Loading...
The Mayor and City Council have an annual budget of over $450,000 per year dedicated to themselves for salary, training...

Front Row at the Movies

081018
1 of 2

John David Washington in a scene from "BlacKkKlansman."

Loading…

Shirrel Rhoades

Friday, August 10, 2018

“BlacKkKlansman”

Yes, it really happened: In 1979 a black police officer infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. No, we’re not talking about an episode of CNN’s “United Shades of America” starring W. Kamau Bell. This was a real-life undercover sting by Ron Stallworth, a member of the Intelligence Team at the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The sting exposed several members of the military as Klan members, including two NORAD officers who controlled nuclear weapons.

How did a black man pass as a Klansman? He had a white stand-in for face-to-face meetings. But on the phone or under a hooded robe he masqueraded as a racist white man that “hated blacks, Jews, Mexicans, Asians.”

Stallworth ultimately became the leader of the KKK’s local chapter and gained the trust of Grand Wizard David Duke.

Honest.

It’s not so surprising that Spike Lee, the acclaimed director of “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X,” decided to co-produce and direct a film based on Stallworth’s tell-all book.

The film — “BlacKkKlansman” — is billed as a biography, a comedy and a crime drama. Take your choice, but the Klan is usually considered a serious subject.

John David Washington (son of Denzel Washington) stars as the undercover cop.

Topher Grace (Venom in “Spider-Man 3” and TV’s “That ‘70s Show) takes on the role of David Duke, then-head of the KKK.

Others in the film include Adam Driver (of “Star Wars” fame) and Alec Baldwin (the ubiquitous actor seen in everything from the new “Mission Impossible” to TV’s “Saturday Night Live”).

The film project was brought to Lee by Jordan Peele, director of “Get Out.”

As Lee recalls it: “When he explained it to me, my next words were, ‘Is it true?’ People say, ‘Didn’t Dave Chappelle have a skit like that?’ I could see why Jordan and his team thought this was something that would work for me.”

•••

“The Meg”

How do you top a 25-foot great white shark like the one that practically ate Quint’s boat in “Jaws”?

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the largest shark ever as measuring 37 feet, but some experts contest that length.

So if you’re a Chinese-American movie team trying to outdo Steven Spielberg’s classic don’t-go-back-in-the-water masterpiece, you’d have to come up with a 70-foot-long prehistoric shark known as a Megalodon that’s discovered off the coast of China in the unexplored recesses of the Mariana Trench. Or Meg, for short.

In fact, that’s the title of this new science-fiction horror film — “The Meg.”

When the gigantic predator attacks a deep-sea research submersible, one-time navy diver Jonas Taylor (action star Jason Statham) sets out to rescue the sub’s stranded team.

The human chum includes Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Bingbing Li, Page Kennedy and Cliff Curtis.

Having encountered this monster once before, our hero must set aside his fears and undertake what is surely a suicide mission. You see, Taylor’s ex-wife is among the threatened submersible crew.

As one character observes: “He looks heroic … but he’s kinda got a negative attitude.”

Fun fact: The Carcharodon Megalodon (translation: “Big Tooth”) was the largest marine predator that ever existed. Its fossilized teeth are more than 7 inches long. Going extinct some 2.6 million years ago, the Meg is considered the largest fish to have ever lived — approximately three times the size of a great white.

Forget getting a bigger boat. Director Jon Turtelbaum (“National Treasure,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) decided to get a bigger fish.

Did it work?

Not entirely. Entertaining it is, but “Jaws” it is not.

Shirrel Rhoades is the movie reviewer for Cooke Communications North Carolina. Contact him at srhoades@aol.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

February 15, 2019

There have been plenty of movies about tough women. In fact, picking the Top 10 is harder than you might think. But here goes, the ones I picked and the ones I didn’t.

10) Trinity, “The Matrix” — Carrie-Ann Moss’ Trinity was hacker chic before the hacker chic of…

Sigourney Weaver

February 13, 2019

If you’re hungry and seeking more authentic flavor for your next meal, why not and take a trip to India without leaving Greenville. Go beyond steak & potatoes, dive into a new culture, expand your culinary palate and you’ll be sure to add Cinnamon Indian Cuisine to your top…

20190206_123537.jpg

February 13, 2019

Q: My girlfriend is a health nut, but I really want to give her some chocolate for Valentines. Is it ok? MK, Greenville

A: Kathryn Clary, a Brody medical student, suggests that dark chocolate really can prevent a broken heart with its benefits to the cardiovascular system. Here is what she wants…

Kolasa, Kathy

February 10, 2019

You're from out of town going 65 mph down the highway heading west, and you want to catch another highway going north. What do you think the exit sign should say in 3-foot-tall letters?

A) Gophertown

B) Exit 42

C) Gov. Tiddwilly Memorial Highway

D) Pinewood Mall

Quick, you've got nanoseconds to…

JimMullen

February 10, 2019

I was thinking recently about all the fallout from the removal of the Confederate soldier statue, “Silent Sam,” at UNC-Chapel Hill.

That, in turn, led me to remember the deafening silence of UNC’s first African American cheerleader, Jimmy Womack, during the football season of 1966…

Bob Garner

February 10, 2019

North Carolina’s most important emergency is not the next federal government shutdown. Nor is it a fake national emergency on the nation’s southern border.

Our state’s real emergency is a real threat to its dominant position in the world of barbecue.

Forget for a moment about our…

Nielsens

February 10, 2019

This story is part of an occasional series of features provided by the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission that will focus on city’s history and historic structures.

This picturesque two-story Victorian house, which stands across from the Greenville Museum of Art, has somehow remained…

Jones Lee.jpg

February 09, 2019

Most people tend to overlook tree bark as rather uninteresting, at best. It's too bad, because bark is a fascinating and often attractive plant "invention," and is actually rather complex in its various appearances and origin. Of course, it is only developed on woody plants. Clearly, bark varies…

platocc jbn.jpg

February 08, 2019

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

A DOG’S WAY HOME — A dog travels 400 miles in search of her owner. (1 hour, 36 minutes) Rated PG. 

A STAR IS BORN — A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism…

February 06, 2019

Q: What’s so great about drinking green tea? If you convince me to try it, what should I look for? There are so many products and so many claims. AD, Greenville

A: I have fond memories of my first visit to a tea field in Kenya — a beautiful sight. Green tea is one of those drinks that…

Kolasa, Kathy
123 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 13
        Next Page»   Last Page»