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Messages - Emperorjones

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Latest Flicks / Re: The Star Wars Debate: THE PHANTOM BLACKNESS
« on: July 11, 2018, 06:01:49 am »
Just found another reviewer:

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I've been skimming some of what you all are saying about Coates's new Black Panther stories. I've read the first two issues and I agree with a lot of what has been said here. The artwork is great, I like a lot of the Afrofuturistic designs for stuff.

But I don't like the idea of T'Challa as a slave, one of the most appealing aspects about T'Challa and the Wakandans are they weren't enslaved or colonized (which is just another form of slavery anyway) so we could imagine what that would be like. I liked the concept of an intergalactic Wakandan Empire, and I was hoping Coates would have turned a corner, but he just can't it seems.

It seems to me the man is contending with a deep-seated warped view of black people, and particularly black males, and it distorts his imagination. He can't conceive of blacks (especially black men) being anything but slaves, defeated, in the wrong in some way. Is he trying to let his white buddies off the hook in some way? Is he trying to tell some kind of deeper lesson or make his books more 'safer' to white readers by portraying blacks as colonizers and enslavers, to get whites to ultimately reckon with their own history?

I do like the art, I like the use of the names of characters from Black Panther's comics, and black history, but it's confusing. I guess this T'Challa is the Earth-616 T'Challa, but there were times when I was scratching my head if that was the case. If Coates hadn't added the dreams/thoughts of Storm in there I would think this is not our T'Challa but that there has been some kind of parallel development among the stars, like destiny created a T'Challa for this space Wakanda. I have no clue where Coates is going with this or why he's doing it. I was stoked by the idea of a Wakandan space empire, but now, not so much.

Admittedly I do like the Venom-Emperor though. And I do think the new Black Panther #1 got off to a better start than Coates's first BP #1.

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Other Comics / Re: Captain America by Ta-Nehishi Coates
« on: July 07, 2018, 03:48:54 pm »
I just read this. And I thought it was a better start than either of Black Panther #1's. I think this is the kind of book that fits Coates's sensibilities more. Where he can talk about the larger ideas and scope of history and all that stuff. And since he's writing a white (male) character he isn't as shackled by defeatism and his sense of black male impotence that permeated many of the Black Panther books I've read from him. This book doesn't start with Steve on his knees or Steve as a slave, but Captain America kicking ass and saving lives. It starts out showing him doing something heroic and with action, and the artwork was great. If this was the very first book Coates had been given I would be more on board with him as a comic book writer.

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Latest Flicks / Re: The First Purge
« on: July 07, 2018, 12:29:54 pm »
Another You Tube review:

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Latest Flicks / Re: The First Purge
« on: July 06, 2018, 05:13:06 am »
Some You Tube reviews:

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Latest Flicks / The First Purge
« on: July 04, 2018, 11:58:38 am »
http://ew.com/movies/2018/07/03/the-first-purge-inspirations/

I didn't know the director was black. I saw earlier today, and after reading this article I better understand some of the story choices made in the film. I might provide a more in-depth review later. Suffice it to say, I rank The First Purge second overall.

Rankings
Purge: Anarchy
The First Purge
Purge: Election Year
The Purge

(Election Year and Purge are closer than it would seem. They should both be tied for third for me, however Election Year just has more action and is broader in focus so I got to put it above it).

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Other Comics / Re: The Weekend gets his own comic.
« on: June 29, 2018, 09:02:25 pm »
I agree. It had some nice artwork and was darker than I would've thought. Then again, WeekNd's music does have a dark edge.

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Hard Choices / Re: The Makings of You OR Someday We'll All Be Free
« on: June 29, 2018, 08:59:48 pm »
Someday We'll All Be Free.

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Latest Flicks / Re: Superfly
« on: June 22, 2018, 04:38:33 pm »
Put me on the list. If the film was as horrible as I thought it was going to be I would have said so. But compared to some of the other garbage directed at black folks from Hollywood there was nothing especially egregious with this remake. It was like an extended '90s gangsta rap video or those long R&B '90s videos that told a story.

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Latest Flicks / Re: Superfly
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:14:05 am »
When I saw the trailer I was not impressed and then when I saw some reviews that confirmed it. Though I also began seeing some positive or decent reviews for this film and I got intrigued when I heard that the film was better than Belly, along with other reasons. I used a free ticket to check it out.

And the film was better than I thought it would be. I'm not saying it's 'good' but it is a guilty pleasure kind of film. I wasn't sold on Trevor Jackson as Priest though. When I thought more about it, I think T.I. should've played Priest. He has the Atlanta ties, he's about the right age I envision a world weary character like Priest should be, and he likely would've done a better soundtrack than Future did. Jackson was okay, but it took him a while IMO to get into the role and it was still hard for me to buy that a 20-year-old would have amassed that much wealth, was living that kind of life, and the authorities didn't know about it. It's not like his partner Eddie or his lieutenant Fat Freddie were the most quiet people, so that was stretching things. Jason Mitchell, Esai Morales, and Michael K. Williams I thought all did good jobs in supporting roles. Now that I think about it, the supporting cast in general wasn't bad.

I had a lot of trepidation going into this movie about stereotypes and glorifying the drug dealing/gang culture lifestyle and I do think some of that is in there, but the movie was so unbelievable at points that it was hard for me to see how many could take it seriously. The Snow Patrol, with all white everything, were like a comic book gang, and there were times when the sleek trench coats Priest wore looked like capes. It was a ghetto superhero story, which probably was the intention of the original Superfly anyway. I only saw that film once, many years ago, and wasn't that impressed with it. The Curtis Mayfield soundtrack is great though. The Future soundtrack was mostly forgettable. I do think it started off on a good note with the Lil'Jon song but then it just faded into the background. I think the soundtrack was a missed opportunity to really shine the light on a lot of the music that came out of Atlanta (LaFace, So-So Def, TLC, T.I., Xscape, Usher, Jazze Pha, Killer Mike, Outkast, Goodie Mob, etc., etc.).

At times this played like a big music video, though it didn't maintain that sheen throughout. I do think Superfly 2018 is better than Belly and what I saw of Belly 2. It's also better than State Property. I put New Jack City, Menace II Society, Boyz N the Hood, American Gangster, South Central, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Paid in Full, Dead Presidents, above it. As mentioned above, Takers was also a better film.

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Latest Flicks / Re: The Star Wars Debate: THE PHANTOM BLACKNESS
« on: June 20, 2018, 06:50:15 am »
There's also a lot of reviews of Star Wars films out there:

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Latest Flicks / Re: The Star Wars Debate: THE PHANTOM BLACKNESS
« on: June 20, 2018, 06:43:36 am »
Hopefully black folks are starting to wake up to the 'diversity' con. Diversity doesn't automatically mean blacks will benefit or even be included, or made important. Finn is a diverse but also a regressive character. At the end of the day Star Wars is still about white people saving the galaxy. And new Star Wars despite being peopled by a lot more 'people of color' often in background roles actually regresses all too often the few non-white characters its allegedly promoting. You've listed some of the problems with Finn, but Last Jedi made Poe into a sexist that needed to be taken down a peg or two. So to me the diversity is fake, it's just a smoke screen to make something not innovative or fresh appear to be so. There's also the feminism injected into the new films, though even that feminism might itself be a smokescreen. I mean, in the new saga, while Rey is the surface hero, the film's are more about Ben and his struggles between the light and the dark. Rey became involved in trying to turn him in TLJ, just like Han did in TFA, so Ben is the character that everything revolves around, but they are selling it as "Rey's story" (along with some girl power flourishes) in an attempt to get more female viewers/customers but also to get media attention. One of the You Tube videos I watched hipped me to that Kathleen Kennedy/Lucasfilm have hired a lot of white men to be directors for these films. And I need to check, but I'm guessing the majority of the writers are also white men. Certainly Kennedy is at the head and she's making decisions, but her decisions include hiring more white men, which aren't that groundbreaking. Yet, they want to provide a surface diversity, it's the illusion of change.

While I tend to agree that a lot of this debate is mostly a 'white thing' there are quite a few black You Tube reviews for Star Wars films and also some black critics talking about the ongoing issues with Disney, Solo, The Last Jedi. This is not a comprehensive list, but it's a start.

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