Review: The Battered Bastards of Baseball

20140720-151039-54639004.jpgAs I have mentioned several times during the blog, I am a HUGE fan of baseball, being from St. Louis and rooting my whole life for the St. Louis Cardinals. So it suffices to say, when I heard this film was showing at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival, I couldn't wait to see it! It had already played Tribeca and Sundance to rave reviews! Needless to say, I got sidetracked and attended the screening of another film that was hugely popular. It was only until I was watching LIVE! wit Kelly an Michael and saw an interview with Kurt Russell did I discover all was not lost...I cold catch it on NETFLIX...yaay! So, I did exactly that.

Nowadays, everyone is familiar with The Mavericks, not everyone is as familiar with Bing Russell. Who was Bing? In 1973, Hollywood veteran Bing Russell (best known for playing Deputy Clem on "Bonanza")created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the legendary Portland Mavericks. Bing operated without a Major League affiliation while playing in a city that was considered a wasteland for professional baseball. Tryouts for the Mavericks, which were open to the public, were filled with hopefuls who arrived in droves from every state in America, many of whom had been rejected by organized baseball. Skeptics agreed it would never work. But Bing's Mavericks generated unprecedented success: they shattered attendance records, signed Kurt Russell - Bing's son - as a player and team Vice President, produced the most successful batboy in baseball (filmmaker Todd Field), re-launched the controversial career of Jim Bouton, hired the first female general manager in Baseball, and inspired one of America's beloved bubblegums - Big League Chew. The Mavericks' in your face attitude was contagious to fans, and during their short reign, they - and Bing Russell - basically held up their middle finger to the sports establishment and said we're playing this game on our terms, not yours.

When the PCL (Pacific Coast League) saw the success of a team that "everyone" had written off, they approached Bing with an offer above the traditional offer of $5000 for $26,000. Bing said, "put a "0" between the 2 and the 6 and we have a deal. A massive lawsuit ensued and Bing triumphantly walked away with $206,000...the largest amount of money ever to be be awarded under these circumstances.

If you love baseball, Kurt Russell or you are a fan old westerns...you will love "The Battered Bastards of Baseball".  You can watch it now on NETFLIX.

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Review: THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2

MV5BOTA5NDYxNTg0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE5NzU1MTE@._V1_SX214_AL_...and the summer blockbuster season is officially in full swing with the opening of The Amazing Spiderman 2 starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, reprising their roles from the first film two years ago of the same title.  In this installment, we're introduced to Electro (Jaime Foxx), the Green Goblin is back in the form of Dane DeHaan and we find out exactly where Peter's parents were headed to that night in the rain when he was dropped off with his relatives.  I rather enjoyed the special effects that accompanied turing Jaime Foxx into Electro, as well, watching him give a humanistic arc to a character that is massively misunderstood.  Kind of like "Mr Cellophane" in the musical Chicago.  Dane DeHaan proves how betrayal and misunderstandings in a friendship often result in bad blood that is sometimes irreparable. The Amazing Spiderman 2 is jam packed with adventure (with one particular fight scene lasting about 10 minutes too long but entertaining nonetheless)and the chemistry between Peter and Gwen is playful, real and off the charts (which is no surprise considering Emma and Andrew are a real life couple).   I'm a big one softy, so it doesn't take much to make me shed a tear since I am totally a self-proclaimed eternal romantic.  Peter Parker's emotional depths are taken to a new level as we witness how even Spiderman doubts himself and his purpose after the devastating losses of so many loved ones.

Great movie to spend a summer afternoon with the kids!!!  The Amazing Spiderman 2 opened in theaters nationwide on May 2nd and can be found in a theater near you...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbp3Ra3Yp74

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

COMING ATTRACTIONS through Memorial Day Weekend

Alright kids...the summer movie season has officially begun with the openings of Captain America and The Amaing Spiderman 2 already in a theatre near you...  Here are just a few more added that should keep you busy past Memorial Day Weekend...

Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) Poster

Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)

Certificate R 111 min   -   Drama | Romance

Metascore: 54/100 (5 reviews)
Sisters Olanna and Kainene return home to 1960s Nigeria, where they soon diverge on different paths. As civil war breaks out, political events loom larger than their differences as they join the fight to establish an independent republic.
Director:

Biyi Bandele

  Watch the trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xrdaf2pq3Q

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2013) Poster

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2013)

86 min   -   Documentary | Drama

World-renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei is under house arrest and restricted by the Chinese authorities in everything he does. But he does it anyway.
Director:

Andreas Johnsen

  Watch the trailer:  http://youtu.be/lth2L8-Xhsw

 

 

Chinese Puzzle (2013) Poster

Chinese Puzzle (2013)

Certificate R 117 min   -   Comedy | Drama | Romance

A 40-year-old father of two, still finds life very complicated. When the mother of his children moves to New York, he can't bear them growing up far away from him and so he decides to move there as well.
Director:

Cédric Klapisch

Watch the Trailer:  http://youtu.be/T9qM-ADXzaM
The Immigrant (2013) Poster

The Immigrant (2013)

Certificate R 120 min   -   Drama | Mystery | Romance | Thriller

Metascore: 63/100 (9 reviews)
On the mean streets of Manhattan, Ewa falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution.
Director:

James Gray

Watch the Trailer:  http://youtu.be/7MsJYEIiIfs
Million Dollar Arm (2014) Poster

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

Certificate PG 124 min   -   Biography | Drama | Sport

A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.
Director:

Craig Gillespie

Watch the trailer:  http://youtu.be/lEtNIoPxcq8

 

Godzilla (2014) Poster

Godzilla (2014)

Certificate PG-13 123 min   -   Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
Director:

Gareth Edwards

Watch the trailer:  http://youtu.be/4sI-wDkEBS0
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Poster

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Certificate PG-13 131 min   -   Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
Director:

Bryan Singer

Watch the trailer:  http://youtu.be/pK2zYHWDZKo

MV5BNzc2ODI5NjAyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzIyOTE4MDE@._V1_SY209_CR0,0,140,209_AL_Blended (2014)

Certificate PG-13 117 min   -   Comedy

After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.
Director:

Frank Coraci

Watch the trailer:http://youtu.be/8MuWt2X59fo
Cold in July (2014) Poster

Cold in July (2014)

109 min   -   Drama | Thriller

In 1980s East Texas, two fathers pitted against each other in revenge must band together to uncover a darker truth.
Director:

Jim Mickle

Watch the trailer:  http://youtu.be/XkyuV69YZcM
Words and Pictures (2013) Poster

Words and Pictures (2013)

Certificate PG-13 111 min   -   Comedy | Drama | Romance

An art instructor and an English teacher form a rivalry that ends up with a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important.
Director:

Fred Schepisi

Watch the trailer:  http://youtu.be/EkHrVw-cDmU

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

America's First Movie Theatre on April 2, 1902...

This is a very interesting blog I found written by By  that I felt was worth sharing... This blog – and its very subject matter – might not exist if not for an event that happened exactly 111 years ago today. On April 2, 1902, Tally’s Electric Theatre in Los Angeles opened its doors as the first permanent movie theater designed specifically for the exhibition of films.* OK, so some other theater in some other place would have opened soon after, probably the next day, and that would be the landmark and that date would be the one remembered. And other sources are unsure of the exact date, some claiming it was April 16. But let’s just stick with the record and celebrate this one.

Prior to the Electric, the new “amusements” of motion pictures were shown in storefronts and decrepit first floors of existing buildings, sometimes in France, sometimes in other parts of the United States. When Thomas Lincoln Tally had his brainstorm, it not only ignited the movie revolution, it also was the first brick laid in the construction of Hollywood as the movie making capital of the world.

Initial hours were only from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., but demand soon forced Tally to provide matinee screenings. Both day and night showings regularly sold out every last one of their ten cent tickets.

Sidenote: Tally was quite the movie pioneer on several other fronts as well. With James Dixon Williams, he founded First National Pictures, which began life as an association of independent theater owners in the United States, but then transitioned into production, too. It eventually merged with Warner Bros. Tally also was the first to show a color film in Los Angeles in 1912. And his company signed superstars Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin shortly before they staged their own revolution, founding United Artistsalong with D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks in an effort to control their own fates and careers.

Next time you are nestled into a reclining/rocking movie theater seat, maybe even tonight, remember to raise a  popcorn or Jujube toast to Thomas Tally, for that day more than a century ago when sitting in the dark became Electric.

*Some say the Edisonia Vitascope Theatre in Buffalo holds the actual title, going back as far as 1896, but others say it was in a repurposed space in an already existing building.

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!