It’s no exaggeration to say that one of the best names in storytelling today is Laika! I’ve said it before, shouted it to the heavens, and will do so continuously and vigorously until the rest of the world sees it too. Which is why I couldn’t be more excited for their next release, Wildwood!
“PART ONE?!” is essentially what social media exclaimed into the ether when the official Twitter page for Into the Spider-Verse (which has since changed its username and banner) dropped a surprise clip for the upcoming sequel film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The animation opens with the same ending sequence from the 2018 Oscar-winning masterpiece, with an older looking Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) catching up after some time apart.
Today, Deadlinebroke the exclusive news that Marvel is set to choose Mogul Mowgli director Bassam Tariq to direct the new ‘Blade’ film starring Mahershala Ali. Sources close to Deadline say that while deal hasn’t been finalized, it does come at the end of a fairly long and considerate search for the film’s director. When the deal is officially inked, Tariq will become Marvel’s sixth director of color, rounding out the list of his contemporaries that include Ryan Coogler, Chloé Zhao, and Taika Waititi.
In the latest episode of The Middle Geeks, we review Hulu’s Ramy Season 2, dropping on Hulu May 29! We were able to watch the season in full, and give a non-spoiler review followed by a full-length SPOILER review. We mark the timings for these discussions below, so be sure to watch the season first if you don’t want spoilers! How did this season of Ramy improve from Season 1? Why was Mahershala Ali’s character such a standout? How were the characters we were introduced to develop further this season, and how surprising were their stories? How did Ramy Youssef seek to make a messy and irreverent story about this Egyptian-American Muslim family, and how well do he and the show team do that? We also have a difficult discussion about the new show Stargirl and how specifically it relates to the lack of MENA and women of color headlined DCTV shows, give our recommendations, and much more!
Ramy Season 2 discussion beings at 15:48, with a full SPOILERS discussion 27:39-1:34:03.
Music credit: Music Laounga 79 by El Masreyen, the album “Horreia,” used as opening music for Ramy
After a grueling week in San Diego, Dominic and Keith return to take stock of all of the bombshells that dropped during Marvel Studios’ lauded Hall H presentation. Plus, Keith speaks to A Wave Blue World VP of Sales and Marketing Lisa Wu and illustrator Steenz — who’s working on an upcoming anthology for AWBW this fall — live at the annual NOC Comic-Con meetup.
I’ll get this out of the way right now — Alita: Battle Angel is not necessarily bad, per se. However, it is something of a disappointment and/or wasted opportunity given that the combined talents of Robert Rodriguez (The El Mariachi Trilogy, Sin City, From Dusk Til Dawn) and James Cameron (Terminator, Titanic, Avatar) ought to yield something phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of both, believing Rodriguez to be a master in the domain of stylish genre action, and Cameron to be a master of groundbreaking science-fiction. Thus, when the most I can say about it is that it’s “not bad” it should give you a good idea of how let down I was by a movie that had so much potential.
Earlier this week, 20th Century Fox released a new trailer for Alita: Battle Angel! From visionary filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez, the film stars Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson.
This weekend has been all about trailers! After years of anticipation, Sony Pictures is finally giving us a Miles Morales Spider-Man on the big screen! After the jump, check out the just released trailer for the animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!
This has been an amazing ten months for Black cinematic culture. We had Beyoncé’s Lemonade in April 2016. Donald Glover’s Atlanta and Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar both premiered on September 6, 2016. Luke Cage’s entire season broke the Internet on September 30. Barry Jenkins’s Best Picture Oscar winningMoonlight dropped October 2016. So did Issa Rae’s Insecure. And then the wicked mind of Jordan Peele unleashed Get Out, this past weekend. There were other films, television shows, videos and the like, but damn. Look at this trajectory. It would be so easy to label this a Black Cinematic Renaissance, but I don’t think I want to be that optimistic.
In a scene in Hidden Figures that is all too familiar for Black women viewers, or really anyone from a historically marginalized group, Taraji P. Henson’s character Katherine Johnson rushes to enter the NASA control room where she has just handed off crucial calculations for astronaut John Glenn’s safe return from orbit, and has the door summarily slammed in her face. The camera lingers on Henson’s profile, as she grapples yet again with the devastating knowledge that although she may be a useful “computer” for spitting out numbers that may make missions successful and even save lives, she is still not seen as fully human in the eyes of her peers and superiors. Indeed, in Henson’s capable hands, viewers ourselves experience the physical and emotional pain of being barred from entering the halls of power for absurd reasons beyond one’s control — in this case, race and gender.
The buzz right now is for a film named Moonlight. The film, the second for writer-director Barry Jenkins, tells a haunting tale of a boy named Chiron whose battle throughout life is coming to terms with his identity as a gay black man. That identity is complicated by merciless taunts at school and a home life surrounded by drugs and hard drug dealers.
The film looks like it’ll become one of the most important films of the latter half of 2016 and into 2017, and rightfully so. When popular culture thinks of black men, they often think of them as how they are presented in Moonlight; as gangbangers and drug dealers. But in Moonlight, even those characters — including the main character, who later becomes a drug dealer himself in Atlanta because that’s all he’s known and that’s probably how he feels he can best hide himself and fit in — have a tenderness and humanity that is often denied them by society and, consequently, by other forms of media.