Posted in Jaya's Pop Culture Minute-PCM

Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute (PCM)*

Today Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute takes us back to this summer with, “Why is The Suicide Squad (2021) Better Than Suicide Squad (2016)”. Check it out below:

The simple answer is that a change in directing, and writing can go a very long way. The first Suicide Squad (2016) movie directed by David Ayer, in my opinion, takes itself too seriously. So seriously, in fact that the movie falls flat, and the characters seem more of a shell than anything else, characters like Harley Quinn seemed tamed and felt like someone trying to imitate what they think her character is like, not to mention her relationship with the Joker throughout the movie. The movie, although about classic supervillains and mercenaries, falls short and does not feel like the usual comic book movies. The atmosphere of the whole movie is dark and gloomy and drags in most parts. The dialogue itself is questionable at best with weird deliveries from some of the actors, but you cannot really do anything when the writing is dull.

Whereas, The Suicide Squad (2021) directed and written by James Gunn is what you think of when you think of a classic comic book movie, from the bright colors and in-character writing for each character. In the 2021 movie, Harley Quinn is seen as an actual character and is written with depth instead of just a cute girl in a group of guys. She has character growth in the movie but subtly so that the comic book movie aspect is not lost in translation. Rick Flag is a great example too of the difference directing and writing can do to a character, in the 2016 movie Rick is seen as a hard military man who does not really care for his team and is written one-dimensionally. While in the James Gunn movie he is a relatable character with a real personality, his core personality from the first movie is shown sometimes but it is shown in a digestible way where we still get the kind of funny quips and jokes from him.

So why is the second Suicide Squad movie better than the first one? Directing and writing as well as character design really makes this movie much better than the first one. Characters in the movie new and old are given real personalities and motivations that were lost in the first one. Enjoyable dialogue and scenes also add to why the 2021 movie is much more enjoyable.

The Suicide Squad (2021)

*Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute (PCM) is all about giving people pop culture analysis and discussion in short posts. From Marvel comics, Anime, Movies, and Tv Shows, Jaya deliver’s her thoughts and ideas on what she would like to see more of, what writers can do to improve their outreach to different demographics and more! Jaya herself is a sophomore, (soon to be junior), in high school who loves talking about all things pop culture and she hopes you come back to read more.

Posted in Feature Spotlight, Resources

Feature Spotlight- “Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute”

Before March ends I had to make sure you got your monthly feature from Black Future Feminist Intern Jaya!! Not only do we have a new feature, but it will be housed under a new name, Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute!!

This month Jaya is offering a commentary on the Amazon Studios film, One Night in Miami (2020). Check it out below:

Although One Night in Miami is based on various moments (with fictional dialogue) between  singer Sam Cooke, civil rights activist Malcolm X, boxer Cassius Clay, and football star Jim Brown, during an actual event the film somehow balanced out these large historical figures so that audiences can visualize them as real people. Most times when discussing Malcom X we only see him as a huge pivotal figure, but rarely as confidant, friend, or father. In this movie, each figure is presented in a more digestible manner. Additionally, this movie has an inviting feel that draws you into this filmic story. Simply put, this movie gives new meaning to the bonds of friendship, and how one night together can open new wounds, while mending old ones. Through the many conversations, we see how each of these men bring us into their deep dialogue, while also exposing audiences to the struggles of that time. While each of the men saw themselves as brothers and friends, like family and friends they had their disagreements, mainly around civil rights, but managed to understand and ultimately respect their differences. Even though the film delivers a lighthearted feel, it also shows moments when you are snapped back into reality. In particular, we see this in Malcolm’s uneasiness and concern with being followed and the constant feeling that a wave of death is in the air. 

Overall, this movie shined a fresh new light and a more human side to these important, complex historical figures. Even the performances from the actors were spot on from their dialect to small details, which only enhanced the movie. The conflicts between characters are perfectly done. Additionally, the cinematography adds another layer of greatness from the bird’s eye view of the boxing match, to seeing Sam pull you in with his melodic voice, and Jim Brown in the viewfinder.

For a directorial debut, from Regina King, this is an amazing movie! Moreover, the idea of seeing these figures act normal and interact with each other during their last days is something that will leave your heart hurting. In the end, each actor’s performance will leave you breathless and wanting more!!

You will be able to find Jaya’s monthly features as well as other engaging and fun content in the “Resources” section of the site!!

One Night in Miami (2021)
Cast members (l-r) Sam Cooke [Leslie Odom, Jr.]; Jim Brown [Aldis Hodge]; Malcolm X [Kingsley Ben-Adir]; and Muhammad Ali [Eli Goree]

Jaya’s PCM Rating: 3.5 /5 Stars