|Index||5 reviews in total|
This is actually an excellent film version of a great short story by Ernest Gaines. The performance by Olivia Cole is quite remarkable--and it does give a very complex and layered view of race in the South during World War II. It is true that nothing blows up and Adam Sandler is not in it. But it is wonderfully written by a great African American playwright, Charles Fuller, and it has a very good small performance by Cleavon Little...before Blazing Saddles. Unfortunately there are too few films that deal with the life of African Americans in any kind of serious way, and this one presents real characters whose lives are difficult and complicated by race and poverty, but who maintain their integrity. It also gets away from the all too familiar plot lines that dominate so many films that deal with race in the South in this period, and instead just lets the characters speak for themselves-- rather than as political constructs.
The Sky Is Gray is a great portrayal of racial differences. I think the message it sends about how people treat each other is important. Examples of this are shown in the episode of the dentist offices with the poor treatment received to the patients, also in the kindness given to James and his mother by the old couple. Also this movie shows a strong relationship between mother and son. It shows the mother teaching her son to be a great man and him looking up to his mother and respecting her wishes. The reason I did not give this film a 10 is due to the length of the film it was very short, only lasting less than an hour, I wished it would of lasted longer.
This is a slow-paced film, I'll grant you that, and the film really picks up when woman and child are in town. The film takes place, I'm guessing in the first half of the 20th century in the south. This black family (although I'm not sure of the relationships) live in this plantation trying to make ends meet as they work in the fields. (Cleavon Little makes a cameo as a fun guy in their lives.) James, one of the children, has a toothache, and he and his "mama" travel into town to the dentist. Mama keeps him in line when he gets curious about his surroundings (peeking in a store window, etc.). While he waits at the dentist office (where we hear a patient crying in pain as I guess they haven't perfected Novocaine, yet), one asks why we are made to suffer, and a rather handsome student (who is played by "Sliders" star Cleavant Derrick's brother) reveals he's an atheist, which begins the most thought-provoking argument on belief I've ever heard: "I don't believe in God because the wind is pink and grass is black. Words mean nothing. Action is the thing." As he further explains that if you, as a child, were told by your parents the wind was pink, and grass, say, is orange, that's what you'd believe. The nurse then announces the dentist is on break and to come back. So, James and his mama try to get lunch, but they have very little money, so they go to a diner where she gets him some lunch. A man starts up a song on the juke box and begins dancing with Mama. It is unclear what happens next, whether he made a move on her or she pretends he made a move on her as she shoves him away and the two of them briskly leave the diner. As they're walking, they're spotted by a proud store proprietor who asks that the boy does a chore for her as her husband is ill and pays them with a hot meal. She calls ahead to the dentist to let him know James is on his way. After buying meat at the store, they walk back to the dentist. It's not Oscar-winning drama, but it does hold your interest. And in my mind, the highlight of the film is the discussion in the dentist office, which can make up for the rest of the film.
Absolutely nothing is redeeming about this total piece of trash, and the only thing worse than seeing this film is seeing it in English class. This is literally one of the worst films I have ever seen. It totally ignores and contradicts any themes it may present, so the story is just really really dull. Thank god the 80's are over, and god save whatever man was actually born as "James Bond III".
This movie is so bad there are not words to describe it. If I got a video camera of a monkey dancing for an hour and a half it would be a heck of a lot more entertaining than this. The plot is so dull and unimaginitive it is not even worth mentioning. The best part of the movie was when the credits roled and I got a chuckle out of knowing the lead actors name was James Bond III. Just trust me and stay far away from this trash heap!
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