LJMiniReviews: Two Films That Almost Got By Me


Lately my TBR is so overwhelming it feels like I’ve been leaping through fiery hurdles trying to read three books at a time: One non-fiction (sometimes two or three non-fiction if they come in the form of essays), One Fiction, and One Audio.  It’s working, in that I feel like I’m reading more, but I don’t finish any one book as fast as I used to.  With streaming movies and TV, it’s just as hard cause honestly there’s so much content out there, it’s very easy to miss what content is out there.  Here’s some thoughts on two movies I really enjoyed but almost missed entirely.


  • If you’ve got Amazon Prime and you’re thinking about whether you should watch The Only Living Boy in New York for free, just do it. It’s an unusual but good, tightly woven, little film. Written by Allen Loeb (Collateral Beauty) and directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer and Gifted), there’s a whole literary feel to the film and there would be even if it wasn’t about a young writer. There’s generally a lot of awesome dialogue and deep emotional undercurrents running through the characters and their relationships. The lead, Callum Turner, is a star and we’ll be seeing a lot more of him I’m sure. The rest of the cast ain’t too shabby either with the always impeccable Jeff Bridges, Kate Beckinsdale, Pierce Brosnan, and New York’s new gubernatorial candidate and former Sex in the City star, Cynthia Nixon (Still can’t believe I’m saying that last part). Keirsey Clemons, a young AA actress I’ve never seen before was also good as Callum’s young love interest. This film isn’t for everybody but the plot was a bit of a mindf–k so, of course, I loved it. If you take a chance and start it, stick with it to the end. There is a twist that’s worth the price of admission.  Trailer


  • How come I never even heard of Justin Tipping’s writing and 2016 directorial debut Kicks? I only got to see it cause it was playing on a snow day and I still haven’t gotten rid of Cinemax like I’ve been planning to do for months. Normally I wouldn’t have watched it at all because it’s about a young, poor, Oakland boy’s attachment to his Jordans and the crazy that ensues when they’re stolen from him. I find that darn sneaker craze in poor communities maddening so I usually stay away from things that make me obsess about it. Nevertheless, the hair stopped me. That hair always stops me because it belongs to Jahking Guillory who also plays Brandon the hero of this brief, sometimes bleak, sometimes suspenseful but ultimately uplifting coming of age movie. Y’all know Jahking and his hair, from The Chi if you watch it. He plays Coogie Johnson, a small pivotal role from the first episode of that TV show, which interestingly enough, was also directed by none other than Justin Tipping. Anyway, part of the good thing about watching this movie are those favorites that just keep popping up. Kofi Siriboe, from Queen Sugar, for one has a starring and villainous role in this film and shows his acting chops in a way we’ve never seen him before. That’s not all tho. Mahershala Ali is in it too in an important role (Is this man in EVERYTHANG? Can he DO anything?). Kicks is on Amazon and YouTube for $10 right now or if you have Cinemax it will be on again next Wednesday. Even if you decide to wait and see it free somewhere, keep it in the back of your mind and remember it til then. It’s definitely worth a look. Trailer




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