"I'll just get my gear."

Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Kaluuya’

Judas and the Black Messiah

Monday, March 29th, 2021

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH is one of this year’s best picture nominees (plus best original screenplay, best cinematography, best original song, and its two title characters were confusingly both nominated for best supporting actor). It’s from director Shaka King (NEWLYWEEDS) and it’s about the true story of an informant pressured by the FBI to go undercover in the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, an operation that culminated in police murdering Fred Hampton in his bed with two shots to the back of his head. (And getting away with it, obviously.)

The movie opens with a familiar scenario: an officer interrupting a group of Black men to hassle them. They’re in a bar, at a pool table, he makes them empty their pockets, asks about the car out front, claims it was stolen. They’re outraged but obviously used to this shit, then they notice his badge says FBI so why is he asking about a car, and he’s kind of hiding his face and he looks really young…

As he’s about to drive away using their keys they realize it’s a scam. He’s not an FBI agent, but a clever and/or weird car thief named William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield, THE PURGE: ANARCHY). But after he’s caught with the car a real FBI agent named Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons, BATTLESHIP) comes after him. He obviously doesn’t really give a shit that some kid impersonated a federal officer, but he knows he can threaten jail time to force him to do undercover work. So like Ron Stallworth at the beginning of BLACKKKLANSMAN, but under duress, O’Neal is sent to spy on black militants, specifically Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya, JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN), the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. (read the rest of this shit…)

Widows

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

When last we heard from director Steve McQueen U.K., his movie 12 YEARS A SLAVE had won best picture. Five years later he finally has a followup, and it’s a violent, artfully crafted heist movie. Now you’re earning that name, my friend.

It’s credited as “based on ‘Widows’ by Lynda La Plante,” which seems to refer to the 1983 ITV mini-series, though there’s also a book version that says “SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE” on the cover, and I have found no definitive answer as to which La Plante wrote first. Anyway, McQueen adapted whatever it was he adapted with Gillian Flynn of GONE GIRL (both book and movie) fame.

Liam Neeson (THE DEAD POOL), Jon Bernthal (THE ACCOUNTANT), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO) and Coburn Goss (MAN OF STEEL) star as a Chicago-based crew of highly skilled, even highlier armed and armoured robber motherfuckers in the vein of HEAT or L.A. TAKEDOWN or DEN OF THIEVES or POINT BREAK or POINT BREAK REMAKE. And by “star” I mean for a couple minutes at the very beginning we see a tiny bit of their heist intercut with them saying goodbye to their wives beforehand and then they get blown up. You barely even see that last guy’s face. Because this is not about dudes like that. It’s about their loved ones who have to clean up their mess. (read the rest of this shit…)

Black Panther

Monday, February 19th, 2018

(SPOILERS)

BLACK PANTHER is the first Marvel movie I was anticipating mainly because of the director. FRUITVALE STATION was very good, but of course it was CREED that made me think Ryan Coogler is one of the most promising young directors we have. Best and most miraculous movie of 2015 that didn’t star Charlize Theron with a robot arm. I’d be up for whatever Coogler wanted to do next, but this seemed like a particularly good match for him after CREED’s mix of moving personal drama, immaculate filmatistic style and 21st century pop mythmaking.

#2 reason: Chadwick Boseman. The guy playing the title character shot to the top of my most exciting actors list when I saw his incredible performance as James Brown in GET ON UP. I didn’t know how anybody could pull off playing The Godfather and here is this actor I barely heard of before transforming himself into crazy old man James Brown, young James Brown, all kinds of James Browns. And dancing and strutting and grunting and referring to himself in the third person and pulling it off. He didn’t get all that much acclaim for it, definitely not any awards – somehow he got to skip that step before becoming a super hero.

If you want to call him that. T’Challa isn’t a vigilante or anything, he’s the King of Wakanda, a culture where part of the job is getting supernatural strength and wearing a panther costume to defend the kingdom. It’s like if the president also had to be Superman. What’s cool about this is that Black Panther has to think about things none of his peers do. He has to be a symbol much like Captain America, but with the responsibilities that Thor skipped out of when he turned down the throne. Here he’s challenged to not only defend his rule from a dangerous usurper, but convince his people to shift the direction of the country in order to make a better world. (read the rest of this shit…)

Get Out

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

GET OUT is a crazy, racially themed horror-thriller written and directed by Jordan Peele of the comedy duo Key & Peele. And you know how sensitive I am about this, so I’ll just say right here that I consider this a horror movie that’s funny, not a horror-comedy. That’s how I prefer it. There are some big laughs, but they come out of the characters and situations, not at the expense of taking them seriously.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, SICARIO) is a young photographer who’s going on a trip with Rose (Allison Williams from Girls), his girlfriend of five months, to meet her parents. One thing he’s nervous about: she hasn’t told them he’s black. She swears it won’t be a big deal. Swears it. (read the rest of this shit…)