Review: Moonlight is Magnificent

Moonlight 2016 posters4star 2

“At some point you’ve got to decide for yourself who you gonna be. And let nobody make that decision.”

Moonlight brings the internal struggle of being a gay black man in America out of the shadows by shining a light on the concept of masculinity within the context of personal identity.

“What’s a faggot?” asks young Chiron, mercilessly bullied by classmates each day, because they consider him different.

Moonlight unfolds in three chapters of one man’s life, from childhood to young adulthood, as he discovers who he is as a black, homosexual man in the Miami projects. With themes including race, homophobia, identity and black masculinity, it’s a miracle that a film of this nature was made. It’s going to be the answer to last year’s #OscarsSoWhite.

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The film is based on the unproduced play by gay black playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. “Black men loving each other is a radical idea,” McCraney admit. It certainly isn’t a conventional story, but it’s one that desperately needs to be told.

Being poor, black and struggling with sexual identity are things I know absolutely nothing about. What I can relate to in Moonlight is identity and how society can negatively affect personal development in crucial stages of life. It’s bold exploration of personal adversity is exactly what the world needs to see right now.

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7 LGBT Films You Haven’t Seen… But Will!

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I’m spreading the word about the LGBT film experience, and I’ve picked 7 little wonders of the film world that delve into transsexual lifestyle, forbidden love, secret affections, identity crises , homophobia, etc. Spanning the corners of the world, from Canada, France, and England, to Sweden and Greece, then Iran and over to Cuba. The stories told here on celluloid are great ones, enlightening reflections on the human spirit and depictions of romantic, sensual bonds. So dig out your watch-lists and make room for the following seven:

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The Magnificent Seven is a Great Remake

the magnificent seven 2016 gif4star-2“What we lost in the fire, we’ll find in the ashes.”

 It’s been 56 years since Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen burst onto the screen introducing a generation to one of the greatest Westerns of all time. Now, director Antoine Funque (Training Day) has decided to resurrect a nearly extinct genre for a new generation of cowboys.

If you’re familiar with my reviews, you’ll know that I’m not the biggest fan of remakes or reboots, especially when you’re tapping into golden nostalgia. I’m also not a fan of Westerns or shoot-em-up flicks, so what sold me on The Magnificent Seven?

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Generations of Magnificence

The Magnificent Seven (1960) is actually a remake of the 1954 Japanese epic Seven Samurai. Whether or not you believe this is a story in need of of re-tellling, Funqua cites our current political atmosphere is the perfect opportunity to modernize a classic with diverse heroes attempting to halt political corruption.

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10 Movie Bloggers You Should Be Following

Follow these blogs

On the Screen Reviews has been active in the blogosphere since 2012, and during this four-year span, I’ve serendipitously stumbled upon other great movie blogs.

I’ve never made an appreciation post to the websites I frequent and interact with, so I’ve decided it’s time to pay respect. These are the top 10 movie blogs you should be following, and they’re the ones I interact with the most.

In no particular order, here’s some clickbait.

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2016 So Far: Revisiting 7 Movie Scenes

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With the awards season ebbing towards us we ought to pay some respect to the films gone by in 2016 before they get swept away. More specifically, then, with an array of cinematic moments to choose from I plucked these 7 indelible scenes from 7 very different movies, which have all left their mark on me in various ways. By no means my favorite moments, or my favorite movies (though some are), but certainly deserve their pin in the 2016 map. In no particular order…

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The Birth of a Nation is a Mess

the birth of a nation movie poster
The Birth of a Nation is a great made for TV movie. There. I said it.

Nation is being billed as an important movie — a story that demands to be heard. I hear it, but my most anticipated movie of the year has left me empty and uninspired.

Since it’s double win in January at the Sundance Film Festival taking home both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize, Nation was the movie to beat in the 2017 Oscar race. The film was picked up by distributor Fox Searchlight who ushered movies like Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave and Birdman to Best Picture glory. It’s been the most talked about movie of 2016…but for all the wrong reasons.

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Director Nate Parker said he wanted to make a film that fell in line with films like Braveheart and Defiance, where the opposed rose up against the oppressors. But let me tell you, this is no Braveheart.

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Hunt For the Wilderpeople Review

Hunt For the Wilderpeople

Rebellious teenage orphan Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is shipped off to live with a foster family in the New Zealand countryside. Unhappy with his new surroundings, he attempts to run away and hide in the unforgiving wilderness. His reluctant caretaker Hector (Sam Neill) eventually finds him, and the unlikely duo survive in the harsh terrain as a nationwide manhunt is launched to find them.

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Against the Crowd Blogathon


Thanks to Wendell @Dell on Movies and KG @KG’s Movie Rants for putting together the Against the Crowd Blogathon!

Here are the rules:
1. Pick one movie that “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of at least 75% on Tell us why you hate it.

2. Pick one movie that “everyone” hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of less than 35% on Tell us why you love it.

3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.

4. Use one of the banners in this post, or feel free to create your own.

5. Comment on this post, or on KG’s Movie Rants with the two movies you intend on writing on.

6. Publish your post on any day from Monday August 22 through Friday August 26, 2016.


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The Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time

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Great movie soundtracks act like an additional actor in the movie. More than setting, more than costume, more than clever editing in the studio, music is the final dimension that conveys emotion, place and character, sometimes without even having to say a single word.

These compilation albums are the best of their kind, and their accompanying movies would have been lost without them. So grab your headphones, sit back and enjoy the tunes—they’re some of the greatest of all time.

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