TSD Memphis



Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 07/26/2012

For movies opening July 27, 2012


"Step Up Revolution" (PG-13 for profanity and sensuality) 4th installment in the hip-hop, street dance series, set in Miami, revolves around the classically-trained daughter (Kathryn McCormick) of a wealthy businessman (Peter Gallagher) who falls in love with a flash mob choreographer (Ryan Guzman) trying to save his 'hood from a developer's wrecking ball. With Adam Sevani, Stephen Boss and Chadd Smith.


‘We the Party’ serves up African-American answer to ‘American Pie’

It's hard to ignore the parallels between "We the Party" and "American Pie" (1999). After all, the latter revolved around a quartet of horny, high school students competing to lose their virginity before graduation, and we find the testosterone-driven quintet at the center of "We the Party" in pursuit of the same rite of passage shortly before their senior prom.


A fascination with Abraham Lincoln

Abe Lincoln-600by Nona N. Allen
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Honest; Emancipator; Greatest President.

These are a few of the terms often used to describe Abraham Lincoln; nowhere on this list is the word fascinating – until now.

Lately there has been a growing fascination with our 16th president and those fascinations range from the academic to the borderline absurd.


50 ‘must reads’ for African Americans

by Gary L. Flowers
NNPA News Service

I recently read with great interest an article written by Patrice Peck in the Huffington Post titled, "50 Books African Americans Should Read." My interest in the list was particularly piqued by the fact that I, too, have compiled a list of "must reads" for black people – and all people, for that matter – on the contribution of black people and their thoughts to human history. Unlike her list (primarily fiction), my interpretation of such a book list is rooted in historically researched books (primarily non-fiction).


Batman trilogy finale deserves a tip of the cape

Dark Knight-Morgan Freeman"The Dark Knight Rises" brings down the curtain on the brilliant Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. Each of the earlier episodes, "Batman Begins" (2005) and "The Dark Knight" (2008), earned a spot on this critic's annual Top Ten List, No. 9 and No. 1, respectively.

Given how the late Heath Ledger played The Joker to perfection, delivering an inspired, Oscar-winning, career performance in the previous installment, you knew it would be hard for Nolan to find as compelling a character for his highly-anticipated finale.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 07/19/2012

For movies opening July 20, 2012


"The Dark Knight Rises" (PG-13 for sensuality, profanity and intense violence) Latest Batman adventure, again directed by Chris Nolan, has the Caped Crusader (Christian Bale) coming out of exile to match wits with a mysterious cat burglar (Anne Hathaway) and with a masked terrorist (Tom Hardy) determined to destroy Gotham City. Ensemble cast includes Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard.


Memphis-bred dancer, choreographer on the move

Shaunte Edmond-1by Brianna Smith
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

As I sat down to watch B.E.T's "106 & Park," the premiere of Willow Smith's music video "Fireball" came on. The video was electrifying; full of lights and special effects, but what stood out the most was the complex choreography.

I was so amazed to find out that Memphis native Shaunte Edmond was one of the main dancers in the video, and that she was part of Smith's performance of "Fireball" on "The X Factor."


BET Awards 2012 – star power, profanity and emotion

BET"Please make sure that you use your gift responsibly," Gospel singer Yolanda Adams said as she accepted the award for Best Gospel Artist. "Our babies are watching, and they want to be like us."

Ironically as she charged the artists to be mindful of what they feed the youth through their music, "The BET Awards 2012" would be remembered as much for its profanity as the star power that returned to the annual ceremony that celebrates the best and brightest among urban entertainment.

The censors were working overtime as singers and rappers threw radio edits to the wind and performed explicit versions that made it impossible to catch every foul word or reference.


In the mix: DeAngelo, Ledisi, blues, Maya Angelou, SportsBall

DeAngelo's performance at this year's BET Awards showed that for the most part the guy still has it musically. Looks like he is continuing on the comeback trail these days. He performed at the Essence Music Festival this past weekend and is gearing up for a major U.S. tour coming up in August.

On the "Liberation Tour," DeAngelo's teaming with Mary J. Blige, also performed on the BET Awards and at the Essence Festival.


Narratives leave no doubt – slavery a never-ending nightmare

"This is a book about slavery and family and loss and longing... It is about the forced separations of African-American families, about their grief and their determined hope to someday see each other again... It takes courage to look at the humiliation they suffered...

It is worth saying that this is a book about separation, resilience and survival, and about the texture and contours of despair... In the end, it is a journey into their feelings... The stories I recount are raw, emotional and dramatic... That's what these people's lives were."


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 07/12/2012

For movies opening July 13, 2012


“Ice Age: Continental Drift” (PG for rude humor, action and scenes of peril) Woolly mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary) and sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) embark on latest prehistoric, animated adventure in the wake of a continental cataclysm triggered by squirrelly Scrat’s (Chris Wedge) pursuit of that ever-elusive acorn. Voice cast includes Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Seann William Scott, Keke Palmer and Drake.


Big things and bigger dreams for 7-year-old Eddie Starks Jr.

Eddie-Starkes-JRby Bria Brown
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

How many James-Brown singing, 7-year-old performers do you know? I know one! His name is Eddie Starks Jr. and he's living a life that most people can only dream about. I know what you're thinking; the kid is 7, how could he be living such a life?

When I tell you that Starks' resume is far beyond impressive, I'm not kidding one bit. You may have seen him a few weeks ago at the Ultimate Family Reunion, hosted by V103.5, where he opened up for headliner Curtis Blow.


Who were those guys on the BET Awards Show?

You know something? Each year the BET Awards make me feel more and more out of touch with mainstream music. I mean I really try my best to keep up, but it seems like someone has broken the knob on the new rapper machine and it's just churning out new rappers all willy-nilly.

I mean the show kicked off with three guys that I have to admit I knew nothing about until my son told me they were Big Sean, Pusha T and some guy named 2 Chainz. It's really funny how I have to depend on my two teenage kids to tell me who some of these people are year after year. There's always somebody new performing.