Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) / Manhattan (1979) : Capsule Reviews

  • Post category:Movies / Reviews

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021): Daniel Kaluuya gives an electrifying performance in the powerful story

Daniel Kaluuya gives an electrifying performance in the powerful story of black panther leader Fred Hampton. This is the story of betrayal from the government to people, surviving to moral, self-centered to revolution—my rating 7/10.

Judas and messiah a biographical story of Bill O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), a petty criminal involved in murdering black panther party leader Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). In the late 1960s, police arrested Bill for stealing a car. FBI Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) offers to drop charges if he works undercover to imprison Fred Hampton. We see a little of Fred Hampton along with Bobby Seale in last year’s best picture, “The Trial of the Chicago 7“. With no choice left in his hands, Bill O’Neil begins infiltrating the Panthers in order to win his freedom. While Fred Hampton, deputy chairman of the national BPP (Black panther party), is working on a free breakfast, medical program. And forming Rainbow Coalition (multicultural movement).

Daniel Kaluuya’s performance and his powerful monologue are what holds the movie for me, an incredibly portrayed, powerful revolutionary character in his career-defining role. Lakeith Stanfield reunites with Daniel after “Get out.” Stanfield is already a rising star, even with the character that isn’t written with the same care as Hampton’s. Stanfield gives the best performance as deprived Bill O’Neal balances his emotions of guilt and dishonesty in order to his freedom.

To my surprise, the romance arc between Fred and Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback) perfectly blends in the story giving a soft side of Hampton and dramatizing the movie. Unfortunately, Dominique Fishback has only a little screen time.

Bill O’Neal to the FBI, when he asked why not a gun or knife, he said: “A badge is scarier than a gun.” There is no need to say Fred Hampton and BPP’s story is powerful, relevant, and inspirational. Judas and the Black Messiah is succeeded when it focuses on BPP and Hampton. But it couldn’t make me invested in the Bill O’Neil character, which is the movie’s primary story. The script doesn’t seem to balance its narrative between the two. The underdeveloped characters in the FBI department and scenes between O’Neill and Roy are not as impressive as possible, which resulted in a bit of a tedious second act right after Fred was arrested. However, after that movie immediately picks up pace giving a Kickstarting film of 2021.

Director:  Shaka King
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons
Genre:  Biography, Drama, History


Manhattan (1979) : the screenplay will mesmerize with its snappy dialogues, crisp humour

Chapter 1. Manhattan is a love letter to New York, cinematographed by Gordon Willis who worked on “The Godfather” franchise here he uses the wide ratio of 2.35:1 and the silky images showing the spectacular view of the city, planetarium, and the famous bridge shot…………. cross it, cross it, too technical let’s try again

Chapter 1. Manhattan is a love letter to New York, showing the gorgeous city in widescreen black and white. The love story of two duos …………..cross it, cross it, the movie is not really about love it’s about loss and like “Blue Jasmine”, “Match Point”, it’s about troubled people falling in what they call love, we call it attraction, sexual desire. The story follows Isaac Davis (Woody Allen), a 40-year-old television comedy writer, who through a midlife crisis after his wife leaves him. Now he dates a 17-year-old high school girl Tracy (yes, it’s creepy like Woody Allen’s real relationships). He leaves Tracy after falling in love with his best friend affair Mary Wilkie (Diane Keaton), who is near his age. At the same time, Mary Wilkie goes back and forth with Yale Pollack, who is married to Emily.

Chapter 1. Manhattan is a love letter to New York shot stylistically in black and white. In the story of troubled unsympathetic characters falling for the wrong individuals, writer Woody Allen shows his most refined writing skills. The snappy dialogues, sharp intellectual comedy, flows naturally and smoothly. One might argue the screenplay of “Manhattan” is better than “Annie Hall”, but Woody Allen hated “Manhattan” and he told producers not to release the film even though later it was nominated for Oscar for his sharp writing. The acting by the entire cast is splendid and feels natural. The fresh face Mariel Hemingway played Tracy nominated for an Oscar. Diana Keaton plays opposite to her previous award-winning character in “Annie Hall”…………… cross it, cross it, too lengthy for three lines review. Let’s try the final time.

Chapter 1. Manhattan is a beautiful love letter to New York, shot stylistically in black and white. In the story of troubled unsympathetic characters falling for the wrong individuals, the screenplay will mesmerize with its snappy dialogues, crisp humour that flows naturally and smoothly. —my rating 8/10.

Director:  Georges Méliès
Cast: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon 
Genre:  Short, Action, Adventure

(Thanks for reading)

Leave a Reply