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Movies

30 Pieces of Silver to Kill a Revolution – Judas & the Black Messiah Review

Judas & the Black Messiah pulls back the curtain of COINTELPRO and explains how the FBI used one man to damage the progress being made in the inner city of Chicago.

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“What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.

Taken from the book of Matthew is the story of a man Judas. He stood as one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples. Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane. This canonical story parallels the journey of this film.

Our film set in 1969 tells the story of Bill O’Neal, our titular Judad, a petty criminal that was recruited by the Herbert Hoover FBI to infiltrate the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Their target is the leader of this chapter and the Black Messiah mentioned in the film title, Fred Hampton. His ability to lead disadvantaged communities and challenge the racism of the law enforcement.

This film has amazing performances from both leads, Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Standfield. The power of Hampton was brought to the screen by Kaluuya. Every time he spoke the audience was transported to the streets of Chicago. His performance shows why he deserved his Golden Globe nomination. Stanfield personifies the desperation of O’Neal as he descends deeper and deeper into the FBI’s hands. One cannot build sympathy for him though, as he continues to receive payouts even as he sees the good in the organization.

Behind the camera, we have Shaka King in his largest project to date. He is not a new director but familiar with the indie circuit and has been looking for the right project. He is close friends with Ryan Coogler from their early film days and has made impactful independent films. His first film Newlyweeds, is available for free on Tubi and comes highly recommended. This marijuana love store is a vibe that many can relate to. Expect to see more from King in the future.

If not for the dynamic performance of the two leads more people would be talking about Dominique Fishback. Many people are familiar with her from her performance in the Netflix film, Project Power opposite Jamie Foxx. Her eyes tell a story of emotion in every scene. She continues to be a star on the rise.

All of the supporting actors delivered on their performances. From Jesse Plemons as the FBI agent that always made it seem like he was doing O’Neal a favor to Martin Sheen as J. Edgar Hoover. Finally there is another individual that we can expect to see on the big (and small) screen very soon. That is Dominique Thorne who portrayed Judy Harmon. She has recently been cast as RiRi Williams in the MCU.

This film is available both on HBOMax and in theaters. It will only be available on HBOMax for a limited time.

This is a much watch. This film pulls back the curtain of COINTELPRO and explains how the FBI used one man to damage the progress being made in the inner city of Chicago. With award-worthy performances from a stellar cast and emotional direction, this is a film everyone must watch.

Must Watch

This film pulls back the curtain of COINTELPRO and explains how the FBI used one man to damage the progress being made in the inner city of Chicago. With award-worthy performances from a stellar cast and emotional direction, this is a film everyone must watch.
90%

Overall

Positives

  • +Dynamic Acting
  • +Educational

Negatives

  • -Predictable (Historical Fiction)
  • -Wanted more time with the female characters
90%
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Entertainment

Shondaland’s Netflix Lineup Announced

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Here are details about all eight Shondaline projects (all titles are working titles):

Untitled Shonda Rhimes Project — Based on the New York Magazine article How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People by Jessica Pressler. Manhattan makes a new friend like no other. But is she the stuff American dreams are made of or is she New York’s biggest con woman? Is it a con if you enjoy being taken? Rhimes is creator and will executive produce.

Untitled Bridgerton Project — Based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels, this smart feminist take on Regency England romance unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family. Scandal veteran Chris Van Dusen (EP) will adapt and showrun the series.

The Warmth of Other Suns — Based on Pulitzer-Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book of the same name, the series tracks the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970. Playwright Anna Deavere Smith is set to adapt and executive produce.

Pico & Sepulveda — Set in the 1840s against the surreal and sensual backdrop of the then-Mexican state of California, the series tracks the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this breathtaking land for its own. Emmy-winning writer Janet Leahy will create and executive produce the series.

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change– Netflix and Shondaland have acquired the rights to Ellen Pao’s groundbreaking memoir detailing her life and career, including the lawsuit she brought against her former employer that sparked intense media scrutiny, shook Silicon Valley to its boys’ club core and pre-saged the Time’s Up movement.

The Residence — Netflix and Shondaland have acquired the rights to Kate Andersen Brower’s brilliant nonfiction book The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, which offers a vividly accurate insider’s account of White House residence staffers and the upstairs downstairs lives they share with the First Families at one of the most famous homes in history.

Sunshine Scouts — In this darkly comedic half-hour series, an apocalyptic disaster spares a rag-tag group of teenage girls at sleepaway camp who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law. Writer/actress Jill Alexander will create the series and co-executive produce.

Hot Chocolate Nutcracker — The documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning reimagining of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. This staged contemporization – with its inclusive cast of all ages and its blend of dance traditions – has further cemented Debbie Allen’s legacy as one of the greatest forces for good in dance. Oliver Bokelberg (DP/Director Scandal) will serve as director, cinematographer and producer.

“From the world of Regency England all the way to present day Manhattan, we at Shondaland have a wonderful opportunity to explore new worlds and tell these stories in many different ways,” said Shondaland’s Betsy Beers. “We are fortunate to be working with such an inspiring group of talent, including our amazing creative team at Netflix. I could not be more thrilled!”

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Movies

Release Preview: Mile 22 August 17, 2018

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Mile 22

An elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.

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