Monday, August 13, 2018

BlacKkKlansman is the greatest movie of all time

BlacKkKlansman. It's great. I thought director Spike Lee was done. Didn't think he would ever make another movie that I gave a shit about. The last movie of his I really, really liked was Clockers and Oldboy ended it for me. I wasn't ever going to get excited about a Spike Lee joint ever again. Also, he really turned me off when I went and saw him give a talk that he obviously hadn't prepared for where he railed on the Academy Awards making "make up calls" (which, to be fair, isn't wrong), choosing majors, and kids texting/playing video games. I know a dad ramble when I hear one and that was a dad ramble. It did start off with this pompous dean from the business school that gave a 10 minute masturbatory intro that culminated with him gifting Spike the gift of an IU Adidas basketball jersey to which Spike fucking told the dude "I can't take that. Don't you know I have a Nike contract? Respect that." which was pretty baller. Also, love me some Reggie Miller and the 1990s Indiana Pacers and their feud with Spike didn't really impress me much. But anyway. Yeah. Thought that dude was past his prime. But this shit was god damned amazing. Instant classic. Greatest fucking movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: BlacKkKlansman uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events -- and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way.

Pros: Spike Lee is fucking back and bringing that shit. The casting is pretty great and everyone fucking brings it. A lot of these roles can't be easy either. Denzel's kid is the next Denzel. Adam Driver is fucking sick too. The story is crazy interesting. Spike fucking nails the late 1970s. Great soundtrack.

Cons:  The tone of the movie at times seemed way off. The first half of the movie was too light, bordering on comedy, for how heavy the last half gets. Otherwise it was perfect.

Gist of the movie, based on a true story, is that undercover Colorado Springs police detective Ron Stallworth, a black man, miraculously infiltrates the the Ku Klux Klan through a series of phone calls to organization leadership including Grand Wizard/former Republican (of course) Louisiana State Representative/presidential candidate David Duke. Obviously unable to meet the group face-to-face, Stallworth gets veteran detective Flip Zimmerman to take on the role as they work to take down the hate group intent on white-washing their violent image to garner more mainstream appeal. Staring in the film are Adam Driver as Zimmerman, Topher Grace as Duke, Laura Harrier as foxy lady Patrice Dumas, and John David Washington as Stallworth who just knocks it out of the fucking park.

Some extraordinarily powerful scenes. The one that really got to me was one that featured Harry Belafonte at a black power rally where he tells the story of a mentally handicapped boy's lynching that he witnessed as a boy. White people at the lynching took pictures of the guy being tortured and made postcards out of them. I went to the movie with a history teacher who talked about how this was real and how some guy compiled a bunch of them to bare witness. This site shows some but be warned it is truly disturbing (as is this part of the movie). I wish I hadn't clicked on it as I am too sensitive for that stuff. Spike splices this in with a Klan rally where they watch super racist silent film Birth of a Nation that portrays black men (mostly played by whites in blackface) as obsessed with raping white women and the KKK as heroes giving the two sides a nice juxtaposition. One as clearly fucked and the other is clearly not. No both sides bullshit.

This is where the film excels in that the film does a great job of making the contemporary alt-right, white nationalist group look ridiculous while also illustrating dangerously horrific they were at one time and have managed to become again in the Trump era. While the movie takes place in the 1970s, a lot of the rhetoric that is getting thrown around today. Stuff like "make America great again" and "America first" and so forth. Stuff that they really said that right-wing shit heads say all the time. Spike also splices together a couple of minutes of footage from last year's Charlottesville rally, including the woman getting hit by the car, and Trump saying it was "both side". So if it wasn't clear throughout the movie that this shit is still a problem, it totes is clear, then there is no mistaking it by the time you leave the theater.

Another uncomfortable scene is one where a klansman's chunky wife gleefully talks about "killing niggers" which is seriously fucked. This chick was really stoked. It was like she was anticipating having her first child or something. Showing just a pure joy and what not.

MVP of the film is an easy win for Washington. I had no idea this was Denzel's boy, the one that briefly played in the NFL, and kept thinking how he was Denzel-esque. Even sounded just like him and the performance has to have Oscar buzz when that time rolls around. Favorite little ditty with him is when he asks David Duke if he can get a photo with him and at the last second puts his arm around him in a baller move. He is gonna be a star, this guy. It's not even close although this made me a true believer in Spike Lee again and Adam Driver is a 10/10 as well. Driver's best scene comes when he talks about being jewish. It's not something he ever really thought about, but now, as someone who has infiltrated the KKK, he thinks about it all the time and this assignment is getting to him and what not.

So that was BlacKkKlansman. Movie totally kicks ass. Now that I've cancelled MoviePass for finally going to shit and picked up AMC's deal where you can go see the same movie more than once, I'll likely go see this one again before it's out of the theater. Yeah, greatest movie of all time.

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