Tag Archives: Jason Mitchell

Cinema Dispatch: Superfly

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Superfly and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Director X

Look, the only thing I know about this movie going in is that I’ll FINALLY stop seeing ten seconds ads for this every time I watch a video on YouTube.  That seriously got annoying really quick, but I guess I can’t blame them for YouTube’s crappy algorithms that somehow targeted me to play this same commercial over and over again, and I’m at least glad it meant I didn’t see those homophobic advertisements they got busted for (seriously YouTube, what the hell is going on with you!?), but I digress.  I know nothing about the original other than that it’s pretty well regarded as a cult classic from the seventies (but then how many movies from the seventies AREN’T considered cult classics at this point?) and the trailers for this new film, while repetitive and obnoxious to sit through all the time, didn’t look all that bad!  Does this movie redeem itself for annoying the hell out of me for a month straight, or was YouTube trying to warn me to stay far away from yet another subpar remake?  Let’s find out!!

On the mean streets of Atlanta, a man named Priest (Trevor Jackson) is working his way up the CRIME LADDERTM and has certainly earned the respect of many of his peers.  Why?  Well he knows how to use google for one!  And… I think he knows Kung-Fu?  In any case, he always manages to have the upper hand on whoever he’s dealing with, and he can get himself out of a tricky situation if the occasion arises which is good for staying alive but not so good for those around you.  Case in point, when some brash newbie on a local gang known as The Snow Patrol (yes, they’re being serious) starts bucking up to Priest, it ends with an innocent woman getting shot with a bullet intended for him and he realizes he needs to get out of the game before it takes away whatever’s still left of his soul.  With the support of his two ladies Georgia and Cynthia (Lex Scott Davis and Andrea Londo) as well as his best friend and partner in crime Eddie (Jason Mitchell), Priest will have to come up with a plan so big that it will set him and his family up for life so he can finally leave this all behind him.  I mean, he could use his considerable skills to make an honest (or honest-ish) living, and it’s not like he’s hurting for THAT much cash as it is, but I guess one more big score couldn’t hurt, right? Well when it involves your former mentor (Michael Kenneth Williams), the leader of a drug cartel (Esai Morales), and even the corrupt police right around the corner (Jennifer Morrison and Brian F Durkin) all wanting to take a piece of you for themselves, things can get pretty complicated pretty fast.  Will Priest be able to get his and get out before he gets got?  What exactly is THE SNOW PATROL planning, and will it be as laughable as their ridiculous name?  Is he super hood, super high, and a super dude?  He’s more than that!  HE’S SUPER FLY!!

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That is hair so good, it requires its own insurance plan.

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Cinema Dispatch: The Disaster Artist

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The Disaster Artist and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24

Directed by James Franco

I may not be as over the moon in love with The Room as plenty of other people are, and it has admittedly lost a bit of its charm once you realize just how misogynistic the whole thing is, but it certainly has my respect as being one of the more unique examples of a GOOD BAD MOVIE due in no small part to the auteur himself, Tommy Wiseau.  Now he’s far from the only ridiculously cocky creatives out there who write, direct, and star in what they perceive to be their one true masterpiece (*cough* Old Fashioned *cough*), but with Mr Wiseau there’s a genuine sense of mystery about the guy as many details of his origin are STILL unknown to this day (HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE IN THE INTERNET AGE!?) and his… shall we say UNIQUE brand of acting certainly sets him apart from many of the other low rent struggling artists out there.  No doubt there is a VERY interesting story to tell about this one guy, his one movie, and his friendship with co-star Greg Sestero, which the wannabe auteur himself James Franco has opted to do by adapting Greg’s book The Disaster Artist into a motion picture; one that he directs, produces, and stars in of course.  Will this examination of one of Hollywood’s biggest oddities be a worthwhile exploration of the creative process and what it truly means to be an artist, or are we just desperately trying to milk a novelty that had lost its luster many years ago?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the journey of two men; aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and… I guess aspiring actor as well Tommy Wiseau (James Franco).  The two meet in an acting class where Greg finds the eccentric weirdo with bad hair and a worse accent rather endearing for his utter fearlessness and ability to throw himself out there in ways that Greg is still struggling to do despite his hopes of becoming an actor.  Because of Greg’s admiration for Tommy and Tommy’s love of being admired, the two move in together and work their way through Hollywood; getting small gigs here and there but nothing that will truly set them apart from the thousands of other working actors cluttering the streets of LA.  After a particularly rough string of bad luck, Tommy eventually starts writing his own movie and wants none other than Greg himself to be the co-star.  The Room is what he titles his masterpiece and he funds it himself with his seemingly unlimited supply of money but things go from awkward to unsustainable as Tommy’s ego and complete inexperience with the process starts escalating tensions with the cast and crew and even with his best friend Greg who’s trying to stick by him but is finding it hard and harder to deal with Tommy’s unpredictable behavior.  Can Tommy find it within himself to get past his issues and foster a good working environment for the only people in the world who are helping him achieve his dreams?  Will Greg stand by his best friend, or will he realize just how much Tommy is holding him back?  WILL THE WORLD EVER UNDERSTAND THE BRILLIANCE OF THIS ONE MAN’S VISION!?

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GENIUS!!

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Cinema Dispatch: Kong: Skull Island

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Kong: Skull Island and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Truth be told I’ve always been more of a Godzilla fan, and while the recent Shin Godzilla was pretty good (if a bit disjointed and tonally uneven) the American film with Gareth Edwards wasn’t so much.  Now Warner Bros is trying to create yet another Expanded Cinematic Universe (because the DCCU is working out SO well for them) and this is in some ways a sequel… or prequel I guess… to the 2014 Godzilla film.  Does this manage to make up for the mistakes of that film while setting the groundwork for future monster movies to come, or are we much better off watching that 1962 film where the two of them duked it out and threw rocks at each other?  Admittedly that wouldn’t be the WORST thing to do as it’s still pretty freaking awesome, but let’s find out!!

The movie starts by introducing us to Bill Randa (John Goodman) who is the head of Monarch; an organization that is hell bent on proving the existence of monsters.  They’ve hit a rough patch, mostly due to them never finding any monsters, but 1973 just might be the year they turn things around!  They have some satellite images of a heretofore unknown island which may or may not contain resources that the government can use in their fight against the Russians, and Monarch wants to tag along with another organization already headed there for some basic geological research.  Actually, all Bill wants to do is find monsters, but the US government gives them the go ahead to tag along and to also bring a military squadron who JUST SO HAPPEN to be one day away from heading back home from Vietnam.  Of course the commander Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) is thrilled at the opportunity as he doesn’t seem too interested in leaving the war, but those under his command which includes Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell) are less so.  Still, they follow the orders that are given to them and they are even joined by former British SAS bad ass James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) who’s supposed to be an expert tracker and photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) who somehow manages to be a part of this expedition as well.  The crew packs up, they fly to the mysterious island that is colorfully known as Skull Island, and IMMEDIATLEY get their asses kicked by Kong who mows down all their helicopters; leaving all of the name actors but only a handful of army and scientist extras.  Along their travels, they run into even MORE monsters, find a World War 2 fighter pilot who’s been trapped on the island for almost two decades (John C Reilly), and ultimately have to come up with a way to escape the island before their one chance of rescue passes them by.  Can the remaining survivors make it off the island before they become monster food, or will some of them refuse to leave until Kong is dead?  Just what is Kong fighting on this island when he’s not swatting down humans?  Most importantly, WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET A NEW GODZILLA VS KING KONG MOVIE!?

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“This guy doesn’t have thermonuclear breath, right?”     “No, but he can still throw stuff at us.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Keanu

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Keanu and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Peter Atencio

The day has finally come for these two titans of TV comedy to make the leap to the silver screen!  That’s ALWAYS a great idea, right?  Okay, so sometimes the transition from small screen to big screen can be a bit awkward, but the trailers for this movie have inspired a lot of hope in me and many others that this will turn out to be the exception rather than the rule for sketch comedians turned movie stars!  Can the duo pull it off, or is it back to Comedy Central to beg for another season of their show?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of Rell (Jordan Peele) and Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key); cousins and best friends who must retrieve Rell’s cat Keanu from the clutches of villainy!  You see, Rell had just had a pretty bad break up and was spiraling into depression without much hope for a brighter future.  That is until a small kitten that’s as cute as a button wanders up to his doorstep; bringing with him a glimmer of light and new chapter in Rell’s life.  But where exactly did this cat come from?  Well, what Rell doesn’t know is that this cat belonged to a local drug dealer who’s entire gang was killed right before he himself was murdered; all done by two tough as nails, long haired, mute mother fuckers who did this… for some reason, and are now hell bent on finding that cat… for some reason.  Not only that, but while Rell and Clarence are out seeing a movie, Rell’s place gets broken into and Keanu is kidnapped by the Seventeenth Street Blips (a crew too badass for the Bloods or the Crips)… for some reason.  Honestly, don’t question why people want Keanu; just assume he’s too cute to NOT steal.  Anyway, Rell and Clarence now must go undercover as tough guys and gang bangers (two things they are quite far from being) if they have any hopes of infiltrating the Blips and getting the cat back.  Will they be able to fool the members of this crew and pretend to be hard long enough to get their cat back?  What about the two crazy-ass murderers looking for the cat?  How are they gonna fit into all this?  Wait, so this ISN’T a parody of John Wick!?

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“WHAT DID WE DO TO DESERVE THIS!?”     “YOU DID IT!  WHATEVER IT IS, I T WAS YOU!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Straight Outta Compton

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Straight Outta Compton and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by F Gary Gray

Does this count as the beginning of Oscar season?  I mean we ARE in August and this is a biopic about famous yet controversial musicians!  What more could the academy be looking for!?  This retelling of the history of NWA directed by F Gary Gray (because who the hell else would you get to direct this) has gotten a lot of buzz recently and is already a certifiable smash hit at the box office with an opening weekend of over SIXTY MILLION which is nearly unheard of for a rated R movie.  So what is it about this movie that’s gotten so many people’s attention?  Is it the controversial nature of its subjects?  Maybe it’s out of pure nostalgia that people are checking out this movie about a rap group from the nineties.  That basically how Dragon Ball Z managed to make it in the top ten on a limited release.  Well for whatever reason this movie has connected with the movie going public, the question remains as to whether or not it’s any good, especially considering that the movie is produced by the people it’s portraying which can be a bad sign for any biopic.  Does this manage to be a fascinating examination of America’s scariest musicians, or will it be an endless parade of self-congratulations for a bunch of guys who have long outlived their relevance?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with our three principal players Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr) living their lives in Compton California and writing music whenever they have some free time.  After one of their songs hits it big on the local stations, they get the attention of a music manager (Jerry Heller played by Paul Giamatti) who puts them on the fast track to stardom and we watch the rise of one of America’s most notorious musical acts become legendary and the behind the scenes conflicts that eventually led to their downfall.

“We’ll start with a cover of Staying Alive, and then we can do that police song if we have time afterwards.”

“We’ll start with a cover of Staying Alive, and then we can do that police song if we have time afterwards.”

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