The Hate U Give (2018)

Director: George Tillman Jr

Writer: Audrey Wells (Screenplay) Angie Thomas (Novel)

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, Common, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter

 

Plot: Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.


Tagline – Two worlds, one voice, no going back

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict The Biggest Eye Opener of the Year

 

Story: The Hate U Give starts as Starr (Stenberg) introduces us to everything in her life, her high school life away from the rough neighbourhood she is from, with her father Maverick (Hornsby) the former gangster and mother Lisa (Hall) who wants to get out of the neighbourhood too. She is the eldest of her siblings and has become a normal high student who is prepared for the worst.

Starr does find herself trapped between two worlds, the one where she grew up in and the one she is now growing up, this however changes for her forever, when a routine pull over by the police see her childhood friend Khalil (Smith) fatal shot. Starr in the aftermath must battle the social consequences of what happened with Starr being put in the middle of the investigation to what happened and putting her in the position to make her voice heard.

 

Thoughts on The Hate U Give

 

Characters – Starr is your normal high school student from so called wrong side of town, she lives in two worlds, one she grew up in with friends, the other is her escape with her high school giving her potential of a new life. When she becomes the only witness for her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer. Needing to keep her involvement secret she is dealing with the new wave of feelings and emotions that she must learn to control for the greater good. Everything we see is from her point of view which shows us just how a teenager can view what is going on within the neighbourhood. Lisa is Starr’s mother that wants to keep her daughter safe and out of the gangland mentality she sees around her family. Maverick is Starr’s father, he used to be part of the gangs and after his time behind bars, he escaped that life, being wise towards his family, preparing them for any incidents with the police. King is drug lord controlling the area, he has let Maverick out of his gang and this latest death brings his attention as his business will be put at risk.

PerformancesAmandla Stenberg in the leading role is fantastic, she is on another level to everyone else in the film as she must show her the problems she is facing and handles them all to help us understand her characters thought process. The whole cast are great in this film, Russell Hornsby gets the intense speech moments which grab our attention and for all the years we have questioned Common’s acting, here he shows that he has worked to improve himself and it is paying off.

StoryThe story here will give everyone who watches it a conversation they need to have, about how a death that never needed to happen. The story is told through the eyes of teenager Starr which helps us understand how she wants to see people seen as equals and how the divide between the black and white communities is massive. This story has so many talking points about what has been happening and it does use the correct characters to get points over with including a black police officer telling Starr the thought process of a police officer pulling over a car. Any story that give the audience questions to ask afterwards is an achievement in storytelling which should be praised, it is one that will stick with you long after it finishes.

CrimeThe movie starts with a major crime, the shooting of the high school student, it shows how the tension has risen with the crime that changed a neighbourhood.

SettingsThe film does an excellent job of showing the different neighbourhoods, the one Starr lives in and the one she attends school in, this reflects between the characters interactions.


Scene of the Movie –
The Hate We Give.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of a proper investigation.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most important films of the year, it has a message people need to learn about if they ever want to see change in the world.

 

Overall: Important eye opener.

Rating

 

 

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Girls Trip (2017)

Director: Malcolm D Lee

Writer: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver (Screenplay) Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver (Story)

Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Mike Colter, Kate Walsh

 

Plot: When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Heart, Slightly Too Grossed Out

 

Story: Girls Trip starts as we meet our four college friends the Flossy Posse who have gone their separate ways in life, Ryan Pierce (Hall) is well on the way to becoming one of the icons of television with her husband Stewart (Colter), Sasha (Latifah) whose journalism career has fallen into a gossip blog, Lisa (Smith) who is a single mother and nurse while Dina (Haddish) hasn’t grown up yet still partying.

When Ryan is on the weekend that is going to make her career, she brings her girlfriends out for the Essence Festival in New Orleans. The worlds between them do collide over the weekend and test their friendships will be tested as the girls learn that not everything is what they had imagined.

 

Thoughts on Girls Trip

 

Characters – Ryan is a successful author, television presenter and icon for women across America, she is going to be the speech person at the Essence Festival, she brings the friends along as they have been drifted apart. She has stood by her husband even though he hasn’t been faithful to him. Sasha is the best friend of Ryan through college but we learn that something has drawn a line between them as they have tension through the film. Lisa has past her prime by becoming a mother but this trip is going to open her up again. Dina is the wild loose cannon of the group, she gets all the jokes and usually puts the girls into the trouble they find themselves in.

PerformanceRegina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith are all great in their roles showing a side of comedy you wouldn’t expect from them as they are all playing the roles you wouldn’t expect from them, but it is Tiffany Haddish that steals the movies even if some of her jokes do go on for times, she doesn’t seem to have a pause button giving the film all the energy needed.

StoryWhen you look at the story I do feel we have the heart needed in the film to show the sisterhood between the friends which is the important part of the film. When you look at this you are left with jokes that don’t feel natural for the weekend these characters are going on. This is a story you can see people enjoy and the real-life situations the characters are going through in real life are believable.

ComedyThe comedy does go full gross out level in places and you will never look at grapefruits the same again.

SettingsNew Orleans is a wonderful setting for partying where the girls can enjoy a weekend away.

Scene of the Movie – The speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The constant use of the N word isn’t needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that people will be enjoying, it wasn’t the style of comedy I truly enjoy but I can see people truly enjoying.

 

Overall: Comedy Fans will love.

Rating

 

 

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring; Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb, Michael Irby, Gregory Itzin, Regina Hall, Emerald-Angel Young, Christian Stolte, Annie Corley, Richard Portnow, Viola Davis, Josh Stewart

While simply looking after his daughter and getting ready for the family meal a door bell rings and Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) answers the door only to get attacking by two men restrained and beaten the men move into the house killing his wife and young daughter. Clarence Darby (Christian Stolte) and Rupert Ames (Josh Stewart) are caught and taken to a trial. Hot shot lawyer Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) is offered a deal which gives him his guarantee success rate which is all that matters to him. This deal with Clarence means Rupert is put to death while he goes free after three years in jail. Clyde is less than impressed but has little choice but to accept.

Ten years down the line Rupert Ames is about to be executed and Nick and his mentor Jonas Cantrell (Bruce McGill) and his new apprentice Sarah Lowell (Leslie Bibb) all go to view, only something goes wrong leading to a less human death for Ames. The police go after Clarence thinking he might know or be involved in the crime only for him to be given an escape by a mystery police man who turned out to be Clyde. Clyde ends up butchering Clarence and filming it.

Police then arrest Clyde Nick questions Clyde only for Clyde to use a play on words to sound guilty but never actually admitting anything. The Tape Clyde filmed was sent to Nicks Family his wife Kelly (Regina Hall) and daughter Denise (Emerald-Angel Young) who watch it only for the tape to reveal no image of the murderer. On to the bail hearing where Clyde gets Judge Laura Burch (Annie Corley) to grant bail with legal material he has learnt himself. Only to laugh and shove it in her face question how they can let someone accused of murder free.

Clyde is now in jail waiting for trial but starts offering deals to Nick if these deals are not met people involved in the original case will die, will Nick continue to take the deals or not? who will be the ones to suffer for Nick’s pride and Clyde revenge.

The Story will keep you on the edge of your seat and also keep you question who to cheer for as Nick is by the book not getting hands dirty guy while Clyde is trying to bring the justice system down so there are no more deals. I personally cheer for Clyde as his character sums up the feeling anyone who had something similar happen to them would drive them to the edge.

My overall rating is a perfect action thriller 93%