racism

Get Out

Year: 2017
Directed By: Jordan Peele
Written By: Jordan Peele

RYAN’S REVIEW

Here we have another movie featuring the nefarious and spooky element of hypnosis. This time around that hypnosis is simply a precursor for the real horror to come. In this thrilling horror film from the mind of Jordan Peele you’ll first find yourself sucked in, then the intrigue takes hold before the horror reaches out and grabs you.

I really enjoy this movie but there is a message I read loud and clear from it. Black people really are terrified of white people, who woulda thought right? They’re not afraid in the sense that they’re intimidated or scared. Just terrified on the deep seeded level of fear. Like, I finish this movie and I think “damn, they must really think we are crazy.” African American gentlemen beware the white woman and her iniquitous motives.

The cultural differences that remain in this country are truly unfortunate and nothing to joke about really. Xenophobia and misunderstanding are the root of a problem this country has yet to overcome.  I don’t think anybody side is truly to blame but neither knows how to relent and start the healing. Hopefully one day things will be different, but in the meantime this movie highlights a perception that white people aren’t intimidating, but scary on a high level of crazy. I think the sad truth is that people of all races can be crazy, there are always bad apples that make an entire demographic look bad.

I am a big fan of funny man Jordan Peele and I like him even more after getting behind camera for a movie like this. I like how he infused his comedic elements into the film with the delightful TSA agent but beyond that I found his work to be so impressive. In a time when I feel like all the horror films coming out are shit I see this and it gives me hope. It’s ironic that hope comes from the most unlikeliest of places. I like Key and Peele but Dave Chappelle said it best when he made the joke that he had to watch them do his show every night.

I think the fact that Peele made this movie on such a tight budget made it all the better. The best horror films are made on the cheap, even IT only cost 35 million to make. I think Peele had a good cast to work with for this film. I have always been a big fan of Katherine Keener and like her as the hypnotizing mother with her lethal tea cup. The TSA agent was awesome and brought light into this dark film every time it was needed. If I am discussing the cast I must mention one of my favorite actors of all time. Stephen Root plays the blind art dealer bidding on Chris’s body. Root is a terrific and prolific actor that can do anything; a true unsung hero in the acting world.

I really enjoy this movie because it is so subtle. You can rack your brain trying to figure out what is actually going on all throughout but clarity won’t come until Peele puts it together for you. Peele actually shot two endings to the film and I like them both. One being what ended up in the film which is where the TSA buddy comes to Chris’s rescue and throws in a quick joke before the movie ends. I like that ending but I have to admit I found the alternate ending a bit more horrific. In the Alternate ending the lights flashing across Chris’s face aren’t that of his TSA buddy’s vehicle but that of a real cop car.

In the alternate ending Chris is caught red handed trying to strangle his girlfriend to death and sent to jail. Once he is locked up he is just a black guy with a wild story. He is visited in prison by his TSA buddy and seems disinterested with getting out of jail and instead content that he brought an end to something so horrible. I think that ending is a bit of a more punch in the gut and a better way to end a horror film, but I do like what they actually went with because I loved the TSA buddy.

This was a huge hit for good reason, it’s a fresh and entertaining horror film that nobody expected to be so good. It goes to show that this day in age when something is good word will still get around. This movie was a financial success without even the presence of a superhero! It makes me respect it all the more and really look forward to what Jordan Peele might do next.

I don’t know that this movie really sets the mood for Halloween because despite being a horror film it somehow doesn’t seem right for the season. I don’t think you should watch this movie to get you in the mood for Halloween. I think you should watch this movie because it’s awesome. This movie is worth your time, your money, and your attention.

 

 

 

 

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School Ties

Year: 1992
Directed By: Robert Mandel
Written By: Dick Wolf and Darryl Ponicsan

 

RYAN’S REVIEW

It seems like the beginning of this “S” section is just flat out doomed when I’m following Schindler’s List with this film. How ironic that together these two films sit on the shelf. One being all out about the Holocaust and the other being about the racism behind it that never truly died.

This is not the greatest movie but it taught me an invaluable lesson when I was a kid. It taught me something about the nature of racism. How blind and unreasonable it can all be. In this movie all these guys are buddy buddy until they find out that all along Brendan Fraser is a Jew. The fact that they were friends before hand proves they couldn’t tell a true difference between him and themselves. When they learn his heritage he is suddenly ostracized for no other reason than the religion he serves. Nothing in particular changed about the person but all of his friends suddenly found reasons to dislike him simply because he was a Jew.

When I saw this movie as a kid it marked a lesson for me because I could see how foolish the racist feelings of these boys really were. Until they found out he was a Jew he was practically the most popular among them. How swiftly and quickly their perceptions changed based on a ridiculous notion that he was suddenly different just amazed me. I don’t doubt the truth to it and believe that these very type of situations happened countless times throughout history. The movie itself is actually based on personal experiences by the writer Dick Wolf.

I don’t understand racism in general, the type of hate that poisons a man’s heart to that point. For me it shouldn’t matter what a person’s ethnicity is when you know the person and like them. All these guys we see in this movie rally around Brenden Fraser up till that secret changes everything. They knew the person, but hardened their hearts when they learned something they could have never figured out any other way besides being told. When you know a person for who they are, it shouldn’t matter what the color of their skin is, the God they pray to, or their sexual preference for that matter.

When I watch a movie like this I relate to the main character as he struggles with this change of heart from his friends. When he is suddenly all alone for no reason and treated differently it is something I can see, and I understand his plight. I don’t know how any racist person can watch a movie like this and not take something away from it. Movies like Crash, Mississippi BurningSchindler’s List, Monster’s Balland many others have the power to teach us something but despite how popular these movies are the message just never gets through to some people. It’s a sad and unfortunate thing that I feel is getting worse as opposed to better as time carries on.

As to this movie it’s not really anything special. It’s an interesting opportunity to look back at younger versions of actors like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris O’Donnell, and Brendan Fraser. At the time Fraser looked to be on his way to being big time leading man material but his career hit a huge roadblock years back and he has seemingly never recovered from it. When he became that silly guy everything went wrong for him because he was capable of more. He wasn’t bad in this movie but I don’t think he was very exceptional either. It’s funny to look back in hindsight when Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have reached the heights Fraser will simply never see.

I think it totally sucks to have to sit down to this movie after avoiding Schindler’s List. This movie in no way compares to that one but it still centers on racism and that’s an ugly topic I never care to sit down with. I think this movie is worth your time and everyone should see it simply for the hope that it teaches them something as it taught me. Racism is an ugly thing, and the only way we can ever rise above it is by looking within ourselves and deciding to be better.

NEXT MOVIE: Secondhand Lions (2003)

 

Mississippi Burning

Year: 1988
Directed By: Alan Parker
Written By: Chris Gerolmo

RYAN’S REVIEW

The best movies are the ones that teach us something.  The ones that get into our core and change the very fiber of our being for the rest of time. This movie did that for me. It taught me an invaluable lesson about racism that I will never forget. The message this movie sends is one that has been preached by many films but it is one I only needed once. It has soured my opinion some to other movies along the same lines but I hope each and every one of them did for others what this one did for me.  The world was an uglier place in 1964. It’s an unfortunate reality that the world is still that ugly 50 years later, but I hope with every lesson a film like this delivers that we will be that much closer to what the world can be.

There is plenty of ugliness in this world but I think racism would just about give anything a run for its money at being the worst.  To have hate in your heart for another person based on nothing more than their skin color is despicable.  To judge a person you do not know for preconceived notions that are unfounded is awful.  Worst of all is being so blinded by hate that you physically and emotionally hurt other people to perpetuate some ridiculous idea created by hateful and evil people.  It just blows, in every way possible.  Nothing makes me sicker than to see this ugliness in the world.  I do not judge people for what they were raised to believe but I believe we should all try to be better.  When you settle for the norm or go on with a mentality you know to be wrong you aren’t being better but simply bringing us all down by being worse. The world will never change unless we change ourselves but we can’t do it alone.  It’s a sad reality that as long as ignorance is still prevalent in our society that we will have to endure unnecessary hatred and judgment.

I mentioned that this movie has soured me on others along the same lines and I’d like to clarify that statement.  I just don’t like seeing racism, and I prefer not to see it because I find it ugly.  It’s no different than seeing rape or adultery in a movie.  Some things will just turn me off of a film because I don’t care to see it.  With racism I have learned my lesson about it and I don’t care to pile on by choosing to watch more of the ugliness.  I hope they never stop being made because each and every one has the opportunity to teach someone and that’s great.  I just don’t need that lesson anymore and choose to avoid seeing those films for the most part.  This movie is enough for me but I still find this one hard to watch again.  It’s a great movie all around but I don’t think it is fun to watch.  The Klansmen make me sick to my stomach and though it is awesome to see them get what is coming to them the damage they had already done can’t go unnoticed.  I wish this world hadn’t been this way and wasn’t so similar today in various ways but it’s an unfortunate reality we have to live with.  It’s incredibly difficult to change someone’s opinion about anything once they have set their mind to it.  I am thankful for the people out there who want to fight the battle but personally I think you are just fighting.  It’s like the war on drugs, it’s unwinnable.  You can no more make someone feel a way they don’t than you can stop them from doing something they want to do.  You can preach and punish all you want but at the end of the day haters are gonna hate and hopheads are gonna get high.

I think with this movie that the lesson I have learned from it is more important than the movie itself.  It’s a very good film that is based on real events.  There are the Hollywood elements added in as they are in all movies based on true stories but the messages the film sends are clear and authentic. Gene Hackman is incredible and should have won the Oscar but lost to Dustin Hoffman for Rainman. Frances McDormand is great in everything she does and I’m a big fan of Willem Dafoe.  I think all the KKK members were perfectly cast, R. Lee Ermey and Michael Rooker fit in accordingly.  There is also a young Eddie Winslow in the movie playing an inspiring part.  That is all I want to say about the film itself though.  I think it is a terrific film and I appreciate what it taught me but I believe what it taught me was more important than the film itself.

This movie is worth your time.  If you watch this movie and don’t feel sympathy in your heart there is something wrong with you.  There is a valuable lesson to be had from this movie and if you manage to not get it you need to see more.  If you can’t feel how awful the content of this movie is then you need to open your mind and see it again.  We can all be better as people and as individuals.  This is one of the movies that taught me to be a better person and a stronger individual.  I hope you watch it and get as much out of it as I do.  We can’t change the world but we can change ourselves and we can raise children to be smarter than our parents were and we are.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This movie is incredibly moving. A movie that makes you want to stand up for something, too. It is a really hard movie to watch. If you are a black person or a white person, it’s hard to watch. There is a huge lesson to be learned about this movie, about people and natural born rights. I wasn’t alive during this time and I am so thankful for that, because my whole motto in life is “Live and Let Live.” I don’t understand why people had and have hatred for other people for no reason at all. It burdens my heart. This movie tells an amazing story and it is worth watching for sure.

mississippi_burning

I am really impressed with this poster. I don’t think it effectively draws in curiosity or anything, but I do think it is really well designed. I am always a fan of a grid design. I think the colors are simple and well suited for this movie. You have two big names and they are evident and at the top and it also gives you an idea of what the characters look like in the film. For this poster to be done in 1988 is also impressive, I feel like it is a little ahead of its time. Another note here. I feel like the simplicity of this poster alludes to the seriousness of its nature.

NEXT MOVIE: Money Talks (1997)