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  • George Takei Hosts ‘To Be Takei’ Screening On Queen Mary 2

    George Takei, who is probably best known for is role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek, is the subject of a new documentary “To Be Takei” directed by Jennifer M. Kroot. 

    On July 28, we were invited aboard the Queen Mary 2 for an exclusive screening of “To Be Takei”, as George and Brad Takei embarked on their voyage to Southampton, England. Takei was participating in Cunard Line’s “Distinguished Insights Speakers Series at Sea.” Before the screening, guests were led up the transatlantic liner to the Chart Room for cocktails and canapes as George posed for photographers. Guests were able to mingle and enjoy the breathtaking view from the windows. Following, we were invited to the Royal Court Theater for a screening and Q&A. While the Chart Room incorporated a nautical theme, the theater was influenced by a more old hollywood feel with its gold detailing and star ceiling.

    Below are some highlights from the Q&A with George.

    What are you and Brad going to be doing on the cruise?

    George: Well first of all, it’s going to be a wonderful experience. We are going to be talking about “To Be Takei” and “Allegiance”. I have two talks scheduled and then a screening, and another Q&A following that. Also, I have a book signing scheduled for both of my books. We’re going to be getting nice and busy but we’re also going to be thoroughly devouring our rich experience here.

    On aging and later years in Hollywood:

    George: Actually, as a matter of fact, my career seems to be blossoming. We have this documentary coming out and into the theaters on August 22 and Lorenzo is looking for a theater for “Allegiance” on Broadway.

    How did the film come about?

    Jennifer M. Kroot: Yeah, it was my idea. I was always an original “Star Trek” fan, but I didn’t exactly follow George’s career although I knew he did so many acting things over the years. But when he came out in 2005, I was just very charmed by his voice as an activist and opening up and presenting himself honestly, and then watching his career reignite was just so interesting. Then I read his autobiography, which was before he was publicly out, and it was more about the internment camps and his experience being in prison as a child. I couldn’t imagine Sulu was imprisoned by the United States government, I was shocked even though I knew that history in some way. I just thought about the obstacles that he had been through and also just really inspired by older people living their lives and doing positive things.

    On why Brad decided to be a part of the film:

    Brad: I am a very, very private person. To do this documentary was gut-wrenching for me, however, George and I felt that gay people should not be discriminated against and Jennifer gave us an opportunity for our story to be told and we felt that if fair minded americans got access to our private lives and saw that George and I are just a regular married couple that just happened to be the same gender maybe they would say they we shouldn’t be discriminated against. I hope it changes the hearts and minds of people so we can have a fairer country.

    On international distribution:

    Jennifer M. Kroot: The plan is to do international sales as more PR comes out, we’re just kind of waiting for the distribution to ramp up and then we’ll start really entertaining that. Starz actually has rights for North America, so it’s screening in Canada as well. We do have an exciting European premiere in the fall that I won’t announce just yet.

    George: Last month, the State Department sent me on a speaking tour to South Korea and all up and down Japan. When I mentioned “To Be Takei”, there was great interest and hunger for this documentary there as well, so I think there is a definite interest for it in Japan, Korea, and England. I’ve done many “Star Trek” conventions in Germany, Italy, Britain, and Japan.

    Relationship with William Shatner:

    George: It’s not scripted at all. As you saw we had all the surviving Star Trek members in the film and he was there. We’re family, and like so many families, we have our eccentric crazy uncle.

    What do you want viewers to take away from this film?

    Jennifer M. Kroot: Well, a lot of things. For me, just that you can grow older and do wonderful and positive things and keep active. You can make big choices in your life like keep a closeted lifestyle for 68 years then come out and share that experience with the world. I think one really important thing is the parallel that the things that George faced as a child are really the same obstacles that we face now.

    Struggles and Challenges:

    Jennifer M. Kroot: Fortunately, Brad is really good with organizational skills and Brad also helped me get access to these people to interview. Howard Stern was someone that took over a year to interview and he said that he would only do the interview on his show. So I had to go on the Howard Stern Show to interview him which I found out only three weeks earlier. I took a crash course on learning about Howard Stern and promised myself that I would just roll with punches and the punches weren’t that bad, so that was stressful and challenging. It was challenging to get grants for this film, but I’m really thankful to have Brad with organizing their life and letting me in that.

    George: Howard is a very savvy guy. I thought it was brilliant that he would only do the interview on the condition that it was on his show. Howard’s audience is very loyal, his audience will be flocking to the theaters I’m sure and we’ll be promoting Howard, as well.

    -Tristen Yang

  • Director John Michael McDonagh, Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly Talk ‘Calvary’

    The Catholic Church and priests often get a bad rap thanks to the numerous hypocrisies and scandals that just now seem to be emerging against the church.

    And every once in a while you would hear a story of an innocent person that was killed or something of that nature that would make even the most aloof person tear just a little.

    Well that’s exactly how Calvary starts. The film starts out with Brendan Gleeson as Father James in a confessional, listening to one of his parishioners state that he was raped by a priest as a child, and since that priest is dead, he has come to kill Father James. Better yet, the person states that he would go after James because he is a good priest who has done nothing wrong. Given a week by his not so mysterious killer, James tries to help make amends with his estranged daughter as well as somehow bring all of his parishioners together, not by forgiving them of their sins, but by trying to get them to stop committing the sins in the first place – and often to no avail.

    Calvary was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, who came up with the idea, while he was filming his previous film collaboration with Gleeson in The Guard. Calvary also stars Kelly Reilly as Father James’ daughter Fiona, Chris O’Dowd as one of the town’s troubled parishioners Jack, Aidan Gillen as the town’s atheist doctor, M. Emmet Walsh as a dying writer, and may more colorful people who add to the film’s message. The film is one of the most thought provoking films of this decade. The actors play off one another so genuinely, and with the added benefit of having such a small cast that the audience is given knowledge about each and every one, the film drags you in to actually live out each day the priest has to live. McDonagh ravishingly combines both humor and a dark, sickening truth that only aids each actor’s performance and leads to the ultimate outcome of a flawless movie.

    One should absolutely drop everything to go see the film as it shows the problems of the Catholic church (which is all too apparent in today’s society), through the story of this seemingly ordinary man in a small town in Ireland. The film doesn’t preach. It doesn’t ask you to be better person or do good deed, but rather the film insights you to just think about your actions.

    The Source was invited to interview McDonagh, Gleeson and Reilly, who all spoke highly of the film and the dark undertones in which the film is full of. You can read more from the interview below.

    How did you tackle some of these troubling issues within the movie?

    John Michael McDonaugh: In terms of writing, I don’t really think about the ramifications of what I have written. And I think that the actors should just play the characters and not play the scenes, so that’s the way we approached it. You’re playing human beings and that was the story, so that was the approach.

    And how did you two (Reilly and Gleeson) act with the larger issue?

    Brendan Gleeson: Of the larger issue? No not really – I grew up there so the whole scenario was immediately familiar. We had talked about, I guess, how difficult it is for a man to maintain this sense of commitment to the clothe when there’s been such heinous things committed and things like that so not that we were blind to the issues, but as it emerged, the script was very very dense and there were so many paths that you could follow and I remember being absolutely exhausted at the end of the reading when all the different actors came in because everyone had brought something to it. There’s no questioning the level of intensity that was involved. But every stage grew into itself, you know what I mean? So it wasn’t something that you would say we would do this and we would do that, it was, even though we had preparation, we were allowed and it was kind of a testament to John’s leadership as well and his collaborative methods that we found things inside – every time we went to film we found new stuff.

    Kelly Reilly: I think my character – she’s, luckily I think, not part of this community so she walks into a different energy. She doesn’t even know the world that he exists and these different people in this community. I think she says after Veronica in the café that “You have to put up with this shit on a regular basis.” Quite frankly, I think she would have taken her out. And actually, in one version of the scene, she did. Do you remember [looks over to Gleeson and McDonagh]? She [Veronica] said something quite provocative to him [James] and she [Fiona] took it upon herself to say “Excuse me. You know that he can’t respond, but I certainly can.” And I love that about her, but I don’t know why it didn’t make the cut.

    McDonagh: Well if you look at those big emotional scenes between Brendan and Kelly’s characters, they’re not to do with any of the scandals, they’re to do with personal issues. They’re the most moving sequences in the movie.

    What brought you to the project?

    McDonagh: Well the general idea was to tell a story about a good person, and not be ironic because there’s too much irony in movies these days. I’m a bit ironic myself but the intent was to get a little bit away from that. To have a completely sincere leading character. And this developed into “Well, there’s probably going to be a lot of movies that are made about these scandals, let’s make it about a good priest rather than a bad one. It’s a way of flipping it on its head. So that was the initial discussion. It just grew from there.

    Gleeson: Yeah, and with me the fascination as a character thing was imagine being a good man when we were chatting in the early stages of being a priest – there were two priests that we knew of accused of pedophilia in the wrong and I said, “God almighty, imagine having to commit your life to something that is positive and then to be besmirched with this.” You never recover from that kind of accusation – the way people think of you is shattered – there’s always someone who’s going to think there’s no smoke without fire. Have you maintained faith or anything in that regard? So that’s why I came to the film.

    Like The Guard, this film had a lot of funny moments. Was it difficult to have the humor in regard to the dark film?

    McDonagh: I can’t speak to the actors, but as a writer, I don’t think too much about it – I write very quickly. I like to get done with this as quickly as possible because it’s a very boring career sitting in a room for three or four hours every day.

    Gleeson: You’re talking to writers.

    McDonagh: So I like to just sit down and churn it all out in a spacing of three weeks if I can. I only start thinking about those kinds of, let’s say tonal balance in the editing sweep. And it would be a case of “Ok, there are three incredibly dark scenes in a row. Maybe we should shift them around and have some light relief in between.” And there is this sort of episodic nature in the script and in the movie and I knew in the writing I could shift that without leaving the narrative flow of it. I could move scenes around. How you play it, I guess the actors played the character rather than the tonal shifts.

    Gleeson: Yeah I think it’s an aspect of it anyway. Certainly the tone – it’s a big thing you know. This great hilarity at funerals and things like that. And its own cathartic way of easing a little bit of tension out of something. Like the issue out of Fiona and myself, they share this soul mate ship that has been fractured and lost its way and one of the things they do is make each other laugh, as a banter. And it’s coming with a little curl at the end of the mouth.

    Reilly: And it reveals how well they know one another and how similar they are. And I think it’s a useful tool to relieve the pressure of any kind of discomfort.

    Gleeson: Yeah I mean they’re in the trauma aren’t they? And so it happens a lot and people say it’s really hard to piece the humor in these sort of things you know? And they manage to get this sort of “funny haha, half funny, half serious” whatever the phrase is. And even when the barbs come through, the tenderness can be facilitated and it becomes integral I certainly don’t split them up. You know what I mean? It’s part of the way you manage getting through this murk.

    How do you stand that common ground of being judgmental and not judging people?

    Gleeson: Well at one point the priest does say that he is judgmental but he tries not to be.

    McDonagh: I think specifically the scene where he goes to the rich man’s house, Fitzgerald. I think that was originally written as a confrontational scene. And Brendan said, “You know, he’s still trying to help the guy and save him, so I don’t think he would react as confrontationally as you’ve written it. I think we kind of finessed the dialogue over there and dealt with it that way. I mean the priest is a good man but he’s very assertive and he’s ready to constantly put down people who are threatening him or verbally try to abuse him. So he’s not a weak character, he’s not a naïve character- he’s a direct opposite of the other priest who’s basically a pointless priest.

    Gleeson: I think there’s a case there, particularly a death threat that focuses the mind and I think he was that way anyway but he lives life where he doesn’t sweat the small things and a lot of things that happens now that I’m not sure if you could actually sanction that. Like when he’s talking to Milo and asks “Have you used porn rather than actually killing people?” So I do say that he doesn’t sweat-

    Reilly: I also like it because he wasn’t always a priest. He became a priest later. He is a big bloated man who has a child who’s been married. That’s what makes him so extraordinary.

    Gleeson: It gives time to open the door – he wasn’t a naïve seminary who only knew his prayers – he was somebody who had experienced life so he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Whether that’s acceptable within the Catholic Church or not, I’m not that sure. So that was kind of the dialogue that was going on. But I think what’s interesting for people who are Catholic, they kind of wish priests would be a bit more like that.

    Well this being part two of your trilogy, do you have any plans for what’s coming next?

    McDonagh: I actually have the script in my head, I’ve got the third one planning that I’m hoping to write this year, and it’s going to be about a spectacularly abusive paraplegic. So Brendan would be in a wheelchair in South London going around – he hates anyone who’s able bodied. So he basically hates the entirety of society. Which I guess that comes from me. And it will be a dark comedy and it will have a crime because he tries to get his life together by solving the murder of his disabled friends because he believes the police aren’t investigating it properly since the guy was disabled. That’s the overall sort of thing and I’ll probably sit down to start the thing in the first quarter of next year. It’s called The Lion Shall Enter First which I stole from a Flannery O’Connor short story.

    Have you been preparing for this?

    McDonagh: Yeah, he’s [Gleeson] been sitting around a lot.

    Gleeson: Well I like to think that I have fantastic reservoirs of bile that I can kind of tap into.   

    Calvary is now playing.

    -Catherina Gioino

  • Chadwick Boseman & Mick Jagger Talk ‘Get On Up’

    James Brown biopic “Get On Up” starring Chadwick Boseman hits theaters this Friday, August 1. 

    The film is produced by Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger. Nelsan Ellis, Jill Scott, Director Tate Taylor, Chadwick Boseman, Octavia Spencer, Mick Jagger, Brian Grazer and Dan Aykroyd all participated in a fascinating and intimate press conference in New York.

    The legendary Mick Jagger reflected on how he came to produce the film. “I was asked by a business associate and friend Peter Afterman if I would make a documentary about James Brown. I woke up and said, ‘lets do a feature,’ but of course being in Hollywood there’s always a feature … Then I learned of the script and I learned of Brian’s previous involvement, so that’s the short version of how I got involved. Actually, in Hollywood terms, from the beginning of my involvement to this point of having the premiere of the movie on August 1, it’s been  a relatively short time. Since we started on the second part of the journey, Brian had done all this hard work in the beginning, but since we started the second part of the journey, in hollywood terms its been really quick.”

    Q: Mr. Jagger, can I ask you about your personal recount when you followed James Brown, how that played out and how did this experience influence you as a performer?

    Jagger: About 50 years ago … it was a very exciting show … there were many people at the show that were interesting to me, for the first time. I’d never met Marvin Gaye before, for instance. I got the opportunity to chat with him. There was a lot of us on the show. It was a pretty crazy day. I’d seen James Brown before one time, at the Apollo, and the experience was James was a bit annoyed about not being the last on the show, and as I was the only one that met him before, of all the people working on the show, including the producers of the show, whoever they were. I have no idea who they were. I was the fall guy, because I was like 20 or something so they said “you go talk to him, you know him, you go call him out”. And when you’re 20 you say “sure”. Now it’s, “that’s not my job, that’s your job”. When you’re 20 you go, “sure”. Of course it didn’t work. It might have somewhat assuaged him, but it played out and it was what it was. He did this amazing performance and we went on after, but in the end I don’t think it really mattered. We had to work harder, and he worked harder, and maybe it was a better show because of it.

    Q: How do you go on after that? Did it influence your stage performance?

    Jagger: He influenced me a lot. Amongst a lot of other people, he influenced me in lots of ways. I could never do the dance routines like James, and I never spent the time and effort that Chad had to do to do the fantastic job that he does in this movie of doing that, because I didn’t want to be an imitator of that. But the thing about him that impressed me, as with other people that I was influenced by at the time, little Richard being the other one, who is in this movie as well. Both of them from very similar parts of the world, and that, how to interact with an audience, the most important thing. And I’m sure that Chad got into some of that into making of this movie because it’s all about, James was all about interacting with the audience, it wasn’t just your performance. It’s about their performance too. It’s about how they perform and they react and you react to them, the interplay.

    Q: Ms. Boseman. Were there any challenges in portraying Mr. Brown?

    Chadwick Boseman: The entire thing was a challenge. When I looked at the role, the reason I was a bit … scared, was there was no part of it that was just straight-forward, easy, you’ve done that before. A lot of people will say “well you’re from, South Carolina” but he’s from the low country of South Carolina, it’s different. It’s not the same thing. And I’ve spent quite a bit of time out of South Carolina, so it was important to me, we went down to Augusta to meet the family, and stayed because Augusta is pretty much on the border, between Georgia and South Carolina,  I stayed down there a little bit longer, and just drove around, saw the family and soaked up as much of it as I could before we started. This was right before we started. There was no part that was easy to do. 60% of my fear was from the dancing. 30% was just the caricatures that have been projected of him and trying to get past what people think they know, but I don’t think there was any easy part.

    Q: Being that James had an entrepreneurial spirit what is one business that James had created that surprised you  both?

    Chadwick Boseman:  The most surprising venture was the James brown fruit stand. I don’t know if you all know about that one. It was part of him wanting to recycle money within the black  community before it goes outside of the community to build. It actually was a genius idea. It obviously is not still around, but that was the thing that was the most surprising for me.

    Dan Aykroyd: I would say nothing that James did entrepreneurially would surprise me. He was just so broad ranging in terms of his understanding of business, how to handle people, how to handle money, how to balance a book, how to make a tour more profitable than any other artist, and he extended it into the radio stations and the merchandising. He just got it, and he got it from a very early age.

     

  • Film Review: ‘Finding Fela’ Is A Truthful & Daring Project

    “Finding Fela” is a documentary focused on the Fela Anikulapo Kuti; a Nigerian musician and human rights activist who stood for social justice and equality.

    In “Finding Fela,” we see behind the scenes footage from Fela’s private living, concerts, and the Broadway play “Fela!” named after the late musician. We also see the people who were closest to him like his children, drummer and manager discuss their one on one moments with the performer which gives the viewers an inside look on what was really going on behind the music and the household name. “Finding Fela” has a running time of almost two hours and the documentary starts off with an introduction of who Fela was as an artist. He is portrayed as a bold and colorful man who campaigned against suppression and despotism considering it’s not so glamorous consequences. This introduction is accompanied with Fela’s music, which drew me into the film because it was very rhythmic, infectious and irresistible.

    Getting into the documentary, Fela’s upbringing is explored. We learn fun facts about him like his mother engaging him with the piano at the age of nine. He came from an upper middle class family, as his parents were very well respected people in the Nigerian society. We also find out that he was the leader of his school choir and started out playing religious Christian music, so his passion for music did not just come from nowhere. The documentary then goes directly into fifty percent of the focal point of the movie, which is his influence on highlife/soul music in West Africa. Bob Marley and The Antibalas, which was a popular band in Brooklyn, New York may have been inspirations for Fela’s movement.

    Fela was known for his jazzed up horn arrangements which became a signature piece in his music. The film also cites James Brown as an influence on Fela’s music. The Nigerian culture is emphasized with scenery of the country’s lifestyle during that era. We see women carrying babies on their backs, tall buildings and a lot of cars. The highlight of that segment for me was be the nightlife.

    The film eventually gets less humorous and becomes graver and pensive as issues like racism, war, feminism, corruption and constitutional rights are discussed. Sandra Daniel provides personal information about meeting Fela Kuti, their marriage and her culture shock given that she met Fela in L.A. and had no idea she was being married as a third wife. However, it was not her personal experiences that added the needed drama element to the film; it was Fela’s attack on the Nigerian government. Fela spoke up against police brutality and for freedom of speech, human rights and fair practice. That did not fare well with the Nigerian military force at that time as the documentary depicts them as immoral, wrongful and detestable. Because of this, Fela and his supporters were often beaten down and maltreated.

    “Finding Fela” gives us enough information about Fela to conclude what kind of life he lived and what legacy he left behind. It is not your typical sob story or infomercial. Although some might see Fela as a crazy, mad and an imperfect man, we can’t deny that all of those qualities make him a genius musical mind and brave hero. I view this documentary as a very truthful and daring project. The unfiltered surface in which the content is presented is absolutely astounding.

    “Finding Fela” hits theaters this Friday, August 1.

    -Igee Okafor

  • Jeremih, Vado, Alexandra Richards & More Attend ICB x Def Jam Party

    ICB unveiled its 2014 campaign and celebrated Fashion and Hip-Hop.

    On July 30, Mia Moretti and Alexandra Richards hosted an exclusive party to unveil the ICB Fall 2014 Campaign and celebrate a collaboration between ICB and Def Jam Recordings.  DJ Eiko Hara was there spinning a custom mix of the ICB x Def Jam Fall 2014 mix-tape and there was a performance by Jeremih with special guest, Vado.

     

    The event also included Roberta’s Pizza from Brooklyn outside serving up wood-fired pizza and La NewYorkina serving paletas. The ICB Fall 2014 campaign featuring Joan Smalls celebrates this season’s ICB girl who is effortlessly cool and on the pulse of music & culture.

    The collection references the 90’s – but updated. To celebrate the launch of Fall 2014 ICB teamed up with Def Jam Records to create a mix-tape that captures the collection’s vibe: a little bit street – a lot city, and a modern take on the best classics.  The ICB x Def Jam mix-tape was distributed to 500 influencers worldwide and will stream at icbnyc.com.

    Fashion Meets Hip-Hop: ICB x Def Jam Mix-Tape & Campaign Celebration

     

  • Film Review: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Is A Sci-Fi Masterpiece

    “Guardians of the Galaxy” is directed by James Gunn and written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman. The film out this Friday starrs Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro. 

     

    Earlier this year, I had the chance to watch and review “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” At that moment in time, I truly believed I witnessed one of the best Marvel films, as well as comic book films, to date. To follow up “The Winter Soldier,” Marvel took a risk and released a more unknown property: “The Guardians of the Galaxy.” Sure, Marvel had visited the Cosmos before with “Thor” and briefly in “The Avengers,” but never have they gone as deep into space as this. It’s safe to say that director James Gunn and his crew were touching new ground in the MCU. The end result? Probably the most fun a Marvel film has had in a long time — it felt like a blending of tones of “Star Wars” with “Indiana Jones” with a hint of “Firefly.” It truly doesn’t disappoint on any level.

     

    In 1988, a young Peter Quill is abducted by a spaceship from the planet Earth (it seems like a nice place, but no where I’d want be…you’ll get it soon). Years later, Quill (Pratt), now a thief and a junker is on a job looking for some sort of mysterious orbs. I have to take the time here to just say that Quill’s introduction sequence to Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” is one of the best in any movie I’ve seen … right off the bat it sets up the tone for what’s coming. But bad news for Quill — he’s not alone in looking for the orb. Korath (Hounsou) and a couple of others are hunting down the orb for Ronan the Accuser (Pace).  Quill, surrounded by Korath and some of his men, knocks them out and makes his escape.

     

    Quill heads to the planet Xandar to contact his guy, but once Quill let’s slip that Ronan is interested … well, he’s sent out of the shop quickly. Waiting for him outside is Gamora (Saldana), an assassin who has been sent by Ronan to retrieve the orb. But also waiting for Quill to collect the bounty on his head are Rocket (Cooper) and Groot (Diesel). What comes next makes for one of the funniest moments in the movie that end in all four of them being arrested, with Rhomann Dey (Rielly) bringing in Quill or as he calls him, “Star-Prince.”

     

    The four of them are sent to Kyln prison, and the only real way for them to survive is if they stick together. At least Quill sticking with Rocket and Groot … they really want that bounty. Gamora on the other hand … a lot of people in that prison were affected and had friends and family killed by Ronan so her head is wanted. Once night time rolls around, Gamora is taken by some inmates and is all but killed until a big guy walks in the room — Drax the Destroyer (Batista). Drax makes the claim that he’s the one who should kill Gamora for what Ronan has done to his family. She’s all but dead until Quill steps in and saves Gamora’s life by promising Drax they will kill Ronan.

     

    I’ll say this right now — “Guardians” isn’t just the funniest movie in the MCU, but may be the most emotional, most heartfelt and touching movie in the MCU as well. Each of the Guardians has gone through hell and back. Each of them has their own demons that turned them into what they are. James Gunn doesn’t gloss over this — he lets each character have their moment and it’s both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Before the Guardians can come together as a unit, they have to come to terms with their past and what they’ve become. In “The Avengers,” it’s ego that gets in the way of them becoming a force. In “Guardians,’ it’s not ego…it’s a lack of family and trust in a society where all of these individuals had been forced to go at it alone.

     

    As a whole, Guardians really is a special movie and is instantly a Marvel favorite. Chris Pratt is perfect as Star-Lord while Dave Batista is, shockingly, one of the funniest characters in the whole movie. The villains are also well done and thoughtout — both Lee Pace and Karen Gillan (as Nebula) are fierce and it feels like at any moment they can kill you if they so choose. While there’s a lot going on in the movie and there’s so much movement and traveling, it never gets to a point where it feels overwhelming.

     

    In terms of a Marvel movie, James Gunn has created a sci-fi masterpiece unlike any other. Gunn has always been a bit insane … just take a look at his past movies. But that’s what made him the absolute perfect choice to direct this movie. With a talking tree, a bad mouthing raccoon, and just pure craziness going on every second, you need an insane director. James Gunn has cemented his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I expect he’ll be around for a long while. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a delicious treat for just about everyone. But remember — stay for the credits. It’s never quite over.

    -Joshua Kaye

  • Film Review: ‘Calvary’ Starring Brendan Gleeson and Chris O’Dowd

    John Michael McDonagh is back with the second part of part of his “Glorified Suicide Trilogy”.

    This second installment features Brendan Gleeson as Father James, a virtuous priest who receives a death sentence from a child abuse victim during a confessional. He explains that he plans to murder an innocent priest , referring to Father James, the next Sunday in order to gain attention to his crime.

    And so, the film follows the father as he interacts with the people of the small town in West Ireland as the days count down to his death sentence. The visual landscapes and cinematography flawlessly complement the dark drama in the film with waves crashing down onto the cliffs and the sound of the them falling onto the shore, almost reminiscent of old mystery novels. Although the priest’s intentions are honest and legitimate, the community’s attitude towards him are brash and lewd due to each of their internal conflicts. Some of these include an apathetic doctor (Aiden Gillen), a married couple dealing with infidelity, and Michael Fitzgerald (Dylan Moran), a shameless banker. The town is bereaved by the community’s despondent and melancholic attitudes; cynicism has made them give up on faith and morale. Even Father James’ upright behaviour also begins to fall apart…

    This film does a superb job in delving into the problems that society faces and the struggles in all of our lives. The characters reflect a genuine portrayal of detachment that we can all understand and relate to, when hope is lost. This movie is more of a work of art than it is of focusing on a captivating storyline. The last scenes capture the importance of the need to stay committed and not lose hope by examining the consequences of cynicism.

    “Cavalry” is coming to theaters August 1.

    -Tristen Yang

     

  • Missoni x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Fall 2014
    Missoni Converse Missoni Converse Missoni Converse Missoni Converse Missoni Converse

    Fashion brand Missoni  & famed shoe brand Converse has teamed up for a new fall 2014 collaboration. The two brands have joined together once before on previous collections and now they are back to produce rare designs of the Chuck Taylor All Star.

    The sneakers were made in both high-top and low-top versions. Each sneaker is embellished with Missoni’s signature Mediterranean style design. The collaboration drops at Converse retailers and on their website on August 28th. Check out photos of the collection in the gallery above.

     

    MulaGoola loves the mula – Follow her on Twitter @MulaGoola

  • The Brooklyn DA Says No Charges Will Be Filed In The Shooting Death Of Kimani Gray

    No charges will be filed against the NYPD in the death of unarmed teenager Kimani Gray last year in Flatbush

    It was confirmed yesterday by District Attorney Kenneth Thompson that charges will not be filed in the shooting death of 16 year old Kimani Gray last year on March 9th in Brooklyn by the NYPD.

    Last year, an investigation was launched when then Ofc. Mourad Mourad and Jovaniel Cordova shot Gray seven times, of which three bullet holes in his back, killing him. The officers were initially placed on administrative duty during the investigation, however, since the incident Officer Mourad Mourad was promoted to sergeant and has even reeceived a service award.

    This tragic news comes on the heels of the death of Eric Garner, further widening the gap between the cops and the community.

    Kimani’s mother, Carol Gray, intends to continue to fight for justice for her son with a federal lawsuit against the NYPD in her sights.

    -Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)

  • Kendrick Lamar Is Premiering His Short Film “m.A.A.d” At Sundance NEXT Festival

    Maad World

    Kendrick Lamar has been pretty quiet since his verse on “Control” a couple of months back.  There is a lot of speculation going around about Kendrick working on his sophomore album, however, he seems to also still be focused on his first release Good Kid, m.A.A.d City. Kendrick will be premiering a short 14 minute film entitled “m.A.A.d, inspired by the his latest album at the Sundance NEXT Fest in Los Angeles, California.

    The film directed by Kahlil Joseph, will give us a creative retrospective point of view of “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and will be shown at The Ace Hotel August 9th.”

    Kendrick has taken his creativity to new heights with the release of  ”m.A.A.D” which will let fans better understand Kendrick as an artist. Sundance NEXT Fest will be from August 7th to the 10th and will have various tastemakers of the film and music industry in attendance.  For more information and ticket information click here.

    Yak Yak Yak, Follow Erica On Twitter - @Eri_Rho

 
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