Category: I Love L.A.


My goal this year was to line up the rest of my life, the rest of my long term goals, that’s been done 11 months. I’m in a good spot.

A few of you know I’ve been thinking more this year about working again behind the camera; my specific ‘voice’ can be as strong of an asset to my goals as my face.

The last thing I directed, as most of you know, was a ‘Love Actually’ spoof (or correction) depending on your point of view.  

So the timing is right on all fronts to repost this.  

Enjoy!

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The extremely rare wet day in the City of Angels, so this is perfect.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson calls for crowd noise during the final minutes of the 76ers 96-93 win over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, March 12, 2003 in Philadelphia. Iverson led all scorers with 31 points.(AP Photo/Miles Kennedy) ORG XMIT: PXC106

Worked away from the camera lately, setting the baseline for my voiceover work.  Like being in front of the camera, you try to gravitate toward things you’re naturally passionate about, so for this I went to ‘The Book of Basketball’, the beginnings of black cinema, and luxury cars.

Enjoy.

In no particular order, thank you…

Mom, Pops, Sheena, the Fradieus, Darryl, Tara, Brittany, Tawana, Shannon, my ‘Fan Club’, Steve, Lorenzo, Leo, Jermaine, the Asian Delegation and my Age of Learning family, Nathan and Saba, Jay, Tish, Alfred and Amber, Adrian and Aida, Ben, Terrance, Brandon, Akela, Aaron, my Jayhawk family, Larvell and April, the Ummah, Dorian, Ormonde and Melissa, the Frat, the Starkies, Gene, my Trojan family, Quincy and Sophia…

And an ever growing list of people who I hope won’t be offended I didn’t name check them specifically.

Thank you for friendship.  Thank you for love.  Thank you for inspiration.  Thank you for leaving me be when I need time and space to figure things out on my own.  Thank you for listening when I reach out and I seek the opinion of someone I trust.  Thank you for pulling me back into focus when it’s time to get things done.  Thank you for cracking me up when I need to be reminded ‘it ain’t that serious.’

Thank you for reminding me how many people love me, look up to me, and are counting on me in various ways.  Thank you for standing by me, and standing up for me as I’ve lived a full, three dimensional life.  As time goes on, I can’t stress enough my appreciation for that.  

Onward.

 

jinn-sxsw

So, a film about a young convert finding her place (and herself) as a Muslim while also coming into her own as a young adult.  You would not be wrong to deduce that I’m cheering for this film to succeed on several levels, whether it’s a good film or not.

But the debut film of Nijla Mumin IS a good film.   Better than I was expecting.  That’s not a knock on Nijla, that’s me as a heavily experienced film geek knowing that ‘first films’… you just instinctively lower your expectations after a while.  You look for potential more than you look for anything too promising in what’s in front of you.

So, the story of Jinn, which starts off as a tale of a young black mother (Luke Cage’s Simone Missick) finding herself in Islam, gradually shifts its focus to the point of view of the daughter (Zoe Renee, who is a revelation).  On top of the stresses of being a high school senior trying to get into art school, now add in your mother adopting a new religion and trying to fit into a completely new community that you may not want to be a part of.  Now THAT’S some organic, ready made conflicts.

A perfect film, no.  But a film that left me wanting to see what comes next from its leading actress and director? Absolutely.

High recommend.

 

 

timberlake

Whatever we feel about Timberlake (the Boondocks joke: Michael Jackson is not a genre of music comes to mind), this song goes.

Thank you Timbaland.

And this video!  Man.  Bill Simmons called this ‘the white people’s Hit Em Up’, and he wasn’t wrong.  I mean, he got a straight Britney clone…

Enjoy!

 

 

SWV-90

Hard to mess up my favorite song ever.

But honestly, this remix works, because it works.  On its own.

Enjoy!

 

 

front-runner

Like Jason Reitman, I’m old enough to remember hearing the names ‘Gary Hart’ and ‘Donna Rice’ on the news, but way too young to have any context for it at the time. ‘The Front Runner’ makes its case as one of those ‘pop culture turning points’ where our obsessions with the personal lives of public figures makes some of our best and brightest hesitate from putting themselves into high profile positions.

Hugh Jackman’s bonafides are untouchable now: iconic superhero, more than hold his own as a song and dance man.  So it’s cool in a ‘what can this guy not do?’ kind of way to watch him play a character who is trying a little too hard/ a little too defensive about hiding a major ‘flaw’ in his personality.

As has become the norm with Reitman at this point of his filmography, the supporting cast is a treasure trove of actors he’s worked with before (Vera Famiga, J.K. Simmons) and other character actor heavyweights (Alfred Molina) who fill out the cast and get the audience to question what is the ‘right answer’?  Does the media spend too much time on frivolous stuff?  If someone has a history of questionable judgment in their personal life, does that automatically mean they’d be a terrible leader or lack professionalism?

‘The Front Runner’ asks the questions but doesn’t give the answers.  Thoughtful but not overly serious (the Reitman style).

Worth seeing.

 

 

raheem

The weekend is here, and I’ve been blown away.

The Gram, THE GRAM! of all places put this cover on my radar.

3000 is one of my all time favorite lyricists, and I’ve always loved this song.  As a singer though, I say with no arrogance we’re in the same league: ‘actor singers’.  People who may impress you at a karaoke bar, who wouldn’t embarrass themselves completely in a ‘La La Land’ type musical.

But to hear this song, sung by someone who can actually, as my people say, BLOW?

Man, I’m floating!

Have a good weekend gang.

 

 

nwa

It’s been said but it’s worth repeating: there’s a lot of ways ‘Straight Outta Compton’ could have gone way wrong, but it’s still a supremely watchable movie.

And I know I’m not the only one who was all in when this instant classic scene started.

You have

  • he’s now known as ‘Chad’ from Insecure playing DJ Yella
  • ‘Weak in the Knees’, an all time classic beat in its own right
  • The first verse of ‘Gangsta Gangsta’, which is up there in ITS own right as great ‘this is who we are’ bars

It was like this is in the theatre opening weekend, it’s like this when I hear the song in the car (it’s LA baby), it was like this sitting at my desk:

‘You don’t like how I’m living well…’

(the middle finger goes up…)

Classic!

Enjoy!