Reel Reviews: Superstars and superheroes

By on June 21, 2017

‘All Eyez on Me’

While all you suckas were out trippin’ with Lightning McQueen, I was catching the latest rap star biopic, “All Eyez on Me,” a film about the life of 2Pac.

Never heard of it? You are not alone.

“All Eyez on Me” has been shown little love from critics, and distributor Lionsgate has not pushed the movie with much advertising. But, despite the adversity — just like Pac — the movie has risen to (semi)great heights by opening with a respectable $27 million at the box office, enough to secure third place behind “Wonder Woman” (see below) and top-billing “Cars 3.”

Starring debut actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur, “All Eyez on Me” follows the life of the rising star from his childhood in New York to his untimely death on the Las Vegas strip. Shipp is joined by Danai Gurira (Okoye in Marvel’s upcoming “Black Panther”) as 2Pac’s momma, bit actress Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett (yes, that Jada Pinkett), and Dominic L. Santana as promoter Suge Knight.

This movie lives up to the hype. It is bad. Director Benny Boom tries to use every cinematic device known to storytellers to create a jumbled mess of flashbacks, actual footage, and speculative mush. The storyline is cracked and jumbled. Characters have little development. On the whole, the best descriptor for this movie is “flawed.”

Don’t be quick to hate on me. I’m a 2Pac fan, although I’ll never hold him in regards higher than Chuck D. or KRS-One as lyrical teachers. This movie is a travesty to Shakur’s legacy and I feel bad for die-hard fans and followers.

What’s lost by focusing on how poorly this film is directed, acted, and produced is the lesson we should all be gaining from 2Pac.

“Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races / We under, I wonder what it takes to make this / One better place, let’s erase the wasted / Take the evil out the people, they’ll be acting right.” – 2Pac, Changes.

Gal Gadot-Varsano, Israeli actress and model, portrays Wonder Woman in the most recent film adaptation.

‘Wonder Woman’

I finally got around to seeing what everyone has been raving about, the long anticipated full-length feature for America’s favorite Amazon princess. “Wonder Woman” has not disappointed fans and it continues as a box office smash surpassing other DC Comic flicks like “Suicide Squad” and “Man of Steel.”

In this version, Gal Gadot is the badass with buckler and lasso and it looks like the former Miss Israel is becoming a household name. Diehard fans had trepidation as to whether anyone could live up to Linda Carter from the ‘70s TV show.

“I was hesitant at first and didn’t know what to expect. It was a total girl power movie. Loved it!” said Karey G. of Lancaster.

Despite a slew of Superman and Batman DC Comics movies, Marvel has ruled the comic book-to-feature film market with the X-Men, Avengers, et al. “Wonder Woman” may spark a change and allow DC to make a more credible mark in the superhero genre.

“Saw it, loved it. It had the best balance of any DC movie of funny, dark, retrospective and action…. This movie is the best since “Batman Begins” and has single-handedly redeemed the [DC Extended Universe],” said Bridget O. of Ellicott City, Md.

To see if DC can ride the momentum, stay tuned for “Justice League” (with Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman and introducing Aquaman) due out in time for Thanksgiving crowds.

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