High Note is about Tracee Ellis Ross, but Ice Cube is not The Invisible Man.
No one has been cheesing more than I. On Saturday night I took an hour and a half road trip away from downtown Los Angeles to go and see a double feature at a drive in movie theater that was showing HIGH NOTE and INVISIBLE MAN. Both films were awesome, though before we delve into them you should know that I had to reach a high note just to arrive at the theater. Protesting mayhems in Los Angeles were an hike.
I booked a room in a high rise hotel in downtown Los Angeles to elevate up a bit from my usual 2-story stance in the suburbs to take in the view of the city and its wonderful assortment of citizens. God didn't let me down, the sun rose and set perfectly. The people didn't let me down, in fact, the highways and downtown streets were nearly empty. Driving around was amazingly smooth. I used to live in Hollywood at Normandie and Sunset Blvd, so I took a drive thought the streets to my old stomping grounds and reached it in record time. The view of the hills of Hollywood have never been seen so clear by my own account. I loved it. It made me remark, "Cali is taking the virus seriously." My heart was elevated. Los Angels is beautiful; and this was only my first time ever seeing it so clearly. I'll not ever forget.
Also unforgettable, is the amount of rioting that took place in front of the iconic hotel that I was residing in. It was my idea to hiatus in Los Angeles and take in a movie at a drive-in theater. I had no idea that it would be the weekend of realization regarding Geogre Floyd's death. When I made plans to visit Cali (a month ago), George was alive. By the time I arrived in Cali, George was gone. No high note has been achieved on this issue. I understand the pain of the people that relate to George Floyd; I understand the protesting, but I don't understand the looting. I appreciate that the protestors reflection of all races and sexes but I can't appreciate the looting. United marching means we agree and are moving towards one cause; looking to reach a specific resolve. But looting? Who are people mad at - the system or the shop owners? Looting will not bring George back; most looters were not protesting for George, especially in the Melrose District and Beverly Hills. Many of the less melanin looters were smashing and grabbing retail gear because opportunity was present. Again, no high note there.
With all of the low points across the U.S. I insisted on reaping a high note, so I turned to Tracee Ellis Ross and Ice Cube; these two pulled me through. The drive in movie theater that we patronized was old school and very cool. I can not tell you how many cars were inside of the fenced theater -- but you have got to believe me when I say it was packed. We were instructed to park in every other parking spot in respect of social distancing. It was great. When was the last time you saw a double feature? Because I'm an early bird riser, the showing time was rough on me: 8pm to nearly 1am, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I nodded like a narcoleptic during the second feature: The INVISIBLE MAN. Only because my internal curfew had peaked, otherwise the Invisible Man was anything but cellophane. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92%. The film did not disappoint and my nodding actually did a vanishing act midway through act 1. There are so many plots and twists in this piece that after realizing that Kass found "the suit" - I remained alert and on my toes until the credits rolled. My intuition paid off. That's good invisible-handy work deployed there, o' Director Leigh Whannell. I really didn't see the resolve coming.
HIGH NOTE debuted May 8th, but I was on quarantine with you and AMC, so I didn't get to see it until 22-days after its release. It was pitch perfect. Tracee Ellis Ross plays a (retired) singer named Grace Davis and Ice Cube plays the part of Jack; however it is the genius of Grace's assistant, Maggie, (played by Dakota Johnson) who 'pushed up the fader, bust the meter and shook the tweeter;' a Millennial's ear proved to be ageless and dear. Being an assistant to a singer does not make you a music producer - so the film spent their script dialogue working through the concept of "informal talent pulling ranks." The assistant also fell in love with an up and coming musician inside of the story line; this proved her authentic talent musical curation especially considering who the musician was (--no spoiler here). That in itself is a high note; it's also the strength of the sub story. The headline story of High Note is about Grace having been successful in her singing career and is at the tail end of its height. Jack fights to keep her relevant and does the usual re-branding and song re-organization to compile new albums for fan connectivity and to possibly expand her targeted audience base. It wasn't working. Sales were plateaued and it started to look and feel like Grace was on her way to becoming listed legend who may no longer in public demand.
We've all witnessed our favorite singer bang-out winning LP's just to be elevated to legendary status before being shelved for new-coming artist. We all love new-comers, but surely there's room on the hit list for the grace of legendaries that lead the way. The high note of this film is that "there is room for graceful legendaries," and it appears that the idea of "fresh eyes" may be all we need to keep legends elevated. Fresh eyes are not the eyes of your grand fathers manager. A new millennium birthed new eyes, ears and opportunities for the flexible. Are you flexible? If you are not, your hard work may subject to invisibility as time passes. Don't be inflexible; it's an uncomfortable feeling, but any yogi will tell you, it's necessary to stay agile. Isn't agility the point?
High Note reminds the viewers that change is good and fear is not a necessary.
This is great news to me, because in many ways, I am not your grandfather's writer; I don't write the way he is akin to reading, but my 2020 graduation status yields me the relative juice to produce and make yesterday look and sound new again. There's no time to get old. Be flexible and hit a HIGH NOTE.