movies

The Minority Report – The Social Network

Welcome to The Minority Report – a super quick movie review.

 

"What is Rashida Jones' character doing here again?"

 

Rowing crews,  elite secret societies and hedge funds, oh my!!  It goes without saying that I was thrilled to see a movie who’s demographic, by virtue of the subject matter, location and protagonist, would be so homogeneous. And The Social Network did not disappoint. There are definitely no RBP at Harvard, or Stanford…BUT there IS one at BU, in case you need someone to intimidate your ex-boyfriend.

And when filling a bus full of girls to be used as tokens and prizes for well-educated kids of means, Asian is about as colorful as you should get.

Also, can we get a sequel that features just the Winkelvie…shirtless….and rowing…and shirtless.

What do you think? Much has been made about what some call sexism, what some call artistic portrayal in this movie. Are you on Sorkin’s side that says “look, these guys were kind of assholey and we wanted to show that.” Or are you on the truthier side that says “there were in fact contributing women important to the building of facebook, where were they in this movie? and how dumb are the girls in the flick that not only do they have no storylines of their own but they can’t even smoke pot correctly??”

More Oreo facebook misadventures: Poorly worded emails, confusing status updates, and weird-ass apps, oh my!

What to help The Oreo Experience make a better movie? Click here to become a backer of “White (on the inside) Christmas!

A Christmas Present at the Movies

With my carolling song book packed away for next year, my Dickens Fair costume tucked into its moisture controlled box and my crush on Jude Law firmly in place, I spent a lovely Christmas evening enjoying Sherlock Holmes. 

Not only was the movie itself great–old London, great pacing and direction, a beauty standard I could never live up to–but I got an extra special surprise during the previews before the film even began.

Now, it is important to note that the expectations for the box office draw for Sherlock Holmes were high. Execs were counting on just bunches and bunches of people seeing this flick, so it was important to front load the feature with trailers that would appeal to most people–i.e, trailers that reflected what most people would want and expect to see from a quality film. 

The trailers did not disappoint and once again, reinforced how much and why we Oreos don’t want to be black. Please allow me to break down the films based on the trailers shown tonight for you.

Season of the Witch – Nick Cage battles an evil lady.

  • Things White People Do In This Movie: Be intriguingly in league with thedevil, intelligently discover what is going wrong in the town, find the right man for the job, assemble a group of capable men, belong to the group of capable men, save the day.
  • Things Black People Do In This Movie: n/a (judging from the trailer, there appear to be no black people appearing in this film.)

Date Night – Tina Fey and Steve Carrell love each other and get into mishaps.

  • Things White People Do In This Movie – be in love, work on their relationship, take care of their TMJ, have children who love them, go to fancy dinners, have enough money to be wanted by thugs, lead each other on a clever cat and mouse chase through the streets of a major city, be gorgeous even when poverty stricken, look super hot in their high tech apartment.
  • Things Black People Do In This Movie – Scare people. According to this trailer, there’s one black guy in this film and he has no lines in the trailer. A quick analysis of movies means this is probably because he has few lines in the movie at all or because his lines are inappropriate for a trailer. So he’s either foul or unnecessary. Either way, I don’t wanna be that guy.

Iron Man 2 – Robert Downey, Jr. is sexy.

  • Things White People Do In This Movie – Be sexy, invent world-changing technology, run courtrooms, bring a room to its feet, tease each other andmake cute jokes about other movies about white people, fly, grace the covers of magazines, fight badassly in impossibly tight costumes, win.
  • Things Black People Do In This Movie – look pensive, fight, replace other black people. Instead of Terrance Howard, we have Don Cheadle in this sequel. And according to the trailer dons an Iron Man suit himself. Again, he has no lines in the trailer, so it’s hard to tell what his attitude is except one of support and service to his white buddy, Rob. 
  • Things Other People of Color Do In This Movie – Threaten the safety of America.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Nick Cage has another movie??

  • Things White People Do In This Movie – Be a relatable everykid, conjureexciting things, train an up and comer, drive fancy cars, fall in love, leave reality behind, save the day.
  • Things Black People Do In This Movie – n/a

Clash of the Titans – gorgeous, amazing badassery set in ancient Gre

ece.

  • Things White People Do In This Movie – Have amazing abs, be royalty, bravely battle terrible beasts, be deities, demonstrate superb underwaterbreath control, have layered emotional journeys, survive incredible odds, have sex.
  • Things Black People Do In This Movie – n/a

Cop Out – Tracy Morgan lowers the bar.

  • Things White People Do In This Movie – Explain the “right way to do police work,” prepare to take care of themselves, baffle the black lead, silently criticize, remain cool under pressure, high five.  

    Better times with TM

  • Things Black People Do In This Movie – ruffle feathers, say “hell no!”, get bothered by high school pranks, use Barack Obama to justify questionable judgement, high five. 

Now, some might argue that there are some logistical issues like the fact that black people didn’t exist in Ancient Greece, but you know what else didn’t exist, Krakens. However, I do suppose a giant, underwater, half-god hellbeast is more believable than an of color in a respected position of power and authority. It’s the movies, after all, not total make-believe. 

Either way, I’m totally getting up early tomorrow to see Did You Hear About the Morgans. Hugh Grant is a favorite. I know it was ages ago, but he could have chosen to pay to have secret sex with anyone and he chose to pay to have secret sex with a black girl….so it’s like he paid to have secret sex with me.

It was very special.

Tyler Perry in Question

diaryblackwoman6So, it’s been the general opinion of this blog, its readers and the movie viewership of America that Tyler Perry is the cheif anti-Oreo. What the spawn of satan will be to the end of days, TPear is to attempts to assimilate. 

The Oreo Experience wonders now if this is the case.

Hear me out. While Tyler appears to stand for all that TOE detests, there are some key elements about him that may indicate is is a sheep in wolf’s clothing and perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, an Oreo deep down inside.

For example, Tyler Perry:

  • Exhibits a poor view of black people. His movies and shows rely on trite sterotypes to find the funny. Is he writing this way because it’s what makes money, or because it’s what he believes? If it was purely about capitalism, surely some of his truth would have seeped out by now and he would have made something pleasant. Buttyler-perry-newswire-335a061207 the self-loathing evident in his product makes him a prime candidate for Oreodom. 
  • Enjoys exploiting people of color. At his current rate of production, TP puts out a movie and nearly a full run of  TV series a year. This means he has a slew of people working very hard so that he can make media junket appearances. Because he runs “black” shows, and because he chose to settle in Atlanta, most of his employees are of color. Notably, his writers, who Perry seemingly prevented from joining their union during their employ. Only relatively recently, and after millions in his own pockets did TP give in
  • Is intmidated by Spike Lee.  Thanks to blogger Belle Woods for reposting comments on Tyler Perry’s reaction to director Spike Lee. Apparently Spike called TP on the carpet for his portrayal of black people. Tyler fought back, claiming that Madea is really a subversive way of instilling value in the viewers. Now, while a true Oreo would invite Spike over for scones and conversation, a self loather would take the same emotional stance as the fairer folks and tuck tail a bit when Lee speaks. 

The jury is still definitely out. But I’m keeping my eye on him. Maybe he’ll surprise me.

Or maybe we’ll get a new summer blockbuster: Madea Does Dallas.

Lost in Translation

Hindsight is always 20/20 and I’ve come to realize that for the last week, my coworker has been seeing me in quite the wrong light.

Forget Medea and Jason, this was a Greek tragedy!

Forget Medea and Jason, this was a Greek tragedy!

When I told her what I was going to see after work last Thursday, her eyes got gleefully big and told me that I would have a blast!

I appreciated the well wishes, but I was surprised. This is a coworker who every weekend, tells stories of embraces with strangers at trendy bars, henna tattoos and occasionally dred-locking her blonde hair. To see her be impressed with my tickets to Medea was a pleasant surprise.

Monday morning, she made clear to me what she meant.

“Did you love it,” she squealed as she burst into my office. “She’s so funny…”What’cha’ll gone do? what’cha’ll gone do? Y’all best know dat ‘ho.’ I could imitate her all day!”

Apparently, my coworker did not notice the important difference between the names “Medea,” the enchanting daughter of King Aeëtes, granddaughter of sun god Helios and wife to hero Jason, whom she helped through his trials as he fought to claim the golden fleece. And “Madea,” a woman who is really Tyler Perry in drag and who delights in being sassy, protecting her offspring through colorful language and generally making life harder for black people.

I’m not sure what about my Queen Elizabeth mousepad or the framed degree from Bryn Mawr on my wall that led her to believe that I would poison my eyes with such a thing, but I’m worried that my identity is not being made clear. Suffice to say I’m hoping to keep my office door closed, and play my Chopin a little more loudly through it.

PS. In case you’re wondering if the Medea retrospective featuring the various incarnations of her story as told by Francesco Cavalli, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Saverio Mercandante, Darius Milhaud and progressive Dutch rock band Kayak was worth the $100+ ticket. It was indeed.

Self Loathing for Humans and Non Humans Alike

district_nineIf you haven’t seen District 9, please run to the theater and see it immediately! Not only is the acting phenominal, the script amazing, the effects work outstanding, the phone promo done by yours truly (call 1-866-666-6001 to hear OreoWriter keep humans safe!) but the movie presents a wonderful example of why being an Oreo is so important.

You might worry that a movie that is clearly in part a segregation and apartheid allegory would miss its opportunity to show us how important it is to despise that which we cannot help, but the powers that be did not let us down.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, DO NOT READ ON UNTIL DOING SO.

REALLY, NORMALLY, I’D SAY GO AHEAD AND SPOIL IT, BUT THIS MOVIE IS ALL KINDS OF AMAZING, SO COME BACK WHEN YOU’VE SEEN IT. WE’LL STILL BE HERE.

 

district-9-trailer

 

 

All right, here we go.

So. Do you know who the scariest people in the movie were? Not the aliens, they were clearly misunderstood. Not Multinational United, the cruel company who tortures innocents. Not Tanya’s father, the frighteningly cold businessman. And not the nameless mercinary who shot to kill on sight.

The scariest people were the blacks who lived in the District 9 ghetto with the aliens. These dark skinned folks lived in garbage, weilded machetes–much scarier than cool alien guns and more primitive than sleek human weapons, were dim enough to believe in specific sorts of witchcraft and were morally bankrupt enough to enforce further enslavement on their fellow subjugated.

Now, before you say that OreoWriter is reading too much into this set of facts, consider this:

When all the melanin-heavy were killed at once…the theater exploded into applause and laughter. What a relief!

I can only hope that they were not simply celebrating the fact that an enemy was squashed.That in their response was at least a hint of inherent discomfort with the victims. And I’ve got a good chance of being right, because when bombs went off at MNU, there was no laughter. When the nameless mercinary got ripped limb from limb, there was no applause. But when the black folks were destroyed en masse, there was so much hubbub that the audience almost missed reacting to the leader getting his head exploded.

I’m not saying that I need validation where ever I can get it. I am saying that it feels good to be reminded by a sold out theater that one’s hard work and shared fears are not in vain. For when this momentous scene happened, I cheered myself (Internally, of course. Making audible comments during a movie would ruin years of Oreo work) because there on screen was a perfect physical representation of what I am working so very hard to do. 

So go see the movie. The acting is phenominal, the script is amazing, the effects work is outstanding, the phone promo’s done by yours truly (call 1-866-666-6001 to hear OreoWriter keep humans safe!) and there’s this hilarious and moving scene in Act III. You’re going to love it.

I Have a Dream…That White People Will Tell My Story

Thank you to Dexter King for doing the right thing.

This week, the son of civil rights icon MLKing, sold the rights to his father’s story to director Steven Spielberg. This is the first time that anyone has been allowed to purchase the rights.

dexter-king-e

Dexter King

Good on you, Dex. Way to uphold the Oreo spirit. Who better to tell the story of a black man of  modest means and constant struggle than a white bazillionaire?

The fact that Spielberg, in order to justify his need for the rights, produced neither a script nor an outline for the film should raise zero eyebrows. Though he hasn’t proven to Dex that he has the right story, he has proven to the King heir that he has the right amount of cash to put down for it, and what is more Anglo-tastic than capitalism.

Besides, a movie about a black person that is also written and/or directed by a black person suddenly goes from “Oscar contender” to “niche film.” And that’s just not marketable. Unless it’s done by Tyler Perry who is a marketing machine, but is doing nothing but hurting the cause.

Another debt of gratitude then to directors of color like Spike Lee (who has done quite enough, thank you), John Singleton, F. Gary Gary (The Negotiator, The Italian Job, Be Cool),Carl Franklin (One False Move, Devil In A Blue Dress, Out Of Time), Clark Johnson (SWAT, The Sentinel), Tim Story (Barbershop, Fantastic Four 1 and 2) and Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, King Arthur, Tears of the Sun, Shooter) for not picking up the MLK helm and running with it.

Why settle for the predictable nuance, verisimilitude and personal experience a black director could bring to the MLK story when a sweeping John Williams score and a perfectly timed push-in can tell us exactly how to feel and will guide us out of the guilt and toward a sunny, unchallenging ending.

Stephen Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Also, Spielberg has proven that we don’t really need black people to tell black people’s stories. After Amistad and The Color Purple, I say let’s turn over all of “our” movies over to him. That way, we can concentrate on how the powers that be see our struggles and learn to more accurately adhere to their vision.

The best part of this puzzle: A rich, powerful white man now owns the rights to a black man’s life. Makes you nostalgic for the old days, doesn’t it.