First World Silly, Third World Smart

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that sadly many Americans have a superior attitude about us vs third world countries. But let me tell you, my weekend movie experiences would shatter this myth for anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

First, I saw the super tardy Rochester premiere of 2009’s Iranian film “About Elly” by Asghar Farhadi. I really liked two of his other films: “A Separation” and “The Past”. “About Elly” may have trumped both, both is acting and suspense. If you are a Netflix customer, run, don’t walk to your queue and add this film.

Without any spoilers, let me just say it’s a film about four Iranian couples who go on a weekend to the beach together. While all of the acting was phenomenal, I will make a special mention for Golshifteh Farahani, http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=golshifteh+farahani&view=detailv2&qft=+filterui%3alicense-L2_L3_L4_L5_L6_L7&id=50F7A614EC0BD10B8C5A01C7B919654272CD2CE3&selectedIndex=0&ccid=Gia44K6B&simid=607996803959884415&thid=OIP.M1a26b8e0ae81b0d5bae2f226b4b8fc10H2&ajaxhist=0, who plays the most pivotal female role of Sepideh. Nuances of the Iranian culture are gorgeously portrayed and the uncomfortable moments carry acute verisimilitude.

On the other hand (cue Yankee Doodle Dandy), I also saw “The Martian”. Ugh. I love Matt Damon and he stretched the most out of the cotton candy plot. But shame on him and all the other first rate actors for doing absolute schlock. Literally Jeff Daniels phoned in his role and I think Dumb and Dumber Too truly took more acting chops.

I will definitely join any picket line protesting the lack of African-Americans nominated because both Straight Outta Compton and Dope are FAR (yes capital letters) superior to the ra ra shallow American “The Martian”.

Go Chasin Water Falls, “Straight Outta Compton”

When a two and a half hour movie goes by in a flash, you know you’ve been entertained.

Straight Outta Compton directed by F Gary Gray (director of TLC’s video “Waterfalls”) was truly compelling. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that I didn’t know the story, but the tale is inspirational in its theme of men with a passion overcoming all odds (poverty, drug addled neighborhoods, violence, lack of education, racist police groups).

This could be debated (and feel free), but I believe making it in the music industry may be more difficult than athletics. Much, from what I’ve read about, is being in the right place at the right time and NWA was there.

The acting was very well done (O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s [Ice Cube real life son], Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell) brought a mixture of intense drama with comic moments as well.

I feel smarter about the plight of African Americans in the 1990’s and the hip hop movement due to this film.