The Visit: Is M.Night Shyalaman Back?!
A nearly unforgivable prank was played on me over the weekend when I was asked by my lovely lady if I wanted to go to the movies after work. It was a particularly tough workweek and I couldn’t think of a better way to unwind that didn’t involve copious amounts of alcohol and/or guns. The two rarely mix well so I said ‘sure’, without thinking to ask what it was we were going to see.
Knowing that we were going to the Alamo Drafthouse, I may have been too distracted to ask for any details about the movie. You know, important little details like ‘what’s it about?’ or ‘who’s in it?’ or, as I learned that night, ‘who wrote and directed this film?’ The fact that The Alamo serves my favorite beer (Yonkers IPA) and has unlimited refills on popcorn, was enough of a reason to sit through just about anything for 2 hours.
The fact that The Alamo serves my favorite beer (Yonkers IPA) and has unlimited refills on popcorn, was enough of a reason to sit through just about anything for 2 hours.
We order our drinks and popcorn just as the last of the previews are finishing up. I’m only slightly more informed about the movie because I walked past the poster as we were entering the theatre… “The Visit.” Never heard of it. In my head I hoped this wasn’t a documentary about menstrual cycles. I’m just basing that on the title…meh, it didn’t matter if it was. Yonkers IPA. I see our server with our drinks. Cue the libations. The lights dim to a dull glow. Cue the opening credits. What appeared next on the screen let me know that I should be afraid for the next 2 hours. I should be very afraid. “Written and Directed by M.Night Shyamalan” Cue the WTF?! HOW DID I LET THIS SHIT HAPPEN?!
Never, in the history of movie going, has such an audible “AW SHIT!!!” been let out by audience member that the people 3 screens over could hear it. Was that out loud? Sorry, it was supposed to be in my head. It wasn’t the kind of “Awwww SHIT!!” you bellow out when your favorite song comes on in ‘da club’. No. This was the other kind. The kind of “AW SHIT!” you yell out when you step in a big pile of ACTUAL shit. In this case, it was a big pile of what I thought was going to be eye shit. That’s right. Shit. Just for your eyes.
If I gave you a million guesses as to what the last watchable M.Night movie was, you’d probably guess it on the first try. Go ahead. I’ll wait. That’s right, it was The Sixth Sense. Since then it has been a downhill slide of shit. That’s right a slide made of shit. Built specifically for M.Night movies to ride on before they hit movie screens and shit in your eyes. With that being said, you would be surprised to know that this film was surprisingly enjoyable.
In my head I hoped this wasn’t a documentary about menstrual cycles.
If you know anything about M.Night films, there are two things you can count on. 1. It’s not going to be scary but there will be a few cheap scares in there. 2. There will be some kind of plot twist. He doesn’t disappoint with either though, the plot twist was pretty weak and predictable. What I was surprised about was how entertaining the two teen actors were and how many laughs there were throughout the movie. Ed Oxenbould steals the show hands down as aspiring white rapper Tyler and Olivia DeJonge is not far behind with a exceptional performance considering who wrote the script.
This is easily, for me at least, M.Night Shyamalan’s second best movie. Was it a great movie? No. I don’t even know if I’d call it a good movie, but it was certainly worth the price of admission. Go see it.
Review: Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong reminds me that I was an idiot as a child. I allowed the 4:30 Movie too significant a piece of my brain pie. I existed in a headspace where The Planet of the Apes and Gamera were more science than fiction. I was certain skyscraper-sized monsters lived in the woods a few blocks away, and that ghosts were under my bed. Somewhere in possibility-land, a black and white Lon Chaney slowly becomes a werewolf in a handful of dissolving frames.
Cut to my final form, and I can’t help but think these movies are just a total waste of time and resources. Sure, the effects can be impressive but often they have as much weight as a video game. Buildings smash into dust, an actor says a line against a green screen, then Kong sits on a throne like a stereotypical king. Ah doi!
Sure, the hollow Earth with upside-down mountains in the sky is cool – but where’s that sun coming from? The MechaGodzilla fight has some great effects, but you can watch those on Youtube without having to sit through a bunch of lines like “Kong bows to no one.”
Maybe I just can’t enjoy normal human things anymore.
Now that Captain America is Black…
Now that Captain America is Black
- Bucky Barnes will change his name to Summer Soldier Buckquan because “Nah son! we ain’t doing sh*t in the winter!”
- Fearing for their lives, Police officers will fire 751 shots at Cap in the 4th of many incidents to come.
- In a new altered timeline, Thanos will win due to Cap being detained by a routine traffic stop. “How can you afford Vibraniun on a government salary? Please step out of the vehicle sir.”
- Captain America will form a Rap group with Black Panther called “Black-America.” The group will not be received well but will eventually have all their intellectual property stolen for decades to come without any due repar… I mean royalties. #MESSAGE
- Racists will be utterly confused when they tell Captain America to “Go back to where you came from.” Equally confused, Cap will pack up all his belongings and stay put.
- Cap will be accused of stealing Thor’s hammer the next time he picks it up.
- Cap’s shield will be replaced with a Vibraniun PlayStation Controller since black men are more comfortable throwing that.
- The battle decree will officially be changed from “Avengers Assemble” to “Yerrrrr! It’s on sight!”
- After 40 years of service, Cap will travel back in time to 1998 to finally get that last dance with his true love, Laura Winslow. They will Cha Cha Slide to “Before I let Go” as the credits role.
- Upon retirement, those jaded with having an Af-Am do such an amazing job will appoint a failed real estate charlatan to take up the mantle. The New Cap will immediately try and grab Scarlet by her “Johansson” and declare himself the best Captain America that ever did it during his inauguration.
Chadwick Boseman Forever!!
It is clear that Chadwick Boseman chose iconic roles like Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Black Panther with deliberate intent and for a specific purpose. In an age where positive roles for Black actors is often sparse, Chadwick managed to land and portray historical figures that made most respect his talents if not revel in his ability to transition effortlessly for one character to another. Even I had to give his African accent a solid B+ (It’s the highest grade the Nigerian Standards Bureau can give for an African accent to a non African FYI.)
Holding out and preparing for these dynamic roles came with both great frustration and incredible resolve I’m certain. Not to mention the taxing ordeal of battling Colon Cancer as the grueling scheduling of filming and increasing responsibility for positive representation loomed. Even under extreme duress, Chadwick’s commitment to others appeared to outweigh his own tribulations, unbeknownst to us all.
Black Panther may have been just a movie to some and that may be because some can easily rattle off 10 movies with a king of non Af-Am origin. It represented a lot more to others. Albeit imagined, imagery on cinema often accomplishes more to augment the social narrative and society itself than actual reality. If negative stereotypes influence perception then positive ones absolutely have the same converse effect.
Even in jest, the cultural misappropriation of raisins in potato salad on SNL skits directly spoke to the tampering of black culture to which T’challa championed, represented and aptly responded “Oh hell Nah Karen!”
If you don’t understand the relevance of representation, it’s probably because you are thoroughly represented. After all, no one is ever grateful for every breath they take until they are gasping for air.
R.I.P Chadwick Boseman. Thank you for breathing life into the possibility of Black excellence.