TV Review – When They See Us

TL;DR – This is a series that I think is important for everyone to see because what we do has consequences and those consequences can be ruined lives.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

When They See Us. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

When I loaded up this limited series, I kind of had an idea of what to expect. I had heard about the Central Park Five before and I thought I had a rough framework as to what happened and of course, having the blowhard-in-chief double down on it helped bring it all back into focus. However, while I understood what happened, it was an intellectual knowledge and not an emotional one. While I walked in here with what I thought was understanding, I now know I had no idea, none what so ever.

So to set the scene, one evening in April in New York City a group of young people of mostly African-American decent came together to have a bit of a raucous in Central Park. Soon the police arrived and brought a bunch of them in disturbing the peace after roughing more than a few of them in the process. However, later that night in the north section of the park woman was found clinging to life after being raped and assaulted. It is at this point that detective Linda Fairstein (Felicity Huffman) draws the connection between the two incidents. Soon Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk), Antron McCray (Caleel Harris), Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse), Raymond Santana (Marquis Rodriguez), and Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome) are dragged in front of the police, with no adults present. Soon the police would have their confessions, for assault and rape, confessions that looked dubious even under the most cursory inspection.

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Movie Review – The Hate U Give

TL;DR – A powerful and unflinching look at life at the intersection of race, power, poverty, and privilege.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Hate U Give . Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

One of the most important aspects of film, or indeed any media, is its ability to help you understand a different perspective. For many people in the world, the police are a source of comfort and protection, who you call when you are in danger. But for many people almost the opposite is true, and it can be difficult to understand why that is. However, that is what film is here to do, and that is what today’s film does.

So to set the scene, Starr (Amandla Stenberg) was only a child when her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) gave her and her siblings Seven (Russell Hornsby) and Sekani (TJ Wright) the talk. No, I am not talking about the birds and the bees, I am talking about what you do when (not if) you get pulled over by the police so you can make it out of it alive. As Starr grew up her mother Lisa (Regina Hall) was determined to make sure she could have the best opportunity available for life and sends her and her siblings to a private school. This makes Starr create two sides of herself, the Williamson side and the Garden Heights side. All of this comes to a head when Starr runs into an old friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at a party. It was a chance to reminisce about the past and how they use to all dress up as Harry Potter. After a gun goes off at the party, Starr and Khalil race to the car, and that is when the world changes for everyone.  

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Movie Review – Green Book

TL;DR – When it is a Road Trip film it works really well, with two charismatic leads, as a social commentary film which it is desperately trying to be, well it fails dismally.      

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Green Book. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

As it gets close to February, I continue my yearly tradition of trying to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars ceremony. While this is the plan, it is rarely successful, however, I thought it best to at least see all the films with a strong chance of winning on the night. Well, this leads us to Green Book which is actually a very interesting film. For it is a film of two halves, one that works and one that doesn’t, and both of these halves are in direct competition with each other.

So to set the scene, it is in the early 1960s and Frank “Tony Lip’ Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) works for the Copacabana at night as a combination bouncer/maître d/driver. As well as this, Tony always finds an opportunity to make a quick buck “bullshitting” people. When the Copacabana closes for a couple of months for renovations Tony is left with very little money to keep his family going when he gets a call about a driving opportunity at Carnegie Hall for a Dr Shirley (Mahershala Ali), only to find that he is not a medical doctor but a musician, he is black, and that he is about to embark on a tour of the deep south. Tony needs the money, but he also has problems with African-Americans to the point that he threw out two glasses that African-American plumbers used when fixing the pips in his house. Well eventually Tony agrees to take ‘Doc’ Don Shirley on his tour, well only after Don called his wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini) to check if it was all right.   

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