Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #29

Black History Month Great Black Person #29 of 29:
All the fine black people everywhere who read these posts and didn't get mad

Once again, it's been a lot of fun doing the Black History Month profiles and once again I appreciate the warm reception and understanding from all the African-American readers out there. By now you're all probably good and tired of these posts, but I hope you enjoyed them because I slaved (poor word choice) over each and every one. So happy Black History Month to one and all... see you all next year.

Black History Month Great Black Person #28

Black History Month Great Black Person #28 of 29:
Calvin Johnson

For my money, Calvin is the best receiver on the planet... and he went to my beloved Georgia Tech. Despite being on the receiving end of crappy Matthew Stafford's weak, wobbly passes, Johnson led all WRs in yards and touchdowns this season. Fans nicknamed him Megatron because of his power and size, but I say if the real Megatron from Transformers possessed the same skill set as Calvin Johnson, the Decepticons would have defeated the Autobots long ago. Happy Black History Month, Calvin... Go Jackets!

Black History Month Great Black Person #27

Black History Month Great Black Person #27 of 29:
Martin Luther King Sr.

MLK Jr gets all the attention, but where would he be without dear ol' dad? Martin Sr paved the way by being the pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and an equal rights activist before Jr was even born. Yes, it's fair to say Sr was a major influence in Jr's life... just look at this well-documented conversation between the two when Jr was just a child:

Jr: Dad, I had a bad dream. Can I sleep with you tonight?

Sr: Sure son, I'm always here for you. 

Jr: Thanks dad. That dream really scared me.

Sr: It's okay son, dreams aren't real. In the future, whenever you have a dream, just know that it's not real and that it'll never actually come into being.

Apparently MLK Jr didn't always listen to his father. In actuality, the two didn't always see eye to eye. In fact, Sr was a Nixon-supporting Republican at one point in his life. Still, if not for MLK Sr, there would never have been an MLK Jr and as a result, probably no Black History Month, which means I wouldn't be writing this. So, happy BHM to you, MLK Sr... sorry U2 never wrote a song about you.

Black History Month Great Black Person #26

Black History Month Great Black Person #26 of 29:

There aren't very many black superheroes... especially ones who have the ability to do us all a favor by killing Edward Cullen. Oh, who am I kidding? I like Twilight... and I'm Team Edward. Still, it's nice to have a break from those underwear-on-the-outside white superheroes. I'm not big into comic books, so all I know about Blade is from the movies, but that's enough to know that Blade has all the strengths of vampires, without all the weaknesses. This is similar to how black NFL quarterbacks have the same athletic tools as white NFL quarterbacks, without being slow or subject to helmet hair. So thanks for keeping us all safe from vampires, Blade... too bad no one was able to keep you safe from those tax auditors.

Black History Month Great Black Person #25

Black History Month Great Black Person #25 of 29:
Grape Soda

Give me a chance to explain before you call me a racist. There's a story behind this. Growing up, there were usually only two different beverages in my house: Coke and sweet tea. Now those are some tasty beverages, but I always felt there was something missing in my life... that is, until a new kid moved in next door. Maurice and I were fast friends and yes, he was black. (I lived in Riverdale, remember?) One day, at Maurice's house, his parents offered me a grape Crush. It was love at first taste. When it hit my lips, it was like the first time I heard the Beatles. (Sgt. Purple's Lonely Hearts Club Band?) His parents realized how much I liked it and let me have a glass every time I came over. I started asking my parents to buy it and even experimented with other black staples such as pigs feet and chitlins as a result. Those were mistakes. Anyway, I loved grape soda and I loved Maurice. So yes, it's a stereotype that black people like grape soda, but it's one I would be proud of, because it's delicious. So, happy BHM, grape soda (not to be confused with purple drank)... and happy BHM, Maurice. I hope after I moved away that you carried on our tradition of being the only two kids in the neighborhood to not have committed a felony.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #24

Black History Month Great Black Person #24 of 29:
King Latifah

Much has been said and written about Queen Latifah, but behind every great black woman is a great black man. Rather than resort to jealousy, King Latifah is supportive of his wife and humbly enjoys his position away from the limelight. He admirably ignores all the ridiculous claims that his wife is lesbian and instead backs his wife in all her ambitions. Though I can't say much for his taste in women, it's hard not to respect a man who puts the happiness of others ahead of his own. Happy BHM, King Latifah... you da man and definitely not made up or anything.

Black History Month Great Black Person #23

Black History Month Great Black Person #23 of 29:
Vin Diesel?

I don't think anyone truly knows the exact ethnicity of Vin Diesel, but I'm fairly sure he qualifies for this list. Over the years, poor Vin has gotten a bum rap as an inferior actor who stars in terrible movies, but that's not entirely true. He was in Saving Private Ryan, Pitch Black, and the surprisingly legit Fast Five... those are all solid. Also, his robotic acting came in handy when he voiced the Iron Giant in the (stellar) movie of the same name. Sure, Vin may not be the most talented actor in the world, but he's made some smart career choices. He's managed to pick movies that have loads of sequels and he's spent about half his career acting opposite of decidedly worse actor Paul Walker. Anyone looks like a good actor next to Paul Walker. So here's to you Vin Diesel, I'm sure we'll be seeing you soon in The Fast and the Furious 19.

Black History Month Great Black Person #22

Black History Month Great Black Person #22 of 29:
Sister, Sister

Oh, Sister, Sister... you don't know much I've missed ya. Those crazy twin-related shenanigans Tia and Tamera were always getting into were TV gold. Black gold. More important than the show itself was the social impact of the Mowry twins, who were the first set of African-American twins to challenge the evil empire that was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. For years, the Olsens had dominated the twin sector of Hollywood, shunning other twins from their inner circle for fear of losing their monopoly over all things identical. Eventually, Tia and Tamera proved too much for even the Olsen twins to withstand and earned their spot in twin Hollywood history... as well as in the hearts of TGIF viewers everywhere. Happy BHM, Tia, Tamera, and the rest of the Sister, Sister gang... except for you Roger... go home!

Friday, February 24, 2012

FoW MTR: Oscars Edition

By David Hammock & Stephan Rabbitt

Editor's Note: It's Oscar week and by now, you should know all of the nominees. You've read the reviews, seen the actual movies, and filled out your Oscar ballot. Rather than write more essays about this year's nominees or make predictions, we decided we should revisit the trailers with our two favorite trailer aficionados.

War Horse

Rabbitt: I had pretty low expectations for War Horse, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. Nearly every major scene seems to be represented in the trailer, but the trailer can't capture the outstanding interactions the horse has with a number of different characters. I suppose since it has been nominated, it can't technically have a 0% chance to win best picture... but that's about right for War Horse (and many of the other nominees).

Hammock: Before I can comment on any of these nine Best Picture nominees, let me say that I think it's a travesty that Drive isn't one of them. Gosling and gang got shafted by the Academy. It's like, "Hey girl, where's my Oscar nod?" Anyway, I never saw War Horse though I hear the horse in the movie is a great actor. The film didn't interest me much, but I had a feeling it was well-made and judging by your account, Stephan, I was right. But does War Horse have a shot at taking home the hardware? Neigh.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Hammock: Cue Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart." I haven't seen this one either, but I think Extremely Loud is probably incredibly close to being nothing more than mediocre Oscar bait. It got a tepid reception from audiences and subpar reviews from critics, which leads me to think the entire production was satisfied with being a maudlin affair that heavily relied on an inherent emotional response to 9/11 rather than to the movie itself. This is undoubtedly George W. Bush's fault.

Rabbitt: I will be the first to admit I have a terrible memory, but I, like most, remember 9/11 like it was yesterday instead of over 10 years ago. I don't need nor want to watch a movie to remind me about it, especially one that isn't a true story. It's sort of like the love triangle inPearl Harbor. Enough happened at Pearl Harbor that I feel like we could have done without passing Ms. Beckinsale around. Also, I'm pretty sure the key search story line was stolen from the pilot episode of Wings.


Rabbitt: If you watch the trailer and also have a little knowledge about the real life story, you really don't need to see the movie. I watched Moneyball over the weekend as part of AMC's Best Picture Showcase. While I'd rather have watched 1991 Atlanta Braves Miracle Season, it was an enjoyable movie. Pitt and Hill both give nomination worthy performances. It was a much funnier movie than I anticipated... still no chance to win, though. But, next off-season when you are missing baseball, it's not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.  

Hammock: Hey, Moneyball or 1991 Worst-to-First Braves... either way, you get to see David Justice. I thought Moneyball was solid. I love baseball so it's no surprise that I enjoyed it, but I'm a little surprised at how well it did at the box office and with critics. I didn't think Billy Beane's story would appeal to that broad of an audience. I definitely didn't think it would get Oscar buzz. Guess that just proves that baseball is still alive and well in America. My one criticism of Moneyball would be that the film failed to mention that the 2002 A's boasted thebest pitching staff in baseball, AKA the real reason they were good that year. Anyway, unlike Barry Zito, who won the Cy Young Award that season, I don't see Moneyball taking home a trophy.

The Descendants

Hammock: This is the first of the films we've covered so far that I wouldn't mind taking home the Oscar for Best Picture and maybe the only one that has a chance at beating out The ArtistThe Descendants is masterfully acted and though the plot may seem convoluted, the film is subtle and simplistic. Clooney seems to have a fighting chance at Best Actor and his performance is most definitely worthy of it. Suck it, Noah Wyle. Despite revolving around death and infidelity, there's a lightheartedness to the film, which ultimately values forgiveness over contempt. Throw in the beautiful Hawaiian scenery and The Descendants makes my Top 5 for 2011.

Rabbitt: Well-said, David. The scene of Clooney running like a duck through down the street is definitely one of the classic scenes of 2011. This one has a chance in Best Actor, Director, and Picture. All are deserving. I think Clooney wins actor and the others come up a bit short.

 The Tree of Life

Rabbitt: This actually isn't the nominated silent film you've been hearing about. After watching it, I'm a little surprised that Tree hasn't been given more of a chance to win by critics. It's artsy and ambitious. It doesn't appeal to the masses, including the majority of the viewing audience that saw it in the same theater as I did. If I hadn't read anything about the Best Picture race, I would give Tree of Life more than a puncher's chance... but that is one of the many reasons no one cares which film I think will win.   

Hammock: There's only one movie theater within 50 miles of my house and it chose not to carry The Tree of Life, so I'm out of the loop on this one. (So was Sean Penn apparently.) I seem to remember a time when it was the front runner for Best Picture, but it seems that tree has wilted. I guess the movie just had too much talking and too many colors to win this year.

The Help

HammockThe Help shines a light on a truth that I've been proclaiming for years: white people are evil. No, actually, I liked The Help, much more than I thought I would. Unlike The Tree of Life, which never played at my local theater, I think this movie is still there. My theory is that my town is a little like the town in The Help and people keep going to see the movie to prove they aren't like the racist people in the film. Even though I enjoyed the film, I don't quite think it's worthy of an Oscar nomination. I would go as far as to say that Harry Potterdeserves the nod over The HelpThe Help, however, did do one thing that Harry didn't: avoid completely botching Voldemort's death scene.

Rabbitt: So, The Help has no chance of winning Best Picture. The trailer doesn't do it for me, but I'm at least interested in seeing it. Supposedly, you are looking at your best actress winners, both supporting and leading roles. If that happens, it will only be the second time that two black actors/actresses have taken home the hardware in the same year since Jamie Foxx (Ray) and Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) in 2004. Sounds like a good time to jump on over and check out David's Black History Month countdown on TKAA!

Midnight in Paris

Rabbitt: My favorite movie of 2011. The trailer is intriguing and mysterious, but the movie takes you on an adventure that you never see coming. There were definitely a few jokes that went way over my head. I maintain that your movie ticket should come with a brief recap of literary and art history, so that those of us who don't read so much can get more of the jokes.Midnight likely comes up short in the Best Picture race, but I'm sure Woody can take solace in the fact that he gets my vote.

Hammock: I'm with you, Stephan. I wish I knew a little more about 1920s Paris, then maybe I would have gotten even more out of it, but Midni**t in Paris was another 2011 favorite of mine. I had no idea what the movie was about going in... heck, I wasn't sure what it was about until Owen Wilson's character met F. Scott Fitzgerald... but it's a neat concept. It's likeNight at the Museum for adults... except, you know, it doesn't suck. Woody Allen films are usually hit or miss with me, but this one was exceedingly smart and charming and won me over very quickly. I also agree that Midni**t in Paris will fall short of the Oscar, but I'm glad it was nominated. Too bad the nomination field is so bloated now that that doesn't mean as much as it did in the past.


Hammock: Who would have thought that Scorsese + Borat + Hit Girl + 30 Seconds To Mars = a kids movie? I wanted to see Hugo, but I never got around to it. I heard great things and I fully expect it to be great, but alas, I have little to offer in analysis. I've read that it has an outside shot at Best Picture, but I really don't see anything taking down The Artist. I just hope Hugo has a happier ending than The Departed.

Rabbitt: I love Hit Girl. Who the )*#$ is Jude Law!?! And the last time I saw Hugo he was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas... so this one has to turn out better than that (and The Departed). This looks like a fun movie to watch. In a related story, I get to watch it this Saturday morning in 3D, which I'm told is approximately 50% more exciting than in 2D. Approximately. 

The Artist

Hammock: An entire movie with virtually zero dialogue and in black and white and I didn't hate it... color me surprised. The Artist is the odds on favorite to win Best Picture and I guess I can see why. It's very, very different from anything else you saw last year and it's highly stylized. It wasn't my favorite movie of 2011 by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have its charms and Dujardin was excellent in the main role. Sadly, I think he'll edge out Clooney for Best Actor. I'd rather several of the other nominees win Best Picture, but I don't have qualms with The Artist winning either. Maybe if Drive had featured a cute little dog who does tricks, we'd be talking about it's chances of winning. Nah, that would have ruined it... I'm a cat person anyway. 

Rabbitt: And at guard...6'6'' from the University of North Carolina... we have the favorite. The Artist. I have never seen a silent film before, so I am more than a little bit interested in seeingThe Artist. It is the odds on favorite to win it all, and I have no idea how to judge it on its trailer. I look forward to watching it, but I'm not sure that I have the mental capacity to appreciate it as much as the academy would like. We shall see. It is always a pleasure to hear David's thoughts on the trailers, and seriously people, check out TKAA for David's black history month person of the day. Pure genius.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #21

Black History Month Great Black Person #21 of 29:
Wayne Brady

It's been said that Wayne Brady makes Bill Cosby look like a pipe-hittin' gangsta, but I say, so what? Wayne can sing, dance, act, wear tight shirts, play gay dudes on TV... he can do it all. Who cares if he's the whitest black guy on the face of the planet? Black History Month is all about diversity and Wayne Brady helps make the black community (not BET's version of the NBC show) a little more diverse. Thanks Wayne, for Whose Line Is It Anyway, for that skit on Chapelle's Show, thanks for being so darn upbeat. We'll end your tribute with a quote from you: "I know that I might be a role model, especially being a young Black man on TV. And I'm fine with that because I stand behind what I do. I do a great job. I do a clean job. So if that gets me made fun of by another Black actor, then so be it. And if some kid in the projects or even in the suburbs watches what I do and says, 'I want to be like that,' then I've won."

Black History Month Great Black Person #20

Black History Month Great Black Person #20 of 29:
Lisa from Saved By the Bell

Lisa Turtle was one of the only black kids at Bayside, but that didn't stop her from ruling the school. With a wardrobe even bigger than Slater's muscles, Lisa was the trendsetting fashionista of the show, inspiring young girls eveywhere to empty malls of all their patterned dresses and jean jackets. Of course, Lisa was more than just a fashion role model. She was rich and flaunted it, a far cry from the poor black characters on Good Times and What's Happening. She also stuck it to the white man daily by refusing to go out with Screech. So thanks Lisa Turtle, you managed to make my childhood Saturday mornings even better.
One of my favorite Saved By the Bell Lisa moments:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #19

Black History Month Great Black Person #19 of 29:
NOT Chris Brown

You would think Chris Brown would have a real shot at this list. He's a wildly successful singer, a great dancer, and he's super dreamy. Unfortunately for Mr. Brown, unlike the Grammys, I don't give out accolades to guys who hit girls. I know Rihanna was probably annoying as all get out. "What's my name, Chris?" "Shut up and drive, Chris." "Make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world, Chris." We've all been there buddy. Life's hard when you're dating a beautiful celebrity. But you just can't resort to physical violence against a lady. I know this is disappointing news Chris, but Look At Me Now... this is my list, I Run It... and Black History Month will get along just fine Without You, so you can Kiss Kiss those dreams goodbye. And no need to ask if I'm sure... the answer is Yeah... 3x.

Black History Month Great Black Person #18

Black History Month Great Black Person #18 of 29:
Kwame from Captain Planet

The most athletic of all the Planeteers, Kwame is entrusted with the power of Earth and is the leader of the eco-friendly group of Earth-savers. Through Kwame and his sweet flat-top, we are taught some valuable lessons on how to help save the environment. Lesson one: find and use a super-powerful ring that can manipulate matter. Lesson two: when in trouble, use said ring along with your friends' rings to summon a mega-powerful blue man in a cut-off shirt. Lesson three: recycle. Unfortunately, I'm not quite as talented as Kwame and have only been able to master one of those three things. Thanks anyway for trying Kwame... forget Captain Planet, you're my hero.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #17

Black History Month Great Black Person #17 of 29:
DJ Lance Rock

I admit it. I like Yo Gabba Gabba. I realize this statement usually goes hand in hand with either "I'm four years old" or "I like drugs," but that's not the case. I don't know if it's the crazy characters or the pretty colors or the surprisingly legit guest bands that make the show appealing to me, but I do know that I greatly admire the show's host, DJ Lance. It takes a special kind of person (or a lot of money) to don that orange outfit and make a fool or one's self on national television. It also takes serious skills to be simultaneously entertaining to children, ironically fun for adults, and mildly terrifying to everyone. I don't know exactly what it is that DJ Lance has, but he has it in spades. (Not a black joke.) So DJ Lance Rock, the children of the world and I thank you for all that you do... you. are. AWESOME!

Monday, February 20, 2012

FoW Movie Trailers Rundown

FoW Movie Trailers Rundown
By David Hammock & Stephan Rabbitt 

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


Rabbitt: Life was way better when Buffy was around to keep all the vampires off the silver screen. This Abe Lincoln looks like he'd crush at the Lumberjack Games, though. 

Hammock: As a history major, I can vouch for the complete historical accuracy of this film. Honest Abe was indeed in a mid-19th century movie about his fantasy life as a vampire hunter. Of course, he only made a brief cameo in the movie... the role of Lincoln was played by John Wilkes Booth. This is, of course, where Booth became so entrenched in his role that he lost touch with reality and began to believe he was Abe and eventually assassinated Lincoln so that he could live life as the one and only President. This assassination, as we all know, took place at the Ford Theater during a viewing of Bridge To Teribithia, thus ending Lincoln's attempt to free the slaves and restore the Union. So close.

Dark Tide


Hammock: By far the best part of the trailer is at the 1:21 mark where I'm fairly certain I saw a killer seal. Aside from that, color me disinterested. I like shark week as much as the next guy, but spending two hours watching Halle Berry try to overcome her completely rational fear of swimming with sharks isn't my idea of fun. Also, I think Dark Tide might be a bit of a racist title. 

Rabbitt: This movie is directed by John Stockwell, a.k.a. "Cougar" from Top GunBack in his fighter pilot days, he used to think of his wife and kids and how he almost orphaned them before he ever even saw them. Now, he's making movies about swimming with sharks... OUTSIDE THE CAGE! The Coast Guard regrets to inform you that your sons and daughters are dead, because they were stupid. The only reason you need to be diving amongst sharks is if you are looking for Goose's dog tags. And you are spot on about the 1:21 mark, David. What the heck is that!? 

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World


Rabbitt: I don't know if this movie could be any more up my alley. Great story, great cast. Steve Carrell has really turned out to have a great career. I never saw it coming from Bruce Almighty and The Daily Show (I'm sure he did other things I didn't watch). Keira Knightley is okay too, I guess. And by that, I mean she stole my heart a long time ago. It was actually used as the prop heart in the Pirates franchise. 

Hammock: Ditto. It's nice to see Carell succeed. He seems like a normal guy. He's not particularly handsome or an Oscar-chaser... he's just a solid, likable actor. It's also nice to see Knightley playing a character not from Victorian England. Fun fact: You know those programs where you upload a picture of your face and it tells you which celebrity you most resemble? Well I remember doing that a few years back and got Keira Knightley. I take it as a compliment, though personally I've always thought I favor Danny Glover



Hammock: Hard to argue with a movie that boasts the director of Gladiator, the writer of Lost, Lisbeth Salander, Stringer Bell, an Oscar-winning Monster, Magneto, and that dude that always remembered Sammy Jankis. Rec'd. 

Rabbitt: Nice to see Fassbender working again. I was beginning to get worried after not seeing him in a trailer for a couple days. As David points out, Prometheus boasts an incredibly strong lineup. It looks expensive; however, it will have a nice window in June to open without being overrun by the big summer blockbusters. 

David Hammock and Stephan Rabbitt are planning an expedition to discover a killer seal. You can follow them on their crusade @david_hammock and @itsrabbitt.

FoW Movie Trailers Rundown

FoW Movie Trailers Rundown
By David Hammock & Stephan Rabbitt

The Amazing Spider-Man

Rabbitt: I'm glad Andy Murray has chosen to give up tennis and focus on acting since there is a 0% chance he is ever going to win a major, it seems. I'm not really up to speed on the entire story of Spidey, but from the cartoons I remember that he had the cartridges to shoot web from his arms. That appears to be back, which I'm sure will please Team Spidey. I don't know enough of the comic to understand where Mary Jane is in this movie... I guess she isn't around? I'm sure this will be very entertaining and make tons of money. People are going to want to get that awful taste out of their mouths from Spiderman 3 and I'm excited to see what Garfield brings to the table as new Spidey. He seems to be spending in inordinate amount of time sans mask, though, no?

Hammock: Yeah, there was definitely a healthy dose of unmasked Spidey in this trailer, but with great hair comes great responsibility... they had to show it off. Though I'm still a little upset that the studio didn't pick Donald Glover to be Spider-Man, I have to admit, the trailer looks as the title suggests... amazing. Spider-Man is one of the cooler superheroes out there, so if Hollywood commits some real talent to it, it's bound to be pretty good. Mary Jane isn't around because Gwen Stacey is the love interest in this one, Stephan. I don't read comic books, but from what I've read about comic books, whether Spidey's true love is Stacey or the ginger is a very polarizing issue. Doesn't matter much to me which girl gets Peter Parker's spidey senses tingling, but I'd say this reboot looks promising and is hopefully more on par with the original Spider-Man movie and Spider-Man 2 than the forgettable third installment.

Safe House

Hammock: At first, Denzel's hairdo made me think this was a trailer for He Got Game 2. It's not. It is, however, another movie about the CIA where the good agent turns bad, but maybe he's not bad after all, or maybe he is, but he's probably good, but is he? The good news for Denzel is that he has Van Wilder protecting him because that kid went to college for like ten years and is therefore prepared for difficult situations like the ones in this trailer. Write that down.

Rabbitt: If this trailer had no soundtrack, my review would be indifferent, at best. But once "No Church in the Wild" gets going, I have a suddenly brighter outlook on the movie. You are 100% correct that we have seen this movie a thousand times. I usually give Denzel the benefit of the doubt, though. As long as no trains are involved, he rarely lets me down (I'm looking at you Pelham 1 2 3 & Unstoppable). But, even if this movie sucks, it will give Jay Pharoah some good material on SNL. So, it's a win, win.

The Kid with a Bike

Rabbitt: This film stars Jeremie Renier as father of the kid with a bicycle. Personally, I would prefer a movie that stars his English-name counterpart, Jeremy Renner. But, we have a Sundance and Cannes sighting, so I'm sure this will be a good movie. This thought is reinforced by the appearance that they spent about 12 Euros on the entire cast's wardrobe for the entire movie, so they should have plenty of money left over for other things. They could have called it, "The Kid in the Red Shirt" and it may have been more relevant to the trailer.

Hammock: I was under the impression that all French movies have Audrey Tautou in them.

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

Hammock: "You so rich, you ain't even know how much a gallon of milk cost!" You just got served, Tyler Perry, and not by a butler like you're accustomed. Double burn! That'll teach you to be affluent and eloquent. Actually, I don't know how much a gallon of milk costs either, but it's not because I'm rich... I'm lactose intolerant. I'm also Tyler Perry movie intolerant. I've been that way ever since I was denied entrance into one of his movies a few years ago. Turns out it was only For Colored Girls.

Rabbitt: I enjoy that Tyler Perry is branching out to movies that don't have Madea in the title. He is clearly a very smart guy, both in this movie and in real life. I don't know why he keeps doing Madea movies. Probably because they all seem to make $50+ million and they must cost at least a gallon of milk to make...whatever that is.

David Hammock and Stephan Rabbitt claim they could beat up Tobey Maguire but think Andrew Garfield seems pretty cool. They are both regular contributors to Fistful of Words. you can follow them on Twitter @david_hammock and @itsrabbitt.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #16

Black History Month Great Black Person #16 of 29:

Is it the shoes? No, it's NBA Jam! Aside from Super MarioKart, this is probably the video game I played the most as a kid. NBA Jam wasn't just a game though, it was a learning experience. I learned that in the NBA, traveling is okay. I learned that a team only needs two good players to succeed. Most importantly, I learned how to trash talk. Of course, it's a lot cooler to say "BOOM-shaka-laka" after a dunk than after a jump shot the way I always did in real life. So why does NBA Jam make it on the BHM list? Well, because I was always the Phoenix Suns and  always used the talented black duo of Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson. Sorry Dan Majerle, whities ride the pine on my Super Nintendo... just like in the real NBA. Anyway, thanks for all the years of over-the-top basketball fun, NBA Jam... you're still on fire.

* Interesting note: Kevin Johnson is now the mayor of Sacramento, California.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #15

Black History Month Great Black Person #15 of 29:

I don't really care too much for Seal, but I figure he probably needs a pick-me-up after just getting dumped by supermodel Heidi Klum. Let's see, nice things to say about Seal... hmmm. Well, he got Heidi Klum... that's impressive. Especially since his face looks a little like the "before" pictures from a ProActive commercial. What else? Oh, he's sold like 20 million albums... but I'm guessing like 19.9 million of those are singles of "Kiss From A Rose." Anything else? Well, he's named after a cute animal. Not a lot of guys could pull that off. I don't think anyone would buy albums from Puppy Timberlake or Teacup Pig Bieber. I think that might be just about all I can muster for the former Mr. Klum. Take care, buddy... I'm sure another supermodel will inexplicably marry you soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #14

Black History Month Great Black Person #14 of 29:

Some people think you only had one song... those people are pretty much right... but it was a doozy. Sure you had a few other hits, but nothing as lasting or as deeply personal as "The Thong Song." Not since the days of Sir Mix-A-Lot had a man dared to venture into such taboo territory... and you did it with silver hair. I haven't heard from you in a while, but I think you're primed for a comeback... if you're still alive. Happy Black History Month, Sisqo... and thanks for that song song song song song.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #13

Black History Month Great Black Person #13 of 29:
The city of Riverdale

My hometown of Riverdale, Georgia is home to more black heroes per capita than any other city in America. T.I. Waka Flocka, Ciara, Marquis Grissom, Tashard Choice, and The Petal Playlist have all called Riverdale home. Not bad for a town of only 13,000 people. And look at all the nice things Wikipedia has to say about the city: 

  • "The crime rate in Riverdale is nearly twice that of Atlanta."
  • "Gang activity is considered very common in Riverdale." 
  • "One of Riverdale's major issues has been its reputation for murder and rape."

Eat your heart out 8 Mile. So my hometown has a few social issues... there are still a lot of great things about Riverdale:

  1. Setting for the Archie comics
  2. Not located in Alabama
  3. Ummm...

Okay, so Riverdale is kinda sketch, but it's where I'm from and I'm proud... 

...that I got the heck outta there.

Black History Month Great Black Person #12

Black History Month Great Black Person #12 of 29

My adolescent years were confusing times, full of many perplexing questions. Lucky for me, TLC was around back then to answer those tough questions. What exactly is a scrub? Should I chase waterfalls? Is there another word for 'opposite of pretty' besides ugly? Yes, TLC was truly a wealth of information. In addition to being my 90s version of Google, I liked TLC because they were from my hometown of Atlanta and because they were different from the other popular groups at the time. You didn't see Green Day or Seal wearing tape under their eyes or doing the All That theme song or burning down football players' houses. Pssh, scrubs. So thanks for all you did Chilli, T-Boz, and Left Eye (RIP); you three will always be crazysexycool.

Black History Month Great Black Person #11

Black History Month Great Black Person #11 of 29

It was a good long while between the time I first heard JoJo on the radio and when I finally saw her in a music video. During that time, I had assumed JoJo was black. Yes, I know it's bad to assume, but her voice was so soulful that I didn't think it originating from a tiny white girl. So I knew the truth, but the truth was too little, too late. JoJo was black in my mind for such a long time that I don't feel bad including her on this list... and if you don't like it, you can get out (leave!), right now.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #10

Black History Month Great Black Person #10 of 29
Terry Crews

You may not know him by name, but trust me, you've seen Terry Crews somewhere. Whether it was in White Chicks, the Expendables, Everybody Hates Chris, an Old Spice commercial, or even on the gridiron in the NFL, it's hard to miss a man who's that large. It's quite the accomplishment to be a professional football player and a professional actor... and he's managed to do it without killing anybody (ahem, OJ). He may never win an Oscar (well you never know, Mo'Nique did), but there's something very likable about Terry's intensity and his big smile. Yes, I think if they ever make a movie about me, I'd like to be played by Terry Crews. So happy Black History Month Mr. Crews... everybody may hate Chris, but everybody loves you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #9

Black History Month Great Black Person #9 of 29
Future Winner of the 2012 Olympic 100m Dash

You don't exist yet, but your speed is an inspiration to millions. Your lightning quickness tests the very bounds of human limitation and makes us feel like anything is possible. When I see you scoot down that track, I question whether mankind needs wings to fly. I may not know exactly who you are yet, but I'm saving a spot for you on this list because, let's face it, you're going to be black.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Black History Month "Great" Black Person #8

Black History Month "Great" Black Person #8 of 29
Barack Obama

Me and B-Rock may not always see eye to eye, but he is the President, so I should probably respect that. It is nice to see a man with big ears that stick out hold an esteemed position. It gives big-eared people like me hope. Anyway, my mama said if you don't have anything nice to say, to not say anything at all... so this one is pretty short.

Black History Month Great Black Person #7

Black History Month Great Black Person #7 of 29
Black Chess Pieces

Black chess pieces are among the most humble and well-mannered game pieces in board game history. First of all, they let the white chess pieces go first... EVERY TIME. That's pretty darn thoughtful. In addition to this startling display of etiquette, black chess pieces play by the rules, despite clearly being athletically superior to the white pieces. All these years, black bishops have glided along diagonally, never using their superior vertical leap. Black rooks have amazing lateral quickness, yet abide by the turn based rules of chess that give the white pieces a chance. And the poor black king... he can run a 4.4 in the 40 yard dash, yet limits himself to but one square at a time, all in the name of fair play. Yes, other board game pieces could learn a thing or two from black chess pieces... I'm looking at you Professor Plum.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #6

Black History Month Great Black Person #6 of 29
Kenan and Kel

Aww, here it goes! If you were a white kid living in a white neighborhood in the 90s, then Kenan and Kel were probably your first two black friends. Whether it was getting involved in crazy schemes or working at Good Burger, Kenan and Kel were always good for a laugh. Personally, I very much preferred Kenan and Kel to the other Nickelodeon stars of the day. They weren't know-it-alls like Clarissa, or too reserved like Doug, or all secretive like Alex Mack... they kept it real... and they did it with Coolio. Even after you got older, moved out of the white neighborhood, and hopefully made some real black friends, the duo continued to entertain you in movies (Mystery Men, Fat Albert) and TV (SNL). So thanks Kenan and Kel, you guys are All That.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Black History Month Great Black Person #5

Black History Month Great Black Person #5 of 29
Morgan Freeman

Whenever I'm asked whether I'd rather lose my vision or my hearing, I always choose to part with sight, because if I lose my hearing, I'll never be able to listen to Morgan Freeman's voice again. Seriously, is there a better voice in the world today? If Morgan Freeman had done books on tape when I was in high school, I would have gotten better grades because I would have actually been able to make it through Crime and Punishment. In addition to Mr. Freeman's suave, soothing voice, there is, of course, his impressive catalog of movies. He's been in Glory, Million Dollar Baby, The Dark Knight, Gone Baby Gone, Amistad, Se7en, Driving Miss Daisy, Unforgiven, and personal favorite The Shawshank Redemption. Not too shabby. I may never win an Oscar, or have a silky-smooth voice, or be black, but someday I hope to be half as cool as Morgan Freeman... and hope is a good thing... maybe the best of things.