Review: Blade Runner 2049 – Disappointing to Say the Least

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I saw the new Blade Runner 2049 and after waiting and waiting and waiting for this film, I am NOT at all impressed. Growing up, Blade Runner was my film as well as my dad’s. We saw it 3 times at the theater and it was our night when it was on TV. So it literally pains me to say that after viewing this current incarnation, I feel duped and let down.

First, the visuals and production value were spectacular. The professionals behind this visually stunning dystopian world, were at the top of their game. The casting was on-point. Ryan Gosling was perfectly cast as one of the new models of replicants, and can we chat about Robin Wright. Here’s an actress who was all but forgotten, then she landed House of Cards and has gone on to critical acclaim for her role as Claire in HoC, Wonder Woman and here she is as another serious badass in Blade Runner 2049. She’s an older actress who has found her niche; strong and powerful women and her role in Blade Runner 2049 is no exception.

Then of course there’s Harrison Ford…being Harrison Ford. He still has a lot of the spirit he portrayed in the original film as one of the Blade Runners, Rick Deckard. He was feisty, could throw a great punch, gave us some chuckle-worthy digs in his scenes with Gosling, but what I liked the most about his role was that he was allowed to age. Jared Leto appeared out of nowhere in the first half of the film with about 10 minutes of screen time, then you didn’t see him again until the end and this go around, he had about 7 – 8 minutes of screen time, and no one really knows anything about him other than he’s the blind evil genius behind the corporation who manufactures replicants, but Leto delivered, considering what he had to work with. The rest of the cast were amazing as well.

But the storylines…that’s where it went south. They were beyond convoluted and disjointed. This film was in desperate need of better writers. Just when you would try to become emotionally invested in one storyline, they’d jump to another one and leave you dangling. THEN, here comes a subplot inserted into the already dangling plot line and you’re sitting there completely annoyed. Blade Runner 2049 played like the writers and the director just wrote and shot this film on the fly.

With a few exceptions here and there, the dialogue was consistently flat. This film has an abundance of beautiful visuals, I can’t say that enough however, it’s a pity that more wasn’t dedicated to the storyline and the dialogue. It was all over the place. Characters popping in and out with no real backstory to inform the audience of who in the Hell these people were. Then when they feebly tried to give the audience an explanation, it became even more confusing and complex….but not in a good way. This film was filled with eye-rolling pretentiousness; metaphors and symbolism galore. This was a pseudo-psychological journey into a laborious and overwhelming dystopian world that failed to excite your imagination and make you long for more.

Then that ending…no words. Sometimes you simply have to see something for yourself to understand someone else’s disappointment. Oh by the way, the film is LONG…an hour-plus too long! Now chew on that.¬† #BladeRunner2049

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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.

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:

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

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

Ôā∑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.

Ôā∑Only African-American owned news service to have a continuous field position for the Super Bowl.

Ôā∑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

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!

Blake Lively’s New Lifestyle Site

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I did a quick drive-by on Blake Lively’s new “lifestyle” website called Preserve.us. Welp, that was a serious waste of time. I’m all for capitalism and entrepreneurship; have no issue with people getting paid. But where I draw the line is, celebrities going live with these websites (Gwyneth Paltrow and her idiotic GOOP site comes to mind) selling merchandise that is either far too expensive for the average person. Or loaded with products that can be bought at any supermarket, department store or my personal favorite, Bed, Bath and Beyond, for much less. Blake Lively’s site is full of inane ramblings, random over-used quotes, odd pictures and quite frankly a very depressing tone emanating from the home page….bizarre.

Then when you look further and go to the product prompt, there’s BBQ sauce mixed with jewelry, clothing, pillows and other items that visually, makes no damned sense. Just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean you should. I feel Ms. Lively should probably do what she does best and that’s walk red carpets, wear fabulously expensive¬†designer clothes, cuddle up to that hunky bundle of goodness¬†husband of hers and just be a TV and movie star. Lets face it, she’s not Kim K who can make a dollar out of 10 cents for doing nothing. But I’m sure she’ll do well selling her wares to other celebs and the wealthy who have disposable income to burn. After-all, they’re usually the ones who keep celebrity sites afloat anyway. I mean outside of a handful of star-struck fans but that’s another topic I’ll save for later.

Flirting at 35,000 feet…Bad Idea.

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I was reading an article (see below) about Richard Branson coming up with this idea where if you see someone on your flight that you may want to get to know, you can send them over a drink, food…whatever is necessary to get their attention.

This is an extremely bad idea. As a woman who often flies for business, the last thing I want is some creepy guy I don’t know sending me a drink. Then if I decline, I run the risk of either having a very uncomfortable situation at 35,000 feet or being harassed as I’m walking through the airport after the flight. Been there…done that. Booze, horniness, women and men don’t mix in a closed,¬†inescapable¬†environment such as the cabin on a plane unless you’re with your significant other and you want to join the mile-high club. And even then, you really should hold it for the hotel.

Women have to be extra cautious and show due diligence when traveling alone as it is, then to be put in a position where if a guy is rebuffed and becomes agitated, ¬†you’d have no recourse other than to involve the flight crew …oh HELL NO! I don’t even accept drinks in clubs while out with friends.

Unfortunately, there are crazy, unstable people walking and living among us and you can’t always spot one. Richard Branson may live in this type of hedonistic, hook-up, lets shag environment, but not everyone does nor do they want to. And guys, don’t think I’ve left you out. Some women can be just as persistent and obnoxious when in pursuit of a potential boyfriend, one-nighter or just because he’s hot! Not all men are whores nor do they all appreciate an over-zealous woman.

I think that Richard Branson had an idea that should have remained an idea in his head…the one on his shoulders and not the one due south. DONE!

Virgin America Wants Fliers to ‘Get Lucky’ at 35,000 Feet

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Published: Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 | 11:50 AM ET

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If you’ve ever wanted to flirt with passengers across the aisle and send them a cocktail ‚ÄĒ without corralling the help of a flight attendant ‚ÄĒ¬†Virgin America has the answer.

The carrier on Monday introduced a cheeky new seat-to-seat ordering system. Without the assistance of an attendant, you can discreetly order a drink, snack or meal delivered to a fellow passenger on-board your flight.

(Read more: Road Warrior Tested: Virgin America First Class)

And to promote the new feature, airline founder Sir Richard Branson posted a videoon Virgin America’s Facebook page¬†explaining how to “get lucky at 35,000 feet.”

How It Works

Your flirting begins on the airline’s touch-screen personal entertainment system, located on the back of headrests. Call up the flight’s digital seat map and¬†send a cocktail, snack or meal to a fellow traveler¬†on-board¬† After selecting items and paying with a credit card, a flight attendant delivers the goodies directly to the passenger’s seat.

After the delivery, you can follow-up and chat with your object of affection with¬†Virgin America’s existing seat-to-seat chat platform via its Red in-flight entertainment system. The chat platform allows travelers to send text messages to other fliers.

(Read more: Virgin America Extends Elite Offer to American, Southwest, United Fliers)

“I’m not a betting man, but I say your chance of deplaning with a plus-one are at least 50 percent,” Branson said in the Get Lucky on Virgin America video posted on the airline’s¬†Facebook¬†page.

So fliers… would you break the ice with a fellow traveler by sending them a drink?