Review: The Dark Tower

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This will be short and sweet. I thought every component was in place for The Dark Tower (based upon a Stephen King novel; come on, how could anyone mess that up) to be an awesome film, but the director and the writers who adapted this screenplay, didn’t know how to pull the story together enough to make the film cohesive or compelling. I do feel that they need to make a sequel and get another director who has an eye and feel for this genre of film, or simply get Ron Howard to direct it instead of just being a producer. Ron Howard is an award-winning auteur; he is among the elite directors in the industry. With Howard, this film would have made better sense. In addition, for the love of all things suspenseful, hire different writers who know how to compose a strong story that will hold your attention and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The writers did a poor job of weaving all of the storylines together, which resulted in some left dangling or ended with cheap resolutions. Idris Elba was perfect as the Gunslinger. He had just enough of the right nuances to make a disillusioned reluctant hero. Matthew McConaughey was campy, but he made you love to hate him as the Man in Black. Tom Taylor as the psychic kid, has a screen presence that is undeniable. Excellent cast, but bad storytelling and directing.

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The Beguiled was Be Damned…

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The coach put me on the bench because I’m batting double OO with movies, the last string of films I viewed…All Eyez on Me, Transformers:The Last Knight and 40 Meters Down, were side-eye inducing without a doubt. But this weekend I saw the new Sofia Coppola film “The Beguiled“, which is based on the 1971 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. Before I go all IN on the film, here’s a little tidbit about Coppola. She just won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and is only the 2nd woman in Cannes history to win in that category. Let that sink in for a minute. Now getting back to this film. Out of the gate, the pacing was extremely slow. So much so, that I actually started looking for which exit I could get to the quickest. But I’m a trooper, so I hung in there.

None of the characters were fleshed out, especially Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman’s caricatures of repressed southern belles. By the way, Kidman, Dunst, Elle Fanning and one other character in this meandering nonsensical film, kept losing their southern accents. I could have understood better if this were their first film (nervousness and all), but Kidman is an Oscar winner, Dunst and Fanning have over the years, gotten critical acclaim for their acting. They simply phoned in their performances and looked as if they couldn’t have cared any less if they tried. Now let’s get to Colin Farrell.

His once promising career really hit an all-time low with this schlock. He hardly had any dialogue and the dialogue he had, was comical and it wasn’t supposed to be. THAT’S how bad this film is. His best scenes were off-screen after Kidman’s character amputated his leg and he found out. Why Coppola chose for the audience to hear his tirade instead of seeing it, was puzzling to say the least. That probably would have been great to see because Farrell is a good actor and he does a lot of his best work when he’s in meltdown on-screen.

Coppola’s choices with how she shot this film left me and I’m sure so many others who’ve already seen it, wondering WHY? But here’s one choice she made I’m in full support of…the choice to NOT put the female slave character in this film that was in the book. The Black actress who would have been cast, dodged a bullet thank goodness. No one needs this incarnation of The Beguiled on their acting resume. The long and short of it is basically…The Beguiled didn’t make any sense at all. It was a story without any substance or direction. How Coppola won in Cannes in the Best Director’s category for THIS film is another mystery. To say The Beguiled wasn’t her best work is an understatement, and it also begs to question the legitimacy of her winning that award.

Coppola has done tons of applause worthy work such as Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, did the judges in Cannes see the same film as the rest of us? Did they get their eyes dilated that day and couldn’t really see the banality of this film….what happened? As one critic noted about the film “it was so unnecessary” and no truer words could EVER be said about this film. This was a good idea gone horribly wrong and Coppola, the writers who helped her create this puerile piece of tripe and the actors, had no clue how to make this film compelling enough to where it would hold your attention and the audience would become emotionally invested. Instead, it had the audience holding their breath counting the minutes until the agony was over.

The Chatter, The Scoodie’s Sister Podcast was with Award-Winning Photojournalist Haywood Galbreath

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The Chatter, which is the sister podcast of The Scoodie,  was honored to interview Haywood Galbreath. He is the first African-American owned news photo service to have permanent credentials in a major court case and invited to participate in the court case photo pool and that case was the infamous “Crime of the Century”, the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial.

Haywood’s career has been spent working for the rights of media access for all qualified media organizations, especially minority owned media organizations that are often denied the privilege to cover events about minorities. He is also an advocate for the underprivileged and underrepresented in America.

A few more of his professional highlights:

ď‚·First African-American owned news photo service to cover the celebrated Emmy’s from inside the auditorium. (1997)

ď‚·First African-American owned news photo service to cover the prestigious Breeders’ Cup horse race. (1997)

ď‚·First African-American owned news photo service to be pool photo in a major court case Geronimo Pratt the Black Panther member who was wrongly accused of murder hearings.

ď‚·Only African-American owned news service to have a continuous field position for the Super Bowl.

ď‚·Covered special events for the last five presidents of the United States including Presidents: Barack Obama, George Bush Jr., William Clinton, George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan.

Link to Interview: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/thechatter/episodes/2017-06-30T14_46_25-07_00

#haywoodgalbreath #OJSimpson #Photojournalist #Entertainment
#SydneyChandler #Publicist #Journalist #JenniferThompson

Russia DOES Matter…You’d Better Understand Why

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I’ve seen countless interviews with Trump supporters, and even when confronted with his abundance of lies, blame-gaming, FACTS and treating the presidency as a reality TV show, they’re still 1000% in his corner. Unfortunately, we all must chalk them up to a mystifying loss; not worth wasting additional time, energy and brain cells on…they’re heading toward the cliff, so at this point, we should mercifully allow them to take the plunge.

I’ve also encountered those saying that while we’re focused on the Senate Intel Hearings and Russia, the Republicans (our real-life Sith Lords) are in stealth mode, drawing up a newer, more deadly plan for their Death Star of a Healthcare Bill. YES, I firmly agree that we need to keep our eyes on what they’re doing because whatever it is, it won’t bode well for the American people. NOTHING Republicans in this modern era, ever does.

But to insinuate that the intelligent among us can’t multitask, is insulting. Most of us know exactly what we need to do to keep the pressure on the Senate, House and this administration. However, RUSSIA is an immediate, dangerous threat, and this should scare and alarm the HELL out of people. They were able to breach our security grid to the extent that it probably affected our 2016 election and severely damaged our Democratic process. Without Democracy and the rules of law and order, the US would be reduced to being a combination 3rd world autocracy and kleptocracy.

What the American people need to desperately and IMMEDIATELY understand, is if a foreign government got this far within our once thought-to-be impenetrable system, especially a government that is and will more than likely always be, an enemy of the United States, they will continue to attempt to breach our security until they eventually find a way to succeed. If the worst case scenario happens, it will shut this country completely down and life as we know it will cease to exist. That is not alarmist thinking, it’s a very real possibility.

These “hackers” aren’t some disaffected youths sitting in their bedrooms, breaking into random systems just because they’re smart enough to do so. These operatives are a network of well-trained, well-educated intelligence and IT professionals, whose only job is to infiltrate and take-over every system in their target countries, and the “big fish in the pond is the US”. Mull that over for a second.

Russia has been interfering in government elections all over the globe, and being that the US is considered their equal in military might and intelligence, what better coup could Putin have than bringing this country to its knees? If his operatives are successful, they could shut down all of our communication and financial systems. Then turn their attention to aviation, utilities, government installations, intelligence and military operations…there are endless possibilities of what kind of havoc they could wreck, that will have far-reaching ramifications and repercussions not just for us, but globally. As the US goes, so does the rest of the world.

Hijacking our elections and healthcare would be way down on the food chain with what the people in the US would have to deal with in this apocalyptic scenario. NO, it does not sit well with me that 23 million people would lose their insurance and the disabled, seniors, veterans, women and those with preexisting conditions, would be negatively impacted by this inhumane and insidious Healthcare Bill. BUT, we are living in dangerous times and just as Angela Merkel said “Europe can no longer completely depend on the US”, and it is an absolute certainty that the American people CANNOT depend on this current administration to do what’s right for this country as it pertains to Russia or for that matter, anything else. We can’t even depend on our president to tell the truth. That is a testimony on just how far this country has fallen into the abyss.

I wish there were some gigantic mirror that could be held up so that each and every American could look at themselves and really see who it is we’ve become. There was a time not too long ago, that if 1/16th of what is happening in this country now had occurred then, the American people would clean house. If there was any hint that a foreign government and Russia being that government, breached our security and American politicians were perhaps involved in treason, collusion and obstruction of justice, the American people would be demanding, not asking, but DEMANDING either an investigation or swift and decisive action. Now we have heads buried in the sand, an abundance of excuses, rampant ignorance, blind loyalty and some segments of our society almost cheering for Putin. No words for that last one.

What happened America? You swore for decades you were better than this, only to find out that you actually weren’t.

I’m BAAAACK!!

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I’ve been on a rather long hiatus from blogging because sometimes life takes you in some of the most unexpected directions. But now I’m back at it; more energized, more opinionated and even more in your face than ever! So let’s do this and do it BIG!

A Case Study: The I’m’s…..

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You know who they are — we work with them, we may live with them, we’re friends with them, they’re disbursed throughout our families, we pass them in cars and on the street everyday. Those familiar people who, for lack of a better word, are assholes who think the world revolves around THEM. They are what I comically call “The I’m’s“.

They can call or text early in the morning, late at night, at work, in the store, in the gym, in the car….anywhere at anytime when they need YOUR help. They sound the alarm and expect you to come running and, like the sucker you are, you answer the call to action. They will walk through a burning fire, scale the highest mountain, swim in the deepest ocean, fight the most abominable traffic, hop a flight, take a cab, get on the bus, walk, take the subway, go out into the hottest weather or the coldest blizzard to get to you when THEY need something.

But here is when they earn their title. You may be someone who rarely asks for favors and try to handle your life like a BOSS. But the second you ask one of these “I’m’s” for the teeniest, tiniest of favors, here it comes, wait for it…I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m too sleepy, I’m too hungry, I’m too hot, I’m too cold, I’m too exhausted (to drive), I’m not in your neighborhood, I’m stuck on the freeway and it’s too far out of my way, I’m working late, I’m digging a tunnel to China, I’m feeding the cat/dog, I’m washing my car, I’m picking my nose, I’m plucking my eyebrows, I’m scratching my butt (it may take a while), I’m involved with family commitments (family is never an issue for these people until it involves helping you, that’s their excuse), I’m inventing the cure for whatever illness I can think of that will get me out of assisting you, I’m too broke to drive because I need to conserve my gas so I can get to work, though they forgot their lie and posted numerous pictures on Facebook and Instagram of them out at a swanky restaurant or party, bragging about how much fun they had. This list could literally go on forever. But I think you get the point.

The I’m’s are basically narcissists with a little bit of passive/aggressiveness and egomania thrown in for good measure. Usually they’re innocuous and they’re not particularly bad people. But they are draining and infuriating. They have no idea that their actions affect their relationships with people in their personal, as well as their professional lives. They only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear and everything else is white noise. They can pick other people apart at the seams, but when they’re called on their bullshit, they become extremely defensive, then try to flip the script and blame the issue on YOU. It’s Psych 101…..a classic move if there ever was one.

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So it brings me to this little sage piece of advice: if they’re in your life, you must make a decision if they’re worth the frustration, headaches and hurt feelings you’ll have dealing with them. Can you accept the mind-numbing fact that they are who they are and they won’t change. Or do you jump ship, swim as fast as you can to the shore, get to a safe haven, shower, change your clothes and catch the first thing smokin’ as far away from them as you can get. The choice is yours. I have some decisions to make of my own and it may be painful but I know what I need to do to preserve my sanity. You see, I’m not your garden variety woman, I have 1-800-FUCK-YOU on speed dial. I have very few problems with doing a surgical incision on relationships that are more of a liability than an asset. That’s just who I am.

So until next time, have a great weekend and I will keep everyone posted on my Winter cleaning. 🙂 Peace!

Hello My Name Is….SINGLE!

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Someone recently asked me if I ever plan on getting married again and the answer was a resounding NO! Not that I’m against marriage but I’ve been there and done that. And in all fairness to my ex, he’s not some bad, lying and cheating man who was the consummate evil. We just drifted in different directions but we’re still great friends. I’ve found that for me, marriage doesn’t agree with my personality nor my temperament. I’ve never been a woman who needed a ring, a piece of paper and a kid to validate me. I’m lucky, I grew up with parents who never pressured me to conform. My mom always said that my life was my life and no one else’s. I needed to do what felt right to me and if that meant never getting married and having kids or any combination thereof, so be it.
I’ve heard all the formulaic cautionary tales and musings about being single and childless and I say suck it. Being married and having kids guarantees nothing. Just look at the people dumped in nursing homes because those lovely children of theirs no longer want to be bothered. Well, that is unless there’s money involved but that’s another topic of conversation. Oh and there’s Peter and Polly Perfect. The ones you just want to smack, droning on and on about their perfect marriage, their perfect kids, their perfect dogs, their perfect home, their perfect car, their perfect job….just perfect…perfect…perfect!!!! Ugh!
I’m always very leery of anyone singing the praises of their perfect marriages and lives. It brings to mind, “doth protest too much, methinks”. Many times, sad to say, those marriages are the ones in the most trouble. It isn’t impossible to have a happy marriage and yes there are many people who’ve been married for decades. My parents for one. But society, family and friends need to pull their foot off the gas pedal and stop making the assumption that marriage is what everyone wants. Some people aren’t marriage or parent material. It doesn’t make them bad people, it just means they had common sense enough to know themselves. I believe fully, if you are unhappy in your marriage and you’ve done all you can do to salvage it, then leave. You can’t make someone want to be with you if they’ve emotionally or physically checked out. Far too many times people live on fantasy island and believe in fairytales. Fairytales only exist in films and books. Life is a different ball of wax.
I think the divorce rate would plummet if people started being real with themselves about what it is they truly want before they get married and have children. I also think society should back way off with indoctrinating people with the idea that the only way they will find true happiness and fulfillment is through marriage and children. That may be true for some, but not all. Marriage can be a wonderful joining of two mature people who know what they want and are working toward that goal. But life can also be a beautiful thing when people work towards their goals going solo. Not everyone does well land-locked and guess what…that’s okay too. You owe no one any explanations on how you conduct your life…it’s yours, so now go out there and enjoy it.
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