Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoe Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine
While the last decade has been the era of the superhero movie, there has remained a clear distinction between the live action and animated entries in the genre. Live action superhero movies have become the biggest show in town, genuine four-quadrant blockbusters designed to appeal to an audience much larger than just comicbook fans. The animated superhero movie, on the other hand, has maintained more of a niche status, tending to be released straight to video and remaining the property of the devoted comicbook audience. Sony Pictures’ latest attempt at rebooting their Spider-Man franchise, the aesthetically original and undeniably cinematic Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is the first animated superhero movie to really challenge that distinction. Continue reading
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Starring: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Zoe Kravitz, Blake Anderson, A$AP Rocky
Dope means a lot of different things and so Rick Famuyiwa starts his film with a series of definitions of its title. Dope is an illicit drug. A dope is an idiot. Dope is slang for something cool. All of these definitions prove relevant to the funny and energetic film that will follow.
Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is a black geek with a single mother growing up in “The Bottoms” in Inglewood, surrounded by gangs and drug dealers. He is obsessed with 1990s hip hop culture, with a flat top hairstyle pulled straight from the old episodes of “Yo, MTV Raps” he watches online. With his friends Jib (Tony Revolori from The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) he is into “white people shit” like good grades, BMX riding and Donald Glover. The three of them are in a punk band called Awreeoh (a play on Oreo, a slang term for someone who is black on the outside and white inside).
Malcolm is very smart kid. Continue reading