Just Mercy is a legal drama directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film is based on the memoir of the same name and is written by Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy is the true story of Walter McMillian, who, with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. The film shows the prejudices in the state of Alabama, which suppresses the rights and voices of Black innocent citizens.
In 1989, an idealistic young Harvard law graduate, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) makes the decision to defend poor Blacks in Alabama hoping to give relief and help to those who cannot afford proper legal representation. He meets with Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) and together they create the Equal Justice Initiative. At the nearby prison, Bryan meets death row inmates, including Walter “Johnny D.” McMillian (Jamie Foxx), an African-American man convicted of murdering a White woman named Ronda Morrison. Bryan looks over the evidence in the case and discovers it hinges entirely on the testimony of convicted felon, Ralph Myers (Tim Blake Nelson), who provided a highly self-contradictory testimony in exchange for a lighter sentence in his own pending trial. Bryan’s first move is to consult with prosecutor Tommy Chapman (Rafe Spall) for assistance but Chapman dismisses him without even looking at his notes. AND SO THE PREJUDICES BEGINS!
Just Mercy can cause you to get pretty angry just listening to the lies and watching the smug looks of satisfaction on the faces of bigots when they are executing power and victory over their victims. Because Just Mercy is a true story, it made it harder to digest the horrific injustices throughout the movie. Overall, the film was well done and well-acted. The sad part is these kinds of injustices are continuing to plague poor communities of color. Racism is such a waste of time as well shown in Just Mercy. You will be adversely moved and saddened but also feel a sense of exoneration because of the outcome. I recommend Just Mercy to everyone, it shows the other side of evil. The film received positive reviews from critics, as well as a nomination for Jamie Foxx for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Additionally, Just Mercy grossed $35,191,640 domestically and $44,841,640 worldwide. The review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, reported that 84% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 211 reviews, with an average rating of 6.99/10. The site’s critics consensus reads: “Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.” Check It Out!
Posted in CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Anthony Ray Hinton, brie larson, bryan stevenson, C.J. LeBlanc, Darnell Houston, David Walker, Dominic Bogart, Doug Ansley, Eva Ansley, Hayes Mercure, Herbert Richardson, Jamie foxx, jeremy, Jimmy Darrell Britt-Gibson, John McMillan, Judge Foster, JUST MERCY, Karan Kendrick, kirk bovill, Lindsay Ayliffe, michael B. jordan, Minnie McMillian, o'shea jackson jr, rafe spall, Ralph Myers, rob morgan, Ron Clinton Smith, Terence Rosemore, tim blake nelson, Tommy Chapman, Walter McMillian, Woodrow Ikner
Long Shot is a romantic comedy directed by Jonathan Levine and written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. The plot follows a journalist who begins to spend time with his former babysitter who is now the United States Secretary of State. While I’m not a fan of Charlize Theron or Seth Rogen, the plot of Long Shot was intriguing, so I decided to see the movie.
In 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is told by her boss, President Chambers (John Odenkirk), that he does not plan to run for a second term. Realizing an opportunity has now arisen, she convinces POTUS to endorse her as a potential presidential candidate.
At the same time, New York City journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogan) is being told that the newspaper he works for has been sold to Parker Wembly (Andy Serkis), a wealthy media mogul whose integrity, morality, principles and moral code is opposite to Fred’s. Disgusted, furious and disappointed, Fred promptly quits without any other job prospects. Adding depression to the list, he turns to his more successful best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who takes him to a charity fundraiser where Charlotte is also attending. She and Fred recognize each other, as she was his babysitter when they were teenagers.
Upon reading some of Fred’s columns, Charlotte decides to hire him to write her speeches despite her manager, Maggie Millikin’s (June Diane Raphael) disapproval. At a world leaders summit, Charlotte is forced to revise a speech involving a planned environmental revision to appease some of her constituents. When Fred objects and calls her out on abandoning her morals, she changes her mind and the speech is a success. As the two continue to spend time together under the pretext of Fred learning more about Charlotte for his writing, they start to get close.
Long Shot continues from this point with many interesting sub plots. This movie is deemed a romantic comedy but I deem it as a farce and a satire. Because Seth Rogan does not ever play a lead male romantic role, and looks far from the part and Charlize is the epitome of beauty, the thought of the two of them together is a laugh. This is how our society sees things. Once you adjust to them being a real thing, you don’t have to ask why he doesn’t play these kind of roles. I do realize, this is his character in the film but he’s so good at acting a fool, he’s made a believer out of yours truly. Long Shot is definitely funny but no where near believable. Imagine a female POTUS married to a grimy, buffoonery acting husband who is far from being attractive. The media would have a field day, so would comedians and supporters. The performance of Boyz II Men at the fund raiser was a real treat and since Long Shot made me laugh, I consider it a pretty good movie. It’s not the best of either actor, but it can serve as a pick me up for someone who needs one. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the chemistry and performances of Rogen and Theron. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged agent m, alexander skarsgård, andy serkis, Avia mongillo, Bob Odenkirk, boyz ii men, Braxton herda, charlize theron, Charlotte field, Claudia o'doherty, Fred flarsky, James saito, James steward, June Diane Raphael, Katherine, Kurt braunohler, Lance, lil yachty, lisa kudrow, long shot, Maggie Milliken, minister kishido, o'shea jackson jr, Parker Wembley, Paul schemer, president chambers, randall park, Ravi patel, seth rogen, tom, Tristan d lalla
Straight Outta Compton definitely lives up to the hype. For the first time I actually see Hip Hop in a different light, I even think I might understand it a little. I never cared for it, sharing the opinion of many, that it’s just gangster rap with a lot of cursing, disrespect for women and Ebonics that no one could understand except the rappers. This still might be the case with a lot of rap but there’s so much more behind the words and the beats that’s worth exploring and understanding. Plus, one rap doesn’t fit all. Straight Outta Compton starts out in 1986 in a ghetto called Compton, located in Los Angeles, California that is equal to the old Watts neighborhood most of us have heard of. Crime, drugs, poverty, hopelessness, danger, murder and a bad place to be, let alone live. To emerge from Compton alive, clean, not on death row or a junkie is a miracle in itself. Hopelessness is a terrible thing. Being born into it is suicidal, to say the least. The attitude usually is “what do I have to lose?” These young African American men are harassed and disrespected by the police as well as the rest of the world. When rap came about, it was a way to make honest money but more importantly, it was a way to express what they felt, a way to let the world know what they go through every day. A way to achieve fame, dignity, respect and rise up out of an impossible situation. 5 young men, Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.), Eazy-E (Jackson Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), DJ Yella (Neil Brown, Jr.), ( and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) formed a hip hop group called N.W.A. They worked hard to make great musical, hip hop tracks that would soon escalate them to stardom after hooking up with a manager named Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) and a record producer named Bryan Turner (Tate Ellington), at Priority Records . N.W.A. was enjoying their fame, traveling, continually on tour, partying and life was looking up but Ice Cube and the others had no contract. Easy seemed to be the only one who was offered a contract to sign. Ice Cube also noticed Eazy-E and Jerry Heller owned the company and was convinced he and the rest of the group was getting shafted. After much confrontation, Ice Cube would be the first to leave and go out on his own. Dr. Dre soon followed, leaving Eazy-E to carry his company alone with the two remaining members. After time, Eazy-E became broke and discovered Jerry had been cheating him all along leaving him in huge debt. As usual, I will stop here so I won’t spoil the entire movie for those of you who haven’t seen it.
Straight Outta Compton runs for 2 hours and 27 minutes and is worth every second. The language is harsh, the nudity is explicit, the violence is graphic and the theme is very street. The story is quite interesting and if you are unfamiliar with the history of the group N.W.A. or hip hop, you’ll certainly get much out of this movie. These are characters we are familiar with as Ice Cube is not only a rapper, but a successful movie actor who starred in films such as Barber Shop, Friday, Boyz n the Hood, Ride Along 1 and 2 and Are We There Yet? and many more. Dr. Dre is also well known for producing Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and 50 Cent. He also started Beats Electronics, which was bought by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. BTW: Ice Cube’s real son (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.) played the role of his father and looks just like him. As a matter of fact, the casting company did an incredible job because the main actors closely resembled the real characters they were portraying. Straight Outta Compton is now on DVD and Blue-Rey and is more than worth seeing. Check it out, you won’t be sorry.
[STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON is nominated for Original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged aldis hodge, bryan turner, california, corey hawkins, dj yella, dr dre, eazy-e, hip hop, ice cube, jackson mitchell, jerry heller, los angeles, mc ren, n.w.a., neil brown jr, o'shea jackson jr, paul giamatti, straight outta compton, tate ellington