“Just Mercy” Movie Review

The powerful, emotional, and almost two and half hour film Just Mercy is based on true events that occurred in Monroeville, Alabama in 1987. The film chronicles the harsh reality of racial inequality and a corrupt American criminal justice system. I think that actors Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan were phenomenal and were snubbed of a 2020 Oscar nomination. The film was also produced by Michael B. Jordan and released in select U.S. cities Christmas 2019 and released nationwide on January 10th, 2020. I don’t know if the release date made the film not be qualified to be nominated for the 2020 Academy Awards or if “the powers that be” who do the nominating didn’t want this kind of movie to get publicity, but in my opinion, the movie is a must-see and should be required viewing for everyone.

I watched a matinee showing of the film and felt a range of emotions and cried happy and sad tears while watching. The film tells of a young black Harvard educated lawyer named Bryan Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, who heads down to a rural Alabama town to help wrongfully incarcerated people who lack the resources to get adequate legal representation. One case about a black death row inmate, Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx, stands out and captures the attention of Bryan Stevenson.

Official “Just Mercy” Movie Trailer


PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM and come back to read the rest after you have seen the film.

Despite the many obstacles and hurdles Bryan still had such a caring and determined spirit and wanted to help to free innocent people like Walter. Going out of his way to meet Walter’s family said a lot and meant a lot to Walter and his family. A standout, heartbreaking moment during the film that made me cry was when the older inmate who was suffering from PTSD from the war had to go to the electric chair and Walter was trying to comfort him by telling him to breathe and think of the trees and when it was time for Walter to die the other inmates started chanting and banging their cups up against the prison bars. The irony of the film is that it takes place in Monroeville, Alabama. Monroeville is famously known from author Harper Lee’s book “To Kill A Mockingbird”, which is about a white lawyer representing a wrongfully incarcerated black man who eventually gets freedom. The town and it’s white citizens prides itself on that history, yet ironically is repeating the history of imprisoning wrongly accused innocent people.

I think that something that stands out in this film is that all of this happened 33 years ago and when you think about it that is not that long ago. I think at times some people tend to picture or visualize racism of being something of the past in the 1950s when there were black and white movies and no computers, but these events occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during a time when many millennials were babies or small children. I think it’s important to know the history of our country and people’s true-life stories so that society can learn to not repeat inequalities and to see how far we still have to go as a nation. I give this film 5 stars and I hope that it sparks beneficial conversations and changes in our American judicial system.


“The Photograph” Movie Review

The hour and a half film, “The Photograph”, directed by Stella Meghie, starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, in my opinion, was a cute romantic drama about a journalist and photographer’s daughter. Maybe I’m biased because I went to school for journalism, like taking pictures, and have been a fan of actress-producer, Issa Rae’s work since her YouTube series “The Misadventures of An Awkward Black Girl” to HBO’s “Insecure”, but I liked this movie!

Ultimately you’ll have to watch for yourself because everyone thinks differently and has experienced different things in life. If you’re not a fan of romance or love story films then this movie may not be for you. In media, it’s kind of rare in 2020 to see a love story or romantic film between a young black couple.

As a millennial black woman, it was refreshing to see a young dark-skinned black woman and a young black man navigating love and life without being a dysfunctional “Love & Hip Hop” drama, traumatic “struggle love” stereotype. I usually don’t like the romantic type of movies, but this film was pieced together so beautifully. It was nice to see a darker-skinned black woman be the love interest and not the “sidekick friend” always consoling everyone else and being without a love interest.

It was also nice to see a young black man in a movie that was not an athlete or a criminal. From the song choices curated by musician Robert Glasper, ranging from songs by Anderson Paak and Lucky Daye, to Issa’s flawless skin and makeup I give the film production a 9 out of 10. I wish certain parts were more in-depth, but maybe that’s the purpose of art to make you come up with your own ending. Go check it out for yourself and see the movie trailer below.


“Queen & Slim” Movie Review

I just saw the film “Queen and Slim” by black female directors Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas and I’m full of emotions. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith playing “Queen” and “Slim.” This is the kind of film that you’ll want to see for yourself and discuss afterwards with family and friends because everyone has a different take away.

I have so many emotions and feelings about the characters and the film and the symbolism. The movie is an emotional roller coaster and I recommend adults to bring tissues to watch the long two hour Rated-R film for yourself and then come back to the blog to read. (SPOILER ALERT) We did not know the name of the main characters until the tragic ending of the film. The couples names revealed at the end on the news were revealed to be “Angela/Queen” and “Ernest/Slim.” Although the film is called “Queen and Slim” those weren’t the couples names and I don’t recall the characters referencing one another’s names on the date or through the film. People online have been calling the film “The Black Bonnie and Clyde”, but “Bonnie” and “Clyde” were actual white criminals on the run. Whereas the main characters in this film aren’t technically criminals on the run, but a black couple in the U.S. with no criminal record in America acting in self-defense.

As you know the film is about a black couple going on their first date and things turn for the worst when they are pulled over by a racist white male police officer. Things turn for the worst when the white police officer aims his gun at the black couple and a verbal altercation and fight breaks out between the black couple and the white officer. The officer shoots the gun at ”Angela/Queen” and the bullet grazes her thigh causing her to bleed and ”Ernest/Slim” starts fighting the police officer eventually the fight ends when ”Slim/Ernest” reaches for the gun killing the officer. The couple who met on a smartphone dating app immediately throw their phones out and flee the crime scene and go on the run eventually stopping in Louisiana at “Queen/Angela’s” uncle’s house as a place of refuge.

I wondered if “Angela/Queen” would have never said anything to the cop would things have turned out differently? Who knows? One night literally changed two strangers, “Queen & Slim”’s, lives forever. In my opinion, the film is a heartbreaking reality for many of being black in America and having unfair interactions with the police. The police officer’s camera was on and recorded the incident and it received thousands of views on social media so “everyone” knows that they’re on the run. “Angela/Queen” is a lawyer and got her uncle out of jail for accidentally killing her mother years ago. In return, ”Queen/Angela”’s uncle, who happens to be a pimp, helps her and ”Ernest/Slim” flee. “Angela/Queen’s” uncle knows a white couple in Savannah that can help them escape. The white couple fixes dinner for “Queen & Slim”, but immediately after prayer at dinner, the cops surround the white couple’s home. The white couple immediately tells “Queen & Slim” to hide under the bed floor. The cops search the house and don’t find them. Eventually, after some time passes “Queen & Slim” escape from the bedroom floor by jumping out of the window. While jumping out of the window ”Angela/Queen” hurts her shoulder. ”Slim/Ernest” helps push ”Queen/Angela”’s shoulder back in the socket in the garage. Slim hotwired the car in the white couple’s garage and all of a sudden a black police officer opens the garage door, but he lets them go free. Eventually, the couple makes it to the airplane to go to Cuba with help from a black man who drops them off at the runway, and as they are walking about to board the aircraft we see the police show up and we learn the black guy turned them in for the police reward money. So sad how some times people that look like you aren’t always for you.

I was heartbroken about the deaths of “Queen/Angela” and “Slim/Ernest.” I really thought “Queen/Angela” would live and could possibly be “Slim/Ernest’s” legacy and possibly have his legacy, but she is shot by a white female officer and seconds later “Slim/Ernest” picks up “Angela/Queen’s” lifeless body and he is also shot to death by the cops. That particular scene reminds me of when “Cleo” dies in the 90’s film “Set it Off”. I knew the story wouldn’t be “happily ever after”, yet I didn’t want to see them be murdered. They left an impact and legacy through their deaths. Throughout the film “Angela/Queen” is physically hurt from the police officer’s shot in her thigh, to hurting her shoulder, to dying at the end from another officer’s bullet. Was this an example of how black women endure so much pain? I’m not sure, yet “Queen & Slim”’ were there for one another and grew a bond throughout the film. Maybe the movie is about the journey and the ups and downs of different types of love between black men and black women? “Slim/Ernest” called his father on the car mechanic’s

telephone. He had a father and a relationship with family and missed him whereas “Queen/Angela”’ has nothing to lose and no close friends or family connections so she was never hesitant about leaving the crime scene or fleeing to never return again. “Angela/Queen” becomes more vulnerable when “Slim/Ernest” and her take a detour and go dancing, see the horses, and go to the graveyard to see her mother’s tombstone and eventually have sex in the car.

I thought the one scene with the young teenage boy shooting the black police officer was disturbing, but did he want to be “immortal” or be “famous” like “Queen & Slim”?! I also learned from the film that how in life you’ll never know who may help you. The people that may help you won’t always look like you or live like you. I also learned that opposites attract. “Queen” and “Slim” had opposite personalities, but they fit one another and fall in “love.” I don’t know how this film will be received by the public or by movie critics. I appreciated the attention to detail and how the film left certain things up for your own interpretation. I left the theater in a sad, yet thoughtful trance. I had to watch a cartoon or something happy afterwards! Some people may say it’s the best or the worst, but all I know is that it’s a piece of art that can be dissected, debated, and discussed for years to come.


12 Years A Slave Review

12 Years A Slave Review

There aren’t enough words to describe how I felt after watching 12 Years A Slave . The film is based off of the book and true story of Solomon Northup, a free Black man kidnapped and put into slavery. Solomon Northup wrote 12 Years A Slave and published it only five months after winning his freedom back from being kidnapped and sold into slavery. When the credits rolled at the end of the film I walked out of the theater speechless and in a deep trance. The acting was phenomenal and tells the ugly truth of slavery. A lot of times the millennial generation forgets about what our ancestors went through so that we can have the lives we live today. Sadly, slavery is still thriving in the world today and the cycle will never break until we face the facts. This film made me appreciative of not having to live in a certain time period, and how far we’ve come as a society and far we still have to go.