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Kathryn Bigelow’s latest drama Detroit is about the cities civil rebellion some 50 years ago but ultimately feels as much like a war drama as Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty.

Fact is, the Academy Award winning director depicts Detroit in 1967 like a war zone, brought on by hatred and race driven violence at the hands of men in blue against men and women of color.

The film opens up and immediately you feel the tension as police raid a party at a local drinking establishment. Some 40 black men and women are arrested, setting off the neighborhood who seemingly have had enough. And so the rioting begins.

But instead of continuing to highlight the carnage on the streets, Bigelow shifts attention to inside the Algiers Motel where seven black men and two white women were brutally tortured by the police. To get there, we meet a handful of the unfortunate souls including Algee Smith (The New Edition Story) who plays Larry Reed, lead singer of  The Dramatics.

After the groups performance at the Fox Theatre is abruptly canceled Reed and his best friend Fred (Jacob Latimore) seek refuge at the motel. Another handful of teens are inside drinking and having a good time, as if the city isn’t going up in flames. Their apathy ultimately becomes their demise after one teen ( played by Jason Mitchell) shoots a starter pistol out the window. Police, led by one extremely racist officer (Will Poulter) converge on the motel and commence to torture and interrogate them for what feels like an eternity.

The 45-minute sequence is as important to watch as it is uncomfortable to stomach.  It’s clear these officers believe their actions are moral and just, and by the time they are finished, three innocents are lying dead in pools of blood.

But instead of there being some sense of hope in the aftermath, these officers are not only acquitted, but the law abiding security guard (played by John Boyega) is now being accused of the murders.

Sadly the story is all too real, and often feels like it’s taking place in 2017, not 1967. The parallels between what happens in “Detroit” and the cases of police brutality and homicide in the Black Lives Matter era are overwhelming.  And so it would seem that Bigelow’s goal, to use a historic event to shine a light on our countries current racial dilemma, is served. Unfortunately audiences may be too drained from the nearly 3 hour run time to spring into action.

If so, here’s hoping Detroit gets a second wind with an Oscar nomination, and a bigger platform for Bigelow to get her message across.

 

 

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EXCLUSIVES

It’s Litty! Migos, Jaden Smith & More Turn Up At ‘Bright’ World Premiere

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Netflix definitely made sure the world premiere for their new flick Bright was lit!

Before the films stars including Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramierez and Noomi Rapace hit the black carpet, Migos surprised fans with a pop-up performance.

 (L-R)Quavo, Offset and Takeoff perform at the Premiere Of Netflix’s “Bright” at Regency Village Theatre on December 13, 2017 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Smith’s son Jaden also rocked the packed crowd at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood.

 Jaden Smith performs at the Premiere Of Netflix’s “Bright” at Regency Village Theatre on December 13, 2017 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Artists featured on the soundtrack BRIGHT: THE ALBUM including Portugal The Man, Machine Gun Kelly, Ty Dolla $ign, Kiiara, Slushie, Grey, Dram, and Bebe Rexha also hit up the premiere.

Bebe Rexha and Machine Gun Kelly arrive at the Premiere Of Netflix’s “Bright” at Regency Village Theatre on December 13, 2017 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Will also snapped some fun flicks with his son Jaden before greeting fans and speaking with reporters including HipHollywood.

He told HipHollywood that he was super excited to reunite with his Suicide Squad director David Ayer for the film, and would “work with him whenever he wants to.

“I love his madness how he creates,” gushes Smith. “How he thinks about scenes, the way he works with actors, it’s some of the best psychological work of any director I’ve ever worked with.”

In the film Smith plays an LAPD cop in a mythical world of orcs, elves and fairies … and Ayer told us, he couldn’t think of anyone better for the role.

“We had such a good time on Suicide Squad together and this role is kind of perfect for him, it’s an edgy movie, buts it’s funny. He’s got the best sense of humor of anybody I know.”

BRIGHT debuts on Netflix December 22. Peep the newest trailer below.

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