Hollywood Ex-travaganza

Don't ask me why but for some reason I had high expectations of Hollywood Exes . I thought, finally a group of so-called friends who like each other, who have some etiquette, if not class. This new pack of exes appeared to be above the mentalities of project Basketball Wives and the Nee Nee’s of Atlanta, and those heathens on Love and Hip Hop. Here were five women who, at some point, have lived the type of luxury lifestyle most Americans know nothing about.

Sadly, it only took about four episodes of this reality show to snap ME back to reality. Yeah, I was dreaming. I was also hoping for some positive images of black women to contradict all the bad ones.

Here’s a breakdown of the Desperate Hollywood Ex-travaganza:

Welcome Back to Sweetie Pie's

The new OWN Network has struggled to find its audience in the cable market. But the one diamond that has surfaced from the rough start is “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” a reality show which actually feels natural and authentic. Sweetie Pie’s is a family run restaurant in St. Louis, MO. Unlike the Braxton’s, T.I. and Tiny, The Kardashian’s and many other family reality shows, there are no wannabe stars or wannabe clothing designers. The Montgomery Family are hard working folks with strong community roots. They have dreams but none seem willing to sell their souls to the devil for them.

Won't Back Down opens Sept. 28

Here''s a recipe for a good movie. First, add four Oscar nominated actresses: Viola Davis (winner), Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Perez and Holly Hunter. Sprinkle with a few strong men. (Ving Rhames, Oscar Isaac, Lance Reddick). Put a good script in their hands. Toss a camera in front of them and wait for them sizzle. The result is "Won’t Back Down."

Chuck Brown Winds It Up

I was silenced with sadness today when my sister called to say, Chuck Brown had passed away at the age of 75. Chuck and his go-go music runs deep within the veins of Washingtonians. We grew up on his sound. And while the rest of the world never fully embraced it, we claimed it as our own and crowned him the Godfather.

There are a few things that distinctly define the DMV (DC, MD, VA), like blue crabs, cherry blossoms, the Redskins, and go-go. Chuck was DC’s own, long standing celebrity for over 40 years. Cameras didn’t follow him, but his fans did. Performing three times a week, Chuck enjoyed an immensely loyal following. His popularity among African-Americans rivaled that of any local politician. If Chuck had decided to run for mayor, he’d have won by a landslide.

Viola Davis - Best Actress

Yesterday, I watched an enlightening interview with Viola Davis on Charlie Rose. Viola was speaking on her career and in particular The Help.

I read the book exactly two years ago. There was much rumbling among black writers about this book. Understandably, so. As a black writer publishers will only market my book to African-Americans. Not just because I’m black but they don’t think white people would be interested in reading about the lives of my black characters. But then a white woman writes a book about black women and the publisher markets her book to the masses. I guess the lives of black folks are far more interesting when a white person writes about it. But what’s new, right?

A Barry Biopic

So Eddie Murphy dropped out of the Oscars. Boo! But my desire to see Eddie make a comeback was rekindled when I heard he was attached to play Marion Barry in a biopic directed by Spike Lee and written by John Ridley.

As a native Washingtonian, I witnessed Barry's first 12 years of reign and I have an affinity towards him. Barry came along when there were few black mayors in America. In his arsenal he toted intellect (Masters of Science in Chemistry), a civil rights background, charisma, and southern swag. His best weapon was his wife, Effie Barry. Effie added class and sophistication to Barry’s image. She was tall, slender, stylish, and educated. Think Michelle Obama.

Drive - A Hollyhood Review

“Drive” is a cheap title for the riveting ride this movie will take you on. Ryan Gosling stars as Driver, a loner with a knack for cars. He’s a mechanic and sometimes stunt driver by day and he moonlights as a getaway car driver. He’s a man of few words who smiles sparingly and just kinda stares a lot. But don’t get this guy twisted. He’s not the average dude next door, though he’s in love with the nice girl next door, which is almost always a mistake. Between the girl and the shady goons he works with at night, Driver ends up in a hot mob mess when a robbery goes spectacularly wrong.

Eddie and Oscar

Eddie Murphy has been named the host of the 84th Academy Awards. But at 84 Oscar is so old school and boring, he'll need a lot more than Eddie and the year’s notable movie producers and directors to bring in the ratings. Oscar needs a major makeover and a Mountain Dew IV.

Here’s a few suggestions on how to bring Oscar back from the dead.

1. Get rid of the symphony orchestra! It puts me to sleep. Call Harry Connick, Jr. and his band. How about Wynton Marsalis or the American Idol Band?! Bring some culture up in that joint. Give me something I can to bounce to.

Columbiana - A Hollyhood Review

Columbiana, is a triumph of sorts. It’s not often (okay, maybe never) that Hollywood gives us the pleasure of seeing a brown and sexy actress in a leading role when she’s not the help or the hairdresser. This makes Columbiana, starring Zoe Saldana of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, a rare gift from the cinematic gods.

Wyclef for Prez?

I always joke, if you want to become a succesful author, actress, cover model or even have your own sitcom you should go into the studio and cut an album first. Hitting high marks on the Billboard chart will open all kinds of doors. The music artists seem to beat out seasoned actors for coveted roles. Take for instance; Mary J. Blige has been cast to play Nina Simone in a film. Really? And you don’t have to simply have a hit. No, sleeping with a successful rapper can land you on the cover of major magazines. And Fantasia confesses to be illiterate yet she landed a book deal. I won’t go on about this pet peeve of mine. You get my point, right? Being popular in music can get you the next big gig.

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