Friday, December 11, 2015

The Art of Getting Snubbed: Michael B. Jordan

I was almost not going to write about Creed.  I gushed about it enough on my radio show the week after it came out.  I was absolutely enamored with this movie.  It was an extension of a beloved franchise, yet there was a freshness to it.  The script was written in a way that took the elements we loved about the Rocky movies, yet always reminded us this is a Creed film.  The boxing scenes were enthralling and action-packed, and reminded us why there was ever a demand for boxing movies.  The cinematography was some of the best I've seen in a while, giving us one of the most gorgeous fighting movies.  This is all before we get to the outstanding acting, particularly from the film's stars.  I was going to write all of that in my Creed movie review.  I was going to give Creed the coveted Guapo stamp of approval.  But time passed and I hadn't written the review, so I decided to shelve it, and that was that.

Then the Golden Globe nominations came out.  I read through them like I usually do.  There were some nominations I agreed with, some I didn't.  I saw Sly Stallone's name under Best Supporting Actor, which I agreed with because he gave a really performance.  But under Best Actor I failed to see the one name I thought was a shoo-in.  Despite having one of the best performances in film this year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had failed to give one of the best young actor's recognition for his brilliant work in Creed.  In other words, the man was snubbed.

Look, I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Snubs will always happen.  They are a fact of life.  I thought Straight Outta Compton was also snubbed at this year's Golden Globes.  But this Michael B. Jordan snub is just egregious.  I don't want to take anything away from the Best Actor nominees, but I'm looking at this list and I believe the guy has to be in the conversation.  Part of this is also me thinking he never got enough recognition for his work in Fruitvale Station portraying Oscar Grant.  (All my posts in some way will have a connection to Oakland.  Just face it.)  I never knew Oscar Grant and I don't know what he was like.  I can't judge Jordan by how accurate he was to portraying the real man that was killed by a BART officer.  But what I could judge was how he showed us a flawed individual without ever letting us forget he was still a human being.

When I was planning on what to write in my Creed review I was going to talk about how there are great actors, movie stars and movie stars who are great actors.  I was going to talk about how Michael B. Jordan had already proven to me that he could be a great actor.  I was going to make the case that this movie finally put him in the movie star and great actor category,  Michael B. is still really young and his IMDb page is still pretty short, mostly filled with television roles.  His movie career is still relatively short.  And still he hasn't found the right role to jump start his run that all great movie stars have.  Fantastic Four was a bomb.  It was a failure of a movie that is almost unobtainable. Unobtanium, the precious metal they are mining for in Avatar is named after the level of awful Fantastic Four achieved.  It was the kind of movie that can put people out of a job.  Yet this wasn't Michael B.'s fault and I hoped that his next project will give him room to shine and show the world he was a bona-fide star.  I walked out of Creed with many thoughts running through my mind, but the main one being, "Damn, Michael B. can carry a big-time Hollywood film."  Michael B. can absolutely sell movie tickets with his name.  He is a bankable star that can get people to the movie theaters.  That's what I wanted to write.

Now, though I find myself defending the idea I thought was already established in everyone's mind, which is "Hey, Michael B. Jordan was a great actor who was great in Creed."  Let's not even talk about his physical transformation from Average Joe to Globo Gym.  (His transformation was almost as impressive as Chris Pratt's.)  Michael B. had a terrific script to begin with, but he didn't sit on it.  He gave Adonis Johnson the necessary depth to make this movie work.  The writing gave Michael B. the character, but his acting choices brought Adonis to life.  Nothing in his performance felt forced and the chemistry between Adonis and Rocky, and between Adonis and Bianca (played by Tessa Thompson, who I fucking adore) was as organic as the food you buy at Whole Foods.  Michael B. Jordan will be fine.  He will be an A-list movie star and the face of a few franchises.  He will collect accolades and awards throughout his career.  I'm not worried about him.  But for now I just want to let it be known, the man was snubbed.

El Guapo is a talented blogger on the rise, regarded by many as a cross between Bill Simmons and Socrates.  Through real life experience and expertise in many facets of life, the Guaps aims to provide readers with unique takes that will enhance the way they think and live.  Keep up with his main blog Infinite Wisdom From El Guapo’s Brain.  NBA fans have to place to go with his basketball blog, Infinite Wisdom on the NBA.  Like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.  Leave comments in the section below.  Stay Guapo out there!

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