Posts Tagged ‘Nate Parker’

Random Friday Thoughts — May 26, 2017

Although I’ve written blogs lately about my mood change, what I loved about the Quad Cities, and about my new city, Panama City, Florida, it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Random Friday Thoughts”.

So, here’s a short one.

GETTING SETTLED IN

My apartment is almost set up.  I still need to get a few pieces to finish the decorating process.  My living room and dining room are so awkwardly set-up that nothing really fits and that’s giving me fits!

As of now, my favorite room is the balcony, which has a small dining table and three chairs with several plants and trees.

WORK

While I miss my Quad Cities work wife, Emily Scarlett, immensely, I know she’s doing well in Columbia, South Carolina.  I hope her new work family is welcoming her as nicely as my new work family in Panama City is me.

I’m still “officially” training on the more advanced weather system, but I have filled in four times since Friday on the evening shift.

I’ll start mornings on Monday, June 12th.  I can’t wait.  You know I like my routine and, so far, nothing has been routine.

PANAMA CITY 

This weekend marks my third weekend in Panama City and I still haven’t seen the Beaches, although I’ve seen “Beaches” with Bette Midler. 🙂  I have no desire to see the remake.

I want to be settled in at work and have my place all set up before I head out to Panama City Beach.

I hope to make great strides toward finishing the decorating of the apartment this weekend since I’m finishing up twelve straight work days.

I plan on going to the Farmer’s Market, maybe a couple of yard sales, and out to eat this weekend.  I promised myself I’d go out to eat once a week when I moved here and my first time was at Chow Time Buffet.

December 10

It was amazing and it may give Osaka Buffet back in Moline, Illinois, a run for its money! When my sister, Tammy, and Gerald visit in October, we’re definitely hitting it again.

This weekend, I’m trying to decide between Mexican or pizza?

“WHY HIM?”

I love James Franco.  I think he’s funny, sexy, and a great actor in dramatic roles, too (“Milk” and “127 Hours”).

james franco image

I wasn’t sure what to expect with “Why Him?”  Was it going to be hilarious like “This Is The End” or just okay with some funny parts like “The Interview”.

It’s definitely the former.  I was laughing several times.  Prepare yourself for a very hard-R movie.  That “R” could be for “raunchy” alone!

Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace) star as parents meeting their daughter’s older boyfriend for the first time.

He’s not exactly what they were expecting for their daughter, but then again just the way they found out about him should have been a big clue.

Keegan-Michael Key is very was funny, too, as Franco’s assistant.  And, the younger actors (Zoey Deutch and Griffin Gluck) were great, too.

Funny and raunchy — a great movie for escapism.

WARNING:  This is the “red band” trailer, which means it contains very strong language and sexual themes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GRADE:  A-

“THE BIRTH OF A NATION”

This was a very hard movie to watch, but a great one.

Any movie about this country’s ignorance over slavery and racism done without sugar-coating the issue is hard to watch.

This movie was the one that was expected to dominate this past Oscar race and wipe away “Oscars So White”.

However, when director, star, and co-writer Nate Parker’s past come up, the movie became too hot to handle and it bombed.

In case you don’t know the story, in 1999, Parker and the movie’s co-writer, Jean McGianni Celestin, were accused of raping a woman while in college in Pennsylvania. Both men claim the sex was consensual and no charges were brought again Parker and the ones against McGianni Celestin eventually were dropped.  The woman ended up committing suicide in 2012.

It also stars Aja Naomi King (“How to Get Away with Murder”) and Armie Hammer.

GRADE:  B+

CHRISTMAS IS GETTING CLOSER 🙂

Okay, it’s not even officially summer yet, but Christmas is now just seven months away!

This year will be interesting because I won’t be decorating my house like I usually do and I won’t likely have snow.  I can almost say with certainty that I won’t have snow. 🙂

December 10

I’ll just have a Christmas tree and decorations around the apartment and some fun festive lights on the balcony!

I think it’s too soon for me to be one of those people that decorate a palm tree — maybe next Christmas!

P.S.  “Why Him?” could count as a Christmas movie! 🙂

“WISH ME AWAY”

Country music star Chely Wright stopped hiding a few years ago when she made a big revelation.

Chely NOH8

It changed the way people saw her and this incredible, heartbreaking documentary shows us what led up to that.

I read Chely’s autobiography, “Like Me”, three years ago and this documentary was a great supplement to that.

GRADE:  A

Earlier this week, I  shared a blog I wrote about Chely’s book, “Like Me”.  I’ll share the link again here if you haven’t had a chance to read it.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/chely-wright-knows-that-god-loves-her/

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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Movies For A Rainy Day

Unseasonably cool weather has taken over the Midwest the last few days and with rain Friday night and for much of Saturday, here are a few movies suggestions if you’re in the mood to rent movies and just listen to the falling rain.

“THE IMITATION GAME”

“The Imitation Game” was a fantastic lesson of one of the true heroes of World War 2 that few know.

It’s tragic how pathetic British laws were back in the 1950s persecuting people for just being themselves. Benedict Cumberbatch was very touching as a tormented genius that helped to bring the Germans down.

While definitely an Oscar worthy performance from Cumberbatch because I couldn’t take my eyes off him, I still think that Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything” deserved the Best Actor Oscar and I’ve seen 4-of-the-5 performances.

GRADE: A

“THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING”

Speaking of the Oscars and Eddie Redmayne, I’ve seen four of the five Best Actor nominees from last year.

Without seeing Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper” and as much as I love Cumberbatch, Eddie deserved his Oscars hands down playing ALS-stricken theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Eddie was so believable as Hawking as he met the love of his life that would become his wife and then find out that the debilitating disease would, in just years, take his life.

The most heartbreaking scene in the movie for me was a dinner scene with Hawking, his wife, and close friends, but I won’t spoil it for you by describing it.

Redmayne succeeds and Hawking was a winner in real life.

GRADE:  A-

“BEYOND THE LIGHTS”

When this musical drama came out in theaters late last year, I didn’t have any desire to movie house prices to see it.  I guess America didn’t either.  The $7 million dollar movie earned only $14.6 million at the box office.

However, I definitely wanted to see it on DVD and what a pleasurable movie it is.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who earned rave reviews in the 2013 period piece, “Belle”, was excellent as pop star Noni Jean, who just won a Billboard Music Award and is getting ready to release her debut album.

But, an incident on a hotel balcony railroads her path to success.

“Beyond The Lights” has great music, a good storyline, a hot love interest played by hunky Nate Parker, and an incredible performance by Minnie Driver as an obsessive stage mom.

If you’re like me, it’ll be hard to watch some of the movie and not see Rihanna (and Chris Brown).

GRADE:  B

“MAPS TO THE STARS”

2014 was a great year for Julianne Moore.

She won rave reviews, her first Oscar, and a Golden Globes award for “Still Alice”.  She also won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for another Golden Globes award for “Maps To The Stars”.

In this satirical drama (although Moore was nominated in the “comedy” category for the Golden Globes) from acclaimed director David Cronenberg, Moore plays an aging actress, who’s trying to win the dream role of playing her late mother (a famous actress) in a movie remake.

Needless to say, Moore’s Havana Segrand is messed up and out of touch with real life.  I’m not saying all in Hollywood are. 🙂

But, she’s calm and collected compared to Agatha Weiss, played with perfection by Mia Wasikowska (who also played Moore’s daughter in 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right”).  She has many issues, as does most everyone in this movie.

“Maps To The Stars” is a very strange, but riveting movie.

GRADE:  B

“A MOST VIOLENT YEAR”

New Year’s Eve may not be the best time to release a movie if you want people to see it.

This drama takes place in early 1981 New York City during a very violent period when several oil trucks were being hijacked.

Oscar Isaac, who was amazing in the much better “Inside Llewyn Davis” that I wrote about earlier this year, is the owner of Standard Oil, an up and coming oil company.  Several of his trucks are taken and one of his drivers is almost beaten to death.

The movie follows his quest to find out who’s behind the violence.  At the same time, he’s being investigated for price-fixing, tax evasion, and other charges by the city’s assistant district attorney.

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globes winner Jessica Chastain, played his powerful, domineering, and heartless wife, Anna, the daughter of a mob boss.  She’s incredible and needed to be in the movie more.

GRADE:  B-

“INTO THE WOODS”

My 13-year-old daughter has seen this Disney musical, from the man who brought us the Oscar-winning 2002 musical, “Chicago”, several times and she loves it.

I, on the other hand, did not care for it.

It was too long and tried to serve too many children’s stories without much cohesiveness.

When Meryl Streep was on-screen as “The Witch”, the movie soared.

But, I don’t know everything.  The $50 million production has now grossed more than $204 million worldwide.

GRADE:  C

“NIGHTCRAWLER”

I was excited to see “Nightcrawler” with Jake Gyllenhaal, but I had to suspend belief while watching it since I’m in the news business.

A casual viewer would rate the movie higher.

However, I know it’s IMPOSSIBLE to just walk into the news studio of the #2 market in the country saying you have video and seeing the news director working with the editor on how to put a story together.

The movie paints the news business as very unscrupulous (and some stations and networks are, hi Fox News!).

Gyllenhaal is so creepy in the movie, it could have been called “NightCreeper” or “CreepyCrawler”.

GRADE: C- (to a non-news person: C+)

“RABBIT HOLE”

Here’s a fantastic flashback if you can find it.  It only took me more than four years to finally see it.

This little seen 2010 movie directed by the incredible John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Shortbus”) stars Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, and a younger Miles Teller (“Whiplash”).

The drama follows the lives of husband and wife, Howie and Becca (Eckhart and Kidman) after their 4-year-old son was struck and killed by a car when he ran out into the street chasing their dog.

Kidman earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her sad and incredible performance.

Not a happy movie, but very powerful.

GRADE:  B+

Enjoy your weekend!

Anthony