Monday, March 28, 2016

Corner Spotlight: DS Williams- Miles Ahead featuring Jrusalam, Kgreazy & Bubsy Millions (Produced by Kelly Portis)

Off the heels of his Mirrorz Edge collaborative effort, DS Williams has decided to drop an 8 track EP, entitled While You're Waiting,  while he continues to prep his sophomore opus Killer of Sheep. And what better way to start off the proceedings than by linking up with two of the most talented MCs in  the state, Bubsy Millions and Jrusalam respectively, and his partner in rhyme, that has proven to be clutch for almost two decades, Kgreazy. The only advice I can give the competition is to stretch before they participate in this lyrical exercise. Why?  Because these guys are already Miles Ahead of you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Reel Talk: Batman V Superman:Dawn of Justice

Synopsis: After witnessing the destruction caused by Superman's battle with General Zod, a hardened Batman seeks to end the potential threat that the Man of Steel may bring to humanity. All the while, Lex Luthor has his own agenda as it relates to the caped heroes.

Review: After countless tree house debates on who would be victorious between the two most iconic super heroes of all time,  we have finally reached the point where those  heated debates can be put to rest with the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice!  Unfortunately, those arguments are going to wind up being more enjoyable than this vapid, bland and brooding affair. From the onset, you can sense this movie's spirit being exorcised and driven into some abyss that is void of vitality. Now, not all comic book movies have to be  comedic offerings filled with one liners and zingers. Yet, there is no need for THIS  movie to be so doleful! What results, is a film that winds up being oft-putting rather than engrossing thus making it difficult for one to become invested in the narrative.  Sure, Synder's  artfully, curated bombast is present with each sprawling scene.  However, we are living in a new age of comic adaptations. Such films now contain wit,three dimensional characters, and multi layered plots.No longer can such films stand on CGI  and one note tonality. As a result, the life of the movie lies so heavily on the effects that the "Wow" factor  begins to dissipate at a rapid pace. In addition, the over the top incarnation of Lex Luthor, erroneously played by Jessie Esienberg, is quite grating to say the least. If this movie is any indication of where the DC Comics' shared movie  universe is headed, then it will take more than the combined powers of the "World's Finest" to save it from its' ultimate foe: mediocrity!  (C) - CgN

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Corner Spotlight: Alina Baraz & Galimatias- Can I

Whew!  Though Alina Baraz's sound is somewhat akin to Jhene Aiko,that does not take away from the fact that Can I is the auditory manifestation of  airy and playful seduction. This is the  type of selection where four play is doubled and figure eights become the sum of desire!


If I told you I could give you life
Would you leave the boundaries of your mind?
I bet you never even knew,
That there’s a universe inside of you

Can I take your pain and make it go away
Would you let me be your getaway
No no no no, I bet you never knew
There’s a universe inside of you

Can I 
Undress you,
You, you,
Undress you,
You, you, 

Undress you,
You, you
Undress you,
You, you

Undress you.

There’s a universe inside of you. 

If I color you with all my thoughts
Would you lose your fears of being lost
I bet you never even knew 
I see the universe inside of you

Can I make you feel okay
Would you let me take you to a higher place
No no no no, I bet you never knew
There’s a universe inside of you

Can I 
Undress you,
You, you,
Undress you,
You, you, 

Undress you,
You, you
Undress you,
You, you

Undress you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reel Talk: Top 10 Movies of 2015

by DaCogNegro

Well folks, another year another 50 movies watched. I may not create as much controversy as Chris Rock, but at least I won't have the lowest ratings in the last eight years for this entry (partially due to the fact that my blog has not been in existence for that long but who's counting right!?)Anyway, in order to arrive at my top ten films, I had to endure through the unnecessary (Terminator Genisys), the disappointing (Creed) and the downright awful (American Ultra) but if I had to do it again, well you already know the answer to that!


Synopsis: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

Review: After the disaster that was The Interview and the mildly whimsical but easily forgettable Neighbors, my expectations for Seth Rogen's latest vehicle, The Night Before, were quite low. What I wind up receiving was a sidesplitting, crude yet sentimental affair that was better then it had any right to be. In fact, it was the most fun that I had at the theater this year. This was one"Trainwreck" I had no problem keeping my eyes on (Zing) (B+)


Synopsis: A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Review: Some films are simply watched and enjoyed. Then, there are films such as The Revenant that are meant to be experienced in  the most harrowing fashion. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu takes us on a grizzly, pun intended, Darwinian exercise of survival of the fittest authentically capturing the visceral composition of both nature and man's will to survive. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention Mr. DiCaprio's Oscar worthy performance as the vengeful frontiersmen who will to stop at nothing in achieving vindication. It's a grueling watch and one that may not incite repeat viewings but the lasting images will be enough to leave a resonating imprint.(B+)


Synopsis: A single mother sends her two children to visit their estranged grandparents .

Review: Reduced to a  mere punchline in most critics' circles, M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit is the perfect blend of horror and humor and avoids the usual pitfalls that have plagued the majority of his previous films. Hopefully, this latest work proves to be the first step on the road to redemption for a once promising director. (B+) -CgN



Synopsis: In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.

Review: Bryan Cranston shines as Dalton Trumbo in this self titled biopic that also acts as an ode to film making and freedom of expression.  Strong turns from its' supporting cast along with an on the nose script make for a truly satisfying, historical look at old Hollywood as well as the progress that has been achieved thanks to visionaries like Trumbo.(B+)


Synopsis: Journey through the life and times of Beach Boys' leader Brain Wilson who goes from budding musical genius to a broken and confused shell of himself.

Review: Paul Dano is the true stand out in Love and Mercy: a film that chronicles the rise and fall of Beach Boy front man Brain Wilson. Dano meticulously captures the enigmatic genius of Williams while still being able to evoke sympathy despite his alienating eccentricities.Add strong performances form John Cusack, who plays the older Brain Williams to a tragic tee, and Paul Giamtti as the menacing Dr. Eugene Landy, and you have a superb, surrealistic entry in the musical biopic genre (B+)


Synopsis : Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing everything due to a tragic occurrence.

Review: Gyllenhall's raw and complex portrayal, as a boxer fighting for redemption, and Fuqua's relentless, gritty and realistic lens, form the perfect union. This results in Southpaw succeeding in being a heavyweight film, with just the right amount of emotional punch, that inevitably engrosses and satisfies viewers.(B+)


Synopsis : Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who's surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure. 

Review: Like it's central character, Dope is indeed a complex movie. On one hand, it manages to add some fresh and inventive ideas, mainly the advent of social media, to the typical "coming of age" motif while still appealing to  movie goers who wish to hang their hats on nostalgia. However, the movie becomes problematic and a bit jarring due to the pervasive use of the "N Word". It is unclear if the director is intending to replicate modern, urban dialogue, or advocate its' use to reclaim and redefine its' impact. Whatever the reasoning, the script prevents it from truly leaving me in my B-boy stance! (B+)


Synopsis: A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking, female A.I.

Review: There has not been a shortage of films that deal with the journey of self awareness as it relates to automatons. Nevertheless, Alex Garland effectively incorporates a stark sense of dread and intrigue in his latest film Ex Machina: a high tech game of cat and mouse made even more engrossing by Alicia Vikander's  deceptively, stoic portrayal of AVA! (A-)


Synopsis: A middle-aged couple's career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives.

Review: Looks can be deceiving, no? At first glance, While We're Young comes off as another disposable "Dramedy" that deals with the struggles of middle age life. This results in a series of comedic follies due to feeble attempts at reclaiming youth and climaxing in the moralization of accepting the passing of time. This is not to say that semblances of these elements aren't present but this film deals honestly with some weighty, existential themes that are explored as it relates to  generational divides. These themes range from the dehumanization of society due to the advent of technology down to the growing ambiguity when it comes to notions of morality. Thankfully, it all is presented in a very palatable fashion thus leaving a lasting impression that resonates with the viewer beyond the theater. (A-) 


Synopsis: Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his life altered when he befriends a fellow classmate who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Review: The balancing act, when it comes to the various emotional themes, that is achieved in Me Earl and The Dying Girl is nothing short than amazing. One step in the wrong can lead to an offering that is maudlin, contrived or insensitive. Luckily, under the direction of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon , this film avoids those mishaps. Sure, the usual indie tropes are present: snarky script, quirky characters and irreverent tones, but none of it feels forced. Rather, it adds to its' effective charm thus making it very easy to become invested in each principal character and drawn into its' story: which itself is a celebration of life and all of its' awkward, tragic and ultimately, triumphant turns. (A)

To check out all fifty I watched, click Here Buddy!!! (CgN)