The Banker

Posted on April 2, 2020 at 9:51 am

B +
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language including a sexual reference and racial epithets, and smoking throughout
Profanity: Some strong and racist language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking and smoking
Violence/ Scariness: Some peril
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Date Released to Theaters: April 3, 2020

Copyright Apple 2020
“The Banker,” now available on Apple TV+, is three movies in one, all of them vivid, engaging, and compelling.

First, it’s a heist in plain sight movie, and all, or pretty much all, strictly legal. Two black men, Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) start a business in the pre-Civil Rights Act era when it was not only legal but the universal practice to keep people of color not just out of the neighborhoods where white people lived and worked but out of the places that make property ownership possible, the business that sell homes and office buildings and the people who provide the financing for those purchases.

Second, it is a “My Fair Lady”-style Cinderella makeover fairy tale movie, about taking someone who has the heart to be more than he is and teaching him the language, manners, and skills necessary to have credibility in the highest levels of society, or, in this case, business and finance. Garrett and Morris need a white man to pretend to be the president of their enterprise, so they recruit Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), a genial construction worker, and teach him their version of “the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain,” how to do (or pretend to do) complex valuation computations in seconds and how to play golf, so he can display the (apparently) effortless credibility needed to do big-money deals.

Third, it is a very personal underdog story of heroes to cheer for, two very different men, both played with exquisite precision, working together against near-insurmountable odds to overturn a virulently oppressive system.

Garrett has a head for numbers even as a young boy, where he listens in on the conversations of men of business as he shines their shoes. As a young man, he understands that the ability to own property is as critical to financial stability, social parity, and equal opportunity as the kind of political organizing that is getting started at the same time. Morris is already a savvy businessman with clubs and real estate holdings. Their personalities are very different — one a quiet, devoted family man, the other a good-time guy. But they both know how things work. They know how to make themselves invisible, pretending to be limo drivers or janitors to get access to the places of power while their front-man pretends to know what he’s doing. (One problem with the film is its failure to give Nia Long more of a role than the ever-supportive wife, though this ever-talented actress lends the character some dimension.)

We know from the beginning, opening on a Senate hearing with some harsh questioning, that powerful people are going to try to stop Garrett and Morris from taking some of their power. This movie, with MCU star-power portraying real-life superheroes, gives some of it back to them.

Parents should know that this film has some strong and racist language, some sexual references, scenes in clubs and bars, and some historical depictions of racism.

Family discussion: What did Morris and Garrett have in common? Who is most like them today? What should they have done about Steiner?

If you like this, try: “Hidden Figures” and “Self Made,” and read more about Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris.

Related Tags:

 

Based on a true story Drama Epic/Historical movie review Movies Movies Race and Diversity VOD and Streaming VOD and Streaming

Film School on Your Laptop: George Mason University Takes Their Filmmaker Lecture Series Online

Posted on March 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

George Mason University’s Visiting Filmmaker Series is going online. Anyone can attend!

APR
1

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Dennis Boni, Director of Photography
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

APR
2

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: A Conversation with Jennifer Baichwal, director of Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Thursday, April 2, 2020 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

APR
6

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Doug Spearman Masterclass in Directing
April 6, 2020, 1:30 PM to April 23, 2020, 3:00 PM

APR
7

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Tony Marquez, director and filmmaker
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM

APR
8

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Panel Discussion on Unions in Filmmaking
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

APR
13

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Christelle Matou, Costume and production design
Monday, April 13, 2020 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

APR
14

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Henry Ogunjimi, documentary filmmaker
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

APR
14

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Kwanza Gooden, filmmaker
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM

APR
15

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Steph Garcia, actor, writer, comedian
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM

APR
20

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Akiva Peñaloza, writer, director
Monday, April 20, 2020 1:30 PM

Related Tags:

 

Directors Film History VOD and Streaming

MINNO — A New Christian Streaming Service

Posted on December 16, 2019 at 8:42 am

Copyright Minno 2019
Families who find the content on television, cable, and streaming services like Netflix and even some of the films on Disney Plus troubling for family viewing have a new alternative with extended Christian content, called MINNO (from the Greek for “to abide.” Their slogan: Stories kids love; values parents trust. The founders say, “We are parents, church volunteers, ministry leaders, developers, writers, and technology and entertainment executives with one mission: serving you, as Christian parents, in raising the next generation of believers…. our goal is to help families connect with God through amazing stories, books, and resources.” Viewers can find classics like Veggie Tales and programs like “What’s in the Bible?”, “3-2-1 Penguins”, and CBN’s “Superbook.”

And now three are two ways to share it;

1. Buy a Minno gift card! E-gift cards are now available for 1, 2, and 3 year subscriptions. A Minno subscription makes a great Christmas gift for a special family in your life.

2. Join the Minno High Five referral program and you’ll have immediate access to everything you need to share Minno with your friends through email and social media. As an added bonus, when a friend subscribes to Minno through your link, you’ll get a $5 e-gift card to the store for your choice.

Related Tags:

 

VOD and Streaming

Netflix Thinks You can Speed-Read a Movie — Filmmakers Do Not Agree

Posted on October 29, 2019 at 10:59 am

Podcast listeners sometimes use the option to speed up the audio to get the information more quickly. Now Netflix is trying the same thing with video. Entertainment Weekly reports:

What if you could watch every episode of Breaking Bad and Stranger Things 50 percent faster?

That’s a feature that Netflix is quietly testing, and it’s quickly drawn a big backlash from Hollywood creatives.
First noted by Android Police, savvy mobile users of the streaming service spotted a new feature on the Netflix Android app that allowed subscribers to speed up (or slow down) playback without muting the volume (to playback speeds 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.0x, 1.25x or 1.5x, respectively). The feature is not unlike what most podcast and audiobook apps already have and is used by some listeners to consume content more quickly (or, in some cases, to slow it down if they have a difficult time understanding it).

The first-blush response from industry creatives, however, was not good. Turns out filmmakers don’t like the idea of viewers watching their painstakingly crafted work on Chimpmunks mode.

Related Tags:

 

Understanding Media and Pop Culture VOD and Streaming

Now That You’ve Seen All of Russian Doll…..

Posted on February 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Copyright 2019 3 Arts Entertainment
I totally binged “Russian Doll,” the new Netflix series starring Natasha Lyonne, who also co-wrote, co-produced, and directed the last episode. And when I was done watching the story of a 37-year-old New Yorker who dies repeatedly only to find herself resetting back to her birthday party at a friend’s apartment, I wanted to understand more about it. If you’ve seen it and are ready for some in-depth (and I mean DEPTH) discussion, start here:

Comparing the time loop rules of Russian Doll and Groundhog Day

No Easy Answers

Russian Doll Easter Eggs You May Not Have Noticed That Will Make You Want to Watch it Again

Russian Doll Used Men in the Supporting Roles Usually Reserved for Women

Interviews with Charlie Barnett (Alan), Nadia’s stunt double, and writer/director Leslye Headland, and mastiff-pup-lover Lizzie

Related Tags:

 

Understanding Media and Pop Culture VOD and Streaming
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2020, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik