Monday, May 30, 2016

Dr. Dinesh Sharma

The “The Global Hillary” Interview
with Kam Williams

Sharma Sets Sights on Hillary, Poised to Make History

Dinesh Sharma is a social scientist, marketing consultant and an acclaimed author with a doctorate from Harvard University. He is an Associate Research Professor at the Institute for Global Cultural Studies at SUNY-Binghamton; an adjunct Professor in Organizational Psychology at Fordham University; and a senior fellow at the Institute for International and Cross-Cultural Research in New York City.

Dr. Sharma's biography of the 44th President of the United States, entitled "Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President," was rated as among the Top 10 Books of Black History for 2012 by the American Library Association, Book List Online. His next book, "The Global Obama," was published by Routledge Press and received Honorable Mention on this critic's Ten Best Black Books of 2014 as published by the African-American Literary Book Club (AALBC) and widely syndicated across the country.

Sharma's recent articles and opinions have appeared in the New Republic, UPI, AP, Real Clear Politics, Raw Story, Asia Times and numerous other newspapers. Here, he discusses his new book, "The Global Hillary: Women's Political Leadership in Cultural Contexts."

Kam Williams: Hi Dinesh, thanks for the interview.
Dinesh Sharma: Thanks, Kam, for this opportunity to speak with you about my new book.

KW: What about Hillary Clinton interested you enough to edit a book about her global image?
DS: I think she is by far the most qualified person running for the White House right now -- Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, First Lady -- who also happens to be the first woman candidate, pretty close to securing the nomination.

KW: Tell me where you got the idea for “The Global Hillary.”
DS: This is a follow-up to "The Global Obama" book which you reviewed. The same publisher, Routledge Press, wanted me to write a book about Hillary Clinton's leadership.

KW: How would you describe the main thesis of this opus?
DS: In this book, we explore the linkage between "Smart Power" and Hillary Clinton's leadership style. Can she advance American leadership and women's development worldwide? "The Global Hillary" addresses these questions and many others. Bringing together two key aspects of Clinton’s ongoing career--her advocacy for international women’s rights and the mission to foster democratic development around the world--I argue Clinton is a transformative leader of global influence.
KW: What message do you think people will take away from the book?
DS: The essays in this collection provide insight into Clinton’s leadership style, particularly her use of American "Smart Power" in foreign policy, while examining her impact on the continuing worldwide struggle for women’s rights. Using an international perspective on the historical and cultural contexts of Clinton’s leadership, this book also looks toward the future of women’s political leadership in the 21st Century with special attention to the prospect of electing a woman to the United States' presidency. The big takeaway is the idea of "smart power."

KW: How would you define Smart Power?
DS: The idea of Smart Power was proposed by Joseph Nye, a political scientist at Harvard University. He has argued that the United States needs to rely on the combination of both 'hard' military power and 'soft' cultural power to deal with the host of new challenges we face in the post-9/11 world. Hillary Clinton has been a champion of this idea at the State Department

KW: How does Smart Power relate to women's development?
DS: The project for women's development is one of the stronger initiatives pushed by the U.S. government in different parts of the world. It is a key component of the Smart Power approach advanced by Hillary Clinton. She believes that in parts of the world with high degrees of unrest and instability, women's development tends to be abysmally poor.

KW: Is there a link between terrorism and women's development?
DS: Yes, they are negatively correlated. In parts of the world where women's development is poor, terrorism seems to fester unabated.

KW: Can you eradicate conditions of terrorism by improving the conditions of women?
DS: In summary, yes, that is the theory behind the claim.

KW: Has this idea been fully tested?
DS: There is lots of evidence to suggest that this idea is internally consistent, but it needs more empirical testing. For instance, increase women's education leads to better conditions for young girls and families.

KW: Does the book deal with this issue?
DS: Yes, the book presents essays and evidence from different parts of the world--Africa, Asia, Europe, and the US--to suggest that this is one of the main issues Hillary Clinton has been advancing throughout her career.

KW: Is this book at all biographical?
DS: Yes, at the margins, we delve into her biography to the extent it impacts her social policy ideas. We have tried to show in the book that some of these policy ideas she has been advocating for a long time--at Yale Law School, the keynote speech at a Women's Rights conference 20 years ago in Beijing ["Women's Rights Are Human Rights"], and recently as Secretary of State--are focused on democracy and women's development, and the three big D's: Democracy, Development and Diplomacy.

KW: Finally, would you say the US is "exceptional" when it comes to women's rights?
DS: Yes, it is "exceptional" in advocating for women's rights worldwide. But it still lags in terms of political representation of women in elected offices, and it is really an exception to the rule in not having elected a female head of state or a woman president.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Dinesh, and best of luck with the book.
DS: Thank you, Kam.

To order a copy of The Global Hillary, visit:

Sunday, May 29, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse

Film Review by Kam Williams

Ragtag Team of Young Mutants Rally against Ancient Adversary Bent on Major Mayhem
X-Men: Apocalypse is the 9th installment in the much-beloved, Marvel Comics franchise launched back in 2000. This episode is the 4th directed by the series' originator, Bryan Singer, whose sophisticated touch always allows an audience to enjoy a relatively-cerebral cinematic experience. 
Thus, this character-driven adventure includes not only the trademark action sequences featuring flamboyant exhibitions of superpowers but also an absorbing plotline that keeps the brain engaged for the duration of the story. The upshot is a film for kids of all ages that's memorable for more than its state-of-the-arts special f/x. 
The fun starts in Cairo in 1983, which is where we we find the ancient mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) rising from the dead. Disenchanted with the world's current state of affairs, he decides to destroy civilization and start over. 
Although Apocalypse is already the most powerful mutant around, he recruits a quartet of renegades to assist him in his nefarious endeavor. Dubbed the Four Horsemen, the confederacy is composed of Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Archangel (Ben Hardy), representing War, Famine, Pestilence and Death, respectively. 
It is almost too late by the time the forces of good finally catch wind of Apocalypse's diabolical scheme, as cities from New York to Sydney are suddenly under attack. And when X-Men leader Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) falls under Apocalypse's spell, his protege, shape-shifting Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), rises to the occasion to rally the next-generation of mutants in the defense of the embattled planet. 
Among her cohorts are telekinetic Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), teleporting Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee, supersonic Quicksilver (Evan Peters), brawny and brilliant Beast (Nicholas Hoult), laser-eyed Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne). Initially, they prove no match for Apocalypse, who has been harnessing an assortment of awesome powers for several millennia. 
Only by pooling their skills and resources very effectively are our intrepid protagonists able to conquer evil, save the free world and thereby survive for another sequel.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence, action, destruction, suggestive images and brief profanity
In English, German, Polish, Arabic and Ancient Egyptian
Running time: 144 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

To see a trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, visit:

Destination Planet Negro

Film Review by Kam Williams

Goofy Spoof of Fifties Sci-Fi Flicks Explores Issue of Race in America

It is 1939, and we find a committee of African-American leaders seeking a solution for the "Negro problem." The group agrees that blacks seem permanently relegated to second-class status because of lynchings, Jim Crow segregation and racial discrimination.

After dismissing such solutions as emigrating to Europe or going back to Africa, they are pitched on a plan by Dr,. Warrington Avery (Kevin Willmott). He suggests that African-Americans attempt to colonize Mars, and turn the red planet into a virtual utopia where they will be entirely free from white oppression.

And wouldn't you know, a spaceship has already been built and George Washington Carver (George Forbes) has developed an atomic rocket fuel made from peanuts and sweet potatoes. The crew volunteering for the maiden voyage consists of Dr. Avery, his daughter Beneatha (Danielle Cooper) and their pilot, Captain Race Johnson (Tosin Morohunfola). 
The three astronauts blastoff, travel through space and eventually crash on the surface of what they believe to be a distant star. However, only after christening it "Planet Negro," do they gradually come to realize that they've time-traveled to the future and landed back on Earth in present-day Kansas City.

There, the trio is in for quite an awakening, between discovering that the United States has an African-American president and that blacks now use the "N-word" as a term of endearment . "Where we come from, that's what they call you right before they kill you," Dr. Avery explains to B-12 (Trai Byers), a rapper ostensibly oblivious of the slur's ugly legacy. 
Written and directed by and starring Kevin Willmott, Destination Planet Negro is a goofy spoof of the B-movie genre that's basically played for laughs. Yet, it simultaneously serves as a sophisticated satire that makes some thought-provoking observations about American culture `along the way. 
In that regard, it is reminiscent of Willmott's own C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, a brilliant, alternate-reality comedy which speculated about what the country would be like today if the South had won the Civil War. As for Destination Planet Negro, it's also highly recommended, provided you're in the mood for a campy, low-budget sci-fi whose cheesy special effects are more than offset by a profusion of insightful social statements.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 98 minutes
Distributor: Candy Factory Films

To see a trailer for Destination Planet Negro, visit:

Friday, May 27, 2016

Triple 9

DVD Review by Kam Williams

A-List Cast Expertly Executes Cat-and-Mouse Crime Thriller

Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet) assumed the reins of an Atlanta-based crime syndicate after her husband Vasili (Igor Komar) was sent up the river. Despite the jailing of the ruthless mobster, the gang's operations have continued to flourish with the help of corrupt police officers and ex-Marines. One crooked cop, Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie), even has a young son (Blake McLennan) with Irina's sister, Elena (Gal Gadot), which makes him all the more vulnerable to manipulation. 
Like a Russian version of the Mexican drug lord El Chapo, Vasili is just itching to get out of jail. So, Irina hatches a plan to spring him from prison with the help of the various authorities she already has in a compromising position.

In 25 words or less, the scheme involves issuing a phony 9-9-9, the police code for "officer down," since every police car would be immediately dispatched to the scene not only to assist the wounded brother in blue but to apprehend the perpetrator. Theoretically, at least, that drain on available resources would afford Irina's henchmen an opportunity to strike.

Thus unfolds Triple 9, a rather riveting cat-and-mouse caper directed by Aussie John Hillcoat (The Road). The over-the-top action thriller featuring an intriguing plot was written by first-time scriptwriter Matt Cook. 
Its cast includes an array of A-list actors topped by Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Teresa Palmer and Michael Kenneth Williams. Having so many talented thespians pays off in spades for a picture which proves compelling from beginning to end. 
At heart, Triple 9 is a nihilistic adventure set in a disturbing, urban dystopia filled with nothing but untrustworthy backstabbers. That makes it darn near impossible to find a protagonist to root for besides Sergeant Jeffrey Allen (Harrelson), a clean detective capable of smelling a rat.

The wily veteran in charge of the investigation must negotiate his way down a dangerous gauntlet while sorting out suspects right in the ranks of his own department. What makes his plight even dicier is the pyrotechnics-driven flick's "When in doubt, blow it up!" philosophy.

An alternately visceral and cerebral, high body-count crime thriller not to be missed!

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for nudity, graphic violence, drug use and pervasive profanity
Running time: 116 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: An Authentic World; Under the Gun; and deleted scenes.

To see a trailer for Triple 9, visit:

To order a copy of Triple 9 on Blu-ray, visit:


DVD Review by Kam Williams

Moving Biopic Recounts Jesse Owens' Exploits at Berlin Olympics

Jesse Owens (Stephan James) is famous for winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics staged in Berlin. The in track and field events events in which he competed included the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, the long jump and the 4 x 100 meter relay race.

What makes Owens' feat remarkable is that he had to overcome not only racism at home but the prejudice he encountered in Germany which had embraced Nazi notions about whites being a master race. So, not only did he have to deal with discrimination in the States but prejudice on the part of Adolf Hitler (Adrian Zwicker).

Directed by Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space), Race is a character-driven biopic which has much more to offer than an account of Jesse's historic assault on the record books. For, in addition to recreating the tension surrounding each of the contests, the picture devotes considerable time to fleshing out the protagonist's personality.

As the film unfolds, we learn about Jesse's humble roots in Cleveland, and that he was the first of his family's ten children to attend college. When he left for Ohio State, he already had a baby (Yvanna-Rose Leblanc) with Ruth Solomon (Shanice Banton), the childhood sweetheart he would eventually wed and remain married to until his death in 1980. 
At the university, Jesse forged a close relationship with his track coach, Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis), who also served as something of a surrogate father. And when his confidence was being undermined by bigoted officials on the U.S. Olympic Committee, Snyder decided to pay his own way to accompany his promising protege to the games in Berlin. 
There, Jesse was shaken to be greeted with the N-word. He was equally shocked by see signs in stores declaring "No Jews or dogs allowed." Nevertheless, he managed to block out the madness all around him while concentrating on performing in the Olympic stadium to the best of his ability. 
Jesse's prevailing over Aryan athletes infuriated Hitler who refused to shake his hand, as was the proper protocol, at least with white gold medal-winners. Despite pressure from the Fuhrer and his henchman Joseph Goebbels (Barnaby Metschurat) to follow suit in the snub, German long jumper Carl "Luz' Long (David Cross) went out of his way to embrace the champion ostracized on account of his skin color. (Postscript: The two remained friends until Carl perished while fighting on the front lines in World War II). 
Regrettably, Jesse's reception back home wasn't much better, given how the White House never publicly acknowledged his remarkable achievement. A very inspiring, long overdue tribute to a great patriot and African-American icon.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and ethnic slurs
In English and German with subtitles
Running time: 135 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: The Making of Race; Becoming Jesse Owens; and The Owen Sisters.

To see a trailer for Race, visit:

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

Top Ten DVD Releases for 5-31-16

This Week’s DVD Releases
by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for May 31, 2016


The Life of Verdi

Miami Vice: Season One

The Last Panthers

12 Sci-Fi Cult Classics

Knight Rider: Season One

Triple 9

Zoolander No. 2: The Magnum Edition

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies

The Terror

Honorable Mention

Airwolf: Season One

Gods of Egypt


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening 6-3-16

Kam's Kapsules:
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening June 3, 2016


Me Before You (PG-13 for suggestive material and mature themes) Adaptation of Jojo Moyes' romance novel about the love which blossoms between a small town nurse (Emilia Clarke) and a wealthy gentleman (Sam Claflin) left paralyzed and depressed by a recent motorcycle accident. Supporting cast includes Vanessa Kirby, Charles Dance and Jenna Coleman.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (R for sexuality, drug use, graphic nudity and pervasive profanity) Musical mockumentary revolving around the trials and tribulations of a desperate one-hit wonder (Andy Samberg) whose second album is flopping. Ensemble cast includes Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph, and features cameo appearances by Simon Cowell, Jimmy Fallon, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Adam Levine, Usher and Seal.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PG-13 for sci-fi violence) Live-action adaptation of the video game of the same name finds the crime-fighting quartet (Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Alan Ritchson and Jeremy Howard) battling their revenge-minded nemesis, Shredder (Brian Tee), who has joined forces with a diabolical mad scientist (Tyler Perry). With Megan Fox, Laura Linney, Will Arnett and Brad Garrett.


Approaching the Unknown (R for profanity) Sci-fi thriller about an American astronaut (Mark Strong) on a one-way mission to Mars. With Luke Wilson, Sanaa Lathan and Charles Baker.

Art Bastard (Unrated) Reverential biopic about maverick artist Robert Cenedella, an inveterate iconoclast who has managed to enjoy an enduring career without compromising his rebellious spirit. 

The Final Master (Unrated) Martial arts adventure, set in China before World War II, about an ambitious Wing Chun practitioner (FanLiao) who must defeat 8 dojos in order to open his own karate school. With Jia Song, Wenli Jiang and Shih-Chieh Chin. (In Mandarin and English with subtitles)

The Fits (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Cincinnati, chronicling an 11 year-old tomboy's (Royalty Hightower) attempt to find acceptance by joining a tight-knit dance team at the local rec center. With Alexis Neblett, Inayah Rodgers and Makyla Burnam.

The God Cells (Unrated) Healthcare documentary exploring the viability of fetal stem cell injection therapy for a variety of neurological and immunological ailments.

It's So Easy and Other Lies (Unrated) Warts-and-all biopic about Guns N' Roses' bass player Duff McKagan, chronicling his fame and fortune as well as his near-fatal struggle with alcohol and drugs. featuring commentary by Slash, Nikki Sixx and Benny Urquidez.

Time to Choose (Unrated) Eco-documentary, directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) and narrated by Oscar Isaac, exploring solutions for the climate change crisis.

Urge (R for disturbing violence and sexual behavior, drug use and pervasive profanity) Suspense thriller about a mysterious nightclub owner (Pierce Brosnan) who introduces some revelers to a new designer drug which strips them of their inhibitions. With Ashley Greene, Alexis Knapp and Danny Masterson.

The Witness (Unrated) Bystander Effect documentary revisiting the murder of 28 year-old Kitty Genovese in Queens in the wee hours of March 13, 1964 which awakened 38 of her neighbors, all of whom failed to call the police.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Princess Shaw

The “Presenting Princess Shaw” Interview
with Kam Williams

Aspiring Singer Talks about Transformation into Youtube Sensation with Help of Secret Admirer/Music Producer

Born and raised in Chicago, 39 year-old Samantha Montgomery moved to New Orleans in 2006. By day, she works as a caregiver for the elderly and, by night, she fearlessly performs as Princess Shaw online and at local open mics.

Inspired by her personal joy and pain from past and present, Princess’ lyrics resonate with honesty and emotion in a very visceral way. It’s this truth that inspires her collaborator Kutiman as well as the emerging fans who have discovered their viral hit "Give It Up."

Here, she talks about her very uplifting biopic, Presenting Princess Shaw, which will be in theaters, on Demand and on iTunes starting May 27

Kam Williams: Hi Princess, thanks for the interview.
Princess Shaw: Thank You, Sugar!

KW: When did you develop an interest in singing and songwriting?
PS: When I was very young, but I didn’t really find my own voice and my own sound until much later--around 2012.

KW: How hard was it finding time to pursue your dream while working long days in the nursing home?
PS: It’s just about finding balance and making time to do what you love.

KW: Were you ever discouraged when the videos of yourself you put on Youtube failed to generate much traffic?
PS: No, because I didn’t put the videos up for other people, I put them up for me, as something to do for myself.

KW: How about when you weren't picked to be a contestant on the reality-TV series The Voice?
PS: They want you to share your story on those shows, and I just felt that wasn’t the right time for me to share my story, so I didn’t. When Ido [director Ido Haar] came along, I knew he was someone that I could trust and felt comfortable sharing my story with.

KW: When was the first time you heard of Kutiman?
PS: I had heard a mash-up of his about a year before he released mine, but didn’t connect that the two were the same person until much later. I wasn’t familiar with his name at all when he released his video with me.

KW: What did you think the when you heard what he'd done with your songs?
PS: I was so happy and excited--like he took the music that was in my heart and put it out into the world. The music that he put with my lyrics was exactly what I wanted and had always heard in my heart.

KW: How surprised were you to learn that Ido Haar was making a movie about you?
PS: Initially, Ido was making a documentary about several of the Youtubers that Kutiman was including in his videos, although none of us knew we were being included. But slowly, over time, it narrowed down to just me and Kuti. Ido said that every time he left New Orleans his heart was telling him to come back. I had no idea that he and Kutiman knew each other when he started filming me, or even when I heard the song for the first time.

KW: What was it like meeting Kutiman in person?
PS: It was amazing, like finding a musical soulmate. He is like a brother to me now, and we have become great friends.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from Presenting Princess Shaw?
PS: That you survive the struggle in your life and if you keep going and keep pursuing the thing that feeds your soul, it’s worth it.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
PS: I see someone who has a lot of love for herself now, and that’s beautiful.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Princess, and best of luck with the film.
PS: Thank you, Kam.

To see a trailer for Presenting Princess Shaw, visit:

To see Princess Shaw performing "Give It Up," as produced by Kutiman, visit:

To see Princess Shaw performing "Stay Here," as produced by Kutiman, visit:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Presenting Princess Shaw

Film Review by Kam Williams

Against-the-Odds Documentary Chronicles the Inspirational Ascension of Youtube Singing Sensation

By day, Samantha Montgomery cared for the elderly as an orderly in a New Orleans old folks home. After hours, however, the aspiring singer/songwriter spent most of her free time pursuing her elusive dream of superstardom.

As Princess Shaw, she would perform solo in local clubs on open mic nights, mostly in front of inattentive, unappreciative audiences. She also posted heartfelt renditions of her original tunes on Youtube where she failed to generate much of a following. 
But lucky for Princess, among her handful of fans was Ophir "Kutiman" Kutiel, a pioneering composer/musician/video artist living half a world away on a kibbutz in Israel. Without her knowledge, he began producing her tunes in the studio, augmenting her haunting a cappella vocals with an orchestra that included keyboards, bass, cello, viola, drums, guitars, percussion, violins, saxophones and a brass section.

Miraculously, this promising diamond in the rough was suddenly blessed with a very professional sound evocative of Amy Winehouse. And when Kutiman subsequently released his polished version of Princess' "Give It Up" on Youtube, it soon went viral, generating millions of hits. 
Next thing you know, the new internet sensation not only had a following, but found herself being mentioned in everything from the New York Times to People Magazine, all thanks to a generous stranger she'd never even spoken to. Eventually, the two do finally meet when Princess flies to Tel Aviv to do a show booked by Kutiman. 
So unfolds Presenting Princess Shaw, a moving documentary directed by Ido Haar. The inspirational picture devotes as much time to details of Princess' traumatic personal life as to her magical music. 
Along the way, we learn that she was left traumatized by the physical and sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of her mother's boyfriend while growing up in Chicago. Today, she continues to encounter a host of challenges, being, black, gay and struggling financially. 
Let's just hope that Princess Shaw is able to turn the corner with the help of this uplifting biopic and Kutiman's mashups of her soulful ballads.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 83 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

To see a trailer for Presenting Princess Shaw , visit:

To see Princess Shaw performing Give It Up as producerd by Kutiman, visit: 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

How to Be Single

DVD Review by Kam Williams

College Grad Test Singles Scene in Raunchy Romantic Romp

When Alice (Dakota Johnson) graduated from college, it would have been very easy for her to settle down with her college sweetheart of four years. After all, Josh (Nicholas Braun) was not only a nice guy with a promising future but very eager to marry and start a family.

However, since she'd never really dated anyone else, Alice wanted to test the waters before making such a big commitment. So, she ended the relationship and moved clear across the country to New York City to live with her elder sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), an obstetrician who hears her biological clock ticking. 
Alice lands a job as a paralegal at a big law firm where she makes fast friends with a flamboyant co-worker (Rebel Wilson) eager to show her the ropes both around the office and the Manhattan dating scene. Despite a Rubenesque figure, Robin exudes an enviable confidence that the relatively-modest Alice ostensibly admires.

After hours, the two descend upon a trendy meat market, where Alice catches the eye of a handsome bartender (Anders Holm). Against her better judgment, she impulsively agrees to a one-night stand with the stranger, only to find it not to her liking. 
Worse, the disaster has her pining for Josh who has no interest in reconciling. That means Alice must continue to negotiate her way around the gauntlet of a strange new world where she can't quite get her footing. 
Thus unfolds How to Be Single, a raunchy romantic comedy directed by Christian Ditter (Love, Rosie). The movie is very loosely based on Liz Tuccillo's 2008 best-seller of the same name which revolved around a 38 year-old heroine instead of one in her early twenties. 
Dakota Johnson exhibits an endearing mix of sensuality and vulnerability as the naive newcomer looking for love in all the wrong places. And her character's plight is playfully juxtaposed against that of her sister who is so desperate to get pregnant that she's willing to visit a fertility clinic. 
Alice has to kiss a lot of frogs before finally finding a prince in David (Damon Wayans, Jr.). Too bad the wealthy real estate developer is a still-grieving widower with a young daughter (Zani Jones Mbayise) to raise.

I suspect Millennials might more readily relate to the frenetically-paced hookup culture captured onscreen than us old fogeys. Nevertheless, the irreverent brand of humor has a universal appeal, provided the over-the-top antics of shameless, scene stealer Rebel Wilson suits your taste. 
An utterly unfiltered salute to the Age of Indiscretion.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for sexuality and pervasive profanity
Running time: 110 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: The Pros and Cons of How to Be Single; Rebel Rabble; A Look at Rebel Wilson; The Best Idea Wins! The Humor of How to Be Single; deleted scenes; gag reel; and Rebel Wilson outtakes.

To see a trailer for How to Be Single, visit:

To order a copy of How to Be Single on Blu-ray, visit: 



DVD Review by Kam Williams

Joseph Fiennes Stars in Biblical Epic Revisiting the Resurrection

A fundamental tenet of Christianity is the belief that Jesus rose from the dead three days after being crucified. And His Resurrection is celebrated each spring on the holy day known as Easter. 
Directed by Kevin Reynolds (Waterworld), Risen is a New Testament epic which revisits that miraculous event from a novel perspective, that of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a Roman military commander instructed by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) to burn Christ's body to prevent his returning to life as predicted.

But lo and behold, Clavius finds the boulder rolled away from the front of an already empty tomb. So, he accuses Jesus' disciples of stealing the body from the sepulchre, and demands it be reinterred in the Golgotha graveyard before the high priest "Caiphus and his pack of raving Jews show up." 
When apostle Peter (Stewart Scudamore) shrugs his shoulders, the Roman soldiers start digging up corpses in Calvary's Hebrew cemetery to squash the rumor circulating that Christ really was the Messiah. Of course, that effort would prove to be an exercise in futility, as would interrogations of Mary Magdalene (Maria Botto), Simon (Joe Manjon) and other apostles.

Ultimately, a funny thing happens to Clavius by the end of his search. For, if Jesus truly is God, then His ascension to Heaven leads the skeptical investigator to the logical conclusion that eternal life is a possibility for everyone. 
Risen is a visually-captivating Biblical drama harking back to such faith-based classics as Ben Hur (1959) and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). Between mob scenes and muted sackcloth costumes, this proselytizing parable persuasively delivers its underlying Easter message designed to convert heathens while simultaneously preaching to the Evangelical choir.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images .
Running time: 107 minutes
Studio: Affirm Films

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-Ray Extras: Deleted scenes; The Battle of Zealots Deconstructed; The Mystery of the Resurrection: Making Risen; Creating A.D. Jerusalem; Script to Screen; and a feature commentary.

To see a trailer for Risen, visit:

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