Archive for December, 2009


Invictus Review

Growing up, I heard about the life of Nelson Mandela. Although movies have been made showing his life I have not seem them. Hearing about Invictus, it renewed and I was determined to watch it.

The movie is about Nelson Mandela and his struggles to unite South Africa after apartheid. Apartheid according to Wikipedia was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by white was maintained. Invictus documents Mandela early in his Presidency with aggressive measures to inspire and unite the country around the country’s rugby team and their quest to win the tournament.

The lead actors in the movie Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were outstanding. To think that these actors are American and were able to reproduce the respective South African accents (both black and white) with such clarity speaks to their depth as actors and their ability to tell the story. That is one thing you have to take away from the movie Invictus. The acting was classy and they did bring the story to live.

The cinematography of the movie was awesome. The camera angles showed throughout the movie were from a spectator’s view at times – as if it were an eyewitness capturing an event. This may have been deliberate because it allowed the viewer to be captivated. If you watch the movie there is a particular scene with an aircraft that is simply fantastic.

Invictus also attempted to show different views from South Africa. You saw the metropolitan areas and we could not escape from the more destitute areas – what I call the face of Africa. It was refreshing to see the developed areas. It actually has inspired me to visit South Africa – only if I could afford it. I have watched many events from South Africa and the packaged televised programs make you want to wake up there. South Africa is big on fashion and I just hope the country continues to show and inspire other African nations to do well. If you haven’t heard, South Africa will host 2010 World Cup, look forward to a world class event as they are capable to deliver just that.

Invictus is big on rugby, big on acting, big on Mandela but Invictus tackles issues that many countries still face today. There is a point in the movie where it shows thousands of people in long lines waiting to cast their votes. Of course, this would be the first time they would be voting since black people were not allowed to participate in elections. It brought back memories of Obama’s campaign and the energy that captivated the entire country and indeed the world. Racism is front and centre in Invictus. It goes to show how divided the country was. One particular scene from the movie shows the new security detail for Mandela not wanting to accept white security guards for the new President because of the effects of apartheid.

This movie is inspiring to watch, it will make you cry and it will make you hungry for something better. It is definitely a movie that will leave you satisfied and wanting more.

Go see Invictus today! I give it 5 out of 5. I love a good drama.

Happy Holidays

This is a time where family members come together whether to have that meal or to have that grand reunion. While it may not be the happiest time for all (snow, delayed flights, recession, new taxes, unemployment etc), it surely concludes a year that has gone 2009. I was not brought up celebrating Christmas. Boring, right? That tradition still is with me but certainly I will attempt at being all in the moment – buying gifts and telling everyone I know – Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or Seasons Greetings.

With days before the big day it takes cash to celebrate these days. I pass men on the streets selling Christmas trees, the malls all have sales and extended time to accommodate the shopping for the season. Just leaving school and working God knows there isn’t much cash to spread around and while I may not be seeing a Merry Christmas (expectation of gifts), I’d really prefer my money stay at the bank and maybe Santa Claus could bring some interest there.

Merry Christmas to all my readers, to those bloggers who I pounce upon your pages –read and comment, those who stop on these pages to read, those who religiously comment.

May the year 2010 be your best.

Happy Holidays

RIP Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy

Hollywood starlet, Brittany Murphy, died of cardiac arrest at her husband’s Los Angeles home today (December 20, 2009). She rose to fame in her starring roles in films such as Just Married, Clueless, Girl Interrupted, 8 Mile, Sin City, The Dead Girl, Uptown Girls. She was 32 years old.

Welcome to the thirteenth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

Flopped Copenhagen


With millions of people being added to the world population it is a time bomb waiting to happen before we start destroying planet Earth. For many scientists, Al Gore and others we have started that process already. One would think that the researched data presented would be based on facts but the disparaging rumours of the skewed data cannot rest well when making policy decisions.

With this Copenhagen Summit surrounding Global Warming and the damages to the environment I do not think how positive an outcome can be if politicians from around the world meet to solve a world crises. They cannot even solve their local country issues (recession etc) so how can they solve a global problem.

The best way to resolve this issue is to have each country develop policies to protect their own country – their own piece of the world. Having world leaders all congregate and pander on a stage – some of them built on egos – they cannot solve or begin to attempt to solve the myriad problems that face us as global citizens. With each country having dialogue with their own manufacturers in their respective countries there and then we will begin to have real dialogue on how we can all help the world to become a better place.

What was not also encouraging was the fact that most of the world leaders flew personal and individual private jets to the summit in Copenhagen. This cannot be sending the right signal to the world that we are in a mode of crises when your intentions are to damage the planet. I am baffled that at all these international summits as well that the sole leadership seems to rest on the American President. It cannot be that we hold the American President to a different level and esteem than the other countries. Small islands, huge nations must see their role as important in saving the planet.

Entertainment

Buju Banton

Mark Myrie popularly known as Buju Banton is still behind bars in Florida, USA. This continues to memorize many Jamaicans who still do not believe that the international reggae artiste was able to commit such wrong – conspiracy to deal drugs (cocaine). As a Rastafarian, Buju Banton believes in the smoking of the controversial herb marijuana. They (Rastafarians) despise the use of cocaine. Jamaicans and the millions of fans internationally are upset he was found dabbling in this kind of drug. Some even say it was a set up by the homosexuals who want to see the mango down. I am not shocked by these developments surrounding Buju Banton. Below are lyrics from one of his popular songs called ‘ Driver”.

So driver, don’t stop at all, mi seh drop this Arizona round a Alba Mall
Driver, mi seh don’t even hitch, collect dat likkle food deh yah and come back quick
Driver, just rememba di damn speed limit
Cau if yuh, run in di Feds my friend dat is it

In English it reads:

Driver, Don’t stop at all, Drop this at Arizona around Alba Mall

Driver, I tell you do not stop, collect the food and come back quick

Driver, Just remember the speed limit

Because if you exceed the speed limit, the FEDS will come after you.

Although that’s a poor attempt at translating Jamaican patois, Buju Banton in his song Driver details clearly how to avoid the police in retrieving the drugs. A Grammy nominee for 2009 Buju Banton could see himself winning the reggae/dancehall category. If he does, the Grammy nominee prides themselves with his nomination. The organization states they support free speech.

Buju Banton is a real icon in Jamaican music. For many years he has toured Europe etc blazing the trail for reggae. For many people, this is a direct attack on reggae music and will reduce the popularity of the music in certain quarters of the world. This could be Banton’s darkest moments. If he was caught by Jamaican cops, he would have been a free man now. The fact that he was caught by American police Jamaicans are not hopeful he will leave lock up for anytime soon.

He is innocent until proven guilty.

Love and Relationship

Try this exercise and see how well you like it. With your partner his/her likes and dislikes. This can be fun. Try i!

Photo of the Week

Photo by Craig A. Bloomfield

After seeing Emily Blunt on The View discussing her role in the new movie The Young Victoria, I simply had to see the movie.

Watching the period film, I was in awe. I will give this movie two thumbs up for its delivery. From the styling, to the production (set), the acting was simply flawless. The movie suffers from what I call the slow syndrome. It is not slow to the extreme where you are annoyed and want the pace to be increased. However, I like the fact that it goes slow because I am not a 40 year old who would have known the full Queen Victoria history – I’m bad on history I might add.

The movie starts with young Victoria as a child in the palace and the movie chronicles her life and enduring romance with Price Albert.

Highlights

What stood out for me particularly was the way she handled relationships. I would say Queen Victoria knew how to play her cards just right. Many of her own critics expected her to fail but she blew everyone away. She also married the perfect guy. When you watch the movie you may not like Prince Albert’s way of courting the Queen but it worked and in the end he got his dream of marrying her. His expressions were always on quality instead of quantity which was not always great to see.

I really appreciated the term he used in referring to his wife. He always said ‘my wife’ in reference to Queen Victoria. It was the sweetest thing to watch their relationship grow and their uncountable sessions of showing their love to each other. In the end they had nine children together.

The chemistry between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was great to watch. The actors on a whole delivered; from the accents to the fashions were on point.

In any relationship there are struggles especially when an individual matters to the world – like Queen Victoria. Prince Albert wanted his voice and the struggle to achieve that voice and his space in Queen Victoria’s life was notable. Watching the movie you want the best for them. There is a moment in her life which you have to see – which really places their love and relationship in perspective. Leaders can take away messages from the life of Queen Victoria in the way she honoured her husband. That was great to see the gesture of love, care and thought.

If you like all things elegant, you will love this movie. I could not end this unconventional review without mentioning the relationship the Queen had with her own mother. Family relationships are not always the best. Queen Victoria was a victim of this and the way her own mother handled the situation when she should have stood up had ramifications for her own family – which was only sad to see play out.

I am sure you might have heard or seen many period films that focused on royal families. I have to admit that this is not the heavy royal film that will leave you lost in the dialogue. The Young Victoria is simply stellar, light, has a youthful touch, easy to follow the story line and the movie delivers a class satisfaction that many films of this genre fail to offer.

I have seen reviews that give this movie a D+. Go out and watch this movie, you will love it. I dare you!

X Factor Finals

The X Factor is the best talent show ever with the biggest production. The staging makes American Idol look silly and childish. I watched the finals through a link on the internet on Sunday afternoon. I was not only impressed but I was overwhelmed by the production and the staging. From the lights, to the glitz that was on the show, it really exposes the contestants to what the world of stardom and having a house screaming at you offers. Talk about nerves! So there were two guys in the finals this year. They were Olly and Joe and boy did they rock it. They are two different artistes with two different ranges. The moment I heard Joe McElderry sang the first note I tweeted that his voice was simply magnificent, young and fresh. Enjoy his winning song, titled The Climb and it is inspiring.

Miss World 2009

This was by far the worst production of Miss World in years and I was not impressed. I could have missed the show and wouldn’t have felt bad about it. I did not like the fact that the girls were entertaining the crowd. Come on, use established names and singers to do that. The girls have enough nerves dealing with just coming on stage. The production had the best talents on show – although we might think that’s cool – it is tacky. I liked the ending so much it was like bringing the old version of Miss World back and it worked. The ending was simply the best part for me. I did not like all the drumming by the South Africans but guess what if that is your culture, show it off. I would have liked more diversity in the offering.

Paddy Jones

This next video is simply breath taking. Expect the unexpected. The video surrounds Paddy Jones who is 75 years old and still can deliver a performance that rivals the winner of Dancing with the Stars and all the other talent competitions around the place. I wish this old lady all the best. You will expect bones to break at her age but she makes it look easy, although it is not.

20,000 Hits

Gracias

Gracias

A time to celebrate again! This blog received another 10,000 hits and we are now celebrating 20,000.

Merci

Thank You

I am so happy my blog is growing. I would never have thought bloggers would be interested in what I have to say. To the people who I motivate, inspire, and share information with – having fun, the laughs, the sad moments. This is for all for you.

Precious – Review

This movie has been out for a while now and it was on my heart to watch. I think being from the black race made me even more want to watch the movie. Living in a developing country and seeing the realities here in some ways connect with the realities the movie projects from the plot in Precious.

The movie Precious is produced by Oprah Winfrey. The movie is based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Precious has been receiving many accolades since it was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The story is gruesome, gut wrenching, emotional because it tells a tale that is reality but we hide the stories. I am happy this film was produced because it is a story worth telling. The actors in the film are outstanding, some more than others.

Precious will receive some Oscar nominations but the biggest will be Mo’Nique who plays a pivotal role in the play. She was amazing from the beginning to the end. She starts out being very aggressive, demanding, abusive towards Precious but she gets some heart by the end of the movie.

It is worth watching. Precious is a school girl who is on Welfare and happens to be having her second child (with her own father) and is forced to attend a special school. At this school, she meets other girls who lead troubled lives just like her. One of the girls is from a Jamaican background. This character acted out to the tee preconceived images of Jamaicans who move to the United States. Personally, I was not thrilled with her depiction of Jamaicans but it is like black people who complain why the image of them eating fried chicken is always in their face. There is more to Jamaica than cursing ‘bombo’ and dancing which is in the movie.

Precious is not the movie that is slow to build. It moves pretty fast which they could have slowed down. Most people would have heard that the movie will make you cry but it moves so fast, you do not get that opportunity. We will never get tired of abusive parents but this move shows the real after effects of abusive families.

I did not like the music. I think it lacked that punch the movie needed. With better choices maybe I would have cried.

My rating is four stars out of five. It is not a stellar movie, the story shouts at you more.

Welcome to the twelfth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

The speech at West Point was disappointing. Obama has pledged to send 30,000 more troops to the Afghan war. Here is a President who campaigned with his whole heart and who convinced many around the world that he would have ended the war. In his speech Obama mentioned he was against the war initially but with him being in office his actions shows the opposite.

There is no way anyone can support this war at this time. It has been going on for who knows when and no one knows for sure when it will all end because you don’t end a war in a night. The withdrawal of the thousands of troops is another war in itself and a new process. I support conservatives and Republican beliefs sometimes and support those issues important to Democrats alike. However, this decision to continue a war goes against everything Obama stands for. His support to continue the war pushes America in a deeper recession and those developing countries and developed ones that depend on the growth of the USA are also terrified about their future. The situation of skyrocketing unemployment figures and the housing sector is going to get worse. The fact is the trillions of dollars that could be spent on supporting national security (God Bless Lou Dobbs’ heart), generating small businesses, getting people back to work etc those monies are shipped overseas to support a losing war. No one expects the USA to win the fight against terrorism. They are fighting ideologies and a radical movement that will continue indefinitely. I would support a decision to end the war and secure your own borders because we all know, not even the borders of the USA are secure.

The effects this will have on Obama will be disastrous. This week I read a report where Angelina Jolie spoke out against Obama being a one term President. When you have Jolie making a statement like that – things are bad. It’s not a statement that you laugh at, it may be reality. Obama needs to take stock of the situation. What we are seeing being played out is straight politics. Whether that will hurt Americans in the future, who knows? As a generation we need to make decisions that the future generations will look back and say they did the right thing.

Entertainment

What would we do without a Cheetah I mean Tiger Woods?

Red turns him on. Just do it!

The drama surrounding Tiger Woods gets deeper and deeper and wider and deeper and wider. This week was a roller coaster ride for the best golfer we have ever seen in our lifetime. Let me first start out by saying that Tiger Woods will go down. There is no way he can keep all of his endorsements. Tiger Woods is a brand and that brand in public opinion has been tarnished, dragged in the tabloids dirt and there is no way he can recover from this one. When you project an image of ‘the best’ and ‘refinement’ and when those qualities are questioned, you have a problem.

What a pity! To have everything the world could offer and live a nasty lie, it makes you look silly. I do not think she will come out supporting him. Instead, I hope she divorces his ass, receive the millions she is worth and then have those endorsement deals end. All of this is a sideshow. My concern is about the children because we never can underestimate the impact this will have on the kids for their entire lives. To have their father cheat on their mother not only once but the tens of mistresses that are coming forward and forward I want them to.

No matter how it’s sweet to hear how good and endowed he is and his freakiness in bed that does not comfort the many lives he has wrecked. His family must be hurt, not to mention his immediate. This is a message to all those who live a public life. You do not use the media to promote yourself and then blame it when you have suffered pain. I want the media to drench the internet with his messy lifestyle and ensure this guy does not benefit in the future.

I overheard people talking this week about how wicked the media is and they should all leave him alone. Leave him alone for what! I also blame his wife.

Love & Relationship

I blame his wife for not doing enough. Many men and women enter marriages and they are clueless. Through the mistresses that have come forward we are learning how freaky Tiger can be. I have no problem with someone being freaky and wanting to explore. If Tiger’s wife Elin is a holy-ghost, spirit filled, Christian, conservative in bed then we know why Tiger left the matrimonial home to satisfy his needs. The days are gone and times have changed, you better be willing to satisfy your partner or suffer like many other wives and husbands who leave their partners to satisfy themselves. One of the mistresses from Tiger’s past reveals he like red underwear and how he likes it in different places. It may be too much information but this whole story shows a man who is desperate for love or he loves a good time. My advice to dating and married couples are you better be willing to satisfy your partner, change things up, mix things up, go somewhere else, because God knows if you won’t someone else will. The world may come crashing in or cashing in when you find out.

HOLD ON! How could I have forgotten other cheaters. You remember Kobe who when he cheated on his wife bought a house for her finger – the ring. Well I have a suggestion for Tiger Woods. This song was leaked to the internet and I think it is so appropriate for Woods now. The song is by Alicia Keys feat Beyonce – Put it in a love song.

Extra

How could we foget? The hungry wanna be celebrities who crashed Obama’s party. I do not think they should be charged for anything. They should have been turned away and not allowed to enter the area. I like SNL’s take on the issue and who knows what you will see in the video could have gone down at the Whitehouse.

Inspiration

Be kind one to another. Sharing is caring.

ThanksgivingContest09

WordPress is currently having a competition entitled Thanksgiving Contest 09. The deadline passed and it was extended to December 4, 2009. I was always interested from the start and just got around to creating the video.

Enjoy my video. I had lots of fun putting it all together – took a lot of work 🙂 The entire night. So it is now wee hours in the morning and I must get my beauty sleep – I have work in a few hours. TGIF!

The video essentially shows the components that make my life balanced and happy and at ease. This is my Thanksgiving.

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