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Posts Tagged ‘Film Review’

Phonte Reviews ‘Red Tails’ For his ‘Movie In A Minute’ Series (Video)

I went to see the movie “Red Tails” because I believe it’s a very important film not just for African Americans, but for all Americans in knowing more about the history & sacrifices made by the Tuskeegee Airmen who the film is largely based upon. Phonte continues his “Movie In A Minute” film review for 2012 with his thoughts on Red Tails that hit theaters last friday January 20th. I agree with Phonte’s commentary 100% in this clip. His thoughts are exactly what I was thinking after catching the movie over the weekend. I purposely didn’t say anything on twitter, because I didn’t want to influence anyone NOT to see the film. I expected more, but still understood the importance of the film & for people to go & support it.

‘Source Code’: A Mindbender That’s Easy To Follow by Nikki Liverpool (Film Review)

Source Code: A Mindbender That’s Easy To Follow by Nikki Liverpool (A Chick Who Digs Flicks)

It was great to watch a film that immediately puts you right into the action. No set up, no
back story, played more like you walked into the middle of a conversation, yet you
donʼt feel like you need to be caught up. Source Code, Jake Gyllenhaalʼs latest in the
time-space continuum trend, introduces us to Colter Stevens, a helicopter pilot in the
Afghanistan conflict. Heʼs on a Chicago commuter train in the middle of a conversation
with an attractive woman, Christina, played by Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone)
but he needs to be caught up. You get the feeling that this is going to be a sci-fi
Groundhog Day because certain things start to happen and Stevens reacts as though
he were expecting these minor occurrences.

What Stevens learns is that heʼs there to find out who planted on bomb on this train, as
a precursor to an even bigger explosion in the heart of Chicago. This we find out as he
is transported to some sort of apocalyptic pod with only a screen to communicate with
Vera Farmiga (The Departed), a Department of Defense official whoʼs there to gather
information. Who is on the train in the last eight minutes before of the explosion: what it
the comedian? The nervous, middle eastern looking man, who runs into the bathroom,
where Stevens finds the bomb in the ceiling vent? Is it Christina, who almost purrs
when she talks to him? What happened before? As he jumps back and forth,
Gyllenhaal makes the most of the eight minutes every time he goes back, gaining more
information, accusing the wrong person, beating them up, etc. At the end of each
transportation, the commuter train explodes.

Jeffrey Wright (Shaft) plays the head of the DOD source code program, who at first
youʼre not sure if heʼs a villain (he does walk around with a crutch, after all, a la Samuel
in Unbreakable), but is merely a scientist that wants the program to be a
success to prevent any future terrorist attacks. If it means Stevens doesnʼt die as
promised when he finds out who planted the bomb, then itʼs a small price to pay for
saving millions of lives. The promise to die has to do with how Stevensʼs brain is used
to transport back and forth.

Source Code was directed by Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie, who is obviously a
fan of the sci-fi genre. He doesnʼt play for laughs much; he takes his subject matter
very seriously and directs with a confident hand. Itʼs no Inception, but thatʼs a
compliment because youʼre not trying to remember what happened when youʼre trying
to figure out whatʼs happening.

– Nikki Liverpool

‘J Is For Junkie’: Another Sordid View Of Crack In America by Nikki Liverpool (Film Review)

‘J is for Junkie’: another sordid view of crack in America

Documentaries on crack addiction often play like Film School 101 and that is exactly how J is for Junkie approaches the subject. Corey Davis, the newbie filmmaker who managed to get blurbs from both media mogul Damon Dash and hip hop artist, Lupe Fiasco, filmed footage over three days in October in Atlanta at a crack enclave familiarly known as “The Living Room”. Over the opening credits, Davis lets us into a little background about himself: his own father was a junkie, too.

We’re introduced to Judy, 52, who sounds like and looks like a man, whose presence is weaved throughout the whole documentary. She’s been on crack for over 30 years and who wants to get off the stuff to rejoin her family and society, but, as is typical for most junkies, can’t seem to find it within herself to do so. Other characters come through to tell their story and their various reasons, some would say excuses, for having tried crack in the first place. Either a woman turned them out or their mother died “killed by Grady (Hospital)”. For some reason Davis chooses to film John, a homeless man, just out of prison for attempted murder, looking for work. His story is tragic, but he’s not a junkie, so it’s unclear why he’s featured at all.

Following the Film School 101 checklist, Judy shows us how to get crack paraphernalia, how to prep it and how to smoke it. It’s not particularly gritty, but tries to be. Hardy in the league of HBO’s The Corner or even Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy. The soundtrack is great, but tends to sometimes drown out the dialogue, which too could have benefited from subtitles more often than used. This would certainly play better to audiences outside of Georgia.

I’d say overall the film is OK for a first feature, but just. It’s an impressive start to get a screening for someone so new to the industry, but I’d like see it more personalized. At the Q and A, the budding filmmaker makes no claim that the documentary was personal. I would have to agree, but I think that’s a mistake or perhaps he didn’t want to have to face that just as the film came up with no answers or solutions, either for those who inhabit the “Living Room” or even the auteur’s own father.

– Nikki Liverpool