Archives for posts with tag: Octavia Spencer

Grade A

Based on the true story of Oscar Grant (played by Michael B. Jordan), a man who was shot by a policeman while he was handcuffed and lying face down.

“Fruitvale Station” dramatizes the 24 hours leading up to the shooting, showing us two sides of Jordan: the hot tempered, ex-convict; and the loving father, boyfriend, and son who is trying hard to live a regular life and not go back to drug dealing which could land him in prison again.  The inner struggle of Jordan is easily conveyed to the audience, thanks to the exceptional talents of actor Michael B. Jordan, whose expressive eyes easily give away his inner thoughts and feelings.  Jordan’s lightning fast temper is also a frightening thing to behold, giving the audience a clue of one reason why things went bad so fast.

My most memorable, movie moment is the actual cell phone video of the seconds leading up to the shooting, shown at the beginning of the movie.

“Fruitvale Station” is a completely engrossing movie that gives the audience a glimpse of the injustice that young, black males sometimes suffer at the hands of certain police officers; and how a bad situation can quickly become deadly when two groups of hotheads get into an argument.

— M

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Grade A

“Hidden Figures” is based on the true story of three black women who helped in America’s race against the Soviets to put the first man in space and on the moon.  Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae portray three women who work in NASA, fighting not just racism but sexism.  Their weapons of choice in their struggles: their brains and perseverance.

At the start of the movie, the Soviets are beating the U.S. in the race to get a man into outer space.   NASA is in full swing, needing as many human “calculators” as possible since the IBM computers have not been set up yet.  The most intelligent women of the black section of NASA are called in to the front lines to help with calculations and problem solving; and Henson, Spencer, and Monae all rise to the challenge to help put the first American into space and safely get him back to Earth.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Hidden Figures” is the scene when Henson flips out on the all white group she works with regarding her ordeal with having to use the segregated bathrooms half a mile away from her workstation, plus not being able to use the same coffee pot her counterparts are using.   All her work and effort and help…and she is still treated as an inferior human.  This scene was so intense it woke me up and got my adrenaline rushing (it was about 3 a.m. in the morning when this scene came on).

“Hidden Figures” — a title that can be interpreted in two ways: black women who were part of the almost all white workforce of NASA; and the math that needs to be developed for further space travel — is a great movie that shows not only the struggles of blacks, but of women, in a world dominated by white men.  Balancing this out are white, male characters that are open-minded and want only the best on the job, regardless of color or sex.   Tempering the drama are the many comedic moments in “Hidden Figures,” most of which are charming and a few are laugh out loud funny.  You get a bit of history, and a lot of entertainment.

— M

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