The “War for the Planet of the Apes” Interview

 

Andy Serkis and Joe Letteri

The “War for the Planet of the Apes” Interview

with Kam Williams

Extraordinary Ape Mimic and Oscar-Winning Visual Effects Artist Expound on Latest Collaboration

If they handed out an Oscar for the best motion-capture performances, Andy Serkis would probably have quite a few trophies on his mantelpiece. The accomplished actor/director has provided the movements and voice for such memorable, CGI characters as Gollum in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong in King Kong, Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and Caesar in The Planet of the Apes trilogy.    

Planet of the Apes, Andy Serkis, Visual Effects, The Hobbit,The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Joe Letteri

Joe Letteri 
Photo by Eric Charbonneau/WireImage.com

ape in the scenes between Caesar and the the Colonel [played by Woody Harrelson], I was creating a character and delivering that character. And with the director [Matt Reeves], we were creating the drama for those scenes. You begin with research to build up the emotional inner life of the character and to explain the character, and then you shoot the scene. And that’s it. All of the performances are put into the cut that we put together with the editor before handing it to Joe. And he takes over from there.

JL: In the old days, like when we were doing Gollum, an overlay was involved. Peter [director Peter Jackson] would see a performance he liked, and we’d have to ask Andy to come over to another stage just for the purpose of recording that performance, because we couldn’t record it while the film cameras were rolling back then. By the time we got around to making Rise [of the Planet of the Apes], we really didn’t want to do that anymore. We wanted to see if we could capture THE performance as it was happening, the same as a film camera would be capturing it. Our big breakthrough was figuring out how to make that happen live on-set, and then how to take that out to remote and harsher locations. What that gives us is an authenticity of performance in the moment. The rest of what we do involves translating it all to the screen. There’s motion we have to be faithful to., but there’s also the likeness of the character that has to be created. We have to make Caesar look like a real chimpanzee. We have to make sure the light in his eyes reacts the same that the light on the set does. We have to make sure that his fur behaves properly. So, there’s an overlap between the performance and the creation of the images of that performance. But it’s always about making sure that the audience is believing the performance that they’re watching.

KW: How were you able to make the interaction between the humans and the apes appear seamless. Not once during the film did I ever think I was looking at computer-generated images.

JL: We not only capture the performance, but we capture the locations’ lighting as well as all the physical aspects of the terrain. We recreate all of that in the computer and add everything necessary, like the apes, set extensions and background mountains. In this case, we grew a whole forest up on the hillside behind the prison camp. We devote the same attention to every detail, taking into consideration how they behave physically in the real world. For instance, we studied how pine trees grow. And after we understood that, we could grow a forest that existed in the same world as the performances. And we treated everything as if it had been in front of the camera when it was rolling. We made no distinction. So, I’m glad  you didn’t discern any differences, because we think of it as all the same world.

KW: All I kept thinking was, why didn’t they make sci-fi movies with these production values when I was a kid?

AS and JL: [LOL]

KW: Andy, how did you feel about being asked to play Caesar, and how did you originally prepare for the role?

Planet of the Apes, Andy Serkis, Visual Effects, The Hobbit,The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Joe Letteri

Andy Serkis

AS: It’s been an extraordinary honor, really, and an extraordinary journey playing him over the course of three films. My approach to the character at the beginning of the first film was very different from my approach to him in War. I originally based him on a real chimpanzee who was brought up by human beings back in the 1970s. I wanted to cultivate a sense of Caesar’s being an outsider. So, in my mind, I imagined him as a human trapped inside an ape’s skin, because he’d received love from those humans who’d raised him until he reached a certain age and was transferred to an ape sanctuary where he saw his own skin for the first time. He was neither fully human, nor fully primate, but perhaps both. And that put him in the unique position of being able to galvanize all the various species of apes and to lead them to freedom. I approached him as this outsider who was uniquely positioned to empathize with both human beings and every species of ape which made him a natural leader.

KW: Has your approach to Caesar changed over the course of the trilogy?

PH: Of course, he’s been evolving through the three movies. Not only is he aging and getting older, becoming a leader and a father along the way, but he’s changed emotionally and cognitively. He’s become more intelligent. He’s changed the way he carries himself, physically. Linguistically, he’s become more articulate, more human-like. I have to say I’ve really, really enjoyed every single second of playing Caesar and every single turning point of the character’s arc. In this last episode, I get to enjoy this incredible journey where we witness this big change in him into a creature full of hatred and rage who wants to exact revenge on the Colonel. That’s an extraordinary twist for which I drew on personal experience, asking “What would I feel like, if I were in his position?” And I invited the audience to join me on that journey. So, the approach changed considerably over the course

KW: I found this film very thought-provoking. What message would you say it’s hoping to deliver?

AS: I think the core of the film, what Matt [director Matt Reeves] was an analysis of what happens if empathy is lost. Without being overly topical, we’re live in a world that has, in many ways, become desensitized and unable to empathize with other cultures and species. The dangerous part is that we objectify others and have somehow removed ourselves, mentally, from the very planet we inhabit. That loss of empathy is a central theme of this movie that Matt was keen to explore.

JL: Because Caesar grew up with a foot in both worlds, he’s always trying to reconcile the differences, to see the world from both sides, and to hold on to that ability to empathize. One of the great tragedies of War for the Planet of the Apes is that it comes to a point where even he can no longer empathize. And then we witness the consequences that he’s been trying to avoid all along. What’s he’s basically been predicting will happen, finally does, and that underscores the fact that there are no good guys and no bad guys, here. Each group is acting out of fear and a survival instinct. The question is: how do you work through that without destroying both sides?

KW: I know what you mean. A friend of mine said that he didn’t know which side to root for and that he kept changing his allegiance back and forth from the humans to the apes.

AS and JL: [Chuckle]

KW: Joe, your great visual effects work has been rewarded with four Oscars, and you’ll certainly get another nomination for this film. Andy, you’d have a bunch of your own if the Academy had a category for best motion capture performances.

AS: Thanks for the kind words, Kam. However, my belief about performance capture is that it’s a technology which allows actors to play extraordinary characters. But from an acting perspective, I’ve never drawn a distinction between playing a conventional, live action character and playing a role in a performance capture suit. And from a purely acting point-of-view, I don’t believe there should be a special Oscar category because I think it sort of muddies the waters in a way. There are two incredible crafts involved here. One is the creation of the performances. and the other is the manifesting of those performances onscreen. The issue has been been discussed for years, and it’s really up to the acting community to be willing to be educated about what performance capture is in order to fully appreciate it as acting. It’s not a type of acting, but rather the use of technology to harness an actor’s performance and translate it into an ape, another animal, or an avatar of some kind.

KW: Well, you certainly are among the very best at what you do. Thank you both for the interview, and best of luck with the film.

AS and JL: Thanks, Kam.

Source:  Baret News

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAMES MOONLIGHT THE TOP FILM OF HISTORIC 2016

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAMES MOONLIGHT THE TOP FILM OF HISTORIC 2016

  QUEEN SUGAR NAMED THE TOP TV SHOW   Denzel Washington, Ruth Negga, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis Receive Acting Wins from the Nation’s Premiere Black Critics Group   Ava DuVernay’s 13th and Beyonce’s Lemonade also take key honors   African-American Film Critics Association, AAFCA, Special Achievement Honors, 2016 Top Ten Award WinnersAWARDS GALA WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE TAGLYAN COMPLEX IN LOS ANGELES FEBRUARY 9th AT 9PM ET/ 6 PM PT   Los Angeles, CA (December 13, 2016) – Movies, documentaries and TV shows about the black experience were in abundance in 2016 making it a truly historic year in terms of the number of movies, documentaries and TV shows released and number of blacks represented in front and behind the camera.   “Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from this year,” says AAFCA Co-founder Shawn Edwards. “It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide-range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval.”   There were several movies released this year that are considered masterpieces. However, it was “Moonlight” that dominated this year’s voting for the 8th AAFCA Awards. The independent film which chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami completely resonated with the majority of the members of the association. The A24 Pictures film earned multiple awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor. Awards were also given to singer Janelle Monae for Breakout Performance. She delivered star-making performances this year in both “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.” The top acting honors went to Denzel Washington and Ruth Negga for their roles inFences and Loving. AAFCA will hold its 8th annual awards ceremony on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.   “2016 provided our membership with many great films to choose from,” says AAFCA President and Co-founder, Gil Robertson. “Every movie and TV show on our Top 10 Lists could have easily been number one. The number of incredible performances by black actors and actresses added to a very competitive field of performances and represents a step towards inclusion that our membership warmly embraces. We look forward to what 2017 has in store.”     The following is a complete list of 2016 AAFCA Awards winners.    FILM BEST PICTURE: MOONLIGHT – (A24) BEST DIRECTOR: BARRY JENKINS, MOONLIGHT – (A24) BEST ACTOR: DENZEL WASHINGTON, FENCES– (Paramount) BEST ACTRESS: RUTH NEGA, LOVING – (Focus Features) BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MAHERSHALA ALI, MOONLIGHT – (A24) BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: VIOLA DAVIS, FENCES (Paramount) BEST ENSEMBLE: THE Cast of HIDDEN FIGURES (20TH Century Fox) BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE 2017 – Janelle Monae for MOONLIGHT AND HIDDEN FIGURES BEST INDEPENEDENT FILM: “MOONLIGHT” (A24) BEST ANIMATION FILM; ZOOTOPIA (Disney) BEST SONG – “VICTORY” from HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox) BEST DOCUMENTARY – 13 (Netflix) BEST FOREIGN FILM – TANNA (Lightyear Entertainment) BEST SCREENPLAY – AUGUST WILSON, FENCES – (Paramount)   TV BEST TV SHOW (Drama) – QUEEN SUGAR – OWN BEST TV SHOW (Comedy) – ATLANTA – FX BEST TV SHOW (CABLE/NEW MEDIA – UNDERGROUND – WGN BEST TV SHOW (Special/Limited Series) – LEMONADE – HBO     AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:  

  1. MOONLIGHT – A24
  2. FENCES – Paramount
  3. HIDDEN FIGURES – 20th Century Fox
  4. LION – The Weinstein Company
  5. LALA LAND – Lionsgate
  6. BIRTH OF A NATION – Fox Searchlight
  7. LOVING – Focus Features
  8. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA – Roadside Attraction/Amazon Studios
  9. HELL OR HIGH WATER – Lionsgate/CBS Films
  10. QUEEN OF KATWE – Walt Disney Pictures/ESPN Films

  AAFCA Top Ten TV shows of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:  

  1. QUEEN SUGAR – OWN
  2. UNDERGROUND – WGN
  3. ATLANTA – FX
  4. INSECURE – HBO
  5. LUKE CAGE – NETFLIX
  6. THIS IS US – NBC
  7. BLACKISH – ABC
  8. THE GET DOWN – NETFLIX
  9. WESTWORLD – HBO
  10. SURVIVOR’S REMORSE – STARZ

As previously announced, AAFCA’s Special Achievement Honors, presented by Morgan Stanley, will presented on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the California Yacht Club. This year’s honorees include director, Anthony Hemingway; producer/director, Lee Daniels and animator, Floyd Norman. Chicago Tribune film critic, Michael Phillips will receive the organization’s Roger Ebert Award and Fox Animation President, Vanessa Morrison will receive the Ashley Boone Award. About AAFCA    The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African-American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCA also supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers. Source:  Baret News

It’s Mutants vs. Mutants in 9th Installment of Beloved Marvel Franchise

 

X-Men: Apocalypse,  Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams, Marvel Comics, Bryan SingerX-Men: Apocalypse

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

It’s Mutants vs. Mutants in 9th Installment of Beloved Marvel Franchise

X-Men: Apocalypse is the 9th installment in the much-beloved, Marvel Comics franchise launched back in 2000. This episode is the 4th directed by the series’ originator, Bryan Singer, whose sophisticated touch always allows an audience to enjoy a relatively-cerebral cinematic experience.

Thus, this character-driven adventure includes not only the trademark action sequences featuring flamboyant exhibitions of superpowers but also an absorbing plotline that keeps the brain engaged for the duration of the story. The upshot is a film for kids of all ages that’s memorable for more than its state-of-the-arts special f/x.

The fun starts in Cairo in 1983, which is where we we find the ancient mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) rising from the dead. Disenchanted with the world’s current state of affairs, he decides to destroy civilization and start over.

Although Apocalypse is already the most powerful mutant around, he recruits a quartet of renegades to assist him in his nefarious endeavor. Dubbed the Four Horsemen, the confederacy is composed of Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Archangel (Ben Hardy), representing War, Famine, Pestilence and Death, respectively.

It is almost too late by the time the forces of good finally catch wind of Apocalypse’s diabolical scheme, as cities from New York to Sydney are suddenly under attack. And when X-Men leader Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) falls under Apocalypse’s spell, his protege, shape-shifting Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), rises to the occasion to rally the next-generation of mutants in the defense of the embattled planet.

     Among her cohorts are telekinetic Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), teleporting Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee, supersonic Quicksilver (Evan Peters), brawny and brilliant Beast (Nicholas Hoult), laser-eyed Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne). Initially, they prove no match for Apocalypse, who has been harnessing an assortment of awesome powers for several millennia.

Only by pooling their skills and resources very effectively are our intrepid protagonists able to conquer evil, save the free world and thereby survive for another sequel.

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Rated PG-13 for violence, action, destruction, suggestive images and brief profanity 

In English, German, Polish, Arabic and Ancient Egyptian

Running time: 144 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Deleted and extended scenes with optional introductions by director Bryan Singer; gag reel; wrap party video; audio commentary by Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg; behind-the-scenes documentary; and a photo gallery.

To order a copy of  the X-Men: Apocalypse Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01G9AXWH2/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

Tick Man Dan Says: Be Tick Smart!

 

Tick Man Dan Says: Be Tick Smart!

By Amy Lignor

Tick bites have become far more common in the past two decades, with Lyme disease creating havoc and being the subject of many headlines across the country. Although what many first perceived as only an “East Coast disease” it is a fact that Lyme disease is spread by ticks all across the country. Even the CDC has stated that over 300,000 Americans are affected by Lyme disease each and every year.

 

A tick bite may not sound dangerous—not in the category of, say, a stroke or heart attack—but the reality is that a tick bite has the ability to bring about immediate threats to a person or an animal’s health. Contracting Lyme disease or a myriad of other nasty infections that a tick is known to carry, can bring about high fevers, rashes, flu-like symptoms, and far worse. Checking your body, your children, and your family pets, is a process that must be done on a daily basis in order to locate any ticks immediately. If bitten, prompt and proper removal is the only way to reduce your chances of being infected with Lyme disease or any tick-borne illness

 

Dan Wolff, AKA: Tick Man Dan is a suburban deer expert and tick prevention specialist, and has over twenty years of experience when it comes to this very subject. With two children of his own and two beloved canine family members, he realized long ago that tick-borne illnesses were not few and far between. He wanted to create a device that could help a person when it came to removing a tick; a device that would be both easy and safe to use on both human flesh and pets. The end result? TickEase.

 

TickEase is the only dual-sided tick removal tool. With fine-point tweezers on one end, perfect for the removal of small ticks from the flesh, and a slotted scoop on the other end, designed for removing larger ticks from animals, TickEase is what America needs in every home in order to reduce the chances of contracting a tick-borne illness.

tickease

As the president and founder of TickEase, Inc., Tick Man Dan built this products manufacturing company with a mission in mind: to provide the most safe and effective tools for removing and repelling ticks. With his extremely educational website, Dan has not only given a “must-have” product to people, but he’s also provided information on the tick removal process and has facilitated tick testing. It is an understatement to say that the public has been better informed because of the work Tick Man Dan has done. With public service announcements, and future projects that will get tick education into public schools, everyone from kids to teachers to parents to scout clubs across the USA will get the data they need.

 

But Tick Man Dan not only creates and designs products, he also puts his time, energy and passion into solving the problem where it actually starts. Mass Deer Service is a suburban deer management program that works with residents living in the MetroWest area of Boston to control deer populations; with control, the risk of tick-borne diseases is greatly diminished. A true expert, Dan takes time speaking and informing the public on tick’s behavior, life-cycles and how they relate to the environment.

 

Unlike the “old wives tales” out there focusing on how to remove ticks from the skin; such as, slathering Vaseline on the tick or lighting a match near one to make it extract itself from your flesh, Tick Man Dan actually knows what he’s talking about where this subject is concerned. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Skidmore College, and dwelling in Massachusetts, a state with a high tick population, Dan knows how to control and lower the risks of contracting a tick-borne illness.

 

A tick bite is no laughing matter. From the forefront of the problem (how to control the deer population so that ticks will not literally overrun certain areas); to the end of the process (how to safely and easily remove ticks from both humans and pets) Tick Man Dan and his company, TickEase, have all the bases covered. This is definitely a “Wolff” who has made it his goal to stop ticks in their tracks and make the Great Outdoors a much safer place to be.

 

To learn more about Tick Man Dan and his work, head to: www.TickEase.com 

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Top Ten DVD List for August 16, 2016

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for August 16, 2016

This Week’s DVD Releases, Kam Williams, Top Ten DVD List, 08/02/16

 

Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words [Criterion Collection]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01FRMOXBM/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

A Bigger Splash

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01I0RMIVI/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20


Observance

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B01H4CSMDI/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

The Angry Birds Movie

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01EK44M64/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Frontline: The Secret History of ISIS

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01F749ZX6/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01GQIKLHG/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Lake Nowhere

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01EG1R9F2/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Once: The Complete Fifth Season

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01E7XSXJK/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Shimmer and Shine: Welcome to Zahramay Falls

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01CEWQ3GQ/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Business of Disaster

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01F73L6A2/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

The Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01GP4HSS6/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

The Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01GP4HSNQ/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

God’s Not Dead

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00KD5HFJG/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Sundown

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01GP4HSI6/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

Disappointing Spoof of The Purge Arrives on DVD

 

Meet the Blacks, DVD Review, by Kam Williams, Anything for a laugh, The Purge
Disappointing Spoof of The Purge Arrives on DVD

After coming into a small fortune under suspicious circumstances, Carl Smith (Mike Epps) decides to move his family from the ghetto in Chicago to Blanco Cielo, an exclusive development in Beverly Hills. Accompanying him on the cross-country trip are his wife Lorena (Zulay Henao), dating-age daughter Allie (Bresha Webb), and adolescent son Carl, Jr. (Alex Henderson).

Upon their arrival, Carl proceeds to offend everyone he encounters, starting with the gated community’s security guard whom he calls too dark-skinned to profile another black person. Despite the fact that the African immigrant is merely attempting to do his job, he is also accused of having the Ebola virus.

Next, when Lorena hires an Asian manicurist (Kathrien Ahn), Carl asks her to give him “some Chinese head.” Charming. And during a get acquainted stroll around the neighborhood, he manages to antagonize assorted neighbors, too.

More importantly, however, he also learns that “The Purge” is set to start at 7 pm. If you are familiar with the horror flick of the same name, then you know that means that all crimes will be legal during the impending 12-hour period, even murder.

What ensues is a  politically-incorrect parody closely patterned on the original. For instance, Allie’s boyfriend (Andrew Bachelor) shows up unannounced, and Carl, Jr. proves to be a technical whiz with a robot and a drone at his disposal, just like their counterparts in The Purge.

After sundown, a number of adversaries descend on the estate, one-by-one, each with evil intentions, including a Ku Klux Klansman (Michael Caradonna), a repo man (DeRay Davis), a revenge-minded parolee (Charlie Murphy), Carl’s ex-wife Shoranda (Tameka “Tiny” Cottle) and his crazy cousin Cronut (Lil Duval). Unfortunately, co-writer/director Deon Taylor decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator repeatedly during this unfunny, demeaning throwback reminiscent of Amos ‘n’ Andy.

Anything for a laugh, regardless of how self-hating or hurtful the joke might be. An expletive and N-word laced descent into modern minstrelsy.

Poor (0 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, violence, ethnic slurs, drug use and pervasive profanity

Running time: 94 minutes

Studio: Hidden Empire Film Group

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Blu-Ray Extras: Outtakes; “The Making of Meet the Blacks” featurette; “hit the Gas” music video; Behind the Scenes of “Hit the Gas”;.and “Don’t Hate Wiring!” parody commercial.   

To order a copy of Meet the Blacks on Blu-Ray, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01H1WK2D4/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

Disappointing Spoof of The Purge Arrives on DVD

 

Meet the Blacks, DVD Review, by Kam Williams, Anything for a laugh, The PurgeMeet the Blacks

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Disappointing Spoof of The Purge Arrives on DVD

After coming into a small fortune under suspicious circumstances, Carl Smith (Mike Epps) decides to move his family from the ghetto in Chicago to Blanco Cielo, an exclusive development in Beverly Hills. Accompanying him on the cross-country trip are his wife Lorena (Zulay Henao), dating-age daughter Allie (Bresha Webb), and adolescent son Carl, Jr. (Alex Henderson).

Upon their arrival, Carl proceeds to offend everyone he encounters, starting with the gated community’s security guard whom he calls too dark-skinned to profile another black person. Despite the fact that the African immigrant is merely attempting to do his job, he is also accused of having the Ebola virus.

Next, when Lorena hires an Asian manicurist (Kathrien Ahn), Carl asks her to give him “some Chinese head.” Charming. And during a get acquainted stroll around the neighborhood, he manages to antagonize assorted neighbors, too.

More importantly, however, he also learns that “The Purge” is set to start at 7 pm. If you are familiar with the horror flick of the same name, then you know that means that all crimes will be legal during the impending 12-hour period, even murder.

What ensues is a  politically-incorrect parody closely patterned on the original. For instance, Allie’s boyfriend (Andrew Bachelor) shows up unannounced, and Carl, Jr. proves to be a technical whiz with a robot and a drone at his disposal, just like their counterparts in The Purge.

After sundown, a number of adversaries descend on the estate, one-by-one, each with evil intentions, including a Ku Klux Klansman (Michael Caradonna), a repo man (DeRay Davis), a revenge-minded parolee (Charlie Murphy), Carl’s ex-wife Shoranda (Tameka “Tiny” Cottle) and his crazy cousin Cronut (Lil Duval). Unfortunately, co-writer/director Deon Taylor decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator repeatedly during this unfunny, demeaning throwback reminiscent of Amos ‘n’ Andy.

Anything for a laugh, regardless of how self-hating or hurtful the joke might be. An expletive and N-word laced descent into modern minstrelsy.

Poor (0 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, violence, ethnic slurs, drug use and pervasive profanity

Running time: 94 minutes

Studio: Hidden Empire Film Group

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Blu-Ray Extras: Outtakes; “The Making of Meet the Blacks” featurette; “hit the Gas” music video; Behind the Scenes of “Hit the Gas”;.and “Don’t Hate Wiring!” parody commercial.   

To order a copy of Meet the Blacks on Blu-Ray, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01H1WK2D4/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

CELEBRITY JOURNALIST PENS NEW MURDER MYSTERY

 

Flo Anthony, celebrity journalist, murder mysteryCELEBRITY JOURNALIST PENS NEW MURDER MYSTERY “ONE LAST DEADLY PLAY”

     “In her second novel, Flo Anthony perfectly captures the scene from New York to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami, as Valerie and Rome come up against murder, kidnapping plots and enough family intrigue to make the Lyons from “Empire” seem more like pussy cats than kings of the jungle.”
Required Reading by Billy Heller
The New York Post

    Almost two years have passed since the discovery of retired baseball player Royale Jones’ real identity; Rolondo Jemison. Valerie Rollins, famous Gossip Columnist, never revealed her intimate past with the true Wildcat player. While she and her crime-solving partner Rome Nyland were behind the uncovering of this imposter, one infamous question lingered on: what happened to the real Royale? As if the heavens themselves intervened, a peculiar stranger who has been living in isolation, tucked away in the Bahamas, suddenly awakens from his amnesia.
     Five years of memorylessness evaporates upon seeing a photo of Rolondo and Valerie’s name in a newspaper article. Valerie returns to the Big Apple, with intentions of aiding her fiance, Victor Dumas. Upon discovering the murder of her staff, her home invaded and Rome’s fiancee missing, the worst has yet to come. Her fiance’s son, Vance, discovers his wife has left him, only to secretly join forces against the Dumas family with Rolondo and Victor’s worst enemy: Sincere. In a plot to kidnap Vance’s daughter in ransom for billions and kill Victor and Valerie, the dastardly trio is also after a trunk stored in an obscure, Underground Railroad location. Follow  these eclectic lives as they navigate the streets of NYC and the glittering Hamptons, all the while making new love connections and rekindling old, dodging bullets and death, but more importantly, Valerie and Rome are once again trying to keep the bad guys from making One Last Deadly Play.
  
     About Flo Anthony

        A veteran celebrity journalist, Flo Anthony currently hosts a daily syndicated radio show “Gossip On The Go With Flo Anthony, celebrity journalist, murder mysteryFlo” syndicated by Superadio. In addition, she is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Blacknoir.nyc, and a contributor to the New York Daily News’ Confidential column. Flo also writes a weekly syndicated column “Go With The Flo” which appears in several publications including the New York Amsterdam News and Philadelphia Sunday Sun. Flo has been seen on countless television shows including Geraldo, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, TV One’s Life After, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, HLN and E! Entertainment TV!

For further information contact Flo Anthony at 917-439-3382.

To order a copy of ONE LAST DEADLY PLAY, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1936649055/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Noam Chomsky Issues Urgent Appeal on Behalf of Rapidly-Disappearing Middle-Class

 

Noam Chomsky, the Establishment, Requiem for the American Dream, Machiavellian manipulations, elimination of class mobility, DVD Review by Kam WilliamsRequiem for the American Dream

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Noam Chomsky Issues Urgent Appeal on Behalf of Rapidly-Disappearing Middle-Class

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky has been an outspoken critic of the Establishment ever since opposing the Vietnam War way back in the Sixties. At 87, the controversial firebrand is now decrying the incredible gulf between the filthy rich and the rest of us.

He is the subject of Requiem for the American Dream, a cautionary documentary delineating the consequences lying in wait for a nation where wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1/10th of 1% at the expense of the rapidly-disappearing middle-class. Co-directed by Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott, the movie was culled from interviews conducted with Chomsky over the past four years.

Nevertheless, the talented trio managed to edit the footage into a very engaging and enlightening monologue bemoaning the current state of the union. The upshot is a fascinating film featuring a “less-is-more” format reminiscent of the one employed by Errol Morris in his Oscar-winning Fog of War (2003).

The picture basically consists of close-ups of Chomsky shot against a black backdrop as he talks about the Machiavellian manipulations employed by the power elite. It also intermittently interweaves illustrative file footage of suffering and decadence into the production to help drive home the aging grass roots activist’s salient points.

Chomsky begins by waxing romantic about the Golden Age of the Fifties and Sixties when the American Dream was still within the grasp of the Average Joe. He says that was the period when the U.S. populace benefited the most from the host of domestic programs implemented by President Roosevelt. However, the affluent have always hated the New Deal, especially Social Security and the Glass-Steagall Act, which explains why they have repeatedly attempted to repeal those measures.

Chomsky states that, in addition, the privileged have deliberately crippled our democracy to such a degree that public opinion no longer has any influence on politicians. Just consider how it has been impossible to get Congress to pass a bill making it harder for the mentally ill to purchase a gun, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of voters support the common sense idea. 

   Overall, what we have here is vintage Chomsky issuing a rabble-rousing, rallying cry intended to rouse the masses before it’s too late. America redefined as a civilization in sharp decline and on the verge of collapse because of the very greedy’s systematic elimination of class mobility from the society. 

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated .

Running time: 73 minutes

Studio: PF Pictures

Distributor: FilmRise

DVD Extras: Theatrical trailer.

   

To order a copy of Requiem for the American Dream on DVD, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Requiem-American-Dream-Noam-Chomsky/dp/B01BT1VXAY?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&tag=thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News