Throwback Film Review Thursday #1: Fruitvale Station (2013)

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Welcome to the first Throwback Thursday. This will be a series of reviews I do weekly. In that, each film I review will be at least 5 years old to qualify. With Black Panther coming out in theaters this week, it was suggested to me that I should do Ryan Coogler’s first film Fruitvale Station. This will be a great opportunity for me to go back and re-watch movies I haven’t seen in a while or watch movies for the first time. This is a first time watch for me.

Fruitvale Station stars Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Academy Award winning actress Octavia Spencer. Fruitvale Station debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, being bought by The Weinstein Company for $2.5 million then debuted in theaters July 26, 2013.

Like I mentioned before this was a first time watch and man what a movie! Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station is the true story of Oscar Grant III, a 22 year old who was wrongly murdered on New Years Eve in 2008. The movie follows him on the last day of his life while also flashing back to some key events in his life. Michael B. Jordan is fantastic and gave one of the best performances that year.

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One thing that stood out to me most was the relationship between Oscar and his daughter, played by Ariana Neal. Oscar was not a perfect person and that’s played out through the film, but he loved and supported his family. I’m going to be honest, the last 20 minutes of this movie hit me hard. This is a difficult movie to watch given what it’s about but that doesn’t take away from how good it is. The movie opens with the actual footage of the shooting, which was an interesting way to open a film. That adds a lot to the film already knowing how it ends.

The only thing I can say negatively about this movie is that it suffers from some pacing issues. It slows down a little bit in the middle before picking right back up. I loved this movie, I’d honestly suggest anyone watch it. You can find the film on Netflix. I bought the blu-ray not long after seeing Creed, Coogler’s last movie. I’ve put off watching it, but I felt now that Coogler has a new movie hitting theaters Friday now would be a better time than ever to watch it.

Grade: A-

If you have any suggestions for Throwback Thursday, please comment on this post or you can contact me on all social media sites @darich06. Thank you so much for reading and supporting Blue Ridge Report.

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