Archive for May 2015

Annie 2014: Another Snubbed Reboot   Leave a comment

https://tlkabtmovies.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/annie-final-poster.jpg?w=382&h=562

…And it really is a shame.

I bought the movie via The Playstation Network  on my Playstation 3 over the weekend (in Standard Definition so I could also put it on my Playstation Vita) along with Selma. After watching the movie, I immediately downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes.

As I’m sure folks can guess, the songs they brought from the originals were redone for the 2014 version BUT they are recognizable to those who’ve seen the 1982 version (By the way there was a 1992 remake that had been done to celebrate the movie’s 10th Anniversary but who remembers that one?). The songs that were brought back are:

  • Tomorrow (Obviously)
  • Hard-Knock Life*
  • Maybe
  • I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here
  • You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
  • Little Girls
  • Easy Street
  • I Don’t Need Anything But You

*Some of you may remember Jay-Z did a remix of this song 20 years ago. They did NOT use that version for this movie.

The rest of the soundtrack from Opportunity to Who Am I? to The City’s Yours fits with the film. Like the 1982 version, the soundtrack shines. When you differentiate the eras each movie is set in–the original is set in 1930s Depression New York While the 2014 version is set in 2014 New York–it becomes much easier to enjoy the 2014 version on its own.

Of course, there are nods to the source material in the 2014 version:

  • At the very beginning of the movie, one of Annie’s classmates with red hair also happens to be named Annie. This Annie played Annie on a recent Broadway production of Annie (see picture below).
  • Annie’s (Played by Quvenzhané Wallis) report at the beginning of ther film is about President Franklyn D. Roosevelt, who makes an appearance in the 1982 version.
  • Grace proposes the tagline “Little Orphan Annie”, which is actually the name of the original comic book series the 1982 version is based on.
  • In the original movie (as well as the comic book series) the Billionaire who adopts Annie is named Warbucks. In the 2014 version it’s WIll Stacks (Played by Jamie Foxx), who made his fortune as head of a cellphone corporation.
  • Annie’s parents dropped her off at an Orphanage/Foster Home in both movies. Also in both cases, Annie’s parents left her with a locket broken in two, leaving her with one half. In the 1982 version it’s revealed Ms. Hennigan had the other half the whole time. In the 2014 version her fake parents conveniently have it. The question is “where did it come from?” It didn’t look like 2014 Hennigan (played by Cameron Diaz) knew it even existed.
  • In the 1982 version,  Annie’s (Played by Aileen Quinn) fake parents are played by Ms. Hennigan’s brother Rooster (played by Tim Curry) and his girlfriend. Guy hires two random people to play the part in the 1982 version.
  • In the 1982 version, Annie and Warbucks take a helicopter from New York to the White House. In the 2014 version, Annie and Stacks take a helicopter ride over Queens and The Bronx.
  • In the 1982 version, Annie’s fake parents take her after she is adopted by Warbucks. In the 2014 version she’s adopted after her fake parents take her.
  • Sandy is a Shepherd in the 1982 version. He’s an Akida in the 2014 version.
  • In the 1982 version, Annie lives in an orphanage with dozens of other girls. In the 2014 version she lives in a Foster home with 4 other girls and goes to school.

And of course in both movies, one mystery is left unsolved: What DID happen to Annie’s parents? In the 2014 version it felt far less plausible her parents couldn’t have been found given Stacks runs the most powerful cellphone company in the world. That and Annie’s last name is Bennett in the movie (she didn’t have one in the 1982 version). Add to that her birth certificate and Social Security Number (both referenced in the movie) that’s more than enough to at least get her parents’ names.

Ah, well. It’s just something I couldn’t ignore.

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Another thing the 2014 version did a great job at was highlighting the fact there are alot of kids in foster care who are not babies. Many are between 10 and 17. All of them are in need of loving families. A moment that stuck out to me was when Annie revealed she doesn’t know how to read. I’ve worked with adults who are functionally illiterate: Unless you put a book in front of them and told them to read a page, you’d never know they couldn’t read.

Of course, the 2014 movie is not without its share of criticism. Some folks felt the 2014 version changed too much from the source material. From making Annie a black girl with an afro (see the above picture for a comparison) to casting Cameron Diaz as Hennigan to the use of Auto Tone in some of the songs (very noticable in Tomorrow and Maybe) to not giving President Obama even a mention in the whole movie. Yes, some folks too issue with that last one because As I mentioned above, FDR appears in the 1982 version.

While I can see diehard fans of the 1982 version dismissing the reboot as “Annie for black young people”, it is so much more than that. No one questions Jamie Foxx’s range as an entertainer. He started as a comedian but then got into acting. Then he picked up music. Most notably, he played Ray Charles in the Bioflick Ray 10 years ago. So yeah he can sing, act and do comedy all at the same time and look good doing it, too.

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Now me, I have no problem with the movie as-is. Like I said earlier, it helps when you don’t keep comparing it to the 1982 version. Like the Robocop reboot, Annie 2014 was made for the current generation. Like the original versions of both films you can always go back and watch them if you want to so…yeah.

Retired Surgeon Dr. Ben Caron announces Presidential Bid   Leave a comment

https://carsonscholars.org/files/imce/bccurrent.jpg

 

I’m going with the assumption everyone reading this has at least heard of him before he decided to get into politics. He’s famous for performing the world’s first successful separation of twins conjoined at the head. By successful meaning both survived the operation. As you guys may know, there was a similar operation that was attempted with adult conjoined twins a few years ago in Egypt but they died on the operating table. While it’s easy to say now Dr. Carson would’ve suceeded where their doctor failed, brain surgery period is nothing to take likely!

Anyway moving on.

Dr. Carson announced he’s running for president yesterdsy. He’s running as a Republican Candidate and on the platform “Things need to change”. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Dr. Carson the Surgeon but as a Presidential Candidate, that’s another matter entirely. I’m sure those of you who support his candidacy will just dismiss this post as “another Adventist who does’t want to give a fellow Adventist his support” but that’s not the point. I just read the comments made to Adventist Review’s publication of a statement made by The Church in response to Dr. Carson’s presidential bid. It’s chilling to say the least. For the most part, the majority of the people who commented said “we should support Dr. Carson because he is our only hope”. I know they mean in the context of American politics but that kind of rhetoric is why the SDA Church, unlike the other denominations avoids politics like the plague.

As I said on Facebook earlier this morning, American Politics are divisive by design. It will be no different with Dr. Carson. A fact I’m sure he’s well aware of. At the very least, I can say unlike the other candidates he (and Bernie Sanders) doesn’t have a hidden agenda. He’s honest to a fault and the only thing going against him is his inexperience in politics. A detail the media will constantly remind its viewers.

That said, while Dr. Carson does have my support for the Republican Nomination, Bernie Sanders has my support for President. Looking ahead to this time next year, I don’t see Dr. Carson winning the Republican Nomination. There are too many millonaire-backed candidates and career politicians he has to contend with in the Repblican field. The question is weather or not he’ll consider running as someone’s Vice President. If he’s open to the idea, Bernie Sanders would be good fit since I think they could agree on alot of things. I don’t think any other Republican Candidate would pick Dr. Carson as a running mate personally so…yeah.

As I mentioned 3 paragraphs ago, Dr. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. As am I. That doesn’t mean I should feel obligated to give him my support in his political aspirations. I hope others don’t feel the same way when I officially run for an elected position in Boston in the very near future.

 

Last weeks’s CNN coverage of the Baltimore Protests: Part 1   Leave a comment

To be fair to CNN, I’ll break my analysis up by day starting on Monday. Ok here we go:

 

  •  Monday: They got roasted for the coverage by Social Media and the people of Baltimore so…yeah. You can’t try to portay the whole city as descending into chaos when it was concentrated in 3 intersections of one neighborhood. Putting local leaders under fire for dealing with a crisis of this magnitude for the first time doesn’t help either. yes Mayor Rollins-Blake and Governor Ford were annoyed. WITH YOU, CNN. That’s why the walked away from the interview.
  • Tuesday: It was clear after the sun went down they decided to focus the bad apples and the negative side of what was going on. They clearly didn’t get the message when the mayor and the governor walked away the night before.
  • Wednesday: This is when they switched to “Neutral for now” mode. By now, everyone has reaired The Baltamore Mom to death for 2 days straight. CNN got their turn interviewing her today as well. It was clear CNN decided to start treating the people of Baltimore like people for once. Erin Burnett or Ashleigh Banfield (can’t remember which it was at the moment) pressing that State Rep to say “Just Call the Niggers!” and then trying to look innocent…no one’s gonna forget that anytime soon.
  • Thursday: A smart move being quick to dismiss the “leaks” by the Baltimore PD.  A major development yes but smart to not call it credible new intel. Some people didn’t like the sound byte but Dom Lemon made a good point when he said those getting arrested for breaking the curfew shouldn’t be surprised. Civil Disobedience.
  • Friday: The indictment that shocked Black America. The important point made by the people of Baltimore is this isn’t a Black Problem. It’s an AMERICAN problem. And I think the American people are starting to get that. Freddie Gray was murdered for no reason. The DA made that clear with her decision to indict. The racial makeup of the defendants–who by the way posted bond and are on the streets–
  • Saturday: I loved how CNN finally admitted there WERE outside agitators on the ground trying to make the people of Baltimore look bad. They pushed back hard against their own Analysts in this regard and with good reason: All of the CNN correspondants have spent almost 2 weeks talking to the people of Baltimore off-camera. They know what the truth is. They’re not THAT irresponsible. I’ll give them credit for that. I didn’t like how they pressed the mayor when it was obvious she was doing volunteer work. She walks away after saying “I’ll only answer one question” and CNN turns around and says she didn’t want to do an interview in one breath but then admit “She did say she’d only answer one question” in the next.
  • Sunday (Today): A panel of “CNN Experts” once again accused the Governor and the Mayor of not being on the same page because they didn’t do joint press conferences. That same shit talk from last Monday that pissed me off. Ford’s responsible for the whole STATE. He’s under no obligation to take time out of his VERY busy schedule to please the media any more than the mayor does. They were just mad they didn’t get what they wanted yes but it’s very dangerous to make these kinds of accusations with no proof.

 

Overall, I give CNN’s coverage of Baltimore so far a B-.  They stuck around  Ferguson well after most of their counterparts left, came back and left again (LOL) so…yeah. Considering this is American History the whole world is watching, you can be sure they want to get it right. At least that’s what it looks like to me.

Part 2 of my Analysis of CNN’s Coverage comes at the end of the month or after they leave Baltimore, whichever comes first. Speaking of which, the Earthquake in Nepal happened one week ago today. CNN was preparing to send its correspondents overseas when the riots happened. Nepal took a back seat as a consequence. Not just CNN but everyone prettymuch forgot about Nepal. All because of the riots last Monday.

“Riots are the language of the unheard.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote’s been said alot over the last week and it’s the truth. The 2015 Baltimore Riots could happened in any American city except Boston. The low turnouts to marches and demonstrations I’ve seen around Boston are why I say that. There was a march yesterday from Mattapan to Roxbury of about 100 people. Everywhere else, it’s at least a few thousand strong. That doesn’t mean Black Bostonians are cool with the status quo. More like “we’re not directly effected” and that’s the wrong mentality. A casualty of being in Boston I suppose!

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