Movie Review – The Hate U Give

 

Movie Review - The Hate U GiveI expected this movie adaptation of Angela Thomas’ book of the same name to be exactly what it was—-racially tensed and enlightening. While many people are aware of a few victims involved in police altercations that led to their deaths by police officers such as Trayvon Martin, Botham Shem Jean, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and Laquan McDonald, what I noticed about this movie are the “other” victims. I specifically mean those present when the victims are killed by the police officers. When 16-year-old Starr’s childhood best friend, Khalil, gets shot and killed by a police officer during a out-of-the-blue traffic stop, she becomes a victim in her our mind, her school, and her community as she finds her voice to speak up for what’s right.

Let’s start with the title, The Hate U Give. The first letter of the title spells THUG. Why is that important?

Remember the late famous hip hop rapper Tupac Shakur and his large abdominal tattoo saying “Thug Life”? There are several references to Tupac that define the plot development of this movie, that the director purposely includes. Tupac’s tattoo was an acronym standing for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fu$%s Everyone.’

Other Tupac similarities include Maverick ordering the kids to learn the Black Panther Ten-Point Program — which recalls how Tupac explained one time in an interview that he was a militant, and his definition of thug came from his street side and his Panther side (his mom’s activism with the political Black Panther Party).

Another not so obvious reference was that the car (the neighborhood drug dealer leader) King drives is a black BMW 7 Series sedan with chrome and custom rims. On the night of Tupac’s murder, he was riding in a black 1996 BMW 7 Series sedan with chrome, custom rims.

I think that people will assume that this is just a typical black movie with commonly known stereotypes about blacks, but I think you should also view it from a different perspective, and pay attention to scenes that remind you of the patterns you see during a few of the real-life police shootings.

For instance, when Khalil was pulled over by the police, he responded to the officer by saying things like “Why are you pulling me over?” “Why turn my music down? I can hear you” and “I have rights.” This scene reminded me of the aforementioned Sandra Bland who made similar comments during her police stop, and was then arrested because she refused to put out her cigarette.

This movie right out the gate made me smile as it portrayed something very common, or uncommon, in black households, and that is the family eating dinner together and having deep life conversations. The not so common part is that not all black families have a mom AND a dad present. One other thing I’ll mention that I loved about the film — is the role played by hip-hop rapper Common, as Starr’s uncle, who is also a police officer in the same department as the officer that killed Khalil.

Towards the end of the movie, Starr draws an important distinction out of her uncle, and that is the action taken by police officers when they stop a black guy, versus when they stop a well-dressed white guy. Uncle Carlos admits that his behavior and reactions ARE different and racially biased, even as a black police officer. EPIC scene!!!!!

Let me speak to how Starr’s victim role was so robust. This was not Starr’s first experience with a BFF being killed; this is her second experience, and all before the age of 16. Starr lived two lives as she eloquently states it: Garden Heights Starr Version 1, and Williamson High School Starr Version 2. She had to bounce between the hood and the upper class private school she attended. Those scenes with her black friends and then her white friends, including Starr’s white boyfriend, was very well written and portrayed, and will be very familiar to many of your lives.

Spoiler below

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I’ll point out somewhat of a spoiler. Don’t miss the very climactic hairbrush scene between Starr and her Williamson High good friend Hailey. It gives you a glimpse of how some white people really think, but just don’t say it to black people out loud like Hailey did. Pray church! It got ugly. LOL

On another note, Starr bounced between two life roles that silenced her for many reasons. It’s so ironic, because 19-year-old Amandla Stenberg herself played similar roles in real life. She struggled with not being black enough (her father is Danish), and bounced between being straight and bi-sexual for a few years before finally embracing her designated sexuality (lesbian), and breaking her silence thereof. I think it’s so rhythmic, using “her voice” to make an impact onscreen, as well as off-screen.

Watch this movie without your “backpack” of pre-judgments of what you think you already know. Stay Open-minded. Be Empowered. Stay Woke.

#TheHateYouGive #AmandlaStenberg #PoliceShootings #Movies #NewReleases #MovieReview #RunPee #FemaleMasterpiece #BlackGirlsRock #TheHungerGames #LGBT #LGBTQ

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: It was a little difficult getting Peetimes, because each one contains a little dialogue or dramatized scene that may appeal to somebody. However, these are 2 good Peetimes, both lasting 3 minutes. The 1st has an Alert flagged on it for people who might feel triggered by funerals/death. . .

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Hate U Give. (What we mean by Anything Extra)

Opinion: Racism, Dogs, and Our Primitive Brains

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DanaSimone!’s love for movies and AMC Theaters started when she was a youngster in Detroit.  By day, she saves the world from financial ruin, and by night wears a superwoman cape (literally) as a mom, wife, speaker, philanthropist, travel agent, and up-and-coming social media influencer. She’s the creator of the #FemaleMasterpiece empowerment movement and a former talk show host.  Stalk her on YouTube channel “DanaSimone!”and check our her cool app.

Movie Review – Night School

I rate this movie a B because the comedic chemistry between Kevin and Tiffany was great! I laughed through the whole movie. The plot was meaty between the different characters. Each student really had their own reason for going to night school and some type of personal struggle thereof. The scenes developed around those personal weaknesses, to expose the character’s drama, capture our empathy or sympathy, and then quickly conquer the struggles — without taking away from the main imperfect journey between Teddy and his fiancee Lisa.

The relationship between Teddy and Lisa will be viewed by many of you as “that’s me,” or “see, that’s why I can’t find a good man.” Teddy did what a lot of men do (and sometimes women) which is what I like to call “introducing me to your representative” during the first few dates. Teddy did not work a “corporate” job per se like Lisa, and their friends viewed that as Teddy and Lisa dating out of their league. Teddy gave the impression that he was doing great with a flashy car, nice clothes, and plush apartment. He was able to cover up his successful facade for a long time until his nemesis, Stewart, set him up and burst his bubble.

There are multiple lessons to learn from this movie that you may be able to relate to, such as being someone that you’re not, being overwhelmed by conspiracy theories and unfounded perceptions, letting your mate bully you and destroy your personal identity and greatness, or even thinking your good looks will carry you all your life.

I’ll stop here, because I don’t want to give away too much. No matter what you glean from this movie, you will enjoy the abundant laughter and the life lessons. Enjoy, and don’t forget to let me know what you think.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now), DanaSimone!

Grade: B

About these PeetimesIt was hard getting Peetimes for this movie due to the ongoing comedic scenes. Don’t dilly dally on your pee runs. Most scenes were funny and added something to the plot. Just when I thought I had another good Peetime at about 1 or 2 minutes, plot happened and ruined another opportunity. If you’re a “reel” Kevin or Tiffany fan, you don’t want to miss any of their scenes together.

The 1st Peetime is a good one, if short. The 2nd is fine, but you’ll miss some humor. That’s just unavoidable in this film.

Alert: Excessive profanity around 35 minutes in, lasting about 5 minutes.

DanaSimone!’s love for movies and AMC Theaters started when she was a youngster in Detroit.  By day, she saves the world from financial ruin, and by night wears a superwoman cape (literally) as a mom, wife, speaker, philanthropist, travel agent, and up-and-coming social media influencer. She’s the creator of the #FemaleMasterpiece empowerment movement and a former talk show host.  Stalk her on YouTube channel “DanaSimone!”and check our her cool app.

Movie Review – A Boy. A Girl. A Dream

I rate this movie a C, because the dialogue is really slow throughout, and takes some time to build the plot.

I also thought the numerous dead spaces of no dialogue got a little boring, based upon the peoples’ faces in the theater audience. It also seemed as though the ending was a little abrupt, or left you hanging. My friend I was with actually said out loud, “Is that it?” when the credits began to run.

The movie was relatable though, in many ways: from the devastation of black people after hearing Trump won, from strong and independent women being hurt by their previous boyfriend, and the emotions one can have for not pursuing their dreams (due to setbacks and perceived limitations).

For you Omari Hardwick fans, Omari’s character is nothing like his role as Ghost on the TV show Power. In this movie, he is intentionally sensitive; he meditates, and he’s extremely close with his son. Oh, he doesn’t kill anyone in the movie either. LOL!

Cass’ soul needed Frida, and Frida needed Cass. Both of them were struggling with — shall I say — misplaced dreams. Pun intended. Frida’s role portrays her desperately seeking liberation from her boring job as an attorney, and her ex-boyfriend. It was ironic that Frida is an independent, well-established, beautiful woman that flies to LA alone, then meets Cass.

On the first meeting, she kisses him, accompanies him to a night club, rides in an Uber with him, then goes to (what she thought was) his house. All that is completely opposite behavior for independent women. There’s no way we are going anywhere with men at a first meeting, swap saliva, then travel across town without first Googling you, pulling a background report, checking the pedophilla database, and then discussing it with two of our sis-boos. I’m just saying!

But I think that was another meaning behind the movie…take chances when it feels right, deep down in your gut.

Overall, the movie makes you think, which is why there is all the dead space with no dialogue. If you walk out of this movie reinventing yourself, or recalibrating your goals and objectives, then the movie probably did its job — by getting you to realize why you should give birth to that dream of yours right now.”

Grade: C

About the PeetimesDanaSimone! is our awesome Chicago resident Peetime Trainee. This is one of the first movies that she has done “live” for RunPee. This is a job that takes some time to get comfortable with.

She writes that overall the Peetimes were easy: “The movie had many dead spots with no narrative —  just atmosphere.”

If you feel that there are better choices for Peetimes in the movie, we would love to hear from you (support@runpee.com).

DanaSimone!’s love for movies and AMC Theaters started when she was a youngster in Detroit.  By day, she saves the world from financial ruin, and by night wears a superwoman cape (literally) as a mom, wife, speaker, philanthropist, travel agent, and up-and-coming social media influencer. She’s the creator of the #FemaleMasterpiece empowerment movement and a former talk show host.  Stalk her on YouTube channel “DanaSimone!”and check our her cool app.