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shamontielvaughn

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15 reviews in total 
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Appreciated the comic relief even in dark circumstances, 28 February 2013
7/10

If you've seen any of Tyler Perry's other plays, you've seen this one before. Nothing about the plot will surprise you, but I like the play anyway. Actually I prefer all of his plays over the movies because his plays are character driven. The cast was great, but the standout roles to me were Palmer Williams Jr. as the crazy landlord; the two white tenants played by Wess Morgan and Stephanie Ferrett; and the son played by Donny Sykes. I'd definitely like to see them in more of his work although we already see Palmer on "House of Payne" acting crazy as ever there, too. But Donny Sykes is funnier and I like it when the two of them have scenes together. The play is about a bunch of tenants living in the hood who are trying to deal with the pitfalls of prostitution, violence and unemployment. But what I like about Tyler Perry's play is that it shows that through all of these trials and tribulations, the tenants still manage to find a lighter side and have some fun, as any hood would. I definitely could've done without all the singing. I wasn't into any of the songs (although I usually like musicals) but since I wasn't impressed by the songs it just seemed like overkill.

48 out of 98 people found the following review useful:
The worst movie I've seen since 'Soul Plane', 26 December 2012
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wanted to see this movie for two reasons: 1) I am a big music and movie fan of Jamie Foxx. 2) I wanted to know why Nate Parker turned the movie down and seemed so disappointed in the script when he did an interview on The Breakfast Club.

I didn't know the movie was going to be 2 hours and 45 minutes long nor did I care. I am not a fan of Quentin Tarantino (although I like the John Travolta parts of "Pulp Fiction") but I knew I was going to hear the n-word a lot from watching an interview on "BET's Don't Sleep." Didn't bother me. That's realistic terminology for that time period in slavery. I'm far more irritated by black folks who know the history and are brainwashed enough to think that the term has changed. I read several articles and interviews about how Leonardo Dicaprio had a hard time using the word, but he was playing a slaveowner. That word is a given. I'm a big fan of Samuel L. Jackson and love quite a few Dicaprio flicks, too, so I thought, "How could this be bad? Why didn't Nate Parker like the movie?" This turned out to be the worst movie I've ever seen since "Soul Plane." Comedic timing: Quentin Tarantino did a recent interview in Ebony magazine (Dec 2012) where he said, "One of the characteristics of my work is that I make you laugh at f***** up s***." While there were people in the audience who laughed at random parts of the movie, I never cracked a smile. There's nothing funny to me about the Ku Klux Klan or their rambling about whether the eye holes are too short in their masks. The KKK is the most horrendous group in American history (in my opinion) and trying to make light of them seemed odd to me. Quentin Tarantino said, "I haven't liked any of the representations of slavery that I've seen on film." Slavery isn't meant to be liked. It's meant to be documented. You're not supposed to laugh about it or make light of it or find some amusing cowboy entertainment. It's ugly. It's graphic. It's heavy. And I truly couldn't give a damn about a horse being able to do the robot.

Field slave vs house slave: Judging from the amount of lashes on Django's back, I got the impression that he was a field slave. So why this guy who didn't appear to spend any amount of time inside anybody's slave quarters could speak perfect English and read and was this brown in complexion (complexion meant a helluva lot back then) seemed odd to me. It wasn't until he reached a bar that we started hearing broken English and him saying words he didn't understand but his vernacular was way too crisp. Jamie Foxx said Quentin Tarantino told him he needed to act like a slave. Django was someone I could see strolling down the street in 2012 -- just with outdated clothing on -- if you heard him speak.

Black man on a horse: As hard as Quakers had to hide themselves from affiliation with the Underground Railroad and with the amount of covering up even after the Emancipation Proclamation, racism was more harsh, more violent and more impulsive. So how in the world this random black man could roll through town on a horse and not be shot dead before anybody even asked his comrade why he was there was beyond me. You know how you see action movies and think, "This guy would be dead in three minutes if this was real life"? That's how I felt about Django as soon as he grabbed the winter coat and boots.

Leonardo Dicaprio and Samuel L. Jackson: These were the only two characters in the entire film who seemed realistic. Sam Jackson's character was definitely a house slave (and ironically enough he spoke English in a more broken manner than this obvious field slave Django). Dicaprio wasn't kidding when he said his character was horrible. There were moments when I flinched at some of the stuff his character smiled about, but I was finally starting to get into the film. Same for Sam Jackson.

Kerry Washington: I just found it odd that she went from being in a box and splashed with water after being whipped and then walked around perfectly straight and graceful when she was pulled back into the mansion. While I understand why her character could speak German (she was another realistic house slave) and even why she seemed a bit more cultured than other slaves, I can't see someone being whipped and caged like an animal and then bopping around a dining room like nothing happened.

Bounty hunter scenes: I get why there had to be a bounty hunter plot in order for the relationship to make sense and the rescue-the-wife part, but the bounty hunting scenes were so dreadfully boring. The movie didn't pick up until it started at Dicaprio's character's plantation.

Music: Every time there was a serious scene, there was this obnoxious cowboy music or really upbeat music that contradicted what was going on. It's like playing a techno song in the middle of a guy getting raped in prison. The music never matched the scene. Has Tarantino ever heard of spirituals? Pick one.

The entire film made a mockery of slavery and should've never used that topic. It was basically a cowboy movie with chains. And I hated it. And I'm incredibly annoyed that I ruined part of my Christmas evening paying $8 to see this stupid film.

The Losers (2010/I)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Most underrated good movie I can think of, 7 December 2012
10/10

With a cast like Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba and Columbus Short, I can't understand why this movie isn't still being talked about. I happened to be looking for movies Idris Elba was in when I saw it and had never heard of it before last year. Since then I have watched this movie so many times I lost count. Zoe Saldana did an excellent job in her fighting scenes (no extras; she put in work). Columbus Short is already athletic so I expected him to bring the action. I knew Idris Elba for dramatic films but it wasn't until "Luther" that I started seeing him in action flicks, and after that I realized he is a very strong and athletic character, too. The reason I keep talking about action is because so much of this film is full of energetic combative scenes. But my favorite part of the film is none of that. I am always tickled to watch the entire elevator scene with Chris Evans. Cracks me up no matter how many times I see it.

This movie should've gotten more awards and attention.

Mirror Mirror (2012/I)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Better than I expected, 1 August 2012
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoyed this movie although I didn't really have much of a desire to see it when it was in theaters. Long-time fan of Julia Roberts but I'd only seen Lily Collins in "Abduction" (and badly wanting to arch her eyebrows) and Armie Hammer in "Social Network" so I didn't really know what to think of them. I enjoyed Armie's performance but wasn't really into the connection between Lily and Taylor Lautner. I figured she may have been a little too young for the "Abduction" part, but watching this movie, innocent puppy love (ironically considering one particular scene) seems to be more of her speed. Plus she and Armie were really cute in action. Julia Roberts was quite the handful as a horribly jealous queen. It's been way too long since I read "Snow White" so I don't remember whether they mainly kept to the storyline but either way it goes the plot in this one was great. I enjoyed the witty comebacks, the fight scenes, the mother-daughter battles and a particular bug spell. Good stuff.

Worth all of the hype, 22 July 2012
10/10

Yes, it was worth all of the hype. I'd heard of this movie, but I'd never seen it. Even when my mother bought it and said it was because of all of the stuff she'd heard about it, I still didn't want to see it. I didn't know anybody in the film (although someone told me a guy who asked her out looked like Ryan Gosling. I looked him up and thought, "Yeah, he's really cute"). It just wasn't on my radar. I even added it to Netflix and five minutes later removed it. So guess what got me to see the movie? The constant mentions of "The Notebook" in "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." Then I finally decided to see why in the world this movie was supposed to be so great and oh boy WAS IT EVER! It's a girl's girl kind of movie. Yes, it was borderline creepy for Gosling's character Noah to hang from a Ferris Wheel and be so disrespectful to her date, completely ignoring him while he asked Rachel McAdams' character Allie out. You've heard this plot before. Poor boy meets rich girl. Rich girl isn't interested in poor boy. Poor boy chases rich girl. They fall in love. The parents don't approve. The couple tries to stay together regardless of parents. Girl meets new rich boy. Girl falls in love with rich boy. But what happens when poor boy and rich girl unite by accident?

Nothing about this movie is unique, but the actors playing the roles are what sold it. I watched the movie three times in a row and paused during certain scenes just so I could squeal and watch them again. When it wasn't overly romantic, it was funny (the water yelling scene cracked me up, the house selling scenes were even better). The only drawback was Allie slapping and pushing Noah around. I could've gone without that, and he seemed to think it was perfectly normal. If it had been the other way around, women would be screaming about how abusive Noah is. That's the only part I don't like in girl's girl kind of movies. Sometimes there needs to be a brave guy to step in and say, "Take that out of the script." Other than that, loved it.

Jump In! (2007) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Would've loved this film even more as a kid, 22 July 2012
9/10

This was a very cute film. Corbin Bleu reminds me of Lil Fizz from B2K. Handsome young man and I loved the flirty thing going on with him and Keke Palmer's character Mary. This movie came out in 2007, but I don't watch the Disney channel or Disney movies much so I'm late to the party on this one. The movie is about a young boxer (Izzy) who has a crush on a double dutch enthusiast (Mary). Giving her a hard time -- as all teenage boys do -- and having to drag his little sister out lead to him finding out about a double dutch competition. As with all sports movies, one team member quits and they need someone else to fill in. Izzy, being a boxer, already knows how to jump rope but doesn't understand the point of a double dutch competition. Chances are if you've seen a sports film you already know how this one goes. It's predictable but adorable. I loved all the G-rated flirting Mary and Izzy did. The movie also had a little bit of edge with Izzy's rival who's father isn't around and who comes from a poor family. I like the way the movie mentioned his rival's circumstances without relying on them in a "whoa is me" way. And Izzy's two sidekicks cracked me up, especially Mr. "I'm a be sick." That dude reminds me of so many guys I grew up with. He was actually my favorite to watch for comedy relief.

Side note: This film made me remember how much fun I used to have jumping Double Dutch. I wasn't nearly this nice but I could hang and I used to always be outside jumping with other girls. Only reason I didn't give this movie 10 stars was because I thought more would come of the crushes. Then again, this was a Disney film so I guess that wasn't supposed to be a big part of it.

It was fun to see a bunch of African-American actors doing a positive film that both young boys and young girls could relate to. I wish there were more of those out now for kids to look up to instead of reality TV.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Nowhere near as good as the first two, 22 July 2012
4/10

I loved the first two movies, but this one was just "Eh." Part of the problem is that it made the zoo and the circus seem like the places to be, which is kinda naive considering animals get mistreated in the circus and the zoo isn't much better. I liked part 2 because it was animals in the wild in their natural habitat. Now off of my preachy soapbox, I wasn't into any of the zoo characters minus the bear. The relationship between that bear and raccoon was entertaining, especially when she gave him the silent treatment. The lioness and the lion relationship was all right but nothing special. Nothing about this movie popped. The annoying mother behind me who felt the need to narrate the entire movie made me move in about five minutes only to sit by a girl who gasped at every single thing (I'll take the girl over the mother any day though). I didn't really laugh. I listened to silence during some of the jokes with a packed crowd. I still love Chris Rock's zebra character, Marty, but he was much quieter in this film. I wouldn't say the movie is bad and I only paid $5 to see it, but I wouldn't want to own it. The first two though? Those will definitely be in my DVD collection soon.

Chris Rock is the best!, 22 July 2012
10/10

I don't know why it took me so long to see this movie or why I'd never heard of it, but I caught "Madagascar" on cable one day and decided to check out part 2 this week. Loved it. It's a coin toss whether I'll like an animated film, but this one was great. It had some of my favorite comedians in it (Chris Rock is #1, Bernie Mac is #2 and Cedric the Entertainer is in my top 10). I'm a big fan of Jada Pinkett Smith since her "A Different World" days (her behind-the-scenes interview with Willow putting her on blast was funny) and I was absolutely entertained by will.i.am as Moto Moto. That song "I like 'em big, I like 'em chunky" killed me. Those two hippos flirting was bananas. But it wasn't just those characters. I liked the entire cast, all the voices, the humor, the scenery and the pace. There are no flaws. I'm slightly scared of the "bad kitty" old lady. If I ever need a bodyguard, I'm checking for someone like her first.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Less kid love, more adult love, 22 July 2012
7/10

This film should've gotten 10 stars. My only problem with it is it spent too much time focusing on the 13-year-old boy and his 17-year-old babysitter. It was amusing at the beginning of the movie but overdone for the rest, and all of those scenes could've been stripped to get to the good parts. I will forever be a fan of Steve Carell because of "The Office" and regardless of Michael Scott being removed from the TV show, Carell is just all kinds of funny. I never knew who Ryan Gosling was before seeing him on "The Notebook" (and a co-worker telling me a guy who looked like him from a side profile asked her out -- made me wonder, "Why in the world would you say no to that?") but after that movie, I decided to check out his other work. "Crazy, Stupid, Love" was in the 2012 MTV Movie Awards for Best Kiss ("Twilight" one although after seeing this film I think "Crazy, Stupid, Love" should have) and I was wondering why Emma Stone was dripping wet and running in a bar. I got my answer and I rewound that entire scene (from the bar to the bed) four times. I liked Ryan Gosling paying the down-home character in "The Notebook" and like Michael Ealy, I just didn't take him as much of a comical character. But like Ealy did in "Common Law," Gosling pulled it off, slaps included. I didn't just watch the bar-to-bedroom scenes for the romantic parts. I watched it again and again because Gosling's and Stone's comedic lines were as good as their flirting ones. Same goes for watching them at the beginning of the movie with the lawyer jokes and terrible pick-up lines. I had zero sympathy for Julianne Moore's character Emily Weaver, but I'm always entertained by Marisa Tomei (been a fan of her work since she played Maggie Lauten on "A Different World" and later on with "My Cousin Vinny").

Great movie. I'd watch it again and fast forward past all the babysitter stalking. By the way, Carell looked HOT in this movie and I don't mean good looking. I mean "where's the air conditioner" hot. He really was wearing way too many clothes. The "scuba" line cracked me up.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Which is better between 'Red Tails' and 'The Tuskegee Airmen'?, 22 July 2012
10/10

When I first saw the preview for "Red Tails," my reaction was, "What's the point? Why make a movie that's already out?" It wasn't until I heard all of the reasons Hollywood claimed it wouldn't do well at the show that I started paying attention to the movie and realized the original was a PBS DVD video. Because Hollywood didn't want to financially support the second film so tough, that made me want to see the film even more. Now after I saw "Red Tails", I wondered, "Now which film is better." I don't recall ever seeing "The Tuskegee Airmen" (My Amazon review says I saw it and I'm pretty sure I did since my parents owned the film, but after watching this film nothing looks familiar to me).

I am a huge fan of Laurence Fishburne and I remember seeing my favorite movie "Higher Learning" in '95 when it came out (loved the entire cast of that film and know most of the words by heart), but at the age of 13 I was more interested in college films and TV shows. And even after watching "The Tuskegee Airmen" tonight (I'm far more of a history buff these days than I was as a teenager courtesy and can thank the racism experience at NMU for that), I can't decide which film I like better. Both "The Tuskegee Airmen" and "Red Tails" are great films that tell the same story but in a different style. In "The Tuskegee Airmen," you get a phenomenal cast of young actors who went on to be massively successful in the acting world. Mekhi Phifer. Laurence Fishburne. Allen Payne. Cuba Gooding Jr. Malcolm Jamal Warner III. Andre Braugher. These are the Who's Who of the entertainment industry, especially in the African-American top actors.

In "Red Tails," you get some newbies with some vets like Cuba Gooding Jr. (again). Ne-Yo (huge fan of his music and he's fun to interview). Terrence Howard. Nate Parker (I loved "Great Debaters"). Tristan Wilds (bored with "90210" but I used to watch it just to see him). M-e-t-h-o-d MAN (can't decide which collabo I like more, "All I Need" with Mary J. Blige or "Round and Round" with Jonell, but I know the words to both songs). Marcus T. Paulk (in my Lil' Kim voice: "Hold up, ain't that Brandy's other brother"). Then there were new faces I wasn't familiar with like Elijah Kelley, David Oyelowo and Leslie Odom Jr.

In both movies the audience found out about the Tuskegee Airmen from the 332nd Fighter Group who fought from May 1943 to June 1945. There were 450 men who got 850 medals and 66 died. In both films there were deaths, friendships, jokes, brotherhood, racism and history. The only difference I found between the two is "Red Tails" got a little more personal with characters' backgrounds, such as the character with alcohol abuse issues, a character who was in love with a woman who he couldn't even communicate with due to a language barrier and a young soldier who was constantly trying to prove himself to the older guys. You would think that those topics would make us connect with "Red Tails" more than "The Tuskegee Airmen," but it didn't. Although the original was more focused on history while the other walked the lines between history and drama, they both did a fantastic job of telling the story. However, "The Tuskegee Airmen" did have a scene that almost made me cry; it was the one when Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to fly with Hannibal Lee.

Watching one makes me want to watch the other, and I was so crazy about "Red Tails" that I bought three issues of Ebony magazine's "Red Tails" coverage, still have the full-page poster of the entire cast on my desk at work and all 13 photos on my bedroom wall at home, and bought "Red Tails" as soon as it released. Without question "The Tuskegee Airmen" will be added to my DVD library after waiting for this movie to get out of Netflix hold for several months because that many people requested it.

Round of applause for all involved. I loved every minute of both movies.


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