DETROIT

DETROIT

The old adage  - "the more things change...the more they stay the same" have never been more true than during the 21st century.  Living in a time when people of color are being knocked off like a mob hit has sadly become a reality.  A reality that beyond the onset of the Civil Rights movement, we thought our quality of life had improved and a sector of society was well on their way to becoming equals in America. We indeed believed that a change had come.

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GIRLS TRIP

GIRLS TRIP

Girls Trip had me laughing so hard that I could hardly catch my breath.  The last time I laughed like that in a movie theatre was when I watched Bridesmaids.  This movie works for one reason and one reason only...Tiffany Haddish.  If the character of Dina doesn't work, the energy of the entire film would be off and you could create less about the characters..  Thankfully, Haddish's take on Dina is right on time.

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OKJA

OKJA

Okja is a super pig.  Not just any super pig, but one that has been genetically mutated and cloned for the pure purpose of turning into jerky for profit.  Sounds disgusting, right?! The way science has advanced, the possibility of this on the horizon is greater than not.  But, Okja isn't just about a super pig or a contest or even the greed of humanity to make a buck at any cost. It's about bringing attention to the cruelty of animals in slaughter houses and in this case, that bond is unbreakable for Okja and her loyal, beloved caretaker Mija (An Seo Hyun).

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HIRED GUN: OUT OF THE SHADOWS - INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

HIRED GUN:  OUT OF THE SHADOWS - INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

What is a hired gun?  It's a musician that has the ability to read charts fast, fit in like a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle and be ready to tour at a moment's notice.  Sounds like a great way to earn a living right?  Not all of the musicians  interviewed would agree with you.  As a matter of fact, several members of Billy Joe's band referred to him as 'heartless'.  Most attribute this attitude as an aftermath of his former manager stealing 90 million dollars and vanishing into thin air.  That kind of betrayal would leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth.

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SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING

SPIDERMAN:  HOMECOMING

Spidey is back and with a new best friend...Tony Stark!  That's right Robert Downey, Jr. aka Ironman is a mentor for the young Peter Parker, who is trying to figure out how to make good use of his special gifts.  The last time we saw theses two in the Avengers flick, there were rumblings that this relationship would be on the horizon.  Not to mention that we had a teaser of our current Wonder Woman - Gal Godot as well.

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BABY DRIVER

BABY DRIVER

When I tell you that this is the best action movie I've seen in awhile...I do not exaggerate! The car stunts in this flick make the Fast and Furious franchise look like a movie about bumper cars.

From the first frame to the last, I was riveted by the acting, stunts and overall story line.  It sort of has a little Godfather quality in the respect of "...every time I try to get out...they pull me back in."

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LA FILM FESTIVAL: THE BEGUILDED

LA FILM FESTIVAL:  THE BEGUILDED

When one thinks of the south in the 1800's, we envision polite, docile porcelain skinned women, whose only job is to serve their men.  More often than not, these women are seen and seldom heard for an opinion or anything else.  Well, in Sofia Coppola's The Beguilded, based on the Thomas Cullinan novel, these women are anything but docile.

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LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017: SHOT CALLER

LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017:  SHOT CALLER

It's bad enough to be incarcerated, but it's even worse when you realize your life ceases you know it.  The humiliation, the fights, the struggle just to start alive or not be physically violated is a reality many inmates across the country deal with as routinely as brushing one may brush their teeth.  But, here in California gangs in prison make up 1% of the population and are responsible for 30% of the murders.  It's a culture where most of these men (part of a sector called Aryan Brotherhood ) are serving life without parole so they have NOTHING to lose.

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LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017: OUT OF STATE

LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017:  OUT OF STATE

"The first time I walked into the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona I cried.  There, in the middle of a dusty prison recreation yard, were 100 men chanting my entrance into the facility.   Prior to arriving, I had reasonable concerns about filming in prison and had been  advised by mentors to love my subjects but to also be cautious given their histories. Every expectation was immediately thrown out the door when I saw these men chanting in varying

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LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017: SKID ROW MARATHON

LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017:  SKID ROW MARATHON

When one thinks about skid row, the last thing that would come to mind is running through the streets of Los Angeles to prepare for a marathon half way around the world.

The Honorable Judge Craig Matthews spends his entire day sentencing convicted criminals from the Los Angeles Superior Court.  When he invites these skid row felons to join him on Mondays and Thursdays at 5:45am...the results will blow you mind.

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CARS 3

CARS 3

I think if I had known about a female race car driver, I could've probably been the 1st African-American chick to blaze NASCAR!!! Naw, not really, but in Disney/Pixar's latest in the Car franchise - Cars 3, there is some serious female empowerment going on!

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LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017: THE BOOK OF HENRY

LA FILM FESTIVAL 2017:  THE BOOK OF HENRY

How many times do we watch an injustice happen to a compete stranger or even a next door neighbor and run a blind eye?  Better yet, what if a loved one passes on and has a final wish they are insistent be carried out...would you do it?

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ABFF 2017: CREATED EQUAL

ABFF 2017:  CREATED EQUAL

In a world where gender equality remains a critical issue, this controversial film, doesn't set out to challenge the Catholic Church doctrine, but asks a very modern question... Should women be allowed into seminaries to study for the priesthood? "Created Equal is a film that gives you a voyeur experience into the stained glass ceiling that exists in the Catholic Church and asks the question about women being allowed into seminaries without actually taking sides," shares Bill Duke. "We are so excited that the American Black Film Festival has officially selected our film as a world premiere and look forward to the conversation that is created around this highly debated topic."

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BLOOD ROAD

BLOOD ROAD

Like so many in the U.S., my father was a Marine who served his country in Vietnam.  While he was away, he sent letters and reel-to-reel tapes to me, My Mom and my brother letting us in on his adventures, his fears and his never-ending love for us.  Daddy was one of millions of men that ventured down the Ho-Chi-Minh trail, otherwise known as "blood road" for all the blood shed by both sides during the war.

While watching this documentary, I  couldn't help thinking about the fact that our family was one of the lucky ones.  My Dad returned from the war in one piece, but there are so many that were "missing in action".

One of those missing soldiers was Captain Steve Rusch.  His plane was shot down during the war and his family didn't know if he was a P.O.W (prisoner of war), dead or lost somewhere with a mistaken identity.  It would be 30 years later, that a portion of his remains would be found - two teeth.

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THE FREEDOM TO MARRY

THE FREEDOM TO MARRY

The Freedom to Marry chronicles Wolfson, Bonauto and a few couples along the way who they fought the good fight with.  This documentary, at times, was just as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, but inspiring all at once.

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Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

This prequel, which delves into the origins of this strong-willed amazon,  is a rollercoaster ride from first frame to the last.  Taking place roughly a century earlier, Wonder Woman comes to "Man's World" for the first time during World War I.  It was not lost on me that this is literally the third film I have seen this year directed, written and produced by a woman  (Patty Jenkins)and starring a woman!  Who says women don't rule the world!!!

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Sophia Coppola Makes History at 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Sophia Coppola Makes History at 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola made Cannes Film Festival history  becoming the second woman in the event’s 70-year history to win best director for her Focus Features release The Beguiled. Previously, Soviet director Yuliva Solntseva won for her 1961 war drama Chronicle of Flaming Years about the Russian’s resistance to the 1941 Nazi occupation.

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BEATRIZ AT DINNER

BEATRIZ AT DINNER

Beatriz, an intuitive healer and massage therapist, drives to Newport Beach for a session  with one of her most  loyal clients, Cathy (Connie Britton).  When her car breaks down and am unable to get it fixed until the following morning, Cathy invites Beatriz to stay for dinner and that's when the fireworks begin.

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