Mr. Freeze back in the director’s chair again! Also, it took me until the last third of this movie to realize every single person in this movie is black (sometimes it’s fun to be a little clueless). Also, we’re watching this movie on recommendation from the RZA. Also, they hired a stunt voice for Harry Belafonte – what’s that all about? Also, during Pearl Bailey’s “Beat Out That Rhythm on the Drum” (the best part of the movie by far), there seems to be a bunch of dudes twerking (see below).
Obligatory bus anecdote
I watch my movies on the bus on an old, cracked Samsung Galaxy S3. I’ve seen people whip out Kindles, iPads, what have you. But this one time a dude pulled out a full-on MacBook Pro and started working. That TPS report must have been due posthaste.
The Random Remake
Joe (Donald Glover) is a low-ranked soldier in Afghanistan who is considering signing up to host USO shows and do his spoken-word-rap act that has been popular with his detachment and gotten the attention of show organizers. While checking out a show he watches the flamboyant act of pop star Carmen Jones (Janelle Monae), who does a doo-wop/hip-hop rendition of Habanera. Joe is impressed and joins the show, initially refusing to give in to Carmen’s obvious charms.
A few shows later, however, Joe is smitten and follows Carmen as she heads back stateside for a military recruitment tour of basketball arenas. As they rehearse in Chicago, Joe gets jealous of the immense attention Carmen gets from the high-ranking recruiters. After “defending her honor” (in which Carmen was engaging in innocent flirting) by fighting a ranking officer, Joe is threatened with court martial. He flees, and begs Carmen to come with him but she decides to accept the overtures from lothario professional athlete Henry Miller (Joakim Noah), a featured celebrity on the tour.
Joe is enraged by the betrayal and falls into full madness. He stalks the rehearsals and sneaks into the United Center on the night of the tour’s debut. He seethes watching Carmen perform and then introduce star Henry. As Carmen and Henry leave the stage Joe lunges at them with a gun. He aims for Henry in a jealous rage but is tackled by a bystander as he shoots, missing Henry and fatally hitting Carmen. His mind enters a psychotic world of tragic opera as he sings the lament to Carmen and his own slip into insanity.
Carmen Jones: If she loves you, you’d best beware.
Next up: Flamingo Road (1949)