Category Archives: Movies

Red Carpet Style: Oscars 2014

I’ve become very lax with my award season fashion reporting. I know you all are waiting with baited breath…

Anywho, my co-host abandoned me to her teenagery ways, so I didn’t have a Golden Globe post. I coaxed her into a partial viewing last night because gowns are top of mind right now (prom is in May and she’s all about the mermaid silhouette).

I/we have a short list this year.


Amy Adams

Lupita Nyong’o


Kate Hudson

Charlize Theron


Jennifer Lawrence (not many images that show the back and side view but I think it made the gown.)

Lady GaGa (I actually didn’t see her last night but just added her when reviewing images.)

Stay tuned for another Oscar post.

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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Arts, Fun, Movies, Music, women


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Top Ten Holiday Movies


We all have them- favorite holiday movies. Whether we own them or not, I look forward to these films to make me laugh, cry, sigh and remember. This is my top 10.

10. Best Man Holiday – Obviously new to the list.
9. Frosty the Snowman – It is technologically dated, but still a fav. It reminds me of Christmas as a kid.
8. A Charlie Brown Christmas – The Peanuts gang of course! I forgot Lucy was rough!
7. Four Christmases – HI-LA-RI-OUS!!!!!
6. The Santa Clause – This was an original take on the Christmas movie. A new twist for the holiday.
5. Prep and Landing – A great story and chance for kids to see the process and execution of global present delivery.
4. Olive the Other Reindeer – My daughter and I loved this one. How could you not know about Olive?
3. This Christmas – Rife with family drama, laughter, sex and healing, not to mention some awesome actors, I love this movie. Idris Alba. Only drawback is Chris Brown singing a Donny Hathaway classic…you just don’t… Did I say Idris?!?
2. A Christmas Story – Do I need to explain why?

Drum roll….

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

In case I have to say it, the original. The cartoon version is the only one as far as I’m concerned. The Jim Carey grinch is downright scary!!! The Ron Howard production does not register for me ( and I’m a Howard film fan).

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Family, Fun, Movies, Reflection, Youth


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The Best Man Holiday


Okay. I still don’t like the title, it’s lazy and uninspired. But I love everything else. While not an Oscar contender, Best Man is a must-see. Better than the first.

I saw it yesterday at 9:30 am, in a crowded theater. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it…

I loved The Best Man in the late 90s because these were my peers. A few years out of college myself, this could have been my crew. It made me nostalgic for one of the best times in my life and for the love and kinship of my TU fam. It explored complicated relationships, career, love and sex. Fast forward 15 years.

Now we’re grown-ups with children, spouses, careers and life challenges. These universal themes draw you in from the start. The personalities remain consistent and true to the original. It’s smart, dramatic, sexy and REAL. I think that’s what I appreciate most; the characters and the dialogue are real. Our favorite college buddies have layers, they have grown but still have room to do so. I’m not the only 40 year-old (okay, 41) who sometimes thinks, “I thought I’d have this figured out by now!” Am I?

I didn’t mind the wait. I heard co-star Nia Long in an interview yesterday and she said, yeah we could’ve done it five years out, but our characters would bot have grown yet- it wouldn’t be as rich a story. True dat.

There are surprises combined with hilarious fun. And Morris Chestnut is delicious as ever!!! That man is like fine wine.

Look, I could talk about the lesser value that Hollywood puts on these actors and “those kind of movies” but we already know it and it’s belittling. Reviews are never my motivation to see any movie, so why start now. Let the numbers speak for themselves, and they’re talking! To the tune of $33 million and counting…

And, yes I will see it again.

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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Career, Family, Fun, Movies, Reflection, Relationships, Youth



Fruitvale Station


You know how it ends, but you wish that you could somehow change history…yeah… That’s how I felt leaving the theater today after a matinee showing of Fruitvale Station. It depicts the untimely death of Oscar Julius Grant, III on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Oakland, Calif.

I remember when it actually happened but at first the story was vague. I didn’t follow the story feeling like I knew the outcome,  had seen it many times before. It only gained attention because there was cell phone video phootage (thank God for technological advances!) of “the incident,” which opens the movie.

If you don’t know the story,  research it. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. It stars Michael B. Jordan, a talented young actor who is finally garnering attention. Produced by Forest Whitaker and co-executive produced by Octavia Spencer of The Help fame, who plays Grant’s mother.

As the credits rolled, you could hear sniffles; people did not move from theur seats.

There is still a lot of work to be done…

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Civil Rights, History, Movies, Race, violence, Youth


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The Purge


Highly disturbing! (My daughter’s pick, not mine…)

Today, we had some infrequent, yet cherished mother/daughter time. It was a re-schedule from this weekend when she asked that I take her to the MAC counter to buy lipstick…yeah… I suggested Monday that way we could peruse the shades at her leisure and perhaps take in a matinee. And that’s was her choice.

It is a original premise, although there was a hint of Hunger Games and an undercurrent of Helter Skelter.

The United States suffered an overall societal decline: high crime and violence, high poverty, weak economy, etc. Sound familiar?The year is 2022.  At some point, The Founding Fathers (some new group) established The Annual Purge, a day when society could “release the beast.” Current day boasted an unemployment rate of 1 percent, extremely low crime and a strong economy. The movie begins with black and white video feeds from last years’ Purge “events” from across the country.

Rules: for a 12-hour period, individuals could commit crimes without punishment including murder, sanctioned by the government, using weaponry that is Class 4 or below. Police, EMS and fire response personnel were off-duty until this period ends. The Purge is credited for the state of this union and everyone from psychologists to political analysts applaud the practice. One did not have to participate in the mayhem but to do so is deemed American.

I knew the premise going in and was not looking forward to the film. However, it was a clever perspective utilized to examine people’s humanity and depravity. At points in the movie, voiceovers of news anchors discuss the merits of the event: allowed individuals to purge themselves of natural, violent urges; kept crime low; stabilized the country. Points of some detractors: made the poor vulnerable because they could not afford the top, home security systems and weapons; the weak and sickly were targets for violence because they could not defend themselves.

I don’t want to give away the plot but the characters in the movie have a vital choice to make involving another individual and nobody is swayed by the dog tags that hang from his neck…

As I stated before, it was disturbing. My daughter and I discussed it after the movie and I will revisit it with her later.



Orange Is the New Black


I had never heard of Piper Kerman, a fresh-faced blond, until recently. And why would I? Kerman was arrested for smuggling drug money from Chicago to Brussels, ten years after the fact…ahhhh to be young and stupid. She plea bargained and manuevered only 1 year of prison time. Her memoir, Orange Is the New Black has been picked up by Showtime as inspiration for a mini-series.

Meanwhile Kerman has a few insights from lockdown that can be applied to the workplace. Talk about transferrable skills. I’m an avid reader so I may pick up her memoirs today. Should be a good read.

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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Girls, Movies, women, worklife balance


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Django…the D is Silent


I’ve waited a bit to reflect before this posting. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Tarantino’s latest film, but it always is with him. This topic touches a tender place for African Americans so there will be some emotional responses. There are some who don’t want to talk about it and don’t want to be reminded- then don’t go see this movie…

I reserved judgement and viewed it myself despite the fact that some urged audiences to stay away, including Spike Lee whom I respect as a filmmaker and agree with sometimes regarding images in movies. For instance, I totally agreed with his concern about the use of “nigger” in Pulp Fiction. Tarantino played fast and loose with it and it did nothing to enhance the film. It began to actually hurt my ears (not one of my favs).

Back to Django. I did not have the visceral reaction that I half expected based on some of the chatter. It was a classic Tarantino, “spaghetti western”/revenge film that takes place during enslavement in the American south. The dramatic music, bloody violence, camera angles and unexpected humor. It was entertaining.

Why did I see it? I am a huge Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx fan. At first, I was hesitant because it seemed weird/corny in the previews but I was curious. Would I purchase it? No. Would I see it again? No.

For anyone who thought that the use of “nigger” in this film was excessive, it was the 19th century in Mississippi (as well as Texas and Tennessee). Do not kid yourself! A person of African descent was called a “nigger” whether free or enslaved. PERIOD. We may not like it, but it is historically accurate.

I did appreciate the level of violence in the movie. I think that other movies have downplayed the brutality and degredation that was inflicted on millions of people (subhumans). People need to understand that punishments such as time in the “hotbox” were actually used.

There wer some specific issues that I have heard concerned people and I won’t detail them here. What I will say is that the audience can not view any non-documentary film (which is set in a particular time period) from a 21st century prespective. In other words, everything that we have learned about enslavement in America, we can not apply that knowledge to the characters in the film. They were living it and did not have the luxury of emotional distance and psycho-analysis. We have no idea what our mindset would have been if we had to endure the everyday atrocities that many managed to survive.

I do not believe that there is any agenda to promote racial inferiority that Tarantino is trying to advance. There is nothing in this film that is going to make a person’s views change. Now, if a bigot that sees this film, it could strengthen that person’s views. But so what! A movie isn’t going to change their ideology.

What I believe is Django is sparking discussion and debate. And I am hopeful that  it will ultimately make people learn more about this horrific system that boosted this country’s economy. Let’s not hold art and entertainment accountable for our eduction. Pick up a book. Learn some history.

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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Arts, History, Movies, Race, Real Talk, Reflection, violence



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