I’ve been waiting on this movie for a little over a year. When the trailer was finally released, I died! From that moment until I saw it last night, I made sure to plug the book and the movie anytime I could in my everyday conversations. For the past two weeks I’ve been in hype mode overdrive! Well, I’m glad to say the movie lived up to my expectations!
The cast was amazing! Everyone nailed their roles! The chemistry between the cast was perfect. So much so, that it didn’t Seem like we were watching a movie, but observing a real family navigating their Situation. Often times, movies require a certain level of suspension of disbelief in order for them to make sense, get their point across, or be enjoyable. It’s not required for this movie because the plot, conflict, resolution and aftermath are so relevant to present day Black America.
Throughout the movie, the acronym T.H.U.G L.I.F.E is explained. The hate you gave little infants F**ks everybody. I learned what thug life stood for maybe only 5 or so years ago from a random Tupac interview I found when I went down the rabbit’s hole of “recommendations” YouTube had for me based on my viewing history. After watching the interview i was like “Exsqueeze Me?!…it’s an acronym? It doesn’t mean blood in, blood out, i didn’t choose this life, it choose me, live by the sword, die by the Sword?!” and so on.
There isn’t many ways you can interpret T.h.u.g L.i.f.e in my opinion, but just in case people were struggling to understand, all confusion was put to rest at the climax of the movie! The best scene hands down! It really drives the meaning home in the clearest way possible.
I think everyone should see this movie. It is worth your time, money, and whatever else!
Kylie’s Rating: A+
Last night me and Merlyn saw Where Hands Touch. I’ve been waiting on this movie for about two years! I was going to be super mad had it not been released in my area since the date was for “select cities”. If it’a not playing in a theater near you, it will be available for a while on DirectTv starting Dec. 6, and streaming on Hulu March 2019.
The movie is about Lena’s experiences as an Afro-German during Hitler’s reign. Prior to the announcement of this movie, I honestly never thought about the possibility of there being black Germans. While initially she wasn’t treated as badly as a Jew during that time, she was still hassled and hated. I want to use some scenes as examples, but I also don’t want to be a spoiler.
The runtime is about 2 hours and it’s a pretty well paced movie. At times it may seem slow, but it works. You won’t be checking your watch throughout trying to see how much longer you have, if that helps.
Be sure to stay to the end, because in true Amma Asante fashion, she’s hits you with facts and pictures about Afro-Germans in Germany during that time.
The only thing I didn’t like were some scenes where the fakest sun was used. I originally thought my only beef with the movie would be everyone’s accents. Oddly enough, I didn’t really mind them. For the most part. Like, the lighting was horrible in my opinion. The way they portrayed sunlight at times made everything look like a dream sequence (and not a good one) because it was too fake! The rays of light dancing on Lena and Lutz faces during the more touching scenes…straight cheddar! If anything, it took away from those scenes. Also the horizon from the hilltop looked awful, as well as some scenes inside the camp. Specifally her POV shots while looking through the fence of the camp.
That being said, if it’s showing in a theater near you, you should go see it. It’s worth it.
Kylie’s Rating – A
A couple of days ago I was alerted to the news that As You Are was available to rent on iTunes and Vudu. I was super excited because i’ve been waiting on this movie to drop ever since it created a buzz at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Actually, that was just a bonus, I really initially was only interested in it because Amanda Stenberg was in it. When both the La film festival and NOLA film festival rolled around and weren’t screening that movie, I thought all hope was lost. And it kind of was until this week.
Ok, so I rented it and it took me two days to finish it. Man, I don’t think I liked it. The movie is set in the 90s and is about 3 friends, Jack, Mark, and Sarah. Jack and Mark become step brothers of sorts. Not really, their parents just start dating and move in together. The boys have a pretty good brotherly relationship until they take it to the next level. Now Jack is in love with Mark. Mark is with it to an extent. Sarah ends up dating them both throughout the movie. When she moves on to Mark, Jack is super upset. Not at her, but at Mark because he thought him and Mark would be together based on the game Mark had been spitting to him. At this point, they no longer live together because their parents have broken up. Mark’s dad is an abusive security officer and beats Mark into submission anytime he gets out of line. And because he suspects he’s gay. Mark ends up dead via a gunshot wound. When he died he was with Jack in the woods. So did Mark kill himself, or did Jack kill him? That’s ultimately what the movie is about. Finding out what happened in the woods.
Half the movie are flashbacks giving us the groups backstory, and the other half is present day inside the interrogation room. The cop really irks my nerves. He’s playing good cop. bad cop and it’s so cliche and lame. It’s so easy to predict 95% of the entire movie from the first 10 min, yet it takes nearly 2 hours to get to the point. So now you have to sit through this long drawn out movie just to see what really happened to Mark. I am not a fan of this movie at all. Well, only a little cause of Amanda #Rue4Life, who by the way isn’t even in it enough for my liking. Let the records show that in addition to it taking me 2 days to finish the movie, I also paused it 3 times on night 2 to see how many minutes I had left. There was a lot of unnecessary filler material in there in my opinion. At then the movie finally ended and i was like…
I’m not going to go into detail about the end, but you can probably gather how it ends based on the above picture. Don’t let my opinion of the movie keep you from seeing it. I always like to read reviews, but still see the movie for myself because I might disagree with the reviewer. You can find As You Are on iTunes and Vudu
Kylie’s Rating: C-
Ok , so last night I saw Everything, Everything. I’ve been waiting for this one since it was announced Amandla Stenberg would be staring in it (Rue 4 Lyfe). Any who, once that announcement was made, I immediately purchased and read the book. It was pretty good.
Now back to the movie. So the soundtrack bangs. How do I know that? Because like 75% of the scenes were accompanied by a song. It was almost like a visual album! Lmao. I was kind of hating that, but then I remembered this movie is about teens, made for teens. I am not their target demographic. So I’ve decided not to hold that against the film. I think all the acting was good, although some scenes oozed with cheese. And making the cheesiness more apparent, were this gaggle of teen girls who would crack up EVERY TIME one of those faithful lines were uttered. Which was pretty often. Their laughter eventually started to make me cringe with second hand embarrassment right before I knew a lovey dovey line was about to be delivered. They kind of ruined my experience, TBH. Somehow the lines didn’t seem so corny in the book.
The movie stayed pretty true to the book. They cut out the part where Maddy visits Carla prior to her departure with Olly, which kind of made me mad. I love Carla! We needed that scene!!! They did update the story a little by making Maddy and Olly’s main means of communication through txt and not instant messenger like in the book. I can dig it. I initially liked how they had them together as if they were talking face to face during some of their txting conversations. Keeps you from having to read their messages on the side of the screen. Nick Robinson did an awesome job as Olly, btdubs!
Overall, the movie was cool. Cute. Definitely worth seeing. Plus it’s an added bonus that the book was written by a black woman, movie was directed by a black woman, and it starred a black girl. That’s dope. #Blackgirlmagic
Kylie’s Rating – B
P.s – Can y’all believe there were people trying to dog Amandla about this movie for being mixed and not counting as a black girl? They were like this isn’t a real accomplishment because she’s light skin and we need dark skin representation in lead rolls. I get that. Colorism definitely exists in Hollywood, and the world in general. That being said, you can’t use this particular movie as an example of colorism in Hollywood prevailing once again. Why? Because in the book she was mixed (although black and chinese). So, FOH. Let her get her shine on in peace.