Category Archives: Reviews

I Saw 42 and Loved It.

I must preface this post by disclosing that I am not a huge sports fan so I am definitely not a fan of sports movies. The last movie I saw about sports was Any Given Sunday. I may have fallen asleep in the theatre.

Not this time.

I had the privilege of attending a private screening of 42 this week at the Studio Movie Grill in Dallas. I literally sat with my head in my hands like a kid totally engrossed in this film. The acting is top notch. I and one of the girls with my group kept getting excited when we would recognize an actor. Such is the acting that the actor is eclipsed by the character's presence. It was not until I was home did I google this and realize it is indeed Harrison Ford – nearly recognizable – as GM Branch Rickey.

42

I have a new crush – Chadwick Boseman. He gave Jackie Robinson heart. His character is human and fallible with natural talent and determination. Cliches aside, this is an inspirational movie. I literally want every young man in this country to see this film and become inspired to do more – do better.

42 is a bit sanitized, no doubt to attain the PG-13 rating but there is one intense scene that pretty much sums up the relentless racist abuse Jackie Robinson endured and his humanity – as well as heroism – in opposition to it.

This movie has got everything love/hate, villain/hero, and of course, baseball. I have a new appreciation of the sport. The audience actually applauded at the end. The last time I saw that happen, I was watching The Princess and the Frog with a nearly all-white audience. Mostly children. If we could all see with the eyes of children.

 

Blues for Mr. Charlie – James Baldwin

I was going to go see Think Like A Man when I decided to do something a little more intellectually stimulating. I perused my email for event alerts and check out Art and Seek and find that SMU is performing a James Baldwin play. I recalled reading the play in college so I thought this may be interesting and it is only $13.00.

I was simply blown away. The caliber of production and acting was far above what I have seen in college productions. There were a couple of weak cast members but overall quite professional.

Above the production quality the story drama was shockingly relevant today. Let me backtrack a bit. Blues for Mr Charlie is about the killing of a young, cocky black man who comes back to the south after being "ruined" up North by a white man. The dialogue and character development are so layered. Baldwin gets into the psyche of his characters and the story develops into something more complex than the black versus the white side of things. A picture of Trayvon Martin hauntingly swung from a tree wrapped in newspaper headlines.

I cannot tell you how Think Like A Man ends. I have heard a thing or too about Michael Ealy and a seen with Taraji Henson and chocolate. lol I can tell you that I made the right entertainment choice and left the theater feeling a little more enlightened than when I came.

In and Out Burger – Don’t Believe the Hype?

Just spent like 25 plus minutes in a complicated drive thru waiting on my In and Out Burger experience. I am not one for hype but those endless lines jamming up traffic would indicate that this burger is the closest to heaven a mouth can get, right?

WRONG!

The bun was too chewy. The burger meat was like an old-fashioned burger. That part wasn't bad. The onion was a slice of a raw yellow one not red like most onions on burgers. There was something akin to Big Mac sauce slathered on that aforementioned chewy bun.

No bueno.

I feel as if In and Out owes me gas money for sitting in that line for that incredibly mediocre meal.

Perhaps my expectations were too high. Closest to heaven a mouth can get? Sheesh.

I will thank In and Out Burger for pushing me closer to the meatless Daniel Fast. So, um, thanks for that.

Have you been to Cali, had an In and Out Burger?

What did you experience? I was underwhelmed.

😦

I Finally Saw Takers. Thank God for the Dollar Show – A Review

Ahh so much eye candy, so little text. Where does a girl start?

Michael Ealy. This man deserves to be a leading man in more than Oprah's made-for-tv movie of the week. He severely underused in this heist film.

Speaking of the film (this a review right?) this is your by-the-numbers heist film. I had to mentally divorce myself from the illogical premise of the movie. No group of thieves that sophisticated would have ever taken the job. Everyone agrees to do one last job, though its risky, and it falls apart at the end. Yada, yada, yogi and a picanic basket.

Back to Ealy. This man made me officially jealous of Beyonce when I saw he was her love interest in her Halo video.

Idris Elba – Lordy lordy. A black man with a british accent. Puffy Daddy thought he should play bond. Uhm-no sir and thanks Diddy, sir. Idris Elba is so cool. Even though he played Beyonce's husband in Obsessed. Why does Beyonce get all of the sexy menses? Oh , wait, never mind. lol

Chris Brown – Sorry young ladies. I cannot get past his teeth and neither can his words. Enunciate, my brother, enunciate.

Paul Walker – I love me some Paul Walker. Um, yes, just kinda do. Very leading man.

So has anyone else seen this film? What is your take?

P.S. T.I. is in jail.

 

Just Wright Is Such A Good Movie – A Review

How often is the full-figured beauty the romantic lead? How often does she get the handsome guy? Never!!

Come on, you know how it goes. The exponentially shallow, unlikable BUT pretty and skinny lead falls for guy, some misunderstanding happens and later on they work it out and fall in love. Where is the more intelligent, fun, sophisticated and wise full-figured friend? On the sidelines, cheering her skinny friend on. Oh, and if the big girl gets some love, it's with Mr. Boogie Wolf or Sir Snaggle Tooth himself.

Not in Just Wright.

Common2

Common is the man. I mean his deliver of his lines is so smooth. It reminded me of Denzel Washington's portrayal of Bleek Gilliam in Mo' Better Blues. And no, I am not exaggerating. I think it's the MC in him.  If a single movie can transform a man into Denzel Washington material, Just Wright just did it.

I never thought of Common as a sex symbol. I think it was the hazy glow created by all of his high yellowness. lol. I know that's wrong but Morris Chestnut and all of his chocolatey greatness makes it hard for men of Common's hue to get their respective sexy on but by Jove, I've think he's got it!

Latifah

Queen Latifah is a star – pure and simple. She radiates on screen. She has a quiet confidence that announces, yes, the Queen has arrived, whenever the camera is on her.

For example, she shares the screen with the incredibly beautiful Paula Patton. When they are in the same screen shot, Queen Latifah garners your attention. I don't know how she does it but I want to learn.

I won't ruin the ending for you but let's just say the audience applauded!! (This was in the multi-cultural bougie part of town, too!! lol)

Just Wright

Go see it and leave a comment!

P.S. There are a lot of great cameos, including my latest obsession, Laz Alonso.

Thanks!

John Legend – Everybody Knows

I was never a big fan of John Legend's music, although I am a fan of his voice. I think it has something to do with the fact that he says a lot of "oh's" in his songs. LOL. Am I petty? Yes, maybe, but he does. LOL

I heard this song online and I fell in love with it. This song made me give Mr. Legend a second listen. He really does make really good music. Oh's, oh and oh's aside.

 

 

So I Finally Saw Avatar – My Review

and it was aiight. lol

If you want a visually stimulating experience, GO SEE AVATAR.

However; if you want quality storyline, engaging dialogue, logical progression - um, go see something else.

I will keep this short because AVATAR is something you have already seen before regardless if you have purchased a ticket.

Imagine the storyline of Apocalypto, with the over-the-top machinery of Transformers, with the science fiction of the Matrix, with the white-savior complex of Dances with Wolves, with the graphics of Shrek 3-D and you have the jumble-lya that is AVATAR.

The love story is out of any movie you have ever seen!

My final rating – eh *shrugs shoulders*

Am I off base here?

A Streetcar Named Desire – My Thoughts

As a freshman in undergrad, I began taking a lot of fiction classes. One particular year I was on a serious Tennessee Williams kick. I read everything I could find; The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, The Sweet Bird of Youth. Later when I became obsessed with old movies, I got into A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Paul Newman was BRILLIANT as Brick Pollitt) and  Sweet Bird of Youth (also starring Paul Newman).

I watched A Streetcar Named Desire last night and it was disturbingly good. Vivien Leigh is brilliant in her insanity as Blanche DuBois. Marlon Brando is genius as brutish husband Stanley Kowalski.

I have to admit that I was a pretty naive back then. I totally missed the overarching themes of homosexuality in William's plays. I totally missed the fact that he himself was homosexual. He frequently wrote from his life experiences- his mother being a hysteric, his sister's mental illness and lobotomy, his father's preference for his more masculine brother.

Williams was also the brand of writer who chose to live life in order to write about it. He moved to New Orleans which became the setting for A Streetcar Named Desire. I , too, suffer from this malady. I am trying to balance practicality with the desire to experience as much as I can. If I had a million dollars, I would so travel the countryside, travel the world with nothing but a camera and a notebook.

Although a dreamer, I don't suffer from mental illness. So,writing about adventure and escape will have to do for now. I have a semester to finish and a career to launch.

You can read more about Tennessee Williams here.

Another Hair Post – Carol’s Daughter

I am SO disappointed. I SO wanted to like this product line.

You may know the story. A woman made some concoctions in her kitchen for hair, started selling it, made it big. Now she has big-time sponsors, Jada, Mary J, Oprah – so I HAD to try it.

I ordered the Hair Milk, Hair Butter, and Herbal Mint Shampoo from Carol's Daughter.

HATED IT!

OMG. The stuff reeks. I mean it smells like the girl in class whose hair wouldn't grow so her mother put that awful Sulfur 8 hair grease in her head. Then gym came and the poor girl started to sweat and, well, you know the rest.

It left my hair soooo oily and grimy looking. I cannot believe it. I wanted to try this over Miss Jessie's product line because Carol's Daughter has natural ingredients and Miss Jessie's uses petroleum. However, Miss Jessie's actually works and Carol's Daughter was a big disappointment. Plus she charges prices equivalent to Aveda brand and uses cheaper ingredients like corn oil. Who wants to use corn oil on their hair?

Maybe she makes products for people with relaxers because they don't work well with my natural hair.

Has anyone used CD and had a different outcome? Please share. 

So I Saw The Princess and the Frog Today and . . .

. . .I realized that I am not a child anymore. So, I was a little annoyed by the children in the theater. LOL. Did they not get the message that this particular movie-going experience was about me re-living my childhood. Thank you!

I did, however, enjoy the film.

What I Liked During the Movie?

  1. I really loved Princess Tiana – the animated figure and Anika Noni Rose's voice. I credit Rose's voice for keeping me emotionally interested when the beautiful Tiana morphs into a green amphibian.
  2. I loved hearing Terrence Howard's smooth vocals as the dad.  I found out later that Oprah voiced the mother. Kudos Oprah I did not recognize Miss Sophia while watching the film. 
  3. Great music, jazz, and color! I love color. There is beautiful scenery and something other than pink decor of Cinderella. Tiana dons amazing blues and rich greens that complement her brown skin.

What Disappointed me?

  1. The princess is a freakin' frog! My hidden racism detector was approaching Danger Danger! status before I hit the OFF button. I mean, it is a movie for kids and not hypersensitive adults. I must say, I say the movie on Christmas day. I was the only AA in the theater and the children there LOVED this movie. At the end of the movie, this little girl started clapping and yelling YEAH!!!! It was the cutest thing.
  2. The animation seemed low-budget in parts. I am not the only one to notice this. A.O. Scott describes most of TPATF as looking like Disney's straight to DVD features as opposed to it's animated classics. It alternates between great colorful animation to something akin to Woody Wood Pecker sketches. I doubt the kids noticed but I did.

What I appreciate after the fact?

  1. The "Almost There" song sequence – The art style changes to a stylized "art-deco" as Tiana sings about getting closer to her dream. I found out later that this art style is a tribute to Aaron Douglas, the most famous artist during the Harlem Renaissance. Remember the episode of the Cosby Show in which Claire wants this painting. They go to the auction and spend $11,000 on it. That one is by Aaron Douglass.

  1. Anika Noni Rose's voice – Granted she was over shadowed in Dreamgirls by Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson but she has a beautiful voice. She, ironically, beat out both Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, and Alicia Keys for the role of Tiana.
  2. Tiana, unlike princesses before her, doesn't just wish on a star – she works hard! That's a great message for any child to see.
  3. Overall, it's a must-see. I happen to like 2-D cartoons. The Princess and the Frog is a throwback to that era. Don't listen to those looking for hidden racism in a cartoon. Most of those naysayers have NOT SEEN the movie. My advice is to let go and let your inner child imagine.

    What are your thoughts?

  4.