Creed II: Experiencing and Embracing the Family Ties that Connects Us

With the return of the highly anticipated movie, there was much speculation about how Creed II would measure up against its predecessor. However, after a few minutes into the movie, you realize that it was well equipped and written to stand on its own.

Given the knowledge that this film was not going to be helmed by its original director Ryan Coogler, there were concerns from fans and critics alike that the movie’s core character storyline structure would be different. However, adding Steven Caple, Jr as director was a great addition to Creed movie franchise. In my opinion, the movie flawlessly executed the plans and aspirations left over from the original film. The transition between the characters storylines appeared effortless as the main character and the supporting characters displayed growth and humility; two qualities that are often lacking in today’s film standards and plot lines.

But the aspect that made me most appreciative of the movie was its display and relatability when it came to family ties and bonds. As a semi-spoiler alert for anyone that has not taken themselves with the quickness to see this film, both of main character Adonis Creed, as reprised by Michael B. Jordan and the lead antagonist Viktor Drago portrayed by Florian Munteanu, had a lot of aspects that were in common despite their very different upbringings. I felt it was these similarities that allowed the audience to see both of the characters from a different narrative, despite the shortcomings and or insecurities. I also felt by showcasing the element of family in this film, that is set up the film to be thrust into the franchise stratosphere with an entirely familiar yet different feel.

Based on the film’s success at the box office over the Thanksgiving Weekend, it is no secret the film will be up for a possible third installment. However, what is very unlikely is the return of the franchise showrunner Rocky Balboa helmed Hollywood film legend, Sylvester Stallone. His storyline in so many ways was finally addressed, and neatly packaged should the character and actor decide to hang up their gloves. Also, the actor himself as expressed that after 40 years he was ready to give the franchise over to the bright and buzzing talent of Michael B. Jordan. At the time of this article post, Creed III has yet to be announced. However, with the creation of the Adonis Creed Family and the potential to bring back other characters from the past to stand in the way of Adonis’ title, Creed III would definitely be a great contender in the ring of movie releases by 2020.

Nappily Ever After: Finding Yourself Amid Societal Confinements

So, let’s just first start by saying this post is long overdue. However, I have finally gotten the opportunity to share my thoughts about Netflix’s latest breakout movie Nappily Ever After. If you didn’t get the hint from the title of the film and this article, then you should know that this movie is focused on hair. Specifically, African American hair. And if you really want to get even more detailed, African American Women’s hair and styling processes.

The streamable movie, which debuted in late September on the service, features famous movie actress Sanaa Lathan as Violet Jones. Violet, is a highly successful marketing promotor that has lived most of her life in the confines of the ideal “perfect” image. Spurred on by the likes of her mother, Paulette Jones, who is portrayed by acting legend Lynn Whitfield, Violet struggles with accepting her hair and appearance in its natural form. From starting her day extremely early to primp and mull over her appearance to avoiding wet situations, Violet has settled in an unnatural and un-maintainable lifestyle.

In typical, Lifetime Movie “esque” fashion, her world comes tumbling down as she is given the reality check of a lifetime when her longterm boyfriend presents that he has grown bored with her perfection. Naturally, a person that has spent most of their life confirming to images of beauty that are often mainstream and westernized standards, they would want to change everything and go for a more daring path in life to end their current conundrum. And Violet does just that. If you haven’t seen the movie, I will hold back on providing a full overview of the film.

But if you have seen the movie, I will say that I was happy with the ending and the overall message that the film represented. For far too long, the African American and other minoritized communities have accepted what has been forced upon them as “beauty” standards and norms. That mindset and time are now viewed as toxic. Watching Violet display both her struggles and triumphs as she discovered her true feelings for her own beauty was rewarding and refreshing to see. Over the past few years, the natural hair and just natural movement have gained a lot of attention from beauty companies and fashion houses. Hair product lines have now targeted and marketed their products to people that feel their natural beauty is more than enough.

One final message that I gleaned from the film was the importance of surrounding yourself with people that believe in your overall life visions and your development. I am a firm believer in that your life’s journey is not a straight path. There are several twists and turns and even plot changes that ultimately shape you as a person. With that in mind, it is quickly forgotten that sometimes the people that start your journey with you don’t always continue or end it with you and vice versa. And even though, Nappily Ever After had a quirky delivery, but in all, it represented the quirkiness of life when you are in search of your self and who you ultimately present to the world. Catch it on Netflix while it’s available!

Night School: The Hilariously Funny Lesson About Life

Night School Article Cover

This past weekend, the movie Night School hit theaters nationwide and it was without question going to be a successful beginning of the Fall movie season. With an opening weekend of about $28 million, Night School shot up past the other movie contenders to take the number 1 spot in American film.

The biggest thing about the movie, besides the top-grossing comedians in entertainment right now, was the lesson that was craftily woven between the movie’s overarching plot. If you haven’t seen Night School then I would suggest stopping right here. But if you have seen the comedy, then you realize that the biggest lesson that movie sold was the lesson of taking advantage of second opportunities.

Many times in life, opportunities and chances come around once. If you’re wise, then you will take notice of the opportunity and it’s relevance and do the best you can humanly do. But sadly, there are times in life when a person’s youth, inexperience and poor judgment outweigh those experiences and you find yourself wishing and hoping for a second chance in hindsight.

With the help of a caring and highly passionate teacher played by Tiffany Haddish, a group of unlikely friends, and the unlikely motivation from an old high school rival, Teddy, portrayed by Kevin Hart, finds himself on the emotional and self-discovery journey of a lifetime. Over the course of the journey, Teddy finds himself facing life’s uncomfortable truths and in the end, he celebrates with success.

In all, despite the movie’s hilarious moments and laughable scenes, I appreciate Night School for its lesson and self-reflective themes. Laughing at comedy is one thing but learning lessons while laughing is a perfect nod to classic cinema and to learning to live and thrive among life’s twists and turns. I even think it would be apropos to state that class is officially dismissed.