Category Archives: Best and Worst

#CinNoir Award Nominations Round-Up (The Best and Worst of 2016)

Tis the season for award nominations galore.  On this week’s edition of Cinema in Noir, we chatted about the NAACP Image Award nominations in addition to the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and the Independent Spirit Award nominations.  There has been an abundance of great film and television this year. The nomination lists provide a diverse group of nominees.

Award Nominations

NAACP Image Awards 

The NAACP Image Awards always acknowledge the underappreciated black talent that doesn’t get the mainstream recognition they deserve. And this year is no different.  The Best Comedy Series category is the most exciting.  The nominees include five of the best shows on television: Atlanta, black-ish, The Carmichael Show, Insecure, and Survivor’s Remorse. Tika Sumpter is nominated for her work in the film Southside With You. Shout out to my soror, Twitter homie, and BFF (in my head).

Golden Globes and SAG Awards

These two are basically the same lists.  The film Loving . It is without question one of the best films of the year.  Ruth Negga’s performance is understated perfection. I am glad both received nominations.   Also, Issa Rae and Tracee Ellis Ross made history with their nominations. They are the first black women nominated in the Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy category in over 30 years.  The last time a black woman was nominated in the category was 1984 when Debbie Allen, Nell Carter, and Isabel Sanford were nominated.

Independent Spirit Awards

The Independent Spirit Awards are always fun to watch because I am introduced to films I have not seen and some I’ve never even heard of.  Shout out to a few of my faves: Ava DuVernay, whose documentary The 13th is nominated in the Best Documentary category, Edwina Findley who is nominated in the Best Supporting  Female category for her work in the film Free Indeed, and Stella Meghie who is nominated for Best First Screenplay for her film, Jean of the Jones.

The #CinNoirAwards – The Best and Worst of 2016

We ended the show with our yearly round-up of our personal picks for the Best and Worst of 2016. As usual, you can expect some films that you may not see on other mainstream Best of lists.

So, in case you missed it, you can catch the podcast here:

Missed a podcast? Catch up and listen to our shows from October and November.

My Best of 2015 (And a Few I Saw So You Don’t Have To)

My best of 2015!!! On the last #CinNoir chat of 2015, my co-hosts and I listed our favorite films of the year.  In case you missed it, check it our here.

Here are my choices for the best of 2015:

  1. Advantageous

Best of 2015Hands down, one of the best of 2015. Great story, talented cast, people of color portrayed in the future; this sci-fi indie flick is awesome on many levels.Side note: We chatted with director Jennifer Phang this year. See what she said about the film here.

2.  Ayanda

Best f 2015

A vibrant coming of age story set in South Africa. Filmmaker Sara Blecher shows a side of South Africa that Americans rarely get to see on the big screen.

3.  A Ballerina’s Tale

ballerina

One of my favorite documentaries of the year.  The film follows the amazing career of ballerina Misty Copeland. Four reasons you NEED to see it here.

4. Brotherly Love

brotherly-love

A Romeo and Julietesque love story/crime drama.  The film is actor Cory Hardict’s best work in my opinion. Brotherly Love is suspenseful and has a great plot twist at the end. My #CinNoir review here.

5. Creed 

creedpostersmall

The latest installment in the Rocky franchise, Creed is the boxing film for people who don’t like boxing films and for those who love them. The film boasts amazing performances from Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tess Thompson.

6. Dope

Dope-movie-poster (1)Dope is a fresh look at the lives of  three black geeks who find themselves in a sticky situation when they are forced to become drug dealers. I love the film because of it’s exploration of the black nerd, a side of our culture we rarely get to see in the big screen. You can hear my #CinNoir review here.

7. Lila and Eve

Lila-and-Eve-MovieI had some reservations about this one but was pleasantly surprised. And the plot twist in the second half really elevated the film beyond my initial Lifetime movie label. Viola was great in the film and this is my favorite JLo performance in years.

8. Room 

room

Rarely is the film adaptation of a story as good as the book.  But this is one of those exceptions. Brie Larson’s performance is pitch perfect.

9. Straight Outta Compton

straight-outta-compton-poster

One of the top grossing films of the year, it chronicled the history of one of rap’s greatest groups. And despite a few flaws, the cast delivered amazing performances.

10. What Happened, Miss Simone

What-Happened-Miss-Simone-poster

My other favorite documentary of the year.  The film is great because it shows the trials and tribulations behind Nina’s genius.

Last, and MOST certainly, the least.  Here are my picks for the worst of 2015:

Paul Blart Mall Cop II – Self explanatory

Get Hard – Will Ferrel and Kevin Hart…what could go wrong? Everything.

The Man in Apartment 3 B – Think BET Arabesque film. Yep. For real.

Blackbird – I wanted to like this film. But it fell flat.

What films are on your best of list for 2015? Worst?

My Best of 2014 (And a Few I Saw So You Don’t Have To)

On the last #CinNoir chat of 2014 we listed the best and worst of 2014. In case you missed it, check it out here.

Here are my choices for best of 2014:

1. About Last Night

About Last Night

Kevin Hart and Regina Hall are the supporting cast in this remake of the 80’s favorite, but they steal the show They are SO freaking hilarious together.

2. Belle 

Belle

How often do we see a British costume drama with a person of color in the lead? Never. Ever. Until Belle.  This is an important film. And it’s really good.

3. Beyond the Lights

Beyond the Lights

It’s so rare that we get to see true love portrayed on the big screen between two leads of color. The chemistry between Kaz and Noni is palpable. You fall in love with them immediately.

4. Boyhood

BoyhoodShot over the course of 12 years, Boyhood is simply a once in a lifetime cinematic experience. It’s made even better with great performances by the cast.

5. Dear White People
Dear White People

This is a rare glimpse into the life of the black undergrad on a predominately white campus. I love the film because it focuses on the black college experience outside of the dance team/step team/drum line.

6. Gone Girl
Gone GIrl

Never is the film adaptation of a story EVER as good as the book. Until now. Gillian Flynn’s screenplay, David Fincher’s direction, and the performances by Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck were all pitch perfect.

7. Life Itself

Life Itself

This is the best documentary I’ve seen this year.  The film is a beautiful tribute to a man who spent his life loving, watching, and talking about film. I think Ebert would give it two thumbs up.

8. Maleficent

MAleficient

Angelina Jolie shines as the misunderstood title character in this retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

9. St. Vincent

St. VIncentI love that in this coming of age film, Melissa McCarthy gets to play the straight woman to Bill Murray’s cantankerous Vincent.

10. Top Five

Top Five

Hand’s down, my favorite Chris Rock film.  A very smart film with tons of hilarious and purposeful cameo appearances. Sidenote: If The Academy gave awards for cameos, DMX would be a front runner.

HONORABLE MENTION: My Best Film of 2014 That I Have Not Seen Yet: Selma

 

Best of 2014

Selma opened in NY, LA, ATL, and DC on Christmas Day, and does not arrive in NC until January 9, 2015.  So, I have not yet seen the movie yet but I already know I will love it 🙂

 

Last, and MOST certainly, the least.  Here are my picks for the worst of 2014

Sex Tape – Yep, it’s as bad as you thought.

Think Like a Man Too – I really wanted to love this film. I REALLY  did not love it at all.

A Million Ways to Die In The West – Should have been called A Million Reasons I Wanted to Die While Watching THIS Movie.

Get on Up – The only saving grace for this movie was Chadwick Boseman’s performance. But not even Chadwick could save it this chaotic mess of a movie. AND most of my girl Tika’s work was cut, so yeah…I’m salty.

Cuban Fury – Never heard of it?  Yeah, there’s a reason for that.

 

What films are on your best of list for 2014? Worst?

Cinema in Noir – The Best Films of 2013 (ICYMI)

As 2013 rapidly comes to an end, many will be recapping their favorite films of the year. On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, we added our top picks to the growing “Best of” lists. There are some films that will come as no surprise (like 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station) but also some films that you may not expect (like the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom and the biopic 42).

RA 20 Feet

We were joined by Fariha Roisin of the Two Brown Girls podcast and Whitney Greer of The Cinefille.com. I for one added several films to my “must watch” list after hearing these women’s diverse selections for the Best of 2013.  And we could not resist mentioning a few of our least favorites of the year.

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Cinema in Noir – The Best (and Worst) of 2012

It’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year!! AWARD SEASON!!!! And today on Cinema in Noir, we discussed the good, bad, and WTF moments from The NAACP Image, The Screen Actors Guild, The Golden Globe, and the Critics Choice Award nominations.

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Also, in this super-sized midseason finale (lol), my co-hosts reviewed Django Unchained, This is Forty (aka Knocked Up 2), Les Miserables, and The Hobbit. We also discussed the trailers for Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and Will and Jaden Smith’s latest, Another Earth.

And alas, tis the season for movie critics and film goer’s alike to reflect and recount the best and worst  of the year in film.  On today’s Cinema in Noir, we added our voices to the mix as we discussed the highs and lows of 2012. Check out my faves (and not so faves) of this past year.

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My top ten faves of 2012:

1. Argo

RS Argo

This is such a good film. Ben Affleck is turning into a great director.  Argo makes up for the Gigli debacle.

 

2. Beasts of the Southern Wild

RS BOTSW

Simply, a magical experience. Great story with great acting.

 

3. Celeste and Jesse Forever

RS CAJF

I adore Rashida Jones.  She cowrote this film and gave a great performance.

 

4. Flight

RS Flight

The first 20 minutes of the film are worth all the accolades this film has gotten. And Denzel’s performance is amazing.

 

5. Girl In Progress

RS Girl

This is such a sweet coming of age film.  It marks my favorite Eva Mendez performance to date.  And Cierra Ramirez is a rising star who has a great career ahead of her.

 

6. Killer Joe

RS KJ

It’s dark and twisted and trailer trashy, kinda disgusting and really disturbing. But all in a good way.  McConaughey’s performance is the actor’s best to date.

 

7. Middle of Nowhere 

 

RS MON

I love how filmmaker Ava DuVernay celebrates the quiet, simple moments in the lives of black women.   Ava’s attention to detail is impeccablehe. The cast is amazing and chemistry between the characters was great.  I believed all of the connections.

 

8. Pitch Perfect

RS PP

I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed this film The music is catchy and the film is very funny. Rebel Wilson is the star with her hilarious one liners.

 

9. Sparkle

RS Sparkle

This is hands down the best remake I’ve seen in a while.  Mara Brock Akil did an amazing job modernizing the story yet remaining true to the essence of the original film, which happens to be one of my faves.  Carmen Ejogo gives an awesome performance. And Whitney Houston’s scenes are poignant.

10. Think Like A Man

RS TLAM

I have to admit I was giving this movie the biggest side eye from the very beginning. But I was again pleasantly surprised by how entertaining the film was. It is a great ensemble romantic comedy.

 

The Worst of 2012

Battleship – Okay, I have to be honest…I never made it past the trailer.

The Words – I really wanted to like this film.  But I really, really didn’t.

Madea’s Witness Protection – self explanatory

A Thousand Words – Made in 2006, released in 2012.  Now I know why it say on a shelf for six years.

The Vow – Channing Tatum is in it. Enough said.