The Great Wall Review: Is It Worth The Watch?

Originally posted at Black Girl Nerds

All that is lacking in substance is made up for with gorgeous imagery in a Zhang Yimou’s new and pointless film, The Great Wall. Whomever his set people are, give them all the awards because they bring their A-game when it comes to costume and set design. But I digress.

I’m not sure what I expected, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the Silk Road version of Edge of Tomorrow featuring giant Komodo Dragons. Shouldn’t a larger budget allow more time to work on perfecting the CGI? How many Adobe-editing programs did they use to get these monsters to look as fake and silly as they do? Zhang Yimou should stick to martial arts dramas because he is out of his element with The Great Wall.

Continue reading The Great Wall Review: Is It Worth The Watch?”

Doctor Strange: Another Rich, White Asshole Courtesy of Marvel

Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister), tells the story of Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a gifted neurosurgeon who is wrapped up in his own vanity. After karma executes Stephen’s fate he suffers irreversible damage to his hands, destroying his valued medical career. His desperate search for physical healing takes him to the Far East to a place called Kamar-Taj. There he meets the “Ancient One,” (Tilda Swinton) a mystical witch with undisputed power, and Baron Mordor (Chewitel Ejiofor) one of the chief masters of the Kamar-Taj temple. Strange believes the Ancient One is the key to healing his hands and returning back to the medical field. Little does he know he is smack in the middle of a war between good and evil. His visit to Kamar-Taj will be a turning point for Stephen Strange. He chooses to learn the ways of the arts but isn’t sure if this magical war is a good fit for him.

Continue reading Doctor Strange: Another Rich, White Asshole Courtesy of Marvel”

Birth of a Nation is Poorly Done Slavery Pain-Porn

Nate Parker stars in the Nat Turner biopic film, Birth of a Nation. While most true story adaptations include a few embellishments, don’t go into this expecting anything remotely accurate. After having done some research, very little of what is presented in this film can be found as historical fact. What Parker has created is a sloppy, amateurish, slavery pain-porn film, rife with Christianity overkill. It’s a mockumentary of Nat Turner’s legacy and tries to trick its audience into thinking this is an actual part of history.

Continue reading Birth of a Nation is Poorly Done Slavery Pain-Porn”

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: Another Tim Burton Borefest

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is the YA/action adventure film directed by the master of macabre, Tim Burton. This is the live-action adaptation of the book by author Ransom Riggs. Rumor has it that the books have potential and are engaging. That’s too bad because the movie isn’t any of those things. This painfully slow adaptation isn’t a return to form for Burton. It’s the same old hokey filmmaking, but time actress Eva Green is the victim! He really wants to show the audience that he still has that Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks charm. He wants you to know that his version of what is weird is acceptable. In a time where weirdness, geekiness, is the new norm, his message, and Miss Peregrine seem 10-years too late.

Continue reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: Another Tim Burton Borefest”

Valerie’s Complexium: Navigating Through Nerd Spaces

Originally posted at Black Girl Nerds

Welcome to my column. I thank Jamie Broadnax and the BGN family for giving me a platform to talk about the adventures I experience being a journalist. Let me remind everyone that just because I have been given this platform, my thoughts are my own. And don’t necessarily reflect the thoughts of those at BGN.

Who am I?

Continue reading “Valerie’s Complexium: Navigating Through Nerd Spaces”

Admit it: Diversity Saved Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad director and writer David Ayer has written a screenplay that is flat and not very exciting. The editing is all over the place and most of the characters are boring. This may not be all Ayer’s fault. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers gave him only six weeks to write whatever he could and went straight to shooting. Why did the studio let this happen?!

I will give Ayer props for making the cast unique in that it’s one of the few (maybe the only) comic book film with such a diverse group of actors in major roles.

Continue reading “Admit it: Diversity Saved Suicide Squad

X-Men Apocalypse: Fox Wins But People of Color Lose

Don’t expect this movie to rely heavily on the source material. Director Bryan Singer presents a film that’s a hodge-podge of various stories made up by people who know nothing about the X-Men. Aside from Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Apocalypse (Oscar Issac, doing well with whatever the hell he is given) being mildly entertaining, they can’t save the film from imploding. Everyone else is either used as filler or bores you to death with their on-screen presence. Choppy action scenes are put in place to mask the uninteresting, underdeveloped characters, cheesy dialogue, Playstation 2-quality special effects, and makeup that looks like it was bought from the bargain bin at Chapel Hill Beauty Supply. The worst part is the newcomers don’t get their chance to shine like the trailer would have you believe. Particularly the characters of color.

Continue reading X-Men Apocalypse: Fox Wins But People of Color Lose”

Battle Angel Alita Lead Role Once Again Devoid of Asian American Prospects

In 2015, Nerdist announced that the live-action adaptation of the famed Japanese anime had been revived by directors James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez. Battle Angel Alita, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi action manga/anime written by Yukito Kishiro, is set in the 26th century and follows the female cyborg Alita, as she trains to become the world’s most deadly assassin. The latest report from the Robert Rodriquez/Jame Cameron production reveals that the filmmakers have their top three actresses for the lead role: Maika Monroe, Zendaya (who is the front runner), and Rosa Salazar. In other words: more bad news for Asian American actresses.

Continue reading Battle Angel Alita Lead Role Once Again Devoid of Asian American Prospects”

10 Black Cosplayers You Should be Following on Social Media!

Originally posted on The Anime Complexium

If you were to google “cosplay” or “cosplayer,” you will see a lot of great costumes and beautiful cosplayers, but maybe one or two that are Black. In addition, you will have a hard time finding a list featuring black cosplayers as well. Not saying these lists aren’t out there (it’s possible I missed something on the search), but I searched through pages and pages of the search term and came up fairly empty.

Before you even think about this being some type of division because the word “Black” is in the title, let me stop you right there. Cosplay isn’t about race, it’s about being yourself and having fun. On this very site I have interview all types of cosplayers. Unfortunately, media dictates what is “popular” or aesthetically acceptable. So let go of any pre-conceived notions that this is about division, it is not. This is about celebration. This isn’t a list of who is at the top or the best. This is about highlighting some of the great artists that have been making waves in the cosplay community. Trust, this is the first of many lists highlighting cosplayers of color.

Continue reading “10 Black Cosplayers You Should be Following on Social Media!”

Sex Kills: Urbance Pilot Available For Public Viewing

Originally posted at The Anime Complexium

Urbance is a dystopian animated series — complete with sex, drugs, and violence — against a gritty environment. This show has some stunning animation, coupled with its Japanese anime influences and trip-hop music, and comes together to create one trippy ride during the eight-minute Urbance pilot. Written and directed by Joel Dos Reis Viegas and Sebastian Larroude, with Studio Ghibli animator Hiroshi Shimizu, these three create a project that is all-inclusive.

Continue reading “Sex Kills: Urbance Pilot Available For Public Viewing”