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Flash Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton

Besides being a valid emotion, anger can play a vital component in the creative process. Some of the most beautiful classical music we listen to, from artists such as Frederic Chopin and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, came out of outrage for what was taking place within their respective countries. If you take a look at the paintings by Francis Bacon you cannot tell me there were not some kernels of anger inside of him that generated some of his creations. Of course, the arts are not the only beneficiary of angry emotions; I believe every facet of any field from sports to science has individuals who were motivated by anger and frustration. It is like the basketball player who was told he was too short to play, who then pushed himself harder to become a better player. As for me, it took me many years to understand my anger and direct it to something positive. Being told I was too big and could not play in some athletic games caused me to take my anger and stuff it inside of myself. However, I thought that meant I should stuff my face constantly with food. I do not know if there was a single event or something else that flipped a switch inside of me that motivated me to start exercising and focus on healthier food choices; but whatever it was, I am grateful I learned how to deal with my emotions in a nurturing way. Watching this musical movie one cannot help noticing how anger played a part in everyone’s life. ¬† ¬†FROM a tough neighborhood three friends came together to vent their anger in song that caused a revolution of change. The first thing I want to say is directed at those individuals who do not like rap or hip-hop music. Please do not let that determine whether you watch this biographical drama because you would be missing out on a raw and compelling movie watching experience. I am not a fan of some types of rap music but seeing how the songs in this film came about added a whole new level of understanding for me. Starring newcomer O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins (Non-Stop, Romeo and Juliet) as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E; these three actors did an intense job playing members of the musical group N.W.A. Having O’Shea play his real life father Ice Cube was creative cloning casting by the studio because he looked just like his father. Now I will say there were parts of the story where I had to wonder if things were being exaggerated or sanitized because they seemed so outrageous to me. But ultimately I did not care because I felt I was watching musical history being made. There was strong language used throughout the movie.

 

3 1/4 stars

 

 

 

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Flash Movie Review: Filly Brown

Anger is an emotion that will always find a way to get out of your body. Some people get ulcers, others numb themselves with alcohol; all due to anger. Prior to getting into fitness, my anger was stronger then me. If someone upset me, my anger was explosive; fueled by years of rage that I had stored inside. One of my coping devices back then was stuffing my anger inside by eating volumes of food. This method led to even more issues that I will save for another time. I am eternally grateful that fitness replaced eating as my coping mechanism. The method used by Majo Tonorio aka Filly Brown, played by Gina Rodriguez (Our Family Wedding, Go for It!), in this musical drama was rapping. She had a lot of reasons to be angry. With her mother Maria, played by Jenni Rivera (Addiction de Salsa – TV), in jail; her father Jose, played by Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Young Guns) unwilling to help; Filly had to find a way to help her mother. Just starting to make a name for herself as a hip-hop artist, Filly was offered a contract that would expand her reach, while at the same time helping her mother. But what would it cost her? Gina and Jenni had the strongest characters to play in this story and their acting met the challenge. They each had a powerful presence on screen. I liked the main story of Filly and wished the writers would have given more of their attention to her character. The side stories cluttered up the true essence of the main plot. I felt I was watching a movie where the writers had a checklist of generic scenarios they wanted to make sure were included into the story. This film portrayed a character’s healthy attempt to control her anger and she earned my support in her endeavors.

 

2 stars

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