'Proud Mary' Gives Us A Badass Hitwoman With Heart

As if we needed another reason to love Taraji P. Henson.

180112-Madison-Review-of-Proud-Mary-hero__bf9w2x.jpeg

Lately, there's been a rise in action movies with leading ladies (i.e. Atomic Blonde/Red Sparrow). But standing out from the crowd is Taraji P. Henson's, Proud Mary

I've been excited to see this movie ever since I first saw the preview, though I wasn't too sure what it was all about at first. I just new Taraji was playing a woman named Mary who knew how to sling a gun like nobodies business. Luckily, it pretty much lived up to my expectations. In the film, Taraji stars as the titular assassin, who's indebted to the Boston mob that took her in as a young runaway and taught her how to shoot a gun. But after completing a hit, Mary realizes that her target’s young son Danny is now an orphan, and her guilt for killing his father leads her to spend the next year keeping tabs on him and eventually taking him under her wing. 

taraji-henson-proud-mary3-ht-mem-180109_4x3_992.jpg

The film opens up with a ’70s-inspired credit sequence that nods to its blaxploitation roots and Taraji consistently spits badass, action-movie one-liners throughout the entire 88-minute run. Most reviews I've read were disappointed in the lack of killer action sequences in the film, but I think the lack of them is why I liked it so much. Sure it wasn't what I would consider being the greatest movie of all time, but it was an original premise with enjoyable characters.

Unlike the other assassin-action films I've seen, Proud Mary tapped into the humanity of the person behind such a ruthless job. Mary's (Henson) many emotions gives the audience a chance to look at a killer in a way we haven’t before and shows us that no matter how terrible the things they do are sometimes, they still have hearts. (Disclaimer: I don't think this applies to every killer in the world)

At the beginning of the film  — when Mary is fiercely applying mascara and pulling up her thigh-high boots — she's definitely not the nurturing type. But as time goes on she's determined to help and protect Danny, which brings out her motherly roots. And one of the funniest lines is when another character questions this and pisses Mary off. I won't spoil her clap back, but it will definitely make you go "yes, girl!" Danny's reluctance and attitude is the perfect match for Taraji's character and in a weird way gave me Cookie/Hakeem vibes (circa Empire).  

In addition to every scene where Mary's sleek ride pulled up to her dreamy loft, my favorite had to be towards the end. I won't give away what exactly was happening, but let's just say Mary storms into a warehouse on a rescue mission, guns blazing, tires squealing, and with Tina Turner blasting. As Tina sings the titular theme song, Mary mows down bad guy after bad guy, taking out henchmen with a ruthless ease.

Proud Mary might not exactly be the female version of Scarface or John Wick, but it's a damn good movie showing a side of black women we've never really seen before. That's what I love about Taraji: she's always been committed to taking on a variety of different roles and I for one can't wait to see what she does next. 

My only complaint with this movie: Spoiler alert  that Billy Brown wasn't a good guy. Though, it was kind of funny to see someone else besides Viola Davis' character on How To Get Away With Murder treat him like shit for once. Poor Nate. 

My recommendation: Definitely go see! And once you do, let me hear what you thought in the comments! 

The 6 People You Meet In College, As Told By Grown-ish

I can't be the only one completely obessesd with grown-ish. It's rare to find a college-centric, coming of age show (or movie) that features multi-dimensional people of color. Fortunately, that's exactly what the world got with the premiere of grown-ish on Jan. 3. 

147654_0064.jpg

In the first episode viewers were re-introduced to Zoey Johnson, played by teen icon Yara Shahidi, and her eccentric group of new college friends — whom she dubbed her own version of The Breakfast Club. Each one had their own story and unqiue personality that mirrors the kinds of people everyone finds their freshman year in college. 

And they are:

1. The person who'll never fail to tell you exactly what they're thinking

giphy (1).gif

Luca has no filter. And unfortunately (but also fortunately) there's always someone in college just like him. Whether they're telling you your outfit would look better back at Goodwill or that you need to get your ish together, turn to this person whenever you're looking for the cold hard truth. 

2. The person who has super ambitious goals

giphy (2).gif

The Nomi in college is the person that will inspire you to believe that no dream is too big of a dream. Whether it's to score a top internship, run for SGA president or to hook up with a teacher's assistant in the middle of the radio station that you're longing to do, this person's fearless, can-do attitude is infectious. 

3. The person who talks non-stop about their vegan lifestyle

giphy (3).gif

No, for the 100000th time I DO NOT want a damn veggie burger. Let's face it: this person can be hella annoying. Like do they not understand that college kids are on a budget? Lettuce costs way more than 99 cent nuggets. Just saying. 

And yes I know there's more that goes into being a vegan. *rolls eyes*

4. The go-to person on campus for drugs

giphy.gif

You know if you're into that sort of thing or the other. This guy (or hey, gal) will most definitely cross paths with you. Just make sure to get them their money. And on time. You don't want to get a visit from the Lil Papas, Big Worms, Nino Browns of the world.

5. The person who's bae, but doesn't actually realize they're bae yet

giphy (5).gif

So in the meantime, you just keep stalking them. And planning your wedding in your head. And scrolling down their Instagram page. Sooooo, when exactly do they realize they're bae? Right when you accidentally like a picture. Yikes. 

6. The person who'll become your late-night dance partner

giphy (4).gif

Dancing in a dorm room is so much more fun when you've got a dope friend with you. This is the person who'll be the maid of honor in that previously mentioned wedding. You know, the one that will definitely happen if you don't take this person's advice to stop watching bae's snaps over and over and over again. 

Tune into grown-ish every Wednesday, on Freeform at 8/7c

All photos and videos courtesy of Freeform

18 Quotes From Women To Power You Through 2018

Good quotes = good vibes = good year! 

Don't believe me? Just watch! In the spirit of new beginnings, I've rounded up some awesome inspirational quotes from celeb women to inspire you in the new year. Whether you're searching for the perfect Instagram quote or simply a little dose of positivity and wisdom before a big job interview, let these 18 quotes power you through 2018. 

planner.png

1. “Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape, go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren't in it.” — Lena Waithe

2. "The Brave You gives you the courage to hold your own agency, your own choice, your own desire, your own longings, your own fear, your own grief, your own future. She’s just one aspect of your soul that helps you become your fully embodied and completely integrated real, true self. She's in you right now, in your journal, in the back of your mind, in your Netflix queue, waiting for your invitation." — Tracee Ellis Ross

3. "Friends, guys, jobs all come and go. You are stuck with yourself—better to learn to love who and what you are."— Gabrielle Union

4. "I'm looking forward to the day that I greet fear wholeheartedly, nose to nose, and tell it you have met your goddamn match." — Solange Knowles

5. "I found that every time I asked permission the answer tended to be no, so I had to make my own yeses." — Issa Rae

6. “If you wanna be your own boss, you gotta work your way up — have the skills.” — Courtney Kemp Agboh

7. “If you listen to people and you allow people to project their fears onto you, you won’t live." — Taraji P. Henson

8. “Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.”  ― Shonda Rhimes

9, "[I learned] to never again — never again, ever — put all of your hopes, expectations, eggs in the basket of box office. Do the work as an offering, and then whatever happens, happens." — Oprah

10. "Run away from a man who can’t handle your ambition. Run." — Reese Witherspoon

11. "When I am myself, most authentically myself. free of self hatred, free of self-judgment, then I am also my most revolutionary." — Amandla Stenberg

12. "Every moment is an opportunity to learn something and grow." — Laverne Cox

13. My life changed when I focused on what i was good at, what i liked most about myself & what made me stand out." — Issa Rae

14. “You have to break the rules, bet on yourself and not adhere to the status quo in order to make a mark.”
— Tracy Oliver

15. "Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched." — Mindy Kaling

16. "I always encourage people to ask for what you want. When you’re told no, you should ask for feedback so you can get better." — Naomi Campbell

17. "I am going to own my experiences. I'm going to pay attention to the reality of my life and the audacity of my dreams instead of the expectation I was raised with. I'm going to make space for the good and the bad of it, even the yucky scary fear-inducing parts, and embrace all the bits and all the questions." — Tracee Ellis Ross

18. "All women are strong ... I think that we should all know that we have that strength, and we should all lead with that strength every day." — Diane Von Furstenburg

What are some of your favorite quotes? Share in the comments!