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Friday, June 6, 2014

Orange Is The New Black Season 2 Premiere: My Review

I've been waiting to go back to Litchfield Prison for months now.  After the first season of Orange Is The New Black ended with WASP turned inmate Piper Chapman beating the living ish out of meth head/religious fanatic/abortionist killer Pennsatucky, diehard fans of the show have been anxiously wondering what was going to happen to Piper post the epic beat down.

The first ep of season 2 (directed by the brilliant Jodie Foster)  answers all questions although with the exception of Alex, none of my other Litchfield favorites appeared on the episode. You do get to meet a new set of prisoners who are even more disgusting than any of the ones at Litchfield, but fortunately you don't have to deal with them too long. As it turns out Piper and Alex are only in this new prison to await the trial of the man they were running drugs for. Alex wants Piper to lie fearing for both of their lives if the truth comes out, but Piper balks at this and refuses to lie. Piper's change of heart during the 3rd act only winds up slapping her in the face when her lawyer, (her former fiancee Larry's dad) washes his hands of her and Alex's decision to do what Piper was initially adamant to do gets her out of jail and leaves Piper behind bars and hopefully on the first bus back to Litchfield.

Overall this ep was good. I enjoyed the childhood flashbacks to when Piper was a little girl and seeing  actress Lori Petty as Lolly, one of the new inmates. Petty is an actress from back in the day (A League of Their Own, Point Break) who I must say kinda scared me with how badly she's aged.  Nonetheless I'm back on the grind and getting ready to watch episode 2 and drink a couple of Strawberitas.

Later !

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mother of George: My Review

Danai Gurira is best known as the brooding samurai Michonne on AMC's The Walking Dead, but what a lot of people don't know is that she is also an award winning playwright and the star of the critically acclaimed independent feature Mother of George.

Mother of George (directed by Andrew Dosunmu) is the story of married couple Ayodele and Adenike whose infertility struggles lead Adenike down a path from which there is no return, thanks to an idea planted by an overly interfering mother in law.

The film started off slow but soon picked up especially when a plan for conception is broached by Ma Ayo which completely shocked me considering how extreme it was. For someone who considers herself a modern woman, I for one could not grasp how much nagging Adenike took from Ma Ayo in regards to her getting pregnant.  Someone like me (with all respect) would've told the old lady to kick rocks, but I guess things are different in Nigerian culture. Ayodele's attitude also left a lot to be desired considering his reluctance to see a fertility specialist. I mean what man would refuse his wife who was so obviously desperate at that point to have his kid, but I guess the Nigerian male ego is a lot more fragile than most.

The ensemble as a whole are all good, but Danai's performance showed that there's more to her than the sword wielding uber intense Michonne that we welcome into our homes every Sunday night. I'm looking forward to other outside projects from her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Belle: My Review

When I first saw the trailer for Belle months ago I knew that it was a special film. Yes it still dealt with the issue of slavery, but this time it was on a different scale. Belle was based on the true story of mixed race Dido Elizabeth Belle, the love child of Sir John Lindsey and a slave woman by the name of Maria Belle. Dido goes to live with John's uncle,William Murray, the 1st Earl of Mansfield at Kenwood House and is raised as part of the family. Yes there are restrictions such as being hidden away when company comes over, but compared to most people of color in those days, Belle was quite fortunate.

I never knew Dido's story, but it made for an interesting and well acted film. Amma Asante and her leading lady Gugu Mbatha-Raw are causing quite a stir with this indie which is garnering major praise from critics and audiences. When I went to a screening of it at Tara Cinema here in Atlanta over Mother's Day weekend, the film received applause from the audience at the end which is proof that it's touching a chord with moviegoers from all demographics. One entertainment program even touted Gugu as a breakout star in the vein of Lupita Nyong'o, and Asante is definitely a director to keep an eye on. Female directors are already a rarity and female directors of color are even rarer.  If Asante's big screen debut is any indication, I am predicting that she should purchase a trophy case for the Oscars and Golden Globes that will one day be coming her way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

People Votes Lupita Most Beautiful

This morning when it was revealed whom People Magazine chose as their Most Beautiful I had hoped that Lupita Nyong'o would be picked. I mean it's 2014 and to my knowledge a chocolate woman had never been chosen as the cover star for the yearly double issue that celebrates the most stunning women in entertainment. Yes I know Beyonce received the honor a few years back and is a woman of color, but she's not chocolate like Lupita and she certainly is not sporting the natural look like Lupita so effortlessly does.  I still could not wrap my head around People magazine being progressive enough to choose the Yale educated, Oscar winning actress, but I wasn't given them enough credit.

Kudos to People for recognizing black beauty in all its wonderful hues! And congrats to Lupita for representing us the way we are supposed to be represented (side eye to Mimi, Kenya, and Porsha)!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Christian Audiences Will Not Be Ignored

Easter weekend was a profitable one at the box office for the inspirational film Heaven Is For Real. I hadn't read the book on which the film is based, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and will probably read the book eventually.

Heaven Is For Real is about a young boy named Colton Burpo who travels to heaven while undergoing emergency surgery. His account of heaven, the people he saw there, and what he saw on earth while he was there causes concern for his father and chaos in the church for which his father is the pastor. As it turns out a lot of people aren't as pleased about there being a heaven as one would think.

As a Christian, it is refreshing to see a movie that is for this demographic, that isn't corny or overly preachy. It's also nice to see that a film like this attracted the talents of Oscar nominees Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church, and Emmy winner Margo Martindale

Hopefully Hollywood will continue to make films like this that inspire and are good enough for the whole family to appreciate.

Friday, April 18, 2014

October Baby: My Review

October Baby  is a movie that touches on unwanted pregnancy, adoption, and abortion. It's a faith based film from first time directors and brothers Jon and Andrew Erwin, and it centers around college student Hannah and her learning that she was given up for adoption after her birth mother's failed attempt at an abortion. In other words Hannah is an abortion survivor, but her fraternal twin did not survive. Hannah has to not only deal with that knowledge, but also discovering her birth mother who is now a successful attorney with a family of her own wants nothing to do with her. Add this and the growing attraction between her and her oldest friend Jason, poor Hannah is not a happy camper throughout most of the movie.

This movie was meh, not bad, not great. Rachel Hendrix  who portrays Hannah is a decent actress and I would like to see her in more projects. To be an unknown and carry a film is a huge weight, but with this being a Christian based movie with a small budget, the likelihood of the producers attracting a Shailene Woodley or Jennifer Lawrence for the role wasn't going to happen. The biggest names in this film are John Schneider and Jasmine Guy from the television classics, The Dukes of Hazzard, and A Different World.

The script wasn't perfect, but despite it's flaws I'm glad I was able to stream it on Netflix on a rainy Easter weekend!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The To Do List: My Review

If you are looking for a raunchy comedy in the vein of Superbad or Bridesmaids to enjoy on a night when there is nothing on the telly, do yourself a favor and rent The To Do List with Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation. I don't watch Parks and Rec (and yes I know that I'm missing out so it's on my Netflix list), as Brandy Klark, a recent high school graduate who takes a strategic approach to losing her virginity. Between her more experienced besties Flora and Wendy and her older sister Amber, Brandy feels she has all the tools she needs to snag Rusty Waters. He is a fellow lifeguard at the community pool where Brandy is working for the summer, and she has been crushing on him since laying eyes on him at a graduation party. On top of that Brandy's friend Cameron has a major crush on her which makes things even more complicated.

This movie boasts a great cast which includes Connie Britton, Clark Gregg, and Rachel Bilson and cameos by the likes of Andy Samberg (SNL) and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock).

Rent at your own risk! You may hurt yourself from laughing so hard :)

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