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If you’re a fan of monster movies, you may have given up hope after Universal’s failed monster mash franchise kick-starter The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. This movie proved that big names and big budgets don’t guarantee stellar reviews. So when Kontrol Magazine received an invitation to see a special Atlanta screening on Wednesday, February 18 of Universal’s next monster flick, The Invisible Man, I was leery. 

Grade: A+

From the moment the movie began, it was evident that writer-director Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man was going to be something different. One of the film’s actors, Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time), made that clear in her in-person introduction about the movie. Whannell, along with his partner in crime James Wan, helped redefine the horror genre with Saw and Insidious. The Saw films, in particular, pushed the boundaries of on-screen cinematic violence and helped introduce the term “torture porn” into the modern vernacular.

Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid | UNIVERSAL

Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid | UNIVERSAL

Whannell’s The Invisible Man is a thoroughly modern thriller that sidesteps the previous H.G. Wells adaptations do what Whannell does best: elevate the genre and scare people. The movie has been screened for critics, and they’re taking to social media in droves to report that The Invisible Man is the real deal — a tense, terrifying thriller grounded in real-world issues and featuring a performance for the ages from Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale).

Critics have every right to go absolutely bonkers over The Invisible Man. Moss stars as Cecilia Kass, whose boyfriend Adrian was both a wealthy tech genius and manipulative, abusive partner before apparently committing suicide. Cecilia eventually becomes convinced that he has returned to torment her as… well, an invisible man, although she understandably has a hard time getting anyone to believe her.

The Invisible Man Critic Reviews

  • Critic Witney Seibold was one of many to praise the film’s examination of the dynamics of abuse while also standing in awe of just how damn scary it is — and how much Moss sells Cecilia’s mounting terror. “[The Invisible Man] is not just one of the most tightly-wound thrillers in recent memory, but it is a pertinent and all-too-real look at the panic and damage left by an abusive relationship,” she tweeted. “Elisabeth Moss digs deep.”
  • We Live Entertainment editor-in-chief Scott Menzel concurred. “The Invisible Man is a tension filled thrill-ride from start to finish,” he tweeted. “Elizabeth Moss delivers a… captivating performance that is… some of her finest work to date.”
  • The Playlist’s Griffin Schiller called the film “a modern horror classic… Poignant & timely, packed full of edge of your seat anxiety inducing suspense! Sound & production design are MASSIVE standouts but Elizabeth Moss OWNS this film.”

The Invisible Man, which also stars the amazing new talent, Storm Reid, and the sexy Aldis Hodge, opens February 28, 2020. The response from critics and everyday moviegoers is setting an apparent theme: Monster movie magic is in the air. This film has all the ingredients to be one of the year’s biggest horror hits.

Watch Storm Reid Speak About The Invisible Man

 

Written By: Byron Jamal

@byronjamal

Byron Jamal

 

Movie Reviews

Lanking Films’ “The Black Love Project” is Black, Bold, & BEAUTIFUL

There are times when we feel like we have seen ten million documentaries that cover the same things when it comes from the Black LGBTQ community of Atlanta. We often wonder what’s new, riveting, or inspiring. (Please not another influencer, “socialite,” or obnoxious reality personality) Well, recently we were afforded a glimpse at something BEAUTIFUL–Lanking Films “The Black Love Project.”

Grade: A+

“The Black Love Project,” created by Lando King, is a documentary showcasing ten Black Gay Couples as they discuss their relationships and love in a candid and vulnerable set of interviews.

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the black love project movie poster

There are times when we feel like we have seen ten million documentaries that cover the same things when it comes from the Black LGBTQ community of Atlanta. We often wonder what’s new, riveting, or inspiring. (Please not another influencer, “socialite,” or obnoxious reality personality) Well, recently we were afforded a glimpse at something BEAUTIFUL–Lanking Films “The Black Love Project.”

Grade: A+

“The Black Love Project,” created by Lando King, is a documentary showcasing ten Black Gay Couples as they discuss their relationships and love in a candid and vulnerable set of interviews.

the black love project

The couples involved range from popular OnlyFans adult content creators to indie artists and fashionistas. The scope of these participants is both noted and interesting.

For us, we have never Ryan “Rah Rah” Kennedy be so open or vulnerable in any relationship, and we were surprised to find Jaydee of Global Bros. is in a relationship. The questions we have concerning the inner workings of the latter are immense and interesting.

However, it is the relationship between Tramel and Kiid Fro we found to be the most relatable. You can tell these two make up for one another’s shortcomings in spirit, emotion, and love while also having a strong, growing, and seemingly unbreakable bond tethering them to one another. There’s is a love at work, we bow in understanding.

The spectrum of Black gay love showcased in this film was inspiring, evoking a type of hope that even the most jaded of hearts has to acknowledge. A screening was shown at Mixx Atlanta Nightclub on Valentine’s Day attended by noteworthy members of Atlanta’s Black LGBT community; Carl Levonzell, LaMarr Allen, Array, and Davien Harlis. 

lando king

Lando King

Kudos to Lando King and everyone in the production of this documentary. When is part two coming? The community needs it. Dare to do and be different guys, it is a great look!

You can click here to view “The Black Love Project”

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Movie Reviews

Zendaya & John David Washington Are Beautifully Toxic in Netflix’s “Malcolm & Marie!”

Netflix’s “Malcolm & Marie,” starring John David Washington and Zendaya, respectively, showcases a young couple in love and toxicity as they navigate the ups and down of their relationship and individual wins and failures.

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malcolm and marie movie poster netflix

Netflix’s “Malcolm & Marie,” starring John David Washington and Zendaya, respectively, showcases a young couple in love and toxicity as they navigate the ups and down of their relationship and individual wins and failures.

Grade: B-

malcolm and marie netflix

The film begins with Malcolm on an emotional high as he returns home from the premiere of his latest film. He is confident that the critics will love it and finally see him as a powerhouse to be respected in Hollywood. His girlfriend, Marie, however, is bothered–and eventually vocal–about Malcolm forgetting to thank her in his acknowledgements at the premiere.

He sees her as selfish and negative. She, in turn, sees him as forgetful and a fraud for not only failing to acknowledge her; but in part using her battle with drug addiction as the story of his film. After a series of arguments and a dialogue that shows a relationship built around codependency and toxicity, you soon realize that the love between this couple is not enough to conquer their respective insecurities and demons.

The film, in black and white, is reminiscent of the simple settings used for many student films and plays recently formatted to film like Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Most of the film is set in Malcolm and Marie’s home or the yard surrounding it. While this is great for a play it tends to bore visual audiences who would love to see more of the world the characters live in. For insance, the two of them discuss a number of characters and instances in their pasts we would have loved to seen. This would have given us a fuller picture of just what kind of damage Malcolm and Marie are dealing with besides their reciprocated emotional abuse.

malcolm and marie netflix

MALCOLM & MARIE (L-R): ZENDAYA as MARIE, JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON as MALCOLM. NETFLIX © 2021

However, this film was shot in under two weeks and created during the height of the pandemic when Hollywood suspended production. Both actors did take a risk by continuing on with this film. Interestingly, the controversy surrounding the film comes from the age gap between John at 36 and Zendaya at 24, which she addressed recently in a BuzzFeed interview. “I’ve played a 16-year-old since I was 16,” she admits, “You have to remember people also grew up with me as a child…It’s like watching, I guess, your younger sibling — now they’re grown, and you’re not ready for it.””It’s hard for people to wrap [their heads] around the idea that I am grown in real life, even though I do play a teenager on television still.” John, however, is unruffled by the age gap backlash, in a recent interview with Variety he states he “wasn’t concerned about it.”

Malcolm & Marie is definitely worth watching, if for no other reason than to learn what NOT to say to your significant other and to see what verbal and emotional abuse look like. You can catch it streaming now on Netflix and in some independent or artistic theaters nationwide.

 

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Movie Reviews

Daniel Kaluuya & LaKeith Stanfied Shine in “Judas & The Black Messiah!”

“Judas & The Black Messiah” tells the story of Black Panther Party leader, Fred Hampton, and his downfall thanks largely by Black FBI undercover informant, William O’Neal, played Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, respectively.

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judas and the black messiah movie poster

“Judas & The Black Messiah” tells the story of Black Panther Party leader, Fred Hampton, and his downfall thanks largely by Black FBI undercover informant, William O’Neal, played Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, respectively.

Grade: A+

judas and the black messiah movie poster

Set in the sixties, towards the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the film is a biopic of sorts showing just how intricately the FBI worked with local law enforcement and informants to infiltrate and decimate Black Panther Parties across the country. Fred’s chapter of the Black Panthers was based in Chicago and began to grow in power and popularity, not only with African-Americans, but other minorities and even poor whites. This coalition garners fears of rebellion and miscegenation from law enforcement and powerful federal officials like J. Edgar Hoover.

William O’Neal is a cunning hustler, known to use fake FBI badges to swindle people out of their cars, is given a chance at clemency, if he helps the FBI infiltrate slowly infiltrate Fred’s chapter and keep them one step ahead of the Black Panthers. He quickly rose up the ranks by becoming his driver, using a car, provided to him by his FBI handler. O’Neal reluctantly assists with logistics, secret safe houses, and weapon caches as he ultimately becomes head of the Panthers’ security–a true Judas.

daniel kaluuya as fred hampton in judas and the black messiah

Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton

Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya equally shine in their respective roles. Lakeith yet again proves himself to be a versatile actor, this time taking on the persona of a person most African-Americans would rather forget all together. Every half-smile, or slinking move he makes in the movement gives you the feeling he truly is up to no good and means no good for anyone.

In a recent interview with CNN the actors reunited and discussed their roles. Lakeith spoke on how he was able to develop his character  “Because he was doing secret operations with the FBI, his identity and all the things about him, were not very well known, obviously, at the time,” Stanfield said. “So, I didn’t have a lot to work with, but I had his interview from [the documentary] ‘Eyes on the Prize’ [in which O’Neal appeared] and a couple of court transcripts, as well as a couple of stories of second-hand accounts and views of who he was and what he did.”

Daniel, even as a Black Brit, wholly embodied Fred Hampton’s persona. When you look at historic footage of Fred’s speeches, vernacular, and how he carried himself; you soon realized this is a man Daniel truly studied. “It’s not like I became him, I felt like he was there,” Kaluuya said. “I felt like he was coming through me, like he was in the room.”

The film reminds us of the trauma African-Americans have endured, even while fighting back. However, it more importantly reminds us of an age old saying, “All ‘skinfolk’ ain’t kinfolk.”

You can catch “Judas & The Black Messiah” in theaters and streaming on HBO Max this Friday, February 12th!

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