This would be a 5-star Movie for me, a real 5-star. My whole blog is based on 5-stars for movies, series, albums, restaurants, rentals, everything. Then along comes Tijuana Jackson and almost blows it all to smithereens.
Tijuana Jackson (played by Romany Malco) is newly released from prison. His plan to defeat recidivism is breathtakingly bold, become a motivational speaker. 😐🤣🤣🤣 On his “side” are his nephew, parole officer, sister and Momma. (Some more than others!😉) The twist that POPS? He’s being filmed by non-black, collegiate students for a class project. The conversations of life between the Jacksons and film crew are educational, colorful and Hall of Fame FUNNY.
The cast was BORN for their roles. Regina King was so believable as a probation officer. Her body language, habits, mannerisms and delivery of language mirrored Romany Malco. The two spun one-liners and classic, P.O.C. prejudices back and forth like veterans of MY community. Alkoya Brunson looked like the “forgotten, GOOD kid” and his penchant for acting confused at adults’ ignorance was awesome. Shannon Dang and Tami Roman? Yes, both nailed their parts. Dang as the “dedicated-to-school”, stereotypical Asian student and Roman as the “living-with-momma, loud, bubble gum chewing,” stereotypical, Black woman. Kiva Jump was reminiscent of Michael K. Scott, The Office. I loved the way it was filmed in a reality show style, like The Office. This is where Romany and Regina shiiiiiine like a MUG! I’m telling you, BOTH deliver lines that you’ll be repeating days later. Their soliloquies are snippets of comedy stand ups, humor based around REAL society issues.
From the plastic on couches, to the high grass in the yard and reactions of different people, Tijuana Jackson felt authentic. Nothing was too over-the-top dramatic in an effort to chase laughs. Tijuana uses his motivational talks to address specific concerns in the community and his counterargument to the crew NOT supporting his film, “Hey. What you gotta ask yourself is this. Why is it a n*gga FRESH off lock believing in your ability but you can’t?” Yooo. It’s all in the delivery, timing, and Romany Malco is showing out.
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