Saturday, November 4, 2017

Stay In for GET OUT on HBO

It's one of the most fascinating, frightening, imaginative and socially relevant psychological horror movies I've ever seen.  And it's entertaining.  The big surprise was that the film, released early this year, was directed and written by a young man who gave us lots of laughs on Comedy Central for a few seasons.  Even President Barack Obama loved his comedy.  Jordan Peele was half of Key & Peele.  Jordan and his friend, Keegan-Michael Key, graduated from being part of the MADtv sketch comedy series staff to getting their own sketch comedy series on Comedy Central.  In this era of "Black Lives Matter," Jordan Peele wrote and directed GET OUT -- not a comedy -- but a modern-day social horror movie.  If I was a member of the Academy, I would give Peele an Oscar nomination right now for Best Original Screenplay.  It's Saturday, November 4th, and GET OUT makes its bow tonight on HBO.
It's obvious that some of Jordan Peele's education as a director and writer included studying classic films.
If you're a regular viewer of cable's TCM (Turner Classic Movies), you know that channel has a monthly Guest Programmer.  The celebrity co-host joins full-time host Ben Mankiewicz and presents four classic films.  The celebrity selects the films and tells why she or he did in the intros with Mankiewicz.  No reflection on Ben, who's totally cool, but there's been a lack of African American representation in TCM segments since iconic full-time host Robert Osborne had to reduce his duties due to health issues.  Osborne passed away in March of this year at age 84.  During the years in his segments, Mr. Osborne presented such guests as Charles Burnett, the African American filmmaker of KILLER OF SHEEP, director/writer Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Diahann Carroll and Ethel Waters biographer, African American author Donald Bogle.

Nowadays it's oddly rare to see an African American Guest Programmer or as a co-host for TCM's Saturday at 8p ET program, "The Essentials," hosted by Alec Baldwin.

I write that to say that Jordan Peele would make a great TCM Guest Programmer.
A young black man in love with a young white woman drives with her to meet her upscale and very liberal parents in the suburbs.  They're very welcoming.  They voted for Obama! That's all I will tell you.  But you can probably guess that strange things begin to happen and he wants to leave.
GET OUT is a movie that friends emailed or otherwise messaged me that I had to see.  Street buzz on this movie was hot.  Critics were enthusiastic.  It was such a hit that NBC/Universal's TODAY Show had Jordan Peele on as a guest.  Maybe that's because leading lady Allison Williams is the daughter of NBC News employee Brian Williams, formerly anchor of the NBC Nightly News.  He's now on MSNBC.

GET OUT is a Universal Pictures release.  However, so was the critically acclaimed box office champ, F. Gary Gray's STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.  The TODAY Show pretty much ignored that 2015 movie even though Matt Lauer appears in it more than once.  NBC/Universal's TODAY Show gave more attention to MINIONS than it did to STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

Jordan Peele had a budget of almost $5 million to make GET OUT.  Reportedly, it grossed $253 million at the box office worldwide.  Key & Peele won prestigious Peabody Awards and Emmys for their comedy sketch series.  Key is now doing film work too.
Entertainment news columnists reported this week that Jordan Peele has been tapped to helm a CBS All Access reboot of the classic Rod Serling series, THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

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