Sunday, October 18, 2020

Review: Saturday Church

I’m late to the party, but that is nothing new for me. I finally watched Saturday Church. I really liked the movie.

Saturday Church is about a teenage black boy named Ulysses. Ulysses has recently lost his father. He lives with his mother and younger brother and his aunt has stepped in to help since his father passed away. Ulysses has an affinity for women’s clothing and his family tries to stifle it. His ultra conservative aunt threatens him whenever she sees a glimpse of that side of him. His aunt essentially bullies him when he’s home.

As if the grief of losing his father and the stress of his aunt’s verbal and emotional abuse are not enough, Ulysses is also bullied at school. It’s clear that something has to change. Change comes in the form of an eclectic group of transgender and gay people who welcome Ulysses into the fold. The group introduces Ulysses to the Saturday Church, which is a program at a church that provides food and shelter for LGBTQ people every Saturday.

The group gives Ulysses courage to begin accepting himself. He buys a pair of high heels to wear so that he can practice walking in them. His aunt finds the high heels and their interaction causes Ulysses to run away. I don’t want to spoil the movie for people, so that’s all I’m going to say about the plot.

Now, let’s talk about the movie in general. The characters randomly break into song during the movie. I usually don’t like that, but in this case, the songs were mostly short, lasting just long enough for you to notice they were singing, but not long enough to become annoying and make you wish that they would stop. The movie has some places where it allows the viewer to fill in the gaps, without making the viewer feel as if they are missing details. My only complaint about the movie is that it left me wanting more.

Overall: B+

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

My Reaction to the Series Finale of Empire

I’m going to say something that might be unpopular: they should have brought Jamal back for the final episode. Actors have done all types of crazy crap and still appeared in their respective shows. And I’m not saying this because Jamal’s character is gay. I’m saying this because Jamal was a major part of the cast for all of the previous seasons. They could have had him make a cameo as he Facetimed with Cookie or anything really. A picture or a clip of Jussie from a previous season would have been okay as well. To be honest, I wish they would have killed off his character at the beginning of this season. He could have easily died in a plane crash while he was on the way to England with his husband. His body would not have been recovered, but there would have been closure for his character. The family could have mourned for an episode then pretty much moved on with their lives, and occasionally mentioned his name so that we all knew that they remembered him and missed him. SPOILER: His name was mentioned at the end of the finale, but they showed clips of the little boy that played young Jamal instead of clips of Jussie. 

I’ve been disappointed in the past few seasons of Empire, but I haven’t been able to let go of the show because I love Cookie and Lucious. Now, I’ve seen the end and I wish I would have stopped watching a long time ago. I don’t mean that in a negative way. The finale was what it was. And I’m trying to be understanding because I know production had to stop early due to the coronavirus. I just wish that they would have been able to wrap things up the way they intended. 

I spent all season knowing that this would be the last season. I was hoping for more closure and less craziness. They tried to make something out of the finale, but the episode was more of the same for me. There was nothing “special” about it. It truly could have been any episode in the series. I’m sad that the show was robbed of the epic ending that they were planning. Hopefully, Empire will receive a two-hour long special to give us the ending that we deserve. But I’m not holding my breath.