Co-written by Jimmy Fails and Joe Talbot, directed by Joe Talbot and starring Jimmy Fails and Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is one part coming of age story, one part love letter to San Francisco and one part love story between a young man and a piece of real estate that represents home for him.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco is well written and has a great deal of content that is packed with themes. The main character is written with great specificity, but his story is still relatable to many. The plot deals with homelessness, transiency, peer pressure, family dynamics, gentrification, etc. Most importantly, it deals with all the different relationships the main character has with those around him, and how those closest to us (either emotionally or in spatial proximity) can hinder or assist in our development.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco specifically examines what it means to be a black man within in the “black community,” in this particular instance, meaning “the hood”. How does one establish autonomy and develop artistic expression among a community of men who bully, belittle and minimize what they do not understand? How does one thrive without “dumbing down” in order to fit in and be accepted by others. How does one remain true to one’s self and exist as a leader in an environment where the norm is to follow along, go along to get along, etc., in order to be accepted and survive. One of the most interesting things about this movie is the symbolism of stagnation; how the main character goes through all these changes in many aspects of his life, looks outside of the “hood” for peace and satisfaction, etc., while the same group of guys never moved, never grew, never developed, standing in the exact same spot throughout – and then looked down on the guys who were different and wanted to do something different. This is a great movie to watch with young adults as it offers lessons in individuality, friendship and how being in “the in crowd” isn’t always beneficial.
The acting is strong with not one weak link in the bunch. The cast is a mix of fresh newcomers and seasoned veterans. Rob Morgan gives an outstanding performance, as usual.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco pays homage to the streets of San Francisco in a fresh and realistic way, showing the contrasting “beauty” and “grit” of it all and the parallel between the two as they relate to the “haves” and the “have-nots” and the fantasy world vs. the reality of the world the main character lives in daily. The writers use settings to express pain/repression/the past vs. hope/dreams/the potential future in many instances. San Francisco is used as this complex character that helps to make the movie all the more interesting.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco earned 8 out of 10 bloops. It’s a great, well acted, well written, thoughtful, original film that is definitely worth seeing. It’s still in select theaters (in New York City at BAM and the Angelika Film Center until Thursday and at Village East Cinema until Monday). If you’re over all the Hollywood remakes, sequels and super hero movies, go out and support this film, but if you miss it be sure to catch it streaming. The Last Black Man in San Francisco DVD and Blu-ray release date is set for August 27, 2019 and available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on August 13, 2019.
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
What I’m seeing next…
I am still way, way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing. Please hang in there with me while I work on posting all the content I have written up while catching up.
What I’m watching next
8/9 The Kitchen
Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
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Green Book Halloween Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody Beautiful Boy The Hate U Give
First Man Assassination Nation The Oath
A Star is Born The House with a Clock in Its Walls A Simple Favor
The Predator BlackkKlansman Support the Girls
Peppermint Christopher Robin Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders RBG Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage A Quiet Place Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time Lady Bird I, Tonya
The Florida Project Black Panther Molly’s Game
The Post Phantom Thread Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World Coco The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water Marshall The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul Thor: Ragnarok Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother! It Good Time
Atomic Blonde Dunkirk Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming The Big Sick Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me It Comes at Night The Wedding Plan
Wonder Woman Everything, everything King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw Kong: Skull Island Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts A Cure for Wellness Get Out
Hidden Figures Fences Moonlight
Hell or High Water Loving La La Land
Lion Manchester by the Sea Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge Nocturnal Animals Captain Fantastic
Elle Jackie I Am Not Your Negro