This past week I was lucky enough to host the inaugural Women Sports Film Festival in Oakland at The New Parkway theater. It was an incredibly fun vibe and I had the pleasure of introducing and moderating the post-screening Q&A sessions for 2 of the films.
The festival’s mission is this:
Using the power of documentary film we celebrate female athletes and the filmmakers who bring their stories to the screen.
Kudos to the women who put this event together and I can only see much more success in their future, now that they’ve tapped into a genre and market that’s shine is long overdue.
The opening night documentary was “TRex: Her Fight for Gold,” the story of Flint, Michigan’s Claressa Shields and her journey to an Olympic Gold medal in London 2012. She is now seeking to defend her gold in Rio. It will premiere on PBS, Tuesday, August 2, 2016 s part of the Independent Lens series by ITVS.
The other documentary screening I hosted was “Althea,” about tennis champion Althea Gibson. She was the first African-American to play at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. Both of these documentaries are well worth the watch!
The Muppets are back with a new movie opening this Friday, March 21st… it’s Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted!” I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with a small group of people and do a roundtable interview with Kermit for my Mommy Blog, 53 Weeks. Well, I think doing the interview made me a bit nostalgic because I found myself thinking back and reminiscing on not only one of my first Muppet memories, but also one of my first recollections of watching a movie in a movie theater!
My Mom took me to see “The Great Muppet Caper.” I still remember arriving to the theater a little late, because it was dark when we were walking in and I think the opening had just come on — I definitely don’t recall so many previews back then as there are now… but anyway, I love The Muppets. As a child, I even remember the “collector” glasses released with the movie at McDonald’s!!! Those were the days, I would watch “The Muppet Show” all the time and Miss Piggy was always the coolest!
To read about my interview with Kermit the Frog, visit 53 Weeks!!!
Fruitvale Station was a big winner at this year’s Sundance Festival and the movie is based on the real life story of Oscar Grant — whose life tragically ended at the hands of a BART police officer. His shooting death made headlines in the Bay Area and beyond…and now it’s headed for the big screen. The film’s first theatrical trailer has just been released and I personally can’t wait to see it… Fruitvale Station is also produced by the multi-talented Forest Whitaker. Uhm, did I mention my Raiderette sister Lucena also plays the role of “Rose” in the film. Press play to watch the trailer below…
New movie “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” opens up in theaters, Friday, May 18…but I got a sneak peek last night! Overall the film is really well done…it explores the myths, fears, trials and tribulations of going through the motions when trying to conceive and then getting pregnant. Since the movie features a star-studded ensemble cast with Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Elizabeth Banks, Dennis Quaid, etc… the film offers several story lines, exploring an array of scenarios and situations which goes to show there are MANY ways to be “expecting!” I really enjoyed that the movie wasn’t overdone and stayed true to form, I didn’t feel like the characters were forced to be tied to each other, nor was it overkill…I thought it was the perfect mix of giving insight into each couple’s perspective. Although the movie is a comedy, it has some serious moments, where I almost shed a tear…but maybe that’s because my emotions are at an all-time high since I AM EXPECTING too!! 😉
Yep, that’s me at 30 weeks (currently I have 7 to go)…but getting back to the movie…the first “baby item” I picked up when I got the good news, was the best-selling book the movie is based on, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” And — since I am literally living the experience myself, it was only right I screened the film to put in my 2 cents. I felt I most related to the situation played out by Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison’s characters, and it was fun to relate and see the role reversal of what me and T are pretty much going through as we countdown to our baby’s arrival. It’s kinda validation that I’m not acting CRAZY (at times) and he’s just doing what expecting Dad’s do too!! All the “weird stuff” is perfectly NORMAL.
Now another fun surprise in the movie was a cameo appearance by none other than the Miami HEAT’s Dwyane Wade! He plays himself as a contestant on a dance show…watch him talk about that On The Flipside
All in all, the movie is a great time, with a fun cast and whether you are expecting, already been there done that or are looking forward to the experience at some point in your lifetime, it’s got something for everyone and worth watching!!
Another episode of On The Flipside is here!! For this edition I used the Pro Football Cheerleader Alumni Reunion in Vegas as the backdrop and filled it with lots of fun! 🙂
On this show we’ve got Dwyane Wade at a charity basketball event in Beijing, China, interviews with Brad Pitt for his new baseball flick, Moneyball, a flashback with the SF 49ers on their first Super Bowl win and a SEXY look at the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders and their calendar reveal event! Go now >> http://ontheflipsidetv.com
So, I’m a little late on my “preview/review” of The Devil’s Double, since it’s out already and I watched it before it officially hit theaters, and well, I’m only getting around to it now. Don’t you love how the movie poster photo sort of depicts him as one of those metallic street performers you see acting all robotic for tips!
The film follows the true story of Latif Yahia, a man forced to be Saddam’s son Uday Hussein’s body double — which, unless you wanted to be in that circle, kinda sucks…and Latif pretty much had NO CHOICE but to do what they wanted. Overall, the movie was very interesting, insightful and gave me another perspective into that world. However, it was slow and didn’t ever really feel like there was a “high point” to the movie, sure there was action and drama, but it sort of fell flat…and this chick who played one of Uday’s many “lady friends” seriously annoyed me…LOL I kept thinking why does she make those expressions and talk like that?? haha! So, it was worth it to watch, but really my interest had been peeked when I watched the remix trailer my buddy Mike Relm did for Lionsgate… peep it below!
Last night I caught a promo screening for the new Warner Bros. movie “Sucker Punch” … Honestly, I went into this having skimmed through a trailer and not really being clear what it was about, but it looked like it might be cool. Well, I think the best way to sum it up is that I still don’t get where the title comes from and I feel like the recipient of a “Sucker Punch” after having sat through this mess of a movie for 2 hours! I’m no geek, gamer or comic book freak…is that the audience this is supposed to appeal to???
Let’s look at the ‘bright’ side. Directed by Zack Snyder of “300, ” (which I love), the film shows off a lot of the same great viewpoints, cinematography and awesome post production, special effects and visuals. The female cast is no doubt attractive and make for an alluring clique of ladies – I noticed Vanessa Hudgens and a former MTV Real World-er in the mix. Now before I state what didn’t work for me….this film fits into an epic action fantasy category, and the fantasy was a bit TOO “fantastic” for me. Basically the girls in the film are banished from their families or what not, to work in a brothel-type institution as dancers who entertain male clientele. The movie’s main character, Baby, has a unique, captivating style of dance, that whenever she goes into her “routine” it doubles as these fantasy action sequences where her crew becomes these bad-ass type action chicks who work are fearless when it comes to fighting and shooting. Okay, so that’s cool if you’re into that type of thing…girls and guns…but the whole dance tie-in doesn’t work for me, nor does the cheesy “Sailor Moon” outfit she sports throughout! lol The gals do always have flawless makeup and lashes on though..but overall, thumbs WAAAAY down. The story is just way too jumpy and forced, chemistry among the actors is awkward and the entire premise is too silly for me. Hmmm..maybe that’s why it’s “fantasy!” I’d classify the whole thing as weird, my advice… save your eyes and 2 hours of your life…go out to eat instead!
They’re billing this film as “The Bourne Identity” meets “Taken” … and you know what? It really is! For lack of better words, I REALLY LIKED THIS MOVIE! I always love when a plot is believable, something that could possibly happen in real life, not matter how crazy and twisted it may be. The movie has a very intense car chase where I felt myself holding my breath and the fight scenes and other action sequences were perfectly shot, not too overdone or over the top! Liam Neeson is so perfect for these types of roles because he has that air about him of being smart, quick-witted and an in-control demeanor. The storyline is basically, he’s in love with his wife and they take a trip to Berlin for him to speak at a conference, but through a sequence of mishaps, he ends up in the hospital and starts to question who he really is, because what he thinks is his reality…really isn’t! All I know is, if that ish happened to me, I would’ve been freaked out…no passport, foreign country/language, sketchy memory…I wouldn’t know what to do. See, ya always got to keep an I.D. on you, because you just never know what could and will happen and you don’t want to en up being “UNKNOWN!” Go to the theater and watch it now…it’s Aubrey approved.