‘Sorry To Bother You’ But This Movie Was Great

By Julia Wilson and Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Eccentric and oddly mesmerizing—the only words to describe perhaps the most unique take on race and labor that we’ve seen in film so far.

Sorry To Bother You stars Get Out’s LaKeith Stanfield as Cassius Green and Call Me By Your Name’s Armie Hammer as Steve Lift. Green, unemployed and struggling to find a purpose, acquires a job as a telemarketer for Regalview with the full intention of becoming a prestigious “power caller”. This is a group of people who use their clients’ dark requests to make millions of dollars.

He succeeds in doing this by using his new-found “white voice”, which involves sounding like you don’t have a care in the world. This leads him to Steve Lift, the CEO of a company called WorryFree, who offers him an… interesting position. WorryFree is criticized for its use of life-time contracts and living conditions that are consistently compared to slavery.

To get a look into the odd ways that WorryFree dives into slave labor, they use something not quite… human. But for that, you’ll have to watch it for yourself.

One aspect that we were really intrigued about was its use of activism. Whether it be about race, labor, or livable wages this film covers it all through protests and subtle acts of violence.

Through these protests we get our first look at the masterful cinematography in this film. Color plays a big role in this by the use of lighter colors to express wealth, vibrant colors to represent some level of authority, and dull colors to show the opposite.

The balance of authority and wealth varies with each character. Lift, being the CEO of WorryFree, had both authority and wealth. On the other hand, Green’s girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson) maintains authority with her friends and boyfriend, yet cannot acquire the same wealth as Lift.

This concept is furthered using race. Although not at the forefront, race definitely guides the story. This is evident in the aforementioned “white voice” that several black employees must use to have hopes of moving up. Green is even forbidden from using his normal voice when he reaches the top.

Acting wise, there were no poor performances, but also none that outshined the others. However, if we had to pick, Stanfield and Hammer seemed to develop their characters the most powerfully. Thompson’s character didn’t begin to stand out until her art show in which she repetitively read a single line from The Last Dragon in unique and terrifying ways.

Sorry To Bother You truly captures race, labor, authority, wealth, and activism in a light we have not yet seen in cinema.


Our Rating: 90%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.5/7

Enjoyability: 3.6/4

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‘The First Purge’ Predicts an Eerie Future for America

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

The First Purge is the fourth installment in The Purge series and acts as a prequel to the other films as it depicts the very first and experimental Purge which took place solely on Staten Island, not on a countrywide scale.

Each of these films depict a not so distant America in which one night a year all crime is legal. Now, although on the surface this premise seems pretty absurd (I really don’t foresee legalized murder becoming a reality anytime soon), the principles it illustrates deep down are not only very real, but are happening right now.

This film in particular really focused on the virtual war between the government and the lower class. In the film, this is illustrated by the government sending in troops to kill off those in low income areas once they realize civilian participation in The Purge is not nearly where they thought it would be.

Now obviously this isn’t actually happening, but a government that supports the wealthy more than those that need it the most is a reality and one the film is clearly trying to showcase, along with the racial tensions that go along with it.

One thing I loved about this new installment in the series is that it bears a message. And a very powerful one at that. The first three films came out pre-Trump, and the message of those seemed to be something like “wow America sucks”. I really like the first three films (well actually I hate the first one, but I digress), but they are not nearly as powerful as The First Purge which has a slightly different tone.

This is perfectly illustrated in the last two lines of the film. One of the characters, after surviving the first ever Purge, asks “what do we do now?” To which one of the other characters replies “we fight.”

Not only does this film attempt to motivate its audience to act through its compelling message, but the film itself is very well done. The acting is superb and much better than you see in most horror movies.

Also, the cinematography and direction actually gave me goosebumps. And then the way it is all edited together helps the audience gain perspective on how horrific the events in this film are. Which in turn helps spread the overall message of the film by giving you time to stop and evaluate the state America is in today and how, by principle, it isn’t much different than the America shown in the film.

Overall, The First Purge is a beautifully done film with a strong and highly important message for America. A film with so much meaning that is also well done is a rarity in any genre – especially horror. But even if you aren’t a horror fan, see this movie. It will give you a lot to think about.


My Rating: 90%

Acting: 3.4/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

 

‘Step Sisters’: Throwing Together College Trash

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Step Sisters is a new original Netflix film with a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. That, at least for me, says it all… but I gave it a chance. Unfortunately, that chance wasn’t worth it.

This is a movie that makes an attempt at combining stereotypes about race, gender, and college sororities to develop what the writers called a teen comedy. It’s a triple whammy that nobody asked for and nobody wants to see.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see where they attempted to make it work. They had characters who were having trouble with their own self identity and characters who wanted to embrace their self identity but couldn’t. This attempt crashed when they put it up against moments of blatant racial stereotyping, which just isn’t funny anymore in the society we live in unless it’s done with purpose.

Jamilah (played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, CSI: Miami), Beth (Eden Sher, The Middle), and Dane (Matt McGorry, How to Get Away With Murder) play three of the main characters, and were the strongest out of the cast. However, that’s not saying much because none of them were at their strongest performance by any means.

Sher seems to be stuck playing the same role in every production she appears in while McGorry is consistently losing his eye for good entertainment, which is a sad thing to me, as I really enjoyed him in How To Get Away from Murder.

On the whole, I did not like this movie and would suggest spending your time watching funnier teen comedies like Edge of Seventeen and Netflix’s very recent Dude. The acting wasn’t pristine or even good and the teen comedy it attempted to be just blew up on more than one occasion.

If I could give any advice to teen comedies in the future, steer away from race jokes every thirty seconds unless it actually needs to be said. Step Sisters just took it too far.


My Rating: 35%

Acting: 1.7/4

Cinematography: 1/4

Story: 1.7/4

Enjoyability: 1.3/4