Marshall *spoiler alert*

image
Last Thursday I went to see the movie Marshall. It’s a movie celebrating the first black Supreme Court Justice , Thurgood Marshall. I was thinking this would be a biopic detailing his life from childhood, rise to fame and the struggles he faced. Boy was I wrong!

The movie was actually about a case that Marshall (played by Chadwick Boseman) took on as part of the NAACP. There was a man named Joseph Spell( Sterling K. Brown) who was being accused of the rape and the attempted murder of a white woman. The narrative was that Spell raped her in her home multiple times while her husband was away. He then took her to a bridge and threw her into a reservoir.

The incident happened in the northern town of Greenwich, Connecticut. Marshall traveled from New York City, the headquarters of the NAACP to this little town because he believed Spell was innocent. When he made it to the small town he realized he would need some help, and that help would come from a Jewish insurance attorney.

Samuel Friedman( Josh Gad) was hired by the Bridgeport NAACP. Like most white people in the area, he thought Spell was guilty. The area was certainly not known for hospitality to black people. Friedman tried to get out of the case three different times but something in his character caused him to help Marshall and he became co-counsel. It was a good thing they were both on the case because getting past Loren Willis( Dan Stevens) an unreconstructed bigot would be close to impossible. It didn’t help that there were two attorneys; a black man and a Jew.

The other obstacle was that the victim Eleanor Strubing ( Kate Hudson) came from old money. She was the daughter of an investment banker. Her husband John Strubing Jr( Jeremy Bobb) an ambulance driver in WWI he also played for The Tigers football team. After being married for a while Strubing became a business man and he and his wife lived a charmed life. This lifestyle is how Spell came into their lives; he was their chauffeur.

Marshall and Friedman never really believed Eleanor’s story. She claimed she was raped four different times. She was kidnapped from her home, thrown off a bridge and then hit with rocks. At trial they quickly pounced on the prosecution’s case. Why would anyone rape a woman in her home when her husband could have come home at any moment? Why leave the house and drop her off of a bridge on the side where she could swim to shore? Why not drop her where the jagged rocks were located? And the story about the rocks was just ridiculous, not to mention there were no rocks on that bridge; only pebbles.

It came out at trial that her story was a complete farce. But she wasn’t the only one who lied. Spell said he never touched her but it was proven in court that the pair had consensual sex. Eleanor’s husband was always away on business and when he was home he often abused his wife. The night that Joseph came into her room to ask for money she had been drinking and invited him into her bed. They shared a night of passion but soon Mrs. Strubing became nervous.

The alcohol and paranoia got to her. She begged Spell to drive her away from the house. Then as they drove she asked him to pull over. He assured her that everything was fine and they wouldn’t get caught. In complete hysterics she screamed out rape. She jumped from the bridge into the Kensico Reservoir. It was revealed in court that she was a trained swimmer. She swam to shore, flagged a truck driver and started this whole tragedy with her cries of rape.

Thurgood Marshall and Friedman taking this case was like taking on the stories that black men are so scary and threatening, hell bent on raping poor white women. This made me think of how often that happens in today’s court systems. Our men are seen as brutal and menacing when in fact, there are rapists and murderers of all races.

Marshall and Friedman’s hard work was successful in gaining Spell an acquittal. The result catapulted the NAACP to start a chapter in Greenwich. Thurgood Marshall was in Oklahoma helping another client when the jury came back. He didn’t even have time to celebrate due to his full schedule.

For those of you who don’t know much about Thurgood Marshall. He was instrumental in The Brown vs The Board of Education desegregation case. He was the first black Supreme Court Justice from 1967-1991. And was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Spingarn Medal.

It was great seeing Chadwick Boseman in this role. He is fast becoming the go-to actor for biopics. A surprise was Josh Gad in the role of attorney Friedman. I am familiar with him in many comedic roles but he played this serious character and exceeded my expectations. He was excellent in this role and has me excited to see him in more dramatic pieces. Marshall is a movie I look forward to buying. I give it 4 stars.

Advertisements

Girls Trip Review  * Spoiler Alert*

High school was one of best times of my life. I didn’t know it then; but now that I must adult on a regular I am positive it was LIT( to steal a word from my daughter). The highlight of that time was of course friends, your homies, your clique, your crew. For me it was Amanda, Chenelle and Dalisha and on the weekends Bianca, and DeAnna. Girls Trip will have you reminiscing on those times when you and your girls thought you were the ‘ish.

The movie begins by showing the years that have passed since the girls have spent time together. As is life they became busy with work, children, husbands, life in general. Spending time with their girls becomes an afterthought. The “Flossy Posse” consists of Dina( Tiffany Haddish) the wild child who seems to get fired from her job weekly and nonchalantly says, “ See you Tuesday.” Sasha( Queen Latifah) the broke former journalist now gossip blogger. Lisa ( Jada Pinkett Smith) the responsible divorced mother of two and Ryan( Regina Hall) the happily married author, and mogul who has it all….or that’s the way it seems.

The four set off for EssenceFest in New Orleans where they let lose. Ryan is there as the keynote speaker for the event but the girls make sure she has some fun. From the start the girls get into trouble with Dina getting them kicked out of the hotel. Then it’s revealed that Ryan’s husband Stuart(Luke Cage’s Mike Colter) is cheating and the girls seek revenge. Well mostly Dina ( I would have done the same btw). The other girls are angry but take a more rational approach. Ryan acts as if everything is fine to save face.

The male heart throb and my husband on the side Kofi Siriboe played Lisa’s crush. As much as she tried to keep her cool she ended up between the sheets with him. Another handsome actor who is aging gracefully is Larenz Tate who played former classmate Julian. The on camera chemistry between Julian and Ryan was hot and steamy and all they did was look into each other’s eyes. Yet there was still the problem of her husband and the perfect façade she puts on for the world. But Ryan wasn’t the only one with secrets.

Sasha seemed to have a thriving gossip blog that was bringing in big money but in reality her bills were passed due and her advertisers didn’t think she had enough traffic to the site. She was even taking clothes back to the store after wearing them.

This trip starts as big fun with drinking, twerking and turning up in The Big Easy but ends up exposing side chicks and insecurities. But what do friends have that binds them together? Loyalty.

From beating down Stuart’s side chick Simone ( you find out the actresses name. I don’t care) to being there for Ryan when she decides to live in her truth, the girls show true compassion. Herein lies the moral of this story. True friends know when you are hurting. They know when you are frontin’. They are there to pick you up when you fall and to celebrate the successes in your life. This movie truly made me laugh hysterically and blush with some of its crudeness. It also made me sad because all of my childhood friends are thousands of miles away. But no matter how far, I know they would fight the devil himself for me and slap the hell out of a ratchet sidechick.

Tiffany Haddish is the breakout star and has such an endearing quality about her. Her life story is a New York Times Best Seller for sure. She was great in this role and her ad libs were spot on.

Jada was also funny in her quirky bossy momma way. Regina has really evolved and I am loving the woman she is, beautiful and classy. Queen Latifah is simply that- royalty. She did her thing, as always.

If you and your friends thought you were the IT girls in high school go see this movie. If you grew up in the late 80s and 90s go see this movie. If you adore #blackgirlmagic go see this movie. If you are reading this go see this movie. Yes get your ass up and go.

The Mummy *Spoiler Alert*

  

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing The Mummy with my son, Tre’. I wasn’t sure if it was connected with the previous mummy movies but was glad to see it was a standalone. The movie centered around an ancient Eyptian story about the sole heir to the throne turning wicked and being banished to a tomb and buried alive. 

Tom Cruise and  Anabella Wallis play partners who have the misfortune of unearthing this now demon named Ahmanet( Sophia Boutella).  She is one determined, mean, evil spirit…you get my point. The chick is pure terror. As soon as she is awakened by Cruise’s character Nick she starts killing people and turning them into her personal slaves for evil. 

In the meantime Nick and Jenny are trying to uncover more information while not being sucked into Ahmanet’s claws.  There are strong supportive characters like Courtney Vance, Russell Crowe and Jack Johnson who provide comedy and depth to the film. But the plot and characters was not what held my attention . First I have to tell you I’m a very analytical person. I see meaning in most things. I hope I don’t freak you out.

Okay are you still here?  I usually don’t watch thriller movies but with my son I end up with super heroes, fantasy, action or thrillers. In this movie Ahmanet represented the devil. She was an evil spirit who wanted to be worshipped and served. Near the end of the movie she asked Nick to come to her, to succum to her will. She didn’t want to make him or even force him. She wanted him know how it felt to be powerful; to have eternal life. Not the eternal life I think of when referencing God, but the trickery that satan uses to tempt. 

The final test of this film was to see if Nick was a good man, or merely average. But what is a good man and aren’t we all mostly good with a little wickedness?  This movie wasn’t my normal genre but it left me feeling introspective and for that I give it 4 stars.