“Selma,” “Annie,” and “Top Five” provide great holiday options at the movies

selma

David Oyelowo, (center) portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  in his tortured, relentless fight for equal rights under the American constitution. King’s non-violent civil rights movement promoted marches, sit-ins and acts of civil disobedience, strategies that have resurfaced in today’s society to publicize the scourge of white police officers killing unarmed Black men and boys with impunity only to escape punishment from grand juries which refuse to indict them for their crimes.

By Carmen Glover

Three diverse movies offer a treat for movie patrons this Christmas season: “Selma,” “Annie” and “Top Five,” which each tackle a different subject that is ripe for debate. “Selma” opened on Christmas Day in limited release and will open nationwide on January 9, 2015.

Oprah Winfrey appears in "Selma" which she produced; David Oyelowo stars as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ava DuVernay, co- writer and director of the film, which has received four award nominations so far.

Oprah Winfrey appears in “Selma” which she produced; David Oyelowo stars as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ava DuVernay, co- writer and director of the film, which has received four award nominations so far.

The movie is directed by Ava DuVernay, who co-writes the movie with Paul Webb. “Selma is produced by Oprah Winfrey and stars David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Carmen Ejogo as his wife Coretta and features other seasoned actors such as Tim Roth and Lorraine Toussaint.

Selma cast wear "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts to the movie's premiere. Those were the words uttered 11 times by African-American father, husband and grandfather Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York on July 17 when he was choked to death by NYPD detective Daniel Panteleo, whom the grand jury failed to indict, resulting in ongoing protests for justice.

Selma cast wear “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts to the movie’s premiere. Those were the words uttered 11 times by African-American father, husband and grandfather Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York on July 17 when he was choked to death by NYPD detective Daniel Pantaleo, whom the grand jury failed to indict, resulting in ongoing protests for justice.

“Selma” is the first big screen film that tells the story of the non-violent civil rights leader. “Selma” delves into the civil rights movement King spearheaded that featured marches and protests in the quest for voting rights, equality under the law and the right to live in dignity and be treated with respect. True to form, the King estate, run by his children, refused to grant use of his speeches for the film. Nevertheless, the creative forces behind the film produced a stellar, timely and riveting film, which was nominated for several industry awards so far.

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Academy-Award winner Jamie Foxx embraces an ebullient Quevenzhane Wallis, who has transformed the role of “Annie” to one that is relatable to  a broader racial group.

“Annie,” which was released in theaters a week ago, stars Quevenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx in a modern retelling of a musical classic that has always been a hit with families that have small children. “Annie” tells the tale of children in the foster care system, their interactions with those who are charged with their care and their quest for survival. Wallis, who burst on the movie scene in “Beast of the Southern Wild,” which earned her an Oscar nomination, shares great chemistry with Foxx and the duo combine to expand “Annie’s” scope from one which emphasized a mostly white cast to one where African-Americans take the lead roles and deliver convincingly.

top five

Chris Rock, seen with Rosario Dawson in a scene from “Top Five” which Rock wrote and directed. The movie is filled with appearances by comedians that span a wide spectrum.

“Top Five” tells the story of Andre Allen (Chris Rock), a comedian who is busy promoting his first serious film while simultaneously coordinating his upcoming wedding to his reality star fiancée, portrayed  by Gabrielle Union. Rosario Dawson plays a hard-nosed reporter who hangs out with Rock in an attempt to get information for a more personal, real-life article for her newspaper.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06:  Leslie Jones attends the premiere of "Top Five" at the Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Ernesto Di Stefano Photography/WireImage)

TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 06: Leslie Jones attends the premiere of “Top Five” at the Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Ernesto Di Stefano Photography/WireImage)

Throughout the film, a bevy of comedians such as Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler and scene stealer Leslie Jones discuss their top five hip hop artists, with hilarious results that include insults hurled all around, episodes of poor judgment and payback that is bound to keep patrons talking and laughing for days.–OnPointPress.net. 

When police officers run amok, Blacks and Latinos feel the pain

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Oklahoma Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 27, was charged on August 29 with raping, sexually assaulting and forcing a stream of low-income African-American women to perform sex acts.

Scholars and pundits often ponder the chasm between the negative views that Blacks and Latinos tend to have of police officers versus the overwhelmingly positive views held by Whites and Asians. But for members of the first two communities the reason is clear: Blacks and Latinos suffer disproportionately when untamed police officers run amok and the American highways and byways have corpses as evidence of the grim, haunting, heartbreaking reality that there is a war on minority families by unruly cops.

Darren wilson

Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson has been in hiding, on paid departmental leave after gunning down unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown on August 9, roiling the city and the nation.

Summer 2014 has been particularly brutal for Blacks and Latinos at the hands of police officers. Littered across the law enforcement landscape is a rogues gallery of out of control police officers who shoot and kills Blacks and Latinos with impunity. Afterwards, they retreat to their hiding places like schoolyard bullies who start the fight and then high tail it off the premises when confronted by any able opponent.

North Carolina Police Officer pulls over unarmed African-American man, asks for his license then unleashes a barrage of bullets when the man reaches in his vehicle to comply with the officers' orders.

On September 4, South Carolina Police Officer Sean Groubert pulls over unarmed African-American man, Levar Jones, asks for his license, then unleashes a barrage of bullets when the man reaches in his vehicle to comply with the officers’ orders.

South Carolina Police Officer Sean Groubert, 31, was arrested and fired after unleashing a fusillade of gun shots on African-American motorist Levar Jones who was complying with Groubert's request to produce his license after a routine traffic stop.

South Carolina Police Officer Sean Groubert, 31, was arrested and fired after unleashing a fusillade of gun shots on African-American motorist Levar Jones who was complying with Groubert’s request to produce his license after a routine traffic stop.

From robbing residents in Long Island, New York, as part of a drug gang, to imposing an illegal chokehold in Staten Island to kill Eric Garner, lawless New York cops have a template for illegal conduct that they do not seem eager to shed, after cockily embracing the Teflon persona for years, a persona that was in full bloom under former mayors Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg.

March against police brutality.

One of many marches across the country against police brutality. President Obama said recently that police brutality “corrodes” the American society.

The grand jury in Garner’s case convenes today, Monday, September 29. In Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown and left his body splayed in the street for almost a day, like he was a wild animal undeserving of respect. The grand jury in Brown’s case is not expected to return a decision until next year.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots. Brown was scheduled to begin college two days after his murder.

Speaking on Wednesday, September 24 at the UN General Assembly, President Barack Obama mentioned Brown’s shooting, saying “It left the city divided.” Addressing the Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner on Saturday night, September 27, the President said that police targeting of the black community makes it “difficult for the people who need the police the most to trust them.’ He also said that “a culture of mistrust exists between law enforcement and the African-American community” and “young men of color are targeted by the police for walking while black,” among other things.

Police officer who choked eric garner

Daniel Pantaleo, New York City detective who choked Eric Garner, 44, was placed on modified duty but has not been charged in the homicide.

Sexual predator police officer Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City was recently fitted with an ankle monitor and charged with the crime of preying on vulnerable African-American women ranging in age from late 30’s to late 50s. According to the charges brought against him in court on August 29, evidence showed that Holtzclaw raped some of the women and forced others to perform sexual acts on hi as a regular part of his daily routine.

Residents in Ohio voice their anger that the police officers who shot and killed an African-American male as he examined a toy gun in a Walmart Store was not indicted.

Residents in Ohio voice their anger that the police officers who shot and killed an African-American male as he examined a toy gun in a Walmart store was not indicted.

How on earth do police officers expect to be respected or trusted by the Black and Latino communities when they face the repercussions of police misconduct?

Los Angeles Highway Patrol officer mercilessly beat bipolar African-American woman.

Los Angeles Highway Patrol officer mercilessly beat bipolar African-American woman.

The decision by outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into the Ferguson police force for repeated violations of the civil rights of Blacks and Latinos is a great first step. Hopefully the investigation will quell this disgraceful blue code by unsavory police officers who believe that they function above the law that they are sworn to uphold. Is it any wonder the rap group N.W.A.’s 1988 hit “F the Police” became such a huge inner city anthem and has faced resurgence in response to wanton police brutality against a specific segment of American society?

New York City Police Officer throws pregnant woman to the ground, belly first, leaving her a bloody mess, before placing her in handcuffs because she tried to intervene as they beat her unarmed teenaged son.

New York City Police Officer throws pregnant woman to the ground, belly first, leaving her a bloody mess, before placing her in handcuffs because she tried to intervene as they beat her unarmed teenaged son.

Whether it is coercion of minors like what transpired with the Central Park Five, or the unwarranted killings of Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Anthony Baez, Oscar Grant, John Crawford, or countless other men across this country by lawless cops, it’s time for residents to rise up and say: Enough!–OnPointPress.net