Spike Lee is known for speaking to his audience without hitting them over the head.
His new movie, BlacKkKlansman, was released yesterday. In the 1970’s Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, son of respected actor Denzel Washington) is not only a new recruit in the Colorado Springs police department, but he is also the first police officers of color on the squad. While browsing through a local newspaper, he stops on an ad for the KKK and calls them, pretending to be white. Surprisingly, he receives a call back. Ron goes undercover with the help of Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), a fellow cop who is Jewish. Flip plays Ron in person while Ron plays a white version of himself over the phone. They even go so far as to make contact with David Duke (Topher Grace). While this is happening, Ron is seeing Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), who is a local activist in the civil rights movement.
Will Ron and Flip be exposed or will they be able to stop the KKK in their tracks?
Based on a book by the real life Ron Stallworth, this movie blew me out of the water. The movie was funny, uncomfortable and forced the audience to really think about how we view race in America. Though it is set in the 1970’s, it speaks to the audience in 2018. While I won’t give the ending away, I will say that you could hear a pin drop as the final moments of the film played. It was that powerful.
I’ve seen quite a few movies this year. BlacKkKlansman is one of the best films of 2018. If I were a betting woman, I would say that this movie will do very well come award season.
I absolutely recommend this movie.
BlacKkKlansman is presently in theaters.
In our celebrity drenched culture, the celebrities become the princes and princesses that once ruled our imaginations. The fantasy of living happily every after with a celebrity is surprisingly on the minds of many.
In Win a Date With Tad Hamilton (2004), Rosalee is a young lady from small town America. Like many fans, she is hopelessly in love with the latest Hollywood hottie, Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). Rosalee is the lucky winner of the Win A Date With Tad Hamilton. Her win is to the chagrin of her best friend, Pete (Topher Grace), who is secretly in love with Rosalee. The contest was dreamed by Tad’s management to clean up his reputation. When Tad begins to like real world and Rosalee, his management team and Pete begin to question if the contest was a good idea in the first place.
This movie is a good example of “be careful for what you wish for”. While it has certain predictable elements of character and story, there are elements that make it stand out from the standard rom-com.
A predecessor of Win A Date With Tad Hamilton is Bye Bye Birdie. Premiering on Broadway in 1958, it was made into a movie in 1963 and brought to TV audiences in the form of a TV movie in 1995.
Conrad Birdie (Marc Kurdisch) is an Elvis Presley like singer who is about to be shipped off to the army. In an effort to boost his popularity, his manager Albert J. Peterson (Jason Alexander) comes up the idea of choosing a young lady to accompany him at this final concert. The lucky young lady is Kim McAfee (Chynna Phillips). But her boyfriend and her parents are not thrilled with the idea.
Bye Bye Birdie is a classic among musicals. But unfortunately, it is one of those musicals, that despite certain timeless themes, feels very dated.
Do I recommend them? Maybe, depending on your taste.