Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The China Study: All-Star Collection (BOOK REVIEW)



The China Study: All-Star Collection
Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes from Your Favorite Vegan Chefs
by LeAnne Campbell, Ph.D.
Foreword by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
BenBella Books
Paperback, $19.95
316 pages, Illustrated
ISBN: 978-193952997-8

Book Review by Kam Williams

“In many ways, the world has changed dramatically since The China Study was released in 2005. Ten years ago, more doctors thought the idea that diet might solve serious health problems was fantasy. Now I hear more and more doctors actually recommending a plant-based diet to their patients…
In over five decades of biomedical research, I have learned, in so many ways, that a whole food, plant-based diet promotes optimal health and the prevention even reversal, in many cases, of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and brain disorders.
I’ve received overwhelming feedback from people who’ve seen incredible health results… But I’m still often asked… ‘What do I eat?’ In this follow-up, [my daughter] LeAnne has gathered some of the most popular and influential plant-based chefs to share their best dishes, all following the nutrition principles laid out in The China Study.”
-- Excerpted from the Foreword (pages 9-10)

            When I interviewed Russell Simmons last month, I asked him what the last book he read was. His answer was The China Study, which took a comprehensive look at the relationship between diet and disease based on 20 years of research conducted in 100 Chinese villages.
            That illuminating opus by Dr. T. Colin Campbell basically extolled the virtues of vegetarianism while warning of the risks associated with eating meat and chemical-laced, industrial products manufactured by agribusiness. Well, now his daughter LeAnne has published The China Study: All-Star Collection,
a companion cookbook for folks interested in adopting a vegan regimen.
            Its 150+ recipes come courtesy of a number of celebrated, natural food chefs, including Ani Phyo, Christina Ross, Christy Morgan and Tracy Russell, to name a few. Each of the entries is accompanied by a mouth-watering color photo refuting the notion that a strict vegetarian diet has to be boring.   
            The offerings range from breads and breakfast food to appetizers and entrees to soups and salads to sandwiches and sumptuous desserts. Among the exotic dishes which piqued my interest were Aloo Gobi, an Indian concoction containing potatoes and cauliflower, and Daikon Kimchi, a Korean side order.
            Converted ex-carnivores might enjoy such faux substitutes for flesh favorites as chickpea burgers, spaghetti and wheatballs, mock tuna and b-b-q Portobello sandwiches. And gourmets with a sweet tooth are apt to be enticed by the pumpkin chia pudding, coconut pillows and sweet potato and black bean brownies with dark chocolate.
            A tasty collection of healthy, easy-to-make recipes designed for anyone interested in making the shift to plant-based meals.

To order a copy of The China Study: All-Star Collection, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1939529972/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ken Burns (INTERVIEW)



Ken Burns
“The Address” Interview
with Kam Williams


Gettysburg Revisited!


Ken Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated BROOKLYN BRIDGE in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made.

Burns was the director, producer, co-writer, chief cinematographer, music director and executive producer of the landmark television series THE CIVIL WAR. This film was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television, prior to BASEBALL, and attracted an audience of 40 million during its premiere in September 1990.

The New York Times called it a masterpiece and said that Burns “takes his place as the most accomplished documentary filmmaker of his generation.” Tom Shales of The Washington Post wrote, “This is not just good television, nor even just great television. This is heroic television.”

The columnist George Will said, “If better use has ever been made of television, I have not seen it and do not expect to see better until Ken Burns turns his prodigious talents to his next project.” The series has been honored with more than 40 major film and television awards, including two Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild, a People’s Choice Award, a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, a D.W. Griffiths Award and the $50,000 Lincoln Prize, among dozens of others.

Some of Burns’s other films include THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE (2013), THE DUST BOWL (2012), PROHIBITION (2011), THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA (2009), THE WAR (2007), co-directed with Lynn Novick, JAZZ (2001), LEWIS AND CLARK: THE JOURNEY OF THE CORPS OF DISCOVERY (1997), and BASEBALL (1994).

Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York on July, 29 1953, and graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1975. Here, he talks about his latest film, THE ADDRESS, a current-day documentary chronicling the herculean effort by students at a school for boys with severe learning disabilities to memorize the Gettysburg Address in order to recite it at an assembly of parents, friends and teachers.     


Kam Williams: Hi Ken, thanks for another interview. Like last time, I’ll be mixing in question from readers with my own.
Ken Burns: Fine, fire away, Kam.

KW: What was the source of inspiration for The Address?
KB: I live in Walpole, New Hampshire and, for the past 35 years, made all the films there. And across the Connecticut River, which divides New Hampshire from Vermont, is the tiny town of Putney. Over a decade ago, the Greenwood School, which is located there, invited me to be a judge in their annual contest judging the recitation of the Gettysburg Address. I just wept at the fortitude and inspiration that these boys and their struggles represent.

KW: The movie made me cry.
KB: It made me cry, too, just the other day when we had the premiere in Brattleboro which is the quote-unquote “Big City” nearby, with a population of maybe 8,000 people. I kept saying, “Somebody else should be making this movie. This is cinema verite, not the kind of thing that I do.” But I came back each year as my schedule permitted, and the more I came back, the more I felt that I just had to put my money where my mouth is and just do it. So, we embedded for abut three months, and it was a life-changing experience to watch these kids undergo their own life-changing experience. And then we had the idea to share it and say, “Hey, everybody can memorize the Gettysburg Address.” If you go to www.LearnTheAddress.org, you’ll find all the living presidents reciting it, as well as a lot of other figures in government, in the media and in Hollywood. And thousands of citizens and school kids from all over have memorized it... Alabama… Utah… Hawaii… from all around. It’s really wonderful!

That’s what the tears are for, from seeing the faculty lovingly teach and take care of these kids while the boys also assist each other. Each child has his own limitation, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to help each other. Seeing them overcome them makes our day-to-day problems seem kind of puny. Then, of course, this is all set against the context and backdrop of arguably the greatest speech every given in the English language, one that was doubling-down on the Declaration of Independence, the 2.0 version of it. And we haven’t had a new version since. It’s the one we still operate on today. Lincoln needed to write the 2.0 version, because Jefferson’s 1.0 had that inherent contradiction of tolerating slavery while proclaiming that all men are created equal. Jefferson himself was a slave owner. I think what the Gettysburg Address does is yank us into the future, however painful the moment might be, while commemorating the dead in the greatest battle on American soil.

KW: Your film has certainly inspired me to memorize it.
KB: I want you to. I’d love you to add your recitation to the website. You’ll feel so great. It’ll be very moving. A lot of people have broken down during their first attempt to record it because of the sheer emotion and power of the words. Just today, I was asked to recite it on camera by a reporter, and I was moved to tears not by my accomplishment but by my trying to invest those words with some meaning.    

KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden asks: What is it about the Gettysburg Address that makes it stand out to you as one of nation's most powerful and memorable speeches?
KB: There are no proper nouns… It’s really short… It’s presidential poetry… Lincoln uses the word “here” many, many times. He moves it around in an attempt to rivet you to the place to make you appreciate what it is. And yet, with “Four score and seven years ago” he’s acknowledging the past, meaning the Declaration of Independence. He’s telling you where we are, “We’re engaged in a great Civil War,” but he’s also pushing us forward, saying we could have a new birth of freedom, and we did, just as we did at the first anniversary of 9/11 when among the very few speeches delivered was the Gettysburg Address, as if the words were medicine, which is precisely what they were.       

KW: Grace also asks: Do you think that the children who had to memorize the Gettysburg Address really understood the underlying issue of slavery and the necessity of the Civil War to keep our nation together? 
KB: Yes, Grace. I think you’ll see this quite clearly in the dynamics in the classroom in the film as it unfolds. Two of the youngest students, Kevin and Geo, have one of the most sophisticated conversations I’ve ever heard by kids that young about secession and slavery. It’s very clear that they’ve used the Address as a tool not only to overcome the difficulties of whatever diagnosis they have… dyslexia… executive function… dysgraphia… ADHD… the whole alphabet soup of stuff, but it’s a way to bind together their entire educational experience… History… English… Remedial Class… I have no doubt in my mind that, all across the board, the Gettysburg Address takes up a lot of space and gives a lot of meaning for a tiny speech. Then I learned that the school had never been to Gettysburg in its 35-year history. So, I built into my budget the renting of a bus and hotel rooms for the entire school, and I gave them a tour of the battlefield for an entire day.  

KW: I don’t remember the film mentioning that the school had never visited Gettysburg before?
KB: No, I left that out. I didn’t want to toot my own horn. We took them there as a kind of epilogue.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: Can you share the students’ sentiments when they accomplished the goal of mastering the speech?
KB: There was a wide range of reactions. For some, it was relief. Many of the boys knew the speech cold, but only felt comfortable reciting it in front of a couple people. The notion of saying it in front of an audience of 250 was terrifying In fact, some of them had issues connected to anxiety and what’s called executive function. So, there was often a release, followed by a sense of accomplishment. There was great pride and joy. Sometimes, there was the utmost confidence. One boy read it with such passion that I think all of us in attendance cried because he had imbued it with so much meaning, as I think you and your readers will feel as you take on this task. If you tape it up next to your mirror, where you can see it every morning, you might curse me for a few days until you get it. But then, it’ll be on your hard drive permanently and a source of great benefaction and meaning for the rest of your life. You’ll have both your own unique response to the Address and at the same time it will bind you to everybody else.        

KW: Patricia also asks: What is the most important thing you learned from the kids?
KB: As the Greenwood School’s psychologist, Tom Ehrenberg says in the film, “We’re a country that thinks we celebrate individuality, but it really celebrates conformity.” And when we see different, other, we don’t deal with it. We just avert our eyes. And these kids have been bullied and marginalized and worse. They’ve been driven to schools like Greenwood as their last refuge of hope. What I found each boy taught me was the preciousness of each individual life. Each boy taught me how smart they actually were. Each boy taught me that perhaps it is unfair to apply the same general metrics to everybody. When you look at the boys that way, my heart was enlarged. I tell you, Kam, I already had four daughters, but I now feel like I have 50 adopted sons.      

KW: Patricia would like to know what Abraham Lincoln means to you.
KB: He’s the greatest president in our history. He was the guardian of our republic at its greatest crisis, our Civil War. Lincoln was there to guide the struggle, to take on the weight of it, to keep the country together, and to do it with such extraordinary charity that his goodness and thoughtfulness about who we were and what our potential was goes hand in hand with that melancholy and sense of moral outrage about slavery’s still existing in a country which had declared that all men are created equal. He had a sort of Old Testament fervor, as though he was throwing lightning bolts. I refer you to his second inaugural where he’ll turn around and then give you a kind of New Testament “sea of enveloping love” which reminds you of the much more important things in life than nations.         


KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: What are the essential ingredients for the recipe for a great documentary?
KB: I think it’s always a good story, a good story, a good story, first, second and third. The word “history,” which is what I do, is mostly made up of the word “story.” That’s what we’re responding to. We tell stories to each other all day long. That’s what we’re looking for when we say, “Honey, how was your day?” We edit and superimpose. What you’re looking for is the best of a good story that appeals on so many levels, as I think the story of the Greenwood School and these boys does. Yes, it’s about the Gettysburg Address, but it’s also about something that mirrors it in a very profound and human way. And I’m just grateful to be caught up in the whirlwind of the Greenwood School.

KW: Harriet also asks: Is there another series of yours that you'd like to revisit the way you did with Baseball when you did The 10th Inning?
KB: No, I’m very happy to be working on a big series about Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, another big series about the History of the War in Vietnam, and one on Country music, as well as biographies of Ernest Hemingway and Jackie Robinson. Baseball is the only one I want to keep coming back to. I hope there’s an 11th Inning and a 12th Inning down the line, God willing and funding willing.   

KW: Jim Cryan says: I really enjoyed Prohibition. Did making that documentary have any effect on your alcohol consumption?
KB: [LOL] I am periodically a teetotaler, Jim, but I definitely drank during the production just to offset the absurdity of the only Amendment to the Constitution that limits human freedom rather than enlarging it.

KW: Documentary filmmaker Kevin Williams asks: Why do the government archives in Europe charge money and a lot of it for archival footage and photographs, whereas our National Archives and Library of Congress do not? It is really disheartening for independent documentarians without big budgets. 
KB: I couldn’t agree with you more, Kevin, and all I can say is “God bless the United States of America!” These are the people’s archives, and so the people get free access to them.

KW: Lisa Loving asks: Have you ever dreamed of becoming a futurist?
KB: You know what, Lisa? The best indicator of the future is the past. If you don’t know where you’ve been, you can’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ll find that people who understand history are the best futurists you can imagine. 

KW: Thanks again for the time, Ken, and best of luck with The Address and all your other projects.
KB: Thank you, Kam. Take care.

The Address premieres on PBS on Tuesday, April 15th @ 9 pm ET/PT (check local listings)

To see a trailer for The Address, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR2MIxjB_4c  

To learn more about the Gettysburg Address and to video record yourself reading or reciting it, visit: http://www.learntheaddress.org/

Black Nativity (DVD REVIEW)



Black Nativity
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Adaptation of Langston Hughes Holiday Musical Arrives on DVD

            Naima (Jennifer Hudson) is a single-mom struggling to pay the rent on the apartment she shares with son Langston (Jacob Latimore), 15, who’s the same age she was when she had him. Back then, she was as headstrong as he is now, which explains why she ran away from a good home in Harlem to raise him alone in Baltimore.
            Today, upon receiving an eviction notice, cash-strapped Naima reluctantly sends the rebellious adolescent in need of a father figure to New York to live with her parents, Aretha (Angela Bassett) and Reverend Cornell Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), prominent members of the black community. But Langston lands in trouble even before they have a chance to pick him up at the bus station, so they end-up having to bail him out of jail.
            Is it too late for anyone to make a difference in the rebellious juvenile delinquent’s life? Can the Cobbs mend the fractured relationship with their long-estranged daughter? Will Langston belatedly bond with the absentee father he’s never known?
            These are the pivotal questions raised in Black Nativity, a modern morality play based on the Langston Hughes musical of the same name. Adapted and directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou), the film features an engaging soundtrack sprinkled with evocative onscreen performances by cast members including Mary J. Blige, Nas and Tyrese, though all pale in comparison to those by Jennifer Hudson.
            The incomparable diva kicks off the festivities with an unforgettable opener, “Test of Faith,” a showstopper every bit as memorable as her heartfelt rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as Effie in Dreamgirls. A timeless parable as memorable for its uplifting spirituals as for its moving message about the importance of faith and family.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for menacing, mature themes and mild epithets
Running time: 93 minutes
Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: Deleted scenes; promotional featurettes.

To see a trailer for Black Nativity, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfhupIQ1JnE

To order a copy of Black Nativity on Blu-ray, visit:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Marlon Wayans (INTERVIEW)



Marlon Wayans
“A Haunted House 2” Interview
with Kam Williams

Headline: Wayans Weighs-In on HH2!

Born in New York City on July 23, 1972, Marlon Wayans graduated from the High School of Performing Arts before matriculating at Howard University’s Film School. He started out in Hollywood on TV as a cast member of the Emmy Award-winning variety series, In Living Color. Next, Marlon created and starred in the hit sitcom The Wayans Bros.
Some of his other noteworthy screen credits include: The Ladykillers, Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, Little Man, White Chicks, Norbit, Behind the Smile and Dance Flick. The versatile thespian also exhibited an impressive acting range while delivering a powerful performance as a drug addict in Requiem for a Dream.
More recently, Marlon starred opposite Channing Tatum in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. And last summer he appeared in The Heat, a blockbuster featuring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.
Here, he talks about his latest film, A Haunted House 2, a sequel spoofing the Paranormal Activity franchise.  

Kam Williams: Hi Marlon, thanks for another interview.
Marlon Wayans: You got it, bro.

KW: Why did you decide to make A Haunted House sequel?
MW: Because the audience really, really enjoyed the first one. And I also felt like I could find a nice, natural progression for my character, Malcolm. Plus, comedically, I knew I could match or exceed what we did in the original, and make a bigger, broader movie that could appeal to a wider audience just by making some adjustments and by adding a few pieces to the puzzle. One of those pieces was Gabriel Iglesias, and another one was Jaime Pressly.   

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: How do you rev up a sequel so the faithful return for more while simultaneously enticing some newbies?
MW: I think you have to make sure you have a little bit of the old, while adding something knew. We kept Cedric the Entertainer, Affion Crockett and Essence Atkins and, like I said, we added Gabe and Jaime, and also Ashley Rickards. I think you have to stick with the integrity of the comedy or lack thereof, and keep in stride with the humor of the movie. I don’t believe you try to sell it out. Instead, you just keep your tone and your sense of humor, because that’s what they bought into the first time. It’s all about being authentic to whatever that movie is, and not reaching too hard. 

KW: Harriet also asks: Is there a remake of a classic film you'd like to star in?
MW: I’d love to redo Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

KW: Paranormal facilitator Kate Newell asks: Have you had any paranormal experience in real life?
MW: No, I haven’t, but I wish I had.

KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: Is it important to you not to get killed off in the first five minutes, as so often happens to black actors in horror films?
MW: Yeah, it’s very important to me, being I’m a black actor, and I don’t want my black ass to die in the first five minutes.

KW: Irene has a follow-up. Is storytelling in the horror genre different from storytelling in a typical comedy?
MW: Yeah, it is. But this is more of a typical comedy, because it’s a horror comedy with parody moments. It’s not a parody-parody, but what is kind of parody-esque is the pacing of how we tell the jokes. I’m throwing out five jokes a page. But what I’m not doing is going, “Here is the location, and here’s what’s funny about it.” It’s kind of grounded in reality, and once it’s grounded, we take the ceiling off and go crazy places with the comedy.    

KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden asks: What's the most difficult thing about your work? And what's the most fun, aside from making a successful movie?  
MW: It’s always fun. I love my job, man. There’s no greater job for me in the world. I was born to do this. I think the most difficult aspect of the job is not having much time off, or time to sleep, or time to just chill. Sometimes, fame can be a little hard.

KW: Larry Greenberg says: I have been working so much on my own films and other people’s projects that I haven't had time to make a reel. How important is it for a director to have a reel that highlights their work?
MW: I think it is pretty important because producers and studio heads need to see that before they’re going to take a chance on you. You always need a piece of wok that represents you, because no matter what you say your execution will be, people need to see you execute. So, a reel is very important.

KW: Could you say something controversial that would get this interview tweeted?
MW: Wow! Probably, but it might also ruin my career. [Chuckles]

KW: Have you ever had a near-death experience?
MW: Falling off a roof. I only fell one story, but I still saw my life flashing before my eyes.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?
MW: My guiltiest pleasure would probably be coconut sorbet and wine.

KW: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

MW: Jesus Christ.

KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be?
MW: Probably a lawyer.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?
MW: None! What you see is exactly what you get. [Laughs]

KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
MW: The ability to bring people back to life.

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?
MW: The Wayans family. [LOL]

KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key qualities do you believe all successful people share? 
MW: Hard work, a belief in themselves, and they never stop trying. A good work ethic is the greatest talent.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Marlon, and good luck with the film.
MW: Anytime, Kam. Thanks.

To see a trailer for A Haunted House 2, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ1CsG-bJqc

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Address (PBS-TV REVIEW)



The Address
PBS-TV Review by Kam Williams

Students Memorize Gettysburg Address in Latest Ken Burns Documentary
           
            On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to dedicate a cemetery at the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The President kept his remarks to a mere two minutes, paling in length to that of the relatively long-winded Edward Everett, a former Secretary of State whose keynote speech lasted a couple hours.
            Although one newspaper reporter would derisively dismiss Lincoln’s 272-word sermon as “silly, flat, dish-watery utterances,” it would prove to be a soliloquy for the ages. After beginning with the icon phrase, “Four score and seven years ago,” he proceeded to recount the lofty ideals which had inspired the Declaration of Independence before cleverly repositioning the Civil War as less a struggle to save the Union as a God-ordained fight for human rights.   
            “The Address” represents a bit of a departure for Ken Burns, a director long associated with painstakingly-researched, historical documentaries. For, this picture is set in the present at the Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, an institution founded in 1978 for boys with learning disabilities ranging from dyslexia to dysgraphia to ADHD to executive function.
            Nevertheless, the school has a tradition whereby every student is expected to comprehend and commit the Gettysburg Address to memory by the end of the school year in order to recite it individually in front of an auditorium filled with parents, guests and staff. This is no mean feat, given how the school serves as a refuge of last resort for kids who have basically been labeled unteachable everywhere else they’ve enrolled.
            Burns’ camera was apparently afforded unusual access to the classrooms at Greenwood over the course of the year. So, we’re able to observe how a dedicated team of educators and therapists managed to instill enough confidence in all 50 members of the student body, no matter how crippling the fear or handicap.
            The transformations are so remarkable by the day of the assembly that tears will reflexively roll down your cheeks in admiration of the children’s achievement. Moreover, don’t be surprised to come away from the experience with a deeper appreciation of the Gettysburg Address and maybe even a determination to memorize it yourself.
            A current-day, Ken Burns PBS production every bit as moving as any of his nostalgic classics

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated TV-PG
Running time: 85 minutes
Studio: Florentine Films
Distributor: PBS

The Address premieres on PBS on Tuesday, April 15th @ 9 pm ET/PT (check local listings)

To see a trailer for The Address, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR2MIxjB_4c  

To learn more about the Gettysburg Address and to video record yourself reading or reciting it, visit: http://www.learntheaddress.org/

small time (FILM REVIEW)



small time
Film Review by Kam Williams

H.S. Grad Considers Skipping College to Sell Used Cars in Fact-Based Father-Son Saga

            Although Freddy Klein (Devon Bostick) is about to finish high school, he still hasn’t decided whether to attend college in the fall. That’s because he’s considering taking a job as a salesman on his father’s (Christopher Meloni) used car lot.
            The very idea of it frustrates Freddy’s mother (Bridget Moynahan) to no end, since she divorced Al years ago for being such a slippery character and poor provider. For that reason, she raised her son without her ex’s involvement.
            Consequently, she’s dismayed at the prospect of his serving as a role model upon belatedly coming back into the picture on graduation day. Predictably-unreliable Al even proceeds to screw up that occasion, arriving with his girlfriend (Garcelle Beauvais) too late to see his son walk across the stage. Nevertheless, Freddy opts to work and live with his long-estranged dad, an ill-advised decision which prompts his mom to warn, “I will hang myself, if he ends up like you.”
            This is the intriguing point of departure of small time, a compelling, coming of age tale ostensibly inspired by a true story. The movie marks the directorial debut of veteran scriptwriter Joel Surnow, who is best known for the Emmy-winning TV series “24.”
            Putting a unique spin on the “last summer before college” genre, the film revolves around a father-son bonding opportunity as opposed to the familiar escapist theme of hedonistic teens nostalgically reminiscing while bidding each other farewell in wanton fashion. Instead, we have Al and his partner (Dean Norris) showing Freddy the slimy tricks of the trade as the kid immediately takes to the sleazy profession like a fish to water.
            Of course, this development is not lost on his worried mom who hates seeing her son emulating those slippery con artists. Ultimately, it all boils down to whether Freddy will continue down this checkered path or wise up and start school in September?
            A refreshingly-realistic, slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who’s understandably torn between moving on with his life and making up for lost time.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for sexual references.
Running time: 95 minutes
Distributor: Anchor Bay Films/Freestyle Releasing

To see a trailer for small time, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hurvmhuwa1k 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Top Ten DVD Releases for 4-15-14



This Week’s DVD Releases
by Kam Williams


Top Ten DVD List for April 15, 2014                       

Double Indemnity – 70th Anniversary Limited Edition

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Touch of Evil

Jan Svankmajer's Alice

Midsomer Murders: Village Case Files [Series Eight and Nine]

The Invisible Woman

The Curse of the Gothic Symphony

The End of Time

Murder on the Home Front

Philomena


Honorable Mention

PBS Kids: Between the Lions - Vowel Power

Confession of Murder

TV Guide Spotlight: Totally 80s Toons

The Making of a Lady

Picture of Light

Thomas & Friends: Railway Mischief

Death Do Us Part

The Boys of Abu Ghraib

Barney: Happy Birthday Barney!

Angry Birds Toons: Season One, Volume Two

95ers: Time Runners

Better Living through Chemistry

Ride Along

The Nut Job

The Formula