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Category Archives: Movies

A BRAVE New World

So after watching PIXAR’s latest addition to the family, Brave, last week, I felt it necessary to do a quick review of the movie and then talk about my ranking of the 13 films up to date.

Brave 

PIXAR’s 13th outing, I saw Brave opening day last week and was left kind of disappointed. I thought Merida and her family were really cool characters with what seemed like a good story up until the actual story started taking shape and you came to grips with this reality. Was it bad? No. Their worst? No. It’s definitely in their bottom tier of movies though. My problem(s) with the movie is that PIXAR usually designs their movies to be catered to both the younger and older crowds. Inside jokes that adults can laugh at but not be offensive to children. This movie, however, was just done for the kiddos and I found myself kind of bored throughout. The other “problem” really goes to my idea of what I expect from PIXAR in general. I’ve come to expect a certain level of greatness from this studio and every year when they had a new idea that I wasn’t sure of, MichaelYoungHistory would tell me it’s PIXAR and to not be worried, and he’d be right. With Brave, I actually was overly enthused for this one because I felt it was a cool and new direction for PIXAR. So I guess I should just be sort of apprehensive from now on….. This movie just seemed like it would fit in well with Dreamworks movies not so much PIXAR.

Now that that’s out of the way, I should get on to this list. Here we go! Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Movies, Uncategorized

 

Are There No Gay Psychopaths?

Rev. Steve Newlin

Last night I finally caught the season première of True Blood. True Blood is something of guilty pleasure to me so I didn’t really feel any urgency to watch it live but I’ll definitely watch if I’m up at 2 in the morning and it’s on. After watching the show I wanted to get the reactions of others who follow the show more closely and may have caught something I missed or has a unique insight into the show. My first stop was Racialicious where they hold a round table who live blogs the show and has great commentary, this however stuck in my craw a bit.

Tami: So…they’re going for the murderous closeted gay man/gay sexual predator combo? For all the kudos this show gets for diversity, it sure treats marginalized people like shit.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The New Conservative “Race War” & The Birth of A Nation

Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins wrote about the conservative obsession with incidents of black on white violence and their efforts to paint the narrative of a race war being propagated by black people on white people. Conservative talkers such as Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh along with conservative media outlets like The Drudge Report, The Daily Caller, and others have been looking for any incidents of violence perpetrated by black people upon white people and amplifying them during the Barack Obama presidency with the implication that the election of President Obama has served as some signal to Black America that now is the time for some sort of crude revenge. Coppins goes into detail even getting a sort of admission from Tucker Carlson of The Daily Caller who delights in his attempts to leverage fear to get back at “liberals” who are concerned about racism. None of this is new however. In the 90’s Rep. Ron Paul ran a newsletter preying upon the fears of roving bands of black youth attacking white people even going so far to teach readers how to buy and dispose of a gun in case they have to kill a black youth. This fear that the advancement of rights and achievement of Black Americans will directly imperil white lives and purity is evident as far back as D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation”. While Griffith makes his point nakedly how different is Limbaugh’s declaration “In Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering”

cross-posted @ theybc

 

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Gravity Night on Thread Radio: Think Like a Man

Hey thREADERS,

Here is our “Think Like a Man” episode. If you listened live, you will find the show (including the After Show) in its entirety. Once again, thank you all for your continued support. Join us for another show like only The Thread can do next Monday at 10PM Central. I hear 3 new Threaders will take the plunge into this “radio thing.” Much love! -23

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“To making it count…”

Movies

Just as I finished digesting the news of Whitney Houston’s toxicology reports, TriStar released the trailer for Sparkle (1), starring Whitney Houston, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Cee-Lo (2) (more on him later), and Jordin Sparks. I realize that this is a remake, but I’m really excited about it, and I have high hopes for it. I’m going to see it, if for no other reason than to see Whitney and hear her angelic voice one more time. 

Music

I finally got to see The Hunger Games, and I loved it! It wasn’t as good as the book, but what movie is ever as good as the book that precedes it? I felt that the movie did it justice, and I’m excited to start reading Catching Fire. Since I’m on the topic, Lenny Kravitz (2) as Cinna just might have been my favorite character outside of Katniss. I loved Rue, too. I won’t spoil the plot for those who have yet to read the book or see the movie, but I will say that he added a serenity to the movie, and he nailed his role. I’m glad to see that Helen, I mean Roxie Roker (3) passed some acting skills down to her son. Movin’ on up…here’s a list of my 5 favorite Lenny Kravitz songs.

  1. “Little Girl’s Eyes” (duh…)
  2. “Fly Away”
  3. “Again”
  4. “I Belong to You”
  5. “I’ll Be Waiting”

Kanye West (4) made the news again this week for his song, “Theraflu”, where he admits to falling in love with Kim Kardashian, throws his respect for Wiz Khalifa, and well…here:

“And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim, ’round the same time she had fell in love with him, well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thing, lucky I ain’t have Jay drop him from the team,”

I think Kanye is disturbed in all honesty. I’ve thought something was off ever since 808’s & Heartbreak. His “Runaway” video was the icing on the cake for me (even though I loved it). Fellow Threader, Terry the Trainer, eloquently nails my sentiments with this gem:

“Kanye’s new song reminds me of how badly I do NOT. WANT. FAME. Ever. Falling in love with Kim K while she falls in love with the dude she marries on your watch, just to dump him two months later, and leave you feeling empty…Now one ex is with an inferior rap guy (Wiz) and another ex is over you, overpaid, and thanks to your own big mouth, over-publicized as you openly admit defeat to an NBA guy who is as famous as he has recently become…Because of your ex. At a certain point, you are so celebrated, you just chase what (and who) is celebrated. You forget what you once were and what type of company you once pursued. I feel sorry for that in a way at the same time. You CAN’T be normal anymore.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” (5) found her way into my “Thirteen Thoughts”…again. By now, you’ve probably seen, heard, or heard about the now infamous Burger King commercial that has her looking like Catwoman on a table singing about crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, an assortment of cheeses, and ranch dressing. I suppose her days of drama, real love, goin’ down, and breaking through are over. utpipeline gave us a classic post yesterday, so I’ll just leave this subject with that. *walks away* *looks back* *shakes head* *continues walking* Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary… *sigh*

Cee-Lo (6) is quickly becoming another all-star on my Thoughts, but I’m not happy with him at the moment. A few weeks ago, Cee-Lo performed the unedited version of his hit single, “F*** You” at a fundraiser for President Obama, which was hosted by Tyler Perry (6) (more on him in a second). Dammit, Cee-Lo, you can’t do that!!! My people, my people…while I’m sure this is a popular sentiment directed at several of Obama’s opponents, it will certainly not help get the President reelected. *slightly head-bops*

Radio Show

Thread Radio is off and rolling now, and we’ll keep it chugging next as we talk about Tyler Perry (7). He has been the subject of several debates over on the Thread, so we figured we’d bring it to the public. So many people love him; so many people hate him. Is he good for black entertainment or is he bad for it? However, you feel, be sure to tune in Monday night at 10 Central at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio. Here are our first and second shows in case you missed them.

Sports

The Masters started today, and Tiger Woods (8) seems to be an early favorite. Timeout. You mean to tell me that it only took one win after 2 years for people to hop back on Tiger’s bandwagon? That’s it? I’ve watched so many “experts” and “analysts” say that they believe he’ll end up with the green jacket on Sunday. Color me skeptical. Oh, congratulations to Baylor for winning the title in women’s basketball! I got my wish of getting to see Skylar and Brittney Griner (9) square off, but I knew Baylor would prevail. Griner is simply unstoppable. I suppose Baylor Law School (10) was too excited about the win, and pushed some of the wrong buttons. Congratulations to the new class…I suppose.

YouTube

YouTube has done what it always does and provided some great entertainment for people this week.Here’s the 5-year-old comedian who calls out lazy parents (11)

On a Personal Note

I’m not Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I’ve been taking part in a fast in observance of Lent (12). I usually give up all liquids except water, which is also a tribute to my grandmother as she used to do the same thing. I also gave up fast food. Let me just say that this was probably the most challenging fast to get through. It’s not over until Easter, but goodness. I’ve been the awkward guy at the social outing at a bar who asks for water far too many times this past several weeks. All for good reason, but I’m glad it’s almost over. To God be the glory. Finally, it’s been a tough few days for me as tragedy (13) struck entirely too close to home. This guy that I grew up with and went to church with murdered his mother, who also went to church with me. There really isn’t much I can say because it’s such a tragic and heart-wrenching situation, but my thoughts and prayers are with the immediately family and close friends. I wish there was something we could’ve done. We knew the young man was on the wrong path. Maybe we didn’t pray hard enough. Maybe we didn’t reach out to him enough. Maybe we didn’t keep him close enough to us. I don’t know, but my heart is heavy. Let’s take care of each other.

-23

 

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“What Do We Do In the Mean Time?” asked Mary J. Blige to the WB Frog

So I cheated. I’ve already posted this to my other blog http://www.theblackhollywoodreporter.wordpress.com (check it out), but I thought I should just share the love!

I come to you today realizing there is a paradigm in Black Hollywood, and I don’t know how I feel about it. This realization comes after the backlash of Mary J. Blige’s Burger King Commercial.

Click Here to Watch the Video

Many believe it was coonish for Blige to sing the song about chicken, burgers, and even ranch dressing, but as I sit on the other side of the industry, my gut just wouldn’t let me get as mad as I probably would have a few years ago. My mind didn’t directly move to disgust and dissecting the “issue”, but it DID make me wonder about the meeting Blige had with her team. I could picture her agent presenting the opportunity her. It was probably like, “Burger King wants you to do a song.” If I came to you and plainly said, “Burger King wants you to do a song,” would you honestly shut it down? Would chicken and ranch dressing be the first thing to pop into your mind? Maybe not, so let’s just say that you agreed. Once you read the lyrics, even if a red flag was raised, what would the conversation be like with your manager about the backlash of your career?  Before you answer, let me tell you that commercials make people a lot of money for a little time. While movie shoots would probably last 100 days, a commercial lasts 3. While making an album may last months or even years, you would probably spend a day in the studio to record the song. And the residuals for a national commercial bring in some nice bread… very nice. So think about the complexity of her decision especially when the digital boom has cut musical artists’ income.

But trust, Blige is not alone in the struggle. Think about Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. With the scarcity of parts, should [black] actors turn down roles? Did people stop working for BP waiting on them to clean up the spill? Did the LAPD officers quit the force after those police officers were acquitted for beating Rodney King? So as we wait for more quality television shows and movies, what do black artist do in the mean time while whites offer a narrow scope of characters and blacks don’t take the time to educate themselves in order to create quality work? Artists still need income, and inactivity is the best way to be forgotten. How does Black Hollywood deal with this paradigm?

Honestly, the resolution of this paradigm doesn’t bother me as much as the realization that we are dealing with the same predicament Robert Townsend dealt with in Hollywood Shuffle. It’s been at least 30 years, and we really haven’t progressed. I’ve racked my brain trying to find solutions to this problem. Each solution seems to cancel each other out, and in the time of quick, fast, and in a hurry products (reality tv), it’s so hard to find someone willing to take their time and make something of quality. To be transparent, The Game and Let’s Stay Together are a chore to watch, and I won’t even get on Love That Girl. No one supports Treme resulting next season being their last season, and after Red Tails, it seems we cannot rely on someone else to tell our story. We are slowly getting mainstream roles, but “they” protest. For example, the backlash of Idris Elba in the movie Thor: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/05/02/thor-star-idris-elba-on-fan-racism-and-ghost-rider-sequel-but-not-prometheus/ , or recently the African Americans casted in Hunger Gameshttp://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/hunger-games-fans-have-racist-debate-over-stars-playing-rue-thresh-2012263 ? So in this slow transformation, what do we do… because BILLS are do!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Money, Movies, Music, Television

 

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“We’re having too good a time today. We ain’t thinking about tomorrow.”

Trayvon Martin (again)

This Trayvon Martin situation will not go away, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s such a frustrating, aggravating, disheartening, and infuriating thing. Just when I thought this would be a quieter week, we get blindsided by Geraldo Rivera (1) making asinine comments. According to Rivera, “Trayvon Martin’s hoodie killed him as surely as George Zimmerman did.” I really don’t know where Geraldo gets off saying stuff like this. His own son was even disappointed in him. His logic is just so incredibly flawed to me. It’s like saying that a rape victim should blame the dress she was wearing. Don’t wear dresses or skirts, ladies. Just typing that feels stupid. Meanwhile, a police video (2) surfaced that showed George Zimmerman without any signs of blood or being attacked. This gives me more reason to be angry with the way the Sanford Police Department has handled this situation. Not to be overshadowed, The Daily Texan (3) ran an incredibly offensive cartoon earlier this week. Mind you, this is a student paper that is financed by student fees. The University of Texas just can’t seem to stay out of the news, and it’s not even football season. I’m all for people’s First Amendment rights and their right to express themselves, but those rights shouldn’t come at the expense of other people. I’m more upset with the editors of the paper than I am the cartoonist herself. How was that cartoon given the green light? What’s worse is that the editor tried his best to deflect the anger. #FAIL The statement was later taken down and replaced with a late apology. The damage has been done, though. Am I the only one who is just emotionally spent from all of this? This entire Trayvon Martin situation has reopened a huge wound in the flesh of this country. I have seen the absolute worst in some people, and it is so upsetting. I get tired of writing about racial issues every week on here, but they keep presenting themselves. I’ll have to go back and look at my Thursday Thoughts, but I don’t think there has been one without some instance of racism. It’s not like I even go looking for them. They find me. Just like this Hunger Games (4) foolishness.

Books

Speaking of The Hunger Games, I finished the book in about 3 days, and I loved it. I’ll be picking up the second installment of the series in the very near future. I’m happy I jumped on this bandwagon because it was very rewarding. The book itself is a whirlwind that refuses to let go of you or put you down. I’m sure I’ll find myself in someone’s movie theater this weekend to see the movie. I’m also getting REALLY excited about Eric Jerome Dickey’s new book, An Accidental Affair (5), which isn’t scheduled to be released for another 3 weeks. I realize I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but I have thoroughly enjoyed his work over the years. Here’s a quick rundown of my favorite EJD books:

  1. Cheaters
  2. The Gideon Series (Sleeping With StrangersWaking With EnemiesDying for RevengeResurrecting Midnight)
  3. Chasing Destiny
  4. Milk in My Coffee
  5. The Other Woman

Yes, I realize I’m cheating by putting four books in my number two spot, but this is my list, and I can never decide which one in the series I like the best.

Sports

Dennis Rodman (6) seems to be having problems again. This hurts me to hear because I was a fan of the troubled, enigmatic, defensive guru. Michael Jordan wouldn’t have gotten those last few rings without him. Supposedly, he’s broke, sick, and could be facing jail time for failing to pay child support. *sigh* I hope he can get his life together. Another basketball great, who I happened to write about last week, is part of a team of millionaires who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers (7). That’s right, the other MJ, Magic Johnson, is now a part owner of the storied baseball franchise. This man has seriously bought up the city of Los Angeles. I’m really happy for him. Johnson has done very well for himself. It’s a stark contrast in money management when compared to the aforementioned Dennis Rodman.

I have one more basketball note. Skylar Diggins (8) is still playing. I don’t know what to say about it; I don’t know what to call it. I don’t typically watch women’s basketball. There is just something about watching Ms. Diggins in uniform. We’ve talked about this phenomenon on this blog. A few times. She is just that rare mix of beauty, athleticism, and feminism. That’s the best I can explain it. I’m hoping for a Baylor/Notre Dame championship game. No, I have nothing to say about the men’s Final Four (9) this week. It’s Kentucky’s title to lose. That’s that.

The Month of April

I’m very excited about the month of April. First, there are a flurry of movies coming out that I want to go see. Judge me if you want to, but I’ll be there at some point to see Titanic (10) in 3D. Call it nostalgia or something, but I have some strange desire to go see it. I hate Hollywood. They have somehow convinced me that owning the VHS and DVD of the movie aren’t enough to keep me from wanting to pay again to see it in 3D. I won’t take this $17 price tag sitting down. Also, for nostalgia’s sake, I’ll be seeing American Reunion (11) as well. I’m not expecting much, but it’ll give me a reason to watch the first three two so I can relive my high school and college days. I refuse to count those other American train wrecks that tried their best to ruin the franchise. Band Camp?  Naked Mile? Beta House? REALLY?!?!? 

My fellow Threader, MichaelYoungHistory, convinced me to run in a 10K run (12) in a few weeks. I still don’t know how this happened. I’m not nor have I ever been a distance runner, but I’m looking forward to participating in it with a couple other Threaders. I’ve been training and preparing myself for a grueling 6.2 miles. Pray for me. I’m not built for this.

Closing Thought

Once again, thank you to the loyal and new thREADERS who have supported our new Radio Show (13) endeavor. We’re all looking forward to seeing where it eventually goes. Don’t miss Monday night’s show on “Interracial Dating” with TP4, Justinfication, and MichaelYoungHistory at 10pm Central. If you want a refresher, it will be based on this gem from TP4. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio

-23

 

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