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Detroit: Have you seen it yet?


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I don't know where I've been.  But I was not aware of this film until my wife suggested to check it out.  Am I the only one?


Now I know I'm not completely out of the pop culture loop because I was totally aware of Girls Trip.  The crazy thing is that I would really like to see a film like Detroit and have less than zero interest in seeing Girls Trip, which looks like a Black female version of The Hangover part III.  I wonder what the respective marketing budgets are for these films are and where they advertise.


At any rate here is Kam's Review.  I have not published anything by him lately. 








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@Troy Well, it's not really "crazy" for you to not be interested in seeing "Girls Trip" inasmuch as it is the consummate chick flick. 

According to Box Office Mojo's week-end report, "Girls Trip" which cost 19 million to make, after being in release for 4 weeks has grossed $85,443,720."Detroit's" gross after being out for 2 weeks is $7,766,432 and it cost 34 million to make.  Other factors that figure into how well  a film is doing are the number of theaters it opened in.  Detroit opened last week in a limited  release. For this week, the number of theaters where  each of these 2 films appeared was approximately  3,000. So it looks like Detroit is a bust, but word of mouth may raise its numbers next week, or be reflected in the final figures on Monday.  "Detroit" did received a lot of criticism from  other blacks in the industry , who called this based-on-true-events picture depressing and pointless.  Some black film makers  seem to enjoy badmouthing  films made by other black ones. Not surprising, i guess. 


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I haven't seen it yet but I plan to if the Supreme Being permits.

I grew up hearing older people including my father and other elders who were there at the time talk about the riots and what went on in the street back then.
Many of them speak of it proudly and reminiscingly.

I wish he were alive to see the film himself.
Infact, I wish he were alive to see Django Unchained because he loved Westerns and especially ones the featured Black characters....
Infact.....I wish he were alive period. ((dries eyes))

The only thing I don't like about this film is that it was directed NOT by a Black man (or woman) but by a White woman Kathryn Bigelow.
I'm not hating on her, I'm sure she did a great job.....but why did it take a White woman to make a movie documenting one of the largest urban rebellions of U.S. history?

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Sorry,  @Cynique what I wrote was unclear.  What I was describing as "crazy" was the fact that Detroit, a film I would want to see, I knew nothing about; and the film I would not want to see, Girls Trip, I knew all about.


I suspect part of the reason for the relative box office stats had to do with the lack of promotion of Detroit compared to Girls Trip, and the fact th Girls Trip seemed to generate so much buzz on social media more that once I saw women raving over the film.  But given the larger budget for Detroit is seems that some of their marketing would have reached me.  


Now here I am helping to promote their film through a review--and paying for the privilege!  It is a cost I'm not likely recover, which is why I don;t publish as many film reviews as I used to (few are still able to).  But that is the subject of another conversation.


I see now that Girls Trip is directed by Michael Lee film which probably explains the enthusiasm I saw across Facebook for the film.


Detroit, directed by, Kathryn Bigelow is described as, by Kam, as difficult to watch.  I'll probably check out Girls Trip out of curiousity, but I'll wait for them both to be streaming so I can watch at home.


@Pioneer1, Biglow of Hurt Locker fame was picked, I'd bet, because they wanted to make money with white audiences.  If they got someone like Ava Duvernay, it would have become a "Black film," which  depresses box office for serious films covering Black subjects.  Now if it is a comedy--it is less of a problem.  Girls Trip has already out gross Selma


I seem to remember Box Office Mojo reporting how much a film cost to make, but I can't find that info any more.  Can you post a link that shows that stat?

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Thanks for sharing Cynique!

Your friends's comment was pretty cool:

“Saw it last Friday. A riveting, disturbing, plausible, portrayal of an episode in the history of the United States. The events portrayed in this film should weigh heavily on our collective conscience as Americans. Facing the reality of this event can be the basis for confronting justice issues we face today in American. The confession of the horrors of the past will open the door for us to move into the days and years ahead.”
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@Troy Yes, that mini review was posted by my long time, home town acquaintance and fellow octogenarian, a Methodist minister and  1960s civil rights activist.  A really decent fellow. 


Obviously i didn't know that the director of  "Detroit" was white, and i 'm sure that contributed to black  directors throwing shade on the movie.  


As for how much it cost to make a movie, all of this info is listed on Box Office Mojo's chart.  Just  swallow your distaste, and Google "Box Office Mojo", then click on the link provided for its home page, and once you reach the home page, click onto  "complete week end results"





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:-) Cynique.  You got me wrong; I use Google's search engine daily (it drives this site's search engine).  I just recognize it's monopolistic power, deficiencies, and the resulting problems created.


I'm familiar with the box office mojo movie; though I have not used it much lately.  There are three sites I reference when looking for movie info to augment the movie reviews I post.  Most frequently I use rotten tomatoes, followed by the  IMDB. Box Office Mojo would be number three.  Sites like those is what helps give the internet it REAL value. 


Can you post a link to a box office mojo page showing a film's budget.  I recall the information being easy to find.  Maybe I'm just missing it.

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I've also noticed that the movie DID NOT receieve an adequate amount of advertising before it came out.

Usually when a movie like this comes out they start showing trailers of it 3 or 4 months before.
Sometimes they may talk about it even the YEAR before it comes out.

Look how they're talking about that Black Panther movie next year.

I didn't hear shit about this movie until about a 3 or 4 weeks before it's release!

I went to see War for the Planet of the Apes a few weeks ago and expected to see a trailer for Detroit in the build up to the feature presentation and didn't even see one there.....lol.

Infact, THAT'S how I found out about it.
A friend of mine saw a poster in the theater and knowing I was from Detroit she teased me about it saying,
"Look....they're gonna do a rap movie about Detroit".

I looked at it and saw 4 brothers with bloody heads in the poster and couldn't quite figure out what was going on until I did a little research on it later and found out it was about the '67 riots.

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OK I found the page: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2017&wknd=31&p=.htm  Thanks Cynique


Pioneer the marketing was weak, at least in the Black community.  I actually thought Detroit was a documentary until I read Kam's review.  The film appears to be made by white folks for white folks. 


I scanned the entire list of films and I've only seen to of them.  Hidden Figures and Alien Covenant.  I need to get out more.  I'm going to try to finish migrating all of the old content before then end of the month.  My body have gone to crap over the past 18 months spending so much time in front of a PC




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 “The only thing I don't like about this film is that it was directed NOT by a Black man (or woman) but by a White woman Kathryn Bigelow.


What difference does the race of the director have if the film is reasonably accurate and compelling? I’ve heard Negroes make this fallacious argument before. What the average intransigent Negro fails to accept and realize is the over whelming majority of scholarly research and judicious documentation about black people is made by white people –NOT BLACK PEOPLE! There is a smattering of blacks writing about the history and creating documentaries about black people but the bulk of the work is done by whites! Now, you may ask yourself why, that would be a fair question. But nevertheless, the reality is whites are doing the vast body of work –not black people!


“I'm not hating on her, I'm sure she did a great job.....but why did it take a White woman to make a movie documenting one of the largest urban rebellions of U.S. history?


Good question. But does it matter? Once again, if the research or film is accurate and compelling, why would the race of the director or writer matter? Kathryn Bigelow is a very good director and she had the input and advice of many blacks for content and accuracy on the film. If Negroes want their version of history or an event to be told, they are free to do so. Rather than focusing their energy on creating endless platforms and media promoting rappers, hip hop/thug culture that clearly illuminates the dysfunction of American Negroes, perhaps they should focus on the historical events that have shaped black people. But that is not going to happen and you know why!

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Xeon, in terms of the relative merits of the film I agree a white person can do a fine job. Bigelow is a big name so I'm sure that was a factor. 


But it does make a difference to me because Black people have been largely cut out of the creative process in the motion picture industry--even when it comes to telling our own stories. 


I seem to remember Don Cheadle complaining that there was not a single Black person, in Hollywood, that could greenlight a film.  I don't know if that has changed, but it shows if you look at the films being made and who is making them.  



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Troy, for me, I don’t focus on the race of who is telling the story or writing the narrative. As long as it is accurate, well researched and presented –why would the race of the creator diminish the work? As I stated before, the most compelling and scholarly research about Negroes is done by whites –NOT BLACK PEOPLE!  Now, is there racism in Hollywood? I’m sure there is. And as I also stated, Negroes are free to create their own stories. If a movie is well made, you will get the coverage and patronage from all quarters. If Negroes are so interested in telling their own stories, by all means –do it! I find this victimization and toxic grievance of history the most crippling and restricting barrier Negroes face.

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One of the reasons I want Black history to be told by Black people is because Black people are more likely to TELL THE TRUTH about their own history.

The good....truth
The bad....truth
The ugly truth.
The beautiful truth

White production may be more sophisticated and hightech, but it often deceptive and highy poisonous.

They ommit certain key facts while embellishing or out right fabricating others.

White people tend to be very crafty and subtle and do a lot of subliminal messaging in thier movies that most Black film makers DON'T engage in.

There were 2 movies about inner city Los Angeles done in the 90s.

One was Boyz N The Hood done by a Black director and the other was Dangerous Minds done by a White director.

You can watch both movies and tell that in Boyz N The Hood Black people were portrayed in our variation from good to bad but still human.

In Dangerous Minds Black people were portrayed as weird savage, criminal clownish type people while the Whites were portrayed as innocent do-gooders who constantly tried to help the poor savages but couldn't quite figure them out.

Always injecting some subliminal poison to screw with and contaminate the minds of the people.

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Xeon another reason I complain about the lack of Black influence in Hollywood also has to do with the revenue. Not only do we not get to tell our own stories we don't profit from them either.


On 8/11/2017 at 8:30 PM, Xeon said:

the most compelling and scholarly research about Negroes is done by whites


This is, and always has been, untrue.  In fact, Black people have been spending the better part of the past century correcting the racist nonsense produced by so called white "scholars" about Black people.


For example, I'm reading a book, written.by Drusilla Dunjee Houston, called the Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire.  This book was first published 90 years ago and is incredibly significant because it help Black people understand, indeed prove that Black people had an advanced culture long before Europeans emerged from caves (that is not a hyperbolic statement).


She is writing about a subject that I was completely unaware of because it was simply not taught the the schools I attended.  Leaving Black people out of history is a crime in progress.


There are a great number of Black folks telling our stories.  One problem we face however is the fact that much of this information is crowded out by all of the nonsense that is pushed into our face by corporations solely interested it our money.   Of course a Nicki Minaj video will be appeal to more people than a Drusilla Dunjee Houston book, so this is what we get.  Over time people begin to believe that all we are Minajs rather than Houstons.


Of course white folks do engage true scholarly research as if pertains to Black people, but this is a relative recent thing.

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Got a chance to see the movie the other day......

I have to say that it was an EXCELLENT movie.

Much of it took me back to my childhood growing up in Detroit in the 70s and how Black people looked and carried themselves at that time.

Kathryn did a good job.

It could have been considered a "Black movie" easily because the main characters were Black and the movie is basically told from a Black experience so I'm not sure what the critics are talking about.

The movie touches on:

Police brutality
Black criminality
Racism on the police department
The history of Black people leaving the South to work in the industrialized North


It even showed a history of The Dramatics singing group!!!

It reminded me a little of American Gangster the way it took you back to Black life during that time period in detail.

I kept thinking about my Father, Uncles, and friends of the family and other Black men who I grew up with at that time who are no longer around who would have LOVED this movie.

I don't know about the national audience but there were scenes in that movie that that really hit home to me and other Black people around my age who grew up hearing older adults tell us how it was back in that time period.....and now we see it on screen.

Especially how the police behaved and how White prostitutes would come in Black neighborhoods and get Black men in trouble.

In my opinion it took too long to make this movie, it should have been made 20 or 30 years ago.

I still believe a BLACK director should have made it...but hey....it was so good it really didn't matter.

Well....yes it did because I saw a few racial subliminal messages in the film...lol.
But overall to me it was a good LONG film.

I personally think it was better than Get Out....about as good as Django Unchained.

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I really think the movie is being shaded in the media.

Most Black people I know HAVEN'T seen the movie yet, they're too busy watching Girl's Trip  for the third and fourth time....lol.

But the Black people who HAVE seen the movie agree with me on how deep and eye opening it is.

When I came out of the theater I was puzzled.
I kept hearing such bad things about the movie and critics were using terms like "dark" and "pessimistic" and so when I went to see it I was expecting a flop but it turned out to be far better than I thought.
But what puzzled me was why the movie got such bad reviews and why no Black talk shows or entertainment sites are really talking about it.

This is one of the few movies that admittedly shows the blatant racism and brutality of a major police department.


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I think Black people in general need to get more "serious" with our film making.

There's only so many hood movies and comedy movies you can make before it looks like a conspiracy to dumb down the population.

If we were on our game like we SHOULD be.....Spike Lee should have started his own school teaching young Black people the art of movie making and directing.

Too many of our great and talented people take their greatness and talents to the GRAVE with them instead of passing on the secrets to the next generation.
White people have developed entire institutions to pass on their knowledge from one generation to the next COMPOUNDING that knowledge with more knowledge.

Negroes don't half way want to pass along their soul food recipes.....lol.
Some sisters would just as soone die and take the secret to those "mean greens" to the grave than share it with some younger Black women to benefit the community.

Saving our knowledge is key to saving our culture.

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Spike Lee teaches (or used to) at NYU, but not a lot of Black people can go to that school.


I finally saw Detroit on Sunday.  The film was fine.  I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.  I thought the scene in the Algiers dragged on way too long, and that trail was not given enough attention.  But it was a decent film definitely not a great one, and I'd be surprised if it is nominated for any oscars, but it is Bigelow, so you never know. The acting was solid; actually I can see that main white racist character getting an academy award nomination, but it is the era of 45 so I doubt that'll happen.


The dramatics angle was very interesting.  Though someone commented on the review's page page that the Dramatics recorded for Stax not Motown, as the film apparently indicated (I did not recall that).



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It would be a shame if the main White actor was nominated and not the Black actors, especially the brother who played Larry Reed of the Dramatics.
I don't think the brother who played the security guard did much during the film, he pretty much played a "fly on the wall" which doesn't require much acting skills.

But if no one was nominated or even if none of the Black actors were nominated I wouldn't be suprised and I would lay the blame squarely at the feet of Black people because they didn't support the movie as much as I thought it should have been supported.

Although it was directed by a White woman, I don't see this as a White movie.
I see it as a Black movie with some Whites in it....kind of like Glory or American Gangster.

I just can't understand why so many people ignored or bad-mouthed this film.
It's not the VERY best film I've ever seen, but it was pretty good and did a good job reenacting atleast PART of the urban Black American experience I remembered as a kid.

Man, the people you meet when you live in New York (or California or Atlanta)....lol.

Did you get to meet and converse with our brother Spike while he was there?

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