Fences: Film Review


Writer:August Wilson, Director: Denzel Washington, Runtime: 2h19m Full Cast & Crew
“How come you ain’t ever like me?”. What a thing to ask your father, I said to myself. Later, I caught wind of James Earl Jones doing the same scene. As he was in the play version many years ago. Then another video appeared with Leading Male, Denzel Washington, doing his version of the same play. What made it more interesting, was the audience was laughing. I couldn’t help but feel extremely perplexed by how such a scene could come off as comedic. So, I went and what I got was a film so distant to any film I’ve seen like it. Through the guise of spectacular acting, this motion picture felt more like a play than 24 frames rushing past your eyes.

What good editors will tell you, and I’m even sure this a quote from the Godfather’s editor, a cut should feel like a person blinking, more so than a cut for cuts sake. (Post Edit, its from Walter Murch). This was achieved here. The dialogue is so quick and cohesive that you don’t get to notice when the edits actually happen. That’s beautiful work in my eyes.

Denzel, Davis and co. Give such outstanding performances Watching the leads had me in such awe. The first half of the film belongs to Denzel. While the second is a humble share, if not impeccably dominated, by Viola. She steals scenes and she is the best in the business at doing so. I doubt she means to. But her hard work and talent that she’s has had over the years is simply being manifested into her performances. It’s hot actually.. My pick for best supporting actress at this year’s Oscars is without doubt,Stephen Henderson! (Jim Bono Character) He didn’t miss a beat and he had all the right emotion to match with the provided story. His first few scenes with Denzel, made Denzel better by providing someone grounded yet as crazy as Denzel’s character is.

The title is meant as an allegory that both works and doesn’t. Less the latter than the former. There’s so much happening with the people in the story, that the fence is benign. His Wife asks him to build it, however, it’s occurs so quickly, I nearly missed it. Each time it’s mentioned later, I barely cared as there was so much more going on(namely with his brother which had some of Denzel’s best acting for me, it added nothing to the story since there’s so much more happening that he can’t even build the fence. The fence is the least interesting part of the story.  Then you get to The confession and Viola Davis’ third, well-written act & tremendous performance. By that part, you have lost all interest in the fence. Maybe in the play it holds more of a meaningful presence. It then can be argued the cinematography or rather, the medium as a whole caused the fence to fall so far into the background. But that’s neither here nor there. Needless to say, the story being central to the fence is very misleading (even if it is apparent). Allegories shouldn’t be verbal in cinema, they should either be purely visible (through set pieces to cinematography) or simply acted out in body language/ actual deeds. Denzel and co dropped the ball on that in my eyes.

share

Denzel deserves a nod for direction I feel as well. His choices with bringing the production to life were spectacular.

Bottomline: If you want to see a film that has tremendous acting and editing, see this one. It deserves all the nominations for those sort of categories. But it certainly doesn’t deserve a win for best picture(the nomination is fair). It should be nominated for set design or production coordination editing and of course any and all for acting.

 

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8.7 out of 10,
  • Audio: 7 out of 10,
  • Acting: 10 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Not a bad pick up if you wish to buy it, but this is more a Netflix stream than anything.

Deadpool: Film Review

 

Deadpool-Mike-Mitchell-Mondo-Marvel-450x600Some 11 years (according to Mr. Reynolds) this film was in development. And it paid off like aged wine.


Director: Tim Miller, Writer: Rhett Reese, & Paul Wernick, Runtime: 1h48m

Full Cast and Crew

Deadpool for those that don’t know, Deadpool is a character made to be the contrast to Deathstroke. Or vice versa. The major difference being Deadpool talks a lot. I have no idea if that was always the case. But let’s be honest. It doesn’t fully matter.

The first incarnation was played by a younger Reynolds but was such a defamation to the character in almost every way, and I legit mean in every wa, that even he makes fun of it within the film. Which was probably a big way of showcasing how different the film was from any predecessor.

The story over all is probably my only big issue. It leads to the fact the budget is small. In ways that it makes it so obvious. During the entire film, I couldn’t help but feel cheated in terms of how much more could be done to flesh out his story. The logistics behind his origin can change. Which they did. They don’t matter. But for the fact of integration, they lost out on key elements to his origin as modern comics have written it to be. On the flip side. You have an attention span story. By that I mean, it’s such a short span of story time that you don’t need to pay a lot of attention to it. I will say when you pass the hour mark, it felt like an hour had passed. Lastly, as fun as the story was, it was as predictable any movie could be. But as I write this. That’s sort of the charm of Deadpool. The good thing is that the ads weren’t lying. The story was and is a love story, a messed up twisted love story from the view point of Deadpool.

The Main reason for this film being made was the desire from both the fans to see it (clearly, it’s breaking records all over the box office right now) and it’s talent, Ryan Reynolds. It was almost as if every role he had in a comedy was a stepping stone for him to be Deadpool. It was some time during Blade 3’s theatre run (and I would even argue home release) that his name became synonymous with the Deadpool. Even the comics used him as a template for what Wade Wilson used to look like before getting his powers. I will say that this was probably the most comfortable he’s ever seemed on screen (my opinion). The one thing I wonder was how much did he really do under that suit… it’s easy to fake talent with a face covering body suit. Just ask James Earl Jones. Either way he does nail it vocally every time you listen to him talk.

Ed Serkin was cool. He had a lot of moments of being a modern villain. There’s no reason not to like his performance.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand) was cool. She’s a relatively a new character in the xmen universe. And I think in a way she was a great choice both story wise and over logistics wise.. she creates an element of separation from the Hugh Jackman led X films.

I’m more than happy with what I got from Colossus. He should be George Lucas’d into the other X-men films.

Visually it was as creative as one could hope for, to bring this character to life. It had… 95 % of great shots. I was very drawn in right from the start. Aside from.the action scenes I really loved how the crew came together to make his origin work. The art dec, camera angles and lighting were great to look at for about an hour.

The best thing about this is that it got made. It got made the right way. And it got made In Canada. The small budget is evident but it it achieved big things as being as respectful as it can to the source medium. I look forward to future sequels. But hopefully you don’t come out feeling like I did playing the Deadpool video game.

 

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (music is like a 4 though),
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? I’m glad its making its theatrical run, but personally, I’d rather had seen this at home. Which is not a bad thing.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

New Beginnings

First and foremost I would like to apologize to any parent who I may have accidentally ridiculed. No one understands the (joyous) burden more than those who chose to be an active parent. But I’m getting ahead if myself.

I welcomed my own gift from the almighty a few weeks ago. Rightfully, it brought it’s ups and downs; but the ups are far higher than the downs that come randomly.

A fitting start is, … is myself. Journey with me 10 or so years prior. Asking if I wanted children was damn near punishable by death (kidding); but it was definitely so far off my radar that you could have called me the most experienced in pulling out. Why? Well I was one of those unhopful kids who saw the world as a dying rock… but let’s face it, as highlighted by The POTUS we really need to do something about our overall planets health. At the time, stupid black on black crime seemed like it was an all time high.. or at least gun violence was at a record high in Toronto (By the way, look up black wall street, we need change). Too many Parents and kids (of all ages) alike were dealing with grief, being a victim, or feeling there isn’t another way. I felt like we were doomed as a unified race of “humans” and having kids was just plain out stupid; as I’m setting up an innocent being to be killed… one way or another. It wasn’t until my friend informed me he had a child, and we spoke about how its “changed him”. I realized we saw the truth on “life” (or a shared variety of my truth of/on life). And we had a long adult like talk in and around my 18/20th year since ceremoniously being evicted from the womb. we somehow got on the topic of legacy and life continuing and so much other stuff. We talked as much as a few weeks of work shifts allowed.

Lemme just come out and say this though. I didn’t have a child for the sake of furthing my legacy. That’s idiotic. If those Disney movies taught me anything. Is that everyone has… HAS to grow into their own person. Regardless of any effort you have to shape one’s life. We have to allow (a) parents teaching(s) to be used practically instead of just telling our kids what to do… forever. Or… what’s the point of parenting /training our kids?

So after I got the underlying truth that our kids are what we truly leave behind and it’s our way and manner of parenting that gives us spiritual everlasting. I just so happened to find someone who got me to change my mind fully on the mater. Now she may or may not vex me but, more than anyone else I dated, I saw her as a great female to bare the kicks, tears, pain that my child (of the LEWsystem lol) would bring. I never thought I would find a suitible mate for that task but God found us.. we then found a means to have our love develop into the physical.

That moment. That first moment you hold YOUR real first new born… like immediately after the Dr’s are finished with it, boy or girl, is… incomparable. Nothing prepared me for that feeling. Nothing can. It’s like  it hits you. You absorb it. You see the head… and then the body then the quiet cheers as you sit and wait for the Drs to do what they are hopefully trained to do best. Then, … Then it hits you further when they say you have a healthy baby with all the right parts. Young mothers love to boast about how they found so much meaning in their lives providing nurturing, care, and I guess general parenting. I don’t know what a mother feels or if it matters boy or girl or whatever. But I will say a profound feeling one I couldn’t explain, took over me. I felt excited for all the ups and downs, ready for the first few months post delivery; thanks to those who came to the baby shower. Also from what I was doing way before the arrival.

Ah… My father. A.K.A., the sperm donor. (I really wanna drop his name but it’s not important) according to the one who evicted me from my first home, swears that he never, ever held me, or bought me so much as a pair of diapers or shoes…. or even some clothes to get messy in; as infants find a way to do no matter how hard you try. To me that was my one goal. Be and do more than what he did. I understand the temptations he faced. I don’t excuse them but it should have never interfered with him raising me.

Not having a father led me to relive that one Will Smith scene in my head daily. (You know exactly which scene too. But if you’re like Marggot Robbie, the one when Will Smith cries about his dad not wanting him. That one scene hit EVERYONE. It hit me hard. I always held on to that feeling… be it for the fateful, eventful day I had my own. I know materialistic things never compare to the sentimental but, we also sadly live in a very capitalistic world. Certain things just need to be bought to get other free shit. I can’t predict what kind of man I will be or parent. But I know my every intention is good in nature. I know that with every fibre of my being I plan on raising my boy. I plan on raising him to be honest and as jedi liking as I am. His name has several meanings. And I hope that I can show him those meanings before its time.. my time that is.

Being a parent.. it’s tiring… But no feeling in the world beats it. The smiles, the feeling of being needed (which is never in shortage), none of it is bad. What is bad is judging a person for how they want to raise their own. Be it the occasional ass spanking, or time outs…. dare I say those super stylish… I mean stupid ass (though on the matter of principle, I totally understand why they are used) child leashes. Its not really anyone else’s place to say anything. But obviously, everything is situational.

The biggest thing I learned since.. parents aren’t aything different. I’m sure every kid grew up think their mother was from Mars (but lets be real, that “mommy sense” thing is creepy) and their dad is from Uranus (lol see what I did there) but like Jor-El said. The father becomes the… There’s a clear transition but you’re still you. I started this little entry with that in mind. Parents are to be more responsible, YES, BUT… we are all still who we were before we had kids. We just now have kids and have to rethink our actions and activities. I saw the other day some new mom was catching online chatter about her breastfeeding in her own hose washroom and all these keyboard hoodlums were saying she was gross. I could only laugh at how much they didn’t know. Its hard being a parent. Even harder being a mom (kindly blame God for all your emotional, sentimental way ladies, but thankfully you have them, same ways). I never minded when a woman would feed her child, cause lets be honest and mature for a moment; ( I’m asking you all to be honest a lot, lol) is it not considered to be a more terrible offence to let a child cry in hunger than to just happen to see a boob for all of five minutes. at that, it you who is choosing to look at said boob. It’s not like Justin Timberlake is out just exposing titties on a Sunday night during primetime…. oh yea. I just don’t think its fair to get at moms who are legit just looking out for their kin. plus we aint nothing but mammals who kill for sport and believe we are often to good to read, properly dispose of waste and judge other by our skin variations.

Lastly. Since I live in Toronto Ontario I will way in on this new school curriculum. It’s stupid and should be a parents choice. It’s very unfortunate that everyone has to learn it. I swear that’s an impeachment on ones rights. Be it humanitary or civil. I also don’t think it’s wrong. Just not in the manner in which it’s presented. Children have it harder than ANYONE on the planet. We as adults make laws and rules to be effective for them but we are so short sighted. Case in point, look at the ttc. The city planning way back when was such bull it is affecting generation currently. I think starting this thing at grade 1 or even kindergarten is crazy. Grade 5 is fine. Maybe even 4 as puberty starts early these days. But time will tell the effect it has. Maybe it will lead to a race of humans more tolerant but I just feel it’s a way to lose our kids innocence.. Cause that’s never under attack on the daily as is.

Anyway. This was gonna be a vent about various things but I honestly just made this for my son to read. Hopefully he reads this and learns a thing or two. And in the eventful day I’m not around for whatever reason…. This helps him get through it.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

Happy Womb Eviction Day, 25 AND GOING.

It’s the first 22 seconds that I have replayed in my head in secret for years since getting the album way back in…… 2004. Literally a decade has flown by since I entered the spaceship (anyone who catches that gets a hi-5 with 5$). So with that said I need to do this:

 

May anyone who lost a loved one through natural loss or to a violent murderous end before the age of 25, many you Eternally REST IN PEACE.

I have lost and I have gained in 25 years of my life. The world has been in a constant state of change. I mean, Michael Jordan retired, played baseball, came back,.. retired again… CAME BACK and played for the Wizards… aka the Washington Wizards/Bullets. Michael Jackson died… really didn’t ever expect to see that happening. I have lived thru not one but 2 Spider-man franchises totalling 6 movies. I have lived through the greatest era of black urban music (though that is a debatable point), I have lived through the death of Superman, Spider-man, Peter Parker (had to be there), Robin(s) and countless other fictional super hero’s. i even live in a time where a rocket wielding racoon is cool.

I have lived in places one would question and gone to places I only heard about. I, at some point, even met Michael Jordan and many other celebs and personalities (but really, MJ will always be the top). I have done things I “regret” but I appreciate them for I may have lived a life unfulfilled. I finished a movie which is currently in the process of being completed, I’m working on another as well which that starts shooting soon. two and a half decades have gone by and though, it was a bumpy start, i do enjoy where i have placed myself to be with the help of my only father, God (y’all can fight over what to actually call him)

As a kid, I wondered about life, death church and parents. I swore to the heavens anyone who was an adult was the devil or some scary ass alien who just wanted to torture kids with shit they really didn’t need in life. The church was something that my mother had grown up with and made sure was something that was there for me as a guidance measure, if nothing else. I still question religion, more so now, as my curiosity has reached space and the cosmos currently.

If there is one thing that I learned which is the most important thing I know it’s:

DO WHATEVER THE FUCK MAKES YOU HAPPY, BUT NOT TO THE RISK OF OTHERS UNLESS IT’S A MEANS TO:
A) PROTECTING LIFE,
B) GETTING AHEAD (BUT JUSTLY)
C) ENJOYING LIFE!

There will always be someone you “admire”. That is fine. It helps us to grow as a people; to admire others. BUT do not sit and compare yourself to anyone. Remember, there a guy older/younger, than you who, yes, is a millionaire, but they may not have anyway of knowing how to read, write, or even count. You do, so make that ability work for you.

It sucks that so many people we know have fallen, but what bothers me most is when people have to ask “How many of us____ have to die in order for (simply put) change.” My either quiet or voiced retort is: “If you know/knew just one person dead, That you loved, that’s enough to be as mad as hell and make a change. People will always say, in a defeatist attitude, one person can only do so much. AND IT’S FUCKING TRUE! One person can do IMPOSSIBLE THINGS. Like believe in himself to inspire others. Malcolm X did it, MLK jr. did it, the man known as Spartacus did it, and so many more. With all that is happening around us, religious folk will heed to you its a sign of the times that Jesus is coming, others may suggest it’s citizens finally waking up and saying two letters: NO!

I will join any noble cause that actually has a plan. I plan on doing great things with any form of wealth I am able to gain thru my own hard work. I don’t care to be rich to do flashy shit. I really don’t. I first care about making my community better. But I have to work hard now. Aside from personal goals, this is what wake me. This passion to leave behind a better world. Not to leave behind parties (no shade/not dissing), countless kids, or anything that “normal” folks tend to want. I just want to try to fix what I am able first with me then with where I live, and I believe the nature of a domino effect will happen… naturally.

25 years man. I’m sorry but this is an amazing feeling. My mom tells everyone she can, that when she was doing the pregnancy meetings with her Dr said that either she’d die, I’d die, or we die together. LOW AND BEHOLD BITCH! *Jesse Pinkman voice*. Anywho I have things I need to do before I close my eyes tonight, so a”LEWsystem You’re Welcome ” to all who are wishing me a “Happy Womb Eviction Day!”

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

603052_3806101284686_1083731109_n

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Kick Ass 2 Graphic Novel: Review

An interesting follow up from the ground breaking original that was turned into a major motion picture and a sequel that came out last summer (2013). Same creative team of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. (JRJR)

KickAss2_7_

I read this months before the sequel came out as that’s how it was produced initially. I enjoyed this quite a bit, and now with benefit of hindsight, can confirm it’s better than what was released on film.

Where this book shines is where JRJR does work. He’s great at making each character in a panel/frame as individual as his skill allows which is important to me. I can’t stand when I see an artist with talent make everyone with the same face (with exceptions like twins or something). Since World War Hulk and his tremendous run on Amazing Spider-Man, he is one of the best artists in drawing “destruction” scenes. In this book, being that it’s a realistic take on the medium almost within the medium(medium being comics), most of the destruction comes from human dismemberment, which I’m sure older/mature readers will appreciate. It’s something along the lines of Spartacus in terms of its gore. His splash pages are poster worthy and are usually seen towards the end of a chapter/issue. The overall feel is similar to the original so that is helpful, I did notice a more orangey hue to the book why I don’t know, maybe to compliment to the bravery of the title hero.

Millar has created a string of self invented stories, characters under his Millar World brand, but I don’t think any are as impressive as Kick-Ass (aside from “Superior). For readers of a more daring age or ones who support creator owned titles, or just like a different way from the big two (Marvel & DC) every so often, this is awesome. Painting a fan boys dream of how a typical modern day nerd really does think about doing from time to time.

Kick Ass2 #3This isn’t one of those really porky individuals or one of those fashion nerds, this is a person who reads comics and said maybe it would be a cool idea to actually do some good in the Cosplay costume I wear to comic-cons. So the story takes place a couple months after the original, and it moves swiftly to the end. Of course it felt long as the issues came up, but the story is pretty fast paced. I’m sure in the movie version, some characters got expanded more than in the book, namely like, Ms. “Night-Bitch”. In the comic where I felt it was the biggest flaw was that most of these characters weren’t important other than really just having bodies to emphasize the scope of Kick-Ass inspired heroes. Again I would have loved to see his script in translation to JRJR’s art (I think the issues usually have those kind of special features). One of the things I love about this is he uses names in very humorous ways. Like when he made an Adam Huges reference I was very pleased because he was very accurate with it.

In an awkward way this was almost a Spider-Man story. It really shows the resilience of a character to do something despite all the personal pain you might go through. It’s not the most self inspiring story but, it does have a lot more personal pain in this. We all have those days when we don’t feel well so we won’t go into work or go to church or a particular event. He literally has no powers, but he just wanted to make those heroes, that he reads, proud. I think, on the surface anyway, the core of the book is about giving your word, keeping it against everything and anything, and taking a lot of pride in it. That alone, is something this world seems to lack in men these days. And trust me, A LOT HAPPENS to Millar’s created heroes.

With that said it’s a worthy pick up in graphic novel form, or as a rarity item, as issues.

KickAss2

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Art:  9.5 out of 10,
  • layout*: 9 out of 10,
  • True to character dialogue: 10 out of 10,
  • Story: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Continuity? Well its out of normal continuity, so it works, but in general, from panel to panel, it is pretty solid.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW