Cinema Dispatch: All Eyez on Me


All Eyez on Me and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Benny Boom

If there’s one thing that we know Hollywood is good at it’s driving a good idea into the ground, and with the record breaking success of Straight Outta Compton, imitators were bound to pop up to try and ride its coattails.  Now that’s not to say that piggybacking off the success of one film is necessarily a bad thing; especially when the film being made is good enough to deserve the attention it wouldn’t otherwise get by following in a successful movie’s wake.  I know nothing about Tupac Shakur, but from what I understand he’s just as influential in the world of hip hop as NWA was in their day which makes his story ripe for adaptation.  Does this movie manage to live outside the shadow of its most obvious influence and stand on its own as a great biopic, or will this fail to find an identity outside a Straight Outta Compton cash in?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the life of Lesane Parish Crooks, also known as Tupac Amaru Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr), who rose to prominence as a rapper, actor, and black liberation advocate in the early and mid-1990’s.  Starting out from a young boy, he saw the horrors that institutionalized racism inflicted on his community and his own family as his mother Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira) and step father Mutulu Shakur (Jamie Hector) were prominent figures in The Black Panthers Party.  After growing up in Baltimore where he met Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham) who remained a lifelong friend, he was eventually forced to move to California which is where he took off as a rapper and became part of the Digital Underground which is where he started to branch out as a solo artist and make a name for himself in the wider public.  Of course, being a huge success comes with its own caveats and Tupac has to face a corrupt criminal justice system, disloyal sycophants who want to suck him dry, and even his own personal demons which are brought to the forefront once he becomes a household name and a superstar.  Does this retelling of the life of the legendary rapper manage to capture all the nuances of the man behind the headlines?  What can this man’s story tell us about how broken the system is even to this day?  If this movie is anything to go by, was the dude even a human being or simply a demi-god walking among mere mortals?

“It’s actually a lot colder in here than I thought.  Can someone get me my shirt?”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: All Eyez on Me”

Cinema Dispatch: The Boy


The Boy and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by William Brent Bell

Today is a day of celebration!  As hard as it is to believe, there is a movie released in January that is actually worth seeing.  It’s not just good; it’s GREAT and honestly hasn’t been selling itself as anything other than a low budget gimmicky horror cash grab which oddly enough ISN’T a Blumhouse joint.  Hell, maybe that’s the key difference here.  Blumhouse releases so many films a year (some good, some bad) that it took a fresh studio to get this right!  Oh wait.  This is STX Entertainment, and their only other releases were Secret in the Eyes which is one of the most poorly executed drama’s I’ve ever seen, and The Gift which is supposed to be really good but is also a Blumhouse collaboration.   Eh, they’re still a pretty new studio and this defiantly a great film to have as your third outing!  Just how good is it?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Greta (Lauren Cohan) who has recently been hired by the Heelshire family (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle) to be the nanny for their son Brahms for a few weeks as they go out on holiday. For some reason, this family living in a preeminent estate in the British countryside (where there obvious is no wi-fi or cell reception) hired a nanny ALL the way from freaking Montana but Greta is more than happy to get away from her old life and hopes to get a fresh start or at least some time to get herself together.  Seems perfect, right?  Well what they failed to mention in their want ad is that the boy in question is actually a porcelain doll with the perfectly parted hair of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and eyes that stare into the darkest depths of your soul.  Clearly the two owners of this house have… issues that need to be resolved but they certainly aren’t taking this holiday to see a therapist, so Greta is all alone in the house with the doll and the only company she has is the weekly visit from the grocery delivery guy Malcolm (Rupert Evans) and the occasional phone call from her sister.  Now the couple has entrusted her with their son and have given her a list of rules and daily activities that she needs to follow in order to keep him happy, but Greta reasonably (though obviously wrongly) ignores these as the doll is… well a doll.  Strange things begin to happen however and with no rational explanation for these events, she begins to turn to the irrational which could mean that the doll is actually alive.  Will she be able to survive in this house with the doll constantly creeping on her?  Has she simply lost her mind due to the isolation of this estate and the over looming threat of her past coming back to find her?  WHY IS IT STILL LOOKING AT ME!?!?

“Turn around, or I SWEAR I’ll start drawing dicks on your face!!”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: The Boy”