Movie Review: Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Anywhere there is people, there is power.

-fred hampton-

See New Things, Learn New Things

Fred Hampton was part of the Black Panther Party. The same one that J. Edgar Hoover saw as a threat to American society. Hampton was born and died in Chicago at the age of 21 in 1969. The person who passed information to the FBI about Hampton’s whereabouts was William O’Neal. He died at the age of 40 in Chicago by suicide in 1990. The FBI agent who took orders from J. Edgar Hoover and used O’Neal as informant was Roy Mitchell who died in 2000 at the age of 66. The writers are Will Berson and Shaka King that is based on a story by Kenny and Keith Lucas. Judas and the Black Messiah is directed by Shaka King. The main cast is Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton (won an Oscar for his role), Lakeith Stanfield as Bill O’Neal, Jesse Plemons as Roy Mitchell, Dominque Fishback as Deborah Johnson, Darrell Britt-Gibson as Bobby Rush, and Martin Sheen as J. Edgar Hoover. It is rated R and is 2 hours and 6 minutes long.

The Breakdown of Judah and the Black Messiah

Judah and the Black Messiah is about Fred Hampton’s relationship with Bill O’Neal and both their roles in the Black Panther Party. Where Hampton is the leader of an Illinois chapter, O’Neal made a deal with the FBI to keep him out of prison. As their relationship grows, it puts an even bigger target on both their backs. The BPP grows suspicious of most everyone and does what it needs to ensure their safety, especially when their organization is threatened. O’Neal is in a situation he desperately tries to get out of although money is a powerful motivator and puts himself in even greater jeopardy. His inability to say no for obvious reasons ultimately gets Hampton killed. The conflicts between the FBI/Police and the BPP continues. Many die on both sides. The tragedy of Hampton is the way he died. The tragedy of O’Neal is the way he also died. While this story is about two men whose lives are forever intertwined, you can’t have one without the other, it was also about the cost of personal choices and responsibilities.

Watch the Trailer

Overall View of Judah and the Black Messiah

There are many different parts in the American fabric of society. It is complex and raw and deep. The battles and fights and disagreements among people are bound to happen because of the varying populations that make up the U.S. While we all breath oxygen and food to live, it seems that’s the only thing Americans we have in common. The best part of this movie was what it didn’t do. There was not the portrayal of Hampton or O’Neal in such a way that made you favor one over the other. The power imbalance between the FBI and BPP was not sugarcoated. Even after Hampton and O’Neal’s deaths, resolution only existed in bits and pieces for the survivors. I thought how much has and hasn’t changed over the years when I watch these kinds of movies. It probably was the million dollar question in 1990, but now it’s the billion dollar question in 2021. How much has American society changed? What percentage has been worn down to the point of falling away? How much of it do we need to hang onto for our longevity? Why do we believe in the things we do and say and for what purpose?

Judah and the Black Messiah gets FOUR FINGERS and ONE THUMB of 95%

Future Movie Recommendation: House of Gucci (2021)

I have never recommended a movie without seeing it and definitely when it has not been widely released until now. This is one of those movies I’m confident will be great to watch. It is based on the book by Sara Gay Forden although the Gucci family isn’t too happy about the film’s release. I’m not that surprised. Rarely does anyone want their dirty laundry hung out for everyone to see. The House of Gucci from which this movie is adapted deals with the murder of Maurizio Gucci and its aftermath. While killing your husband has been done many times before in movies or calling the woman killer a black widow, the solution of death between a married couple instead of divorcing remains an interesting social dynamic that will likely never die (no pun intended). House of Gucci is directed by Ridley Scott and has a cast that pretty much is the other reason why I want to see it. It will be released on November 24th. I’m confident Lady Gaga will do fine as Patrizia Reggiani, but I’m more interested in seeing how Adam Driver pulls off Maurizio. I haven’t given too much focus this year on movies, but this one is different. I’ll be counting down the days until it arrives and in the meantime, here is the trailer.

Short Review of Killing Eve: Season 1-3

I am going to find the thing you care about the most, and I am going to kill it.

-Eve Polastri-

Killing Eve is a combination of great acting, dialogue, and editing that makes this show worthy to watch. Besides the relationship between Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer), the relationship of Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw) and Konstantin Vasiliev (Kim Bodnia) is superb. While it’s nothing out of the ordinary, in terms of script plot advancement, the heart of it is the acting and even the music that puts makes you want to watch it. Eve works for the British intelligence and is engaged in a hunt for a female assassin that goes by the name of Villanelle. In season three, you get more understanding of where Villanelle originated and the reason for her inability to maintain any kind of relationship. While she becomes less mysterious although still as deadly, there’s more than enough weird encounters to keep watching. As a non-spoiler recap, the first season focuses with building the relationship between Eve and Villanelle as well as Konstantin trying to control Villanelle’s impulses. The second season furthers the relation between Eve and Villanelle, never knowing who has the upper hand, but knowing a zebra and tiger both has stripes. The third season introduces Dasha Duzran (Harriet Walter) who tries to get Villanelle on her side again. There’s a major turning point in Eve and Niko’s relationship too and again, by the end, one thing remains clear. Eve and Villanelle’s relationship is toxic than ever and yet, they can’t stay away from each other. There’s one more season left. I’m sure it will end in spectacular fashion. I can’t wait.

Killing Eve Season 1-3 gets Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%

Poem: Blurry

Close your eyes and shut them tight. 
Don't ever peek. Danger is close. 
From the moment you speak, to the last breath you take,
don't ask for more and don't question. 
Hold the memories and grip them with strength. 
They may soon be gone and never return. 
Circumstances aren't what they used to be.
Your voice may disappear, but the words are heard. 
The sun is there when power has left.
It warms your body but not your heart, for you have none.
The hotter it becomes, the chillier you grow.
From the moment your head hurts, to the pain morphing into something else,
not able to control it between the decreasing gaps.
Along the path and among the people.
Don’t ever stare. Danger is still close.

End of July Quotes

Trifecta #65

Trifecta #66

Journal Entry Type #101: Toaster for the Win

I’m leaving the last day of July to finish my blogs I meant to finish last week. There’s been a lot of the same stuff going on in my life, recycling as you say, and to some frustration my stubbornness of not wanting to do the work necessary to begin my second novel idea again. I feel I need to do some outlining of it, which I absolutely hate because I feel it might be heading into no where man’s land territory. It basically means I spin my wheels over and over in my head and make my fingers hurt because I’m typing words and sentences that sound stupid or unfocused. I suppose I need to get over it and just put it on paper (so to speak). On a side note, I burnt my arm on the toaster because what I was toasting got stuck. It still hurts two days later and had to put ice on it while driving because it was still stinging.

I’ve still been watching the Olympics and will comment on that later. A lot has happened since the opening ceremonies especially in swimming and gymnastics. I’ve been flipping among the channels mainly for swimming, gymnastics, diving, triathlon, equestrian, boxing, judo, archery, badminton, fencing, rowing, shooting, skateboarding, taekwondo, tennis, and weightlifting. It’s a guarantee switching channels when baseball, softball, soccer, rugby, and volleyball appears (sorry for all the fans out there). I try to take comfort in certain things in my life although having to repeatedly pay to get my car repaired isn’t one of them. I’m also looking forward to flying on a plane again. I find the whole thing relaxing once I am in the air and able to chill by reading or closing my eyes.

As you already know my first novel has been released and while I’m not sure how many people are clamoring to buy it, I’m so glad it is done. I’ve been slowly getting back into coloring and doing some exercise, but not nearly enough as I should be doing. It seems I’m running out of time and running out of excuses. I sometimes wonder how much a person needs to repeat something to her or himself before it finally sticks (in general). At what point does talking sound repetitive? At what point does one let go of the outdated usefulness of something? How do you keep mainstreamed and operate from a place of strength? How do you release all the confusing advice thrown at you when you never asked for it to begin with? I will leave you with these words. Too many people aren’t seeing their own hypocrisies and bathing too long in their own ignorance. We all have something to work on and it’s blatantly obvious when someone isn’t doing that. All the more reason for me to be committed in those things that insulate me and whatever happens outside of my jurisdiction is nothing that concerns me, for it isn’t my problem.

More You Know: Things That Didn’t Exist 30 Years Ago

Here are some things that have become common place in this technological world that did not exist 30 years ago. I bring this up because I sometimes think of animals, professions, and businesses that no longer exist. Dinosaurs are a thing in the way past. I thought Blockbuster would never go out of business. With scientific advancements, body snatchers have no purpose to the medical field. While some use them all the time, others know about them but won’t ever use them. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Netflix original content

2. Online grocery store delivery

3. Tablets to read books and magazines

4. Streaming music and TV shows

5. Instagram

6. Airbnb

7. Invisible braces

8. Pinterest

9. Online banking

10. 4K TVs

11. Uber and Lyft

12. Smartphones

13.  Gender reveal parties

14.  Wikipedia

15.  Video calling

More You Know: Allergies

I luckily don’t have too many allergies although the ones I do have been debilitating me for about 25 years now. I’m allergic to dust mites like no one’s business as well as some pollens and probably mold too. I’m not allergic to any foods that I know of although some foods can severely upset my stomach to the point of no return. Common allergies include pet dander, latex, and the ones I mentioned above. Food allergies are common too such as diary, eggs, peanuts, fish, and wheat. Here are some of the less common allergies although some appear a little whacky as in allergy to vibrations or microwaves which speak for themselves, I guess.

  1. tattoos
  2. insect waste
  3. sulfites in wine
  4. smell of fish
  5. pollinated fruit
  6. nickel in phones
  7. sun exposure
  8. soybeans in beanbags
  9. laundry detergent
  10. ticks
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