Thursday, March 20, 2008

Movie Review Day!

Well, I know I've been behind in posting our Movies as Literature movie reviews, but today I'm going to get caught up right quick.

I have two movies to discuss.

The movie we watched a few weeks ago is called The Journey of August King. Let me give you my short version first - Hated it! (Unregulated flashback to Men on Film)

I guess I need to give a more detailed review, so here ya go.

The movie is about a widow, August King, who is on the way home, a three day journey, from the general store where he has purchased his annual supplies for his home and farm. Along the way he discovers a run away slave girl and reluctantly decides to help her get to the freedom trail so she can get to the North and be free. Ok, that sounds nice, even noble, but this movie is dry as a bone. It seems like it goes on forever even though it's only a hour and a half long. The dialog is silly and barely understandable due to the overly emphasized "native dialect" that both the white man and the slave girl use. Both Baby Boy and I spent most of the time asking each other what was going on. It also has one extremely violent scene that had me covering my eyes. I wasn't expecting it and it took me quite by surprise. I think that given the fact that this movie is rated PG-13, it could have been handled in a more subtle way. There are lots of other things implied in the movie where it doesn't go into graphic detail. They should have followed suite with this scene. I don't know, maybe I was having a bad day, maybe I have just seen my fill of slave movies for the year. Believe me, black people have more to contribute to American history than the fact that we were once slaves. (hopping down from soapbox, sorry) The movie does show that even common every-day people can make a difference in the world, like August King did for the slave girl. That's the message I emphasized to Baby Boy, but the movie simply was not very entertaining or engaging. For it to be considered good by me, it would have to be at least one of those, and preferably both.

The movie we watched last week, A Raisin in the Sun, was magnificent. Ok, I will admit, I love Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, so I may come off a little biased. Actually, I may come off a lot biased. It's the story of a multi-generational family, (Mom, her daughter, and her son along with his wife and child) living in a tenement where they share a bathroom with several other families. The father has recently passed away and they are waiting for his life insurance check to come in. Once it comes in, there are many twists and turns as they decide what to do with the money that will be best for everyone in the family. The mom is a hard working old fashioned woman, the sister is a free spirit artistic girl, and the son is a hard working man with big dreams regarding his future and the future of his family. They deal with financial struggles, class struggles, and racial struggles even though there is no slavery, there is still segregation and racial tensions. This story is so cleverly written and acted. It's really great to see Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier in their youth. I don't want to give too much of it away, so I'll just say that it's highly recommended.

I missed Puff Daddy (or P Diddy, or whoever he is right now) and Phylicia Rashad's remake of A Raisin in the Sun. I recorded it to my DVR, but somehow it got erased before I could see it. It's supposed to be coming on DVD in a few months, so once I get a chance to look at it, I'll try to compare the two. I didn't think Puff Daddy acted that great in Monster's Ball, (I hated that whole movie, so once again, I'm biased) but everyone keeps saying he was really good as Walter Lee Younger, so I'll reserve judgment until I see it for myself.

In news on the home front, we are going on another field trip with the new home school activities group tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Until next time . . .



Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your kind words this week. Much needed!

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