Housing Sales Increase but Questions Remain

Housing Sales Increase but Questions Remain

By Burt Carey

 

Big bankers and mortgage lenders like Bank of America and Merrill Lynch say changing demographics are fueling a first-time home buyers market in 2015 that may be short-lived.

Real estate, it seems, is heating up – at least for value seekers. At the current rate, home sales are on pace to post
their best year since 2007, even with increased prices. Fueling the action are two important elements: Millennials have suddenly become home buyers, and Baby Boomers are downsizing and moving into retirement communities.

Millennials, baby boomers, first-time buyers, mortgage rates, renters, buyers, home

 

With a job market that is showing some strength and mortgage rates still relatively low, home ownership is on the rise. But the question is, for how long?

“What we’ve seen is that demand is off the charts in 2015 – and that is really boosting sales,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at the brokerage Redfin. “Last year, buyers were dipping their toes in their water. Now, they’re diving in.”

That news comes on the heels of a report earlier this year by the Census Bureau that the number of renters throughout the country was at an all-time high at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, and the number of home owners had dipped to a 30-year low.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn’t buying into the glowing home ownership news. “New households will tend to rent and live in urban centers,” a June 23 report states. “There already is a dramatic decline in the homeownership rate, falling to 63.8% from 69.2% at the peak in 1Q05. The decline in the homeownership rate reflects a combination of foreclosures, a tight mortgage market and a severe economic recession. The drag from foreclosures has largely passed, although there is still some distressed inventory to work through. Restricted supply of mortgage credit and potential preference changes toward renting will continue to weigh on the homeownership rate.”

First-time buyers traditionally make up about 40 percent of the market, leading some to believe the 32 percent clip of first-time buyers in May is another indicator of a still-weak economy that’s not clicking on all of its cylinders. Another sign that the slumping economy hasn’t fully recovered is that the price of some 5.1 million homes – more than 10 percent of current mortgages – is less than what is owed.

The National Association of Realtors reported this month that sales of existing homes rose 5.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted 5.35 million homes, marking the third consecutive month home sales eclipsed 5 million homes. Even with the average home price reaching nearly $229,000, the 7.9 percent gain over the past 12 months is still more than $1,700 short of the market’s peak 10 years ago.

With the unemployment rate dipping to just 5.5 percent, some 3.1 million more people in the workforce could soon find themselves in a position to take advantage of low mortgage rates. Last week’s 30-year fixed rates were hovering around 4 percent a week ago, but they are rising from a low of about 3.5 percent less than a year ago.

Millennials, baby boomers, first-time buyers, mortgage rates, renters, buyers, home

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

5 Great Places to Celebrate the 4th of July

 

5 Great Places to Celebrate the 4th of July

By Burt Carey

 

With the 4th of July falling on a Saturday this year, there will be no shortage of fantastic places for family fun, picnics, barbecues and fireworks displays to celebrate our country’s 239th Independence Day.

family fun, picnics, barbecues, fireworks, Kaboom Town

No one can deny the Macy’s 4th of July spectacular in New York City or the tremendous fireworks at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But if you’re into massive parties and incredible explosions of color in the sky, there are some other places around the country you’ll want to visit this weekend.

Addison, Texas

Get ready for a real Texas-sized shindig in Addison, Texas, known to fireworks lovers everywhere as Kaboom Town!

This Dallas suburb of 15,000 residents has it all going on for the 4th, complete with a fireworks display where no expense is spared. For years the Addison Circle Park has been wowing crowds of up to 400,000 people with a spectacular pyrotechnic performance that includes some 1,500 pounds of fireworks and musical accompaniment.

You’ll need to get here July 3, from 5 p.m. to midnight to join the festivities and enjoy live entertainment, an air show and more.

Just how good is this show? It made the Top 10 July 4th fireworks displays list on both Forbes and ABC News. The Travel Channel lists it among its Top 5. AOL says it’s the No. 3 best fireworks shows in the U.S. And the American Pyrotechnics Association rates it as one of the Top 20 fireworks displays in the country.

Find out more at http://www.addisonkaboomtown.com/.

San Francisco, California

Everything happens on the waterfront in San Francisco, and this year Pier 39 will be the center of it all, with live music, sea lions and street performers.

The live music plays from noon to 7 p.m., leaving plenty of time to find a good place for your lawn chair anywhere from Aquatic Park to Pier 39. The fireworks display, synchronized to a custom music track, will be hurl more than 10,000 pyrotechnics across the San Francisco Bay from two locations.

Or better yet, watch the show from one of the city’s Red and White Fleet tour boats. Departing from Pier 43½ at Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll sail amongst San Francisco’s city lights before stopping to enjoy the fireworks show. Beverages and snacks can be purchased on board. To find out more, visit www.redandwhite.com/seasonal/july-4-fireworks-cruise.

The fireworks show begins around 9:30 p.m.

St. Louis, Missouri

The city most famous for its Clydesdales and Budweiser celebrates Independence Day in big fashion each year with the three-day Fair Saint Louis at Forest Park, July 2-4. Each fair night is capped off with a fireworks display.

Music performances by Melissa Etheridge, Blondie, Kool & the Gang, Morris Day and the Time, Chris Young, Parmelee, and Natalie Stovall and the Drive top a list of artists that will also include MC Lyte, American Authors, Tony! Tony! Toné, and Noah Guthrie.

Recently added to this year’s event include stunt shows by professional stunt cyclist Chris Clark. The Wake Challenge watersports show returns for a second year at Fair Saint Louis and will include standout performances by watersports athletes, including the Lake Saint Louis Waterski Club, which features skiers from 5 to 70 years old. And this year Fair Saint Louis has added a zip line that will be set up along Lagoon Drive, giving thrill-seekers the chance to zip high over Forest Park and take in majestic views of the Grand Basin and Art Hill.

The event will wrap up each night with stunning custom fireworks display tailored to the Forest Park venue.

To find out more, go to http://www.fairsaintlouis.org/

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Bring your blankets and beach chairs and join thousands of Independence Day revelers as they gather along the beaches of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this year.

Earlier in the day, the annual July Boat Parade is the big ticket at Murrells Inlet, followed by one the country’s best fireworks displays. (They get plenty of practice here, with fireworks going off every Monday and Wednesday night during summer.)

Fireworks will be launched from various piers.

Find out more by going to www.visitmyrtlebeach.com.

San Diego, California

The Big Bay Boom in San Diego will light up the sky beginning at 9 p.m. July 4th to thrill some 350,000 Independence Day celebrants. The best viewing places include La Jolla Shores, Kellogg Park, Shelter Island, North Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing in Coronado.

The fireworks are launched from multiple locations around San Diego Bay: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marine Park and the Coronado Ferry Landing.

To find out more, visit www.sandiego.gov.

family fun, picnics, barbecues, fireworks, Kaboom Town

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

The Red, White & Blue Lifestyle

The Red, White & Blue Lifestyle

~ Amy Lignor

 

Yes, July 4th is upon us and events, fireworks, backyard picnics – everything is about to commence. This is the celebration of our freedom; the celebration of America, but the events – the décor that will be used for the 4th and the theory that we should keep things ‘All-American’ does not fade away when the fireworks stop flashing in the sky.

4th of July, celebration, freedom, 'All American', patriotic, buy American, Made in the USAAs far as the holiday, itself, new ideas are coming out all the time. For a little chic to be thrown in with the norm, ideas of using beverages in glass bottles that are red, white and blue, sitting in metal tubs around the yard filled with ice – is a great way to make a splash and add to the patriotic theme. Supplies and/or gift baskets for your visitors can include things to help them with the heat that may come to your backyard on the 4th – red, white and blue face towels and water bottles are a great addition. Sparklers can be made into fantastic party-favors, wrapped as bouquets with red, white and blue ribbons. And the idea of red, white and blue flowers that can be planted in order to come back year after year is always an awesome idea, as well. They are not only a stunning American tribute all year round, but also the garden will provide an all-natural privacy screen that enhances and adds color to your home.

But you see, when the 4th is over, things do not have to end. Let’s face it, the kitchen is the room that gets the most time in the All-American households across the country. The kitchen is where everything is baked, prepared, and everyone stands on a daily basis to catch up and talk about life. Well…buying All-American and fixing up that small kitchen so that it allows more space for any event can be done quite easily…and allows for the purchasing of American-made products in the process.

The National Kitchen & Bath Design Competition does a wonderful job in bringing out ideas for that small kitchen where touches can be added that are not overly expensive that will make the small area look far bigger. Some of the ideas include; bracketed molding and drawer pulls, and changing the cabinets to a color that not only looks as if it has created more space but also is stunning to look at year-round. Robin’s-egg-blue is a great choice. If not wanting to paint, knocking out a wall in between the small kitchen and a family room to make a larger area for entertaining, is a great thought. Scraped maple floors, simple cabinetry with river-stone hardware that offers the room a completely uncluttered look. The ideas are endless.

A glass-tile mosaic backsplash, or a small island with storage space inside can go amazingly well with everything from tile to wood; as well as putting in recessed lighting and open shelves above the cabinets that allow for collectibles, will enhance and enlarge the kitchen area. Not to mention, all of the products and hardware purchased in the United States will bring even more patriotism by infusing the economy and offering jobs to many.

In other words, when the party ends on July 4th, the red, white and blue lifestyle most certainly doesn’t have to. And shouldn’t. There are stunning designs that are affordable for your small kitchen, and even other rooms you wish to alter or transform in the house. And with “Made in the USA” as the theme, the celebration never has to stop.

Source:  Baret News Wire

The "Ark" Debate: Saving the World’s Creatures or Not

 

The “Ark” Debate: Saving the World’s Creatures or Not

~ Amy Lignor

 

Perhaps it’s because of the ‘thoughts’ behind things like ‘Jurassic World’ or the new TV show called, ‘Humans’ – but the idea that DNA will be collected and ‘stored’ for every being on the planet actually sounds dangerous. Of course…we’re not talking about bringing back ancient beasts or having the ability to clone a person and make a “non-feeling” double. …Right?

 

Are Scientists Crossing the DNA Line?Moscow State University was the ‘name’ that landed the largest-ever scientific grant given by Russia for a project that spans through 2018. This project is to collect DNA from every living and extinct creature that will then be stored in a database – the first in the world. Some call this a modern-day take on “Noah’s Ark.” According to the researchers involved, the database will collect and save every creature known to mankind and will, in the end, cost approximately nineteen million dollars to create.

 

But this is not only going on in Russia. In fact, Britain has their own project when it comes to DNA collection, but they are calling their work, “The Frozen Ark.” They, too, are collecting DNA and cataloging/storing the information in a databank, but only the DNA of endangered species.

 

The statistics say that the Earth is experiencing the greatest loss of species, creatures, plants, etc., since the dinosaurs were “selected” for extinction. Apparently, despite a great many strong and determined efforts, 30% (and rising) of animals, whether they be on land or in water, will actually go extinct and join the dinosaurs in our history books within the next fifty years unless something far more aggressive is done.

 

As the human population grows, the destruction of natural habitats grows, and it certainly doesn’t look like human numbers are going to decrease. So for Britain, the “Frozen Ark” (set up in 1996) works to save samples of frozen cells from endangered animals before they go extinct, which means the animal’s characteristics can be kept for all time…and perhaps allow creatures to be restored to the Earth with new breakthroughs in technology.

 

If looking at Russia’s and Britain’s projects side by side, however, there are some interesting oddities. When it comes to the “Frozen Ark,” zoos, aquariums, museums and more, located in eight countries, have joined the project. And news is constantly given to the public, from the bison to the sea turtle to David Attenborough’s meetings with the President almost every weeks to keep everyone updated on the progress.  ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frozen-Ark/173368602678865 ).

 

With the Russian project, not a great deal of information can be found – only the announcement in 2014 that the grant was landed. People are waiting to hear anything about this huge undertaking that will involve their scientists “cryogenically freezing” cellular matter, which can be reproduced later in the future if it becomes necessary.

 

Does America have their own “Ark” in the works? As far as the scientific community believes, America has not yet come out with their own databank project. But with Russia and Britain at the forefront of this science…the idea that creatures can be brought back seems to be walking the line between ‘excitement that no species will ever be lost to the Earth’ versus ‘DNA and this type of technology being in the wrong hands.’

Paul de Vos, ~Ark van NoahSource:  Baret News Wire

An Unexpected Wimbledon?

An Unexpected Wimbledon?

~ Amy Lignor

 

As all sports lovers – and even those who are not – will say, when it comes to tennis there are specific names that roll off the tongue when looking at a true champion that can go onto any court made of any substance and whip the tails of all the other players. For the women, of course, the name is Serena Williams. However, now that Wimbledon has begun there are many who state she will not win. And, let’s face it, her opening match, although victorious, was not exactly a shining example of the ‘best of the best.’

 

Centre_CourtIt’s possible she’s just getting her feet wet. When she met up with number 113 ranked, Margarita Gasparyan, perhaps she was still getting over the long flight to England. It certainly looked that way. This is the woman who wins easily – making the sport look as if she could lay down on a lounge chair and enjoy the sun, iced tea in one hand and tennis racket in the other, and beat anyone on the other side of the net without breaking a sweat. However, the first set played showed that even Serena can have a ‘bad day.’ The Russian competitor was playing her very first main draw match at Wimbledon, and actually got the crowd on her side when she led 3-1 in the first set. She was only a point away from a double-break lead, but…Serena woke up and realized that it was time to be herself once again. (Most likely she was angry at herself considering the early code violation she received for uttering an audible obscenity). The aggressive and impossible to beat Serena had a talk with herself and came back strong. She wants this. As everyone knows Serena has not won that Wimbledon title since 2012, and she is only two Grand Slam titles away from tying Steffi Graf’s career record and, undoubtedly, ending her own long tennis path being recognized as the best women’s player to ever hit the courts.

 

Williams has earned five titles at Wimbledon, but the past couple of years has shown that even she can lose. She states that Wimbledon “is the monkey on my back.” We will watch and see if the monkey is set free…or if it turns into King Kong.

 

For the men, the name Federer is on everyone’s lips. However, this year, there is some serious competition on the men’s side with four top contenders for the crown. Novak Djokovic has a bit of a sympathetic following after losing badly to Wawrinka in the French Open, but he still will not go down easily. In addition, he will not have to stand across from Federer, Murray or Nadal, the other contenders, until the finals. Djokovic is 41-3 this year thus far, but with his injuries and desperation/pain that you know he must be feeling over the French Open loss, it looks like an uphill battle for him.

 

Roger Federer has seven Wimbledon titles. And even though he may have crested the hill in his career, he certainly still has that passion and need (not to mention serious skill) to nab an eighth before the path to retirement is the one he chooses.

 

In other words…this is one Wimbledon that is not only offering big names, but a shot at glory and instant fame for a name you may never have heard before.

 

Source:  Baret News Wire

Stand Your Ground ~ Black Bodies and the Justice of God

 

Stand Your Ground

Black Bodies and the Justice of God

by Kelly Brown Douglas

Orbis Books

Paperback, $24.00

256 pages

ISBN: 978-1-62698-109-6

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“Why is it becoming increasingly acceptable to kill unarmed black children? Why are they so easily perceived as a threat? How are we to keep our black children safe?

Kelly Brown Douglas, Book Review, Kam WilliamsAs the mother of a black male child, I find these to be urgent questions. The slaying of Trayvon [Martin] struck a nerve deep within me. After Jordan [Davis], then Jonathan [Ferrell], then Renisha [McBride], I was practically unnerved.

I knew I had to seek answers. This book reflects my search for those answers.”

— Excerpted from the Prologue (page ix)

It seems that once a month or so, with painful regularity, another unarmed black person is gunned down by a white civilian or white police officer. What is the reason for this escalating epidemic? Is it really a recent development or merely a long-hidden aspect of America’s social structure that’s come to light because of the profusion of cell phones in circulation among the population?

That’s what Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, as the mother of a black boy, found herself wondering in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. She also heard President Obama say that, if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.

That made Kelly think, “I DO have a son, and he DOES look like Trayvon.” So, for her, the crisis was more than a matter of mere rhetorical speculation. Not wanting her son to become the next statistic, she heeded an urgent inner call to action.   

As a Professor of Religion at Goucher College, she decided her skills could best be put to use researching the

Kelly Brown Douglas, Book Review, Kam Williams

Author Kelly Brown Douglas
Photo: Courtesy of Goucher College

burgeoning phenomenon. And the upshot of her research efforts is Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, an enlightening examination of the deep-seated roots of the racist reasoning relied upon in the course of snuffing out African-Americans lives so cavalierly.

The author opens the opus with a history lesson, tracing the source of the problem back hundreds of years to the birth of “Exceptionalism” in Anglo-Saxon England. Reserved for whites, that notion enabled Caucasians to adopt the concept of “Manifest Destiny” that led to the extermination of Native Americans (relying on the rallying cry “The only good Indian is a dead Indian”) and to the wholesale subjugation of Africans as property.

She sees today’s Stand Your Ground law as a logical extension of the supremacist philosophy that sustained slavery, Jim Crow segregation, lynching and other institutionalized forms of color-coded oppression. Apparently, part and parcel of that shameful scheme was a “natural law theo-ideology” hyper-valuing whiteness while denigrating the black body as “perpetually-guilty chattel.”

An iconoclastic cultural critique indicting the doctrine of Manifest Destiny for the rationalization of a perpetual war on African-American males.

To order a copy of Stand Your Ground, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1626981094/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

Top Ten DVD List for June 30, 2015

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for June 30, 2015        

medical-simulation-top-10-400             

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00W3W2PI8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

While We’re Young

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00XJJ5LK8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Decline of Western Civilization

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00V02H564/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Five Easy Pieces [Criterion Collection]

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00UUOVC6M/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Get Hard

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VANBXWK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Danny Collins

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00UZJO7UA/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Place to Call Home: Season Two

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00SXFIIOY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Dancer and the Dame

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00T7Z5QAI/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

We Are Monster

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00YB41F4Q/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Nova: Invisible Universe Revealed

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VNQWUTY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Soldate Jeanette

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00U8BDXGY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Teen Beach 2

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00WAJ8PA6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Spike Island

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00TLXIQ1W/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Gunman

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VXU96GK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Of Girls and Horses

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00WH762AQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Saugatuck Cures

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00W8W38G6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

Magic tWitch!

 

Stephen “tWitch” Boss

The “Magic Mike XXL” Interview

with Kam Williams

Magic tWitch!

 

Born in Montgomery, Alabama on September 29, 1982, Stephen Boss was always spinning and staying in motion as a child, which is how he earned the nickname “tWitch.”  After studying dance at Southern Union State Stephen “tWitch” Boss,  The “Magic Mike XXL” Interview, Kam WilliamsCommunity, he made his Hollywood debut in Season 3 of the reality TV series “So You Think You Can Dance” and was runner-up in the Finals in Season 4.

He parlayed that television success into a film career, appearing in Hairspray, Blades of Glory, Stomp the Yard 2 and, most notably, several installments of the Step Up franchise: Step Up Revolution, Step Up: All in, and Step Up 3D. And since April of 2014, he has been featured on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” as a guest DJ.

tWitch is married to his “So You Think You Can Dance” co-star, Allison Holker.

Here, he talks about his latest outing opposite Channing Tatum and Jada Pinkett Smith in Magic Mike XXL.

Kam Williams: Hi tWitch, thanks for another interview.

StB: Hi, Kam. How’re you doing?

KW: Just fine. And you?

StB: Great, thank you.

KW: So, what interested you in Magic Mike XXL?

StB: I had never worked with anybody doing the film before, which was great. And then when I heard that they were doing a sequel, I just put it out there that I was going to be a part of it. And I was excited.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: How would you describe the character you are portraying?

StB: Malik is the guy that kind of inspires Mike to mind his p’s and q’s in order to be able prove that he’s still a top notch dancer.

KW: How do you prepare differently to play a stripper than to play the street dancer in Step Up or the fraternity step dancer in Stomp the Yard 2?

StB: Well, a lot of it has to do with the choreography. Once you’re on set with the extras who are ready to throw dollars and excited that you’re actually taking your shirt off it’s pretty easy to get into character. Our choreographer, Alison Faulk, helped tremendously to make sure we were still bringing it.

KW: When you’re cast alongside so many other great dancers, what do you have to do to stand out and put your personal mark on a movie?Stephen “tWitch” Boss,  The “Magic Mike XXL” Interview, Kam Williams

StB: Honestly, by just getting down the only way that I can, which I think I did with my first solo team. That was basically me free-styling. And when I free-style, that’s just the way that I dance. Nobody else dances like that. So, I thank that’s enough, doing me to the fullest.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?

StB: [Laughs] It depends on what message you are open to taking. There’s the underlying buddy theme to this film about taking a road trip with your boys for your last hurrah, and having a good time and being open for anything. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns and relationships formed due to unforeseen circumstances that actually work out for the better.

KW: Sangeetha Subramanian says: Twitch! Great seeing you with your wife on the finale of Dancing With The Stars last season.  How do you make your schedules work, since you are both in the entertainment industry?

StB: Well, we just make it work. It’s a day-to-day process. Sometimes, we’re like ships passing in the night. But on a lot of other occasions, we’ve been fortunate to wrap projects at the same time. When she finished “Dancing with the Stars” this past season, it just so happened she wrapped the same day as “The Ellen Show.” So, both of us then had a couple of weeks off together. So far, it’s been great! It’s been working out.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: We all got nicknames when we were young. How do you feel about keeping yours?

StB:  I don’t mind it at all, because it’s a part of my being. It’s become part of my persona, when it comes to dance.

KW: Kevin Curran says: The teacher in me wonders whether the “tWitch” activity level for which you were
nicknamed persists to this day? Was it ever a problem for you in school, or was it possibly an asset?

StB: It was definitely a problem in school, but it was an asset, for sure. And yes, I continue to dance quite a bit and it remains very hard for me to sit still today, especially when music is playing. I had trouble in school because I didn’t want to focus. Honestly, I would have rather been dancing.

KW: Kevin also asks: What do you see as the ideal trajectory for where you would like your career to go from here: mostly dance, mostly acting, or a continuation of both?

StB: I would prefer mostly acting, but I would like to still like to be in the dance world, as well. I’ve been studying <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oLoyU3xYwbs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
acting in preparation for the next opportunity where a role comes along that isn’t attached to a dance component. When it comes to dance, TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars,” give you a platform to start and expand a dance business beyond your physical likeness, meaning I don’t necessarily have to be there for the operation to flourish.

KW: How have you enjoyed being a guest DJ on Ellen? Do you really pick the music, or just play it?

StB: It’s so much fun. I pick the music but, of course, Ellen has her say in terms of what she wants to hear. We have an incredible time. If you come to a taping of the show, you’ll see how much fun it is.

KW: David Roth asks: How come they missed you when they cast Chocolate City?

StB: [LOL] Because they cast me in Magic Mike XXL.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

StB: I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m sure there is one.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

StB: Strawberry Twizzlers.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

StB: When it comes to fashion, I really enjoy sneakers. So, I’m going to have to say Jordans.

KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision?

StB: To never stop.

KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?

StB: Yes there was, for sure. I was raised religious, for the most part, which came with a spiritual component that has continued. So, I’ve always had spirituality around me.

KW: The “Realtor to the Stars” Jimmy Bayan’s question: What’s your dream locale in Los Angeles to live?

StB: I would have to say Malibu.

KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

StB: Yes, to build a community center in my hometown, Montgomery, Alabama.

KW: What’s it like to be from Montgomery, a city with so much history in terms of the Civil Rights movement?

StB: Its history is very deep, and I’m so grateful to be from there. It really helps me in my day-to-day life. It helped me establish my vales, my base of who I am and how I feel about things..

KW: When I was growing up, you used to see Montgomery on TV all the time.

StB: Exactly!

KW: What was your very first job?

StB: Working at a restaurant called Flip Burger.  I lasted a grand total of about two weeks.

KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

StB: As an artist? Of course there are times when I’m afraid. But the trick is not letting fear dictate my every move.

KW: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

StB: Malcolm X.

KW: What’s in your wallet?

StB: I[Chuckles] My license, my credit cards, and pretty much every business card I’ve ever been handed. I’ve got a George Costanza [from Seinfeld] wallet.

KW: Thanks again for the time, tWitch, and best of luck with Magic Mike XXL.

StB: Thanks so much, Kam.

 

Source:  Baret News Wire

Tatum and Team Turn Up the Titillation in Sequel

 

Magic Mike XXL

Film Review by Kam Williams

Tatum and Team Turn Up the Titillation in  Sequel

What made the original Magic Mike so appealing was it’s raw-edged, realistic feel that made you forgot you were even watching a movie. This relatively-superficial sequel tosses the notion of plausible character and plot development out the window in favor of a sensual take the money-and-run sequel focused squarely on titillation.

Magic Mike XXL,  Film Review, Kam WilliamsYes, Channing Tatum has returned in the title role, but conspicuously absent are Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn and a couple of other actors critical to the success of the original. Also gone is the picture’s legendary director, Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh (for Traffic) who retired in 2013 out of frustration with the film industry.

XXL picks up three years after the ending of the first episode, conveniently ignoring the fact that Mike had specifically left stripping for a legit line of work in order to walk off into the proverbial sunset with a grateful girlfriend. At the point of departure, we find Mike single again and flourishing as a furniture designer. He is soon duped into attending what is supposed to be the wake of Dallas (McConaughey), his former boss at the notorious nightclub known as Xquisite.

Upon arriving, however, Mike learns that Dallas is alive and well and living in Macao. The deceitful death notice was just a ruse concocted by pals to pitch him on participating in a reunion of The Kings of Tampa. That brawny brotherhood of hunky dudes with whom he’d once shared the stage is now interested in taking their bawdy burlesque show on the road.

Already signed on are Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Big Dick (Joe Manganiello), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Ken (Matt Bomer), as well as rubbery eunuch Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), who’s been enlisted to serve as the chauffeur of their food truck-turned-tour bus. The plan is to drive from Florida to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to perform in a competition at the annual strippers convention.

Magic Mike XXL, Film Review, Kam Williams

It doesn’t take much in the way of arm-twisting to bring Mike aboard, and the next thing you know the motley crew is cutting a swath across the South, making stops to strip at seedy dives along the way, a big exception being Domina, the upscale establishment run by Mike’s ex, Rome  (Jada Pinkett Smith), which caters to a predominantly black clientele. Among the buff bods in her sepia stable are Andre (Donald Glover), Augustus (Michael Strahan) and Malik (Stephen “tWitch” Boss).

Magic Mike XXL was directed by Gregory Jacobs, best known for the made-for-TV Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, which landed 11 Emmys in 2013. Too bad he  apparently couldn’t be bothered with crafting a credible story line for this disappointing, big screen production.

Magic Mike XXL, Film Review, Kam Williams

An unabashedly carnal indulgence solely interested in inducing gelatinous drools of saliva from the mouths of overstimulated females.     

 

Fair (1 star)

Rated R for nudity, drug use, graphic sexuality and pervasive profanity

Running time: 115 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

Source:  Baret News Wire