Each and every year, as the age of cinema increases, so does the skepticism of the art forms relevance and focus. Ever since doing a “Best of” list to showcase the best that cinema has to offer each and every year, there is always someone or a group of people declaring that the end of cinema; its ultimate demise, is upon us. Yet, this year, moreso, than any other year, phrases such as “profoundly moving”, “the reason we go to the movies”, and “historical achievement” are just some of the many phrases thrown around to more than one of the films released in 2016.
Special Notes:*(We are going to do this review a little bit different this time around. Inspired by the motion picture being reviewed, In a heading format, whatever heading is bolded, make sure you listen to suggested song, during each segment of this review. Read, listen, and enjoy!)*
INTRO-J. Cole (Album: 2014 Forest Hills Dr.)
“Sometimes I wish I had a spaceship. Just hangout in space where its quiet; and no one could fuck with me.”
As the pulsating first frames of Justin Tipping’s feature film debut Kicks begins, we see our main protagonist Brandon (Jahking Guillory) running from some kids in a basketball court in slow motion, during the dead of night. As the veins pop from Brandon’s forehead, the sweat beads drip, and his pearly white teeth are clinch together desperately (in fear of being caught), one can’t help but wonder, what exactly did Brandon do? A young, naive and innocent high schooler who just wants a pair of Jordan One’s Bred (Black and Red), a kid who just wants to be accepted and treated equally as everyone else, and not be picked for his height, size, economic status and old, worn out sneakers, Brandon is tired of running. As the film unfolds, we never really know why Brandon is being chased, as one may quickly observe, there may very well be no good reason as to why he is being chased at all. In Big Bay, Richmond, California, Brandon runs away from everyone and everything. That is until, Brandon makes a fateful choice, which, in the course of two days, shifts his world in heart-achening and consequential ways.