GOOD: WAITING TO EXHALE
There are few actresses who have the level of commitment and intensity of Angela Bassett - both for every role she's in, as well as to that hunky husband of hers. And while Auntie Angela may be giving regal fish and smashing box office records everywhere in Black Panther, there is a whole lotta history to this woman's career.
In 1995, following her iconic breakthrough as Tina Turner, it was #1 box office hit WAITING TO EXHALE that positioned Miss B. as a woman to be reckoned with. This film that launched a thousand .gifs is not unlike the kind of “women’s picture” like Joan Crawford used to make: Angela journeys to a place of strength, Loretta Devine is homely, Lela Rochon is horny, and Whitney, well poor Whitney is a TV anchor or something?
Ready? Breathe...and exhale (shoop shoop)
BAD: VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN
Sometimes the worst films make some of the best conversations, and boy, did Brian loathe VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN.
We can spread the blame around: Eddie Murphy's ego, the insistent racial stereotyping (of African-Americans AND Italians!), the half-dozen writers who couldn’t decide on a tone, or even usual maestro of horror Wes Craven who was clearly having an off-day. In fact, the only person not culpable is Angela Bassett, once again showing full commitment when battling the ludicrous and the undead.
Listen to Seán explain vampire arcana to Brian, who seems misguidedly to be looking for plot consistency in a mid-90s horror comedy. The stress of the undertaking is so high that our hosts find themselves corpsing in ways that would typically be left on the cutting room floor.
P.S. Eddie Murphy is a jerk.
CRAZY: STRANGE DAYS
What do you get when you combine ultra violence, a political metaphor and a kick-ass heroine? The answer? A Seán Film. Also known as STRANGE DAYS, from the mind of visionary director Kathryn Bigelow and bonkers ex-hubby James Cameron.
The year is 1999. People are scared. They're jacking in to a weird bootleg neuro-hardware called SQUID. And like the internet, it begins as a bit of fun, then becomes porno and ends up as a toxic, racist, hate-dump.
Only (sexy!) Ralph Fiennes and a kung-fu kicking limo driver mom (who was also once a waitress?) known as Angela Bassett can save us all from getting totally fucked up! In the midst of it all, a flawed but fascinating commentary emerges (dreamed up by two white millionaires) about the institutional violence of the LAPD in a post-Rodney King world.
STRANGE DAYS is a miasma of brutality and brilliance, excess and truth. Angela saves not only the movie, but our future.