Monday, August 15, 2016

Corner Spotlight: Nikki Jean - Million Star Hotel

Introduced to the  mainstream world on Lupe Fiasco's Hip Hop Saved My Life, Nikk Jean's Million Star Hotel sounds like it was ripped straight from an eighties rags to riches musical... and that's a good thing! The "dreamscape" that Nikki's vocals create is so lush you  may just want to make this temporary lodging your permanent residence. Not to mention, you'd be neighbors with Black Though and Lupe Fiasco as they lend their lyrical dexterity at this inn!

[Nikki Jean]
Lord knows I've been lower
Locked underneath the cellar door
I've been bent til I broke but never more
You might ask why I'm smiling
With filthy pockets can't you tell
Diamond shine in the midnight sky
And the world is my million star motel

[ Lupe Fiasco]
L-U-P I'm back where the beat at
Love always shines every time I see that
Hugging the track if you're under attack
And you're stuck, I'll be back in your arms like a relapse
Take you out the lobby, put you where a suite at
Sweet you ain't gotta check, gotta bring the key back
Keep that do not disturb on the door
This [?] where infidels creep at
In a room where the lovers don't cheat at
Concierges, room service
Complimenting mini-bar, you ain't reserve this
But you deserve this, and we all agree that
House-keep let you sleep where you dream at
And if you need new dreams we can bring that
This the W-O-R-L-D
Anytime, anything where Nikki Jean at

[Nikki Jean]
God bless not-believers
They teach the dreamers how to fly
Love and hate fuel the fire inside their eyes
The suits and the schemers
Can't see beyond what they can sell
Diamond shine in the midnight sky
Being kept by a million star motel

[Black Thought]
Checked into a room with a view
One brick wall, one portrait of you
Still feel like I was walking into
A place more blessed than the less fortunate do
But, it couldn't be more far from the truth
Spot look small, not far from the booth
And the basement not far from the roof
And the whole staff look way darker than blue
But, I'm not really wanting for too much
I could feel like a millionaire with a few bucks
Whether in black Chucks or a new tux
Some take note but never give two fucks
Whether Wu-Tang Clan or the Klu-Klux
Wonder how the world gon' handle the new stuff
Find true love, that's my new drug
Nikki Jean get the orchestra cued up

[ Nikki Jean]
You might ask why I'm smiling
With filthy pockets can't you tell
Diamond shine in the midnight sky
And the world is my million star motel

Monday, August 8, 2016

Reel Talk: Suicide Squad & ...

Being that Reel Talk will  only be featured once a month, I figured I would review more than one film per post. This month, we review the highly anticipated Suicide Squad, the much hyped DC animated adaption of Baman's The Killing Joke and the the mysterious follow up to 2008's Cloverfield: 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Director: David Ayer

Release Date: August 5th, 2016

Synopsis: Figuring thy are all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains for a top-secret mission.

Review: Somewhere buried in DC's latest attempt at building a shared cinematic universe lies a great movie. However, despite Davis and Robbie on the nose depiction of their comic characters, Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller respectively, as well as some touching emotional moments,  Suicide Squad's uneven pacing and generic villains, hinders its' potential to be truly great. But it isn't the Joker or ______ that's the main antagonist to the Squad. No, it is the cliched script that is the force to be reckoned with. No one is expecting Oscar worthy lines from a comic book movie. However, when your dialogue is reminiscent of GI Joe PSA ads and fortune cookie fodder than it may mean that a couple of rewrites may be in order (Yes, we get it, you are "bad guys"! Thanks for the countless reminders Will Smith). But maybe rewrites and re-shoots aren't the solution. Perhaps, they are the problem! Due to the complaints of the dark nature of Batman V Superman, re-shoots and re-writes were done in order to "lighten" the tone of the movie. While some of the humor does hit, ultimately it comes off as a feeble attempt to emulate the formula that has made the Marvel brand so successful.  Was the original film more palatable or is this really a case of too many chefs in the kitchen? Down 0-2,  DC can only hope to get a point on the scoreboard with their next film Wonder Woman. (C)


Director: Sam Liu

Release Date: July 25, 2016 (Limited  Theater Engagement Prior to Home Release)

Synopsis: Batman must save Commissioner Gordon from the Joker's twisted quest to drive him insane

Review: DC's animated adaption of Batman The Killing Joke fails to live up to not only the incredible hype but more disappointingly, the iconic impact the story had on the Batman mythos. True, it was going to be a challenging adapting the source material into a full length film. However, the additions created ,specifically for movie, did little to enhance the story line. Rather, it proceeded to somewhat tarnish and unnecessarily trivialize the legacies of both Batman and Batgirl thus resulting in a very unsatisfactory entry in the animated world of DC Comics' movies. In addition, the retro animation is charming at first but soon grows rigid and fails to take full advantage of the excellent voice work of both Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (Joker) (C-)


Director: Dan Trachtebberg   

Release Date: March 11th, 2016

Synopsis: ???????

Review; Abandoning the shaky, first person perspective of its' predecessor, 10 Cloverfield Lane succeeds as a taut thriller that takes advantage of its' ominous  and eerie tone as well as its' great performance from the seasoned veteran John Goodman .(B)