Little is a fantasy comedy, co-written and directed by Tina Gordon. It follows an overbearing boss who is transformed into the child version of herself. Martin, who serves as an executive producer on the project, at 14 years old, becoming the youngest person to ever hold the title on a Hollywood production. I was really anxious to see Little but I was slightly disappointed. The story could have covered more of her adult life and the overall movie could have been a little funnier.
Little opens with 13 year old Jordan Sanders (Marsai Martin) being bullied at her middle school talent show by Caren Green (Eva Carlton) and her friends who turned Jordan’s daring demo into a wrecking ball experience. As a result, Jordan landed in the hospital with broken limbs. Being bullied throughout her childhood, caused Jordan become a ruthless tech mogul as a grown-up. Scene after scene shows a grown Jordan (Regina Hall) as an evil, demanding, rich tycoon, entrepreneur who takes advantage of all her employees and anyone else who gets in her way. She is especially mean to her assistant, April Williams (Issa Rae), who has talent and wants to be more than an assistant.
Jordan owns JSL, a tech company that develops and sells software applications to other firms. When her biggest client, Connor (Mikey Day) shows up unannounced, Jordan suddenly calms herself long enough to meet and greet him, then finds out she has 48 hours to pitch an application that will knock Connor’s socks off or he’s dropping her company. Once Connor leaves, she demands a staff meeting of her developers and demands they come up with something to save the company or walk the unemployment line. During the meeting Jordan continues to bully her staff, calling them names and humiliating every employee individually. April who is encouraged by her colleague, Preston (Tone Bell) tries to make her talent known. She speaks up at the meeting stating she has her own pitch, only to get shot down by Jordan who essentially told April to stay in her place, as an assistant. While in the lobby of her office building, Jordan continues to insult people while physically pushing them around until a little girl, Stevie (Marley Taylor) called her out on being so mean. Stevie gets so angry, she pulls out her toy ward, waves it directly at Jordan and says “I wish you were little”. At that moment, Jordan becomes frail, stumbling to and fro then ask “what just happened?” She recovers and orders everyone to get back to work.
Jordan wakes up the next day in her lavage apartment as her old 13 year old self. She is fully dressed, leaving for work when she discovers her clothes are too big and people are asking “who are you”? She looks in the mirror and sees her former childhood self. Of course, she calls her assistant to help her figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. From this point on, Jordan gets the chance to relive the life of her younger self at a time when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear.
In my opinion, Little is a comedy that could have had many more laughs than it did. The critics praised the performances but called it “a bit safer and lighter on laughs than many would like”. Lack of belly aching laughs aside, the acting is brilliant, just not enough Regina Hall. Marcia Martin and Issa Rae stole the show. Jordan goes back to school and encounters the same bullies but finds a few friends who she actually helps. Little covers a lot of territory and there are some heartfelt moments. So, does Jordan learn a lesson or does she remain a horrible bully? Does April get that big promotion she’s been looking for? Does Jordan meet the 48 hour deadline and get to keep her company? Do either April or Jordan find love? You’ll have to see the movie to get the answers. I think Little is definitely worth seeing. Not only does Marsai Martin star in Little, she is also an executive producer, having come up with the idea for Little when she was 10. Martin is the youngest person to ever have an executive producer credit on a Hollywood wide release. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged agent Bea, April Williams, Caren Greene, connor, Devon, Eva Carlton, gary, isaac, issa rae, Jasmin, jd McCrery, Jordan sanders, Justin Hartley, Little, Luke James, Marc Hawes, Marley Taylor, marsai Martin, Mikey day, Mr. Marshall, Preston, Rachel dratch, Raina, regina hall, Scott, stevie, Thalia Tran, tone bell, trevor, Tucker meek
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