Movies in Review: “Queen of Katwe”

queen_of_katwe_soundtrackAlthough I am behind on some of my reviews, I knew I had to make sure I watched this one. You ever watch a trailer and it gives you chills or causes and emotion? This happened to me every time I watched the trailer for this film. Not to mention Lupita Nyonga was starring in it, alongside David Oyelowo, two actors whose work I greatly appreciate and respect. I walked into the theater knowing that all of my expectations would be met, and that I would walk out of the theater smiling, but it far exceeded that.

This movie was like a breath of fresh air, and exactly what I needed. Everything about this movie was great. I loved where, and how the movie was filmed. All scenes had beautiful colors, and although the main character in story lived in the slums, it never felt like the slums. Lupita is getting well deserved praise because she was absolutely remarkable as Phiona’s mother Nakku. She was a great representation of every mother who has their child’s best interest at heart. I adored her in this role. There is no role that David Oyelowo doesn’t kill, and this role is no different…he was perfect. However the best part about the movie were the kids cast in the film. They were amazing, fun and entertaining to watch. That finger popping thing they had going made me smile from ear to ear with each snap of their fingers. This is definitely one of the most inspiring films I have seen in a while. I had no idea the emotions it would bring out of me. I laughed, I cried (I mean seriously shed tears)…it was crazy…lol.

I am so happy someone decided to bring this young girl’s story to the big screen. We need to see more stories like this. I left the theater on an emotional high and feeling inspired. Parents with daughters should definitely take their girls to see this…boys are welcomed too…lol. This is one movie that is a MUST SEE for all…A+

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Movies in Review: “The Girl on the Train”

the_girl_on_the_trainIt kind of depresses me to think that we are losing our creativity with the constant remakes, and film reboots. How many books do we need adapted into film?…yawn. I really shouldn’t be complaining, since I haven’t read most of the books that are no movies…but still. Creativity is stepping out the door for films, and I’m just left here feeling empty. Well that’s what most of the films I’ve seen in the past few years have me feeling, and this is another to add to the list. I wasn’t impressed with the trailer for this film, but Emily Blunt was in it, and there was nothing else released this weekend, so I took my chances. Some books just don’t need to be adapted into film…this would be one of them…

I swear sitting through this movie was like watching paint dry. It moved so freaking slow. So slow that it was hard to connect, or even care about the characters. I enjoyed Emily Blunt who gave great emotional performance, but the story did nothing to back her performance. The movie felt as if I was reading the book, except I couldn’t skip pages to get myself quickly to the end…yes it was like that…I just wanted it to be over. Movie is being marketed with this “thrilling twist” in the plot, but when it got to that part I was less than thrilled, surprised, or satisfied. I was like “I sat through all of that for this?”…womp womp. The film does a decent job at building the story, but it took way too long for it to climax. The story wasn’t really good enough for me to care…

I curse these book adaptions. Not every book needs to be seen on the big screen. It makes more sense to leave some on pages. If the book reads anything like this movie, I could see myself struggling to get through half of it, but eventually giving up out of boredom and tossing it to the side never to be read again…ijs…C-

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Movies in Review: “The Birth of a Nation”

birth-of-a-nationYou could cut the tension, buzz and anticipation on the release of this movie with a knife. The film that is written, produced, stars, and is also the directorial debut for Nate Parker. As a fan of Parker’s work I was definitely looking forward to what he would do with a film based on the story of Nat Turner, a slave who rebelled against slave owners. As I write this review, I feel my blood boiling, but I will do my best to remain focused on this movie…

I must say, not a bad debut Mr. Parker, not bad at all. This movie had its flaws, but when it comes to the story of Nat, I enjoyed it. The movie started out a bit weak. It was a little all over the place and I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of the performances, especially by the kid who played young Nat. The movie got better for me when Nate Parker (who is an exceptional actor) arrived on the scene. Parker always exudes the best emotions in any character he plays. That is a remarkable thing to do. I definitely enjoyed him in the role of Nat. However, the film lacked the power I was expecting from the trailer. It was kind of lukewarm throughout the film with jolts of fire. Definitely not like what 12 Years a Slave had you feeling, just in case some of you are looking for that. Besides Parker, many of the other performances were nothing to really praise. Armie Hammer was ok…but he’s always just ok. Gabriel Union is in the cast, but I seriously don’t recall her having a speaking role…so weird. Aja, who played Cherry, wasn’t bad, and I look forward to her in more roles. I also had a major problem with the makeup. Why did they have Aja Naomi King looking like that in her first scene? Was that wig you had on her necessary, was the black face supposed to be dirty? And don’t get me started on the ash around some of the slaves’ mouth. The poor make-up job took away from the movie more than it needed too.

The movie seriously focuses on Nat and religion, which I didn’t have a problem with. As we all know religion was used to keep slaves/people in line. As with Nat’s story, it is the motivating force (among others) for his actions, I believe Parker’s directing could use a little work, but not bad for a debut. I felt the story was a bit rushed in some parts. Like I wish there was more time spent on the organizing of the slaves for the rebellion. That should have been a bigger part of the story.

In response to all the controversy over the rape charges he was acquitted of in 1999 and the plot of rape inaccurately portrayed in film, I will say this…Nate Parker has had a 12yr career and has been in at least 20 films since he was acquitted and I never heard a peep about these charges until 2016. With word of Oscar nominations for this film dredging up dirt on him seems convenient. I can’t be the judge and jury on the charges that were brought against him because he was already trialed for those in 1999. I will however like to point the finger at the media for pretending to care about the alleged victim by bringing up this case just to push your own agenda…shame on you. His first movie role was in 2005, and there was no press for the alleged victim and her case? There is so much focus on a man who was acquitted of charges 17yrs ago, and hardly any press given to Brock Turner and his sexual assault victim. Why is that? As far as the rape that was added in the plot is it really historically inaccurate. It is historically known that slave women were repeatedly raped by their slave owners, and that part of the story is portrayed in every slave film. Unless you can say the rape of black slaves never happened, please do me the favor and have several seats…I’m just going to leave that right there.

All in all I enjoyed Parker’s powerful performance. Parker’s directing could use some work as the story sometimes lost its way. I enjoyed the strong focus on Nat, but felt there were some compelling parts of his story and the rebellion that were left out. I applaud Parker for bringing Nat Turner’s story (one that needs to be told) to the big screen…B+

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Movies in Review: “Deepwater Horizon”

deepwater_horizon_filmAs much as I enjoy any movie Mark Wahlberg is in, I honestly wasn’t that hype about this movie. That’s not to say I had no plans of seeing it, but if I missed it, I don’t think I would have been trying to catch it on another weekend. I honestly think it was Kate Hudson who turned off the appeal of this movie for me. I don’t have the most confidence in Hudson’s acting abilities, and anything I’ve seen her in has only been “ok” at best. She has a way of bringing down the value of a film in my opinion, and her presence in the trailer brought down my desire to see it. If it wasn’t for the exceptional buzz around this movie, I think I honestly would have let it pass…ijs.

Kate Hudson still brought down the value of this film for me, but her scenes were so few, the value wasn’t brought down enough to really count. This movie was way better than I expected. I enjoyed the way it was filmed, with some scenes being filmed in continuous motion. There was good movement throughout, never a dull moment. The cast was great and worked well together. I loved John Malkovich and that southern accent he was giving me. Malkovich can do no wrong in my eyes, always an exceptional actor. Wahlberg was receiving exceptional praises for this role, which were well deserved. But it fell in line with most of his other performances in my opinion. My favorite part about this movie was the build-up, climax, and ending…so I guess you can say, the whole movie. The action scenes were phenomenal, and had my heart racing. I was jumping in my seat, and to think this was a true story…Wow!

This film didn’t have the best trailer, and if you saw Kate Hudson you probably lost as much interest as I did. Please don’t let what the trailer was lacking deter you, because this is a good movie. The best movie I watched this weekend, and have seen in a while…A+

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Movies in Review: “Masterminds”

masterminds_2016_filmI had a ton of movie choices to see this weekend, and for some reason I chose this one…why? Something told me to pass on this one, especially since reviews for this film were less than positive. But I was in the mood to laugh, and I can usually count on more than a few chuckles from this cast in other separate movies. I wasn’t expecting anything great from this one. I knew it would be filled with nonsense, but I was hoping it would still win me over with the humor. Unfortunately it didn’t…

I have seen some not-so-great movies, but this one made me wish I could get back the 2hrs I wasted to see this film…smh. Why was this movie not funny? When I say not funny, I mean I didn’t laugh or even chuckle once. It was just plain stupid. I think the most this movie got out of me was a smirk, and a few Zzzzzzz’s because I was bored to death…yawn. This movie was straight nonsense, unfunny nonsense, the worst kind…smh. I am sitting here trying to remember something I enjoyed, but thinking about the time I wasted seeing it is only causing my stomach to hurt…ijs.

This movie had the cast that should have made it a comedic hit, but unfortunately none of the elements worked well for this film. I think maybe I should have been high while watching, but I’m not sure if that would have even helped…D-

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Movies in Review: “The Magnificent Seven”

magnificent_seven_2016I know I’m a week late and a dollar short with this review, but a girl needs to get away ~shrugs. Vacation or no vacation though, this was a top priority for me to see when I returned. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a movie Denzel Washington starred in, and I wasn’t about too now. Besides Washington though, the entire cast had me anticipating this film that was also directed by Antoine Fuqua, whose work I also respect. I am usually not the biggest fan of remakes, but I have never seen the original, so in my eyes this remake would be an “original” for me.


Am I the only one who thought this movie started out a little corny? The church scene at the beginning was definitely had a little bit of corn in it. I don’t think it had much to do with what was going on, but some of the character performances were lacking a bit. The actor playing Bogue, definitely saved this scene. The movie moves along nicely after this point, although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the actress who played Emma Cullen. She kind of brought every scene she was in down. I’m just happy she wasn’t in too many scenes.


The characters playing The Magnificent Seven a very much enjoyed. Of course my favorite was Chris Pratt, who is always great comic relief, and Vincent D’Onofrio who was a strong element of surprise and weird humor. I thought the cast worked well together, and made for an entertaining movie. The action scenes were fun to watched and directed well. 


I wasn’t disappointed in the time I set out for this 2+ hour film. It was well worth my time. The cast was great, and had well executed action scenes that stole the show. I don’t know how this compares to the original, all I know is I enjoyed this version very much…B+

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Movies in Review: “Storks”

storks_film_poster_2Ok so I had to play catch up this weekend since I took a little vacation to celebrate my birthday. There were a number of movies I was interested in seeing that were released during my absence. Storks was definitely one, on my “to see” list. I’ve always had a love for animated movies, especially ones that are as cute as this one. Plus these animated films always make for great Mother/Son dates. My kid loves him a good movie, but I think I was more excited to see this one than he was…lol. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to see a movie featuring cute, little, giggly animated babies…lol.


Usually I chuckle at animated films, but this one had me cracking up. The characters in this film were so cute and well done, it was hard not to laugh. My favorite characters were The Wolfpack, who should have been hired by Beyoncé because they knew how to get in formation. The scenes with them were some of the most humorous. The White Stork and Tulip were fun to watch too. Their back and forth made for a very fun and entertaining adventure. I think the movie was made to entertain both adults and children because there were a number of adults laughing as hard as I was.


Storks was adorable, and something both kids and adults will enjoy. I wouldn’t call it one of my top rated animated films of all time, but it does the job. With beautiful animation and even better characters, this one is definitely a winner in my book…B+

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