T'Challa, I'm really happy you're finally getting your own movie and Entertainment Weekly cover, and I'mma let you finish, but the women of Marvel's Black Panther are the fiercest thunder-stealers of all time!
They aren't just worthy of being this week's Women Crush Wednesday, but for the entire month for July!
Featured in Entertainment Weekly's Comic-Con Preview currently on stands, the gorgeous members of the Dora Milaje--the King of Wakanda's all-female Secret Service--and the royal family can do pretty much everything. Flawlessly.
Here are the women who are wholly redefining Black Ops and Black Excellence.
I may have sprained my fangirl muscles this week, and Comic-Con hasn't even begun yet.
One of the major reasons for my flailing is Entertainment Weekly's exclusive first look and Saturday's release of the phenomenal teaser trailer for A Wrinkle In Time at the D23 Expo, directed by the Oscar and now Emmy-nominated Ava DuVernay (Note: The 13th director and Queen Sugar director is always courting greatness, and by helming this film, she became the first black woman to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million).
A Wrinkle In Time, Disney's theatrical adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's award-winning science-fiction novel, follows a young girl though space and time on a journey to rescue her father from the enigmatic darkness.
Empire's Cookie may be one of the only Lyons who don't grace the musical stage, but doppleganger Taraji P. Henson cannot stop singing the praises of her latest film, Proud Mary. Henson has recently started sharing stills and videos from the last day on set, and she is already selling the film that isn't slated for release until 2018.
If you've ever had the pleasure (or displeasure) of meeting me, you might eventually notice that I talk a lot. I type nearly 100 words per minute, and my brain movies even faster. I can talk endlessly about my favorite subjects-turned-obsessions. Growing up, my father affectionately nicknamed me "blabbermouth" (which was better than "Buckethead" or "Lizard Lips") when I began prattling his during his beloved Bears games. It's just a colorful facet of my personality.
And yet, I, the girl who's had lengthy discussions about Mahershala Ali's bone structure, struggled to identify or pinpoint my reaction to Hidden Figures, Fox's powerful biopic about Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), the NASA computer who helped invent the mathematics enabling space landings.
In 2012, a friend and I were at brunch when the secret service descended. President Barack Obama, heavy on the campaign trail, wanted to eat a local restaurant, and doing so required a dozen agents fanning through a European eatery to assess the over the overall security of the establishment. It was just another moment in the political grandeur that is being a sitting president.
There is no trace of such star-spangled fanfare in Southside With You—a sweet, enlightening sense memory of a film about Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson's first date in 1989.
Admittedly, the state of movies thus far in 2016 has left a lot to be desired unless you prefer your outings to the cinema to contain capes, slaptstick comedy or CGI animals.
Thankfully, we’re entering into the back end of the year when movies become more sophisticated in order to court the attention of a very selective award named Oscar.
The trailer for the dramatic biopic, Loving was released this week, and it is nothing sort of heart-stirring. A romantic epic with a painfully timely civil rights spin, Loving tells the true story of a Virginia interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who fought for the right to marry in the 1960s. A nearly unrecognizable Joel Edgerton (Black Mass) and Ruth Negga (Preacher) star in a film that not only won the posh hearts of Cannes Film Festival, and had this blogger reaching for the tissues.
Loving boasts that “some love stories can change the world.” And if the movie, set to hit theaters this November, lives up to its preview, it just may do the same. It’s simple and yet drips with a tempered grandeur as Edgerton and Negga, the southern setting, and the sweeping score marry into something that feels extraordinary, lovely and necessary.
Watch the trailer below, and share your thoughts in the comments section!
Pacific Rim’s long-awaited sequel just got universally cool. Deadline.com reports that Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ John Boyega will star in Pacific Rim 2, the follow-up to the 2013 original cult sci-fi action movie pits giant Godzilla-esque beasts intent on destroying the world against massive human-powered robots called Jaegers.
Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi are expected to reprise their roles.
Two distinctly important things happened during my first viewing of Marvel’s record-breaking blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War. First, Civil War—part Jason Bourne thriller, part superhero movie finery—didn’t just live up to the hype, it annihilated it. Second, I may have gone in a shield-carrying member of Team Cap, but I left purring for Black Panther.
If you’re a movie or pop culture buff, Halle Berry’s iconic Oscar win—the first and only win for a black actress in the Academy’s 88-year history—in 2002 is the stuff of daydreams. For this Small Screen Girl whose love affair with entertainment started with the big screen, it wasn’t a pie-in-the-sky achievement attained by a beautiful blonde ingénue, it was a historic moment of 'I-Can-Do-This-Too' inspiration for a black girl with movie-making ambitions.
Fourteen years later, Oscar winner Halle Berry has finally opened up about the recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy...
"A League Of Their Own" established that there's no crying in baseball, but the "Rocky"-adjacent film "Creed" brings its own bucket for the tears. "Creed" is a triumphant sports film that recaptures the underdoggian magic of the 1976 original with a knock-out combination of drama, humor and spectacle. Here are five reasons why you should see "Creed" for the first, second or third (no judgment) time this weekend.
1. Michael B. Jordan. Michael B. Jordan solidified in leading man status in an endearing and dynamic performance as Donnie Johnson/Adonis Creed—the product of an Apollo Creed’s (Carl Weathers) infidelity. He's a natural fighter as illustrated by the first glimpse of a young Donnie. Apollo’s late wife, Mary Anne (played by the ageless legend Phylicia Rashad) realizes that this love-starved orphan is a piece of her husband, and she adopts him. The shadow of his father’s accomplishments and his adoptive mother's expectations have previously overwhelmed his own desire to fight professionally.
And what a fighter he is. Jordan clearly spent intense months in training to transform into a powerhouse fighter on the rise. Combine the muscles, the speedbag and shadow-boxing prowess and the masterfully shot fight scenes, I wholeheartedly believe Jordan as a boxer with an unshakable spirit.
Jordan processes Donnie's drive and into something that's irresistibly endearing but insanely powerful. Donnie adorably clings to Rocky like a barnacle, calling him “Unc” after their second meeting, and making himself useful while hoping to unlock secrets about the father he never knew. If anyone could drag an aging Rocky out of his slow shuffle towards death and back into the land of the living, it's Jordan's Donnie.
2. Rocky. It would be incredibly easy for "Creed" to treat Rocky with kid gloves, make him the Buzz Aldrin of Boxing, an aging hero still wowing fans and cashing in on his celebrity, but they didn’t. While Philadelphia is an urban monument to Rocky's legendary career, time has the man on the ropes. He spends his nights at his small restaurant and his days in the cemetery. He bumbles through life with the achy gait and cynical wisdom of an old man who's suffered so much, he's stopped living and growing. Sylvester Stallone is extraordinarily good here, hiding real pain and loneliness behind a curmudgeonly exterior and coffee-ground grit of a voice.
There is a shot in the film in which Rocky looms blurrily in the background like a ghost, watching Donnie train. It’s a bone-chilling representation of what time and circumstance has done to the once great Rocky Balboa. Where is the fighting spirit of a champion? It emerges in a much more important way, teased out by Donnie's stubborn love and the new people he brings into his life.
3. Training Sequences. Everyone has seen the classic "Rocky" training montages—punching the frozen flanks of beef, one-armed push-ups, running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (as a cheerleader in high school, I weight-trained to "Eye Of The Tiger"). "Creed" pays homage to them in its own unique and contemporary way by nixing the now clichéd showiness, doubling down on the emotion and pragmatism, and building to a crescendo so stirring that left me more than a little misty-eyed. The stunning visual imagery reaches the climax during the awe-inspiring big fight that employs real life boxers and single-shot sequences.
4. “Creed” is not “Rocky VII.” “Creed” is not another “Rocky” movie. Written and directed by Ryan Coolger ("Fruitvale Station"), it expands and extends the “Rocky” universe and is fully formed around this dynamic character of Donnie. As a young black man in 2015, Donnie’s world is different than Rocky’s. The clothes, fears, wins and dialogue are all different. There’s an entire scene dedicated to the urban dialect, particularly the word “jawn” that will make Philly natives smile. I also grinned at a scene in which Rocky was introduced to soul food. The simple authenticity is necessary and appreciated.
5. Bianca. Thankfully Donnie does more than just train while in Philly. He also falls for a free-spirited, no-nonsense singer named Bianca, who is wonderfully portayed by "Selma's" Tessa Thompson. Time is besting her too as she is a musician suffering from degenerative hearing loss. One day, she will be completely deaf. It's motivation for her and Donnie.
It's refreshing that Bianca wasn’t repulsed by the barbarism of boxing. I always balk that boxing is a violent, unsanitary sport (spit buckets and blood on the gloves are all hive-inducing concepts for this germophobe) but two rounds in, I have already have a favorite and I’m hollering louder than their cornermen (although “stop letting him hit you, dumbass” isn’t nearly as productive). Bianca is similarly attracted to Donnie’s ambition and passion until it damages hers. She’s lovestruck but not lovestupid, and that's a heroine done refreshingly right.
Admittedly, I would’ve liked her story to be fleshed out more, but since "Creed" is the most successful movie of the entire "Rocky" franchise, I'm sure they are just saving it for the sequel.
Photo Credits: variety.com