Shit. Just. Got. Real: 2016 Cinema in Review

It takes a long time to get a movie made: Martin Scorsese had been thinking about making Silence for over 30 years and had various false potential production starts; Fences was once slated to be made in the ‘90s with Eddie Murphy as the lead; and Damien Chazelle had wanted to make La La Land since before he made Whiplash. So, given how long it takes to make a film it’s obvious that they could not have predicted how much the world would change on November the 8th of the year they were ready to be released.

Following the events of this particular day, I went through a patch of depression that was unlike anything that I had gone through before. During this time I kept thinking why should I bother with movies, television, music, or art in general when the world was crumbling right in front of our eyes and so many people were celebrating it. Yet, I kept on watching because I had nothing else, but just about everything felt tainted.

The first film I watched in theaters since then was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I had to drag myself out of the house, and I had to treat my self to a large popcorn and soda (which I never do). The film is not particularly great but watching a simple good versus evil story on the big screen where the good guys win while I’m gorging on salty popcorn and a sweet Coca-Cola was cathartic. That right there is how the real world should work, and I felt like standing up and cheering at the most basic of triumphant moments.

Since then, I cannot look at movies in the same way. Moana and Hidden Figures no longer are just movies about extraordinary women of color doing extraordinary things, but rally cries for real women of color to stand up and do even more extraordinary things. Moonlight is now a call for empathy and understanding. Even Star Trek Beyond, with its world where races and species of all kinds live in harmony feels like a daring future to strive towards.

This of course cannot be said of every film in 2016, let alone my top 25 (Everybody Wants Some!! Is still just about bro-dudes doing stuff and I love it for it), but that’s okay. Even so, art will never be the same, at least through my eyes. Continue reading

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Review: Obsessed

I went into this film expecting nothing but a mildly entertaining Fatal Attraction wanna be. There have been many since the release of that landmark movie, but none have been able to achieve its greatness. I was more or less expecting this to be like those rip-offs, but I didn’t thing it would be this bad.

The story is about a successful financial advisor (Idris Elba) who is living the life. He has a beautiful wife (Beyonce Knowles), a son, and has the house of his dreams. Then one day, a gorgeous temp (Ali Larter) goes into his company and develops an obsession for him.

First off, the script is horrible. The dialogue, the structure, all of it is way below average. From the beginning the movie is all about Elba and Larter’s struggle, and that was just fine, but in the last 40 minutes it turns into the Beyonce show. That is a sign of a weak script. The direction has got nothing new to offer. It also features some of the worst use of music in any film I’ve ever seen. And one more thing, when you have a singer in a movie, don’t use of their songs during the movie. It’s okay during the closing credits, but not during the movie.

As for the performances, Idris Elba looks uncomfortable, probably wishing that The Wire was still going on. Beyonce is just not good. I believe that her performances in Dreamgirls is underrated, but she has no business trying to be a victim of an affair. Ali Larter is the only one that did a good job, but the character is so poorly written that it doesn’t matter.

With Obsessed, I was just trying to have a good time, but what I got was a movie that went on and on and on to come to a predictable conclusion. If someone is going to make another movie like this, they should at least have the balls to boil some bunnies.