Category Archives: satire

Get Out and Oh, Dear


Well, since we last talked I saw “Get Out” and have been on a deep-dive of listening to interviews with Jordan Peele to learn more about the method behind the madness of his directorial debut.

If you’re looking for non-spoilery talks about it, try his chat with Chris Hardwick on The Nerdist and, after you’ve seen it, just know Jordan Peele and the film are all over the feeds of The Watch, Channel 33 and Pop Culture Happy Hour, deservedly so.

I knew there was a twist and layers to the film, and my first reaction to Peele’s work was that it was an effective mix of genres (horror and satire) and social commentary. On the surface, “Get Out” is a horror film and thriller and I think Peele shared his message, an important one, without taking away from delivering an entertaining and smart story.

Its scares are subtle and the dialogue and plot points are complex which, after soaking up all the media buzz about this film, makes me want to see it again.

As with most horror films, I recommend seeing it in the theater to share reactions with the audience (if you’re lucky enough to not be sitting in front of someone who seemed to be commenting on everything to her date.) Just take it in girl, then talk about it over some tea.

Before I move on to the fact that I watched “Serendipity” for the millionth time recently (okay, fine, I’ll spare you), I have a nugget about Kong: Skull Island to add in relation to my last post.

Comedy nerds probably know Marc Evan Jackson is in the film and that he dishes about it on the latest episode of I Was There Too with Matt Gourley. Do NOT listen to this if you haven’t seen the film, but just know that it’s lovely and is probably everything you expect to hear from these two dudes geeking out about a monster movie.

One thing I learned that you may want to know before seeing “Kong: Skull Island” is that there is another scene after the credits.

As for me, I am glad I didn’t know about it (even though I should have guessed since such extras are pretty commonplace these days), because I want Marc Evan Jackson and only Marc Evan Jackson to be the source of such information in my life.

I wish I had a better segue here, but I learned last night that one of the regular customers at the Edina Cinema and friend to all of the Landmark Theatres in Minneapolis, Larry, passed away.

Larry came in to the Edina Cinema and repeatedly saw the same film, often leaving halfway through. I didn’t know him well by any means, but he would always talk to me like we were friends and then would dish some facts about old movies that I would just love to listen to.

I guess I can’t picture better way to spend one’s time, and I hope it made Larry happy.

“That is all.”



29 of 366: Chi-Raq


Satire and literal commentary on the gang violence in Chicago are themes in Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, with the Greek play Lysistrata as its inspiration.

In the play, women withhold sex from their husbands to end fighting and promote peace in that era, which extends to the film adaptation with an ensemble cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Jennifer Hudson, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata and Nick Cannon as the title character.

Chi-Raq is also a nickname for Chicago as the murder rate due to gang ┬áviolence has surpassed numbers from this nation’s wars overseas.

The film’s satircal take on the subject comes from the play and the women’s protest and eventual takeover of an armory until peace is had. In the film, the police response to their unarmed peaceful protest is portrayed as more than what happens when there is violence in the street.

Its literal take on the subject happens when children are killed in the crossfire of gang violence and through references to real-life deaths as a result of gun violence — including by the police — that have happened in recent years.

The film has a good blend of the two, but it’s clear that Spike Lee’s purpose is to send a message through his art. Samuel L. Jackson narrates the film with on screen appearances as Dolmedes as the female characters play out their protest to end violence and the rival gangs fight before deciding to give in to peace.

The state of gun violence is well-known in this country and Chi-Raq adds another layer of commentary to it in a way that caused some backlash for Lee. His use of humor rubbed some people the wrong way, which I can understand, but the message of the film seems to go above that and stand out in the end.

It’s worth watching and helps to know Lee’s intentions for the film before going into it. I also recommend the CNN series Chicagoland, which delves into the violence as well as problems with the city’s schools and economy.