Contrasting the common wide theatrical releases of Hollywood films, Riley’s feature length directorial debut Sorry to Bother You opened with a quiet, limited release early last month. Although the box office numbers aren’t flowing to a big studio name, you truly haven’t entered Riley’s black comedy critique of capitalism until you’ve spent a little more money on gas traveling to an unfamiliar AMC or an independent theater, payed 10 bucks for your ticket, spent another twenty on snacks, and sat through around seven trailers which all intend to persuade you to repeat the whole process again next weekend.
After all that, you may temporarily relinquish your chaotic role as a consumer and find a version of yourself in the film’s financially struggling protagonist, Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield). Although employed at the sketchy telemarketing company RegalView, Cassius remains optimistic that he may one day be promoted to a “Power Caller”. At first his drive proves to be ineffective after several people aren’t persuaded by his marketing skills until he finds the key to their pockets and hence his own successes, the “white voice”.
The Parr family has finally returned to the big screen in one of the year’s most anticipated movies, The Incredibles 2. Although Pixar’s much awaited sequel may not be as good as its predecessor it surely is as thematically sophisticated, well-written, beautifully directed, fun, and entertaining.
Disney’s second anthology film in the Star Wars franchise, Solo, quietly released last month with an underwhelming performance at the box office. Surely the $1 billion grossing Rogue One isn’t to blame for Solo’s lackluster presence, but most likely 2017’s The Last Jedi which has divided the fandom and lead to wide distrust of Disney’s handling of Star Wars. Perhaps Solo’s commercial failure will encourage Disney to slow down the releases of blatant cash grabs and instead take their time to produce decent Star Wars films. While the story of Solo is unneeded and falls under a clear money-grubbing project category, Ron Howard, Alden Ehrenreich and co. surprisingly delivered in creating an extremely fun and entertaining movie.
This short film was an assignment for my documentary class but I had never treated it as such. I hadn’t cared about my final grade or if it were going to be any good at all — well at least I did at first. I went in worried that I may not get all the footage I needed under the time constraints imposed by the semester. Furthermore, I was anxious from the very beginning that my final project just wouldn’t be good enough. But the second I put the camera in front of my grandma’s face all of that anxiety had disappeared. I had realized then, and even now, that these seven days I had spent with her would prove to be the most precious week of my entire life.
Making Leonie Superstar was such a humbling experience that brought me much closer to my grandmother. Yet, at the same time filming this documentary was a difficult and often heartbreaking experience. We view our grandparents as these ubiquitous figures in our lives from a very young age. For some reason we believe that they’ll never leave us; like they are some immortal rock in our family tree. Now, sadly, I realized that they do leave us one day. It’s life and I’ve come to terms with that, as has my grandmother.
So I couldn’t let the stories, experiences and life of a human who has lived well over 80 years slip away. I tried to encapsulate as much as I could in this short doc about my grandmother, Leonie Superstar.
To answer the title: I have no idea. For those of you who are familiar with this site you know that I suck at balancing blogging with my college life. I’ve just completed my second year and still haven’t found a way to keep 4therace running like it had in High School. I see that despite my failings of being a consistent writer, I still have a small readership which is so humbling and I would like to take the time to thank all those who visited my site throughout this long hiatus. I want to say that I am back and will remain consistent but I just don’t know how this summer will go. Hopefully I master the art of balancing academics, my social life and blogging before the Fall but as of right now I’d just like to say that I am here and eager to join the WordPress community again.
For those who may have forgotten or may not know at all…
I (still) love movies. I am a proud nerd. I love to read. I love to write and I hope to write film criticism full-time one day. Expect some new content on the way and hopefully, after taking a couple film classes in college, my film criticism has improved.
Leave a comment, or ask a question. I’m here to answer!
Ingrid, wonderfully realized by one of my new favorite actresses Aubrey Plaza, is depicted to be nothing short of a psychopathic, obsessive social media user. Moments after we are first introduced to her crying while scrolling through Instagram, she storms into a wedding and pepper sprays the bride, an ex-friend, for not inviting her. The eponymous character soon discovers Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an internet famous photographer, and moves to LA in a crazy conquest to become the celeb’s best-friend. Hoping that Taylor would see a semblance of herself if the two were ever to meet, Ingrid grows unhealthy infatuated with the celeb’s Instagram and uses the platform to become “Taylor 2.0”. Ingrid is caught a little off guard when she first meets Taylor and fails to befriend her. So she stalks her home, steals her dog and returns him only to get closer to her idol. It works. Despite the lengths Ingrid went to become Taylor’s friend she isn’t crazy — and I don’t think the film intends for her to be identified as such — but more so she’s a product of the movie’s true villain, social media.
Any stranger to 4therace should know that I am a lover of films. I hope to complete a minor in film at my school and continue film studies into graduate school. My dream is to become a film critic and possibly a screenwriter one day. 4therace is extremely special to me because I not only get to connect with so many awesome readers but also get to the chance to strengthen my film review and analysis skills outside the classroom. I’m aware that I struggle to keep up blogging throughout the semester but I really want to push myself in 2018. Life is going to get busier for me but it never should be too hard for me to practice what I love doing. So I’ve made a promise with myself to write about every movie I watch this year and post my words here on 4therace. I’m already three movies behind but at least it means I have some content to talk about! I’ve got a review for last year’s Ingrid Goes West and Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It on the way so do stick around!
Even though I still struggle to blog during the semester, 2017 was a record setting year for visitors, views and likes here on 4therace.
To celebrate 2017 on 4therace, I’ve compiled a list of some of this site’s top 10s as well as some of my favorite things coming out of 2017 – just to get to know me a little better. Before delving in I’d like to thank all those who visited my blog, took the time to read my posts and comment. Each and every one of you keep this blog running and inspire me to write more and continuously improve my content every year. I thank you once again, and hope you enjoy this post which celebrates what I’ve done but mostly what you’ve pushed me to accomplish!
Beautiful, insightful and heart breaking are three words I would use to describe J Cole’s best album 4 Your Eyez Only. Paralleling his life with that of his late friend, Cole tells a story which explores the immense societal burden that is placed on the black man and the realities of being born into a system that will never benefit the Black American.
It doesn’t surprise me that an album that fully recognizes the Black struggle, touches on mass incarceration and institutionalization has gone unnoticed by The Grammys. The awards show found this conversation in Kendrick Lamar (whom I love) and are prompt to nominate the rapper for each one of his albums. Does this committee fully understand the words of Kendrick and Cole? Probably not. I fully believe the Grammy committee nominates Kendrick for his growing mass appeal which, consequently, brings more ratings and money to their show. Of course an album like 4 Your Eyez Only which is far from a cash grab, wasn’t made for mass appeal but created in honour of another human being’s life would be glanced over by the ‘money driven, viewer hungry Grammy Awards Show.
As long as I live, I will not let a project as touching and as moving as 4 Your Eyez Only fade away from human memory. It’s a story about love, pain, and life. It is undeniably my favorite album of 2017.