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Archive for March, 2009

Halle Berry on Ellen

Now this is why I love watching Ellen. Only she can make her guests do stuff like this:

Note to all straight guys out there: after watching this video, I reached the conclusion that it is not possible to not look gay while doing the Halle Berry dance. Please don’t try this in the club unless you want to look like the young men in this video.

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For various reasons, such as the sheer need for money/work, or because they’ve fallen off and need some quick exposure, many artists end up taking gigs that fall way below their skill level. A few examples:

Angela Bassett’s role in “Meet The Browns.” She’s too good for this, I thought as she feigned interest in Rick Fox, who delivered all his lines with as much believability as he could muster up. (Who keeps hiring him for acting roles?)

After sitting through an hour and 40 minutes of this horribly written movie, I felt for Angela. And vowed a personal boycott of any future Tyler Perry films.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie for recording songs with Akon. The songs aren’t that bad, but still. I know it’s been awhile since he had a big hit, but Lionel can still do better. And Akon has no business anywhere near a recording studio with Michael Jackson.

(more…)

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Recently, CNN gathered a group of unemployed Americans to review President Obama’s last news conference.  The women in the group wanted more straight talk, while the guys for the most part wanted Obama to give more inspiration.

Especially Dustin D’Addato, a former Web site producer (not the guy in the photo.)

“He needed to inspire,” D’Addato said. “He went on hope and change. Give me some of that hope… Sell me some hope!”

Yeah, Obama ran on hope and change, but he’s a politician! That’s what they do: create slogans and catch phrases. He’s not your preacher or motivational speaker.

D’Addato’s sentiments echo comments made by former President Bill Clinton in a February interview when he said Obama needs to put a more positive demeanor on when speaking about the economy.

The constant doom and gloom of news coverage these days is a bit much. But isn’t it still better to know the foundation of your house is crumbling, than have someone smile in your face every day and tell you the house is in tip-top shape?

Bush didn’t even acknowledge the economy was worsening until late 2008. And even in September, he still said the economy was “basically … sound.”

Obama may not have caused the economic mess, but the responsibility of improving it for the most part falls on his shoulders. That’s a lot of pressure, and if he can’t be jolly every single day of his presidency, I’m OK with that.

Too often, American society just wants things to look good. It doesn’t matter if the apple is rotting in the inside; just tell us that it’s fine to eat! Feed us the good image. If the economy is going down the tubes, just tell us it’s OK and we’ll buy it.

Even if Obama doesn’t have all the answers, or his solutions don’t immediately solve the economy, I’d rather he not put on an act to pacify the members of the public who think that his level of hopefulness is not up their standard.

Question: Are you tired of people complaining that Obama’s tone isn’t hopeful enough, or do you agree, and think he needs to be more inspiring when he talks to the American public?

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Sidenote: The Black Snob let me post one of my pieces this week on her site while she’s on blogcation. And Average Bro is letting me write for his site too. Double yay! I’m so excited.I was going to post about the G20 Summit today, but after watching the news, and doing some reading online, there was just too much for me to absorb, so I won’t comment on it yet. What I got so far is Obama and Michelle looked nice as they departed for Europe:
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

And French President Nicolas Sarkozy is threatening a walkout of the conference if the nation’s demands for stricter financial rules are not put into place. They’re always protesting something in the UK and France.

Go here for more in-depth coverage. BBC is really good at covering world events and providing background facts.

So, while I was reading about the economic summit, one of my friends asked me if a text message they received was just wrong. A person he talks to from time to time (but is not a close friend or family), sent him a text for a pretty big favor. Something that would probably be better asked in a phone call, not a text message. For example, if you need a kidney from a distant friend, that might just be the time to pick up the phone, not send an e-mail. (more…)

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Note: This is the first of a series of guest posts on WLLC from J school friends/fellow alumni.

Review by: B-Rand

I love movies, TV and music. And I love random, old, and sometimes obscure movies, TV shows and music. I also love writing, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested I find something about which to write –and do it on a regular basis — that I decided to write about all of my aforementioned pleasures. With my Closer Look segments, I want to shed light on forms of entertainment I think are undervalued, have been unnoticed, or are worth a view just so people can judge it for themselves.

After HBO’s “The Wire” ended, the network has been missing their token critically acclaimed show starring 90 percent or more black people. In my opinion, “The Corner,” “Oz,” and “The Wire” were no mere place holders. From what I’ve seen and read, those shows were great, providing smart, insightful entertainment all the while providing work for hosts of minority actors. But when I saw Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose in advertisements for “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” I had mixed emotions.

On one hand, we had an abundance of dark skin and natural hair back on HBO, a network renowned for its high-caliber productions. On the other hand, there was forced acting and even more forced African accents (nawt the duddee = not the daddy). There were perfect-pitch notes: the show was actually filmed in Botswana. And notes that fell flat: a song by The Cardigans playing throughout the commercials. Imagine listening to “Love Fool” while watching the trailer for” Amistad.”

But knowing how misleading commercials can be, I turned to Channel 14 Sunday night to judge the show for myself. “The accents won’t be that hard on my ears once I see the whole show,” I told myself. “Playing The Cardigans during commercial for a show about Africans in Africa is just a way to rope in more white viewers. The show will be good.”

But it wasn’t good. It wasn’t even average. There weren’t many things wrong with the show, but the things that were wrong were massive. I’m not that cunning of a linguist, but I know those accents can’t be accurate. Anywhere close to accurate. Jill and Anika’s accents sounded so forced that I thought they watched Halle Berry in “X-men” and elaborated on her shaky Kenyan accent. And the accents weren’t the only things that were held at gunpoint. Anika’s acting was so over the top. It was like an African-themed drag queen contestant on a new RuPaul show.

But my biggest issue regarding the No. 1 Ladies is that is boring. Very, utterly, painfully boring. I respect anyone who takes on a task as arduous as adaptive screenplay writing, but the premiere episode could have been cut by 45 minutes and it would have been a much better show. I don’t believe in rushing things just to satisfy short attention spans, but I also don’t believe in drawing out an episode to approximately one hour and 45 minutes.

Did I like the show? Not really. Should you watch the show? Yes, just to make up your own mind. But I will tell you now, if you were looking for the next great HBO minority-driven show, this is not it. This show and these ladies are not my No. 1.

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As if VH1 giving Ray J his own reality show for no reason at all wasn’t enough, now he has an accompanying music video. The song lyrics are extra corny (especially the rap part), and the video isn’t much better. It plays like a satire, but unfortunately Ray J’s serious with this. It’s called “Sexy Ladies,” but there is nothing sexy in here at all. This would usually qualify VH1 or Ray J for the Do Better category, but because this is usually the type of foolishness you get with Ray J, what’s the point?

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