Category Archives: movies
Okay. I admit. When I first became aware of Mark Ruffalo was in The Avengers. I fell in love with how he played Dr. Banner/The Hulk character. That movie was released in 2012, and I suspected that Ruffalo had to have started his career long before then. Since then, I search for movies On Demand that he appears in.
On my channel line-up is the Indie movie channel. It is showing a movie titled “Blindness” starring Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore. It was released in 2008 and is categorized as a mystery, drama, and sci-fi movie.
Imagine a city where everyone goes blind – citizens, emergency response personnel, police, military, doctors, scientists, politicians, criminals, etc., and you are the only person with eyesight. Because everyone else is blind, they believe that you are too and you don’t tell them otherwise.
This post is going to be longer than I generally write, but I hope it captures your attention and reads fast because the movie Blindness is intensely symbolic.
Wikipedia describes Blindness as;
“Blindness is a 2008 English-language film, an adaptation of the 1995 novel of the same name by Portuguese author José Saramago about a society suffering an epidemic of blindness. The film was written by Don McKellar and directed by Fernando Meirelles with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo as the main characters. Saramago originally refused to sell the rights for a film adaptation, but the producers were able to acquire it with the condition that the film would be set in an unnamed and unrecognizable city. Blindness premiered as the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2008, and the film was released in the United States on October 3, 2008.”
Although I have to address portions of the movie, (spoilers) this is not a movie review, per se. It took me about 2 minutes into the movie to realize that blindness is a metaphor. “Blindness” is about an ineffectual government. Blindness is about how people relate to each other under crisis – or not. Blindness is about disconnection of social structure. Blindness is about people driven by what is just and fair – or not. It’s also about people driven by fear – or not. It’s about placing value on self and others – or not. It’s about the differences between control and power. It’s about self-governance during social collapse.
I’ve only read synopsis about the book “Blindness,” but with art imitating life, I get the impression that Saramago’s written creation is intended as actor Danny Glover describes, “The story deals with something we have to confront, which is our own inability to see what’s going on around us.”
By the time the movie ends, the viewer should understand that there is a difference between “sight,” “seeing,” and “vision”.
None of the characters in this movie have names. The city is unnamed. The year is unknown. What causes the blindness is unknown. How long it lasted is unknown, although we get clues by seeing beards grown, fruit swiveled up, and dead plants, that it lasted over a month.
There are many scenes in this movie that I have not included. Some give more understanding of the personalities of the characters. There is symbolism, such as people rejoicing in the rain as a symbol of baptism into new life. The only person who has eyesight shows her overwhelming emotions as she witnesses the filth and chaos that others cannot see. I was captivated by this film. Read the rest of this entry
On the evening of February 26, 2012, 17-year old Trayvon Martin was shot in the heart and killed by George Zimmerman. On April 11,2012, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. A jury of 6 women, none of whom are Black, acquitted Zimmerman on July 13, 2013.
“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” is a 6-part documentary series that premieres on Monday, July 30, 2018 on Paramount and BET.
Co-directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason interviewed more than 100 people for the series, with twenty-some sources in Sanford alone. They employed an investigative team that included a former New York Times journalist and interviewed friends of Zimmerman, experts on the origins of Black Lives Matter; and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which helped identify how the case was discussed in white supremacist chat rooms and message boards. Read the rest of this entry
“He say, I know you. You know me. One thing I can tell you is you got to be free.”
There are times I feel out of touch; out of touch with new music artists, actors and movies. There were once neighborhood movie theaters where you could take a walk and see what movies were playing and coming soon. Now, they are located behind big parking lots. Some previews are shown during commercial breaks on television, but they cannot be compared to the movie posters of old.
Why am I reminiscing? Saturday evening, family got together to watch a movie. It is not the movie that caused me to reminisce but the one song on the soundtrack.
I’m a Marvel Comic movie fan and not much into DC Comic movies. Superman was once my favorite superhero and remains on the list. I think I watched the 1978 movie ten times or more; twice at the theater. I never cared much for Batman. The movies are dark and dank and without his special gadgets, Bruce Wayne is no superhero. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been tiring and time consuming keeping up with all of the news. Some comfort I’ve found is putting time aside to watch at least 2 movies a week — movies I’ve not watched previously. (I’m a stickler for re-watching movies I like.)
When I saw the movie “Jersey Boys” was on, I watched it. Jersey Boys is a movie released in 2014. It’s based on a Tony Award winning musical by the same title. Jersey Boys is a biography about 4 boys leading a life of crime, going in and out of jail, and how they later became the singing group the Four Seasons. The movie is a bit long at 2 hours, 4 minutes, but I enjoyed the story, the actors, and the music. Read the rest of this entry
On August 9th, 2014 an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson, MO Officer Darren Wilson. Michael’s death became viral news and sparked protests for him worldwide. Mike’s death also sparked a great deal of division and controversy. Ferguson looked like a police state with the presence of the National Guard.
Sometime ago, I remember seeing on Twitter about the discovery of another video of Mike Brown in the convenience store. I also remember various criticisms of the video and of the person who released it, even one that said the man who released the video was trying to promote his “book”.
As a blogger who has followed cases, I will tell anyone that it’s very difficult to convey in writing what is on video. It is more difficult when what the video shows is being disputed. Videos need to be presented in order for eyes to see. As a journalism professor once told our class, “Show. Don’t tell.”
The documentary Stranger Fruit, shows. That doesn’t only apply to an additional video not released to the public during investigations into Mike’s death. It also applies throughout the various interviews. It shows what is being discussed. Read the rest of this entry
The previews promoted the movie Get Out as a horror or comedy movie. I’m not a big fan of horror movies so didn’t make time to see it in the theater. When the movie became available On Demand, I watched it. In fact, I’ve watched it about 5 times.
Get Out was nominated for, and won many awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. Those selecting movies for nominations just didn’t know what category to use for Get Out. I categorize it as a suspense movie. There’s some science fiction stuff in it but overall, the movie is about aversive racism.
If you haven’t seen Get Out, there are spoilers in this post, but I promise you, even the spoilers will help increase your enjoyment and understanding of the movie.
Some Whites reading this might feel uncomfortable. Some might feel insulted. Some might see it as an eye-opener to check their own sense of entitlement because truly, people with entitlement characteristics tend to use the same manipulative schemes to try to get what they want from everyone, regardless of race.
Some have accused Get Out of promoting distrust and hatred of Whites. It doesn’t. The movie doesn’t have to create distrust. It is telling Whites what most Blacks already know about aversive racism and its bed partner, White entitlement.
The movie tells the story of a White family whose ideologies include that Whites are superior in intelligence, while Blacks are physically superior. Even the one character whose brain was newly implanted into a Black body, spoke of his Black experience in terms of spending more time doing chores. In other words, he’s attempting to validate the idea that Blacks are created for servitude and physical labor.
The grandfather of the Armitage family developed the means to transplant the brains of Whites into the bodies of Blacks, while leaving enough of the victim’s brain so the victim becomes a spectator of how the White recipient is using their body.
The children of the family include a son named Jeremy, who likes to physically challenge Black men’s strength and so, uses sleep holds and physical force to kidnap and restrain them. The mother, Missy, is a hypnotherapist who has developed a technique to put victims in a “sunken place”. The dad is a neurosurgeon. Jeremy’s sister is Rose. More about Rose later.
Oprah, in her charismatic personality, said it all in her acceptance speech. She included some of her personal experience, putting a very personal and real touch to her words.
Science fiction movies, especially those that involve space travel, generally allow human logic in their characters. At least, it is logic that goes with the plot. Most of them that involve hyper-sleep while traveling to other planets, are with a purpose of conducting something scientific or capitalistic.
In the second movie in the Alien franchise, the movie tells us that they sent a group of settlers to a planet that is inhabited by alien creatures whose sole purpose is to use human bodies as hosts to give birth to reproduce more aliens.
In the movie Avatar, we see scientists and mercenaries travel to a moon for a company that is stripping it of natural resources. In Avatar, the people on the ship were in hyper-sleep for 5 years.
What about a movie where Earthlings pay money to be put on a space ship to travel so far away, that they will be in hyper sleep for 120 years? The only reason that the movie gives to us is that the people want to start over.
The movie I’m talking about is Passengers. Since first seeing Chris Pratt in the movie Jurassic World, I became a fan. In fact, I became so much of a fan that I looked up other movies he appeared in before Jurassic World and watched them, such as Guardians of the Galaxy. I also like science fiction movies, so you might say that with Chris Pratt being in Passengers, I had to see the movie. Read the rest of this entry
I love movies. When it comes to war movies, I’m seen many and some I really liked, but never want to watch again. Saving Private Ryan is one such movie.
When I heard of the Academy Award nominations for 2017, there were movies that caught my attention. Hacksaw Ridge was one such movie. It is categorized as a war movie, directed by Mel Gibson. In other movies he directed, Gibson likes to show the horror of reality. In The Passion, he showed spurting blood from the hands of Jesus as the nails were driven in. In Braveheart, Gibson did not shy away from showing the use of swords to cut off the legs of horses ridden by the English army. It brought their soldiers to the ground, making combat more equal.
A war movie directed by Gibson would have to be brutally bloody. However, the war itself is not the main theme in Hacksaw Ridge. The main theme is a man – a real man, a Pacifist, and his struggle to serve in the Army as a combat medic while staying committed to his faith.
I rented Hacksaw Ridge through On Demand and I watched. I watched again, and again. Desmond Doss captivated me. As a Pacifist, he was misunderstood. I can relate to that.
On April 1, 1942, Desmond Doss joined the United States Army. It was just after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Desmond wanted to serve his country – the United States, saving lives. He was 23-years old; a skinny native of Virginia with a southern drawl. In Desmond’s mind, God said, “If you love me, you won’t kill.”
When he voluntarily enlisted, he was assured that he would be assigned to a medic company and because of his Seventh Day Adventist belief in Saturday being the Sabbath, he was told that belief would be honored.
Instead, Desmond was assigned to an infantry rifle company. His commanding officers wanted to get rid of him. They intimidated him, and assigned him to extra duties. They even tried to court martial him for refusing a direct order to carry a rifle. But, they failed to toss him out, and he refused to leave.
His fellow soldiers ostracized and bullied him. Because he refused to touch a gun, they called him a coward. Desmond believed in the Golden Rule and never held a grudge. When the men got blisters on their feet, Desmond had a way of healing them. When they fainted from heat stroke, he was at their side with his own canteen. Read the rest of this entry
Christmas Eve, while the cornbread was in the oven, and the smoked turkey boiling in the pot waiting for the green beans to be added, I turned off Christmas music and tuned on the television.
The movie, “Get on The Bus” was on. Get on the Bus is a Spike Lee film, released in 1996 on the one-year anniversary of the Million Man March. In the film, there are 12 Black men from Los Angeles on a bus bound for Washington, D.C. The only thing that the men have in common is their race. They are various ages and their careers range from petty thief to police officer.
There is a scene in the movie that takes place when the bus is pulled over by State Troopers in Knoxville, Tennessee. Getting out of the police car with a dog, the Trooper, played by Randy Quaid, tells the men that they are checking for drugs. Gary, who is bi-racial and a Los Angeles police officer, introduces himself to the Trooper and shows his badge. It means nothing to the Trooper, who has the Sherman Shepherd dog brought on the bus. As the dog sniffs each row of seats, the Trooper shines his flashlight into the face of each man, asking them if they wanted to confess to having drugs before the dog finds them. The men shielded their eyes from the blinding flashlight as the Trooper calls them “boys.” Read the rest of this entry
I always wait until the theaters are not crowded — plan to see it after New Year’s.
‘Star Wars’ Just Came Out And Already Broke A Box Office Record
Anxious “Star Wars” fans who will tolerate none of your spoilers have broken one box office record — and the movie just came out.
Ticket vendor Fandango says “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has already broken its record for the most tickets sold for any film over its entire theatrical run. It usurped “Jurassic World” — another nostalgia-heavy flick — for the title.
Fandango, which sells tickets to a majority of theater screens in the U.S., did not specify the value of the tickets sold. But The Associated Press reported earlier today that the film has earned more than $100 million in presale tickets in North America. What’s more, according to a poll on the site, 63 percent of respondents had plans to see “The Force Awakens” more than once in theaters.
So yes, theaters will…
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In 2009 movie “The Blind Side,” is a semi-biographical film about the life of Michael Oher, and offensive lineman who plays for the Tennessee Titans of the NFL. Oher has an impoverished upbringing, but high prospects in college football, and was without parents and homeless when he met Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. Oher, who is Black, was adopted by the Tuohy’s, who are White. Actress Sandra Bullock won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film, and the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a leading role. The film itself received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Tim McGraw played the role of Sean Tuohy.
When I heard about DeShawn Currie of Wake County, North Carolina, (just south of Raleigh) I immediately thought of the movie, “The Blind Side,” although for DeShawn, it was not classmates that made him feel unwelcomed – it was the cops. For about a year, DeShawn has lived with his foster parents Ricky and Stacy Tyler, who are White. They moved into their new home in July.
DeShawn came home from school the other day. A neighbor profiled him as “suspicious” and called 911. When the cops arrived, DeShawn asked them why they were there? He told them that he lives there. The cops looked at photos on the wall and seeing that the photos are of White people, accused DeShawn of lying. Read the rest of this entry
The Well is a 1951 movie nominated for two Academy Awards; one for best screenplay and one for best editing. Shot on location in Marysville and Yuba City, California, this film holds up today as a socially conscious film. In my opinion, every Sociology class across America should see and discuss this film. Let us take the opportunity to do so here.
The Well is a story of how a community becomes racially divided and how truth overwhelmingly brings it back together. It is balanced, showing human tendencies regardless of race.
The director tells us the truth from the beginning of the film. The film’s characters do not know that truth and as the movie continues, we see the townspeople become lost in anger and hatred, forgetting what started it all.
This film is about 81 minutes. If you have that time, please try to watch it in one setting, and please click the box on the bottom right of the Youtube frame for full-screen.
Since posting this, the Youtube channel where the film was located has been deleted by the owner. We’re including a film clip found on Youtube instead.