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HOUSE PARTY MOVIE REVIEW
In 1990, cinema was given a generation defining comedy that brought together hip hop duo Kid ‘n Play and the comedic chops of legends like Robin Harris and John Witherspoon. It was a teen romp about a fez-shaped fade-wearing kid going to a party at his friend’s house. However, after a fight at school, our hero’s father grounds him. But when has that ever stopped a teenager determined to go to a party and hook up? He sneaks out when his father falls asleep and spends the night living his best life, dancing, cracking wise, and dodging three of the thugs from school who’ve decided to give him a lesson in behaviour. What more could a teen ask for? Simple as that, House Party was a movie that tapped into the very vein of hip hop and black culture of the time and became a classic, inspiring a lot of what followed in pop culture and teen films. House Party was tapping into something that John Hughes had done in the 80’s for suburban white kids and John Landis had done with Animal House in the late 70’s — what American Pie would do at the end of the century. So, if you’re going to remake something so influential and important to black cinema and cinema at large, there’s a bar that’s been set, and Sarah Jane, Chad, Ryan, and T.C., (along with special guest Jena) are here to discuss whether or not this remake has risen to the standards of the original. Aspiring club promoters and best buddies Damon (Doctor Who‘s Tosin Cole) and Kevin (Jacob Latimore) are barely keeping things together. Out of money, down on their luck and about to lose the roofs over their heads, they need a huge windfall to make their problems go away. They soon decide to host the party of the year at an exclusive mansion, which just happens to belong to none other than NBA superstar LeBron James. Not exactly hitting the notes of the original House Party, but there is in fact a house and a party in it, so, good?
DIRECTED BY: Calmatic
STARRING: Jacob Latimore, Tosin Cole, Karen Obilom, DC Young Fly, Shakira Ja’nai Paye, Melvin Gregg, Andrew Santino, Allen Maldonado, Rotimi
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Sarah Jane (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Sarah Jane was born and raised in Southern California but currently calls Austin, TX her home. She’s seen over 5,700 movies so far with zero plans on stopping. She has a penchant for all things exploitation, and she loves Godzilla with all her heart. Her favorite films are Deep Red, Le Samourai, and Miller’s Crossing. When she isn’t watching movies, she’s busy herding her four cats, her husband, and her 11-year-old kiddo. She’s been a contributor to TalkFilmSociety, Daily Grindhouse, FThisMovie!, Looper, and the Austin Chronicle. You can find her on Twitter and Letterboxd at @fookthis.
Chad Halvorsen (Screener Squad)
Chad Halvorsen currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, where he produces and edits commercials, films, and everything in between. He was always a fan of film/television growing up, spending days in the Summer, making (terrible) home movies with his brothers. Little did he know that passion would carry on into adulthood. Since 2006, Chad has worked for several agencies in various departments. Shooting, producing, editing, production management, directing, and when forced to, writing copy. In 2015, Chad decided to take the big leap and become a freelancer. Since then, he’s produced content for Lyft, AT&T, Target, and Discovery Network. His passion lies in entertaining people, making them feel better, even for a moment. All the pain and suffering of this business is worth it, if even just one person views his work. Chad is a frequent podcaster, most notably posing as a co-host for the podcast “The Film Illogical Society.”
Ryan Aleck Hill (Screener Squad, Video and Audio editor)
Ryan is a Washington D.C. based filmmaker & video editor who loves watching and talking about movies more than just about anything. He currently works at a creative agency as a director of photography/video editor, and does freelance video editing for Anthony Fantano/TheNeedleDrop. He also has a YouTube channel (Downhill Media) where he works on a weirdo art explainer series called “Artsplained” with his partner Michelle. He was a part of the Spill.com community way back in the day, where he was cursed with an obsession for movies. In an effort to break the curse, he shows up on the Screener Squad podcast every once in a while and edits for One Of Us. Chris Cox claims that this is the only way it can be broken. You can follow him on Twitter but you’ll probably regret it.
Jena Perry (Screener Squad)
Jena Perry. Aka Luna. Aka Dion. Aka Memori. Aka Dog whisperer. Aka whiskey connoisseur. As you can see, depending on when you met this Oakland, California native, you have experienced a completely different person, each time. After finally deciding on a 13+year career choice as a Videographer and Radio Personality, Jena balances her time between pursuing her Doctorate in Philosophy, providing insightful and funny critiques on films and Television, raising her daughter and dog in Ohio, and constantly fighting off the existential dread that is being a dope black woman in America in the 20th century.
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