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At the Movies - By Roxanna
Soul Food - Everyone, black, white or green will see parts of themselves and their families in this really fantastic film. "Soul food" is the one thing that brings us together despite all our faults, challenges and family baggage. Take your children.
booty call - Maybe some of you will be appalled by the title. Actually this very funny movie has a redeeming feature: it advocates safe sex to our young people in a way that I've not seen anywhere else. Clearly, most of us will simply laugh until we cry at some of the scenes. Others will just be offended by the loose morals. But -- to an unknowing young adult it will bring about some thought about the dangers of the loose lifestyle. If your teenagers want to watch this movie do it with them and use this as a discussion opportunity.
Love Jones - Want to see young black professionals in real-life situations? Go for it! "Love Jones" is a 'not bad' depiction of the trial of young folks trying to find themselves. I was in my twenties once.
187 - You know something is wrong when the movie distributors try to rush a picture off the screen. This appears to be the case with "187" a strong production about certain realities of inner-city schools. Sam Jackson delivers a fantastic performance as a teacher who really wants to teach but is challenged by thugs (as are his colleagues who, for the most part, really don't care if the kids learn or not). What is an acceptable response to ensuring schools are for learning? What should he do?? Remember Libya? Remember how the US bombed Khadafy's house and killed his daughter? Cap Weinberger called that a "surgical, proportional reaction." Should teachers learn from Weinberger?
Ghosts of Mississippi - - Whoopie Goldberg, Alec Baldwin and James Woods team up to tell a story that is long overdue in seeing the light of the world. The primary focus of ’Ghosts’ is the extraordinary effort expended by a white Mississippi prosecutor to reopen and try the low down, no good, slimy, cowardly, red-neck bastard Byron De La Beckwith who murdered Medgar Evers. There is no question that the retrial could not have had a successful outcome without the extraordinary efforts of a dedicated prosecutor but it seemed to me that some of Brother Medgar’s efforts and achievements should have been highlighted. Hell, why was Evers so hated that the then Governor of Mississippi would shake the accused’s bloody hand as he took the witness stand? Why were white folks cheering at the first two acquittals? The answer was simple: Medgar Evers was a great leader, uncompromising and strong. You might not come to that conclusion from just seeing this movie.
Original Ganstas - - Brown and Williamson (Jim and Fred, not the tobacco criminals) are the original founders of the local peoples’ militia (a.k.a. the Rebels, a gang) who became successful professionally and escaped the ghetto of Gary, Indiana. Tragic circumstances bring them both home in time to see the worst of their creation gone totally amuck. People are being extorted, drugs are rampant and most ordinary folks are afraid to act. And of course everyone knows you don’t mess with Jim Brown or Fred Williamson. But these knuckleheads who think they can kill anybody and simply take anything they want make the mistakes of killing Brown’s son and shooting Fred’s daddy. No one should ever do such a thing and expect to live, especially in the movies.
The real essence of this movie is about taking back a neighborhood from the small percentage of punks that make life really hard for the vast majority of our people in the ghetto. It is also about reunion and love. And it says very clearly that "By Any Means Necessary" can be justified. Where are the real-life OGs? Come out, come out wherever you are…
See this movie with your teenagers, especially if you suspect they might be leaning towards the gang scene. This will be a great opportunity to discuss what the world has become in a few short years and why they really should avoid being a party to the destruction of themselves and our people.
Air Force One - Great movie with lots of action and entertainment. Is it Jack Ryan (from "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger" or Indiana Jones in the role of the President of the US? No. We have a new character who is just as clever, slick and determined to defeat his enemies. The truth is that Harrison Ford is the eternal hero in any role.
Liar, Liar - Jim Carey has never been my favorite actor as I usually find him silly. Frankly, I'm probably jealous because he has eclipsed all of his colleagues from "In Living Color" and in my opinion has the least amount of talent from that group. However, Liar, Liar s a delightful movie that has a strong sense of something we can all use more of: VALUING the TRUTH, HONORING COMMITMENTS and PUTTING OUR CHILDREN FIRST. See it with your kids if you think you can stand up to the test.
Sleepers - Set in New York's Lower East Side, four boys grow into manhood together while experiencing the worst kinds of abuse at a reform school. This film will grab you, hold you, extract tears, laughter, anger and empathy from you. A must see. Not suitable for small children.
Set It Off - Queen Latifa and Jada Pinkett are among a group of Sisters who show a lot of love for each other but fall short in the bank robbery and life planning departments. And please -- don't let these beautiful ladies be your role models.
The Long Kiss Goodnight - Probably the most misnamed film of the year. A great action film featuring Geena Davis as an amnesia victim unaware of her CIA past. Sam Jackson becomes her sidekick. Hold on to your seat!!
Rosewood - John Singleton does an excellent job of recreating the events of one of many white mob riots during the 1920s. The town’s worse po' white trash (and married) slut claims she was beaten by a "nigger" to cover up her infidelity with her white lover who really did the job. The white folks don’t bother to check the facts, they want blood, black folks’ blood… men, old and young women, children and babies are all fair game. A must see for all over 12 years old. Of course you’ll have to sit with your children and explain the realities of the era before you let them go back out into the world. Most people I spoke to said they were a little angry [read enraged} when they left this movie.
Incidentally, I hope all of you get a copy of Black Wallstreet, the story of Greenwood, Oklahoma. Around the same time as the Rosewood tragedy a similar but much larger scale disaster caused by an uncontrolled white riot took place for similar reasons. In Rosewood 50-60 black people were murdered. In Greenwood, an entire town was destroyed and up to 3000 of our people died. In Greenwood, upstanding citizens from the white community used airplanes to drop bombs on black people. Clearly the 1994 bombing in Oklahoma was not the worst bombing tragedy in US history as the media has stated. Does this suggest that the black victims of Greenwood didn't count?
Absolute Power - Clint Eastwood again shows his talent as a highly skilled thief who stumbled into witnessing a murder involving the chief honcho - the President of the USA. An interesting and quite believable story. I wouldn’t put it past them. However, I can't help but wonder if Clinton’s problems are feeding the movie industry with ideas?
The Mirror Has Two Faces - One of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years about relationships, feelings and motivation in love situations. Sometimes we just don’t see that which is front of our faces until someone else points it out. A good movie for men to see.
The Preacher’s Wife - A warm rewarding and positive movie with an African-American theme. Love and loyalty can be stronger than libido. For just this one time, listen carefully to the mother-in-law.
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