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Review: Selma

Selma
01.08.2015
9 10

PLOT: The true story of Dr. Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) and his involvement in the landmark civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

REVIEWS: Some movies can’t help but be timely and man, is SELMA ever timely. Watching SELMA, it’s tempting to look back in disgust at the terrible injustices that African-Americans in the South had to deal with just fifty years ago and say, “well, at least things are different now.” Indeed they are, but the world of 2014 is still far from perfect, and things that were relevant in 1965 are still relevant today. SELMA shines a light on an era and an event that should always be kept in mind whenever we try to tell people what they can and can’t do.

For years, Hollywood has been trying to launch a Martin Luther King project that would do the man justice. In the end, it took Ava DuVernay, whose well-regarded but under-seen indie MIDDLE OF NOWHERE marked her as a director to watch, to make the definitive King movie. Not having access to his copyrighted speeches, DuVernay’s film (written by Paul Webb) is unique in that it’s less a King biopic than a tight, focused examination of one important episode in his life. In that way, it probably has more in common with something like BLOODY SUNDAY than your typical biopic, and it’s a brilliant, cinematic approach.

As Dr. King, David Oyelowo is revelatory, pulling off a performance that seems true to the man without being a caricature or overly reverent. DuVernay’s film acknowledges that King was a man, with faults like any other, but in a way that makes him even more affecting. Oyelowo doesn’t look especially like King, but he captures the soul of the man. However, he’s only a piece of the puzzle, with this being a true ensemble film with at least a dozen good roles, from Carmen Ejogo as King’s wife Coretta, to pros like Wendell Pierce, Andre Holland and Martin Sheen as the allies King encountered along the way.

The film does a great job portraying just how much the people in the march were risking their lives by participating, with the southern resistance ranging from ignorant yokels to devious politicians, and more than a few sadists, who were so keen to inflict harm there are scenes of people riding horses and brandishing whips, like full-on slave masters. It’s puzzling to think of where this hate comes from, but even still, SELMA tries to keep an even hand. Tim Roth could have easily played George Wallace as demonic, but he tries to humanize him as much as he can, which is not easy when you’re playing one of history’s great bastards. Tom Wilkinson is very effective as Lyndon Johnson, who’s not above playing the good ol’boy card with Wallace, but also sympathizes with King, even if he’s reluctant to stir up trouble and makes a few horrible decisions along the way.

But the best thing about SELMA is that it’s not a movie about blame or hate. Rather, it’s hopeful in that it shows how people can come together and change things for the better, a message that should always be kept in mind when things get out of hand as they often do. SELMA is easily one of the most important films of the year, and something everyone should see.

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:14PM on 01/08/2015
I'm sure this movie has merit, but I don't want to see it because it seems more Oscar and PC manufactured than anything else. And films like this, and 12 Years a Slave, and even The Dallas Buyer's Club (which had great acting, but is NOT a good movie) are all movies made to where people "have" to like them. 12 Years A Slave was well made, but a better film than Wolf of Wall Street? No way. With no really great Oscar type films besides Boyhood, I won't be surprised if this "important" film
I'm sure this movie has merit, but I don't want to see it because it seems more Oscar and PC manufactured than anything else. And films like this, and 12 Years a Slave, and even The Dallas Buyer's Club (which had great acting, but is NOT a good movie) are all movies made to where people "have" to like them. 12 Years A Slave was well made, but a better film than Wolf of Wall Street? No way. With no really great Oscar type films besides Boyhood, I won't be surprised if this "important" film will wind up winning to kind of cleanse white guilt. Maybe I'm missing out, I just feel like I've probably seen Selma a dozen times
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2:06PM on 01/08/2015

I am sure they left this fact out of the movie.

One of King's closest friends, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, wrote a book in 1989 in which he talked about King's obsession with white prostitutes. King would often use church donations to have drunken sex parties, where he would hire two to three white prostitutes, occasionally beating them brutally. This has also been reported by the FBI agents who monitored King. King was married with four children.
One of King's closest friends, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, wrote a book in 1989 in which he talked about King's obsession with white prostitutes. King would often use church donations to have drunken sex parties, where he would hire two to three white prostitutes, occasionally beating them brutally. This has also been reported by the FBI agents who monitored King. King was married with four children.
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2:24PM on 01/08/2015
Yeah, but they leave stuff out of all these peoples lives. Or minimize it. Ali. Johnny Cash. All of the biopics. But the way I understood this review, isn't this more of a one day, or one specific part of his life? If those things were going on then, they dont have anything to do with this story. I still get your point, but I would assume he showered, went to the bathroom, masterbated in this time frame, and they aren't showing that either. It's Hollywood AND award season BRA!
Yeah, but they leave stuff out of all these peoples lives. Or minimize it. Ali. Johnny Cash. All of the biopics. But the way I understood this review, isn't this more of a one day, or one specific part of his life? If those things were going on then, they dont have anything to do with this story. I still get your point, but I would assume he showered, went to the bathroom, masterbated in this time frame, and they aren't showing that either. It's Hollywood AND award season BRA!
+1
11:05AM on 01/08/2015
I'm sure this movie has merit, but I don't want to see it because it seems more Oscar and PC manufactured than anything else. And films like this, and 12 Years a Slave, and even The Dallas Buyer's Club (which had great acting, but is NOT a good movie) are all movies made to where people "have" to like them. 12 Years A Slave was well made, but a better film than Wolf of Wall Street? No way. With no really great Oscar type films besides Boyhood, I won't be surprised if this "important" film
I'm sure this movie has merit, but I don't want to see it because it seems more Oscar and PC manufactured than anything else. And films like this, and 12 Years a Slave, and even The Dallas Buyer's Club (which had great acting, but is NOT a good movie) are all movies made to where people "have" to like them. 12 Years A Slave was well made, but a better film than Wolf of Wall Street? No way. With no really great Oscar type films besides Boyhood, I won't be surprised if this "important" film will wind up winning to kind of cleanse white guilt. Maybe I'm missing out, I just feel like I've probably seen Selma a dozen times
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6:41AM on 01/08/2015
We just had over here the Monumental Mysteries episode about what happened on the bridge in Selma .looks a good movie. Heres the episode ,John Lewis is the true hero . -
[link]
We just had over here the Monumental Mysteries episode about what happened on the bridge in Selma .looks a good movie. Heres the episode ,John Lewis is the true hero . -
[link]
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1:37AM on 01/08/2015

The ignorance...

...that is on display in some of these comments absolutely astounds me. But I suppose it's just further proof that a movie like Selma is absolutely relevant and needed, today more than ever. Despite one's opinion on what's happening now in the U.S. with the police, I don't see how that could possibly affect your opinion about a movie based on the Civil Rights Movement (unless your opinions are motivated by something far more insidious, of course). Great review, I've heard fantastic things about
...that is on display in some of these comments absolutely astounds me. But I suppose it's just further proof that a movie like Selma is absolutely relevant and needed, today more than ever. Despite one's opinion on what's happening now in the U.S. with the police, I don't see how that could possibly affect your opinion about a movie based on the Civil Rights Movement (unless your opinions are motivated by something far more insidious, of course). Great review, I've heard fantastic things about this movie and I can't wait to check it out.
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3:37AM on 01/08/2015
Your point makes sense but your delivery is going to change nobody's mind. Instead of looking down on those that think differently then you, why not try to present reasons why these people should see Selma. Once you've started the mmessage calling people ignorant, it's pretty doubtful they'll get any further then that
Your point makes sense but your delivery is going to change nobody's mind. Instead of looking down on those that think differently then you, why not try to present reasons why these people should see Selma. Once you've started the mmessage calling people ignorant, it's pretty doubtful they'll get any further then that
7:06AM on 01/08/2015
LBJ actually gave the classic speech " we shall overcome." after what happened in Selma and gave voting rights for African Americans despite strong support against it - [link]
LBJ actually gave the classic speech " we shall overcome." after what happened in Selma and gave voting rights for African Americans despite strong support against it - [link]
10:27AM on 01/07/2015

I will not watch this...ever!!!

The only reason I will not watch this is because it has Oprah Winfrey in it. I hate it when actors (In which she really isn't) only do movies on black repression. And don't tell me she is repressed. She isn't old enough to be repressed. Also, I'm sure they're gonna make the White person the criminal and mean people. I'm also sick of hearing about MLK. I'm not trying to be racist here. I just think it is been beaten to death.
The only reason I will not watch this is because it has Oprah Winfrey in it. I hate it when actors (In which she really isn't) only do movies on black repression. And don't tell me she is repressed. She isn't old enough to be repressed. Also, I'm sure they're gonna make the White person the criminal and mean people. I'm also sick of hearing about MLK. I'm not trying to be racist here. I just think it is been beaten to death.
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3:29PM on 01/07/2015
Well, in this case the white people kind of were the criminals and mean people. If the white people were all really nice to black people all the time there probably wouldn't have been a need for a civil rights movement. Kind of a stupid comment to make about the subject matter.

That being said, I do agree with you about Oprah. She's really never had to walk a mile in the shoes of the average black person, but seems perfectly comfortable telling everyone else their business.
Well, in this case the white people kind of were the criminals and mean people. If the white people were all really nice to black people all the time there probably wouldn't have been a need for a civil rights movement. Kind of a stupid comment to make about the subject matter.

That being said, I do agree with you about Oprah. She's really never had to walk a mile in the shoes of the average black person, but seems perfectly comfortable telling everyone else their business.
11:13PM on 01/07/2015
According to those who have seen the film, they actually attack LBJ in this film for his known racism. Something Hollywood usually avoids in films about race. So I say good job if true. It proves it is not the same old same old.
According to those who have seen the film, they actually attack LBJ in this film for his known racism. Something Hollywood usually avoids in films about race. So I say good job if true. It proves it is not the same old same old.
+0
4:08PM on 12/19/2014
I've heard lots of good things about this one, so far as to say this is one of the best films of the year, so I am eager to check it out. It's hard these days to make an honest, legitimate film about events like this because it can too often come off as cheesy and obvious. Case in point: The Butler. I'll look forward to seeing this. Sadly, it will be in January. I don't understand why they can't just give these films a wide release immediately instead of trying to make it in time for the
I've heard lots of good things about this one, so far as to say this is one of the best films of the year, so I am eager to check it out. It's hard these days to make an honest, legitimate film about events like this because it can too often come off as cheesy and obvious. Case in point: The Butler. I'll look forward to seeing this. Sadly, it will be in January. I don't understand why they can't just give these films a wide release immediately instead of trying to make it in time for the Academy by having a limited release.
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4:30PM on 12/18/2014

Timely film...

Things haven't change much with the racial nonsense that is currently going on with the police; the disproportionate violence against black males. Not too mention the biased justice system and racial profiling.

There are many black, white, and Asian individuals, who are coming together to make sure everyone is treated equally. Not too mention, check those officers - badge carrying thugs - who get trigger happy when they come across a black individual or abuse their power with citizens
Things haven't change much with the racial nonsense that is currently going on with the police; the disproportionate violence against black males. Not too mention the biased justice system and racial profiling.

There are many black, white, and Asian individuals, who are coming together to make sure everyone is treated equally. Not too mention, check those officers - badge carrying thugs - who get trigger happy when they come across a black individual or abuse their power with citizens overall.

Looking forward to seeing the film.
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8:49PM on 12/18/2014
Things haven't changed much since MLK? That's a ridiculous statement.
Things haven't changed much since MLK? That's a ridiculous statement.
11:40PM on 12/18/2014
Dumbest thing I've read on the internet in months. You have to try to be that uninformed.
Dumbest thing I've read on the internet in months. You have to try to be that uninformed.
12:57AM on 01/07/2015
I agree, but I hope your not making a blanket statement about all cops? There are a lot of good officers who are just trying to make the streets safe for the average citizen. Too bad rotten apples spoil the whole bunch.
I agree, but I hope your not making a blanket statement about all cops? There are a lot of good officers who are just trying to make the streets safe for the average citizen. Too bad rotten apples spoil the whole bunch.
5:36PM on 01/08/2015
You can whine about the racial profiling all you want, profiling is something that is human in nature and I would bet my two balls and the sack their in that you profile as much as every single human being in the planet. It's sad, it ain't right, but it happens, all day every day. That will never, ever, ever change until the world becomes Star Trek. And don't get me started about your idiotic comment about the police. I could point to literally hundreds of cases that don't make national
You can whine about the racial profiling all you want, profiling is something that is human in nature and I would bet my two balls and the sack their in that you profile as much as every single human being in the planet. It's sad, it ain't right, but it happens, all day every day. That will never, ever, ever change until the world becomes Star Trek. And don't get me started about your idiotic comment about the police. I could point to literally hundreds of cases that don't make national news that would directly refute this statement, but there would be no point would there? Ugh. Sorry, that comment justmade me sick. Anyways, as for the film Selma, I'm looking forward to it.
2:18PM on 12/18/2014
Go read the "Some things we must do" speech and tell me we all don't miss that kind of leadership [link]
[link]
Go read the "Some things we must do" speech and tell me we all don't miss that kind of leadership [link]
[link]
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2:19PM on 12/18/2014
I say this final thing in my introductory remarks: I still have faith in the South. I still have faith in Montgomery, Alabama. I do not speak as any superficial optimist at this point; I’m not sitting back in some ivory tower with a rosy-eyed vision. I speak as one who has stood in the thick of this struggle (All right); I speak as one who has subjected his family to dangerous living (All right); I speak of one who has to live every day under the threat of death. (Yes) But in the midst of
I say this final thing in my introductory remarks: I still have faith in the South. I still have faith in Montgomery, Alabama. I do not speak as any superficial optimist at this point; I’m not sitting back in some ivory tower with a rosy-eyed vision. I speak as one who has stood in the thick of this struggle (All right); I speak as one who has subjected his family to dangerous living (All right); I speak of one who has to live every day under the threat of death. (Yes) But in the midst of that, I come to you not with a message of despair, but a message of hope. (Yeah) I believe in the future and I believe in the South, and I have faith in it. - MLK
10:09AM on 12/18/2014
Things haven't changed all that much--just look at the people who still blame the protesters in Ferguson and elsewhere. Racism is insidious.

I'll be seeing this movie, definitely.
Things haven't changed all that much--just look at the people who still blame the protesters in Ferguson and elsewhere. Racism is insidious.

I'll be seeing this movie, definitely.
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11:11AM on 12/18/2014
You mean blame the protesters for looting, burning down businesses, and attacking people? Yeah, how racist of me to expect people to act civilized over the case of a 300lb thug robbing a store than attacking a police officer while wasted on drugs.
You mean blame the protesters for looting, burning down businesses, and attacking people? Yeah, how racist of me to expect people to act civilized over the case of a 300lb thug robbing a store than attacking a police officer while wasted on drugs.
2:34PM on 12/18/2014
Well, everything else about your statement was pretty racist, so... yeah. Sorry, buddy.
Well, everything else about your statement was pretty racist, so... yeah. Sorry, buddy.
2:35PM on 12/18/2014
There was a sizable difference between peaceful protesters who were being harassed by heavily armed police (check out the lovely photo essay of Ferguson police tear gassing an Al-Jazeera camera crew, destroying their gear and then blaming the damage on "looters"), and thugs who destroyed shops.

Oh, and where did you read that Michael Brown was on drugs at the time? However, it has been proven that Officer Darren Wilson lied about injuries sustained during the confrontation.

I will say
There was a sizable difference between peaceful protesters who were being harassed by heavily armed police (check out the lovely photo essay of Ferguson police tear gassing an Al-Jazeera camera crew, destroying their gear and then blaming the damage on "looters"), and thugs who destroyed shops.

Oh, and where did you read that Michael Brown was on drugs at the time? However, it has been proven that Officer Darren Wilson lied about injuries sustained during the confrontation.

I will say that my in-laws refused to return to a Florida retirement community they stayed at, after they heard a bunch of comments there about the Trayvon Martin shooting.
11:41PM on 12/18/2014
So the truth is racist? No wonder you're so uninformed.
So the truth is racist? No wonder you're so uninformed.
11:44PM on 12/18/2014
Where did I read he was on drugs? You mean besides the THREE autopsies performed on him (one by Dr Michael Baden who was hired by Brown's parents)?
Where did I read he was on drugs? You mean besides the THREE autopsies performed on him (one by Dr Michael Baden who was hired by Brown's parents)?
3:36PM on 01/07/2015
Des1, none of the autopsies confirmed he was on drugs. Just that he was shot 7 times, 6 of which were from approx. 150 feet away (therefore presenting no immediate danger to the office to require him to shoot an unarmed person 6 times).

And even if he was high on drugs, why does that mean he deserved to be gunned down by a police officer? Sure he robbed a store, sure he attacked an officer, sure he tried to grab the officer's weapon (unsuccessfully). For that, he should be arrested and
Des1, none of the autopsies confirmed he was on drugs. Just that he was shot 7 times, 6 of which were from approx. 150 feet away (therefore presenting no immediate danger to the office to require him to shoot an unarmed person 6 times).

And even if he was high on drugs, why does that mean he deserved to be gunned down by a police officer? Sure he robbed a store, sure he attacked an officer, sure he tried to grab the officer's weapon (unsuccessfully). For that, he should be arrested and put on trial and inevitably put in jail. But after the unarmed kid ran away, there was no need to shoot him 6 more times from 150 feet away.
3:32AM on 01/08/2015
Anyone who believes that those protests are exclusively about Michael Brown has their head buried in the sand. It's just a culmination of anger built up over years police brutality. If you believe it's only the criminals who get brutalized then you should wake up out of that slumber you've been in your entire life. If you believe it's just a black issue then you need to look up Kelly Thomas and stop being clueless to the police state that is being built right in front of your eyes.
Anyone who believes that those protests are exclusively about Michael Brown has their head buried in the sand. It's just a culmination of anger built up over years police brutality. If you believe it's only the criminals who get brutalized then you should wake up out of that slumber you've been in your entire life. If you believe it's just a black issue then you need to look up Kelly Thomas and stop being clueless to the police state that is being built right in front of your eyes.
6:55AM on 01/08/2015
MickLoud, you're completely uninformed. You're wrong about the his drug use, that ANY of the wounds was from 150' away (you have to be an idiot to even believe an autopsy could tell the difference between a 100' shot and a 150' shot), and what's really sad is that you've made up your mind based on knowing nothing. There was a blood spatter coming toward the officer for the last 25 feet before the final shot. It is undeniable that this 300lb thug was high on drugs and attacking the officer
MickLoud, you're completely uninformed. You're wrong about the his drug use, that ANY of the wounds was from 150' away (you have to be an idiot to even believe an autopsy could tell the difference between a 100' shot and a 150' shot), and what's really sad is that you've made up your mind based on knowing nothing. There was a blood spatter coming toward the officer for the last 25 feet before the final shot. It is undeniable that this 300lb thug was high on drugs and attacking the officer when he died (confirming witness testimony).

That's why we get idiots out there screaming "hands up, don't shoot." Because people are happy to wallow in their ignorance.
+2
7:49AM on 12/18/2014

Nice

Saw the trailer for this before Interstellar and i knew from the get go that this was going to be an excellent movie. One i'll be catching at some point for sure.
Saw the trailer for this before Interstellar and i knew from the get go that this was going to be an excellent movie. One i'll be catching at some point for sure.
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7:48AM on 12/18/2014

Glad this movie is coming out

If he was here to see the Ferguson incident and riots, hed be ashamed at how blacks AND whites are handling the situation.
If he was here to see the Ferguson incident and riots, hed be ashamed at how blacks AND whites are handling the situation.
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4:37PM on 12/18/2014
No doubt he would be impressed with the black, white, Asians,and other races coming together to battle (via peaceful protesting, like what is occurring for Eric Garner) police brutality, a biased justice system, etc.
No doubt he would be impressed with the black, white, Asians,and other races coming together to battle (via peaceful protesting, like what is occurring for Eric Garner) police brutality, a biased justice system, etc.
6:43AM on 12/18/2014

Alright

This movie popped up on my radar after seeing a trailer earlier in November. I'm glad its tries to be even in its portrayal of the Selma event. I'm a huge history buff, so I'll definitely be checking this out.
This movie popped up on my radar after seeing a trailer earlier in November. I'm glad its tries to be even in its portrayal of the Selma event. I'm a huge history buff, so I'll definitely be checking this out.
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3:43AM on 12/18/2014
As much as I can be distracted when an actor looks and sounds nothing like the real life person they're portraying, every other thing about this movie looks good and energized in so far as a well-tread Hollywood subject can. Even if they've avoided King's story, plenty of movies about the civil rights movement have been effective in their own right, such as Mississippi Burning and Ghosts of Mississippi.
As much as I can be distracted when an actor looks and sounds nothing like the real life person they're portraying, every other thing about this movie looks good and energized in so far as a well-tread Hollywood subject can. Even if they've avoided King's story, plenty of movies about the civil rights movement have been effective in their own right, such as Mississippi Burning and Ghosts of Mississippi.
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