So I given the choice between seeing Incredibles 2 or Ocean’s 8 with my teenagers, I’d have chosen the former hands down. But since the latter is rated PG-13, they got their pick. I enjoyed watching how my kiddos got this complex plot nearly as much as I enjoyed the movie – which, I surprisingly did. Getting to know the new young people they are becoming made it a good time. And I have to admit, though it is a crime/action film, it’s a smart one. So are my children!
It’s Day 323 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I feel compelled as a Black mom (I’m capitalizing Black and White in this piece because I believe if you’re going to do so with one you should with the other) to share my thoughts on the Black Panther movie. Following dinner and late night dancing, time to rise and shine came early this morning. But as is often the case, when I think about something I’ve looked forward to – like going to the movies with my kiddos and a friend after Zumba – I pop up. I have to confess spending time with the kids appealed far more than the movie did – simply because I’m not into Marvel, DC or any other superhero movies. However, Liv (fourteen), shared how excited Levi (thirteen) was about a superhero movie with a predominantly Black cast. They are bi-racial, with a White father, and at times I’ve been concerned with how much they identify too much or too little with one side of their heritage vs. the other…So when my son expressed interest in a movie because of above – my enthusiasm grew. And the film hooked me from scene one. The hype about the blockbuster is well-founded. Even though not my usual genre, like movie goers around the globe, I was thoroughly entertained. Beyond that, as a Black parent of half Black children and as a Black woman, the movie resonated with me.
This is largely because this week has been one filled with reflection on my upbringing. On Tuesday I had a meeting in the neighborhood where I was raised. In it, we discussed ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how trauma impacts us as adults. Then I drove down the street where I lived going between my mother’s house and my great Aunt’s. Every street on the house has been demolished and I drove up and down several times trying to process it. Consequently, I could have added “demolition” to the examples of Ds in my Disrupt HR talk the following night….Still trying to process at dinner last night, I shared how I grew up “in the hood” and some of the horrific scenes that played out there.
Scenes similar to the ones on the big screen this afternoon when characters who had big-time ACES would flash back to Oakland, California. Without spoiling the movie, the bad guy’s hatred and violence stemmed from the murder of someone who wanted to use their country’s considerable resources (he unfortunately secured some through traitorous means) to alleviate the suffering of people with whom he could identify – Black people. All of the plot’s conflict goes back to this inciting act and made for lots of combat. Though that wasn’t my cup of tea, I did appreciate the courage, integrity and loyalty of many of the characters – especially the GORGEOUS females of Waukonda – and the Black Panther – who acted as a king of honor by treating even his enemies with dignity and respect. In fact he does the right thing every time.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Black mom, the thing I appreciated most about this movie was how it depicted a superhero who is Black like my children. It’s like when Barak Obama was elected and Levi declared while working on a 3rd grade report on him, It means I can be president one day! He always could have been, but seeing a Black president made it a reality vs. a possibility. Likewise, though it’s also taken until the 21st century to have a Black superhero, my biracial son – who’s as fair as some White people – is aware – and proud of it! In a world where too often the Black men he sees in films and sadly in real life are criminals, unemployed, indigent, ignorant, etc. Disney got this one right. Because they did, this Black mom is a fan of Black Panther.
Whether you’re Black, White or Other – I hope you’ll be Hope be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and give this one a try.
It’s Day 293 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and yesterday was one of my rare break from blogging days because my hubby took me on a date to see I Can Only Imagine at IMAX. Initially he invited me to join him for breakfast to finally put a Cracker Barrel gift card from Christmas to use. Though a sweet offer, two things prevented me from taking him up on it: a) I’m not a breakfast person until after 10am, and b) I maximize work days by refraining from other activities during work hours. You may be thinking, When a tall, good-looking guy asks you out, you go! I requested a rain check and mentioned seeing the movie. Too late I realized I could have taken an early lunch or the time due to Spring Break. Oops! Mental note to self: Do not to make the same mistake twice…So when he circled back around that evening and asked me to dinner, I grabbed the chance to redeem myself. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn date night included a late showing of the movie. It seems all was forgiven. In fact, as we watched it at IMAX on a Wednesday night two days before Good Friday, I realized forgiveness was a theme that ran through I Can Only Imagine.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Christian music, you’ve probably heard the group Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”, the all-time most played single. The movie with the same name is based on the true life story of lead singer Bart Millard. Millard’s father, played by Dennis Quaid, was extremely abusive, and the domestic violence he suffered is depicted on the big screen. The physical and emotional pain is almost palpable. This is what propels Millard’s music career and him turning that pain into purpose in the writing of the song. While the storyline and music are compelling, even with big names such as musician, Trace Adkins and Christian author, Priscilla Shirer, the acting seemed mediocre at best. And as critics of Christian films often describe their production, it appeared to be “low budget” without the fancy cinematography, bells and whistles. That said, the message of forgiveness being available to all, no matter what they’ve done, is loud, clear, and as beautiful as the rendition of I Can Only Imagine performed by Millard’s character near the end of the film.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose music lover and soloist, though this film didn’t appear to have a billion-dollar budget, it packed a billion-dollar punch that drove home not only the power of the song, but that pain serves a purpose in our lives. Countless lives have been impacted by the lyrics and Millard’s voice. Because the song is about hope. Its message is this – because Jesus Christ died, was buried, rose from the grave, and went to prepare a place for us, one day we’ll see it. And see Him. I had a baby resurrected to new life one Easter 17 years ago and will meet my child for the first time… As we celebrate Easter and the Resurrection, I’m so thankful my hubby took me to IMAX to see the movie, for it reminded me of that glorious day. I can only imagine.
If you’re Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and plan to see/see the movie as part of your Easter celebration, I’d love to hear from you.
It’s Day 278 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited that I got to see Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time and that I can share a review of the movie with you. I’ve been a book nerd since I learned to read at the age of three, and by the time I was in middle school, I absolutely devoured novels. Second only to Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson, which was written the same year I was born – 1969, A Wrinkle in Time, written by Madeline L’Engle in 1962, is an all-time favorite children’s novel. Given my love of books, it was no surprise that I became a school teacher. With the exception of Kindergarten and 4th grade, I taught every grade and loved them all. Still, there was something special about teaching Middle School and 6th grade in particular. Heeding my Teaching Children’s Literature professor’s admonition that it was a crime to bore children with bad books when there were so many great ones from which to choose, I of course turned to this classic, which was awarded the Newberry award for the “most outstanding contribution to children’s literature” in 1963 (Bridge to Terabithia also won). Exposing my 6th graders to A Wrinkle in Time was a highlight every school year. Watching even the most reluctant readers become entranced by the words on the pages was magical, as was being transported on the adventure unfolding on the big screen tonight.
The science fantasy is the saga of a troubled middle school-age sister Meg, an early elementary-age prodigy brother, Charles Wallace, and a popular middle-school friend, Calvin, whose life isn’t as perfect as it first seems, all on a quest to find the siblings’ missing scientist father. Mr. Murry disappeared while researching time travel, leaving behind a confused wife and bereft children. Though I haven’t read the book in years, the plot remained true enough to the original that memory kicked in and I recalled much of the storyline. The adventure starts out on Earth but then visits numerous fictitious planets as the children, along with celestial beings, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling) “tesser” from one location to the next on their search. In a true battle of light vs. darkness, all of the characters are faced with internal and external struggles that ultimately mean their journey is also one of self-discovery and proof that love can overcome hatred.
Stunning cinematography, a star studded cast, and stellar performances from all make this a great film. But I must say it was Storm Reid, who played Meg, who stole the show. At only fourteen, she was able to portray defiance, stubbornness, vulnerability, devotion, loyalty, self-doubt, and such raw sacrificial love that it took my breath away. She reminds me of Zendaya and I’m excited to see what she’ll do in the future.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose reader, I have to admit I was afraid that Hollywood might not get this right. I’m relieved to say they did. My only criticism is I feel the thematic content is too emotionally wrenching for children under thirteen. It’s rated PG, however, the separation of the family and the battle against the evil force may be overwhelming to some children…On the other hand, I absolutely love the portrayal of strong women in the movie and give A Wrinkle in Time a positive movie review.
Hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check it out.
Somewhere along the line, Barnum decides his show needs to appeal to the “high brow” society crowd, so he enlists Phillip Carlise (Zac Efron) a socialite who is also a performer, as a partner. From the moment Phillip lays eyes on Ann (Zendaya), a trapeze artist, sparks fly, but the star-crossed couple struggles to come together due to the fact that she’s not only a “circus freak” but a black one at that! No spoiler alert needed here – I won’t give away what happens, but I will say a scene where the two dance and work the ropes to demonstrate the push and pull of their romance is pure magic. I’ve not seen many Zac Efron movies, but I predict Zendaya (her last name is Collins but she’s already known by her first name only) is going to surpass all the other Disney Channel stars that have gone before her…
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I believe you’ll enjoy this movie. This musical is about creativity, imagination, and making the impossible possible. If you like real life rags to riches stories about the underdogs who win because of their hard work and ingenuity, then this film is for you. Or maybe you just want to be entertained. It delivers that in spades. P.T. Barnum wanted a better world where people could forget about their cares, so without the aid of electronics and technology, he designed it. Considering that, he may very well have been The Greatest Showman.