Tag Archives: New orleans

Project Power: A Review

Project Power directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of my anticipated films for the month of August. I’m always hyped for a superhero movie, and the premise of this one intrigued me.

The movie is set in New Orleans, which is talked about a lot. The opening shot is of the Superdome. There are references to how the government mishandled Katrina. Outright mentions of being in New Orleans. But if you missed all of those clues, they had people in the streets chanting for the Saints (New Orleans football team) and wearing jerseys. I grew up in New Orleans, and I can’t remember making or hearing that many references to the city on a daily basis. But it felt like the city was a character in the film as well.

A secret organization is using the city as a lab to test a drug called Power. When someone takes the glowing pill, they get a superpower unique to them for five minutes, or they explode and die. The three main characters connect through this drug. Robin, known as Bird on the street, is a teenage girl who has started selling the drug through her cousin. Frank is a detective that uses Robin as an informant but is also her friend. Art is new to the city but there to find his daughter who was taken in connection to the drug.

There is this really amazing scene between Art and Robin as they first encounter each other. Robin wants to make rap music, that’s her dream, and she is pretty good at it. But she feels like in the present, she has to sell this drug in order to help her very sick mom who has diabetes and no insurance. When Art suggests college or the military, Robin doesn’t have the grades or the interest for either. She wants to follow her dream. They both talk about how the system works against them, and how they must use their skills, their own power, to push back, without relying on the quick fixes of promises destined to break.

It was funny and sweet at times. The relationships between the three main characters are familial, no romance necessary for this film. The characters were flawed but endearing, but the situations weren’t very complex. Very much bad guy versus good guy scenario. The writer, Mattson Tomlin, also wrote the new Batman movie coming out next year, so I’m looking forward to how similar that might be. If you like comic books, straightforward good versus bad type films, and you are able to stomach a good bit of violence, definitely check out this one!

There is profanity in the film. Really didn’t see any sexual content. But there is a lot of violence. Some of the powers were capable of burning a man’s skin or freezing a woman to death, there was a lot of slow motion violence, death, murder, fighting, car accident, and use of guns and other weapons.

The Season of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday.  I didn’t grow up observing this day or the season of Lent.  However, I’m very familiar with Mardi Gras, which was yesterday, because I grew up in New Orleans.  I marched in parades in middle school, and our family always went to the family-friendly parades in our area. 

But growing up, we didn’t observe Lent because it was something the Catholic community did.  Though to be quite honest, fasting wasn’t a discipline that was really talked about in our church circles.  Every now and then, someone would be fasting and praying about some situation, but it wasn’t really a dedicated practice.  So, an entire section of the year dedicated to fasting was entirely foreign to me.

And, even among my friends that did fast for Lent, it seemed like it was more of a sanctioned diet than it was a religious event.  The most common thing that people fasted was chocolate or sweets. 

Then, as an adult, I continued to have a very awkward relationship with this particular time of the year.  On a hilarious note, I didn’t realize that the fast wasn’t done on the Sundays of Lent until I had already participated for a few years.  I couldn’t figure out how people were saying it was reflecting 40 days of Jesus fasting in the wilderness when it was not 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.  Thankfully, I googled it at some point.

And I’ve also learned, as an adult, that it is more than just taking something away from your life but replacing it with God.  It is also a season of generosity and looking to the welfare of others.  Things that I would not have recognized as a kid, mostly because a lot of this is done privately.

But I still struggle with if and how I want to observe Lent.  Part of me feels like an impostor trying to do something I don’t really understand.  Part of me is curious and open to using this time to connect with God.  So, here is where this journey has taken me today.

Last year, Caroline Williams Yoga on YouTube did a weekly session for the Lent season, using a book called Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter.  And of course, being me, I made a mental note to get this book.  So, now it is a year later, and I have the book, ready to read these chapters over the course of the next 40 days (or so).  I want to use it to direct my thoughts each day, giving me focus during this practice.

I also decided not to fast. I know that is the traditional thing to do, but I really struggled with what I should fast, which really showed me that I wasn’t ready to take that step. I want to know more about this tradition before continuing to observe it in its most traditional sense.

Because ultimately, as with anything I do, my main goal is to have a closer relationship with God and be more like Jesus.  And hopefully, I will continue doing that on this journey, one foot in front of the other.