regina Hall as Calvin’s partner. Calvin is entertaining the idea of moving to the north side of town where it is safer to raise his son and operate his shop. The usual gang is back in session with Terri Jones (Eve) as Common’s wife, Draya (Nicki Minaj) as a hair stylist and over sexed trouble maker, Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) as the oldest barber, J.D. (Anthony Anderson) as the caterer, Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar) as the Black Indian barber, Jimmy James (Sean Patrick Thomas) as the Congressman and Isaac (Troy Garity) as the over-the-top White boy player. New comer Jerrod, (Lamorne Morris) who comes off as a gay guy and Bree, (Margot Bingham) a hair stylist become love interest for each other, despite the gay rumors. The overall goal of the Barbershop is to force a cease fire among the gangs, causing peace and trust and most of all, no killings of youth for days at a time, in exchange for free services offered by the barbershop/hair salon during the cease fire. Of course there’s much more to this so you will have to see the film to find out how it all works out.
Barbershop is a little corny but sends an excellent message and is well acted as well as entertaining. It’s been in the queue for several weeks, which tells me that it’s worth seeing. Also, a couple of fun surprises were incorporated into the ending so check it out! I enjoyed it.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, Uncategorized
Tagged angie, anthony anderson, barbershop: next cut, bree, calvin palmer, cedric the entertainer, common, diallo thompson, draya, eddie, eve, hair stylist, ice cube, isaac, jalen palmer, jazsmin lewis, jb smoove, jd, jennifer palmer, jerrod, jimmy james, kenny, lamorne morris, margot bingham, michael rainey jr, nicki minaj, one-stop, raja, rashad jones, regina hall, sean patrick thomas, terri jones, troy garity, utkarsh ambudkar
Hollywood may be fearing redundant movie plots. Run All Night is not the same old thing but I have a problem with all the “Taken” films Liam Neeson has starred in. I couldn’t stop relating Run All Night to his Taken character. Lately, Liam Neeson seems to star in the same types of movies. Aside from that, Run All Night has a decent plot. A mobster, Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) and his gang of thugs, including professional hit man Andrew Price (Common) go after hit man, Jimmy Conley (Liam Neeson) and his son Michael Conley (Joel Kinnaman) because Jimmy was forced to shoot Shawn’s son, Danny Maguire (Boyd Holbrook) as Danny was about to shoot Jimmy’s estranged son, Michael. Michael has a pregnant wife and 2 children and drives a limousine for a living. Because of this shooting, the two men have to team up for their survival. Shawn is hell bent on killing Jimmy and Michael as revenge for the death of his son, even if his son was totally in the wrong. The action is pretty good and the direction is thorough. I enjoyed Run All Night but didn’t find it fantastic, just interesting with lots of excitement. It has nothing to do with the Taken movies. Overall, you wouldn’t be missing anything if you wait for the DVD.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged andrew price, boyd holbrook, common, danny maguire, ed harris, jimmy conley, joel kinnaman, liam neeson, limousine, michael conley, mobster, run all night, shawn maguire