Mamoudou’s Breakthrough Role!


Mamoudou Athie,   The “Patti Cake$” Interview, Kam Williams, Me & Mean Margaret, The CircleMamoudou Athie

The “Patti Cake$” Interview

with Kam Williams

Mamoudou’s Breakthrough Role!

Mamoudou Athie is set to play opposite Brie Larson in her directorial debut, Unicorn Store. He also can be seen in the recurring role of Grandmaster Flash in “The Get Down,” a Netflix series created by Baz Luhrmann.

Mamoudou recently starred opposite Stockard Channing in “Me & Mean Margaret,” a  pilot for an NBC sitcom. On the big screen, he appeared alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in The Circle, a suspense thriller based on Dave Eggers’ novel of the same name.

Mamoudou received critical acclaim for his stage debut at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater opposite Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub in The Mystery of Love and Sex. Here, the graduate of the Yale School of Drama discusses his new film, Patti Cake$, an overcoming-the-odds saga revolving around a Rubenesque, white rapper’s (Danielle Macdonald) quest for superstardom.

Kam Williams: Hi Mamoudou, thanks for the interview.

Mamoudou Athie: Thank you, Kam.

KW: What interested you in Patti Cake$?

MA: In a nutshell, the script, the director and the character, particularly meeting Geremy [writer/director Geremy Jasper]. I had a sense he was going to make something special. I initially had reservations about my character, Basterd, but I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. And the script is one of a kind, yet also familiar in a personal way. Had me laughing aloud as well.

KW: How would you describe the film in 25 words or less?

MA: It’s a glorious underdog story with wit, charm, and verve about the illest rapper in Dirty Jerz [aka New Jersey], KIlla P [played by Danielle Macdonald] with no holds barred stunts, high octane high speed car chases, and superheroes galore. And we have 300 million Instagram and Twitter followers.

Mamoudou Athie,   The “Patti Cake$” Interview, Kam Williams, Me & Mean Margaret, The Circle

KW: How did you approach playing Basterd? Did you base him on anybody?

MA: Not on any one particular person. I took something of a dim sum approach to  him. He’s a mix of some people I grew up around, Geremy’s thoughts and influences, for sure, and Mickey Theis, a classmate of mine from YSD [Yale School of Drama]. He’s one of the most beautifully sensitive actors I’ve ever worked with.

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

MA: Go mother-[bleep]-ing hard!

KW: Were you surprised by the performance of your co-star, Danielle Madonald?

MA: Nah, I knew she’d totally slay it after I heard her first track. But when I heard that first track, yes — I was surprised. That was amazing!

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to? 

MA: May’ve been “Stunt Queen” by Bloc Party or Arcade Fire’s “Infinite Content.”

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

MA: I don’t know . It’s kind of a medley, but what sticks out the most is going to the park and zoo with my family and my holographic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TV. It was half an inch and actually for my action figures, but I loved it more.

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

MA: Sure!

KW: Who loved you unconditionally during your formative years?

MA: My family.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

MA: Eggs… I’m lazy..

KW: The Morris Chestnut question: Was there any particular moment in your childhood that inspired you to become the person you are today?

MA: Again, I’m not sure if there was one particular moment, but I’m almost positive my parents have never lied while I’ve been alive. So they certainly set the bar for morals. I’ve lied though. Sorry, Moppa.

KW: Sherry Gillam would like to know what is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far? 

MA: Hmm… I can’t say it’s THE most important as it’s hard to rate these things, but certainly being honest is a good way to sleep well at night. Learned that verrrrrry early. [Chuckles]

KW: What was your very first job?

MA: Cutting grass. I worked at the National Shrine in DC for a spell in 10th grade.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

MA: Depends on the day!


KW: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

MA: Sorry, I didn’t hear that question. Next!

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

MA: Instant worldwide utopia.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

MA: Excess napping and snacking. Shame.

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

MA: [LOL] No. That’s funny to imagine, though. I’m thinking of a person in an interview wondering, “I wish they’d ask me about this!” while quietly fuming internally.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?

MA: No! There are so many stories that have yet to be told. New content! Infinite content!

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

MA: The usual.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Mamoudou, and best of luck with Patti Cake$.

MA: Thank you so much, Kam.

Source:  Baret News


Top Ten DVD List for August 8, 2017


This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for August 8, 2017

DVD Releases, August 8, I Am Battle Comic, Kate & Mim-Mim: Super Kate, I Am the Blues, Kam Williams


I Am Battle Comic [Standup Comics Entertain Troops Overseas]

I Am the Blues [Blues Legends Retrospective]

Snatched [Mother-Daughter Vacation Nightmare]

Room on the Broom [Enchanting Children’s Tale about Witch’s Trip]

The Exception: The Kaiser’s Last Kiss [World War II Suspense Thriller]

Frontline: Bannon’s War [Trump Advisor Agenda Expose’]

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword [Visual F/X Variation on the Classic Tale]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid  The Long Haul [Family Road Trip from Hell]

The Dinner [Well-Connected Parents Conspire to Cover Up Kids’ Crime]

Kung Fu Yoga [Jackie Chan Slapstick Comedy]

Honorable Mention

Phoenix Forgotten [Fact-Based UFO Sighting Saga]

Kate & Mim-Mim: Super Kate [4 Fun-Filled Adventures in Mimiloo]



Source:  Baret News


Gunslinger Defends Planet from Extinction in Adaptation of Stephen King’s Sci-Fi Epic


The Dark Tower

Film Review by Kam Williams

Gunslinger Defends Planet from Extinction in Adaptation of Stephen King’s Sci-Fi Epic

Laurie Chambers (Katheryn Winnick) is understandably worried about her 11 year-old son’s recurrent nightmares. After all, Jake’s (Tom Taylor) becoming increasingly convinced of Earth’s imminent demise.

The Dark Tower,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Stephen King, Superheros, Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor,

So, she takes him to a shrink who misdiagnoses the visions as delusional and has the kid committed to a mental health facility. Truth be told, Jake is indeed psychic and has  accurately forecast an impending extinction level event.

The planet’s only hope of averting an apocalypse rests on the shoulders or, more precisely, on the trigger fingers of Roland Deschain (played by Idris Elba with that trademark gravitas). He’s the last in a long line of gunslingers from another dimension who’ve been locked in mortal conflict with forces led by Walter Padick (capably played by the terminally-suave Matthew McConaughey), an evil sorcerer on a quest for infinite power. World domination is attainable should he reach the Dark Tower, the nexus between time and space located in a parallel universe called End-World.

It’s not long before these mysterious figures from Jake’s dream begin to materialize on the streets of Manhattan. After Walter’s minions murder his mom, the boy is rescued by Roland. The two soon escape through a portal to Mid-World where the epic battle to preserve life as we know it is set to unfold.

The Dark Tower,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Stephen King, Superheros, Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor,

That is the engaging point of departure of The Dark Tower, an ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus of the same name. The sci-fi series was inspired by “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” a poem written by Robert Browning back in 1855. King also credits Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns, and the Legend of King Arthur as major influences.

The Dark Tower took a rather circuitous route to the big screen. The story was originally optioned by J.J. Abrams in 2007. Ron Howard subsequently acquired the rights in 2010. However, the picture was ultimately written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel, whose A Royal Affair was nominated in 2013 for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.

This movie marks the great Dane’s first foray into English , which helps explain why he sought help with the screenplay from a trio of scriptwriters, including Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman (for A Beautiful Mind). The final production’s pretty skittish, yet engaging enough to establish the franchise and leave you eagerly anticipating a sequel.

The best sci-fi Western since Cowboys & Aliens!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for action, gun violence and mature themes

Running time: 95 minutes

Production Studio: Sony / Media Rights Capital / Imagine Entertainment/ Weed Road

Distributor: Sony Pictures

Source:  Baret News


Top Ten DVD List for August 1, 2017


This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for August 1, 2017

Top Ten, DVD Releases, Going in Style, The Lovers, Kam Williams


Going in Style [Broke Geezers Pull Bank Heist]

The Lovers [Can This Marriage Be Saved Saga]

Sleight [Orphaned Street Magician Turns to Drug Dealing]

Colossal [Party Girl Miraculously Controls Monster Wrecking Korea]

Crashing [The Complete First Season]

Big Little Lies [An HBO Limited Series]

A Quiet Passion [Emily Dickinson Biopic]

Opening Night [Stage Manager Struggles to Save Broadway Musical]

The Legend of Ben Hall [Western about Outlaws on the Run]

Cop and a Half: New Recruit [Unlikely Police Partners Comedy]

Honorable Mention

Fortitude [Season 2]

The Ottoman Lieutenant [World War I Love Story]

The Circle [Corporate Ethics Thriller]


 Source:  Baret News


Top Ten DVD List for July 25, 2017


This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for July 25, 2017

DVD, Top Ten, This Week, Kam Williams, Girls: The Final Season, Black Butterfly


Girls: The Final Season [Lena Dunham & Company’s Swan Song]

Art and Heart [The World of Isaiah Sheffer]

The Final Master [Action-Packed Martial Arts Saga]

I, Olga Hepnarova [Bittersweet Biopic about Bullied Lesbian]

Weekend in Havana [Exploring Cuba’s Stories and Streets]

Black Butterfly [Multi-Layered Serial Killer Whodunit]

Ghost in the Shell [Special F/X-Driven Action Thriller]

Unforgettable [Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned]

Gifted [Child Prodigy Custody Battle]

Mickey and the Roadster Racers [Minnie’s Happy Helpers]


 Source:  Baret News


For movies opening July 21, 2017



Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening July 21, 2017


Big Budget Films, Independent & Foreign Films, Movies, Kam Williams


Dunkirk (PG-13 for intense battle scenes and some profanity) World War II saga recreating the evacuation of over 300,000 Allied soldiers from the shores of France after they were surrounded and on the verge of being slaughtered by the Nazi army. Ensemble cast includes Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan and One Direction’s Harry Styles. (In English, French and German with subtitles)

Girls Trip (R for pervasive profanity, crude humor, coarse dialogue, drug use and brief graphic nudity) Female empowerment dramedy revolving around four college classmates (Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish) who reunite for the first time in years  to attend the Essence Festival in New Orleans. With Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh and Mike Colter, with cameo appearances by Mike Epps, Common, Ne-Yo and Mariah Carey.      

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PG-13 for action, violence, suggestive material and brief profanity) Adaptation of Valerian and Laureline, a graphic novel set in the 28th Century chronicling the exploits of a couple of time-traveling government agents (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) assigned to neutralize a mysterious, dark force threatening a metropolis and the future of the universe. Supporting cast includes Rutger Hauer, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock, Clive Owen and Rihanna. 


The Fencer (Unrated) Golden Globe-nominated biopic, set behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, chronicling the life of legendary fencer-turned-political fugitive Endel Nelis (Mart Avandi) who risked his liberty by entering a children’s team in a national tournament being staged in Leningrad. With Kirill Karo, Lembit Ulfsak and Liisa Koppel. (In Estonian, Russian and Armenian with subtitles)

First Kill (R for profanity and violence) Action thriller about a successful Wall St. broker (Hayden Christiansen) who finds himself pressured to cooperate with the gang of bank robbers that took his young son (Ty Shelton) hostage for ransom. Supporting cast includes Bruce Willis, Gethin Anthony and Magi Avila.

Landline (R for sexuality, profanity and drug use) Skeleton-in-the-closet comedy, set in Manhattan in 1995, about a couple of sisters (Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn)  spying on the father (John Turturro) they suspect of cheating on their clueless mom (Edie Falco). With Jay Duplaa, Finn Wittrock and Ali Ahn.

The Midwife (Unrated) Bittersweet drama about the unlikely friendship which blossoms between a high-strung midwife (Catherine Frot) and her late father’s, free-spirited mistress (Catherine Deneuve). Featuring Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire and Mylene Demongeot. (In French with subtitles) 

The Pulitzer at 100 (Unrated) Writing retrospective reflecting upon the centennial celebration of America’s most prestigious literary award. Featuring commentary by prior winners Toni Morrison, Carl Bernstein and Thomas Friedman.

Romeo Is Bleeding (Unrated) Grassroots biopic about idealistic poet/activist Donte Clark’s effort to put an end an escalating, deadly turf war in his Richmond, California ghetto by inviting rival gangstas to participate in a production of Romeo and Juliet. 

Santoalla (Unrated) Missing persons documentary revolving around a grieving Dutch widow’s investigation into her husband’s mysterious disappearance a decade after they moved to a tiny Spanish village inhospitable to outsiders. (In English and Galician with subtitles)


Scales: Mermaids Are Real (PG for mild peril and mature themes) Coming-of-age fantasy about an 11 year-old girl (Emmy Perry) who, on the eve of her birthday, learns that she’s destined to morph into a mermaid when she turns 12. With Morgan Fairchild, Elisabeth Rohm, Nikki Hahn and Judy Tenuta. 

Who the [bleep] Is That Guy? (Unrated) Prestige biopic about Michael Alago, a gay Puerto Rican from Brooklyn who grew up to become a legendary A&R exec only to have his career wrecked by a combination of AIDS and substance abuse.


Source:  Baret News


Top Ten DVD List for July 18, 2017


This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for July 18, 2017 

Top Ten, DVD List, Kam Williams, This Week, movie releases, Kong: Skull Island


Kong: Skull Island [Riveting Reboot of Classic Franchise]

Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past [Swing Jazz Documentary]

With Great Power [The Stan Lee Story]

The Promise [WWI Epic about Ethnic Cleansing of Armenians]

The Penguin Counters [Antarctic Climate Change Documentary]

Frontline: Poverty, Politics and Profit [Housing Crisis Expose]

Buster’s Mal Heart [Fugitive on the Run Thriller]

Free Fire [All Guns/No control Action Thriller]

Nature’s Great Race [Odysseys of Migration]

Great Yellowstone Thaw [How Nature Survives]

Honorable Mention

Masterpiece Mystery: Grantchester [Season 3]

Shooter: Season One [Framed Vet Struggles to Clear His Name]

Do You Take This Man? [Gay-Themed Romance Drama]

Frontline: Second Chance Kids [Juveniles Serving Life Sentences]

Resident Evil: Vendetta [When Evil Seeks Vengeance]

Arthur: Brothers and Sisters [8 Stories about Siblings]


Source:  Baret News 


Top Ten DVD List for July 11, 2017


This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for July 11, 2017 

DVD Releases, Top Ten, This Week, Kam Williams, movies, The Fate of the Furious


The Fate of the Furious [8th Installment of High-Octane Franchise]

Songwriter [Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson]

Underground: Season Two [Underground Railroad Epic]

Diana: Queen of Hearts [Lady Diana Retrospective]

The Lost City of Z [Adaptation of Fact-Based Best Seller]

Rake: Series 2 [Law and Disorder]

Species [Collector’s Edition]

Masterpiece: Prime Suspect [Tennison]

Smurfs: The Lost Village [Adventure in the Forbidden Forest]

The Beast [Soviet Afghan War Saga]

Honorable Mention

Gardens of Stone [Vietnam War Classic Re-Release]

King Solomon’s Mines [Patrick Swayze Miniseries]

Dragon Wars: D-War [An Ancient Evil Awakens]

London Heist [Brit Revenge Thriller]

Spark: A Space Tail [Fearless Monkey Animated Adventure]

Caillou: Things That Go! [From Planes and Trains to Boats and Cars]

The Tunnel: Sabotage [Season 2]

Masterpiece: My Mother and Other Strangers [Irish Tale of Forbidden Love


 Source:  Baret News

Top Ten DVD List for July 4, 2017


This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for July 4, 2017 


Zookeeper's Wife, Top Ten, 4th of July, DVD List, Kam Williams


Homicide: Life on the Streets [The Complete Series]

Zookeeper’s Wife [Holocaust Heroine Biopic]

Vincent-N-Roxxy [Rebel Meets Drifter Road Thriller]

Bitcoin Heist [Crypto-Currency Crime Caper]

The Tonight Show [Featuring Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy]

Food: Delicious Science [Chemical Investigation of Our Diet]

Smithsonian: Mummies Alive [Autopsies of Ancient Civilizations]

The Evil in Us [Idyllic Island Vacation Ruined by Cannibals]

Song to Song [Love and Betrayal in Austin, Texas]

Frontline: The Fish on My Plate [Marine Life Sustainability]


 Source:  Baret News

Gil’s Goodwill!


Gil Robertson

The “Book of Black Heroes” Interview

with Kam Williams

Gil’s Goodwill!

For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, Billboard, Fortune, Essence and Ebony.

Gil is also the founder and creator of the nationally-syndicated Arts & Lifestyle column, The Robertson Treatment, which began a couple of decades ago with an interview with Samuel L. Jackson for EVE’S BAYOU. Today, The Robertson Treatment has a reach of nearly two million.

As an author, Gil has specialized in books that empower his readers, beginning first with the self-published “Writing as a Tool of Empowerment” (2003), a resource guide primarily aimed at young people interested in journalism. From there, he edited the groundbreaking 2006 anthology “Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community” where he gathered a diverse mix of voices that include Oscar-winner Mo’Nique, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, legendary singer Patti LaBelle and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, all addressing one of the most pressing public health and social challenges of our time.

His subsequent anthologies—”Family Affair: What It Means to Be African American Today” (2008) and “Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community” (2013)—ignited a national conversation about identity and love and relationships in the 21st Century. In addition, Robertson has been a regular contributor to The African American Almanac (Gale Press). Accolades for his work include “Pick of the Week” selection by Publisher’s Weekly for “Family Affair” and NAACP Image Award nominations for “Not in My Family” and “Family Affair”.

His latest  offering is “Book of Black Heroes: Political Leaders Past & Present” from Just Us Books. The opus represents a full-Gil Robertson, Book of Black Heroes, Interview, Kam Williams, writer/author,  political organizer, AAFCA co-foundercircle moment for Gil who began the first phase of his career in politics. This collection of biographies on game-changing elected political leaders like former President Barack Obama, pioneering Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, current U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and Reconstruction era governor Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchbank is intended to introduce young readers especially to not only dynamic personalities but to the concept of individual and political leadership.

Never one to sit on the sidelines of any pressing issue, in 2003, Gil rolled up his sleeves and got to work as the co-founder of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the largest collection of Black film critics in North America. As the organization’s president, he oversees the annual AAFCA Awards, which has become a recognized fixture of the Hollywood awards season. In addition to highlighting African-American achievement behind and in front of the camera, AAFCA works with the industry to usher in and support African-Americans in the Hollywood community, uniting consumers, creators and gatekeepers.

He also serves as a public ambassador for diversity within the industry, appearing on numerous shows on networks like CNN. With a B.A. in Political Science from Cal State Los Angeles, Gil is a professional member of the National Press Club, National Association of Black Journalists, The Recording Academy, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Motion Picture Association of America. And he lectures nationwide on issues ranging from diversity in the entertainment industry to personal and community development.

Kam Williams: Hi Gil, thanks for the interview.

Gil Robertson: Thanks, Kam. It’s always a pleasure speaking with you.

KW: What inspired you to write Book of Black Heroes?

GR: Following Obama’s election, I was astonished to discover how little most people knew about the contributions of African-Americans in politics. When most people think of blacks in U.S. politics, they usually fall back on the same group of leaders who came into prominence during the Civil Rights Movement. So, I wanted to do my part in expanding people’s level of awareness of black people who have been active participants in national politics since Reconstruction, and that their contributions continue to this day. Black political leaders make enormous contributions to the quality of our lives, and I simply wanted to provide readers with an introduction to who these people are and, as a by-product, stimulate aspirations among young people to consider a career path in political leadership.

KW: Who’s your intended audience?

GR: People who are curious about contributions that African-Americans have made to the political and social landscape in America. This book offers an amazing tapestry of leaders, both past and present, who have fascinating back stories, but who all stepped up to the challenges of leadership.

KW: What’s the appropriate age group for the book?

GR: The target age group for Book of Black Heroes are young adult readers in the 10 – 14 age group. But I believe it will have an appeal to all teen readers and even adults. Readers will discover political leaders that they’ve never heard of who are creating great opportunities both within black communities and beyond.

KW: How did you decide which icons to include?

GR: Well, that was a challenge. At the onset of the project, I was only going to write bios on individuals who were a part of the new wave of African-Americans in politics: people like Kasim Reed, Kamala Harris and Corey Booker. However, when I completed those bios, my publisher felt we should include leaders from the past as well to provide readers with the full scope of accomplishments that have been made by black elected officials.

KW: Did you include Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? I know that some people have complained that he doesn’t have an exhibit in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

GR: No Clarence Thomas, but not for the reasons you might think. The book only includes elected officials, and Justice Thomas was appointed to his seat on the Supreme Court.

KW: What message do you want children to take away from the book?

GR: I want them to understand that being a leader is something that is attainable. I hope the book provides readers with an appreciation for African-American political leaders and motivates them to do their part in harvesting their skill sets to improve the lives of others.

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

GR: The love and generosity of my parents.

KW: Who loved you unconditionally during your formative years?

GR: Throughout their lives, my parents loved me completely with no conditions.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

GR: The best advice that I can give others is to be truthful to themselves about their abilities and to also live their lives with purpose.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Gil, and best of luck with the book.

GR: My pleasure, Kam.

For more information about Gil Robertson, visit

To purchase a copy of “Book of Black Heroes,” visit:

Source:  Baret News