drunk, arrogant, and thankf…oh fuck it…

oh arrogant bastard…help me find a way to summarize the events of the previous week…

so monday night i sat down to watch Talk to Me…the 2007 movie about the life of Mr. Petey Greene…as directed by Kasi Lemmons…this movie sat next to the dvd player for a month…why…because while i dig anything Don Cheadle steps in front of the camera for…and Ms. Lemmons previous work…especially Eve’s Bayou…struck me as the work of a director with a strong voice…if needing to grow over time…but this one fairly shouts…VANITY BIOPIC…which rarely works out…for the audience…so when i sat down to watch the movie…i had a book in my lap…just in case…

here’s what i thought worked about this movie…the performances…Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor play the difficult friendship between their two characters with authenticity…Petey Greene, ex-con, ex-drug dealer, had a PHD from the streets…Dewey Hughes, at least this movie’s version of him, is cut from the same cloth as Sidney Poitier’s…New Negro…you don’t see this class tension among black folk played out very often in a piece of mainstream entertainment…and it rings true here because the two leads hit all the right notes without playing to stereotype…not too much anyway…the poolhall scenes are the heart of their relationship…

there are some excellent moments from director Lemmons as well…especially a recreation of a Tonight Show appearence by Greene…and some deft work around a James Brown concert after the MLK assassination…

really though, that’s all i can recommend about this movie…Taraji Henson is wasted here on a cardboard thin character…Lemmons direction is flat most of the way…too often relying on montage…and the actors are the only thing that keep some of the dialog from being laughable…i won’t even mention the inaccuracies…others have done a good job already

i ended up not reading that book in my lap…i didn’t get carried away by this movie either…mostly, it made me think about my friend shoun…well…i should say he’s someone i try to be a friend to…i can’t say he’s done too much to reciprocate…and it was weird that he contacted me that night…his health is not good…which is a shame because he’s a talented young black man…i’d like to see him become an old black man…and what he can do with his talent during that time…maybe he’ll try to take care of himself…

meanwhile, life goes on…and on of the perks of being a volunteer for the Denver International Film Festival…is the occasional free screening…this year it was Surveillance from director Jennifer Lynch…yes, David Lynch’s daughter…i walked in knowing nothing about this movie…i didn’t know until the credits who the director was…and what a craptastic way to spend an hour and a half…nihilistic and condescending towards rural people…especially cops…i nearly walked out…instead, i waited and hoped for this movie to redeem itself…it didn’t…

there are movies that are guilty pleasures…cheap tawdry rhinestones that aspire to nothing more than entertainment…and they succeed…

and there are films that are difficult to watch…but reward you for your time and effort…

but a movie like Surveillance is just toxic waste…

okay…that’s enough outta me…sincerely, your glorious arrogant bastard…

happy thanksgiving…

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