Tag Archives: Amazon

Not Cinderella’s Type

A realistic Cinderella Story

I have seen many reenactments of Cinderella and it’s always the same. A foster child was taken in being physically and mentally abused while the family uses all the money left for the child. In this movie, it was no different. Her mother died in a horrible crash, her aunt and uncle take her in, put her in an attic instead of a room in their 8 bedroom house.

Screenshot 2018-10-16 17.18.54She walked to school, while their daughters had a car and absolutely everything they wanted. Here’s where things change. The super popular guy that the sisters were obsessed with was a son of a therapist. He accidentally ran over her cat but did everything to make it up to her.

That’s when he noticed the abuse. Her best friend, a guy, decided he didn’t like that someone else was trying to talk to her and claimed his undying love for her.

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Bryant, the popular guy, didn’t give up. He encouraged her to check into feelings for her best friend. Told her to date him, even though he really liked her. He gave her a choice, never tricked her or played games. He always went with his gut about taking care of her.

One day, after Indy went to her best friend Max’s soccer game to support him, she got home and it was the worst it had ever been. She snapped and when sent to her room was scared of what was going to happen to her. She called Max, he said ‘Oh just let your Aunt calm down.’ She told him she was scared and he said he would talk to her tomorrow (Some best friend and way to show your emotions.)

Bryant, on the other hand, was scared for her. He pulled up and came in the house. He saw her bags packed and got her out of there. Her father was a mandated reporter. This is where I fell in love with Bryant’s character, he did what others around he should have done in the past. She was being abused. Locked in her closet and forced to do slave work,  and was never treated as an equal.

I love how this story was realistic. It didn’t make me cringe at the tv like so many Cinderella movies in the past, in the beginning perhaps, but it set the scene. Bryant was supportive, understanding and helped build her self-esteem. I have seen reviews saying it was lame, but those are the ones who like the original “I need a man to save me” “let the family abuse her until she’s 18” type Cinderella story, to me, this one is the best one for the message alone.

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Can you guess who she decided to date? You should check it out, now I have to read the book written by Jenni James to see just how amazing this story really was. The cast was amazing. It’s definitely a realistic movie I watched with my daughters and loved how they reacted to it.

Here’s the trailer:

Cute With Bad Qualities

Cute With Bad Qualities – An Understatement

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.27.35I don’t know how many times I tell people with children to stop coddling them. Introduce them to the real world and tell them how shit really is. If you put your children in a bubble, when they go to college, they wild out. This movie here is a straight up proof of how it normally goes, because its not always black and white, its grey areas in between.

Her mother waited until she was an adult, and heading to college before taking to her. Something that should NOT be a last minute conversation. This is something we should talk to our daughters now in elementary school, to build them up as women and let them know that everything that glitters ain’t gold.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.28.09Cute with Bad Qualities – I thought in the beginning was a horrible title, but I get it, Donovan was the “cute” one, and his qualities were horrible. Her being a “caged child”, she was easily open to the first guy that gave her attention. Her friends had a bet on how long she would be cool until she wilded out. It clearly didn’t take long.

This girl made a 32 on her SATs (not an accurate score, thats more an ACT score, but I’ll leave that flaw in the script alone… No I didn’t). Although she stayed in her books, but she became all about this man. She didn’t follow up on his story he told about Sheena, which lead to Sheen being shady to her, not her fault and continue to sleep with him behind her back.

The tagline “If he shows you who is he, believe him.” Was perfect, because as a woman, this was something that was always told to me. As a mother of teenage girls, I let them have boyfriends, explain to them the horrors of sex and people who don’t mean you any good. I also tell them the importance of looking at every angle and being true to themselves. Never letting someone dictate their lives or tell them what they can and cannot do.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.27.08This man disrespected her mother when he first met her, telling her excuse me, but me and Mya are grown, when she told him to take her straight home. And instead of taking her back to her dorms, like her mother asked, he took her back to his place where there was a bra in his bed, which he hid. They didn’t have sex that night, he played the role of the gentlemen, sleeping on the floor.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.28.58In the beginning, Mya, played by Samantha Smith, was a quiet girl who was a freshman in college. She was a private school girl who was raised in a strict religious home. She saw this boy and literally ran into Sheena, who invited her to a party that Donovan, Tasmin Williams, was supposed to be in attendance.

She showed him in the beginning that he could run her, because he told her to call Sheena back when she called to check on her. He told her not to be friends with certain people and she was all about listening to him. It was like she had no mind of her own and let him check her. Which, he took every moment to brag about to his friends.

When her best friend came in town, he was all about getting to know her friend on a deeper level calling her friend fine and flirting across the table. He kept looking her friend up and down. Her friend saw him for who he was, someone sneaky.

When he was injured, she told him to get seen and he blamed her for not getting medically cleared. Then when he found out he had DBT and couldn’t play he went off on her blaming her for him not being able to play. He broke up with her.

Unlike other stories, Mya and Donovan got married but not because he loved her, from the beginning he was telling his friends that she was a gold mine. He made this big marriage proposal after leaving her for a month. A virgin and a woman who will make money, but he quickly tried to make her his woman who did what he said.  This is not a love story, not a story of romance, its a story of being entrapped, feeling like you have to hold on because he’s your husband.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.28.26When her husband told her she was getting fat, she went to the doctors office and found out she was pregnant. He told her she should go and get an abortion. Something he knew she would not do, because she is very religious. In the next several scenes, you can see him celebrating graduation and hanging with friends while she goes to doctors visits and has the baby. He refused to even help out with the baby at night.

He starts spending time with Sheena on the side, and hanging out without his wife at certain events. Sheena recorded their conversation on the voicemail to their house. To him it was never about making her happy or even comfortable in their marriage, when she brought up him cheating, he just went to bed. Didn’t even try to explain, because he knew she wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything. She being still in school and having a baby. What could she do?

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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

It took for her to realize that she married who she picked and not who she was supposed to marry. It took for her to stand up for herself and realize that she was fighting for a marriage on her own. We have to understand what love looks like, we are responsible for our children knowing that so that they don’t repeat the mistakes we have made in our lives.

 

The Scribbled Victims – Robert Tomoguchi

Being in the writers and authors network on Instagram you run into a lot of awesome authors who are trying to get their books read and reviewed. I offered to read The Scribbled Victims, because number one its description sounded good, and boy was I write.

The Scribbled Victims is not your normal vampire story, its so much deeper than that. Besides the main character (Orly) is a orphan with cancer who scribbles peoples secrets. The secrets she can see is the secret lives people live as pedophiles, murders, abusers, and hateful people. Orly is not going to make it, no one wants to tell her that, but because of her gift she knows the truth. With no family to keep her company or be by her side she finds herself in the cafeteria late at night scribbling people she encounters. Thats when Yelena comes in, she scribbles Yelena and is frightened. Orly believes that Yelena wants to kill her, but Yelena is a vampire with a conscience.

Yes, you read correctly, a vampire with a conscience. She only wants to kill those who are horrible people and the world would be better without. Thats what makes Orly so special, because Orly can see the bad in others. She wants to adopt her, but the adoption agency doesn’t want to spend the time on a child who will die soon anyways. Sad to know that usually happens.

Yelena becomes a frequently visitor of Orly, and from there an unbreakable bond begins. Its a strange bond that has its ups, downs, twists and turns. There are different parts where you are sitting on the edge of your seat because you are unsure whats about to happen next.

I hate books that are predictable (they are a disappointment), but this book was far from it. It was like, when you thought the book was over and it was a happily ever after, something else came up. Yet to only added to the excitement of the story, it made for an amazing read. I am so hooked on this story and cannot wait until his sequel Scribbling, The Eternal comes out.

How does it end? Not like how you expect, but once you pick this book up, you will not be able to put it down. My kindle and I had a love hate relationship because it wouldn’t stay charged like I needed it too. Now that I am finished, I have so many questions. To me that is a making of a good book, I should want to know more and want to read more. Which will make every reader of this book do a countdown until the sequel.

To learn more about Robert Tomoguchi go to his site http://tomoguchi.com

Ask Me Anything

A girl straight out of high school, who doesn’t know what she wants to do in life, takes a year to be her, to figure life out. Sounds like a normal story that would be absolutely boring and bland, yet here I sit staring at a tv screen eyes full of tears.

Screenshot 2018-04-13 02.09.04This is not how something is supposed to end. I have so many questions. I watched the show initially because I kept seeing it come up on my suggested videos, and Britt Robertson who plays on For The People and Girl Boss is the main character. I’m a fan and now, an even bigger one.

Britt makes you fall in love for Katie’s character. She makes you feel sorry for her and connect with her. You can see yourself as her. 28 years ago I was her, except I didn’t take a year, I went to college and screwed it up. But its not the story that has me in tears.

Screenshot 2018-04-13 02.02.55Katie during the movie has several jobs, an overbearing mother with a boyfriend who is super nosey. She has a father who is an alcoholic and she is a cheater. Unbeknownst to her parents she is having sex and lot of it, and on top of that she has a blog where she tells every detail but changes names and details. She ends up with an amazing following, 14,000 visits and messages from people who have no idea who she is.

I didn’t judge her, no part of her life did I judge because at one point in my life, I was her. Partying and sleeping with people with no commitment, or false promises of one. I also dated a man who I later found out was married. So I didn’t judge her, I felt like I was her. In my previous life, I was Katie.

Screenshot 2018-04-13 02.09.25She had no real friends, no one who really had her back. Her birthday came around and no one was there for her to celebrate with. Her therapist was clearly not listening to her, this girl had a problem with sex. A problem with sex that stemmed from the abuse she endured as a child. But the therapist, that she only saw twice, said she wasn’t clinically depressed. Let me just say as someone who sees a therapist regularly, I wanted to slap her.

But its the surprise ending. I write surprise endings, I make you think outside the box and this – this is the emotion I want from people when they read my novels, when they see my movies.

Screenshot 2018-04-13 02.16.00I sit here, afraid to go to sleep because what kind of dream do you have after a movie like that, after the blog I wrote, after the list of things I have heard today? I am stuck. Stuck in that I need to go to bed because its 2 am and stuck between I need to watch something else to clear my mind.

See I originally chose the movie because I thought I could write while the movie was playing or I would get tired and fall asleep, but I watched every moment. My keyboard was still clicking, but nothing creative. It was all matter of fact, all – I am lost.

I won’t ruin the movie for you but watch it. The director Allison Burnett did an amazing job and I believe I feel exactly how they projected.

This trailer does nothing for the movie, its much darker, and not as shallow as this shows.

Delayed Gratification… hmm…

 

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So I have found a lot of new talent and new people breaking into the industry on Amazon Prime Video. Today I found a web series that Amazon UK picked up called Delayed Gratification written and directed by Todd Inman. The tagline is “2 Women. 2 Stories. 1 HBCU. 1 City.” with the genre being Drama.

“Two professional young women living in downtown Philadelphia travel the path of self-growth as they encounter challenges by men, family, work and personal issues like addiction” -IMDB

Screenshot 2018-02-24 21.37.47I have to say I had mixed feelings about the show, but then when looking deeper realized that this started as a YouTube series.  This show has two best friends, and the issues touched in this show are very important especially to the black community, this director went to a lot of dope spots in Philly and gave them recognition including the Black Panther comic strip at a black comic store and a book on hip hop lyrics in a black bookstore called Black Nobel. I definitely think thats dope to send out love to both.

I will say the first episode that was supposed to introduce you to the characters was a little choppy along with the story line for the season. I stilled don’t know what the title has to do with the show. Its starts off with Homecoming at a local HBCU coming up and both need to get their hair done by their beautician and friend. I couldn’t tell if it was the script or the actresses that made each scene just a little awkward, but it got better over the two seasons.

Screenshot 2018-02-24 22.03.18I did learn that Milan, played by Dominique Janelle, was a shopaholic, alcoholic who was financially unstable and working at a dead end job as a tour guide. She has a budget issue, because her card is always getting declined but yet she always has the new stuff. She ends up later dating this guy Reggie and has run into difficult situations twice. Once she almost began stripping on the side, and the other she was doing drug drops for random guys in a support group. Milan’s character was not set and she did a lot of things that didn’t seem realistic for what her personality type was. I haven’t seen enough of her acting to speak on it, but in this series, you couldn’t tell if it was the script or her.

Screenshot 2018-02-24 22.03.11Zara, played by Naya Somanya, was a spoilt brat, who her parents were paying for her to get a good education. She has a sister who is estranged from the family and parents who treat her like a child. She was “dating” a guy who wasn’t exclusive to her, which her parents told was not good enough for her in his face. She also was introduced to many educated brothers but downed them for reading books. Her character was unreal because as an educated black sista who goes to an HBCU and was upset her ex was married to a white girl, would know where the black bookstores and black businesses are in Philly. She is on her Masters degree and would appreciate a brotha who introduced her to something different if she didn’t.

The episodes were 6 mins long, so it didn’t give the change to have smoother transitions and good shots, and according to IMDB the budget was only $10,000. I think with that budget though, there is still a little work that could’ve been done because the angles and the saturation of the scenes could have been better, but once again for a YouTube series starting off, it has time to improve. The characters backstories could be done and I think that way in the future, it will make it guarantee that the characters are always doing something that could be done.

There were some scenes I think that could’ve been a little more realistic as well, like the beautician having a mental breakdown, and the fact that they went to visit her – unrealistic. She either needs to be a third friend in the show, or that could’ve been done a little better. Also, when Milan almost took a drink as an alcoholic could’ve been a little more emotional. It was done too quick and with no breakdown or tears.

The story had a lot of unanswered hangers, and a lot of scenes that straight up didn’t make sense, but it had a lot of culture and showed the beauty of Philly. I think it was a good base but definitely could be flushed out a lot more. Perhaps since Amazon has picked it up, make Season 3 with full episodes and better transitions. I haven’t checked out any more of Tinman Creative Productions projects, but I can definitely say this is a company to watch… Screenshot 2018-02-24 21.35.31

Dammit Taraji!

A review unlike the rest… for one unlike anyone else.

There is nothing I love more that reading a new book or old, doesn’t matter, except listening to an Audible in the authors voice. I’m not one for the actors or voiceovers of others, because sometimes hearing the words as they were meant to be heard – it stirs something. It makes you feel what the author felt while reading it, and while thinking it before putting in paper.

Screenshot 2018-02-21 20.46.37My recent Audible credit went to Taraji P Hensons book, read by her, called “Around The Way Girl: A Memoir”. I know everyone knows Taraji as Cookie Lyons on Empire, or as Katherine on Hidden Figures as I also did, but now I know her from her soul. As she read the words she wrote about her life as a single mother coming to Hollywood via DC at an age where everyone said she wouldn’t make it, it hit home. It spoke volumes because here I am, a 35 year old single mother of 4 girls, starting over and trying to start right.

Screenshot 2018-02-21 20.52.16Taraji talks about being typecast because of her infamous role of Yvette in Baby Boy, which, I have to say was still an amazing movie. She played the hell out of that role – no one can deny that, but to hear the frustrations of trying to break away from the role that made her name a household name, at least I thought so. From the first time I saw that movie, I knew she was a star, and I knew that where she is today, would happen. But as a fan, I didn’t know that she was fighting hard to become this person now.

This book, breaks down Taraji, as a bad ass black queen who never accepted no, or she can’t as an option. She broke down doors and borders that was suppose to stop her. As she has said, if she listened to them, where would she be now? Definitely not a Golden Globe winner and an Academy Award nominee. She wouldn’t be gracing our television and memes as the woman who is proud and uplifter of other women, especially WOC in films.

There are so many stories of cattiness and pettiness that everyone seems to think is the way to be, but Taraji, is anything but. She believes in lifting her sisters, her friends, her peers in their achievements and accomplishments. Taraji was meme’d as #Squadgoals because she is the true definition of a friend. She made me realize, that many of us from the DC area are. We are brought up on Go-Go and uplifting others and being a friend to many but not naive to a thing. She reminded me of my roots, and how I have in me the same determination to make it.

So I say Dammit Taraji, only to say, that while listening to this book, I laughed, cried and rejoiced with you every step of the way. I can only hope to be the type of friend, sister and woman that you are. Taraji is not afraid to be loud, to laugh, to be silly and definitely not afraid to stand out. Keep making moves, the world was waiting and always ready for you. I can’t wait to see what Taraji does next!!! Buy this book here it’s a definite must read!!!!

Review Time!

Dear Amber – No spoilers

Screenshot 2018-02-10 21.28.24So I was scrolling for something to watch on my Amazon Prime account when I came across this film “Dear Amber” directed and written by Tiara West, first of all the movie was a short film, I didn’t realize it because I was so far into it. I swore I watched a movie longer than 20 minutes, which is not a bad thing. For this to be a short film, it was complete, it had a solid beginning, middle and end, which to me is rare. Most short films have you confused about some part of the story.

So Amazon totally could have described this movie better, it says:

Amber, a high school teen, finds herself in an abusive relationship with her high school crush, Rodney. While her best friend James secretly falls in love with her, he later finds himself writing a letter about his feelings for her.

Umm… I guess, I mean its accurate but this movie deserves a way better intro. This movie reminds me of my best friend in high school who went through a similar relationship and as a friend there was nothing you can do but talk to her and let her know its not ok. I can say that Amber, was smarter than her, she didn’t stand for it, but Rodney was worse than her boyfriend.

The issue with domestic violence, besides the obvious, is that most who do it bait you for awhile. They treat you better than anyone else and make you forget about others who love you. Then something simple will set them off, whether its someone else they find to be a threat, a broken glass, hell a simple smile, the temper flares and before you know it, there hands are on you. This short film expressed and made you feel all of it.

I will say that I looked Tiara up afterwards and found on IMDB she did a few acting jobs, then I found a GoFund me page for money for this film. She didn’t make her goal, matter fact she only got $15 out of the $2050 she was looking for, but what amazed me, is she still did it. After seeing this I felt like I had made it with her. Now some of the angles in the film are a bit off and some of the lighting could’ve been clearer, but for what it looks like she had, this was a bit of Black Girl Magic all the way.

Raising Someones husbandI notice that in a family where there is a son, mothers coddle them. We always teach our daughters how to avoid red flags and protect themselves from creeps, but why don’t we teach our sons to be men? To be someones husband, boyfriend, friend. To teach them to be respectful, not possessive and abusive. Also not to take abuse either and to stand up to it.

In this movie and real life abusive relationships, the first thing that the abuser always does is separate their spouse from their friends and family. They mentally abuse them as well as physically abusing them, which many times takes away their will to fight or that there is any way they could survive without the abuser. Thats not true!

I definitely recommend this movie! It was very good, I can’t wait to see more movies made from her! Awesome job Tiara!!! The cast was awesome as well, lets not leave them out. The cast brought the movie to life and made it a beautiful film.

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship you can go online at http://www.thehotline.org or call 1−800−799−7233. There are people who are trained to help you escape and become safe. Do not stay, it will not get better! Ever!