Thursday, September 20, 2018

Guest Review: Selma

by tryanmax

Selma is a Very Important Movie about Black History. You can tell because Oprah is in it. Also, because it stars a lot of other Serious Black Actors and a popular Rapper, and it is set in the Old South.

The main star is an English actor who portrays an Important Civil Rights Leader named “Doc.” His wife is also portrayed by an English actress. How this is not problematic is unclear.
You can tell the movie is set in the Old South because all the white people use the form of the N word that contains both an “a” and an “r.” Only the Bad White People use that word. The Good White People never use that word, but they are small and frail and easily defeated by the Bad White People. All the Black People are Good.
Sometimes, the Important Civil Rights Leader has Doubts. His wife is concerned. But the Fiery Youths convince Doc to keep going. There is a Fight on a Bridge that the Good Guys lose. Then, there is a Courtroom Scene. The Bad Guys bring lots of Anger and Yelling, but the Good Guys are calm and they win.

In the Climactic Scene, the movie took the Novel Approach of relating action from the perspective of The Media. In fact, one could say that The Media was the Real Hero of the story, as it was The Media that made the President change his mind and Do The Right Thing.
Where Selma really excels is in taking one of the most tumultuous moments of history and depicting it with all the intensity of an undergrad seminar. The dialogue really captured the passion of a 46 year old adjunct lecturing on the Civil Rights Movement. Watching it, I could almost feel the thrill of trying not to doze off in the lecture hall. (I snore really loud.)

One thing that made the movie fun was all of the “what’s his name” cameos that kept me checking IMDb throughout. There was Queen Vee, Dept. Raineesha, Henry Deaver, Radio, Mr. Orange, that guy from The Wire, that guy who looks like Steve Buscemi but isn’t, and Giovanni Ribisi.

The best part of the movie for me was seeing Tom Wilkinson do an impression of Lyndon Johnson doing an impression of Richard Nixon.


AndrewPrice said...

If a movie this one-sided had been done by religious conservatives or other not-left groups, the reviewers would have been screaming the name Leni Riefenstahl and calling it the worst kind of propaganda. But since it was done to support an identity politics group, it wins tons of awards and the little leftist reviewers don't dare to do anything but gush over its brilliance.

I wonder if they realize how ridiculous they look to the rest of us? Do you think the writers or actors know how awful it was?

tryanmax said...

I think the movie is saved from being plain awful by being so dull. The whole thing had the melodramatic quality of a documentary reenactment scene without the actual documentary. One could probably recut the movie with archival footage, a heavy dose of narration, and create a good product in that genre.

A word of explanation about my 46 year old adjunct remark: I'm no expert in the lingo of the 1960s, but a lot of the dialogue in the expository scenes had a distinctly 21st c. flavor, with jargon that sounded ripped from the code of conduct in a modern college student handbook.

Rustbelt said...

So, tryanmax, if there are 3 things to take away from this, I'm guessing they are...

1) this is a smug film for smug people to feel smug about themselves...

2) you decided that your caps button needed a little workout. that's good. that button can get bloated if it does nothing but eat gigs and not go up and down. and...

3) you were somewhat underwhelmed by this film.

And why do I get the feeling that Dr. King is watching this film from Heaven with the same look on his face as his statue in Washington?

tryanmax said...

Sorry, I didn't have notifications turned on.

1) I don't think the movie was as smug as it was phoned-in. To the degree that it was smug, it was because the writers, directors, actors, and everyone involved just assumed it would be impactful because of what it was. I've seen MLK documentaries that stirred me deeper than this film, by many degrees.

2) I used the Caps Button because the Film was very Meaningful. All the important Things demand Recognition.

3) I frankly think this film was an insult to everyone portrayed in it, right down to the Greek Orthodox priest that was placed as an extra.

John Johnson said...

Thanks for this Very Important Review. The only thing I regret is that the whites in this movie are played by whites. Whites are over-represented and need to be replaced by People of Color.

Other than that, this movie deserves your every snore. Snore? I meant to say penny.

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