Movie Review: BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Good grief, that title stylization is such a double-edged sword. Looks neat, and is a great piece of wordplay… but god damn, it is a pain to keep in mind when writing it out. Oh well, that’s all the time we’re spending on that, let’s get into the review.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “BlacKkKlansman”!

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is a young, black police officer in the 70s. He’s an ambitious young man, looking to make a real difference. And one way he intends to do this is by starting an undercover operations to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan with the help of one of his colleagues (Adam Driver). So now we have our quite unique story setup… and good god damn, I loved seeing how it unfolded. What makes it work so well is how impressively they balance tones. On one hand, it’s an undercover cop movie featuring one of the most horrible organizations in the worlds, which is very serious. But then they also acknowledge the bizarreness of a black man making an attempt to enter the Ku Klux Kunts, and have a bit of fun with that idea. So it manages to both put me on the edge of my seat with some of the darker aspects, and have me smiling at some of the more lighthearted and fun moments. It’s also remarkably fast-paced. The movie has a 135 minute runtime, but I never felt that, it moved at a brisk pace that kept it from getting dull. It doesn’t rush through things though, when it needs to slow down and soak in a moment, it does that. But yeah, it’s well paced and well written and highly entertaining.

The characters here are flawed, nuanced, colorful, and overall just quite interesting. John David Washington plays Ron Stallworth, the young cop at the center of this story. He’s smart, highly determined, but also a bit of an underdog considering he’s like the only black officer in the department. And he’s one of the more uniquely compelling protagonists of recent years. And Washington is fantastic in the role. We then have Adam Driver as Flip Zimmerman, Stallworth’s colleague who joins in on this batshit undercover operation. He’s a bit torn between some various things we learn about him throughout the movie, and it makes him quite fascinating to follow. And Driver is fantastic in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Laura Harrier, Robert John Burke, Michael Buscemi, Ryan Eggold, Jasper Pääkkönen, Paul Walter Hauser, Topher Grace, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for “BlacKkKlansman” was composed by Terence Blanchard, and it was great. There’s a consistent theme that gets woven throughout various tracks, making for a consistent emotional quality while still giving it a few different spins. There are of course a few unique tracks as well, and they are very good too. There’s also a few licensed tracks used throughout, and those work quite well in their respective scenes. So yeah, this movie has good music.

Based on a book by Ron Stallworth, “BlacKkKlansman” was directed by Spike Lee. And he did a great job, he really brought his A-game here, giving it a fierce energy that makes it stand out among so many movies in recent years. His direction manages to capture the broadness of this whole operation while never sacrificing the intimacy with the characters. And this makes it absolutely electrifying. And Chayse Irvin’s cinematography is stunning, complementing the storytelling wonderfully. There’s also a surprising amount of comedy throughout the movie, and it’s very funny. It helps to digest some of the bizarre and darkly uncomfortable aspects of this story.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best adapted screenplay. It was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best original score, Best director, Best supporting actor (Driver), and Best film editing.

Despite it’s annoying-to-write title, “BlacKkKlansman” is a fantastic and highly unique bio-pic. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, great directing/cinematography, and funny comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “BlacKkKlansman” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “BlacKkKlansman” is now completed.

This kind of stuff is why I love movies.

Movie Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)

Remakes. Love ’em, hate ’em. And by that I mean love the good ones, hate the shit ones. Yeah, that’s all I got, let’s just get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… “21 Jump Street”.

Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are a pair of cops who aren’t necessarily the best at their jobs. But they’re given a second chance to truly prove themselves when they get transferred to the “Jump Street” unit, a group of cops who get to infiltrate high schools because they kind of look like they could be in high school. So Schmidt and Jenko get assgined to infiltrate Sagan High School to find the distributor of a drug that killed a student. So now we have our screwball mystery. I say screwball mystery because part of the movie is Schmidt and Jenko goofing around high school, and part is a surprisingly interesting mystery when it comes to who is distirbuting the drugs. Now, the mystery isn’t as deep, intriguing, or interesting as in “The Nice Guys”, or “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, but it’s definitely more interesting than I anticipated. But this is really a fun, simple, and straightforward plot that I really enjoyed following.

The characters in this movie are fun, interesting, and just all kinds of entertaining. Jonah Hill is the sorta fat guy who compensates by being quite smart, and Channing Tatum is the handsome jock who is good at the more physical things in life, but is instead not too bright. So these guys are friends to sort of complement each other. And I thought Hill and Tatum worked very well together, their performances overall were good and they had excellent chemistry. And they were both quite funny. We get Ice Cube as the angry police captain, and he’s just awesome. We get Brie Larson as a girl that Schmidt kind of falls for, and she’s really good in the movie. Dave Franco plays one of the popular kids in the school and he’s really good. This movie is filled with great talents. Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Chris Parnell, Jake Johnson, Nick Offerman… plenty of talent here.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh and it was really good. It was based both in your typical orchestra-based sounds but there’s also a lot of electric sound here. And it all surprisingly fits the movie. It’s often quite intense and kind of badass, but it still works very well within the movie. There are also a few licensed tracks throughout that fit their scenes very well.

This movie was directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the men behind the surprisingly great “Lego Movie”. And they did a great job directing this movie. Their direction has a lot of energy to it and helps give the movie a very fun a fast-paced feel. And when action happens (’cause this is a cop movie) it is pretty good. So how is the humor in this comedy? For the most part it is really funny, I laughed quite a bit throughout. There are a few jokes that don’t really land, mainly because they are repeats of previous jokes. There’s a lot of immature dick humor and such in this movie, and while I found most of it funny, there were a few points where they went on a bit too long with it. But it didn’t bother me too much, because I did laugh a quite a lot (like I said). And it’s not only dick jokes, because there are some really fun riffs on cop/action movie clichés, and as someone who recognizes a lot of those clichés, I found them hilarious. Just don’t bring your grandma to watch this… unless she’s fine with crude, R-rated humor, because if that’s the case then you should totes let her watch it.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 69/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“21 Jump Street” is a surprisingly awesome reboot of the beloved 80s TV show. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “21 Jump Street” is a 9,77/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “21 Jump Street” is now completed.

“Fuck you science!” – Jenko.

Series Review: The Beast (2009)

patrick-swayze-patrik-sueyzi

Hello and welcome back to this corpse known as “Series Reviews” where as the title states, I review TV series. I wanna do more of these, it’s just that it takes a while to finish a season of a show (or an entire show) and I am also really lazy and dumb and I am sorry, please forgive me. With that out of the way, let’s review a short-lived show.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Beast”.

“The Beast” follows veteran FBI agent Charles Barker (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P) as he unwillingly takes on a new and young partner named Ellis Dove (Travis Fimmel). Thing is though that he doesn’t know that Ellis was recruited as a sort of double agent to investigate Barker and his activities. You see, Barker isn’t your typical by-the-books agent, he does everything his way and is suspected of some shady shit. So throughout the show we get to see both how these two solve cases as the undercover agents that they are, but we also see Ellis question his loyalties. And while we have seen similar things before, maybe this show could still do it in an original way. But it didn’t. While the plot offers a few pretty decent twists throughout, it never really feels original or even that engaging. I didn’t completely hate, I mean like I said, there were a few decent twists every now and then. It was also pretty entertaining to see how our heroes would solve these cases every episode. However I feel like the episodes could be a little slow at times. There are so much potential for the plot to be something truly great, but there are almost an equal amount of stuff holding it back which is a shame.

What really helps the show stand out a little more is Patrick Swayze. And I’m not saying that simply becuase I have been a fan of him for a long time, I am saying it because he was legitimately good in this show. This is most definitely the most rugged and dark I have ever seen him. While he isn’t the typical “Charming Mr. Swayze” in this show, he still has some charm to him in the show. Not gonna lie, this might be the best performance I have ever seen form the guy, and I fucking loved him in “Ghost”. Next up is Travis Fimmel who I know stars in the show “Vikings” which I will see at some point. He will also be in the upcoming “Warcraft” movie which is kind of fun. Anyway, how was he in the show? Eh, he was fine. He never really impressed me, but he was also never bad. He was good enough. I did however really like how well he and Swayze played off of eachother. They had pretty good chemistry. Every other actor were pretty good in the show too. Also, Lou Diamond Phillips showed up in an episode. Fun to see that guy still get work.

The music was done by a man named W.G. Snuffy Walden (Pffffft, hahahaha!). And it was decent. Nothing I haven’t really heard before, but it was also not bad. It was good, it worked for the show, that’s it. Although I did really like the opening theme, that I thought was really good.

While I haven’t really truly praised the show for anything yet, let’s give it some props. The cinematography for the show was really good. It gave the show a dark and gritty look that really benefited it. I also really liked some of the writing in the show, it was really well done. The parts I liked were either smart & insightful or darkly funny. And the action in the show was pretty good too I suppose.

The show actually got some pretty good reviews over it’s short run but never really had a lot of watchers. But overall it got pretty mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 59% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“The Beast” is a show that had tons of potential to be great, but never really reached those heights. It had an okay plot, good characters/acting, decent music, good directing & cinematography, good action and some pretty solid writing at times. Although the show moves a little slowly at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Beast” is a 7,98/10. While not great, it’s still worth a watch.
Worth a Watch

Review for “The Beast” is completed.

I miss Patrick Swayze…