Film Review: Love Beats Rhymes

I was so jazzed for this movie to come out. I am an Azealia Banks fan; always have been and probably always will be. Is she a stereotypical #yourproblematicfav ? Yeah, probs…but honestly, her rawness as a person is what I find so endearing. And also, while I’m here defending the great AB, there are so many other potentially toxic celebrities out there who continue to be supported because of their “undeniable talent,” so why can’t this be her too? Especially since, if you follow any of her social media ranting you can actually see she is growing as a human being, like the rest of us. Which is frankly, refreshing and inspiring.

*Deep breath* …so back to Love Beats Rhymes. This movie is so cutesy. Which is my primary gripe. It is so corny 90’s–and some moments it feels cute and warm and familiar and the next minute I’m trying not to vomit in my mouth. The plot isn’t even that terrible (ala 10 Things I Hate About You; I’m corny but that’s what you came for), the acting is pretty good for most of the major characters, but the script! is so! yuck! Like, I’m glad we finally get to see Azealia Banks come into the movie world but I’m sad that now I have to couch my applause for her acting talent in the disclaimer about how the movie itself is kinda meh. I really, really hope this opens the door for her to do some more serious acting work.

(((And super tangentially, if we’re gonna spend any time talking about mini-Drake…can we talk about a real life Azealia Banks x Drake couple? How cute it could be? *hums Mariah’s “Make It Happen”*)))

I think what I loved most about the film was how it shows how there are so many different textures to rap/spoken word/poetry. How as an art form it can be used not only for bravado and anger, but also pain, happiness, romance, or uncertainty. The rap vs. poetry thread was a little heavy handed, but it ultimately does a good job of explaining about how each strengthens the other.

Summary: I’m glad I watched it once. I would watch it again if a friend hadn’t seen it. I would not watch it again by myself.

Film: 2.5/5

Black Girl Magic: We go to 11.

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Film Review: Love Beats Rhymes

Film Review: A Wrinkle In Time

I have been waiting for this movie since I was 8 years old. I didn’t even care that the movie theatre was full of parents and kiddos. I don’t even care that I didn’t get *this* when I was their age. I am truly, deeply happy that it even exists.

First and foremost, this novel is great because it has a little girl saving the FRIGGIN universe. But also can we give a round of applause for Madeleine L’Engle teaching children how a gotdamn tesseract works in the form of a book?!? A few years ago, I was watching a 3-d image transform shape and without reading any captions I said “that’s a tesseract.” And it’s not because I’m some geometry genius, it’s because many, many moons ago I read a book that so thoroughly described the physics concept that I knew what I was looking at. That just *blows my mind*. Imagine if every children’s novel was not just about some emotional journey of being a 13 year old, but actually taught *things* *real things*?!

Add to that…a mixed family, an adopted child, Oprah!, Mindy! *drool* But as a mixed person, the fact that the heroine of the story was a little mixed girl and not an ambiguously-ethnic, white-passing mixed girl…it was just thrilling. It was literally my childhood dreams imagined. This book (in my memory) is pretty non-racially written, so it could have been cast any which-way i.e. it could have been a bunch of white folks, but it *wasn’t*!! And Oprah is the fairy godmother of them all!!! *sigh* I’ll say it with everyone else because it seems Hollywood might finally be listening a smidge, REPRESENTATION MATTERS. My niece is about 13 and she and this girl look remarkably similar & you have no idea how much my heart is overflowing with joy that she gets to see a movie–with a girl that looks just like her–having complex feelings and being brave–using her science and math smarts–to save the WORLD!!!

PLUS! Casting diversity aside, the movie was actually pretty well done. They gutted the hell out of the science parts in the book. But frankly, I think it would have been too much for a movie medium. The film was already so full addressing the emotional aspects of the plot, that I think it would have just been too crazy trying to add in the science parts. I felt very similar when they adapted The Time Traveler’s Wife to the big screen. They basically chucked the last half of the book, but I couldn’t even be mad because if they had faithfully followed the book to the end the movie would have been boring as shit. To me, this is a sign of a successful adaptation. If movie makers can cut out half of a book and still have satisfied fans, I’d say that’s a job well done.

It was beautifully shot. The acting was fantastic. The imagined worlds were stellar. Overall, bravo.

Film: 4/5

Black Girl Magic: We go to 11.

 

Film Review: A Wrinkle In Time