Harriet (R)

Written by Gregory Allen Howard, (screenplay co-screen written by Howard and Kasi Lemmons, directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Cynthia Erivo, Harriet tells the story of bad ass, real-life super hero, Harriet Tubman.

There is so much  I love about this movie…

I love that “Harriet” is not “another slave movie.” It is a biographical work which takes poetic license with some fictionalized characters and events to round it out. It shows Harriet Tubman as a fleshed out character in love, in faith, in prayer, in friendship, etc. It is NOT a documentary, so the timeline doesn’t always add up, but whatever!

I am growing to love historical fiction more and more as a genre for reading as well as movies. “Harriet” is written, told, acted and shot, brilliantly.

I love the evolution of Harriet as a character as she goes from a descendant of slaves who knows she deserves to be free with little to no chance of that happening until she takes responsibility for her circumstances, runs, then discovers, embraces and follows her purpose.

I love the way the power of Harriet’s faith is brought to life on screen. Her seizures are visions and trances as she communes with God and does His work. Looking at what this woman did, it’s hard to deny there is something divine about it. All circumstances indicated she would never not be a slave and reach freedom, much less do all the rest of the amazing things she did after she freed herself. (Did you know that in the midst of all of her work she had NINE children! What. A. Woman.)

I love that it was written, screen written and directed by Black people who gave Harriet the care, consideration and respect she so deserves. Kasi Lemmons, I am proud of you Sis, and glad you got your project produced.

I love that even though I know how the story ends and the story was delivered in a rather “boiler-plate” fashion, there were some powerfully suspenseful scenes.

I love that Kasi Lemmons gave her husband a part. (He’s been consistently working, but mostly in television (on shows I haven’t watch), so I haven’t seen him in a really, really long time.)

At 2 hours 5 minutes a lot of information about Harriet’s full life was fit in, and it never felt rushed or careless or overloaded.

I love that “Harriet” makes me want to devour every piece of information I can find on this Phenomenal Woman.

Now on to the unpleasantness. What I didn’t like…

I’m nitpicking here and I know it sounds very “armchair quarterback” (Like, what movie have I made lately? I know…), but I have a pet peeve about this. I disliked when Harriet told the story of how she came to have her seizures. That could have been the first scene, let her take the hit when she was younger, get knocked out, have a vision and wake up right in that field where the movie began. Perfection. I have this thing about narrating what could be scenes inside of movies. I didn’t come to hear about it. I came to see it! I want to see it! I understand how budgets work, but another 5 or 7 minutes just for that scene would have gone a long way in making the story more “solid”.

Despite this small (but important) detail, Harriet is a movie I will undoubtedly watch again and again.

Oh… and I could care less about what Cynthia Erivo did or did not say about African Americans.  I’m not throwing away a whole movie that took Hollywood entirely too long to make because of some foolishness. Harriet deserves and commands my attendance!

Harriet earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It is an excellent, entertaining movie that is inspirational and powerful – just like the figure on whom the film is based.

https://slate.com/culture/2019/10/harriet-movie-historical-accuracy-fact-fiction.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/movies/harriet-tubman-facts.html

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

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!

Past Reviews

Parasite
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
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

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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
The Lobster

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

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!

 

Jojo Rabbit (R)

Inspired by Christine Leunens’ international bestseller, Caging Skies (screenplay written by Taika Waititi), directed by Taika Waititi and starring Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi, JoJo Rabbit is the 1940’s coming of age story of a little Nazi-in-training in Vienna who discovers his mother is part of the resistance.

Congratulations to Taika for getting this film made. It is a true passion project that reveals every ounce of care put into it. He says Caging Skies is a more serious read, but he was inspired to satirize the story and give it a more comedic spin.

What a splendid film that tells an original, fresh, hopeful, dark, satirical, funny, inspirational and profoundly sad story. The story has layers of elements that beg for further examination. I feel like I need to see it again, and wouldn’t mind doing so immediately. There are Nazi’s, Hitler, war and destruction, along with coming of age, parent-child relationships, friendships, loneliness, brainwashing, discrimination, societal erosion, humanity, mental health, risk-taking, bullying, standing up for others and what is right, the importance of independent thought, etc. There is so much going on, but it never feels like too much. Every element ties into another one and serves a purpose. In this way, JoJo Rabbit is a masterful work. Kudos Mr. Waititi.

The acting is strong. Roman Griffin Davis in his first-ever professional acting job is the cutest little self-proclaimed Nazi you’ll ever see. Waititi as Adolf is every bit the insecure, self-loathing, narcissist you would expect Adolf Hitler to be/have been – but as terrible as Adolf is/was, this portrayal of him is delightfully hilarious. Picture it… Adolph Hitler with jokes. Who knew it was possible?! A kid whose imaginary friend/role model (talk about being on the wrong side of history!) is Adolf. It’s brilliant! Archie Yates earns an honorable mention as the cute, funny and lovable best friend. Scarlett Johansen does a great job as well.

Ah, Rebel Wilson. I need to talk about Rebel Wilson. Rebel Wilson sometimes feels as though she is trying too hard here. I don’t feel her character needed to be used to “punch the comedy up” on an already funny film. It is equal parts the writing for this specific character and the performance feeling forced that was the problem for me. Nearly every time she spoke I felt like I wasn’t watching the same movie. For me, most times when she spoke her character caused these unexpected disjoints in the film; interrupting the flow every now and again with a line or two; then back into the movie I went as soon as she was done.

At any rate, JoJo Rabbit earned 9.5 out of 10 bloops. It may not be for you, but what I saw is funny, original, fresh (God knows Hollywood needs some freshness!!!), intricately complicated, but effortlessly and masterfully executed, well written, well-acted and well shot. The movie inspires me to read the book because I need to see how Waititi translated all of this information and how he changed the original work to get it all into this movie. The machination of this man’s mind intrigues me. But for Wilson’s character this movie would have earned 10 out of 10 bloops. So close… Still, I really enjoyed it.

As with any review, I always advise you take my opinion with a grain of salt. We all know everything isn’t for everyone, and remember, I am the woman who gave The Lobster a 10 and still stands by that 10 – If that helps you make up your mind at all. Happy viewing!

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

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

I’m too far behind to say.

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

Parasite
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
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

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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
The Lobster

 

Parasite (R)

Written an directed by Bong Joon Ho, Parasite tells the story of a struggling family who con their way into the lives and home and onto the payroll of a rich family.

I’d heard nothing but good things about this film and after seeing it, now I know why. It satisfies the viewer in many ways. Visually, it is absolutely lovely, It makes many statements and touches on many themes. The story is far from predictable and has just enough twists so that it holds your interest without becoming (too) ridiculous or overly complicated. It’s got humor, drama, suspense, some gore and horror. It make statements about class, human nature – specifically character, politics, mental health, the takers of the world – people to whom you could never give enough, and much more, without becoming bloated or preachy. The fact that I thought there wasn’t one character to in this entire film to root for taught me a little something about myself after giving it more thought. Oh, and it will make you think. Parasite stays on the brain long after viewing. That is the mark of a masterpiece. Overall, it’s a nearly prefect little gem. Nearly.

The set up of the movie is awesome as you slowly begin to realize what is going on. Then it goes in directions one would never expect. All of this from doing something everyone does – “fudging” on a resume (Although, this “fudging” was much more elaborate than most. Let’s face it, this was an out-and-out lie). This film reminded me of why I never watch trailers! I don’t need any visual spoilers ruining my ride, man. I just sat back and enjoyed as Parasite reveals itself like an expertly, intricately wrapped gift. There really is a beauty to how it develops, builds and plays out. The resentment that existed between the “have-nots” and the “haves” is palpable and wonderfully executed. Each treated the other with little respect and/or harbored pure disdain. Each finds the other loathsome, but each needs the other. Bloody. Brilliant!

The thing is… Is it just me, or did anyone else notice the similarities between Act II and Dr. Seuss‘s The Cat in the Hat. It was raining, so everyone was inside. The parents were out/away. There is a visitor who should not be in the house let into the house. Chaos ensues. The parents are returning earlier than expected. There is a huge clean-up of a massive mess (except the family didn’t have the Cat’s cleaning machine and had to do it themselves). Mom and dad get home and know nothing about the shenanigans. Am I wrong? Do you see it? Okay. I thought it was just me…

That second act also reminded me of a story Louie Anderson told on Oprah after explaining how his siblings shamelessly leached off of him financially. The siblings were in the audience and Oprah asked one of them something like, ‘How much would be enough for him to give you?’ The brother replied with all sincerity, “He could never give me enough. 

These rich people (resentments aside) already had the entire family doing better financially than ever, and still, it wasn’t enough. But that’s the parasitic mentality for ya. If you’ve ever had a parasite in your life, as I unfortunately have, you know exactly what I mean.

Parasite earned 9 out of 10 bloops. I cannot shake that Cat in the Hat resemblance that came to mind immediately after watching so I cannot in good conscience give it all 10 bloops. Can someone please ask Bong has he ever read The Cat in the Hat? I don’t know. Could be a coincidence, could be not. Who’s to say? At any rate, Parasite is an exciting, entertaining and enjoyable film and a breath of fresh air in what was, honestly, a pretty “meh” year for cinema.

***

I have a lot of reviews that haven’t been posted, but I wanted this one (and a few more) up before the awards. I’m not invested in much this year, except I know Joaquin Phoenix better win for Best Actor. Best Picture, I’m pulling for JoJo Rabbit, but that’s a long shot.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

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

I’m too far behind to say.

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
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

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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
The Lobster