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Judas and the Black Messiah | Review

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The Oscars are due to take place in April and even though they’re taking place a little later this year, people are still already making their predictions for what will win and get nominated for various awards. Judas and the Black Messiah is a film that’s been on a lot of people’s lists for quite a few months and now the film is finally with us. But is it worthy of winning any awards at the Oscars in a few months’ time? Absolutely! Read on to find out why.

Judas and the Black Messiah tells a story that despite being set in the late 1960s, manages to be incredibly timely in today’s world. The film sees FBI informant William O’Neal, played by LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You, Get Out, Knives Out), as he infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party to keep an eye on their leader, Chairman Fred Hampton played by Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther, Widows). Kaluuya and Stanfield both give absolute mesmerising performances in their best roles to date and the two of them are both the stand outs of the film. Judas and the Black Messiah also stars Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), Dominique Fishback (Project Power), Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) and Martin Sheen (The West Wing).

When we first meet Stanfield’s William O’Neil, we see him stealing cars by pretending to be an FBI agent and then we see his journey to becoming an FBI informant and to infiltrating the Black Panthers. And the film centres mainly around O’Neil, as the ‘Judas’ referred to in the title. However, that’s one of my biggest problems with the film. Kaluuya and his character Fred Hampton seem much more interesting than William O’Neil and the film probably would have been a bit better if instead of O’Neil being the main character, they pushed him into the supporting role and focussed more on Fred Hampton, the ‘Black Messiah’. In terms of awards categories, Kaluuya is being pushed for supporting actor and Stanfield for lead and this definitely makes sense given their respective roles in the film, it just would have been a better film if the film made Fred Hampton the lead character, side-lining O’Neil just a little bit. Even though O’Neil is a really good character, Hampton just seems much more charismatic and a better character to centre the film around.

Regardless of which character was more compelling and which the film should have focussed on, both Kaluuya and Stanfield are electric and give outstanding performances. It’s one of those films that’s worth watching just for the talent on display. The two extraordinary acting performances aren’t the only talent on show here as JATBM is director Shaka King’s second feature film and the skill that King has behind the camera is also very evident.

Judas and the Black Messiah is a really good film with two powerhouse performances that’s come along at just the right time and is sure to hit big at this year’s awards season

★★★★☆

Judas and the Black Messiah premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and will be in cinemas in the US and on HBO MAX from February 12. The film will be released internationally soon.

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The Batman | Official Trailer 2 – DC Fandome

The Batman is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is being produced by DC Films and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and is a reboot of the Batman film franchise. The film is directed by Matt Reeves, who wrote the screenplay with Mattson Tomlin.



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Genre:

Action, Crime, Drama

Release Date:

March 4, 2022

Director:

Matt Reeves

Cast:

Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright

Plot Summary:

The Batman is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is being produced by DC Films and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and is a reboot of the Batman film franchise. The film is directed by Matt Reeves, who wrote the screenplay with Mattson Tomlin.

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Drama

Mothers of the Revolution – They’ve Challenged World Leaders, Altered The Course Of History And Truly Inspired Millions

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Mothers of the Revolution tells the story of one of the longest protests in history. Between 1981 and 2000, thousands of women from around the world came together at Greenham Common to take a rightful stand against nuclear proliferation. This remarkable group of fearless women were shunned by the press and the media. Director Briar March reveals the women as the cold war heroes they truly were, she tells the story of these women through their eyes and though reenactments as they persisted arrests, condemnation and scorn. 



In the early 1980s, a young mother in Wales was alarmed like many about the UK government’s Campaign called “Protect And Survive”, which advised people to use the four minutes between the warning and a nuclear strike to stack suitcases full of objects like books to absorb the radiation. The Pressure and rising threat to their own families’ safety called for action and thus the Women for Life on Earth group was born.

From the conversation around the kitchen table in Wales, Karmen Thomas took action. She was instrumental in organising the initial protest which on the 5th of September 1981 these women marched from Wales too Berkshire to protest over the nuclear weapons being kept at RAF Greenham Common. Over 120 miles they become a living protest against the British Governments decision. The protest surly gathered momentum as when the reached Greenham Common permanent camps were set up. 

Many women joined the camp such as Chris Drake, a single mother and millworker who truly felt like she belonged and felt like she was born again. Young mothers were not a group who traditionally had their voices heard at the time and the press moved on to other issues they deemed more important, So the women organised Embrace The Base. A day in which the camp and women across the country who travelled up joined hands to form a human chain around the entire military base. 

This documentary is a celebration of Greenham such as its spirit and the effects, which were all worth celebrating. However the film also shows the difficult aspects such as the brutal evictions and assaults by the police force and soldiers. It truly was a Cold War drama/thriller with the tension of a soviet spy novel. It’s also the story of love especially for family and children , and of the commitment these women made to a higher cause. 



They’ve challenged world leaders, altered the course of history and truly inspired millions, it’s an emotional and empowering documentary. 

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Drama

Brother’s Keeper – A Strong Film About Incompetent Adults Failing These Vulnerable Kids

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Yusuf (Samet Yıldız) and his best friend Memo (Nurullah Alaca) are pupils at a boarding school for Kurdish boys, secluded in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. Both live in the same dorm as it’s a strict and a very repetitive environment, however when Memo falls mysteriously ill, Yusuf is forced to struggle through the bureaucratic obstacles put up by the school’s repressive authorities to try to help his friend. But by the time the adults in charge finally listen and understand the seriousness of Memo’s condition and desperately try to get him to a hospital, the school has been buried under a sudden heavy snowfall. despite the cold and with no way out, they’re desperate tp reach for help. Teachers and pupils engage in a blame game, where grudges, feelings of guilt and hidden secrets emerge. 



Brother’s keeper is truly a study about the power of social realism which is used as a persuasive tool but it’s also about the teacher’s incompetence, responsibility and guilt. It’s a character driven story that has investigative elements to it. 

The Pupils are reminded on how lucky they are to be there, yet it feels more like a relentless institution that’s run like a juvenile detention centre rather then a proper educational school. 

The film remains on the smaller scale and made to feel intimate. The sense of isolation creates this frosty atmosphere where the cold reflects the Icy tension between staff and pupils, the Institute is rather dull and callous but the film does have one running gag where staff members repeatedly slip on the icy floor as each teacher and headmaster enter the sickroom. 

Overall this is a really strong film about incompetent adults failing these vulnerable kids, which made the situation truly bleak. It has some great performances and foreshadows the ending which was so deep that it’ll linger.

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