‘Da 5 Bloods’ Review: A Potent, if Indulgent Affair from Spike Lee

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After watching BlacKkKlansman, the images that Spike Lee brings you at the film’s end stick with you. In many ways, Da 5 Bloods is as perfect a follow-up to said film as one can imagine, now starting with the hard-hitting footage of history leading up to the Vietnam War. As these bits of history lead into a story about African American veterans coming back together, Da 5 Bloods makes itself out to be Spike Lee retaining that sense of urgency – even at the cost of some pretty evident self-indulgence on his own end. Yet there’s still something worth looking into as Spike Lee doesn’t ever let go of that same energy as he continuously finds ways to adapt it into the days coming by.

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2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

The 91st Academy Awards: Comments and Concerns

It has been an absolutely astonishing year for the cinema. But for as amazing a year as 2018 had been, we’re also left with facing one of the most insulting awards seasons to have come by in recent memory. You’d think that given last year’s set of nominees they actually would have been growing progressively better, especially having given a film like Moonlight the top honour for the 2016 ceremony (and a well-deserved one at that), but after the Golden Globes came by, I was already worried that we’d already be in store for one of the absolute worst in recent memory. To think that the Oscars would already have gone far beyond that “popular film” award in order to try and raise their viewership, as if the ceremonies themselves haven’t already been stale enough (i.e. overlong montages praising the industry and shallow activism that amounts to nothing), who knew that we’d be in store for one that was so out of touch – particularly in last year’s amazingly bad timing (with it being only barely ahead of the Olympics rather than in February like they usually were)? As a supposed celebration for the cinema comes by within the year, there are many things here to be concerned about.

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BlacKkKlansman is A Frightening Tale of How Hatred is Bred Into Our Society: A Review

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For as inconsistent as his filmography has ever been, Spike Lee has never been anything less than one of the most interesting American filmmakers working today. But even if he has struggled to find the same success today as he did during his prime with Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, he’s never left – he’s always remained so angry and it’s a defining aspect of his filmmaking. And for all the misses that he’s had recently, I’m happy to say that BlacKkKlansman is indeed Spike Lee’s best film to come out in quite some time. It’s a film that takes on the form of a past identity only to remind you that things haven’t changed as much as we would like to think, and for all we know Lee had been shouting this in the years since Do the Right Thing had come out. And of course Spike Lee isn’t showing everything to be nearly as comfortable as we would like to think it could be thanks to the way we would like to think it is, but it’s only one among many reasons his films hit every bit as hard as they do.

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