Over the last couple of weeks, I've tried to guarantee myself at least one "movie" night with or without friends/families. I have an assorted collection of DVDs that would otherwise gather dust. I've watched a couple of films that I would give a varied number of thumbs, but enjoyed none the less. I've even read a book or two. They are not that new, but they were new to me. Here are a few of my takes on them.
I had been pretty much sold on Felicity Huffman since Desperate Housewives, but she proved herself a real actress in playing a transgendered man in this film. All and all, the film kept my attention and it was a story I hadn't seen played out in film. It had some funny moments and some real dramatic ones as well. Felecity proved that she's truly an actress willing to take risks.
I really enjoy Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame. I think he's an effective, quirky actor. So, when I saw the DVD for The Namesake. I jumped at the opportunity to see him take on a meaty, dramatic role. The movie took a minute to really hit me. I was bored as hell with it at first. It really picked up speed as the plot unfolded. The story of a son born to Indian immigrants who feels he has to divorce tradition to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers definitely hit home. The tie-in of the "namesake" was unique as well.
Song of Solomon
Song of Solomon
If you are a "word nerd" like myself, a book like "Song of Solomon" by literary giant, Toni Morrison, will fill your appetite. It took me forever to finish this book. I would get so busy that I would stop and start, start over, and re-read this book. The book was so good that I didn't want to lose anything. I didn't want to forget one detail. The book follows the life of Macon "Milkman" Dead from birth to adulthood on his quest for identity. Loved it!
"Fighting Words" is a collection of personal essays by Black Gay Men. I don't think that it's mandatory that you be either Black, Gay, or a Man to really take in everything that this book has to offer. It's well written and on point. I was amazed to see the original publishing dates of some of these essays, as they still ring true in 2008. I couldn't put this book down. I think it's going to be a stocking stuffer for some friends this year. It captures the breadth and width of this lifestyle. We are people, not something that can be thrown in a corner or hidden under a bed. This book really added an intelligent voice of experience to a number of issues, both fun and serious. loved it!
Some other things I've checked out:
Raphael Saadiq's The Way I See It: This man is one of those artist that reinvents his sound and style, stays relevant,and still manages to stay under the radar. This CD is a throwback salute to 60s and 70s soul. It's in heavy rotation. I love it.
Ne-Yo's Year of The Gentleman: He's not the cutest thing out, but he definitely has a formula that works for him. His song oooze a sensitivity (maybe he's the dude Ralph was singing about) that is effective. He's no lyrical genius, but he doesn't dissapoint. I like it.
Jazmine Sullivan's Fearless: This CD is alright. I wish people would stop comparing her to Lauryn Hill. Her content and voice are totally different in my opinion. Jazmine is definitely an R&B chick that can write some songs for the Amen corners and Beauty Shops. It's alright for me. Not bad and Not Breathtaking.
Desperate Housewives Season 5: They've fast forwarded five years this season. They need to rewind about five seasons to when the show was interesting. HATED IT!
Dancing With The Stars: I've never watched this show before this season. Brooke Burke is blazing ahead of the competition. I must admit that she's doing the damn thing. However, I'm on Team Toni Braxton. Toni is doing her thing. I was skeptical at first because she didn't seem like she was much of a dancer. She proved to be pretty good. I guess she never really had a reason to dance before now. Her music really doesn't call for it. Cloris Leachman can't dance worth a damn, but she's funny as hell. She'll stick around just for comic relief.