Connect with us

In Theaters

“Nope” Is A Lot To Process, But It’s Definitely Worth Seeing On The Big Screen



Thanks to Universal Pictures, I got to see Jordan Peele’s latest work “Nope” before its release this Friday, July 22, 2022. Of course, if you read my review of Peele’s “US” movie, released in 2019, then you know that I’m currently a big Peele fan and will watch anything with his name attached to it — so I just had to see “Nope”. That’s also how I got suckered into watching Lovecraft Country week after week, before learning who Misha Green was. And while I still haven’t seen “Get Out” yet, I do plan on watching it this weekend so I can compare the three a tad better.

However … can we talk about “Nope” please!

nope movie review
Daniel Kaluuya as OJ Haywood in Nope, written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele.

“Nope” is definitely not a horror film by any means you guys, so let’s let that one go.

It’s more of a sci-fi thriller, that keeps you on the edge of your toes, with a dash of Black boy cowboy foineness, and a whole lot of UFO alien madness.

The film reunites Peele with Oscar® winner Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Judas and the Black Messiah), who is joined by Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Alice) and Oscar® nominee Steven Yeun (Minari, Okja) as residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an “uncanny” and “chilling” discovery.

Listen, we get real close and personal with my man Daniel in this one, and I love it.

I’m not mad at him for choosing “Nope” over “Black Panther 2” y’all. My man is front and center in this jawn and he slays every moment he’s on screen. But ummm …

Them folks found a UFO, and things got WEIRD, quick!

That’s basically the story here, give or take a few twists.


So before I jump into my actual movie review of “Nope”, please do me a favor — if you haven’t already seen the “Nope” movie trailer, make sure you watch that before watching the actual movie.

The trailer isn’t as scary as you think … and you’ll need it to really enjoy the movie’s reveal of those big moments. Now … for the moment you’ve all been waiting for …

My Review Of Jordan Peele’s New “Nope” Movie

“Nope” Is A Lot To Process, But It’s Definitely Worth Seeing On The Big Screen

Best believe it’s different than any other movie you’ve ever seen, including Peele’s former works. Which is what makes “Nope” such a great film. It’s different!

However, if you’re anything like me and you saw and loved “US” when it was released, then you’re probably expecting something along those intense lines of madness and commentary. And well I don’t wanna disappoint you but … NOPE. That’s not what you’re getting this time around. 

Don’t get me wrong, “Nope” is definitely intense, but it’s not as intense as “Us” was. You can relax with this one.

Nothing is predictable and there are even a few laughs thrown in just to make you comfortable and throw you off your tracks.

So get you some popcorn, a cactus icee, and just chill. Because despite what you saw in the trailer, “Nope” is NOT a horror film.


Nor does it try to be. 

Yes, the genre is “horror”, but I feel like a lot of us horror haters see that label and immediately think of our worst fears and nightmares. And that’s why I keep saying it’s “not a horror”. It’s not what you think it is!

There was like one jump scare, and a few creepy moments, with a ton of NOPE, absolutely NOT moments — but nothing that’ll give you real nightmares.

There’s even a scene that made me instantly think of the Lovecraft County dancing sisters, but it doesn’t come CLOSE to being as scary as the one in Lovecraft.

So yeah, this one doesn’t give me horror vibes. Not like Candyman or Lovecraft!


But ummmm …

nope movie review
Keke Palmer as Emerald Haywood in Nope, written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele.

Keke was giving gay auntie at the cookout, and I’m not even sure why.

Nor am I sure if I completely hate it. But it did take me back for a bit.

I do commend her for “trying something different” … my gut is saying that she really put her character together, and just went for it.

And I love that they made her character into girls. But y’all know how I feel about straight folks playing gay characters. So I’m not really sure how I feel about Keke’s performance yet. I’ll update y’all after my second watch.

Of course zaddy Daniel never ever loses a beat though! I can see why he passed up on playing a smaller role in a Marvel film to be front and center in Jordan’s new spectacle. 

But as much as I loved their performances … let me not forget to shout out Keith David here, who is always amazing to watch on screen


I’m not sure what this movie was trying to say, and that’s what really creeps me out about this.

It’s like walking around an art gallery and not knowing what any of the paintings mean!

Like … I have absolutely no commentary about this, which sucks because I had all the things to say about “Us”.

Peele’s previous pieces were extremely easy to digest once completed, and you can tell because folks took to Twitter instantly to talk about all the things.

Peele left the world speechless and talking all at the same time with “Get Out” and “Us”. 

But I just don’t think this one will cause as much chatter. Aside from folks probably saying it was the worst film of the three?


I’m also worried that people are going to be quite disappointed in the outcome of this film. Especially when it’s so hard not to compare it to Jordan’s previous work!

There are a few holes in the story, that make “Nope” a little underwhelming once it’s completed. So much so, that as satisfying as the ending was, it still wasn’t enough for me to walk out of the theater “floating on cloud nine”!

So not being able to walk away and say, well even though there were holes I think this movie really meant something, is killing me!

Someone mentioned exploitation, but I don’t feel like it was deep enough to go that route?

I did feel like “Nope” leaned towards saying “folks would do just about anything to get rich or stay relevant”. And with everything we see celebs doing these days, I can really see this being the takeaway. Hell, I can even see this being a “lesson” as to why folks need to “keep their head down, and mind their business”.


But nothing really solidifies any of those themes for me. I’m almost positive I’m actually wrong. So, yah, I’ve got nothing.

Steven Yeun as Ricky “Jupe” Park in Nope, written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele.

And WTF did the monkey have to do with anything?

I won’t spoil it for you, but I’m still so unsure of what this monkey had to do with this story about aliens and UFOs! Was it possessed? And if so, how did it become possessed? Because nothing and no one else acted that way.

It all just feels so random!

As much as I love the fact that Jordan Peele seems to have a thing for animals, and I love that both “Us” and “Nope” started out with animals — because that means Pelle has a “signature touch” — I just don’t get this monkey!! And I want too!

But there’s not enough backstory to tell us why this shit is relevant.

But let me wrap this “Nope” movie review up …

Because despite not knowing what Jordan was trying to say with this one, and despite it’s plot holes, “Nope” was actually a good movie and I do think it’s worth seeing on the big screen! It’s especially lovely to watch in IMAX as the cinematography is a delight!


I will always be blown away by Peele’s creativity, and his ability to think out of the box, and put together interesting stories for us.

Even if I can’t say its a GREAT story.

The fact that the “Nope” trailer made us want answers, and that nothing in the trailer was what we thought it was, alone was genius!

And then the twist towards the end we never saw coming!! It was great.

I loved a lot of the aspects of this movie, as separate moments and concepts — just not all together.

If that makes sense! Like what Peele did with the subtle hints to what was to come — was great! Which is why I keep saying y’all need to watch the trailer, because without it you won’t realize what’s important to pay attention to.


And I love that we don’t ever have to see what’s really going down, so there’s no gore or much violence being showed on camera!

There was one point where things were covered in smoke, so you couldn’t see what was happening, and I loved that.

Plus Keke and Daniel dapping it up was dope!

I really felt that moment — the happiness, the joy, the “we got this b*xch”, I felt it all in that split second. That moment is probably one of my faves from the entire film.

nope movie review
Daniel Kaluuya as OJ Haywood in Nope, written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele.

And let’s just be honest, a lot of the things I loved about “Nope” really just comes down to the fact that this is a BLACK film.

It’s Blackity black, and I’m proud … of it. It doesn’t really matter to me if it’s a GREAT story or not, because this was made for us.

And it’s always nice to just have something that’s made for US.


That’s really why I love Jordan Peele! It may not be the horror film you’re expecting, but you’re gonna get a Black experience on screen that feels so f*cking realistic, but also so out of this world, that it’s hard to ignore.

Like the brother sister relationship between Keke’s and Daniel’s characters! They’re not a perfect family, and you can tell — she’s always out and about, he’s more reserved and quiet.

They normally can’t depend on each other for business, but they can ALWAYS count on each other when shit goes down!

She sticks it out because he stays! He leaves because he wants her to be safe! There’s a realistic dynamic between the two, that makes us root for them, and I love that.

Look … “Nope” is entertaining as hell, I’ve gotta give them that! I was never ever bored!

It’s just unfortunate that the story is a little muddy and confusing as to what this new piece of artwork is trying to tell us. 


Had the message been clear at the end I think I would have really loved this a lot more.

I just didn’t get that “big bang, fish blown outta the water” feeling at the end I was hoping I’d get like I did after seeing “Us”. And that’s because “Nope” is a lot more subtle. 

But y’all “Nope” is a good time on the big screen.

Definitely see it in theaters and in IMAX if you can. The visuals really do stay with you!

Is it the top movie of the year? Nah! It doesn’t even make it into my top five! Is it the best Jordan film ever? NOPE, cause for me that was “Us”, until I see “Get Out” of course.

But that doesn’t mean “Nope” was a bad movie! It’s far from it!


Just don’t go into this one thinking you’re gonna get a gory, blood soaked, terrifying, hide in someone’s armpits, horror film, and wipe “Get Out” and “Us” out of your memory for a few hours and you should be okay.

Watch this because Jordan Peele created a dope UFO movie that’s “for the culture”.

You know the way we think “Leprechaun” is for us, or the “Scary Movie” franchise is wacked out but we still watch them because they’re for us? Just go into the theaters and have a great time watching this.

Don’t overthink it, don’t try to guess what’s happening next, just relax and enjoy the show. Because I definitely enjoyed watching “Nope” and I can’t wait to see it again!

Rating: 4/5


Shaye is an Entertainment Writer from Brooklyn, NY and a big fan of anything and everything superpowers related (especially if kids/teens are involved), cooking + baking shows (like MasterChef Junior and Cupcake Wars), teen dramas, sitcoms, comedies, and legal dramas. When she's not binging the latest series on Netflix or writing, you can find her spilling her thoughts on the Brown Side of Disney Chat or creating YouTube videos with her daughter for their new family site, Popcorn and Tater Tots.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In Theaters

Issa Hard Knock Life: “Creed 3” Hits Us With Major Lessons About Survival, Overcoming The Past, And Forgiving Ourselves 



Let’s just kick it straight to the point here — I haven’t seen “Creed 1” or 2, but when they announced Jonathan Majors would be getting into the ring with Michael B. Handsome, I mean Jordan, I knew I needed to see “Creed 3”! So when I got the invite to screen the latest film in the “Creed” franchise, I immediately said yes. I mean, Jonathan has been on a roll lately, and was great in “Ant-Man 3“. And Michael has always been doing the damn thing! So there was no way I was passing up watching both men on screen in IMAX. Let’s be real now.

And now that I’ve literally seen the sweat drippin’ all over their bodies … I don’t think I need to see anything else this year. Kidding, there’s a lot of other movies I’m excited for this year. Like Magazine Dreams … which of course stars our fave Jonathan again.

But if the half naked dancers in “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” excited you … brace yourselves.

“Creed 3” Full Review

creed 3 review

While Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut may not possess the sexiest storyline of the year …

Considering it features two friends who grew up together in a foster home under terrible conditions who both make a bad decision of their own one night that leaves one of them running for their very life and the other flying pass GO and going straight to jail. (Do not collect $200.) It does feature two of the sexiest Black actors in the game right now.

And I mean … what more can you ask for?! That’s about as good as it gets! Right? Wrong.

Creed 3 is the story of most men from the hood forced to learn how to survive on their own …

With little to no guidance in the hard knock streets of a big city that doesn’t seem to care about its own. It’s the story of men who make one bad decision after another as a kid with no one else to depend on that ends up costing them their life in some way or the other. The story of men who grow up together but grow distant as one moves out, grows up, and becomes better … while the other remains stagnant and stuck in the past.


And honestly, it’s the story of men who could have resolved all their god damn childhood trauma with therapy and time, or at least by talking to their wives, but chose to ignore communicating with one another and literally threw hands instead. Men! Am I right?

(l-r.) Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed, Mila Kent as Amara and Tessa Thompson as Bianca in CREED III | Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

But despite it all … “Creed 3” was a pleasure to watch!

Because while it is a story of men who clearly grew up in survival mode, had to overcome their past, and learn how to forgive themselves (not just others) … it’s highly entertaining and ends not just with a physical win in the ring, but also with a win deep within.

Even though one of our favorites had to walk away from the battle field without the championship belt … emotionally and mentally, there were no losers here and I love how positively “Creed 3” ended.

And even while screaming positive mental health messages to our Black men (like the simple “walk away, even if they hit you first, because sometimes it’s just not worth it” — lesson that I’ve tried so hard to teach many of my own students) Michael B. Jordan’s first film as a director somehow manages to still be an invigorating and powerfully entertaining film.

I mean … I walked into the boxing ring angry and pissed off myself (due to something that happened right before the movie, that I’ll refrain from rehashing at the momento), and for the first 5 to 10 minutes I was convinced that I would be too angry to enjoy the movie, or my popcorn. But “Creed 3” was so dang good it changed my whole mood! Jonathan and Michael’s cute banter and brother like friendship, which was clear from the moment they were on screen together, forced me to be happy! I actually left the movie smiling and in a great mood.

And if we’re being honest … the production of this film was seriously top notch!

I don’t think I remember anything from the story other than being happy every time Michael and Jonathan were on screen! But those fighting scenes? I remember those!


They were insane!

And those sound effects? Incredible! Watching this film in IMAX is definitely the right move, if you can cough up the extra cash to do so!

Plus the cinematography is phenomenal and I’m still tryna figure out how they recorded someone literally knocking the sweat off of homeboy … so you could see all the water droplets go flying! Not to mention the creativity of those side by side shots?!

I mean give them folks 5 stars and a raise because they did that! I loved it!

(l-r.) Mila Kent stars as Amara, Tessa Thompson as Bianca and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in CREED III | Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some happy go lucky film.

Sure it’s entertaining, and exciting to watch, but it’s definitely violent! Brooklyn me had my hands balled in a fist the entire film because every time someone got hit hard I took it personally and wanted to hit back. But the film was still amazing, and even catered to us “just here for Jonathan Majors, don’t mind me” folks.

So yes — if you’re not familiar with “Creed 1” or 2 , it’s okay to watch “Creed 3” first.

They definitely walked us newbies all the way to the back of the bus and held our hands through it because I didn’t feel lost at all while watching 3.


I’m sure I’ll have more of a personal and emotional connection to the characters outside of “I wanna see Jonathan and Michael on screen” once I do watch 1 & 2 (because I do plan on watching the full trilogy, especially now that they’re streaming on HBO Max). But even without knowing who these characters really are, I had a really great time watching this. So you can totally watch it without seeing the first two.

Watching “Creed 3” first definitely made me wanna watch the first two even more though. So I’ll go back and watch them before I see this again.

Jonathan Majors stars as Damian Anderson in director Michael B. Jordan’s CREED III | Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Because I am definitely watching “Creed 3” again!

Although the music was used sparingly … or should I say sparringlyget it? Which felt a tad different than what I’m usually used to in films that I love. (Music tends to always drive my emotions, and usually is one of the biggest factors on whether I become emotionally connected to a story.) They did use the music in this very intentionally. Like for intro music when the boxers came out which felt, right. So I can’t really complain about it.

And you know I don’t have to talk about their acting because the boys have both proven time and time again (*cough* “Black Panther”, “Lovecraft Country” … just to name a few) that they’re both superb regardless of who you put them next to. I’d love to see them team up or even battle it out again in a Marvel film. However, I just really love them on screen together — whether they’re just being playful, or screaming at each other with full force. Doesn’t matter. Just put them together in another film, and I’m sold!

However, the women in the film — specifically, Mila Davis-Kent and Tessa Thompson really held their own, and kept those boys inline. And I really hope they do a Creed 4 so little Mila, who played Amara Creed, can keep the family boxing tradition of winning championships alive. With Disney Plus releasing their new “Echo” Marvel series soon, and Netflix casting a deaf female player in their social media competition reality series “The Circle“, ASL baddies are finally getting their shine and I want more films with badass women who sign!

So yeah … I look forward to what hopefully lies ahead.

And until then, I’m just gonna keep rewatching “Creed 3” because the front row of my IMAX theater did not do this film justice and I totally need a redo! Plus, who doesn’t like seeing foine men sweat? It’s too cold for the men to be running around on the basketball court right about now, so I might as well get my fix right here in theaters.



Continue Reading

In Theaters

There’s More To Love About “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” Than Just Jonathan Majors



ant-man and the wasp quantumania review

If you’re a “casual” Marvel fan, like moi, who doesn’t take the Marvel films too seriously, then chances are you probably weren’t even excited to see “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” for its plot in the first place! While the “Ant-Man” films are some of my faves, because ants doing things I never thought they could do, thoroughly entertains me, I wasn’t DYING to see the latest “Ant-Man” film because Paul Rudd is now an “Avenger”. (Can we really even call him that? Ugh. He feels more like one of the Avenger’s silly little sidekicks, who hangs around for the snacks and accidentally gets caught up in all the drama.)

Honestly, I was just down for the ride because we stan a Black king … I mean Kang … I’m here to see Kang, aka Jonathan Majors!

After watching him in the final episodes of the Loki series, I knew I wanted more Kang in my life! The villain portrayed by Mr. Majors, is just too intriguing for me to ignore. And even though I entered the IMAX theater, for Jonathan Majors … I left pleasantly surprised at how much more there was to love about the “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” movie!

That doesn’t mean the movie is perfect.

With a runtime of 2 hours and 3 minutes, that feels quite short compared to a few recent releases, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” has its pros and its cons. Like most Marvel films, if not all. But I definitely enjoyed watching it. Which I can’t say the same for the last few films I’ve seen *cough* Spider-Man *cough*.


Anywho, here’s everything this casual Marvel fan loved (and hated) about the latest installment of the “Ant-Man” franchise.

An “Ant-Man And The Wasp Quantumania” Review For Casual Marvel Fans

Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen “Ant-Man And The Wasp Quantumania”, this review will spoil a few things, so I can explain what was loved and hated. But it won’t spoil or include major plot lines! So you can totally read this. Unless you loathe all kinds of spoilers. In that case, bookmark this joint and wait until you’ve seen the movie.

ant-man and the wasp quantumania review
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. © 2022 MARVEL.

There’s a lot to love about “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”.

Like it’s humor, and the silly moments (and characters), that we’ll find throughout the Quantum realm.

Fom the moment “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” begins, it’s apparent that this one isn’t for the “Marvel bros” who like their films to start off kicking ass. No this one’s for us little guys, the ones who recently enjoyed “Thor: Love and Thunder”, and thought “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was a snooze fest. Sorry, not sorry.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is for those of us who like it when cute characters talk. Seriously! And if the name William Jackson Harper means anything to you … yes you my fellow “The Good Place” fans … then having him in this film immediately alerts you to what’s to come. (Now I don’t always think his humor is great, but it works in this.)

William Jackson Harper as Quaz in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Plus Scott’s arc as a character is kind of amusing.

On one end we have this guy who’s finally learning to get his shit together so he can be there for his daughter. But then on the other end — everyone just sees him as a thief still. Like no matter how much he tries to “get out” he’s somehow always sucked back in. And that’s sort of the reality of ex-cons right? Redemption is hard AF when you’re in and out of prison.

I also really loved the world building and the visual effects.

Although, some of it isn’t that great, and you can pretty much tell it’s fake. But it’s still a pretty freaking cool world to be in — the Quantum Realm, that is.

And the costumes are everything!

But I guess, that’s just the standard we’ve come to expect in a Marvel film, right?

ant-man and the wasp quantumania review
MIchelle Pfieffer as Janet van Dyne in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Hell, even M.O.D.O.K was cute to me.

Although I’ve seen folks say they hated it. I didn’t. And that really just boils down to the fact that, this film is supposed to be wacky, its what we’ve come to expect from Ant-Man and Thor. It’s what us “casual fans” have grown to love.

Yet, there’s one thing in particular about the “Ant-Man” franchise that continues to amaze me.

And that’s the way they continuously weave the ants in. It’s impressive to me. And if that just makes me easy to please, then so be it. However, by movie 2 I figured they’d drop the whole ant “act” and move on to something a little less ridiculous, but they didn’t.

Throughout every movie, they stick to their core message — that these ants can do just about anything — and I really love that.

I mean have y’all seen the “Fantastic Beasts” movies? Must I remind you that the magical creatures are literally in every title, yet are practically non existent in the films themselves? It’s insane. So I love that Marvel doesn’t lose sight of what makes Ant-Man … ant man.

Of course “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” isn’t perfect.

(L-R): Michael Douglas/Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, and Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

It’s giving … “where have I seen this before” …

Because the film does unfortunately feel like it borrows it’s greatness from a few other films that I love — including “Dune”, “Star Wars”, “Alice Through The Looking Glass”, “The Mitchells Vs The Machines”, and even Disney’s latest film “Strange World”. Which dulls its creativity a notch, since it feels like we’re just mushing multiple movies together at this point.

But that doesn’t mean it’s still not entertaining, because it is.

Also, what’s up with this villain? And the freaking ending!?

Am I supposed to hate him? Root for him? Because even after watching two hours of The Conquerer … I’m still not convinced I should hate Kang. Part of me is still like “ehhhh there’s gotta be something they’re not telling us about this guy, yes we know he destroyed worlds, but why did he do that? Can someone tell me WHY I’m supposed to hate him?”

ant-man and the wasp quantumania review
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Then the Black nerd in me kicks in and I just refuse to keep overlooking how Marvel movies continue to portray Black super-humans as less than. Like great … yes Kang’s played by Jonathan Majors, but now we get to see the big Black guy destroy things. Perfect. (They don’t already have us in enough of those roles huh mate.)

And then the ending which I won’t even mention because it’s so trash … is another blatant slap in the face for a Black character of this multitude. I know it’s supposed to be goofy and what not, but I’m a tad disappointed in that outcome.

I also really hate how Marvel portrays mothers.

Why do we keep creating this narrative that mothers are bad for wanting to be with their kids? Yet when men do whatever they want … it’s because he’s doing it for his kids!? WTF! Did we not already go through this in “WandaVision” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness“? Can we please stop. It’s so harmful! But ya know … when men write stories, I guess they write what they know or whatever.

(L-R): Kathryn Newton as Cassandra “Cassie” Lang and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Also, ya think we could have gotten a little bit more action, and a little less close up shots of Jonathan?

I’m not saying having sir in the movie is a bad thing, but I mean, come on, it’s an Ant-Man film! Focus here! They could have definitely given us a few more action scenes with my good friend Paul. I did not need to be distracted by Jonathan Majors full lips on the big screen! It’s almost as if they wanted us to be fully invested in this Kang character so we can forget all about the little guy. Even though they literally said to “look out for the little guy”!

Either way Peyton Reed did a great job directing this and I’d definitely be down to see Ant-Man 4.

But maybe they’ll just dive into Kang instead?

That’s where we’re headed so it’ll be nice if he gets his own film. Especially since, like others are saying, that this definitely feels like a Kang story more than an Ant-Man story. Similar to how the “Doctor Strange” sequel was all about the Scarlet Witch. So maybe since they can’t seem to write films for the actual main characters and let the supporting actors … support, maybe Doctor Strange 3 can be all about Kang again.

Who knows. Either way, I’m down! Where Jonathan goes, we follow.


I mean … Ant-Man, follow the ants!


Continue Reading

In Theaters

“Avatar: The Way Of Water” Left Me Angry, For A Multitude Of Reasons



As a Black woman. As a Black mother! As someone who loves both kids and movies. James Cameron’s new “Avatar: The Way of Water” film left me … for a lack of a better word in this review, distressed.

After putting it off for days, I finally convinced myself to attend an advanced screening of “Avatar: The Way of Water” last night.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see it. I was convinced I needed to see it, after watching the trailer in theaters. It looked beautiful. (And we all know I absolutely loved the Top Gun sequel, so I was all the more hopeful that this one would be just as great, if not better.)

But as my screening date approached, and my ‘end of year’ energy and patience for anything outside of laying in bed dwindled — I hesitated. Something inside told me it wasn’t worth the extra hassle.

Yet my “dreams” of becoming a “better film critic” wouldn’t allow me to pass up on another opportunity to see a film my peers seemed to rave about. Welp, that’s the last time I let y’all bully me into watching a movie.


“Avatar: The Way of Water” Review

About the sequel …

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of Pandora, or just Avatar’s sequel itself … the film is meant to be about the famous ‘Jake Sully’ (Sam Worthington) — who was once a paralyzed former marine who visited the ‘alien world’ and fell in love with a Na’vi woman (Zoe Saldaña).

Now a married Avatar, a human/Na’vi hybrid, and the leader of “his people”, Jake is also a father of four who must do whatever it takes to save his family. Even if that means leaving those that he loves behind.

But what we actually get, is a story of mixed messages, unnecessary violence, a touch of white colonialism, and a whole lot of nothing.

If this movie was written to purposely anger me and remind me why (most) white people disgust me … it succeeded.

avatar monkey boy
(L-R): Jack Champion as Spider and Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

While it may be beautiful to watch on screen, the story of “Avatar: The Way of Water” is basically a mashup of Disney’s “Pocahontas” and “Tarzan” on steroids. Especially since they insist on calling one of the kids ‘monkey boy’ and the people ‘indigenous’.

Outside of its impeccable world creation, a few heartfelt moments and it’s “Free Willy” similarities, the story doesn’t do much for me. And instead of ending on a positive note, it ends with a wonderful display of frail male ego, completely throwing aside its core theme. 

avatar free willy scene
A Tulkun in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

It’s triggers …

The film starts out, and continues throughout, with a shocking amount of violence towards kids, that is extremely triggering for anyone that identifies as a Black mother. And this is one of the many tells that this movie wasn’t made for “us”. But it’s this continuous display of white supremacy in a “cultural” village, that forces me to wonder why white men are so insistent on being seen as the almighty, and all powerful.

Who hurt you?! It surely wasn’t the Native Americans or Africans you enslaved, and now use in every story you tell to remind those of how “powerful” you are. It surely wasn’t the immigrants and children you left for dead at the border, because “they don’t belong here”. As if you yourself came to this land here by invitation.

avatar the way of water review
Quaritch (Stephen Lang) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

So excuse me if my trauma as a Black person, as a Black woman, and as a Black mother who was born right here in the good ol’ USA … is triggered when your story has purposely woven in the worst parts of my history, of our history, so nonchalantly.

Excuse me, if I can only see the Na’vi people as Native Americans in blue paint, who were forced out of their homes so you could take over, and disrespect their land, animals, and culture.

Excuse me, if I can only see the Na’vi children being pushed to the ground, as little Black girls and boys, who have guns pushed in their faces, to remind them that you think Black children are worthless and beneath you. Maybe police brutality wasn’t a thing when you sat down to write this script, forgive me … the pandemic wiped out two years, and now all time is frazzled.

avatar the way of water review
Tuk (Trinity Bliss) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Finally when the blatant triggers stop angering you for a moment, and we’re given a lovable heartwarming scene of child innocence, as they learn a new culture, make new friends and love interests, in a land that feels unlike their own, we’re slapped on the other cheek with cowardly displays of the frail male ego.

Not only is Jake Sully portrayed as a father who is unable to protect his family, or community. They add insult to injury by making him a coward as well. And considering he’s now the leader of the Na’vi Forest villagers, people who share one too many similarities with Native Americans for us to see them as ‘white’, this storytelling leaves me completely disgusted.

avatar sully family
(L-R): Tsireya (Bailey Bass), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Of course you would create a story about a fake culture, fake community, and then make them the less-thans in their own world! Why would you create a story about a culture of your own that shows others how truly wonderful being different can be?

Time after time again, we get stories about women who are stronger than their male counterparts, braver, and wiser — disguised as stories that are meant to uplift women, and show them that they too can be strong. But as a Black woman, I’m all too familiar with the fact that I can be strong. Where are the stories of men who protect us, and listen to us?

Why does it take death, for men to be capable of hearing anything other than their own voices? Why do men still write narratives, where they put women through the worst, and then ask her to be his all, while she’s in pain and mourning, because he “needs” her? Why can’t you envision a world where you’re not monsters?! Is that too much to ask for?

na'vi people in avatar
(L-R): Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

And when that’s all said and done, after the violence towards children, the cowardly non-courageous father, and shell of a man who “leaves to protect”, instead of staying to fight for what’s rightfully theirs. Immediately throwing me back to the helpless father in “Till” who stood by and watched Emmett get taken, to “protect his family”. As if this isn’t emotionally exhausting enough, here comes the poachers and the disrespect for animals. And while I was excited to see them use sign language underwater, it’s all a bit too much.

How many times do white people need to “borrow” from other cultures to “create their own”, instead of just learning and respecting others? How many times will they retell the stories of our past that haunt so many of us still to this very day, for “entertainment”?

The stories described above are woven into “Avatar: The Way of Water” and are everything I hate about this movie.

What I wanted instead …

Had they given us just a story about the Metkayina village, its people, and how hard it was for the Na’vi to adapt, due to nature taking its course and removing them from their home, with the complexities of parenthood, I would have given this 5 stars easily.

There’s a lot to love about Pandora! Its world creation is seriously one of the best, and easily one of the most believable sci fi flicks of our time. Plus, its sea creators are absolutely adorable. It’s only a shame that its story doesn’t match up. I really and truly had hoped that this movie would make me feel the way the Avatar Flight of Passage ride at Walt Disney World did.

Had it not been for its stunning cinematography, “Avatar: The Way of Water” would be an easy cast away, just like this year’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore“. Which I almost forgot about.

avatar the way of water review
(L-R): Ronal (Kate Winslet), Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), and the Metkayina clan in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Should you still watch “Avatar: The Way of Water” in theaters?

So if you’re wondering if you should bother seeing the newest Avatar film in theaters, I’d wait and watch it on your big screen at home … for free, when it’s finally streaming. That way if you’re as angered as I was, you can pause and grab popcorn, or discard it altogether, and watch something else — like “The Woman King“, “Everything Everywhere All At Once, RRR” or even “Turning Red” for what may be your millionth watch by now. Hell even “The Bad Guys” was a shocker this year.

If you’re wondering if you should let your kids watch this, please be alarmed that its PG-13 rating, is definitely for older kids. Normally my 10 year old can get away with watching PG 13 films, since most are on the milder side, but this one does have a ton of potty mouth kids who cuss too damn much, and as I said before, there’s definitely a lot of violence. Similar to the amount of violence in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” I suppose?

If you already bought your tickets to see it in theaters — may the force be with you. I hope you enjoy it despite me announcing, what I feel like, are its flaws, because it is a good movie outside my rage. It’s just not a GREAT movie, like I was led to believe, and for the reasons above.

And if you’re planning to see this in 3D, and you wear thick, big glasses like moi — good luck, because I struggled. And a film should not be so damn difficult to watch, when you have four eyes to begin with. Whew lawd. Glasses folks — just watch it in IMAX, if available, or standard instead. I spent half the movie pushing the 3D glasses upward, up off the bridge of my nose so I could breathe properly. It was a big distraction.

avatar the way of water review
(L-R): Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) and a Tulkun in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

One last thing …

That end credits song wasn’t it. The Weekend wasn’t needed there, just like Jake’s whitewashed dreads needed a re-twist, bad. But alas, when one has to choose between family, their pride, and common sense, one doesn’t have much room left to think about their hairstyles on camera. Either way, they both could have easily been removed from this film, and no one would bat an ungrateful eye.


Continue Reading



Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!