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SMR 233: Us

Rod and Karen discuss Jordan Peele’s latest horror movie, “Us.” We also discuss trailers and your feedback.



    Jordan Peele is an astounding 2 for 2 start out directing. He’s on some Ryan Coogler-type shit. Its a different movie from Get Out & is able to be its own thing. Lupita Nyongo gives, possibly, one of the dual performances I’ve ever seen. The different characteristics between Adelaide & Red are very significant. Having seen it for a second time, It was quite impressive of her to give both characters the depth she gave them. Wonderful job. Winston Duke was really good here, as well. Big shoutouts to Shadiha Wright Joseph & Evan Alex with their dual performances. While not up there with Lupita, those two young actors did a great job with their certain characterizations. It looks great, the actors look great & it’s honestly a film that you have to watch twice to hook of the story. It’s not as deep as people made it out to be, but it is also an interesting study on the merits of humanity. At least, I thought so.


      Correction: The movie is deep, so I misspoke on that end. I guess what I meant was that it’s not this wokety-woke type of deep. It was deep regarding the perception of Red & Adelaide, how the tethering works & the characteristics that I mentioned in the first response.

  2. anayi89

    I’m a scary bitch so I initially wasn’t going to watch this movie, but I’m glad that I did. And, because I’m a scary bitch, I spoiled the movie for myself before watching it so I went in with a different perspective.

    Due to the spoilers, I watched Red’s monologues feeling sympathetic towards her. I mean, if someone stole my identity, choked me out and forced me to live with people who function like a bunch of crackheads for the rest of my life, I’d be homicidal too.

    Some of Red’s lines got me a little teary-eyed:
    “We’re people too.”
    “Sometimes, I wonder what my life would be like if you took me with you.”

    Those are not exact quotes, but they were things she said that made her character look very tragic.

    Now, I know that Jordan Peele said that this movie isn’t about race. But, fuck it, this is America. Everything’s about race.

    The portrayal of Red in the trailer compared to Red in the movie reminded of the stereotype about Black people. We’re stereotyped as being angry and terrifying. However, once you’re aware of our backstory, you know that, like Red, our anger is very much justified.

    Also, a YouTuber pointed out that the Tethered’s freedom from the tunnels is similar to a slave revolt after being forced to live in unlivable conditions against their will and being created as a means to an end, which reinforces their dehumanization.

    • anayi89

      Another thing, Red’s voice was terrifying in the trailer. But in the movie, the voice sounded weary. And based on what Lupita has said in interviews about Red’s voice deriving from childhood trauma and not having anyone to talk to in the tunnels, that makes her even more sympathetic.

  3. rngulledge

    First of all, Winston Dukes’s thighs are a blessing from heaven. Ha, but in all seriousness, Jordan Peele is truly a gifted story teller. I absolutely loved this movie and Lupita’s performance in it.

  4. logan2x1

    Hey Rod and Karen!
    This movie had me shook!!! I agree the music was like another character and I nearly cried when Lupita’s characters were fighting in the tunnels because it was hauntingly beautiful. She acted her ass off!! All the actors did a phenomenal job! I’m trying not to read too many think pieces about the movie because I don’t want them to ruin how I feel about it. As a black woman and mom I found “Us” way more frightening than “Get Out”. After that movie I needed a hug from my mom, but she lives in Mississippi so I was in my feelings for awhile after seeing it with my husband. He tried to shush me! I agree that Winston’s character was the comic relief, but he had me in my feelings too! The entire movie I kept whisper yelling “See this is what black women be talking about! Just listen to us! Omg! You better fight for your family negro!” Lol smh.
    So I had two theories about the film when I first saw the trailers; 1) The little girl in the mirror got switched (of course at the time I didn’t realize that was supposed to be her as a little girl), or 2) her son was going to get switched at some point in the film.
    So once the movie got started I realized my first prediction was probably correct, but it didn’t make the movie any less frightening for me. I felt for both of her characters, the doppelgänger who assimilated and now just wants to protect her family and the lie. And the original who kinda lost her mind and wants revenge. The great thing about the movie is if you had already caught on that “good Lupita” was the doppelgänger then you were questioning every move she made while they were moving through the story. But even if it took you until after the reveal it’s fun to keep hearing people have “ay-ha” moments about her character.
    One interesting thing I’ve read is that some people have had the same second theory about her son, but they took it a little further then mine. Some think that she switched the boys early on as babies because she knew one wasn’t right. Which is why she’s so protective of him and worried if he goes missing because she knew that the original might come and take him. And that’s why she tried to talk to the burned one rather than just kill him right off. It makes for quite the mind fuck to think about it. But overall it was an enjoyable and frightening experience.
    Now every time someone looks at me too intently the scary “I Got Five On It” music plays. We used to play that song in my middle school band at football games. Now kids will probably be playing the scary version of it in orchestra band on violins now ‍♀️. That’s really cool.
    Love you guys
    Iman aka NerdGeekNinja

  5. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Karen,

    I really liked Us but as a fan of horror (my favorite genre) I was a bit disappointed. I felt so much tension but not much in the way of scary. It felt a lot like Alien as more of a suspenseful Sci-fi movie, a genre which I like too but I really felt like the science part was lacking. I left wanting more info on the cloning and how it got abandoned and what not…

    That said it’s way better than 90% of horror so I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 on a horror movie curve. I’d give it a 3.5 on a regular movie scale.

    All that said, lupita nyong’o gave one of the best acting performances I’ve EVER seen! She was spectacular, nailing every part of those rolls. She really needs to get a lot of nominations and a few awards for this.

    Also I’m with Karen the music was great. I think Rod said it was like another character, that’s exactly what I said to Arianna as we left the theater.

    I’m going to watch it again this week because I also think I’ll like it more on second watch. It’s got so much in it that I don’t think I picked up.

    Be well and thanks for all the work y’all put in. Never feel bad about taking time off you earn it you should take it.

    Love Geoff M

    Sorry to send a second email on the same thing…

    Upon a reread of my email it was way more negative than I had intended. I really liked Us a lot. It was one of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen. I only wish it was marketed as a thriller rather than horror which is a way smaller point than I wrote in my previous email. I do think Jordan Peele has cemented his standing as the best thriller writer/director of our generation and if he does it again (as I think he will) maybe of all time.

    And as I think more about it I’d love a prequel with the scientists and how the clones were made and then how it all went wrong and were abandoned. That’s the piece I felt was missing but it’s still a fantastic movie without any of that.

    Anyways it was great and I can’t wait to see it again.

  6. ClassicRandBLover

    Hello Rod and Karen,

    I absolutely loved Us. I thought it was a brilliant take on the underbelly of American society, and I will be going to see it again. Karen’s thought that the underworld represented America’s homeless population was really interesting. I thought it was about the ugly side of “us” we don’t want to see (you know how when something horrible happens in the US and you get people who say this is not the America I know, when the evil done is the epitome of who and what America has always been), but the context being the “us” we consciously choose not to see has given me so many additional thoughts and speculations.

    I too got right away that upworld Lupita was in fact really underworld Lupita, and thinking that made me love the film even more. Jordan Peele crafted a perfectly constructed mystery; the clues were all there, you just had to see them and put them together. Lupita’s inability to snap on the beat; little Lupita being unable to speak after her experience on the beach; the fact that underworld Lupita was the only one of the people from the underworld who could speak, albeit in a manner that reminded me of how people talk for a while after a sore throat prevents them from speaking. I also thought that Jason understood, or at the very least suspected the truth by the end of the film.

    The question I had was, “Did either of you notice that when they panned around the summer house, you didn’t see any pictures of Lupita’s father?” They only showed Lupita with her mother. Given the arguments and the way the mother pulled away from the father at the therapist’s office and her blaming him for what happened to their daughter, I wonder if underworld Lupita and her different personality and inability to speak spelled the end of her parents’ marriage.

  7. Selester63

    Hey Rod & Karen,

    I thought this was a great movie. Lupita delivered an award-winning performance. Winston Duke and the other actors were good. The 3 black child actors were great and young Adelaide with those facial expressions, awesome. I saw it twice to see if I missed anything the first time.
    Thanks, peace.

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