Tag Archive: halle berry


Halle and Lena are about to bring ‘Boomerang’ back, which was an amazing soundtrack, and thus, today’s video (which is an amazing song.)

My personal connection to this song runs pretty deep. More than enough time has passed, but I can’t hear this without thinking of the most devastating breakup of my life. Shorty had me crumpled up in a laundry basket, ashy as hell, singing along to this when it came on the radio. That’s 100 percent true. Oh, to be young, and think you’ve blown it with your one true love!

A few people who guided me through that experience may also remember this: my adopting ‘Batman’ as my alter ego didn’t start with childhood comic books or Christopher Nolan, but the immediate aftermath of that breakup. Went to work everyday, but would come home, wouldn’t turn on the lights, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t turn on the television. Just sit in the dark for hours until my body decided to go to sleep. That’s also 100 percent true.

I wasn’t always inspirational quotes on the Gram, my friends. I’ve had my fair share of depression where you’re not even functioning as a human being really.

Anyway, happy thoughts. Cause again, this is a beautiful song.

Enjoy!

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The Help

Count me among the many whose face curled up in disgust as soon as I heard the re was a movie about black folks called ‘The Help’.  I mean, really?  That was the best title they could come up with?  There’s a very short list of actors at this point who I would consider ‘dream colloborators’, but Viola Davis is on that list.  So hearing that she was in this film bought it a little bit of rope.

Next I heard that this was based on a popular book.  That and knowing all the main charaters were women sent me next to my mother to see if she saw the movie or read the book.  I’ve made reference before to my roots being in the South; so when my mother told me that the book and film gave her flashbacks to her teenage years (i.e. for a brief period of time, she was ‘The Help’), well, now I had a vested interest in seeing this film.

There’s nothing groundbreaking in the film in terms of story (‘black people really got the short end of the stick during Jim Crow’) or as a movie about racism (‘there’s the one educated white person who’s ready to tear down Jim Crow and side with the blacks).  That doesn’t mean I think it was a poorly made film either; as award season comes around I think ‘the Help’ will be remembered more for the performances than for its whole.  Emma Stone as the ‘ugly girl’, Jessica Chastain as the white trash girl, Bryce Dallas Howard actually being very convincing in the part I imagine they offered to January Jones first.  Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson in bit parts that were both very memorable.  On a side note, I half jokingly wondered if Cicely Tyson just rents herself out to ‘questionable’ projects; like a safety net to let folks know ‘if Cicely Tyson is in it, it can’t be racist.’

This is Viola Davis’ film though and to no surprise she carries it.  I’ve already heard the ‘O’ word thrown around a little bit.  I cringe a little when I think about the parts and scenes that have won black women Oscars (see Butterfly McQueen and Halle Berry), but we can cross that bridge later if it comes to that.

The film has been at the top of the box office for a minute now, so it’s worth being part of the conversation if you haven’t seen it:

monsters_ball_ver2

In recent memory, there have been few films that have stirred up the flames and sparked discussions about the lack of roles for black actresses in general, and the portrayal of black sexuality overall, the way that Monster’s Ball has.  The plot revolves around a romance between a former death row security guard and the widow of a man he executed.  On to the tale of the tape…

Relevance:  The story’s location (Louisiana) lets you know going in that race was going to be addressed head on in this story.  The presence of two of the biggest names of modern day black America (Halle Berry and Diddy) are all it really needed.

Legacy:  Yeah I know.  We’re getting there, we’re getting there…

Craft:  I remember when I saw this movie my first thought was ‘Great, I thought this was supposed to be a serious movie, and they’ve got one of these young pretty boys in there.’  As the movie went on, I realized, “Man, this cat can really act!”  And I respected Heath Ledger from this movie until the end.

Crossover:  Well, you tell me.  As we all know, Halle Berry won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this movie.  At this point even she’s parodied her tearful acceptance speech, but it was one of those moments that will stay in the Oscar highlights from now on.

Apollo:  Hmm…was there anything shocking in this movie?  Hmm…Peter Boyle was pretty racist…Diddy and Heath both proved they can act…hmm…what else?  Oh yes…MAKE ME FEEL GOOD!!!!   I’ve rarely felt more heated (pun intended) in a crowded movie theater.  I’ve had several friends outside the film game ask me if they really did it.  Actually, the phrasing was more along the lines, “There’s only one way you get the cheeks popping like that!!!”  I obviously wasn’t there and don’t have the answer to that question, but if Halle ever decides she wants to go there again for a film role, I’m available…

Alright, back next time with another ‘landmark’ film.  Until then…

boomerang

Boomerang is one of the enduring black films of the 90s.  On the surface it can be categorized as just ‘another Eddie Murphy movie,’ but really it’s so much more.  The story revolved around a player named Marcus Graham, who gets the tables turned on him.  Most of you probably know the story, so let’s get to the tale of the tape…

Relevance: Directed by House Party’s Reggie Hudlin, here’s a quick rundown of a few members of the cast: Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Tisha Campbell, Robin Givens, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt, Lela Rochon, John Witherspoon…MAN!!!  I know there’s been talk of doing a black ‘Ocean’s 11,’ but I’d argue Boomerang was it!

Legacy:  Take your pick.  Allegedly after House Party and this movie, Martin decided to cast Tisha as Gina for his new sitcom, a little show called Martin.  There’s John Witherspoon taking it to the next level with his ‘coordination.’  There’s Halle Berry officially taking the crown of ‘woman every brother in America wants for a girlfriend/wife’.  (It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time long ago when Halle Berry wasn’t ‘Halle Berry’ yet.)

Craft:  Ahh, this was the ‘Golden Age’ when you were expected to be both technically sound and entertaining as a black film.  Good times.  Still a pretty watchable film today.

Crossover:  Do you remember the soundtrack?  Yeah that’s still a great album: ‘Love Should Have Brought You Home Last Night’ (the introduction of Toni Braxton), ‘Hot Sex’, ‘I’d Die Without You’, and one of the biggest songs ever, ‘End of the Road’ by Boyz II Men.  It’s actually a nice song again now, but if you were around that year and you heard it at least twice an hour for four months straight, it became unbearable.  But it is a nice song.

Apollo:  The Grace Jones perfume commercial?  The perfect feet?  The seduction scene with Eartha Kitt (and her butler)?  Again, with this much talent (comedic and otherwise), take your pick.

Alright, back next month with the next piece.