Queen & Slim is a romantic drama directed by Melina Matsoukas (in her feature directorial debut) and written by Lena Waithe, from a story by James Frey and Waithe. The plot follows two African-Americans who must go on the run after killing a police officer in self-defense during a traffic stop gone wrong. Queen & Slim is an interesting story that I wish I could say is fiction but sadly, the story reflects the turn life has taken for people of color!
A criminal defense attorney, Angela “Queen” Johnson (Jodie Turner-Smith), has dinner with her date, Ernest “Slim” Hines (Daniel Kaluuya), in an Ohio diner. On his way to dropping Queen off at home, his presumably erratic driving attracts the attention of police officer Reed (Sturgill Simpson). He pulls the two over and orders Slim to step out of the car. The officer obviously agitated, drew his gun on Slim. Queen gets out of the car, identifies herself as an attorney and demands to know why he was arresting Slim. When Queen tried to record the incident on her phone, the officer shoots her, luckily only grazing her leg. Seeing Queen shot, Slim tackles the officer but he got the best of Slim, beating him senselessly. Slim grabs the officer’s gun, during the struggle, the gun goes off killing the cop in self-defense. Queen convinces Slim that they either have to go on the run or spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Queen & Slim was a sad and tragic movie that unfortunately represents similar scenarios and attitudes taking place in today’s society. Racial profiling is a serious problem that plaques the police force as well as regular people on the streets. By nature, there isn’t a way to effectively keep cops or civilians from doing it. If a certain race of people consistently fits the shoe, they are going to be suspected of wearing the shoe without question. Cops, however, should be better than that. They have had enough training that should help them make better decisions. I could go on and on about this but I won’t get into the struggles of races. The sad part, is innocent people suffer because of bad decisions. Queen & Slim is supposed to show the human side of the accused and oppressed so people can emphasize. I don’t think the goal was achieved. It’s like saying, “did you know Blacks are Human?” I give Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe an “E” for effort and a Thanks for trying. The film shows the struggles Queen & Slim encounter as they run for their lives. Queen & Slim received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances, chemistry between Kaluuya and Turner-Smith, direction, emotional weight, and messages, though some criticized the script. The movie has grossed $30,584,870 million worldwide. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged Angela "Queen" Johnson, benito martinez, bokeem woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, daniel kaluuya, Ernest "Slim" Hines, Flea, Goddess, Indya Moore, Jahi Di'Allo Winston, Jodie Turner-Smith, Junior, Melanie Halfkenny, Mr. Shepherd, Mrs. Shepherd, Naomi, Officer Reed, Queen and Slim, Sheriff Edgar, Sturgill Simpson, Uncle Earl
Gemini Man is an action thriller directed by Ang Lee and written by David Benioff, Billy Ray, and Darren Lemke. Gemini Man follows a hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself while on the run from the government. I waited with bated breath for this movie, it didn’t let me down.
**** SOME SPOILERS ****
Henry Brogan /Jackson Brogan (codenamed “Junior”), (Will Smith), is a government-paid assassin with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and regarded as the best killer of his generation. Gemini Man opens with Henry, who has eyes on an anonymous terrorist aboard a bullet train that he has been commissioned to assassinate. Once in position, Henry’s spotter alerts him of a young girl approaching the target, causing Henry to delay his shot until the last second. He shoots the man in the neck but was aiming for his head. Disillusioned by his aging skills, Henry retires from government service. While adjusting to retirement, Henry meets boat rental manager Dani Zakarweskiand (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and reconnects with an old friend, Jack Willis (Douglas Hodge), who reveals that an informant named Yuri Kovacs (Ilia Volok) told him that the terrorist Henry killed was an innocent man. Demanding proof, Henry has Jack arrange a meeting with Yuri. In retaliation for Henry knowing their deception, agency director, Janet Lassiter (Linda Emond) plans to kill Henry. Clay Varris (Clive Owen), head of a top-secret black ops unit codenamed “GEMINI“, request permission to do the job of getting rid of Henry but is denied.
Meanwhile, realizing Dani is a fellow agent sent to monitor him, Henry befriends her. After his home is broken into by government agents, Henry calls his spotter, who is killed along with Jack and his mistress. Henry warns Dani about the attack. Together they manage to kill the assassins sent after them, learning the agency wants them both dead. Escaping to Colombia, Henry and Dani go to the home of Henry’s former colleague and friend, Baron (Benedict Wong) and plan to meet with Yuri for further options. Meanwhile, Clay gets his chance to dispatch his top assassin to kill Henry. While they are fighting, Henry realizes the assassin bears an uncanny resemblance to himself as a young man, with a similar skill set.
Gemini Man turned out to be a pretty good movie despite Will Smith’s rather large ego. It’s probably no coincidence that Will’s character is considered the best in his particular field and because he’s the best, only the best (a clone) could be considered for the job of assassinating “his best self”. Fast-forwarding to the special effects, I think they were brilliant. In the old days when one actor played two people that looked exactly alike, their faces couldn’t be shown together at the same time. Oh, how times have changed, in my opinion, the special effects were fantastic. The ending was a little cheesy but a nice idea. So how does a younger you kill an older you, after all, one of you knows every move the other is going to make. You’ll just have to see this one to get all the answers. I recommend Gemini to all. It was fun and enjoyable, as I was thoroughly entertained. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who complimented the performances but lamented the script and plot. The de-aging of Smith and the high frame-rate of 120 FPS drew a mixed response, with some critics praising them as technical achievements, while others felt they were unconvincing. Gemini Man has earned $119.2 million and was produced on an estimated budget of $138 million. Check It Out!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Baron, benedict wong, Björn Freiberg, Clayton "Clay" Varris, clive owen, Dani Zakarweski, Del Patterson, douglas hodge, E. J. Bonilla, Gemini Man, Henry Brogan, Ilia Volok, Jack Willis, Jackson Brogan, Janet Lassiter, Junior, keller, Kitty, Linda Emond, Marino, mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ralph Brown, Theodora Miranne, will smith, Yuri Kovacs