This 2020 Netflix film takes us on a socioeconomic ride to the future of prison cells constructed as vertical rooms that allow inmates to watch each other in lower cells, while the inmates above get first dibs on the food served by chefs at the top of the building… Yeah, I know it sounds a bit strange and maybe even eccentric but don’t judge a film by its’ trailer (see below). It’s much worse than it sounds.
The principle of The Platform is that there are a variety of awful people that exists no matter what social status level you are on in this world. However, the main theme of the film brings us to the question of who are the absolute worst: the people at the top or the people at the bottom?
In February of 2017, a movie titled, A Cure for Wellness was released to theaters in the USA. I saw the trailer for this film during the Summer of 2016 and was immediately intrigued. The story follows a Wall Street stockbroker (played by Dane DeHaan) who travels to a remote location in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO (played by Harry Groener) from an idyllic but mysterious wellness center. The stockbroker soon suspects that the miraculous treatments are not what they seem. His sanity is being tested as he unravels the spa’s terrifying secrets and finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all of the guests there longing for a cure.
Out of all the movies ever made, there are four that I decided to compare and contrast as references to history and the future of the development of technology as it relates to colonization of countries and states. These four movies (Avatar, Her, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and WALL-E) came out at difference points in technological advancement and they display the continuing evolution of human beings and the digital world.
In No Country for Old Men (2007 film), one of the most memorable quotes is “What’s the most you ever lost in a coin toss?” This is a short rhymed question asked by Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem). He says it to a Texaco worker to determine if his next action will be a threat or a promise. At this point in the film, we have already seen that Anton has a way of changing others direction in life when he crosses their path, whether it be killing them or letting them live.
What if I told you a story about how my wife was stripped of her dignity and respect when she was raped and murdered by complete strangers? Following that, what if I told you that I have a short-term memory loss that doesn’t allow me to remember day to day details but somehow I’m planning to catch the man/men who took my wife’s life? Interesting, right? See the thing about it is, there was this guy, Sammy Jankis who had a similar condition to mine and he tried to take notes as a way of keeping a log of people and events he encountered, but, he mixed them all up. He didn’t have a system. For this to work, you really need a system. I have a system that helps me keep my notes organized: (1) pictures with names of places and people, (2) a map to place/remove those pictures and make sense of where I can find such people and places (3) tattoos on my body, and (4) actually notes that I’ve handwritten [it is important to know and trust my own handwriting]. Remembering the details along the way and piecing together the clues to find my wife’s murderers is not going to be my easiest feat considering my condition but I am confident in my system. Where to I start my journey… Hmm…
Spike Lee’s film, Do the Right Thing, depicts racial tensions on the hottest day of the summer in Bed-Stuy “do or die” Brooklyn, New York. The film addresses topics in black culture such as fashion and style, mental illness, racial stereotypes, boycotting and police brutality. It is important to note that the portrayal of African-Americans is illustrated in both a literal and figurative manner to display the history, art and culture of the black community during the late 1980’s and until this day. I invite you to join me on an exploration of the story line, character displays and messages conveyed throughout the film.
The Hate U Give is a film based on the bestselling novel by Angie Thomas. The film first premiered in October 2018 and grossed $29.7 million in the United States and Canada. It is about a black teenager named, Starr Carter, who is code switcher travelling between two worlds — the black ghetto streets where she lives and the preppy white school that she attends. The balance between the worlds is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Starr faces pressure from both communities: to find her voice and stand up for what’s right or to let it go and act like it didn’t happen and won’t happen again.
It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Through his determination to make a name for himself, Stallworth sets out on a dangerous mission: to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The young detective convinces a colleague, Flip Zimmerman (played by Adam Driver), into joining him on the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group. Check out the film trailer below:
Beauty and the Beast was originally a 1991 animated musical romantic fantasy film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was the 30th Disney animated feature film and the third released during the Disney Renaissance period (1989-1999), where films were created as adaptations of well known stories from around the world. Beauty & The Beast takes place in a comfortable village in France, called Villeneuve, outside of the woods near a castle owned by a prince who is magically transformed into a monster as punishment for his arrogance towards an enchantress seeking shelter from a storm. A beautiful young woman named Belle resides in the village and when her father goes missing, she sends out on a journey to find him. However, her journey leads her to the prince’s castle. This ferocious beast has imprisoned her father and plans to keep him locked away. Until Belle decides to exchange her life for her fathers and becomes prisoner to the beast. The beast agrees to it because in order for him to break the curse bestowed upon him and become a prince again, he must find someone who can love him for what’s on the inside before the last petal on the enchanted rose falls off.
The film, Hidden Figures, tells a tale of an overlooked team of African-American women who worked for the NASA program during its’ early years in the 1960’s. It’s a story of brilliance, struggle, and willpower to overcome the norms and standards in society through changing the way people look at women of color in science and technology fields. This film highlights major historic events such as frustrations and progressively changing attitudes towards segregation, as well as, John Glenn’s successful orbit of the Earth based on the contributions of three engineers: Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (played by Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monae). Watch the trailer below to check out this $220.2M Box Office hit released in January 2017.
Beloved is a 1987 novel written by Toni Morrison. The novel was transformed into a film directed by Jonathan Demme. The original film release date in America was on October 16, 1998. Both narrative forms of Beloved are set after the American Civil War, as the inspirational story of an African-American slave, Sethe, who escaped slavery in Kentucky in 1856 by fleeing to Ohio, a free state.
Sethe lives in Cincinnati with her daughter, Denver, and her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs. She’s been outcast from her community because she killed one of her own children to keep the child away from slave catchers.
Time passes. Baby Suggs dies. Denver is now all alone after her two brothers leave because of the ghost haunting their house and their mother, Sethe, not doing anything about it. The house they live in, 124 Bluestone, is not visited by any one for this reason.