Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Cover of "Good Hair"Cover of Good Hair

MOVIE REVIEW: "Good Hair" (2009)

After my friend, a hair stylist, mentioned that she did not really care for this movie, I was reluctant to watch "Good Hair". I did, however, enjoy the movie.

I did view it w/her thoughts in mind, but in the end, I thought that there was some symmetry to the film. She did not like the flamboyantness of the Bronner Brothers Hair Show segments. But to me, that is a real component. Some stylists love to attend that annual convention.

Unfortunately, I was quite saddened by the film. It was heart breaking to see the little girl getting her first relaxer at, what, five years old. Wow. I was also sad after seeing the short segment w/the five high school girls. And someone said to the girl w/the natural hair that they would not hire her because her hair was uncombed. The look on that young lady's face just broke me up.

More sadness about the cost of getting a hair weave ... and that some folks are spending thousands of dollars on hair weaves. So glad that things are NOT that serious for me. Never has been. I mean, I've had my hair relaxed and it looks good, but the price point was always reasonable. By reasonable, I mean $60-$70 dollars. That was some time ago though.

So take those thousands of dollars and add to it the amount of money that funnels out of the black community through hair care products. This was also mentioned in "Good Hair". There were two rows of black-owned hair care companies at the Bronner Brothers Convention. That is so not good since they were packed inside a seemingly large convention center.

I think that Chris Rock did a good job w/this project. He interjected his humor but shed light on an interesting topic. My friend says the element that was missing for the focus on natural hair. There's a vibrant interest in natural hair. I agree w/her on that point. And the segment w/the high school girls would have been a good place to add that segment.

Overall, I'm glad that I watched the movie and came away from it with my own opinion.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "It's Complicated"

MOVIE REVIEW: "It's Complicated" (2009)

I've been wanting to see this movie since it was released in December. My thinking was that with Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin and Meryl Streep, it's got to be a great film. Well, great is not quite it, but it is a really, good movie. Lots of laughter and some laugh out loud moments.

I'm a fan of Alec Baldwin. He's got charm. He's smart and he's handsome. Likewise, I've always been a fan of Steve Martin's. I don't know how many times I've seen "The Jerk". I was just quoting a line the other day from the end of that movie: "I don't need anything else, accept this table ... I don't need anything else ...". So stupid and funny.

Back to "It's Complicated". So I like the guys. I've not been a fan of Meryl Streep's. But I don't dislike her or her work either. Actually, I did like her in several movies including "The Devil Wears Prada". I don't think I've gone to a film just to see her though is what I'm trying to say.

The writing is what stands out in "It's Complicated". The dialogue was conversational and believable. Even the story line was realistic: ex-married couple rekindles relationship after years of being divorced. The writing was a bit awkward at one point though: during the girls night out sessions. It just seemed more forced and unnatural. Not to mention that those characters showed up, what, twice and then no more; that was just one misstep. Overall, Nancy Myers does a good job with the writing; she directed too.

Alec's character did not seem like a stretch for him acting wise, but I still enjoyed him. I'd expected Steve's character to be funny. But that did not happen. And Meryl was just fine. But the sleeper stand out acting in the film was from John Krasinski. He makes these quips that are absolutely hilarious.

Somehow you need to make a note to see this one. It's worth the effort (if there's any effort).

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Music Monday 51 :: Workout Mixtape

I've been seeking out some music to use for my workout. I had a hard time nailing down the tunes that would work best, but I think that you will like it. It's about 30 minutes.

For this workout mixtape, I decided to kick up the tempo, so don't be alarmed if the songs sound faster than normal. The good news is that the artists don't sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

So here's to getting fit and fabulous. Let me know what you think.

Note: image courtesy of Microsoft clip art

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "Fantastic Mr. Fox"

MOVIE REVIEW: "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009)

Just saw "Fantastic Mr. Fox". Nice animated movie. I had no expectations for this movie. I had not read the book.

This was such a charming movie. Very witty. George Clooney as Mr. Fox was, well, fantastic (and he dresses so nicely). The supporting characters added a good amount of flavor as well.

I thought that the movie was a short film though. I kept checking the time to see how much longer it was going to last. I say that because there were several moments when I thought I knew what would happen next and that the movie would soon end. How wrong was I? I did not figure out the ending.

Did I mention the clever writing? For example, Mr. Fox's son's sarcasm matches his dad's wittiness and the conversations have the usual animal related puns which are cute.

Oh, and one of my favorite parts is how Mr. Fox says something like "I can't believe this (cuss)". That is my new thing to say: in place of profanity, just say 'cuss'. Ha. Mr. Fox says 'cuss' a lot.

Overall, I don't know if I would have liked this film in the theater, but I did like it. Now I want to see Coraline and some of the other films that were nominated for best animated film for this year's Academy Awards. Good stuff.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Music Monday 50 :: Uncanny Alliance "I'm Beautiful Damnit"

I don't remember how I first got introduced to this song or how I even got a copy of my own, but I listen to it often. It is on my music player.

I know that I'd never heard of Uncanny Alliance, but "I'm Beautiful Damnit" is full of awesome. It's a nice funky beat, the lyrics are real and the delivery is, well, fierce. The song seems to be a symbol of gay pride, but it's also just a good and fun track.

Here's the vid to this 1993 (or was it '94) song. Also, seems Bette Midler came along years later and did a cover of this track.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Statistics Behind Fast Food

I like fast food as much as the next person. Almost bought some fries today.

There's not much that's surprising in the infographic. But it's colorful and some of the numbers do jump out at you. Living in Cairo, I immediately noticed the wealth of fast food restaurants: McDonald's, KFC, Hardees, and Pizza Hut are all quite popular here ... not to mention that they deliver as well.

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food
Via: Online Schools

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Music Monday 49 :: thesixtyone

In an effort to share all that I come across that is good, I bring you my thoughts on 'thesixtyone'.

I've been diggin thesixtyone for over a month, maybe longer. Let's see if I can give it a proper definition: a free music Web site where you can discover new artists and new music. Well, sure, that's 'a' definition, but thesixtyone is a bit more than that. They call themselves 'a music adventure'. For me, it's sort of a radio station: I select a genre that I want to hear and it plays music in that genre.

You can earn 'hearts' by taking challenges and by signing in daily, then you can use those 'hearts' to show your love for tracks that you like. When you 'heart' and listen to certain songs, you can increase your reputation. An increased reputation gives you more credibility.

Here are some other features (too many features to list all of them here):
  • You can build a playlist; only ten tracks per playlist, but still.
  • You can skip songs that you don't like and you can repeat songs that you need to hear over and over again.
  • You can choose a 'mood' to listen to instead of a genre. The moods include trippy, sad, rocky, love, covers and more.
  • You can share and comment and in some cases you can download the tracks, some for free and some for a small fee
I've discovered Bomani's "Read a Book" on thesixtyone. Not a new song, but new to me. I like "Goodbye" by Kamedah Bowyer; mellow song and she a nice voice. Glam.I.Rock's "Empty Street" is an uptempo track w/a catchy chorus. I'm on the verge of buying that one and "Everyday Poppa" by Slynk has a mix of Arrested Development's "Tennessee" along w/The Isley Brother's "Between the Sheets" and another loop that makes it a nice, slick track.

The downside: I've been listening to thesixtyone a lot and as a result, I'm hearing some repetition. I usually switch genre's when that happens.

There's no loss in giving thesixtyone a try, but there is so much to gain. Good, new music is out there.

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