Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Whenever I take a second to look back and reminisce about the old days, I realize that being a kid in the 80's wasn't as bad as I initially thought it was; this is mainly because I got to see movies like The Karate Kid and Rocky IV in the theater. These seminal movies taught me the important lessons in life; like how I should hate Russians or I should, without any reservations, trust lonely old Asian men who only hang out with teenage boys.

Where else can you get this kind of quality education? I grew up in Texas, so you certainly couldn't expect me to learn anything in school. I mean really when you look at it, the fact that I also got to see movies like Red Dawn, The Terminator, and Friday the 13th, gave me the opportunity to learn everything I needed to know about foreign affairs, science, and the effects dreams can have on your overall well being.

Well thankfully this Thanksgiving, Sylvester Stallone gave me the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane when he gave us the inspirational movie Creed. Creed is the story of Apollo Creed's illegitimate son Adonis Johnson. Johnson had to grow up in group homes his entire life because his father died in the ring at the hands of Drago in Rocky IV (see, I told you you should hate Russians) and his mother was nowhere in the picture. And as a result, he became a troubled kid who had issues controlling his anger and found himself getting into fights all of the time.

That is until one day when Apollo's wife Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad) decides to track him down and gives him the opportunity to grow up in a quality home and have am actual positive upbringing. But even after this life changing event takes place, he still can't shake his innate desire to get in the ring and to compete physically with another individual. So he decides to quit his job, leave his mother behind, and move to Philadelphia to track down his father's former buddy Rocky. He hopes that Rocky will become his mentor and will properly teach him how to box so he can live out his dream. And once he reluctantly agrees to do this, a series of implausible situations arise.

Now the first ten minutes of the movie are pretty cheesy, and as I just mentioned earlier, there is absolutely no way that what actually transpires in this story could ever happen in real life. But you don't go see Rocky movies to experience real life, you go to Rocky movies to be inspired. And that's exactly what this movie does!

Adonis is played wonderfully by Michael B. Jordan who was in desperate need of a hit after the failure of the awful Fantastic Four this summer. His electric performance was the driving force behind this movie as he gave you the underdog that you so desperately wanted to cheer for and watch succeed. And writer and director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) does an excellent job nailing the language and the culture of the people Adonis comes into contact with during his journey. But he especially shines when it comes to showing the action in the ring.

He almost gives you a video game first person player look as to what actually transpires in a boxing match as you can almost feel every jab or undercut that's being thrown by the fighters. But the best moment of the movie belongs to the pre fight action that place right before the film's climatic scene. I wont ruin anything for you but just know that I hadn't been that hyped for a fight since I heard Mike Tyson walk out of the locker room to DMX in his attempt at a comeback. Just think about that for a second, two of the world's craziest men came together for one special night without killing someone! Well this somehow topped that!

Women will more than likely hate this movie as it's a true sports film through and through, but they do try and throw in a tender love story in an attempt to keep them interested. By the way, Adonis' lady does drop some nice little jams from time to time in this film (she's a musician). So there's a little something for music nerds too. But men will absolutely love it, especially when they hear the old school Rocky song blaring through the speakers.

This is nice sophomore effort by Coogler and I give this movie a solid rating of very FRESH!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The movie studios just couldn't let us make to New Year's Eve before releasing this movie could they? At least let us enjoy Jesus and a little bit of Randy Quaid in Christmas Vacation before showing us movies about priests preying on little kids! And here I thought my viewing of the Workaholics' episode "To Friend a Predator" was sending me to hell; seeing Spotlight just before Thanksgiving will certainly assure me of a first class seat there!

If you have never seen the episode I'm talking about, just know that it is easily the most offensive thing I have ever seen on television, and this includes the Boondocks episode where white people found a way to legalize slavery in the form of a theme park. Sadly though, I am ashamed to admit that I was literally crying from laughter as I watched both and that there is no way I should be allowed around children or even Black people at this point! I have lost the privilege. (For those who are new to this site, I am a Black male and I like adult women; these are just jokes...although I really was laughing when I saw those shows)

Anyway, I am sure that everyone remembers where they were when the story first broke in The Boston Globe about the 90 plus counts of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Boston area; and how the Archdiocese knew about it and covered it up. I happened to actually be in Boston visiting my girlfriend at the time and let's just say that the city as a whole was in shock. Everyone was walking around like zombies; so much so that they didn't even care that a Black man was gallivanting around town with a cute Irish white girl on his arm.

Normally in that city, this type of behavior would warrant one or two bottles being thrown at your head; unless of course your name is Big Papi. But on this day I was given a free pass as interracial relationships took a clear back seat to intergenerational abuse! How could this happen? Why did it happen? What does this say about our core beliefs or how we approach them?

These were the questions that were going through everyone's mind at the time. And these were also the same questions that kept popping up throughout the gripping tale of this story's discovery in Spotlight.

Spotlight was the investigative section of the Globe that usually dealt with shady construction sites or random cases of police corruption in the city. They were good but they seemed to have lost their fire for finding the truly game changing stories that were out there. That was until their new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) comes in and lights a fire under them. Because every one of them grew up in a predominantly Catholic environment, they all subconsciously ignored the numerous reports and attempts to expose these vile individuals for who they really were. But now that a new set of eyes were on the story, they see that everything they ever needed was right before them.

Director Tom McCarthy does an excellent job of keeping both the discovery of the story and the fact finding behind it moving at a fast pace, because he thankfully realized that no one wants to sit through three hours of reporters running into dead ends. He also pulled no punches in describing what happened to these poor kids while they were under the care of these priests nor does he utilize any histrionics to emphasize his narrative.

The story itself is horrific enough as you see the toll these events had on the victims and everyone associated with them. The movie shows you just how important the church is to the daily lives and to the general psyche of everyone in the city but it also shows just how far people will go to keep the institution in tact. It truly is a challenging movie to watch at times as you can't help but see both the good and the bad that will come with the revelation of this story.

I realize that it may seem as though this story has been covered ad nauseam at this point but there is still plenty that took place that you may not have been aware of before. I rate this movie as very FRESH and I suggest that you go see it. Who knew that the director of that awful Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler could actually pull this off? Also as a side note, expect an Oscar nomination for Mark Ruffalo. I can't stand that guy but he was actually fairly decent in this film.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

When I first started this site, one of the first movies I ever wrote a review for was The Hunger Games. It wasn’t the best movie I had ever seen but people seemed to respond in a positive way to my thoughts on it, so I decided at that time that I had no other choice but to continue on the journey and to watch every installment of the popular series. And as I’ve suffered through Katniss’ clich├ęd love triangle and her uninspiring speeches over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing of significance that I actually remember from these mundane stories, is my crass reference to a creamy bath scene that would heal all of Jennifer Lawrence’s wounds while she participated in these games, ala Angelina Jolie in Wanted.

Well apparently Lawrence read my review and took my suggestion to heart as The Fappening unfortunately revealed some of her trial runs with the aforementioned bath scene. They didn’t end well. But this now makes me want to throw out a few more suggestions for the talented actress, maybe something involving werewolves and vampires (Underworld reference), or maybe even an R. Kelly reenactment with a local movie reviewer (nerdy Black writer who’s writing this review reference). Hit me up girl, you know I got that Hotline Bling.

(Just as a side note, I actually really do respect Jennifer Lawrence as a person and I think the world of her as an actress as well. So I promise this will be my last reference to any private photos of hers that were released illegally. That is until the Fappening Part 3 comes out and I make a guest appearance)

Anyway, I entered this movie hoping for good things. The first two were actually decent films but Mockingjay Part 1 was really just two hours of kids walking around in the streets while whistling an awful song. My idiot friend promised me that this one would be really violent (he was referencing a 10 year old girl’s experience with the movie for his support btw) but he also said this about the last Harry Potter movie and it wound up being just another Harry Potter movie.

This film starts off right where the last one ended. Katniss is trying to recover from being nearly strangled to death by the love of her life Peeta, while the rebels are making plans to make their final advancement on the Capitol. Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the rebel leader, wants to continue to use Katniss as inspiration for the fight but she wants to do so as safely as possible. So she has her film crew follow Katniss and her unit as they stay a safe distance away from the actual fighting.

This however doesn’t keep them out of harm’s way as they still have to deal with President Snow’s ingenious countermeasures. He has placed pods that were made by the Game Makers all over the city to destroy Katniss and any other rebel forces who are trying to put an end to his way of life, as well as "mutts" who are basically the evil vampires from I Am Legend, to hunt her down and kill her.

So on the surface, we are set up for quite a bit of action. But in reality, that’s not what we got. There are three or four fresh action scenes that all involve the pods (mini guns and flame throwers) and the mutts. And it’s during these scenes where I thought the producers of the movie were finally going to appeal to everyone who has to suffer through these films, but unfortunately they took the easy and cheap way out. As opposed to stringing a few of these scenes together to create some tension and excitement, then simply fell back on the boring and useless dialogue that the books provided.

If you are an adult with a high school level vocabulary, you will be bored to tears for about 80% of the film. But if you’re a teenage girl, you’ll be brought to tears for completely different reasons. Seriously, there was a poor girl sitting next to me that was legitimately bawling during parts of the movie; her friends of course had to take a selfie of it to document it.

This movie got so bad at times that my idiot friend and I had to subconsciously distract ourselves to keep from falling asleep. The entire movie he thought that Woody Harrelson looked like an old alternate universe Kurt Cobain while I convinced myself that Philip Seymour Hoffman is the Tupac of acting. Didn’t he die two years ago??? How is he in this movie? I fully expect him to be tossing random teenagers backpacks in the next installment of the Maze Runner.

Normally I would give a movie like this a rating of weak but I felt so relieved by the fact that I am finally free of this franchise and all teen movies in general moving forward that I will give it a rating of barely FRESH!  

Friday, November 13, 2015


I've always loved the seemingly affable Brie Larson. Ever since I saw her play the snooty band leader Envy Adams in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World I was instantly hooked as she absolutely nailed the full of themselves hipster vibe with almost zero amount of effort on her part. It didn't matter to me that she suffered from the LeBron James syndrome; looking like you're already in your late 30's at the tender age of 21. There was just something about her resting bitch face that made me think she was going to be a star if she simply got the right break.

And this is the only reason why I went to see the movie Room. I hadn't really heard too much about this movie going into it and it was unfortunately labelled a drama, so it already had two strikes going against it. But I did notice that the majority of critics out there seemed to love it and it honestly came down between me seeing this or some lame holiday movie, so I decided to pop in and check out a film that seemingly described my life 5 days out of the week.

Room is a moving story about Ma (Larson) and her little boy Jack. They spend every day of their lives stuck in this small room that acts as their bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and backyard all in one. This is the only world Jack has ever known as he has never been outside or seen anything of the outside world. Anything outside of the room is considered outer space to him and he has been taught to think that anything he sees on television is not real.

The two of them seem to have come to grips with the fact that this is their world and even though they experience the highs and lows that naturally come with being stuck in such a confined space, they obviously love one another. Now the reason why they cannot leave this place is not immediately known but based upon their interactions with one another and the fact that Ma hides him from their one connection to the outside world, Old Nick, you start to make some assumptions.

The most thrilling part of the movie however is when Ma decides that it's time for the two of them to break free of their small prison. Her plan is a shaky one at best but you can't help but find yourself gasping for air while literally holding the edge of your seat once it's actually underway. I was so happy that I saw this film by myself because if a girl was with me, she would've immediately given me this disgusted look and I would've had zero chance of getting laid later on that night.

But anyway, once the second act of the movie starts, you get to witness little Jack's discovery of the outside world. Things that we take for granted everyday is a whole new and wonderful experience for the once sheltered toddler, but adjusting to the normal world comes with its own set of challenges. How will Jack adjust to his new surroundings and were things actually better off for him in the room?

I can honestly say that I'm rarely this moved by a film anymore but you really have to be the most jaded and pathetic person alive if you are not touched in some way by this film. Larson better start getting fitted for her Oscar dresses because award nominations are definitely coming her way.

I rate this movie as very FRESH!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Peanuts Movie

I was so happy six months ago when I first saw the posters go up in theaters advertising the new Peanuts movie that was coming out this November. This meant that at long last I no longer had to try and figure out the mysterious dates the evil execs at CBS had planned to show their Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials this year. I swear they purposely keep those things under double secret lock and key like Kevin Spacey does Justin Bieber’s gimp suit for whenever he decides to pop into London for a little professional consulting.

Now I know that I can in all likelihood I can probably go online and find these holiday specials whenever I want to but that’s not the point. The point is, whoever has control over the Peanuts kingdom needs to finally let it go so we can have more material; similar to what George Lucas did with Star Wars. Can you imagine if J.J. Abrams got a hold of this and decided to make Charlie Brown Mexican? And even worse, let George Lopez be the man behind his voice? We might have a second Civil War on our hands in this country.

Anyway, thankfully the guys behind Ice Age were given the opportunity to give us the next chapter for our down on his luck hero and I’m pleased to say that they did a solid job. All of your favorites are back and they each get a decent amount of screen time. The only thing they really did differently was tone down how much of a jerk Peppermint Patty is in today’s version versus that of the old school classics. Go back and watch the Thanksgiving special; she was like an ugly mix of Pepe’ le Pew and one of the Alpha Beta frat boys from Revenge of the Nerds.

The updated animation was phenomenal and all of the new people who were responsible for doing the characters’ voices sounded great. But the star of the show as always was Snoopy. A new girl moves to town and Charlie Brown sees this as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. There will finally be someone in town who doesn’t know about all of his past failures: his never being able to fly a kite, his horrible career as a baseball pitcher, his limitations as a cook, and so on and so on.

The only thing is, he must somehow work up the nerve to talk to her. But he is convinced that the only way he can do so is by doing something spectacular. This is where Snoopy comes in. For 90 minutes he goes through an array of ways to help his shy friend overcome his anxiety, all the while poetically documenting what’s happening on his typewriter through the eyes of his alter ego, the Flying Ace.

This provides the movie’s coolest and funniest moments by far. Just looking at what the animation department was able to do with these scenes makes it worth the price of admission alone and it will definitely wake your kid up if their short term attention spans start to wane a bit.

I absolutely loved this film and I honestly think that there is something in it for everyone. And the fact that they paid Trombone Shorty a ton of money to do the adults’ voices is hilarious to me. I rate this movie as FRESH and I suggest that you see it with your family over Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 9, 2015

The Best of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015

As I woke up to go pee some of the 325 ounces of Shiner Cheer out of my system last night, I noticed that my pathway to my bathroom was lit with all of these randomly discarded fluorescent glow sticks. It was great! My apartment looked like a clip from the latest Tron movie! The only thing that was missing was the wonderful sounds of Daft Punk and a half naked Olivia Wilde laying on my living room floor. But it got me to thinking, why doesn’t my apartment always look like a Tron movie? And does Olivia Wilde have a thing for Black guys? I really need to move to Hollywood to find out this vital information!

Anyway, so there I was dancing and peeing (probably not accurately) in my nightclub/bathroom and I began reminiscing over all of the wonderful and weird things that took place at this year’s 2015 Fun Fun Fun Fest. Here’s what I came up with:


The Good

I’m not really sure where I should start but Parquet Courts came out and absolutely owned the Black Stage. They had both kids and old men dancing and moshing like idiots as they ripped through frenetic classics like Black and White and Master of My Craft. This was definitely one of their tightest shows in years as they effortlessly oozed coolness with each roaring riff. But Bomba Estereo might have taken the cake with their hot Colombian dance party. Their mix of electronic and traditional Latin dance music was a breath of fresh air for this festival. I mean I’ve heard Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes angrily shout indiscernible Spanish at FFF Fest before but not at this rapid of a rate. Liliana Saumet (Bomba’s lead singer) sounded like the Colombian version of Twista. Sadly though, my friend later informed me that Bomba Estereo was indeed not Spanish for big boobs; it actually means Stereo Bomb. Go figure. Rae Sremmurd and Schoolboy Q did work too.

The Bad

Nothing really to report here except for maybe Mutoid Man’s terrible jokes in between songs. After hearing them talk I couldn’t help but wonder how these guys actually get laid. Don’t get me wrong, they played a great set but they sounded more like your out of touch drunken uncle who only shows up to embarrass you at graduations than they did rock stars.

The Unnecessary

Peaches. If you’ve experienced one of her shows before then you already know what I’m talking about. However if you haven’t been a part of this spectacle in the past then you should just know going in that she is quite the showman. She’s still in great shape for age 46 but it’s kind of like that scene in Sex and the City when Miranda decides to have sex with a sugar daddy; once she saw his old balls it was all over. Yes, sadly I used to watch that show from time to time but that’s beside the point. The point is, once the camera gave us an up close look of her old saggy but cheeks in high definition, right after she stopped licking the oversized cloth replicas of vaginas on stage, I stopped paying attention to anything she had to say. It was a great performance but unfortunately that wrinkled booty will forever be engrained in my brain.


The Good

I was too hungover to make it out there in time to see Shamir but I was able to drag myself to the Blue Stage for Joey Bada$$. This native of Brooklyn took you back to the old school days of hip hop with his razor sharp lyrics and stripped down beats. The way he was able to connect with the crowd made it feel like you were supporting your younger cousin who somehow snuck his way on stage. It was the perfect primer for the legendary Wu Tang Clan who came out later on in the night and brought the house down. Only 5 of them showed up however and not surprisingly it was the 5 that needed the money the most. Rza was out there mainly because he needs money to finance The Man With the Iron Fists 3, GZA and Ghostface were there so they can keep the Wu Wear site up and running, and Inspecta Deck and U-God showed up because they needed to purchase new cots for their spots at the local YMCA. It didn’t really though because anytime I get to hear Triumph live, I consider that a win for me. Oh and also props to the Rza for being too lazy to say all three funs; he just kept calling it Fun Fest the entire set. Broncho also put on a killer show at Cheer Up Charlies as they absolutely destroyed for 40 minutes.

The Bad

This was a tie between Anamanaguchi and FFF Fest’s scheduling. Anamanaguchi makes this list because their name is stupid and it’s hard to spell; and music that mainly consists of video game sounds is cool in theory but in actual practice it’s a disaster. Second, I missed Jane’s Addiction because they had them playing opposite of Wu. I heard it was an amazing performance and that the old dudes still have it.

The Unnecessary

The goes to Side Bar for being so cool and so close to the FFF after shows. This bar is known for its cheap and unbelievably strong drinks, so heading here after eight hours of drinking was the worst decision I made all weekend. My night ended with me standing on one of their tables on the patio, holding up the Wu W, and shouting "Suuuuuuuuuuuuuu" as loudly as I could.


The Good

Lauryn Hill. At first I thought this show was going to be a flop when she came out and started playing mellow songs on an acoustic guitar while sitting on a futon from the 70’s. I mean, this is a fine way to open your set in a normal environment but she was at a festival where people had been smoking, drinking, shrooming, and snorting coke all day long (wait a second, where the hell was I??? This sounds like the pre party for the bus ride to hell). In this setting, you have to bring energy early on to keep the vibe going. Well mid set she finally stood up and absolutely started going in! The second she started Lost Ones, the crowd was hers for the rest of the night. And hearing all of the Fugees hits, her stellar Bob Marley and Nina Simone covers, and of course Doo Wop made this one of the most memorable shows of all time.

The Bad

Chromeo. I have tried for years to give these guys a chance but they are just so flat live. They were so bad in fact that they made me forget that earlier in the day the Growlers had me feeling like Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future. Remember the scene when he was playing guitar and started physically fading from existence? Well that was me for about 40 minutes on Sunday! Their set was so boring that it literally felt like I was losing my soul with each chord. I respect these guys but man, just play the hits.

The Unnecessary

This is a tie between all of the guys who thought that twerking at a Big Freeda show was all of a sudden socially accepted behavior and the strategic segregation of the FFF Fest organizers. My friends and I popped in on the Steve Gunn show for a quick second and we immediately noticed that every person who was over the age of 40 just so happened to be under that tent. I was halfway expecting there to be an organized suicide party to put them out of their misery.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Despite the amount of skepticism that followed his initial casting, Daniel Craig actually wound up having a really nice run as the iconic James Bond for the past decade. Much of that was due to the writing and the directing of Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) and Sam Mendes (Skyfall) but old man Craig deserves quite a bit of credit for balancing the newfound seriousness of the role with the usual cheekiness we've come to associate with the lady bagging secret agent.

But the big question in everyone's minds as we watched this obvious farewell to his turn as Bond was, who will be next to take over the reigns? The obvious choice is Idris Elba (Luther, The Wire) but there's no way to be sure if the eccentric Barbara Broccoli, the woman who has the keys to the franchise, will actually sign off on the casting a Black Bond? And if she actually does so, will they completely thug out and have Young Jeezy do the next Bond song as well or will they go more conservative and simply give it to Outkast? I guess it all comes down to whether or not she gets Jungle Fever before she dies but that's another rumor to discuss for another time.

In Spectre, James finds himself in Mexico City ostensibly celebrating the Day of the Dead, but we soon find out that he's really on a secret mission that the now dead M sent him on as her dying wish. His job is to track down the man behind the mysterious but powerful evil organization called Spectre and he must find out what their next move is before they have complete control over what's happening in our world today. But he's not only facing obstacles from outside forces, he's also attempting to do his job while his agency's coming under fire from their new department head C. C believes that the double O agency is prehistoric and should be shut down, so his every move is being monitored and scrutinized as he once again tries to save the world.

Now since everyone on the planet knows this is Craig's last ride as Bond, both the writers and the director (Mendes) did an excellent job of throwing in numerous references to his past 007 films as a sort of unofficial farewell to him. But they also threw in a number of scenes that were odes to some of his predecessors. I won't ruin them for you but look for scenes that remind of Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Diamonds Are Forever; the last of which was just as cheesy as the scenes from the original movie but for the most part it wasn't too distracting. They may have been subtle but cool none the less for the die hard Bond fans.

It was great to see Monica Bellucci get thrown a bone in this film, as older actresses typical get thrown to the side of the road in Hollywood. But if anyone ever deserved to be a Bond girl, it was definitely this lovely and talented beauty. But Lea' Seadoux, oh my! She definitely steals every scene she's in with her French elegance. And thankfully for her, the writers decided to give her an actual brain. This is something they attempted to do with Denise Richard's Christmas Jones but we all know that Richards is a moron, so casting her as a rocket scientist was an epic failure on the casting team's part.

In the end, this movie had enough explosions, car chase scenes, and beautiful women in it supply Bond fans with everything they were hoping for. But ultimately it simply felt like a lazy effort on everyone's part as there never was that seminal moment in this film like there was in Casino Royale or Skyfall.

I rate this movie as WEAK but it is a Bond film after all and that shouldn't keep you from seeing it.