Good Morning — its already HOT here in Detroit – we are set for a few days of heat wave …but I am spoiled sitting in my air con drinking coffee made from fresh ground beans with a touch of cream in vintage ceramic mug from The Sands Hotel and Casino…sands

….Thinking over the viewing from this week …I’ve been living vicariously through my shows watching people experience places I’ve never been and lives I have no personal experience of …..I take that as an extra special treat — I’ve never been one to imagine myself in those places or situations, no clue what that would be like …but I do have an empathy and affection for people as they move through their own worlds. I suppose that is what makes Television and Film viewing so amazing … It helps connect me to the world out there and takes me to places I would never know ……

RIDE with Norman Reedus ( AMC 6 episodes) — Trying not to gush too much – I find myself feeling all fan girl geeky when talking about this show. Each episode made me more and more a fan of Norman’s and the style of the program. Easy. Simple. Smooth. I felt like we glided through each episode with such fun, spirit and class. Everything and everyone was appreciated and acknowledged for its own beauty. A little super KUDOS to Anneka Jones, executive Producer – Thanks for making America look so cool with such beauty and grace. The show takes the high road in every way that phrase is possible. I learned things and saw vistas otherwise I never would have experienced. (TEE HEE ROBERT RODRIGUEZ TEE HEE…PETER FONDA — there got that out of my system)NN

 

 Straight Outta Compton (USA 2015, Dir: F. Gary Gary — available now on HBO) — While I am a  fan of all music genres and have great appreciation for rap / hip hop / MC  — I fully admit to not having a knowledge base to understand all the intricacies that surround this story. So my first critique has to focus on wishing the back story portion of the film was a little more clear and in-depth. It felt as if the set up was for ‘characters’ as these young men are in hip hop and not their base story, I would have appreciated just a little more…..That said…let’s talk about Jason Mitchell – an actor with out a lot of experience who’s performance in this film was multi faceted. Easy – E (Eric Wright) is portrayed with such smooth complexity that allowed the audience to connect with and understand, if not fully like, this man. No one is given the victim role nor the villain (Except Suge Knight) but Easy has a little extra screen time allowing us to explore his motivations. While I wondered if perhaps Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson) was given just a bit of shine on his activities the character is played beautifully by his son O’Shea Jackon, jr. Interesting juxtaposition to play your Dad as a young man having such a different childhood and youth experience….There were moments went it felt awkward to me yet the overall performance is good. Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre (Andre Young) a controversial character in so many ways; people have felt too many things were left out and others that too many details were glorified. I was not uncomfortable with it either way. There was certainly a sly depth to the performance and an almost tongue n cheek exploration of the character as a man. As with all the guys that duality of being a good man and having so much of everything is not given the reality check it needs until the end when dealing with Easy -E’s illness. There was no exploration of the personal lives as children are born and marriages happen so a central piece is missing.  A terrific film with some good performances …but …with so much left to the side and a feeling of telling but not telling. I didn’t leave the film with a deeper understanding of anyone except perhaps Eric Wright….the story seemed more of a nod to him than a real exploration of the N W A as it fits into the lives of these men. NWA_3_embed

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