Currently browsing the "Michael B. Jordan" tag.

Review: Just Mercy

Just Mercy is an infuriating and inspiring legal drama based on the true story of a man who spent six years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, and the young, Harvard-educated lawyer who worked feverishly to get him sprung. That lawyer – Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) – is not some long-dead legal eagle who won his case and faded into the sunset. He’s a champion of social justice who created the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, and continues his crusade to this day to help the disenfranchised.

Review: Creed II

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Creed 2 hitting theaters by 2018.” That’s the last line of my 2015 review of Creed, the solidly entertaining spin-off of the Rocky franchise starring Michael B. Jordan as up-and-coming boxer Adonis Creed (son of Apollo) and Sylvester Stallone as his mentor, Philly boxing legend Rocky Balboa. As predicted, here it is – Creed II. And while not as strong as its predecessor, Creed II is still very satisfying, especially if you’re a fan of Rocky IV, one of my favorite films of 1985!

Review: Black Panther

Yes, it is very good. It’s even better if you happen to like the genre – at least to some degree. Black Panther works as both a standalone action drama sci-fi superhero movie, and as a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m a big fan of Marvel Studios’ Avengers franchise (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, etc.) so I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of T’Challa/Black Panther in the near and distant future. He’s one cool dude surrounded and protected by a bunch of kickass cool women.

Creed

All things considered, Creed does the Rocky franchise proud. Buzz suggesting that it should be an Oscar contender is a bit over the top, but the movie is certainly satisfying in a Rocky meets The Karate Kid sort of way. Think of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) as the new Mr. Miagi. “Wax on, wax off Adonis-san!” It’s part sports drama, part chick flick, and therefore, has broad mainstream appeal. It also has the appealing presence of rising star Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Friday Night Lights) as the son of Rocky’s late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Fruitvale Station

You know from the opening of Fruitvale Station that it is going to end very badly. Based on a true story, it begins with what appears to be cellphone footage of a group of Bay Area transit cops abusing a bunch of young black men, and the scene escalates to the point where one of the men is shot, face down on the floor, in the back. The rest of the film flashes back to follow Oscar Grant III, the 22-year-old victim of this senseless crime, through what turns out to be the last day of his young life. It is impossible to watch without thinking of another unarmed young man who was killed recently, and one of the great strengths of this film is that it humanizes without sugarcoating the victim’s life; it gives a fleshed-out personality to what would otherwise just be another sad statistic.