January 10, 2021

QUEEN & SLIM

Queen_and_slimRoll the dice. Dig the groovy vibe of this stunning independent gem. Think Bonnie and Clyde, but with a lot more style, sex, attitude, and daringness. Surprises just keep coming through the lives of American characters so lived in, you’ll swear you’re part of the adventure.

Director Melina Matsoukas (a two-time Grammy winner) throws down like a motherfucker in bringing scriptwriter Lena Waithe’s brilliant screenplay to dynamic life. Casting plays a significant part in this film’s overwhelming success as an example of truly inspired Cinema. Marvel has nothing on Melina Matsoukas.

Queen&slim

Daniel Kaluuya (Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”) is remarkably charismatic as Slim, a regular guy who gets caught in a deadly confrontation with an Ohio police officer. Jodie Turner-Smith is off the charts as Queen, an attorney sticking to Slim like glue after surviving the couple’s roadside encounter with a racist cop. Kaluuya and Turner-Smith enjoy an undeniable sexual onscreen chemistry that fires suspenseful twists and turns for our couple on the run. You'll be on the edge of your seat. And yes, "Queen & Slim" rates as great pick for a date movie if you're in the mood to get some. 

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“Queen & Slim” embodies America's laundry list of racial social injustice as part of the overall fabric of the story at its heart, a love story. I promise you’ll love this movie. Spoiler alert, the window jumping scene will put your heart in your throat. Wow.   

Queen&slimRated R. 132 mins. 

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January 09, 2021

SEBERG

SebergWorthy. Screenwriters Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel do a respectable job with the impossible task of condensing the complex character of Jean Seberg (see Jean Luc Goddard's "Breathless") into an unvarnished filmic portrait. To that end, Kristen Stewart excels at every level. Kristen Stewart is just so damned convincing as Jean Seberg. We buy her, heart and soul. To say that Ms. Stewart’s portrayal is brilliant is a vast understatement.

Seberg

Still, the film derails at various ham-fisted plot points as when a villainous character kills a dog. Screenwriting 101, no children or dogs unless absolutely necessary.

The film’s thematic point that the FBI’s COINTELPRO Surveillance Program, under freaky-deaky FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, was responsible in some degree for Jean Seberg’s untimely death is clear. While not a date movie, “Seberg” is well worth watching. 

Kristen stewart anthony mackie

Jean Seberg was tortured and nearly killed by Otto Preminger while playing Joan of Arc in his film version. She also believed in supporting the Black Power Movement of the ‘60s. Naiveté will get you every time.   

Rated R. 102 mins. 

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THE LODGE

LodgeIrredeemable shite. “The Lodge” is a mean-spirited, ignorant assault on Cinema, and on its audience.

Screenwriter-directors Sergio Casci and Veronika Franz aren’t fit to flip burgers at a fast-food chain, based on their pathetic attempt at exploitation horror. With no trace of humor or good will, the filmmakers craft a feel-bad picture with the potential to traumatize its viewers if not bore them into a trance state of misery.

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Cruel husband Richard (Richard Armitage) intimidates his ex-wife  Laura (Alicia Silverstone) into suicide. Charming. Richard’s next move is to send his equally hateful daughter and son to terrorize his new fiancé Grace (Riley Keough) while the three are sequestered in a remote snowbound lodge. Remarkably, Grace is the only empathetic character in a film that should never have been made. This film’s tagline, “You’re not welcome here,” says it all. Hitchcock is rolling over in his grave.

Alicia silverstone

Rated. R. 108 mins. Zero Stars.

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