Archive for the ‘Movies/Film’ Category

Here we go again, Hollywood…*sigh*

Zoe Saldana is set to play Nina Simone in the forthcoming biopic for Ms. Simone .

Ummmm…no, no, no, Hollywood!

This selection justifiably raises some eyebrows. While Zoe is a terrific actress, getting her to play Nina is not right. So much of Nina’s identity as a strong, outspoken and controversial artist stems from  her upbringing as a dark-skinned “plain (yet unconventionally beautiful) featured” woman in America’s turbulent Jim-Crow through Civil Rights eras (an image that evokes the human bondage that preceded those years). This was a time when her image was striking and defiant for the era (her dark skin, pre-popularity “Afro” hairstyle, (at times) African garb, and head-wraps).

Nina was a very proud dark-skinned woman who didn’t smile much (in the subordinate “aww shucks” way that a woman of color was expected to “back in the day”)…and Simone didn’t suffer fools well (even in her later years). There wasn’t much to smile about in those times. The rare smile from Simone was noticeably a minor victory for the (mostly) white journalist who interviewed her (and they were never able to conceal their utter joy  (relief) at seeing her as a “human being” that was capable of non-confrontational emotion). It was wonderfully subversive to have them seeking her approval in many ways.

Nina Simone held a freshly polished and buffered  mirror to America’s ugly past and (what was at the time) America’s present. It was born of a pissed-off, oppressed, and highly intelligent woman maligned and eventually (through hard work AND legendary stubbornness) highly respected for her personal appearance and demeanor.That look and those features went hand-in hand-with her personality. It was a package deal (and when you get down to it, “cause and effect as well”).  Her image and outspoken character, was as radical as the Sex Pistols (yet she was light-years beyond them in eloquence and musical “chops”) in her own way.

I believe this casting choice is such an image departure in the telling of her story, it effectively “whitewashes” Nina. I think it whitewashes her to such an extent , that (I think) it would have deeply bothered Nina. I could imagine her saying (because I am supremely imaginative (and humble, lol) )  in that  husky/academic voice of hers:

“[She] is a very BEAUTIFUL, young, (and gifted) woman of color…but I fear her appearance is more “acceptable” (in America) than mine is/was…and the essence of who and what I am will be lost in this translation… that appearance (her appearance) is not in line with an effective (or even) rational retelling of my journey and career…was Angelina Jolie too busy to play this version of “Nina”?

hmmmm. It makes me wonder: “Was Angelina too busy?”

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Here is a status update  to my Friends on Facebook today:

“Dear America,

Fifty Shades of Grey!? Fifty Shades of Grey!? come the F*CK on! Haven’t we seen this before? It’s CALLED “EROTICA” and the “SEX” book! Isn’t this the same type of fantasy stuff that got Madonna forever hated by some people? That’s it! America has finally managed to make bondage and various “kink” uncool….Now it has become Oprah book-club soccer-mom bullshit!? What the hell!

That is all.”

As you can probably tell, I have finally emerged from my NBA basketball coma and have directed my attention to what is going on in  pop-culture/the world at large.

What the hell is happening to people with this “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy crap?

Is America really this horny all of sudden? Fifty shades of Grey. Magic Mike. Vampire Orgies on True Blood. Mainstream coach-potato America is getting comfortable showing off their sexual curiosities in public? It is as unsettling as watching your parents drunkenly make-out at a family reunion…and probably even more rote looking! It all seems so artless AND raunch-less at the same time. It occupies that BORING grey area that America seems really good at finding. It’s that banal/mediocre area that is searched out like a truffle and gorged on by the masses.

I can’t wait for the Fifty Shades empire and branding to come next: Fifty shades curtains, fifty shades butt plugs, fifty shades soap for washing away the “shame” and fifty shades Ray Bans  (I got a million ideas for them… 🙂 ) . All of this will happen until we “shoot” our collective load on this type of stuff and “walk-of-shame” our way back to pretending that we don’t think of this stuff all of the time…again.

Ultimately that is what really bothers me about this little KINK/FETISH  phase America seems to be going through right now. We don’t know how to handle incorporating sex into our society in a mature way . So we end up seesawing  between “sexy” and “saints” . Until we can learn how to incorporate sex into the pop-culture  without the stupid shame dance afterwards…we should leave the kink to the Germans and French (not to mention the Dutch).

No one likes a mere “Tourist” into dark/different territory!

Bad! Bad America!…you “dirty little whore”!  lol!

I am all for people exploring a little more. Only if this is all SHAME FREE, though. No one wants a bunch of psychologically damaged straight-laced people with regrets walking around, condemning everyone because they couldn’t handle it.

lol 🙂 !

You too small!!”                                  

That’s What Kevin Durant (close to 7 feet tall) told Dwyane Wade (6’4″) in a cross match-up that saw the silky smooth Durant swish another shot in these NBA Finals. Dwayne Wade could only manage a surprised “what did you say?”.

 I’m a 5’5″ Miami Heat fan and I still loved it!

I LOVE OKC and I LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE the HEAT ! OKC may be the future but Miami seems to be the “NOW“! They have the urgency and they are playing great right now! I love KD getting a TINY bit of cockiness, though. Great scorers, who want to ultimately win it all, MUST  have a little cockiness.

Oh, and one little guy to another…Wade you have to COVER HIS EYES, not go for the block! He is waaaaay too tall for that (with an even taller person’s wingspan) !If you would have gotten the ball (highly unlikely)…you would’ve got some hand too. Then you would end up in foul trouble like Kevin. 🙂 

The Heat won the game and Kevin’s uncharacteristic trash-talk may be an attempt to give himself and his team more urgency. Could this be a crack in the Oklahoma poised armor or lightning before the THUNDER comes? We will see…PIVOTAL game 4 on Tuesday 9pm on ABC.

Check out the Video of this Exchange below:

George lucas’ interview on the Daily Show actually made me interested in seeing this film adaptation of a subject which has had a huge ripple effect on American culture/history (black people in particular…but effecting everyone)

World War II-era action film Red Tails is set to come out soon (January 20th)! Now, I’ve read and watched numerous items about the Tuskegee Airmen…but a big-budget action film by a MAJOR studio (with potential plans for a sequel and prequel…eventually encompassing the Tuskegee Airmen’s Journey from humble beginnings and kids fighting in a (WORLD) war,  to seasoned warriors for america and finally victorious heroes/outcasts in their own country!!) with a mostly black cast (George lucas says no really prominent white roles)? I can’t think of one right now…

This could be great…It could be crap…I’m glad that they are even doing it at all. It is very BIG (George Lucas broke it down on the Daily Show and I recomend checking out the interview on Youtube).

Now hopefully this movie’s  political content isn’t dissected to the point that we don’t get any more of these types of films and it’s virtues are white-washed out (a la The Help….to be discussed in a later blog). Let’s hope that the story gets a chance to breathe on a national/international stage before well meaning radicals (like some of my great friends and  peers) and embarrassed conservatives (also like some of my great friends and peers) strangle the life out it to fit some agenda other than entertainment (did I mention The Help blog is coming soon? 🙂 ) Red Tails

I can’t wait for “The Dark Knight Rises”!! Christopher Nolan’s take on the “Batman” franchise has been exhilarating so far. No Mere “comic-book movie” (in the over-commercialized hollywood sense), Nolan has brought the gritty environment of the source material (realistically) onto the silver screen. No Tim Burton macabre s&m-carnival-camp and no Joel Schumacher homoerotic parody of Burton’s innovative style. Nolan has managed to meld 90’s and 00’s action  to 70’s-style innovation, brains and realism in film (70’s hallmarks he actually helped  bring back to hollywood films in his pre-Batman films: Memento, Following and…*sigh* Insomnia).

So far, Nolan’s Batman films have managed to entertain audiences worldwide and break new ground in hollywood filmmaking.  The first film , Batman Begins , was  not only an expertly crafted origin-tale/action movie; it also (along with 2004’s Dawn of the Dead) showed hollywood how to  “reboot” a franchise and breathe life into our past favorites and poorly executed originals. How did Nolan follow-up that opening salvo? Well,  all he did  was create (with the help of Heath Ledger) one of the great character studies in madness and anarchy mainstream hollywood has ever seen! And for good measure, he did this while managing to create a film that expanded on the title character’s origin-story, and elevate “comic-book” movies to movie-making ART status. The Dark Knight even evoked comparisons to classic crime dramas of the past (Michael Mann’s “Heat” and Coppola’s LEGENDARY Godfather films). Let’s hope The Dark Knight Rises is up to the task!

Although, typically the third film (in a good trilogy) is either lack-luster at best (see Godfather) and flat-out f%*@ed up at its worst (Scream, anyone?); I am truly excited for this new film. When it comes to the “good trilogy” rules….The first film : is usually really good or ground-breaking…Second one : is usually at least as  good as the first one and (in most cases) ups the ante and is better…Third one: we talked about that already…Again, let’s hope “The Dark Knight Rises” is up to the task!