November 26, 2014 \ Blog \ 0 Comments
The parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. appeared on the TODAY show this morning. They responded to comments Darren Wilson made on his ABC interview.
Brown Sr. said, "...who in their right mind would rush or charge at a police officer that has his gun drawn? It sounds crazy."
The Brown family lawyer also spoke about the video of the stepfather yelling "Burn this bitch down".
This has been long in the making for me. I've had this story in my head for many years. I've cant count the many times I walked the aisles of Barnes and Noble looking for that one Sci Fi book that spoke to me. What I mean is, I was searching for that story that grabbed me and held my attention from the 1st chapter to the end of the book. See I LOVE science fiction! Every since my uncle took me to see Star Wars in 1977, I was hooked. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and my imagination exploded. Then I was exposed to the anime classic Star Blazers. A serialized cartoon tv show where characters died and the heros sometimes argued and fought amongst themselves. Needless to say I was blown away. Another big influence on me was Robotech (Macross). Heck I even borrow the crash landing of the SDF-1 scenario from Robotech, for my book Truths Destiny.
I wanted to go against the grain of most science fiction and have the lead be a black women. Truths Destiny tells the origin story of the Truth character. Truth like a lot of great hero characters is on a journey that is so much bigger than her current understanding of life. Another part of the book I hope I succeeded in was, the world building of Truths Destiny. The world of Truths Destiny is on the extreme side compared to our real world of today. I tried to include tech that could happen at some point. Things like biological nanomachines are real. What would happen if pop culture icons started to push advancements in implants? Even today one could realistically argue that people like Kim Kardashian has influenced people to get butt implants.LOL In the case of this book, rapper Terrorbyte wittingly or not is leading the charge to get CHIPPED.
While writing the book I listened to a constant loop of anime and movie soundtracks by the likes of John Williams, Han Zimmer and John Barry. Also 2pac, Public Enemy, and for reasons unknown the album GUY (Teddy Riley).
I could go on and on about the making but I really want to hear what readers think of the story. I'm open to answering any questions, long as they don't spoil what's coming in book 2 🙂
Detectives Gordon and Bullock investigate a child trafficking ring preying on Gotham's street kids, including Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). Meanwhile, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) resurfaces in the countryside and begins to make his way back to GOTHAM, leaving victims in his wake in the all-new 'Selina Kyle' episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, September 29th on FOX.
Qstorm has something to say (what a surprise) about the Twitter backlash against veteran hip hop artist Busta Rhymes, Chris Pratt's rapping skills and hip hop in general.
"The Choice" I admitted my transgression at the beginning of the last podcast where we review Guardians Of The Galaxy, so check that out. Feel my pain.
"There can only be one."
Life Itself, based on Roger Ebert's 2011 memoirs, feels like three movies rolled into one. The first movie consists of a generic tableau of the early life of Roger Ebert, with sporadic moments of real insight into the man's persona. I say sporadic because throughout the first third of the movie, I'm reticent to say I found myself somewhat…bored. Sure, it was interesting to learn that Mr. Ebert was a recovering alcoholic. As a fan, I was surprised to learn this for the first time watching the film. It was also interesting to learn how he came to work for the Chicago Sun-Times, what his friends thought of his taste in women, how he came to write the screenplay for Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, particularly the motivation for his involvement in the Russ Meyer production: "boobs." All this is great to discover, but I felt oddly removed, it all seemed rather antiseptic, that there was something missing which didn't allow me to truly connect with the person. One would think that the story of Roger Ebert, a personality so large in a field that I am also passionate about, would hold me glued to to the screen. But the first third of this movie fell somewhat flat for me.
Perhaps it was the jumping in time from Mr. Ebert's early years to the last years of his life. Perhaps it was the glossing over of his family life as a child (we don't learn much about his parents). Perhaps it was the jarring mixture of the electronic voiceover narration from his computer (which Ebert used to communicate after his thyroid surgery) combined with the live voiceover from either Ebert himself (or from an excellent voice imitator) and the director Steve James (Hoop Dreams). Perhaps the filmmaking technique wasn't interesting to me. Perhaps it was the dearth of interview footage with Ebert; the few clips of him being interviewed in his prime are captivating. What I can say with certainty is that the film almost does a disservice to Mr. Ebert by segueing into the second act/film and sparking to life once Gene Siskel enters the picture. Of course, there's no way around the fact that Siskel played a prominent role in Ebert's career, ensuring that Siskel had to be featured in the film centering around Roger Ebert. There's an abundance of behind the scenes footage which had me riveted. I had seen some You Tube clips of the two critics bickering with each other both on camera during their iconic program as well as behind the scenes, during the taping of program promos, seemingly loathing each other, one step away from wringing each other's neck. We see Siskel's wife in an interview who sticks up for her husband when she speaks of the battles between the two critics. Then we see shots of the two of them appearing on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson and all is well with the world. And inevitably, we see the passing of Gene Siskel and learn that despite the rivalry between the two, they considered themselves brothers to each other.
The film then moves into its third act, where it settles solidly on Mr. Ebert's travails battling thyroid cancer. This final act is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking. Although we've seen footage of Mr. Ebert post-surgery in the first two acts, we see it resolutely here in the conclusion. The camera is unflinching at revealing the devastating nature of the disease which robbed Mr. Ebert of his lower jaw, his speech, his ability to eat solid foods. We the public saw the positive spirit of Mr. Ebert during this traumatic period, but the film brings home how truly courageous he was and how unpleasant the multiple surgeries were. But the star of the third act is, without question, Chaz Ebert. Once she appears onscreen, she takes the narrative in a direction for which even the word 'inspirational' is too inadequate a description. Watching her, listening to her speak about her husband, it struck me what was possibly missing from the first act--Chaz Ebert. Although she obviously wasn't in Ebert's life early on, I would've nonetheless loved to have heard her talk about Ebert's early life. Of course, he would've shared stories from his past with her during the couse of their marriage; the passion in her voice would've trumped hearing an electronic vocal facsimile or a vocal imitator (if in fact it was an imitator delivering Ebert's quotes). The love between the two of them is palpable. We would all be lucky to have a Chaz Ebert in our lives.
I was afraid that the film would seek to manipulate me and my fellow viewers by focusing on the struggle of the disease. I went in desiring to see a complete portrait of a man whose work I admired, but that I knew very little about. I'm not sure that this film delved deeply enough into who Roger Ebert was as a person, outside of all the accolades and the success as a critic. It goes without saying I walked out of the theater knowing more about him than when I walked in. His alcoholism spoke to troubling times in his life, and there were tender subtle moments: giving a positive review to a young African-American female filmmaker who felt "safe" handing her film over to him; the promise to a young filmmaker that he would screen his film, with the stipulation that he might not like it; the handing down of a prized possession to said filmmaker. I wanted more depth in areas where the film skimmed the surface and I wanted more of those personal moments early on. And while it was satisfying (and necessary) to see the real relationship between Siskel and Ebert, in the end, I was most moved by seeing his courageous battle with cancer and the strength of his wife and family. I was saddened but sympathetic to his eventual surrender to the disease. James puts some of the actual text messages onscreen between him and Ebert to illustrate their conversations during his illness; one text message in particular hit me, and I'm sure everyone else, like a ton of bricks. But, unlike many of the films Mr. Ebert reviewed in his latter years, I never once felt manipulated. 3.5/5 reels
Prior to moving to Philadelphia, I made the acquaintance of Craig Johnston, my next door neighbor while I was living in New Jersey. Although I had moved to Philly, I had a client in Jersey, which meant I had to commute weekly back and forth. On one occasion while in Jersey, preparing to drive back to Philly, Craig and I decided to grab dinner and catch up.
At some point while living next door to each other, I mentioned to Craig that I worked in video and he mentioned to me that he was from South Africa. Both of these revelations came into play at our dinner. Now, I've known Craig for about eight years, but at our dinner, out of the blue, he preceded to tell me stories about his youth in South Africa during the era of apartheid that had my jaw hanging open. He told me about how all South African youth are obligated to serve some time in the military and he told me about some of the things he saw perpetrated on the black population in the townships. Of course, I was aware of the apartheid oppression, but Craig's stories were detailed and specific, which made it all the more astonishing.
Then he told me about a radio station called Capital 604. He told me how, despite the overwhelming censorship of the South African government and the propaganda the government was disseminating over the SABC airwaves, Capital 604 was able to rise to cult status by broadcasting the truth, playing the music that was banned, telling the truth about the oppression of the black population and thereby playing a part in the groundswell that led to the demise of apartheid and the democratic election of Nelson Mandela, who listened to Capital 604 from his Robben island cell. Craig informed me that he had all the archival footage and contact info of many of the people who worked at Capital 604 (visit the Capital 604 Facebook page). He asked me if I thought that would make a good documentary. I said, "Hell, yes."
That dinner took place not too long prior to the death of Mr. Mandela. From that time, Craig and I went back and forth on how to go about getting the idea started. And then we decided, despite the well-known adage that you never spend your own money, why not either fly to South Africa and get some interviews or fly one of the guys out here? Well, our schedules at the time dictated that we couldn't fly to SA, as well as it being somewhat cost-prohibitive. Alternately, we decided to invite Mr. Anthony Duke, former Capital 604 program director out to Philadelphia; Craig paid for his flight, I paid for his hotel, Craig drove down to Philly from Jersey, I gathered up all my video equipment, set everything up in the hotel room and got an interview for the ages. Anthony was understandably jet lagged from his 20 hour flight to New York's JFK International airport, then a four hour drive down to Philadelphia, but he gave us a great interview.
This trailer is just a sample of the story we hope to tell by way of a full-length documentary feature. It's the story of a few men and women who wanted to be liberated from the censorship of the South African government, who felt that apartheid was wrong, and who realized that the general public had a right to know what was going on under their very noses. As we speak, Anthony Duke is visiting friends and acquaintances here in the U.S. who may be able to help get this off the ground. The trailer is rudimentary and much of the footage is borrowed. Again, it's our hope we'll raise the "capital" (no pun intended) which will allow us to acquire all the footage we need, hire the staff we need and move forward to launch this important story.
Please take a look, leave your feedback, your suggestions, your recommendations, your referrals. It is all greatly appreciated!
June 30, 2014 \ Blog \ 0 Comments
Bobbi Kristina daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown went on twitter, to vent her frustration at Angela Bassett. Lifetime network is doing a bio pic about Whitney Houston, directed by Angela Bassett. It was revealed that Bobbi Kristina would not be considered for the role of her mother. (Duh) Angela Bassett spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the casting:
No, I did not think about that. I did not think about casting her. And probably for a number of reasons, you know. One being that she’s not an actress. I know she’s acted here and there. I know she’s been on their family’s reality show, but she’s not an actress and acting is a craft. It’s an attempt to illuminate the complexities of human behavior and life. And this is a very fast-paced schedule; we have just 21 days to tell this story. It’s more than just saying lines and turning the light on. You have to drive the story—there’s a technical aspect.
Obviously feeling some type of way, Bobbi Kristina posted the following:
When I win my first Grammy or Oscar, *Shrugs* hmm whichever comes1st, I'll be sure 2shout URname out bitch ! 😎 hahUrTestResults= MALE. Lmao😂
— Bobbi Kristina H.G. (@REALbkBrown) June 28, 2014
June 30, 2014 \ Blog \ 0 Comments