There are certain people and events throughout history that are so obviously in need of a cinematic treatment, that their absence from the big screen leaves audiences wondering what on earth took so long. Such is the case with the one of the most recognizable and referenced figures in Western society, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This larger than life individual whose life and accomplishments are far too grand for a simple studio feature film, has luckily never been subjected to an impoverished movie. Instead, Dr. King is assimilated as a key figure in Ava DeVernay’s re-telling of the events in Selma, Alabama. DeVernay illustrates the movement organized by Dr. King which brought to light the fact that although African American’s (predominantly in the South) had the constitutional right to vote, they had not seen a registered vote cast for over sixty years. Just like the events that unfolded throughout the worldwide broadcasting of Bloody Sunday, the march in Selma was a fair catalyst to the establishment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a bill that gave all Americans equal opportunity to exercise their democratic rights.
In 2007, Michael Bay created a mega, summer movie blockbuster event that brought some incredible advances in special effects, a slew of unnecessary sequels and most importantly, made famous the incredibly sexy, sweaty grease-monkey character Mikaela Banes, also knows as Megan Fox. If there is anything Michael Bay did right in that film, was give audience members as well as pop-culture enthusiasts one of the most memorable cinematic stills since Marilyn Monroe in 1954’s The Seven Year Itch. Leaning on the sizzling hood of Sam Witwicky’s 1976 Chevrolet Camaro’s hood, allowing the heat from the engine to soak Mikaela’s body with sweet sweat, Bay created eternal movie magic with that iconic scene. Since then, audiences, as well as critics alike, never thought that the day would come when an overly fetishized, sexual image involving a car would ever come. Oh, it came!
Every so often, there comes a film that is so grotesque, so brutal in its depiction on the degradation of the human spirit and the treatment of human beings, that it’s almost impossible to ignore. 12 Years a Slave is that movie. The film is a harrowingly real nightmare of a film.