Thursday, February 5, 2015

Being Mary Jane: Season 2 Review

Tuesday night's return of the BET blockbuster hit Being Mary Jane pretty much took up where the finale ended. Mary Jane Paul, the super successful anchorwoman protagonist of the series is still in her feelings over her ex David and breaking things off with her married ex Dre. She's drinking, being extremely obnoxious, stalkerish, and downright rude but one thing's for sure, Gabrielle Union looks good even at her worst: throwing aquariums out of windows, heaving up in toilets, showing up at David's best friend's home to get the scoop on the new chick, and confronting David over an abortion she had when they were still coupled up, Gabrielle's style is on FLEEK! I love seeing my people styled to the nines and our faces beat to perfection. Kudos to the show's costume and makeup departments.

From the looks of things, this season is going to be amazing. Between Mary Jane hopefully dealing with what I hope is an increasing dependence on all things alcoholic, continued issues with her family, a love affair with Gary Dourdan, (my dreadlocked crush from A Different World), and a hot love scene with a nice piece of chocolate in some tight skivvies, I'm all in for this new season of Being Mary Jane.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

American Sniper: My Review

American Sniper has been the number one movie in the country for the past three weeks and many have come out against it saying the film glorifies violence and has made Chris Kyle, the subject of the film, an undeserving hero who in some people's opinion was just a cold blooded murderer.

Despite where one stands in the debate,Sniper is a vivid account of Kyle's four tours of war and the effect what he saw and did over there had on him and his family. Under the direction of Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper gave the best performance of his career. Cooper threw himself completely into the role by putting on 40 lbs. of
muscle and adopting a Texas dialect. His portrayal
totally made you forget this guy played Phil in
The Hangover franchise.

The war scenes were frighteningly realistic, and
Eastwood did not hesitate to show the horrors of
war and the toll it takes on Kyle's psyche and on
his marriage to his long suffering wife Taya who
stood by him as he became a shell of his former
self after each tour. Sienna Miller did as much as
she could with the role of long suffering wife, but
this was Cooper's movie and he owned it.

Regardless of where you stand on the war or on the
subject of Chris Kyle the deadliest sniper in  U.S.
history, American Sniper is definitely a must see!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Selma: My Review

I finally saw Best Picture nominee Selma today, and the praise is well deserved. I enjoyed the movie although I was one of those people who initially felt that Hollywood had run the gamut with Civil Rights movies. Selma is different in the respect that it deals with more than just King, but the people both black and white who fought beside him as well. I thought all involved did a wonderful job including David Oyeleyo (MLK), Carmen Ejogo (Coretta), Tom Wilkinson (LBJ), and Tim Roth (George Wallace). Everyone has been complaining about the lack of an Oscar nod for Oyeleyo, but those three deserved recognition as well in my opinion. It would have been great for Ava Duvernay to get a nod just for the historical statement that would have made, but I know it's coming, not just a nomination but a win. With each film she directs, Ava's skills are sharpened and I can't wait to see what she tackles next. I read that it would be a television project, but I would like for her to tackle Americanah starring Lupita N'yongo and Oyelowo or possibly the long awaited The Coldest Winter Ever which was optioned by Jada Pinkett Smith years ago, but never brought to the screen. I think Ava would be perfect to helm that Hollywood. Hint! Hint!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hindsight: My Review

VH 1 which has been known for ratchet reality t v the past few years has a new scripted series called Hindsight on its winter roster.  I must say it has a pretty good premise along with a charming lead. The show deals with Becca (Laura Ramsey), a woman who is engaged to be married to a great but boring guy who wakes up back in 1995 after blacking out the day before her wedding. In this world she is engaged to be married to her first husband Sean, her parents are still married, and the best friend she fell out with is back in her life. Another great reason to watch this show is Mario Cantone who plays Becca's unappreciative boss . If you loved him as Anthony (Charlotte's gay bestie) on Sex and the City, then I'm sure you'll love him on this show as well.

I 've only seen one episode and hope that the upcoming episodes are as charming as the pilot. If you haven't seen it, check it out Wednesdays at 10PM.

Boyhood: My Review

The film Boyhood has been racking up awards left and right and the latest honor was a Best Picture win at the Golden Globes last night. Today I sat down to see it and must say, even though I have yet to see all of the films being mentioned for Best Picture, I can see why Boyhood is getting so much praise.

The film was shot over 12 years with a cast that includes Patricia Arquette (Olivia), Ethan Hawke (Mason Sr.) , Lorelei Linklater (Samantha), and Ellar Coltrane (Mason) whose boyhood is traced throughout the film. This journey is not a short one. The movie is three hours long but in my opinion nothing really needed to be cut. Unlike a lot of films of this length I didn't get antsy for it to end. I found the character arcs very satisfying. Watching Patricia's character Olivia find herself after going back to school and multiple divorces could have been a movie itself. Even Ethan's character growth was great to witness. He started off as this ne'er do well guy with no goals or aspirations to a churchgoing family man over the course of the film.  We also get to watch Samantha mature from a little girl to a college aged young woman and to see both her and Ellar's transformations through the years was a little jarring, but it worked.

Richard Linklater's movie is an ambitious undertaking, and even though Boyhood may not be every one's cup of tea, it's more than deserving of the awards it has racked up.  Also can I just say I heart Patricia Arquette and have for years and want to see her get more parts on the big screen. No offense, but I think she deserves better than CSI:Cyber.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Empire: My Review

My name is Yolanda, and I'm addicted. Addicted to what you ask? Fox's new midseason soap Empire. Yes, it was everything and more. Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) and Terrence Howard (Lucious) brought the heat in this hip hop drama helmed by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, (the team that brought The Butler to the big screen). With a soundtrack supplied by Timbaland, Empire managed to do what How To Get Away With Murder hasn't succeeded in doing just yet and that's delivering not only with the lead characters but the supporting characters as well. Jamal, the middle son of Cookie and Lucious is ridiculously talented but is shunned by his father for being gay. There is a flashback scene that absolutely breaks your heart, and it sets the tone for why the present day relationship of Lucious and Jamal is so strained. The other sons, college educated Andre and rapper Hakeem are interesting in their own right as well, but Jamal is the one who I feel had the standout storyline during the pilot episode.

From the looks of the previews Empire has a lot of big names lined up for appearances: Courtney Love, Jennifer Hudson, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Naomi Campbell to name a few. And on a final note it's nice to see Taraji in a role that she's obviously having major fun with. Cookie's crass ghetto fabulousness is something to behold!

Matthew McConaughey & Gugu Mbatha-Raw Land Leads In Civil War Film

Yesterday it was announced that Gary Ross will direct Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey  and rising star Gugu Mbatha-Raw in  the Civil War drama Free State of Jones.

Matthew will portray Newton Knight, a Missisippi bred Confederate recruit who created the Free State of Jones and later married a slave.

This story has major dramatic potential, and I can see both Matthew and Gugu delivering stellar performances. Let's hope the script proves to be worthy of the talent involved.