Get your popcorn ready! (And brews if they serve ‘em.)
|Spike Lee is bizzzzack with BlacKkKlansman! |
(Photo by Vibe.)
It’s the weekend and I want to make sure for those of you wanting to get out of the house - whether you want to go on a date night, hang with the homies, or make it a solo flight- here are some movies worth checking out. Most of them I can happily say concluded with follow-up conversation and an overall relief that there are productions that still go outside the box a bit. This is especially true with Sorry To Bother You which I discuss a bit below. It was simply bugged out. Have an open mind for it and look for the hidden messages throughout the film.
Anyway, here are my picks of flicks while they are still in theaters—even if they're playing at the joints that charge a quarter of the original ticket price—along with the recent release of the heavily lauded BlacKkKlansman. My reviews are like you coming up to me and asking what I think or what I would post on my Instagram handle. (Go get a late pass if you don’t know it: @realalesharpton). My brother Lamont Byron aka L.K. breaks down Equalizer 2 for ya with a more descriptive assessment too.
One of the movies I haven’t had the chance to see yet that’s definitely on my agenda is Eighth Grade. It looks like my kind of humor and original writing. Stay tuned for that one.
Enjoy the weekend and beyond!
I say: Honestly, I get a little hesitant to see anything with “2” following it; the majority of the time, results are not favorable. But then again, anything Denzel signs on for is going to be solid at the least. D-Dub and his team do a stellar job of taking roles that dodge bombs. This one continues the trend with a lot of action, an original screenplay, some very necessary messages regarding today’s perception on the youth, relationships, and who to trust. Oh, and a lot of ass kicking perfectly balanced with Denzel’s gift as one of the greatest actors of all time. My kind of film.
Wait For It: The staircase scene.
Contributor L.K. Byron says…
“The Equalizer 2 once again the extremely well-casted Denzel Washington as Robert McCall. Usually in the case of sequels, the original is hard to match. In this case, “a worthy follow-up to its predecessor,” would not be an understatement. After a few successful revenge jobs, McCall is settling into regular everyday life—the routine he yearns for. But that mission of peace unfortunately doesn’t last long after he finds out a close acquaintance has been harmed. McCall is now thrust into a warpath, and this time it’s even more personal. Unfortunately for his adversaries, they missed the memo: You don’t disrupt McCall’s bliss or harm those worthy of being in his inner circle. As viewers, we benefit from the mistakes of the wrongdoers as McCall’s spankings get more captivating and shocking as the movie ensues.
“From start to finish, Equalizer 2 is suspenseful, action packed, and seasoned with the perfect amount of unforced humor. You will not want to leave your seat once this thrill ride begins.”
Official Synopsis: Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed - but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?
Run time: 125 minutes
Trailer: Equalizer 2 Trailer
Sorry To Bother You
I say: I really had no idea what this movie was about and felt I needed to go in with that mentality. No teasers, trailers, reviews from other folks…nada. I just know that you will bug out with the shockers they have in store. Alongside the humor and plethora of hidden messages, this is a very necessary film to address a lot of the racism, hard times financially, materialism, the influence of today’s media, and simply having a voice for what you believe in.
Wait For It: The company’s party throws a shocking curve ball. That’s all I can say.
Official Synopsis: Sorry To Bother You tells the story of Cassius Green, a 30-something telemarketer with self-esteem issues, who discovers a magical selling power living inside of him. Suddenly he’s rising up the ranks to the elite team of his company, a company which sells heinous products and services. The upswing in Cassius’s career raises serious red flags with his brilliant girlfriend, Detroit, a sign-twirling gallery artist. But the unimaginable hits the fan when Cassius meets the company’s cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting, obnoxious, and relentless CEO, Steve Lift. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is unlike anything you have ever seen. It is a searing social satire about greed, racial dynamics and capitalism in a universe not unlike our own. Prepare yourself for something outrageous and totally original.
Trailer: Sorry To Bother You Trailer
Run time: 107 minutes
I Say: From the jump, for someone who has had so much of an impact on my life, it was a no-brainer to attend the advanced media screening of Spike Lee’s latest project. An added bonus was continuing to witness John David Washington’s steady momentum of carving his own lane in the acting world and losing the initial label as Denzel’s son. To his credit though, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And that’s one hell of an accolade. Alongside Blumhouse, the homie Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw team continue their incredible run as producers as well. Shout out to Adam Driver’s performance as well.
BlacKkKlansmen is based on a remarkably true story, provides some comforting laughs to balance out the seriousness of the film, and overall discloses how racism back then is sadly revitalized under today’s American “leadership.” Its frankness is truly timely and necessary.
Now a lot of viewers are claiming that this is the best movie Spike Lee has ever directed; considering Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X, that is highly debatable, but evidently this film is stated in the same sentence as the aforementioned classics so it already wins. Definitely check it out and be affected.
Wait For It: Spike’s signature low-angled, dolly shot.
Official Synopsis: It’s the early 1970s, a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department’s rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community. He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth contacts the group and soon finds himself invited into its inner circle. He even cultivates a relationship with the Klan’s Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace), who praises Ron’s commitment to the advancement of White America. With the undercover investigation growing ever more complex, Stallworth’s colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), poses as Ron in face-to-face meetings with members of hate group, gaining insider’s knowledge of a deadly plot. Together, Stallworth and Zimmerman team up to take down the organization whose real aim is to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.
Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award winning Get Out, BlacKkKlansman offers an unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as bracingly relevant in today’s tumultuous world.
Trailer: BlacKkKlansman official website
Run time: 135 minutes
Mission:Impossible – Fallout
I say: If you want to get a good dose of action and see how Tom Cruise somehow still manages to jump out planes and avoid Father Time’s curses, this one’s for you.
Wait For It: Any action sequence, so I guess the whole movie.
Official Synopsis: The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.
Trailer: Mission:Impossible – Fallout Trailer
Run time: 110 minutes