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“I Am Not Your Negro” will make you wish James Baldwin was still around to witness and challenge the racial divide in our nation. Director Raoul Peck, cinematically completes the unfinished story by James Baldwin, “Remember This House.”  The book, which was only 30 pages long by the time Baldwin died in 1987, told the stories of his closest friends, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. With the approval from the owners of Baldwin’s estate, Peck refashioned the story, while keeping the same plot line, into a narrative documentary that eloquently syncs Baldwin’s words and archived interviews narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, into a historical and present day context of what it means to be Black in America. “I Am Not Your Negro” proves that Baldwin addressed the issues of civil rights not just in writing but in peaceful demand. The film, which is nominated for an…

In 1988 Niggaz Wit’ Attitudes’ triple-platinum selling debut album Straight Outta Compton was released. Nearly thirty years later, group members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube came together to create the film with the same name, which tells the story of the rise and eventual collapse of the iconic rap group. The result is a masterpiece. Whether you’re intrigued by the portrayal of police brutality and violence, or just nodding your head to the beats by Dre, Straight Outta Compton is a film that in some way can speak to anyone, but it is especially geared towards fans of the world’s most dangerous rap group. The film starts in Compton (imagine that) as we are introduced to the members of N.W.A: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. Similar to Ice Cube’s debut film Boyz In The Hood, Compton is portrayed as a city run by gangs and…

Last year’s Dear White People was a satirical comedy about black college students finding their own identities amidst today’s subtle racism. But what it really focused on was avoiding stereotypes and finding your own identity among what might be the most culturally diverse generation in American history. It was one of the funniest and best movies of 2014, but it was also a more refreshing look at today’s black culture than Kevin Hart yelling his way through comedies and god-awful Tyler Perry movies. It’s also nice to know that this type of movie seems to be catching on because a mere year later there’s another fresh take on current black culture. Though it is ironic that the film’s protagonist declares himself a “‘90s hip-hop geek,” it’s far better than seeing Madea on-screen again. Dope follows high school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a straight-A student living in Inglewood, CA, sporting classic…

Mad Max: Fury Road is a movie about dry, stark insanity, where life is worthless and man is reduced to one instinct: survival. And I’m reduced to one question: “How did they make a movie that worked perfectly for the moviegoer like me?” The opening monologue, provided by Max’s new actor Tom Hardy, is a dry relation of the films general background; a post apocalyptic world where, after unending wars, nuclear devastation and humanity being driven to anarchy, the world has become mad—the most mad it has been in the entire series. From beginning to end, Fury Road holds onto a particular tone that is never quite so mournful that it can’t bask in its 12-year-old sense of joyful havoc. Hardy stares out into the desert, a dry color palette that will not change in the next two hours. Everything is dirty, from the cars with their…

As you might be aware, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) has received a total of nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Innarritu), Actor (Michael Keaton), Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), and Supporting Actress (Emma Stone). It seems highly unlikely that Birdman will walk away from the night without any well-deserved wins. It is, after all, a serious contender for the coveted Best Picture award. Here are five simple reasons why Birdman deserves Best Picture. It would be yet another mistake on the Academy’s part if the film doesn’t win, and will probably be the greatest injustice since Goodfellas losing to Dances with Wolves. It Isn’t Political  Far too many Best Picture winners get the award by hitting the audience over the head with an attempt at a political, social, or historical “message.” We have seen this demonstrated time and time again, especially within the last…