Cartoon Network will always make me upset that they canceled this show. Honestly still don’t understand why. Toy Sales!!?? (Seriously didn’t know toys were made for this show). When this show appeared back on Netflix consider me one of those folks who watched it again religiously once you get past the “Hello Me’gan” and “Neptune’s Beard” nonsense you would an incredible show that close to perfection in terms of execution. Young Justice did something that is extremely difficult to do (until I saw My Hero Academia) they were able to beautifully develop every character from the original team of known sidekicks Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing), Kaldur’ahm (Aqualad), Wally West (Kid Flash), M’gann M’rozz (Megan/Miss Martian), Artimis (Tigress), and Connor Kent (Superboy) and adding new characters along the way to add depth and even some members of the league had character depth. Young Justice 1st two seasons were incredible and provided a show since Justice League Unlimited to provide mature content, along with really strong comedic points as well. However, once we got the to the amazing cliff hanger ending (seriously that cliffhanger was one to die for), Cartoon Network pulled the damn plug in 2013. Continue reading
Hey, it’s been a while.
Fall has always been known as the most important time for films, award season usually begins to lock down on films and Oscar baits come everywhere. Sometimes it’s a nice change of pace to see films that want speak up or films that provide clarity to a director’s visions. I wanted to discuss some of the ones I’m anticipating and some I’m staying away in no particular order:
Films I’m extremely excited for:
Man what a cast and crew!!! Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen and author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn remakes the 1983 British TV show of the same name to the big screen. Widows is about an armed robbery gone wrong which resulted in the death of four men those four men wives now widows have to finish the score and clean up the mess left behind by their former husbands. With a cast of Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo (Known for Broadway work her theatrical debut), Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry (Paper Boi playing a villain), Daniel Kaluuya (Holy shit have I heard great things about his character in this film and man what filmography for him already), Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Jon Bernthal, Liam fucking Neeson I was sold before seining a trailer then I saw the trailer and maaaaaaannnn Hollywood THIS is how you build strong women characters that has to face the odds.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins put himself in the spotlight big time after creating a near perfect film in Moonlight, he now takes his turn to adapt the classic 1974 novel written by James Baldwin If Beale Street Could Talk. A story of love, struggle, and overcoming the impossible with love. The story follows a young African-American woman who sets out to clear the name of her wrongly-convicted husband and prove his innocence before the birth of their child. With an already impressive cast itself and the name Barry Jenkins attached to it there’s a lot of pressure for this to not only be great but sweep away award season. This film has been getting massive praise already so I cannot wait to see what this film has to offer.
Jamie Lee Curtis is back, Blumhouse has been on a ROLL with horror films are producing it and no more Rob Zombie that alone has me sold on this film.
A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut Lady Gaga’s in a starring role that was almost Beyoncé’s role twice. A remake of the 1937 film this time with musicians. I was very skeptical on the film until I saw the trailer and instantly thought someone is going for the Oscar here (Lady Gaga). This film has the very basic formula of struggling act meets attractive hot-shot and overcome the obstacles set by the lives before they met. Simple but can be very effective with the right people behind the wheel. This looks like they have it all covered.
I want/need this to deliver. Creed is one of my favorite in this decade it revived a dead franchise and also created a franchise that can surpass the one before it. Creed one felt like the way they should’ve went with Rocky 5. Ryan Coogler was an excellent hire and Michael B Jordan proved Fruitvale Station wasn’t a fluke. However, due to Coogler taking on Black Panther (Good fucking job by the way), MGM had to go in another direction. Stallone penned the sequel and what I feared came to light Ivan Drago is back. I wanted Creed to move away from Rocky but it is going head first back into the world of Rocky’s shadow. BUT the trailer has me very optimistic about this even without Coogler I think they know what they’re doing. Coogler handpicked the new director Steven Caple Jr (best known for his movie the Land) takes over and this has a different feel than Creed but one I’m genuinely excited to see.
Bad Times at the El Royale
This looks fun. Drew Goddard is directing this thriller about seven strangers in a rundown motel. Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, and Chris Hemsworth star in this film as well. I’m very interested in what this film to present.
What a shitty title for a film but honestly this looks to be very very good. Jonah Hill’s directorial debut a kid who becomes gets into of the culture of skateboarding in you guessed it the mid 90’s. This has been incredible reviews already some calling it a masterpiece. Jonah Hill is an extremely underrated act to me so this has my interest. Sidenote: the film is shot in 4:3 which is insane itself.
Virgo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali retell the story of Don Shirley and Tony Lip. Virgo and Mahershala in the same film enough said.
Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Breaks the Internet
A sequel to the hit Wreck-It-Ralph with John C Reily and Sarah Silverman reprising their roles. Easy win.
Bryan Singer is a creep FINALLY someone told people about it and he’s out. I’m a little worried with directorial changes during production but I’m fully confident Rami Malek’s protrayl of Freddie Mercury. This is the 1st biopic on the rock band Queen. The bar is very high on this film and Rami is already hearing Oscar buzz.
Films I’m skeptical of:
No Spiderman just Venom. Sony’s 3rd attempt with Spiderman. Kevin Feige is not involved with this film too. I’m more than worried about this film. If Tom Hardy wasn’t cast as Venom I would scream abandon ship but Hardy makes this alone something I’m curious in.
The Hate U Give
This might get some backlash but I have a fear of Hollywood cashing in on Police Brutality which is disgusting especially if it offers nothing to the table but to paint the same picture. Based on the novel with the same name (which is also a homage to Tupac’s acronym THUG LIFE: The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody). Where Blindspotting provided a message and perspective on the matter of this issue. I don’t see The Hate U Give following suit but being a film that pains the same story as usual and get folks even more upset. An unwanted cash grab with a really great cast (even if I dislike the lead in this film, Amandla Stenberg). Russell Hornsby is one of the most underrated actors alive, Regina Hall serious roles have been really good as well. There’s been a lot of praise for this film but I usually wonder if the praise is due to fear of not being someone to speak against the film. Not sure if I want to watch it but I do fear the problem this film can cause by profiting off of the issue itself.
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald
After a very underwhelming 1st film, we get a sequel which is planned to be a six film series based on 2 books (Someone didn’t learn from the Hobbit at all), and Johnny Depp is in this? Yeah…pass…….
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Current Live Action Disney minus Jungle Book and Marvel projects has sucked. I can only go by history with this company and I saw nothing that screams excitement.
This batch of films will offer something to everyone and will be a very interesting topic of discussion when it’s all said and done. Personally I find it very interesting I’m more invested in the fall films than I was with the summer. Hopefully everyone finds a film worth investing in and some sleepers at that as well.
Arguably the most anticipated rap album since who knows how long released not so long ago. Shattering records and failing to meet others. This album had the biggest hype train as well as one a very huge on-wax beef with Pusha-T that made waves everywhere. Easily this felt like one of the moments Jay Z capture when releasing an album so how did Drake fare here? Well, let’s just say a lot of parties carry weight here some of the biggest influencers of this album help pave the way for a very uneven experience.
We finally got answers here and responses (not anything worth mentioning about Pusha T though). The Puff incident and Meek beef were addressed in the 1st song. Took more shots at Kanye (who has yet to fully explain his bullshit antics/actions as of late). He goes in length about how the internet criticism is weighing on him and brags about his lifestyle to say the criticism is not affecting his success but it is. Drake is very miserable on this album and it shows through most songs on here. Most importantly, the rumors of his son are true and he provides context about the situation on March 14th. Drake did something more and more rappers have trouble doing: reveal.
Drake fans (Unaware of Pusha T)
Talk about being in the dark. Learning about Drake son through his music is EXACTLY the way Drake wanted this to be done. This album was a treat to them and maybe the easiest winner of them good for you folks to avoid the internet when it’s convenient for you.
40 and Ty Dolla $ign
MAKE AN ALBUM ASAP
DO NOT MESS WITH THIS MAN’S MONEY JUST STOP HE’S NOT TO BE MESSED WITH
Seriously it’s great to have friends like him.
Seriously the number of bangers for women on this album are countless. The amount of sample from Women artist ranging from Mariah Carey to Lauryn Hill to a freestyle of Nicki Minaj. Women played a major role in every Drake album (KiKi!!!!!), there’s nothing different. However, ONE lady gets the biggest praise and no it’s not KiKi:
Easily one of the biggest winners out of all this. From the being shamed as just another woman who tried trap a rapper, she got all the acknowledgment in the world and most importantly a big I TOLD YOU to the rest of the world. Kudos to you.
If we’re being honest side A was changed you can tell hell Drake admitted to doing so on 8 out of 10. No direct shots to Pusha and most importantly he took money out of his pocket. March 14th would’ve been huge if you never heard anything about this beer. Pusha won big here.
Still shattering records as of this writing. Most importantly still the talk of the hour
Sorry, you still hid your son and most importantly you admitted to changing your album.
Man did Kanye come off like the asshole of the year on this album. After the mediocre Wyoming projects, this album did him no favors in the public eye, in fact, it’s pretty damning to see how bad Kanye has fallen. I seriously recommend LISTENING to the lyrics and you’ll hear what I’m hearing here.
The Women in Drake’s life
Drake sounds upset more disappointed in women. He wishes to mold the potential in them and change their habits. Well, more than one woman spoke out on it. He embraced full heel on side B good for him.
I’m not with the ra-ra/I am a Dada
The biggest takeaway is Pusha and Drake beef is officially dead and we’re onto sub shots between Ye and Drake for good now. Sad the beef ended the way it did but it might be better it did end before it got worse but we’ll never forget the ‘you’re hiding your son’ line.
Overall a fun project that is growing still In My Feelings might be the song of the summer unintentionally as well. An album that may not live to the hype by most but an album that will talk about for a while. Back to my rabbit hole I go.
— Just Greg
If we’re honest, J. Cole has been a mixed bag for me.
When he’s on his high points, he’s incredible, but his low points are cringe-worthy. The same artist that can deliver powerful tracks like Be Free and False Prophets (his mixtapes are still unbelievable) is the same guy who made goofy downright stupid tracks like Folding Clothes and Wet Dreams (Workout too ugh). Ever since his verse on Jay-Z’s A Star is Born track, the world has been enamored with Jermaine Cole. However, his body of work regarding LPs has brought a divisive response. One side will consider him one of the best in this current generation the other side find him as a lifeless act in the rap scene that has received undeserved praise. This disconnect has caused a massive question to many regarding Cole’s place in the best current act of rappers. A question Cole himself has no say because he refused to want to be placed in such superlatives. (Seriously Cole the person is way more fascinating than the Cole the rapper). Thus, bringing us to his new album KOD. After middling critical and fan reception 4 Your Eyez Only (I hated this album), this was the album a lot of skeptics (myself included) were waiting to hear to see if he would be able to bounce. KOD in short for three phrases (Kids on drugs, king overdosed, and kill our demons) was released on 4/20 (great marketing tactic) covers the topic of addiction and what seems to cover the issue what plagues the new crop of artists and kids today (social media, drugs, and influence).
This is not the 1st time Cole has brought up addiction in his music. 2011’s song Breakdown, Cole details the addiction his Mother had to overcome and the absence of his father, but in a spiteful deposition, he attacks society and the dominant influence it had around that time as well as the culture that promotes drug use today like it is a way of living. 4 Your Eyez Only he tackled drugs in the eyes of his Childhood friend who was a drug dealer. He was murdered, and Cole tells the stories to the daughter he left behind. Where attack this issue in more seemingly direct response to the climate then, he takes a very satirical approach to the topic on this album before closing in on the problems similar to the way he did Breakdown. Based on the 1st 4-5 songs on the album everyone, will be able to gather some thought on this album. Each song Cole uses flow and cadence out of his norm and sound eerily similar to the new and popular wave of ‘Mumble” Rappers. Even the beats resemble their beat selection as well. The self-titled KOD plays into such a persona as brags about his skills as a dealer critiques the criticism surrounding him and bring up his introduction into the world of drugs. Photograph cover the impact/addiction social media have towards social interaction amongst the world. The most radio-friendly on the album ATM discusses the more dilemma of chasing money and fame and the consequences of seeking such.
This 1st of half of this album covers the narrative in his eyes. I’m personally not sure he’s playing the kid in this current and hence why the songs sound as they do, but I found them brilliant in concept but lacking elsewhere. The track The Cut Off is one of the most cringe-worthy tracks on the album. Granted the message is strong regarding eliminating folks in his life due to his lack of trust and felt he was taken advantage of; with his alter ego (I’ll get to that later) telling him to deal with such problems based on the issues presented as Cole whole premise is against drugs. It’s a great idea, but man this song sounded horrible. The middle of this album from Motiv8 to Brackets (The first verse that is) is absolutely skippable. I will say the second verse in Brackets is one of the best set of lyrics he has ever written and it is worth listening to the track just for that verse alone.
The album picks up at Once an Addict Interlude, a song discussing his mother’s addictions again this time discussing her mom’s drinking problems after her an affair by his step-father which led to a child being birthed. Cole brought up his time in College and believed he escaped her problems, but she eventually calls him at 1 am drunk, and he realized he wished he intervened in her problems more than run away. This was Cole’s most personal track and what I wanted the album to explore further in. More than often rappers bring up problems without specifying about their reason for being so against other than common knowledge. Once an Addict provided the layers most of this album lacked, and I hate the fact I have to treat this as an interlude. Friends felt like a step backward based on how incredible Once an Addict was. Kill Edward returns but not as annoying as the previous track and the song just lacked for me. Now the two songs which are the best two on the album came at the end of the record with Window Pain (horrible title for a track) and 1985.
Window Pain provides an excellent story begins with a girl seeing her cousin get shot, and Cole begins to reflect on the all the actions and problems he presented in the 1st half of the album. Cole attempts to bring home a very up and down beginning and a middle that is mediocre. 1985 which led to rumors of a second album coming. Was initially seen as a diss to mumble rappers, but funny enough this wasn’t a critique more Cole is advising this new crop of Rappers to stop caving into these influences as well as take control of their lives before they are on Love & Hip-Hop in 5 years.
Coming someone who is diagnosed with depression, I can appreciate the effort here, but the results came off mixed. Cole needs features badly. I believe some of these songs would be better if he had someone who can you know sing do the hooks. Kill Edward was very corny I understand it is Cole’s opposition in his head (hi, I go through this every day), but it didn’t work for me. Cole brings about a very polarizing group of hip-hop fans, one side loves him to death, and on the other hand is bored to death by him. Both sides bring up valid points as disconnect on Cole’s placement in this current landscape of Hip-hop still grows massive. The problem with Cole will be replay value when it comes to an album. Will I return to this album two, three months from now? Probably not and that’s the problem with Cole. The lyrics and concept are excellent, but Cole’s way of creating songs have severely lacked for so long, and some of these songs would be better if he had help. You can make songs that ‘Bangers’ and have important messages in them Kendrick has proved this constantly. This album is a MASSIVE upgrade over 4 Your Eyez Only. But the album is mixed for me. His best songs are incredible, but the rest is inconsistent. I don’t like reviewing things after one watch or listen because overreactions are bound to happen which is why I wait after the 1st few days to talk about it. If I honestly have to give this a score out of 5, it would be a very strong 3. This album was his most easy to listen to the album, and I would argue his best album to date. The issue here is some of the songs have no replay value outside of his core fan base that will treat this as gospel. Cole usually places in the top 3 in this current landscape. Drake’s popularity/impact is off the charts, and Kendrick’s critical acclaim and awards got him in the all-time arguments now, Cole is here which isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s needed for this generation. This album made me interested in what is next for him, and that’s good in my book.
You want to talk about a grand slam. This felt like the grand slam in the bottom of the 9th inning 2 outs and down by three. This won the game and created a legacy of its own. Funny thing is, this film has been in the theaters for a matter of days and we are seeing numbers we would see a Star Wars film appear for a movie about an African King. Fucking Incredible. I honestly have no clue where to start talking about this film. Marvel films have been a juggernaut for a decade now delivering on films of different heroes and comic arcs. For me, Captain America Winter Solider was the greatest Marvel film to date. Cap 2 was able to blend the genre of a generic Comic Book film to a political thriller. The film even took risk and it payed off big time, delivering Marvel’s best film and one of the greatest comic book films ever. Since then, Marvel has been a mix bag for me. Examining their current phase, Phase 3 has been ok for me. From films that are good but not great (Spiderman-Homecoming, Doctor Strange), that are good but flawed (Civil War, Thor 3) to great in theory but meh in execution (Guardians of the Galaxy 2). Phase 3 has not impressed until Black Panther arrived. Black Panther actually move past Winter Solider for me in terms of best Marvel films, that is how great this film is. Seeing it in theaters four times (going on five now) is something I rarely do for any film. There is nothing wrong with this film from the incredible cast and crew behind it, the soundtrack, and score were phenomenal and the topics this film covered made me forget this was a Disney film. Ryan Coogler delivered big time with this film.
Black Panther follows the events of Civil War where Prince T’Challa comes following the death of his father/king T’Chaka to anointed King of the fictional nation in Africa, Wakanda. T’Challa prepares to take handle a burden of responsibilities and have a major dilemma that will alter the fate of Wakanda for the near future. Right off the bat, I have to talk about the cast in this film. Chadwick Boseman was perfect for T’Challa/Black Panther. T’Challa has always been a hard character to write in comics because he is virtually perfect. Boseman channels the king well as a man who wants to honor tradition and as someone who distraught by the consequences from the actions of his father and past kings/queens of Wakanda. T’Chaka told T’Challa have a great supporting casts behind him and man did he. Angela Basset plays the Queen Ramonda the mother of T’Challa and his sister Shruri (played incredibly well by Letitia Wright). Basset does great as she usually do but it is her daughter Shruri is the member of the Royal family that is the scene-stealer here. Shruri is incredible in the film she brings the comedy (which is not overbearing) and the brains of the film. She is going to be a massive inspiration to kids abroad. At the age of 16, Shruri brings Tony Stark to shame in terms of innovative and downright brilliance. The women in this film in general dominate. Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia (who actually becomes a villain in the comics) as the (sort of?) love interests but with a twists. She is the one turning T’Challa down in the film and brining question to the tradition of Wakanda. Instead of being damsel in distress, she is the one saving folks from harm and taking charge when needed (TAKE NOTES ON HOW TO WRITE WOMEN IN MOVIES). Speaking of taking charge, I left her for last because she deserves all the praise here. Danai Gurira good God she was amazing here. Gurira plays Okoye, leader of the Dora Milaje (an all-female special force unit whose task is protecting their king) and almost every scene she is in she owns it. Danai must have saw Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman said thank you and went to work here. Okoye was a blast to watch in this film she was fearless, noble, and knew when to talk. Her dynamic with Nakia in the film plays a major role in this film as well as the overall tone of the film. The women in this film deserve all the praise coming their way they brought it big time.
As for the villain in this film, FINALLY Marvel got it right and man did they get it right (this honestly deserve a deeper analysis than what I am about to do and will probably write it eventually). Michael B Jordan’s Erick Killmonger (In this film his last name is Stevens) is one of the best villains I have seen in a long time. This is not due to the underperforming villains of recent years either. He is has a reason to be the way he is, each line he drops could be a quotable for a social media post or t-shirt idea. He symbolizes anger but in a place that has yet to be resolved in films period and the fact Disney let Coogler go there…..Bravo. Killmonger is a product of his past but it is not crutch to him at all in fact the accomplishments he have under his name is damning and most will look past this but it needs to be brought up his past was more than what transpired in one scene it is his whole backstory that is fascinating. Killmonger is breath of fresh air for villains. There are so many arguments he makes are hard to refute, even T’Challa himself have a hard time disagreeing with him. He makes T’Challa challenge tradition and himself on what it will take for Wakanda to grow and evolve. His stance on colorism is one of the most heart endearing aspect of the film. Each scene with him, you want to learn more about him, but you can see his side of the coin. Great Villains always make the heroes they face better and in this film, T’Challa grows to become a better king, but it also bring up a real life issue to be addressed in a manner we have yet seen. Again Bravo Marvel!
This film is a damn masterpiece the fact my only issue with this film was the fact I wished this film was 15 minutes longer for selfish reasons. Coogler and his crew knocked this film out of the park. Ruth Carter costume designs are some of the best costumes created in a film. Hell, I want to buy some of T’Challa’s gear if it was possible. Wakanda is beautiful and thank god it tears away from the Africa is a “shithole” (this is still a cringe worthy quote by the President 45) Continent. Despite Wakanda being fictional, it does display a world where anyone would love to visit. To the members of the VFX team for brining Wakanda to life, I salute you. Thank you for brining color to Marvel; seriously, the color scale in Marvel films can be a little dull in some films. Ludwig Göransson composed the score for this film and what an incredible this was. Ludwig actually traveled to Senegal to and used their local musicians to record the soundtrack. My favorite composed movie soundtrack since Man of Steel. Even Kendrick Lamar had a Superfly moment and curated a movie soundtrack for this film as well. Both delivered great soundtrack that are worth listening to right now. Which lead us back to Ryan Coogler, who is now 3 for 3 for great films. Coogler proved he belongs in discussion for great young directors. The fact he is only 31 is incredible and I am 100% interested in his next project. Coogler brought energy to this film and gave this film a message that was refreshing for a Marvel. Marvel allow Coogler to make this film a FUBU (for us, by us) film, they let him create a message that Black people will relate to alongside its hero.
The issues in these films is that the ideologies of both the hero and the villain tends to lean one side over the other. However, this film made the line blurred. Killmonger and T’Challa battle of the minds using their fists is not anything new but they reason of these minds facing off has never been this fascinating. Killmonger being somewhat of revolutionary ready to take what was stolen from us compared to T’Challa whose lifelong obligation is to the people of Wakanda and establishing the order there. The way this conflict ends is one of the more beautiful, tear jerking moments in the films.
I must admit I cried at the ending more than once. Reading about Black Panther around the age of 13, I never thought this day would come. I remember the failed Wesley Snipes attempt at bringing the character to life only for filmmakers to sway the material a different way and I mean DIFFERENT. The ending of this film bring us back to full circle of the film and present the world a new hero to inspire to be. Finally, I have to witness one of Marvel’s most underappreciated characters in mainstream media to make a debut worth applauding. This is not just another Marvel movie; this was an event unlike anything before. This was a celebration of blackness and a celebration of Comic book cinema. Where the previous films I reviewed laid the groundwork (good or bad) for a film like Black Panther to grow. The box office has responded to this film in a way no one imagined as it is on pace become a Billion dollar film which along with the records it has already broke will be a feat unheard of a decade ago.
I have no idea what this will means for the film industry, no one knows what will happen really. Hollywood can look at this as a blimp on the radar and there will be another #oscarsowhite moment or even worse, a Gods of Egypt catastrophe. This film could finally open the eyes of Hollywood and show them that diversity in films is huge and people will respond to films that care about the culture it attempting to represent. Mad Max Fury Road and Wonder Woman’s success led to a rise in female led action films to varying results (wished it did the same for female directors leading them). Where Black Panther success will lie is the future it help molds. (Please everyone go see Wrinkle in Time and support Ava for the same reason as Black Panther). Black Panther may or may not be the reason of change, but this film provided a historic moment that no one thought would happen. This a celebration for us to remember and rejoice in the moment. A love letter to comic book fan and a reason to feel kids of color to be proud of representation done right.
Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever,Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever,Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever,Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever
Bow to the King and WAKANDA FORVER.