Happy Twentieth Anniversary “Friday”!

Last week, April 26th to be exact, was the twentieth anniversary of the Ice Cube classic, Friday. If this movie is not in your collection, then I just don’t know what you’re doing with your life (LOL).

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Directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, Friday is a classic American movie. Kind of an all-in-a-day coming-of-age flick. Craig grew up in this movie. He went from a boy to a man by the end. At least that’s how I saw it. I wanted to marry Craig after he whipped Dbo’s ass.

I remember going to see this like it was yesterday: It was on a Friday, on Broadway, with my then boyfriend. I was taking a break from college and had come home for a few months. I was so psyched to see it! There hadn’t been a hip hop comedy since House Party and the excitement was tangible.friday-movie-image

The movie was so much more than I expected. How do you make a movie funny? Fill it with standup comedians. You have Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, John Witherspoon, Angela Means-Kaaya, Yvette Wilson, Reynaldo Rey and Anthony Johnson. Each of them had roles so memorable that people today quote their lines, and don’t even know where they got them from.

Ice Cube showed his comedic side, which was something those of us at the time had never seen. I didn’t even know he could smile back then, let alone be funny. His classic line (one of his classic lines) “Bye Felicia,” took on a life of its own and somehow worked its way to being a show on VH1.

In the last few minutes, the tone changed and got really serious. The entire audience gasped, and said a collective “Oh shiiit!” when Craig shot the gun. Followed by, a sigh of relief when we saw he hadn’t. It became a story about heroism, bravery, and respect. Fucking. Awesome.thJPVG3QZ0

Friday is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’m so glad I was able to see it in the theater, with all the electricity of being on Broadway, in the 90s. Good times.

There are so many classic lines in this movie, here are just a few:

“My neck, my back; my neck and my back.”

“You didn’t put in on this maaaan!”

“You ain’t got to lie Craig! You ain’t got to lie.”

“Don’t nobody go in the bathroom, for about 35, 45 minutes.”

“I don’t think you applying yourself Smokey.”

“It’s the Mack!”

“La la…Aye! Smokey back here taking a shit! I ain’t gonna tell nobody else.”

“Ms. Parker! Ms. Parker!”

“I still look… I still look high?”

“Where your mama at?”

“Uh uh, ‘cause see, I ate twice before I came.”

“Oh, you ain’t catching no crackhead.”

“But if you come by I won’t call you. Ok? Don’t ever, EVER, ever ever ever ever ever, come by here, ok?”

Like I said, those are just a few.

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How many of you noticed that when his girl was on the phone asking him about being at the club that she had a dude in the bed with her? I’d watched it a few times before I noticed that.

Connections: John Witherspoon and Anthony Johnson were also in House Party. Nia Long, Ice Cube and Regina King were in the classic Boyz in the Hood, Angela Means-Kaaya, Bernie Mac and Reynaldo Rey were in House Party III. Ice Cube, Bernie Mac, Anthony Johnson and Michael Clark Duncan were all in The Players Club. And I think just about every comedian in here was on Def Comedy Jam. Can you think of anymore connections between actors in this movie?

Friday went on to spawn two funny sequels. But as funny as they were, they don’t match the heart of the first one. Which is almost unfair to say, because it would be damn near impossible for them to. That first one was pioneering. It mixed comedy and deathly serious themes, in a way I hadn’t seen before it.

I’ve seen Friday more times than I can even attempt to count. And yes, I’m one of those people that will recite every word, line for line, when I watch it.  So if we ever happen to be in the same place watching this movie, you will hear my mouth. You have been warned! I was watching it when I started typing this, when I realized, oh snap! This is the twentieth year anniversary!

Five star movie.

Thank you for reading!

Rest in peace to Bernie Mac, Yvette Wilson and Michael Clark Duncan. How fortunate we are and they are, for having shared their gifts with us.

Peace.

Let Me Put You On: Jackie’s Back

I was sitting at my desk, eating some off-brand, Oreo-esque cookies, enjoying the mess out of Youtube, when I came across this hilarious Robert Townsend directed, made-for-TV movie.  It stars  the absolutely lovely, and ultra-talented, Jenifer Lewis.  She’s one of my favorite actresses.  My mom’s too.  It’s rare that we have the same tastes in anything, which means Ms. Lewis is amazing!

Everyone is in this movie from Loretta Devine, to Whoopi Goldberg (who plays her sister), to Tim Curry, to Bette Midler.  It also stars, Isabel Sanford, Kathy Griffin, Chris Rock, Howie Mandel, Liza Minnelli and more.  It’s a really eclectic cast.  It aired on Lifetime in 1999.

This is a great movie.  It is hilarious, but touches on some real emotions.  Then goes right back to being hilarious.  It’s the portrayal of a singer, Jackie Washington,  who garnered fame as a child, on through adulthood, then faded away.  Now she’s making a comeback.

Check it out below.

Thank you for reading!

Peace.

Common Interview on the Breakfast Club

Take a look at wonderfully talented Common on The Breakfast Club. He talks about winning the Oscar, his aspirations of EGOTing (my 30 Roc fans know about that) and playing the Green Lantern.

He is just so charming and secure in himself. Humble, while still acknowledging how awesome he is. That is a beautiful combination.

Thank you for reading!

Peace.

“Straight Outta Compton” Trailer Brings Back Memories

thM1BWWPT3Directed by one of my favorite directors, F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton follows the creation and growth of N.W.A. I have been waiting for this movie for some time now, and I am so excited that it’s finally here!  Well, it’s almost here.

The trailer looks so good!  It looks like the choice of O’Shea Jackson Jr. to play his dad seems to have less to do with nepotism and more to do with his acting chops.  And he looks so much like him.  I didn’t think so until I saw him with his beard. Add the hat and the curl, and it looks like Ice Cube is playing himself in the movie.

thI won’t lie, when I was growing up, I wasn’t the biggest N.W.A. fan. They were far to vulgar for me!  I wasn’t ready for them.  I was still a virgin, and  I wasn’t ready for “She Swallowed It,” even though I couldn’t help but to sing it.  I had never heard anyone rap about sex quite like that before. It was disgusting! I will say this though,  their sex songs stopped me from having sex, because I never wanted any boy to talk about me like that. Between them, and Lord Finesse, I was sure to keep my legs and mouth closed.

Plus, I’m from the Bronx, so I was really resistant to hip hop outside of NY.

But I was ready for “Fuck the Police”.  That was something that I could relate to even at that age, after seeing several incidents of police misconduct in my neighborhood.  I remember a cop following me and a friend of mine, in his cruiser, him hanging out the window trying to get her number, as we were walking home from junior high school. He knew that’s where we were coming from because he followed us from there. I should say “they” because he was in the passenger seat.  The driver didn’t say anything, but he drove at a slow pace to let his partner talk. That incident was cute and petty in comparison to others.

But I digress…

While I was in high school, Ice Cube left the group, and that’s when I started liking him. Dr. Dre beat up Dee Barnes, which made me not like him.  When Deep Cover came out. I loved the movie, and was crazy about the title song. I felt ambiguous about Dr. Dre at the time, but that song could not be denied. That was my introduction to Snoop.  Well, that was the world’s introduction to Snoop.

zBy the time I was in college, the whole east/west conflict was in full swing. There was no more N.W.A. Ice Cube was making bomb ass movies.  Then Eazy-E passed away.  Snoop blew up, and brought about Tha Dogg Pound who I actually liked until they took a Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five classic New York song and tried to pervert it! Granted, the lyrics weren’t negative towards NY, but the chorus alluded to a diss and that was enough! AND THEN they did a video where they were literally kicking down buildings in my city!

That shit pissed me off!

Aside from the media overblowing the conflict between the two coasts for ratings, on my college campus we really did have east coast – west coast beef.  But it was mostly in fun.  Mostly.  It could get serious at times.

In retrospect, I can’t blame the west for feeling the way they did.  As the home of hip hop, everyone looked up to NY.  But NY being the kind of city it was (and still is) shitted on everyone else.  NY radio played very little hip hop from outside of NY. I didn’t know who the Geto Boys were until “Mind’s Playin Tricks on Me” came out.  The song was so hot that it couldn’t be denied and NY had to play it.  Ice Cube did get a lot of love in NY after he left N.W.A. though.  Cypress Hill did too because of the Juice soundtrack. There were a few others too, like Tone Loc, Mc Hammer and Yo-Yo.

The murders of Biggie, and Tupac ended that beef. In part, because their deaths were right at the cusp of the rise of the south, and Midwest.

th (3)I have to give props where props are due; N.W.A. changed hip hop and changed my world view.  Before them, I never even thought about black people in California.  I thought it was all blond surfers, and valley girls. Listening to their music made me never want to go there.  Then, John Singleton made Boyz n the Hood, giving it the title of the notorious song.  When I watched it, it confirmed that, in fact, did not want to go to Cali. At least that’s how I felt as a kid.

I also remember wondering why they were so mad, since they lived in houses.  It looked so nice and pleasant.  I understood why people would be angry in a hood like mine (I wasn’t personally angry, but I understood it).  Everyone was crowded all on top of each other, thousands of people living on one square block.  But in the movie, they had homes with front yards, backyards, with palm trees – freaking palm trees! No twenty story buildings blocking the sun.  It looked beautiful.  I didn’t get it. It gave me a whole different view of what the struggle can look like.

Straight Outta Compton bringing back some  serious memories.  Wow!  I can’t wait to see it!   It’s expected 8/14/15.

Here’s a list of some of the actors playing the key players:

Jason Mitchell as Easy-E
Jason Mitchell as Easy-E
Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre
Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre
O'Shea Jackson Jr. as O'Shea Jackson :) aka Ice Cube
O’Shea Jackson Jr. as O’Shea Jackson 🙂 aka Ice Cube
Aldis Hodge as MC Ren
Aldis Hodge as MC Ren
Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella (remember him from The Walking Dead?)
Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella (remember him from The Walking Dead?)
Marlon Yates Jr. as The D.O.C.
Marlon Yates Jr. as The D.O.C.
Keith Stanfield as Snoop Dogg
Keith Stanfield as Snoop Dogg
Sheldon A. Smith as Warren G
Sheldon A. Smith as Warren G
Rogelio Douglas as Chuck D
Rogelio Douglas as Chuck D
Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller
Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller
R. Marcus Taylor as Suge Knight
R. Marcus Taylor as Suge Knight
Mark Sherman as Jimmy Iovine
Mark Sherman as Jimmy Iovine

What memories does this trailer bring up for you??

Thank you for reading and go support this movie!

Peace.

Review: Chris Rock’s “Top Five”

thZGKD46E7Two of my favorite things in the world are comedy and hip hop. Add a non-cheesy love story, black consciousness and social commentary to the mix, and you have Chris Rock’s outstandingly, wonderful film Top Five. I can’t say enough good things about this movie. I want to see it again! As soon as it’s available I’m buying it.

thCM48VEG9It had some great surprises, and at this stage in my movie-watching-life it is hard to surprise me. It had loads of cameos too by people who I love. Some whom Hollywood often overlooks. I don’t even want to give any spoilers. It’s so good, I just want you to go see it and find out for yourself! This may be the first movie that I’ve ever felt that away about, where I don’t want to give anything away. I will say this; DMX had me literally crying laughing.

I haven’t been so affected by a movie in years. It made me want to become a better writer. It was so real and true and earnest.

Top-5-Trailer-611x341This is one of those movies that I’m glad I experienced in the theater, with my popcorn and people around me who seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. People in the audience were agreeing, loudly, whenever someone on screen listed their top five. As any hip hop head knows, your top five is a major definition of who you are. I just love the fact that Chris Rock knows that, and that he chose to use that as the movie title.

Might I add, JB Smoove had a great role. He shined. Rosario Dawson is one of my favorite actresses and I just adored her in this movie.

Top Five gets five of five stars.

In case you care to know, my top five are:

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My sixth men are:

thVVRW8ORR th0W3M3AMWthNZ6UYQ3FI know there’s only one sixth man, but my team is special.

The order of the players are subject to change, depending on my mood–except for my top three. They are always in the top three.

Who are your top five?

Thank you for reading!

Peace.

New Adam Sandler Movie, “The Cobbler” Staring Method Man

This movie takes the idea of walking a mile in another man’s shoes, literally.  Adam Sandler plays a cobbler who is given a pair of 10 ½ shoes by a customer, played by Cliff Smith (yes, Method Man!), for repair.

cobbler4 He slips them on and becomes Method Man (well, Method Man’s character in the movie).

cobbler5He goes on to try on the shoes of other customers, and begins walking in their shoes, eventually with the intention of being them for various reasons.

cobbler2It also co-stars Steve Buscemi, who is one of my favorite actors,

cobbler3Dustin Hoffman whom I’ve enjoyed watching since I was a kid,

Ellen Barkinand sexy Bronx native Ellen Barkin (yes I mention my borough every chance I get!).

I am looking forward to seeing this.  I love books and movies that blend fantasy into every day, contemporary lives.

Does it look promising to you?  Take a look at the trailer and tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading!

Peace.