128 posts categorized "African American Cinema"

March 10, 2024

AMERICAN FICTION

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com2023 stands as perhaps the best year for satire.

"American Fiction" puts a fine point on that fact with a laugh-out-loud movie that covers a lot of satirical ground.

First time writer/director Cord Jefferson adapts Percival Everett's 2001 novel "Erasure" with snappy results.

Jeffrey Wright plays Thelonious "Monk" Ellison, a black fiction writer fed up with the state of black writers publishing books that pander to downtrodden black stereotypes.

ColeSmithey.com

Job and family troubles send Monk on a journey toward a new chapter of self-fulfillment and improved personal relations with friends and family.

ColeSmithey.com

"American Fiction" joins 2023's list of truly inspiring films that prove Cinema is far from dead despite Hollywood's worst efforts over the past 20 years.

ColeSmithey.com

May there never be another comic book movie, and plenty more great movies from Cord Jefferson.

ColeSmithey.com

Three cheers for "American Fiction."

Perfection.

Rated R. 105 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

November 12, 2023

RUSTIN

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.comGroupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

 

ColeSmithey.comMagnificent.

"Rustin" is a prime example of ensemble filmmaking that works like a charm.

Coleman Domingo gives a tour de force performance as gay political activist Bayard Rustin, advisor to Martin Luther King.

Here is a fully fleshed out representation of a complex black gay humanitarian struggling to help bring equality in a racist political and corporate American climate of hate.

ColeSmithey.com

This is Coleman Domingo's moment. What a talent!

"Rustin" has a lot to say, and it says it all with supreme clarity and expediency.

ColeSmithey.com

Screenwriters Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black (screenwriter on "Milk") did their homework, and it shows.

This film's pacing and editing is exquisite.

ColeSmithey.com

"Rustin" is all substance, with appropriate '60s era style.

Supporting turns from Chris Rock and Jeffrey Wright pop with serious intentionality.

ColeSmithey.com

This is a perfect movie to go in knowing nothing about it.

Director George Wolfe hits another one out of the park on the heels of his perfect "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

ColeSmithey.com

Smart of Netflix to do a theatrical release before "Rustin" goes to streaming. I saw it at the Paris cinema on 58th Street.

ColeSmithey.com

This movie will take you by surprise.

Rated PG-13. 106 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

October 12, 2023

DJANGO UNCHAINED — SHOCKTOBER!

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comWelcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.com THE BLOOD OF DRACULA

 

ColeSmithey.comBack With a Vengeance: 
Tarantino Pushes Homage and Allegory to 11

You know from Tarantino’s audacious choice of intro music — the haunting theme song from Sergio Corbucci’s iconic 1966 Spaghetti Western “Django,” that the maestro-of-all-things-tasty has many surprises in store for his delighted audience.

Campy, funny, shocking, and seeping with sardonic social commentary, “Django Unchained” is Quentin Tarantino’s finest film to date.

ColeSmithey.com

The madness of slavery, i.e. racism, hangs thick in the air of the American South circa 1858. Tarantino says of his film’s representation of the pre-Civil War South: “It can’t be more nightmarish than it was in real life. It can’t be more surrealistic than it was in real life. It can’t me more outrageous than it was in real life.” Indeed, groans of audience empathy arrive at intervals with the agony we witness on-screen. Tarantino’s allegory regarding the use of torture couldn’t be more obvious.

ColeSmithey.com

In typical revenge-plot fashion, Tarantino establishes the nimble bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (brilliantly played by Christoph Waltz) as the kind of man who can get himself out of any situation. The retired dentist “purchases” freedom from slavery for Django (Jamie Foxx) to assist Schultz in identifying a trio of brothers named Brittle whose heads carry a hefty reward.

ColeSmithey.com

Django proves more than qualified for hunting down and killing slave-owners. Working together as a team, Dr. Schultz and Django craft a complex plan to free Django’s enslaved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the evil clutches of Leonardo DiCaprio’s plantation owner Calvin Candie. “Candyland” is name of Mr. Candie’s plantation where he cultivates “Mandingo” slave warriors who fight to the death. DiCaprio’s centerpiece monologue — wherein the actor accidentally cut his hand and chooses to use the blood draining from his hand — is the stuff of cult movie legend.

ColeSmithey.com

Tarantino’s plot acrobatics have never seemed silkier — or bloodier for that matter. Blood doesn’t just splatter — intestines explode from bodies. More than a pure Spaghetti Western homage, the overall piece is an exploitation cinema mutt. Every character name rings with a bell pulled from Tarantino’s vast cornucopia of movie inspirations. The big-kid auteur gives shout-outs to everything from Gordon Parks’s “Shaft” to martial arts action star Sonny Sheba. The effect is an onion-layered communal movie for film lovers to rally around. I dare say that all those involved in the making of “Django Unchained” had more fun making it than just about any other group of actors and filmmakers. The comic joys and dark delights are up there on the screen.

ColeSmithey.com

As with all of Tarantino’s films, “Django Unchained” is filled with spellbinding dialogue and outstanding plot twists. One such sequence of steadily building suspense arrives after Schultz has freed Django. Our two heroes enter a bar where the white owner insists that they leave immediately for the obvious reason that they don’t allow black people. Schultz handily dispatches the man, and sends for the sheriff while he and Django take a seat with a couple of mugs of beer.

ColeSmithey.com

Naturally the bigoted sheriff shows up with a chip on his shoulder that the good “doctor” is only too happy to permanently remove. Shultz sends for the town Marshall, who in turn shows up with a posse of gun-toting thugs. The scene culminates in a crescendo of character-revealing magic. It’s not too early to call “Django Unchained” an instant classic. Movie lovers rejoice; Q.T. is back in the house.

Rated R. 160 mins.

5 Stars SHOCKTOBER! KITTIESCozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series