CANDYMAN Movie Review **SPOILER ALERT**

CANDYMAN Movie Review **SPOILER ALERT**

[Music] that’s nick and that’s joseph and today we’re here to talk about candyman uh the sophomore film director by nia de costa which is of course uh resurrecting and considered spiritual sequel to the 1991 bernard rose film that universal is opening uh after long last august 27 2021. what is nia’s first film a film starring tessa thompson called little woods which i have seen i think neon had distributed it we have a copy if you want to see it okay all right the basic story because it is a little complicated so the basic story is there’s a young man named anthony he is a an artist you’re starting there yep okay who plays anthony uh as an adult yeah ii who you’ve seen in films like aquaman and he recently played bobby seal in the trial of the chicago seven okay anthony is an artist and he lives with his girlfriend brianna in a beautiful loft in chicago in the area known as cabrini green which we recall from the original candyman and we know is like sort of a project like tenement housing in a neighborhood in chicago but now it’s been converted gentrified into these beautiful lofts so they live there brianna is a curator for an art gallery and she is hosting a show where anthony is going to be exhibiting some of his work okay but he’s having difficulty coming up with an idea for the the the show all right brianna has a gay brother who uh is in a relationship with troy and grady yeah they come over one day so the four of them are at breanna and anthony’s house to like socialize when the gay brother decides to tell a scary story and he tells the story of helen lyle who is virginia madsen’s character in the original candyman and he basically tells a story about this lady who like went crazy and cut a rottweiler’s head off and was like dancing in blood or whatever and stole some baby and was gonna jump into a fiery pit with the baby until people like rustled her down and then took the baby and she jumped in the fire okay so anthony’s inspired so he goes down to like the project area to just take pictures when he bumps into a character named coleman domingo’s character william burke william burke and they kind of hit it off like they’re friendly and anthony decides to help william like carry his stuff to work and william works at a laundromat so while they’re at the laundromat william is telling anthony about a candyman okay the film starts in 1977 with a little boy living in the same projects going to do laundry when he’s confronted by this creepy ass man with like a hook for a hand that’s like a little hiding in the walls hiding in the walls and we see police looking for that man because he’s been accused of putting razor blades and candy and giving it to kids especially little white kids so the little boy sees this man screams the police come and they like bludgeon him to death okay that little boy grew up to be coleman domingo’s character which it just occurred to me as a boy they called him billy but his name is william so his character name is billy burke which is the name of the lady that played uh glenda in wizard of oz i believe okay anyway sorry so now oh it’s also important to know that anthony gets stung by a bee in his hand right before he meets uh billy william right his basically his first stepping into this area into the old housing so now anthony’s really inspired by candyman so he creates this like all this artwork does the exhibit and the exhibit’s called say my name so a few people so just to kind of wrap it up a few people say candyman’s name candyman kills those dummies but throughout that period uh anthony’s starting to change like his body like where he was stung starts to like degrade like up his arm up to his face okay the gag is anthony finds out he wasn’t born where his mother told him to because he ends up going to a hospital and they show him his records we find out that his mom who’s played by vanessa williams from melrose place not miss america who was in the original candy man is the same character as the same character that little boy who helen lyle took to throw into the fire pit that was anthony but let the mother tell it vanessa williams she’s like oh that lady wasn’t trying to throw you in the fire she was trying to save you from candyman and when she was running towards the fire she gave you to me and then she jumped in the fire okay so of course anthony’s upset about learning this fact then we find out from william coleman domingo’s character that like he’s prophesizing that anthony is going to be the next candy man so we learned that sort of every generation has a candyman but they’re all these black men who lived or an incident happened to them in these cabrini cabrini green projects so like tony todd’s character from the first film he was a black man in the 1890s who had a relationship with this white woman on land that uh was where the projects are now and then so we understand that there have been several iterations of this and that anthony is going to be the next one we’ll get to it because i’m a little confused but william decides to basically like make anthony candyman by cutting off his arm and putting the hook in there it’s also important to know that right away when anthony learns about candyman he does summon him so he says candyman five times in the mirror the end of the film is the prophecy coming true which is that williams said you’re going to end up being like shot and killed like wrongfully shot and killed by the police and that’s what happens um william lures anthony to the project brianna follows and while brianna’s holding him because he’s dying so she thinks the police burst in and just shoot him for no reason they arrest her and then while she’s in the cop card the police person is telling her basically like we’re gonna frame you unless you tell a version of the story where we didn’t shoot him unnecessarily and she’s like i have a better idea point the mirror at me this [ __ ] summons candyman and candyman as anthony now comes out and kills everyone and the end of the film is she escapes from the vehicle and then she sees candyman killing the last cop and then candyman turns to her and it’s the face of tony todd telling her to um tell everyone the end okay i did enjoy this movie very much same yes um for a number of reasons the only reason why i wouldn’t give this film a higher score than i am going to give it i’m still going to give it a nice score is because i think the story’s a little there’s a lot going on there there is a lot going on and it doesn’t uh it seems like there are a couple missing segments yes some connective tissue in many ways uh you know if you think back um candyman is based on a story by clyde barker who they shout out here coleman domingo is reading a clyde marker text uh and of course bernard rose made this 1991 movie a british white guy and that’s a film that’s very much seen through the parameters you know this white heroine so at one sense it’s kind of a breath of fresh air to have this from a black perspective and all the lead characters are black uh but but it’s trying to do so many things with uh examining uh contemporary issues like gentrification and and how uh that can’t erase the the bruise or the trauma of the past um and making this a tale about historical trauma if you will uh but but also you know making it about uh police violence and of course racism and at the same time staying connected to the first film with through vanessa williams virginia madsen does some voice work and of course tony todd it’s just trying to satisfy so many things uh and we can get into it that yeah it becomes unclear some integral moments what did i like i like really liked how the film looks it has a premium film feel the sound editing i think is excellent it was shot by john gulaserian who’s done a couple drake dramus films as well as love simon uh the opening is quite uh beautifully shot uh kind of chicago from uh at a very low angle into the sky and it’s it in the film it’s all about kind of reversed mirror images and it starts out before the credits roll with the universal and mgm logos uh like a backwards reflected image right because people can only see candyman through a reflection in the mirror so i thought that was a cute touch that the the opening credits are mirrored um love seeing like attractive or i shouldn’t say attractive that’s not right but like good looking successful black people doing well um i think the performances are strong i really liked the leads so and whoever played anthony and then brianna abdullah mateen ii and brianna’s played by tiana paris from dear white people and uh notably also a very different chicago based film sharack directed by spike lee and i i think i thought of character a couple times watching it because there’s that scene with angela basta talking about cabrini green which i think i saw candymad at such a young age that that is a phrase that stuck with me it’s also important to know that cabrini green i i could have my facts wrong but i think they’re right that it is the largest uh like public housing um sort of uh not structure because it’s multiple structures uh community ever built in the united states and since we live in la um there’s a community called park la brea which is gonna which is modeled after cabrini green which they need to update because part of the way is kind of raggedy okay but i think my favorite i i think my favorite favorite performance is from coleman domingo he’s quite because his character it’s creepy how he rolls up on anthony but then he also seems very friendly and then his there are little subtle changes to his demeanor that at one moment make him seem like a cool ass guy but then also like this [ __ ] is crazy and then towards the end when he’s just unhinged because he really is like i’m gonna make you candy man i think like the way he’s speaking i really liked and then also he he just seems broken and i thought that that was really interesting to watch uh i agree and i think that he is one of the areas where i feel like we needed a little bit more i think both with him and vanessa williams yes where to make kind of to kind of flesh out how they really make sense in this scenario because i was confused why william wanted like wanted him to be candy man like he like he’s prophesizing that he will be and i guess i didn’t understand why he needs that to happen see i think we’ll so we can get into how like candy man is kind of like folk [ __ ] if you want but i i what happens to him as a child in 1977 and then we get another flashback where we kind of he sees sister die as well and how he’s kind of a conduit for the next generation of candyman that was supposed to be this baby that got spirited away if you will so it’s like fates coming around full circle that this man anthony mccoy has been marked by candyman to be you know the next generation if you will but i i saw that the trauma of him um caught i was interpreting that he had great guilt over screaming when the man steps out of the wall that didn’t end up being guilty about giving children razor candy that i think he always felt tied to that and this is kind of um an atonement almost for him to do this sure yeah and you know i did just watch candyman 2 like three days ago but now i don’t remember and i don’t know if maybe like what you’re talking about like him being a conduit like is that a feature in all the other movies i don’t think so but i’m just trying to think of yes and i think what you’re saying could make sense but it’s just not clear to me in the film i just watched uh this movie that that is the case so that’s where a little bit of my confusion comes from and then with vanessa williams as anthony’s mom it’s just very quick like he shows up at her house after we witness her attempting to call him him not returning her calls and then him avoiding having dinner with her so we’re we’re made to understand they have a contentious relationship but it’s not really clear why and then when he sort of says like where was i born why didn’t you tell me she just goes oh yeah you were born there because that lady snatched you up and it just happens very fast and i guess i didn’t understand why their relationship is contentious and why her his mom didn’t think to tell him to keep him from this like you need to get out of this neighborhood fool like so i think those are the two main things that kind of took me off guard but i think that this is a really fun interpretation of a classic horror film yeah i would agree uh and like i said with um we watched a color like a couple other film i think uh the one with nia long and omar abs which is not a great movie but it made me think that fatal affairs something like that but i would love to see um this director and these storytellers attack other sort of classic films and give it like make it black because i just loved it i just loved how it looked i love the characters but i mean if you think that’s what the other candy man films was kind of powerful about them is this rich subtext and yes and kind of the the mechanism that goes along with it as far as like american mainstream horror there weren’t other films dealing with the sub subtext of racism in 1990 you know at this period and by this exercise of saying your name and its acknowledgment of the supernatural force there’s also with it comes the uh acknowledgment of this uh traumatic history because i think this is all about you know as positioned here’s the historical trauma collective historical trauma because we do the snippet we get a virginia madsen’s voice where he goes to the library and is listening to her tapes is how can she was trying to interpret candyman as something that this you know disenfranchised community had kind of had to create for themselves as a way to explain what was happening because they couldn’t trust the police okay um i was going to mention the art critic okay so at the show anthony’s showing at the gallery there’s an art critic who shows up and she looks at his work which is like like a medicine cabinet like a mirror medicine cabinet that you open and you look inside it’s like a diorama of this work and she basically shits on it and says like you’re like every other artist who complaining about gentrification but then you’re the problem like you you move into these neighborhoods to do your art for cheap rent and like she she gives some explanation that’s like an attack on him okay but then the two people die the owner of the gallery and some super girl and then all of like all of a sudden his name and his piece is like in the news and there’s a scene where anthony’s watching the news like the morning after because like two murders occurred at the gallery in front of this piece of art and he’s more excited that they said like his name and the name of his artwork and the fact that two people were slaughtered and the way his um girlfriend and her brother look at him was really funny um well if you think about it even that sequence where he said he’s excited they said his name and this all this talk about backwards reflection candyman is his backwards reflection yes then the art critic now that uh anthony’s kind of lit now she wants to interview him again because he’s in the news right so he goes to her house and he tells her like i dare you go in the bathroom and say candy man’s dave and this dummy does and i thought that was a really good scene and it ends with him realizing that like candy man’s there and he runs out but then another really cool shot is we see from the distance like this high-rise tower and we can see into her apartment and we see her being killed by candyman but well as an invisible force she’s just being held up and dressed which i was going to mention i think this film really benefits from um you know uh modern cgi because a lot of the kills are done sort of like where we don’t see candy man we just see what’s happening to the people and i think they’re very well the special effects are very well done um i will say i to be a little nitpicky i really didn’t like the gallerist in the beginning i thought he was oh that yeah i don’t know if that actor could really navigate um his name is brian king the kind of bitchiness of this this pretentious art house world which is a very easy world to characterize but uh like even when we first see him before the gallery where he’s uh before the exhibition where he’s talking to anthony and says dig into that history of yours it’s just like oh that’s a little on the yeah he yeah he was a blip especially because i think they’re doing a lot of other subtle things with the dialogue and the script was written by decosta and jordan peele who produced uh and wynn rosenfield um rosenfeld excuse me um just all the time especially from domingo who has to deliver a lot of kind of exposition really and about this notion of having to change from the inside rather than these outside uh external forces um and this idea of a of a pain that lasts forever which is what i think candyman represents and um he has kind of when he’s really gone off the rails talks about how uh you can really make it your own which is really what this is what this film is doing it’s making it its own anthony’s hand and like the the sort of infection that’s creeping up happens very quickly but at a point i’m like he needs to go to the doctor and then another point he picks at it and i couldn’t it was pretty gruesome uh yeah there’s a little uh bit of body horrors going on a little bit um i want to give a shout out to uh brianna’s character wrapping her hair at night i really appreciated that oh there were a lot of small touches with her too like looking down the basement she’s like nope not yeah there was a call-out to her yeah like going down a dark basement and she’s like not today and i and i kind of want to bring that up too is there’s almost a little something of course we feel bad for what’s happening to um mateen’s character but at a point it’s it switches almost abruptly to kind of tiana paris’s rihanna uh and it’s almost like we miss out on really uh curating the the the empathy of his this mutation this transformation yeah we get a couple of scenes where she’s being courted by another art gallery owner and a museum curator and she goes to see the the museum curator and then we find out that really this person wants to manipulate her because we didn’t mention this is another thing that i feel like was doing a little bit too much brianna is her dad was an artist and he had severe mental health issues and killed himself in front of her which i didn’t i also i mean you had an explanation for but it just felt like something extra that i didn’t need but that museum curator then is basically saying like hey with your sort of background with your crazy ass dad and your boyfriend who did this piece of art that people killed themselves to like you’d be a great addition to the museum if you can get him to right oh and you know off screen any other artist you’re having to be looking at but then it’s like yeah i feel like that detour took away from i think anthony yes because then we kind of are switching towards uh her uh but i liked her yes and i’m glad that you brought that up though because um uh yes that notion i think like this notion of this trauma has marked everyone to that has locked them into a certain fate you know she we see her seeing her father um jump off he jumps to his death and yet here she is again uh having fallen in love with you know a conflicted artist uh coleman domingo’s character as well i think it is is tied into this fate from their past to to repeat it almost um there was something else about her that i wanted to bring up uh oh the fact that you know how the film is also positioning the role of the black woman in this and that all the weight is put on her shoulders to one be a witness and also be charged with having to you know spread this truth amongst the world while grieving you know because you see him get shot in her arms and the camera does focus you know kind of it does look like a slow-mo thing on the the pain of that experience we need to wrap this up but uh one thing i want to mention is there’s a device i really liked which is when we get flashbacks um to specifically like the candyman lore it’s done with shadow puppets which i thought was really well done and the end credits are the shadow puff puppets sort of telling the story of the different candyman and how they were murdered i thought that was really well done i would definitely watch another film from mia she’s uh doing the captain marvel sequel oh good for her yeah i mean i was if i was impressed i did enjoy this film i would recommend it um i would give it three and a half out of five stars um again i think that it it is doing so much that i think that it’ll be easier to understand some things watching it again and i think expectations will be very high but i was impressed uh and even despite like small quibbles i didn’t really like it and i think three and a half is fair oh good anything else bye [Music]
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CANDYMAN Movie Review **SPOILER ALERT**

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