|Table of Reviews|
The Hate U Give – Review
The Hate U Give – Budget of $500,000 – 2 hours and 12 minutes
Starr Carter is of two worlds but feels she has no home. At home, she is Starr Version 1. She lives in a predominantly African American community that struggles with gangs, drugs, and gun violence. Her father, a former gang member, owns the local grocery store. When Starr was 9, her brother Seven was 7, and her brother Sekani was 1, their dad Maverick gave them The Talk and the 10 Point Program by the Black Panthers. It was the blueprint he used to raise his children after Starr’s friend was killed in a drive-by shooting. Starr’s mother Lisa wanted to leave the community, but Maverick wanted to stay. The compromise was to put Starr and Seven in a predominantly white high school called Willamson. There Starr is Version 2. She doesn’t use slang, is nonconfrontational, and never gets loud. She doesn’t want anyone to call her ghetto or know where she lives. At Williamson, she has a boyfriend Chris and her friend Hailey. However, after school, she decides to go to a party with Seven in their neighborhood. Starr doesn’t feel like she belongs their either. It’s there she sees Khalil. She and Khalil were friends for years. However, rumors about him upset Starr. As Khalil starts to explain himself, shots are fired at the party. Khalil helps Starr out of the party and offers her a safe ride home. Khalil pulls over to have a one on one talk with her about their past, present, and future. That future is shortlived when Khalil is shot by a police officer who mistook his hairbrush for a gun. With Starr being the only witness, Khalil’s family wants her to testify, her family wants her to be safe, the local gang wants her to keep her mouth shut, and the police are harassing her family. Starr’s worlds collide leaving her to question everything she is and does.
Based on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, this movie gives the most striking, honest, and accountable view of police accountability, black-on-black crime, no snitching mentality, white privilege, black prejudice, white prejudice, Black Panthers, family, friends, love, and T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The Hate U Give Little Infants, F**K Everyone (T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E) has a meaning for Starr at the beginning of the movie but as she sees this acronym comes to life, she asks her family, the police, and the gangs one strong and powerful question that will strike a nerve in anyone who watches this critical scene. Everyone has an opinion on what happened to Khalil and what Starr should do. From her police officer uncle to her ex-con turned grocery store owner father to her protesting friends to her rioting friends to her Christian-schooled mother to her boyfriend, but it’s Starr’s regrets from her past that will shape her decision. With so much heavy topics to cover, this movie adds a fair amount of laughs and heart-tugging moments. This is a film to watch and discuss just walk in with an open and closed political opinion.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
Ya’ll better not be doing anything in there – Seven
I see you – Chris
Know your rights, know your worth. You understand? – Maverick
We’re moving – Lisa
How’s that domestic life working for you – King
I just can’t be quiet – Starr
A Star is Born – Review
A Star is Born – Budget of $36 million – 2 hours and 15 minutes
Jackson is a rock singer, writer, and musician with a huge following. But with a constant high pitch tone in his ear; he drinks alcohol, takes pills, and takes steroids to cope. After an amazing show, he decides he can’t go home and ask his driver Wolfie to find a bar. Jackson sees Bleu Bleu. Ramon knows Jackson is a rock star and warns him this may not be his kind of place. Jackson believes if it has a bar, it’s his kind of place. Inside Jackson learns that he has entered Bleu Bleu’s Drag Night. He just sits back and enjoys the show. At that moment, Ally hits the stage and sings La Vie en Rose. He sees something in her and has to get to know her (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). After Ramon introduces his friend Ally to Jackson, the two talk and Ally confesses that she has tried to enter the industry but her looks have stopped her from getting a record deal. He tells her he loves her looks and he will have Wolfie pick her up to take her to his show tomorrow. She declines but wakes up to Wolfie at her front door waiting. She ignores Wolfie and goes to work. When Ally’s boss reprimands her for being late, she quits and takes Ramon with her. They get in Jackson’s car and head to the show. That split decision will change their careers and lives.
Just wow. While this movie follows 1937 original and its 1954 remake (it differs from the 1976 remake), it is modern without being completely drowned in social media cliques (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Social media is only referenced the first time Ally goes on stage with Jackson. Her views give her the confidence she needs to leave the world behind and go on tour with Jackson. The two connect on the road and grow into a strong, believable couple. While the romance is quick, it doesn’t feel rushed. You will view the two connect on a deeper level of creativity. Lady Gaga not only reminds the viewers of her voice but introduces the world to her acting ability. And while we know Bradley Cooper as a stand out actor, this directorial debut is a force to be reckoned with. With all the emotions you will experience, you will also get a cringe factor as Ally goes from rock/soul singer to pop star. While her star rises, her lyrics become shallow. As Jackson’s love life gives him hope, hanging on to his career causes him to lose is faith. This movie will have you singing and dancing in your seat; then you will want to buy the soundtrack (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).
I give it 5 out of 5 stars
I don’t wanna go home – Jackson
Yes, I do. I really don’t like it but I understand – Ally