Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Movie Review: Good Hair

Tonight, I went to an advance screening of "Good Hair" courtesy of Roadside Attractions.

I had to see this documentary after I saw Chris Rock on Oprah and the Black women in the audience were so mad at him for telling the world "all our black hair secrets". The film was very funny and showed what happens behind the scenes when women get press and curls, braids, coloring, perms, and weaves at hair salons, barber shops, hair schools, and hair shows across the country. The black hair care industry is a multi billion dollar business and there are plenty of things that people can disagree with and poke fun at. Some Black women in Detroit are so mad at Chris Rock that they are talking about protesting outside the movie houses.

I found the movie to be less a thought provoking documentary and more a fun poking comedy with just enough controversy thrown in to make sure that Chris Rock gets a big payday. The controversy stems from referring to hair relaxers as "creamy crack", having the Rev. Al Sharpton call out black women who take money from the mouths of their children to finance their addiction to $1000+ weaves, and stating that thieves in India are stealing Indian women's ponytails right off their heads because the hair is worth more than gold in the black hair care market.

There was nothing in this movie that offended me. I have had a relaxer put in my head since I was 23 years old and I don't ever plan on going natural. I don't think that anyone is their right mind thinks I was born with my hair looking like this and I am very satisfied with the way my hair looks. And as the film states at the end, what is important is what is in your head and not what is on your head.

People should do what makes them feel good about themselves and what makes them happy. And if women want to straighten, bleach, and add East Indian hair to their heads (and they can afford the money and time to keep that process up), so be it. The truest thing said in the entire movie was that if a Black woman is not happy, she will make sure no one else is happy either. Amen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Movie Review: Amelia

Tonight I went to an advance screening of the movie "Amelia". I received the tickets courtesy of Fox Searchlight Films.

The movie tells the life story of Amelia Earhart, the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. This movie is truly beautiful. It is one of those films that has to be seen on the big screen - like "Out of Africa".

The movie contains beautiful flying sequences of Amelia's many aviation journeys around the world where the scenery is breathtaking. There are also lots of "girl power" moments where she is encouraging other young woman to not play it safe and to follow their dreams. And Amelia did not know what playing it safe meant. Her daring aviation stunts helped generate the interest (and the revenue) to bring air travel to the common folk.

Amelia Earhart was definitely a woman ahead of her time who lived an unconventional life and the movie is a beautiful and romantic depiction of her life and times. I love historic movies and it was good to take a break and see my kind of film...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Febs Sued Over Unclaimed Bonds - Do you have any?

States fight to gain control of the $16B in 'Series E' issues
Matt Gouras / Associated Press

Helena, Mont. -- The federal government is facing a lawsuit over billions in unclaimed bonds that date to the patriotic fundraising efforts of World War II, leading to a showdown between states who say they should be given the money and the Treasury Department, which claims ownership.
World War II sparked an unprecedented bond buying campaign, spurred on by one of the largest advertising campaigns ever seen -- a drive wrapped in dutiful pleas from celebrities, politicians and cartoon characters alike.

Most American families bought at least one bond at the time and many never cashed them in -- thanks in part to a 40-year maturity in the bonds. And those same "Series E" war bonds continued to be sold by the federal government until 1980.

More than $16 billion worth of the bonds are unclaimed, either lost or forgotten about with the death of the original purchasers.

The state attorneys general suing the Treasury Department charge that the federal government made no effort to find those people. They want the money given to the states, which have a legal system in place for finding the owners of unclaimed funds.

"It's better for the millions of American who are the rightful owners to have it returned to the states, because the states will make a real effort to find them," said David Bishop, a partner at Kirby McInerney who is representing the states in the suit.

The Treasury Department counters that it indeed tries to find owners of the unclaimed bonds, and says it has a Web site where people cam simply type in their Social Security number to see if they have one.

And it points out that the money is not just laying around somewhere.


Now find out of you have any unclamied bonds by going to this website:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

REVIEW: The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato comes to the Detroit Science Center

This evening, my son and I went to the Detroit Science Center for the members only viewing of "The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato". The exhibit features 36 mummies on loan from the Museo de las Momias De Guanajuato in Mexico.

The mummies were accidental because, unlike mummies in Egypt, these bodies were not mummified on purpose, but created due to the environment where they were buried. The mummies range in age from newborn to 70 years old. Each mummy is housed in a glass case and displayed either laying down or upright. By each mummy's glass home is the person's first name and a a rendering of what they looked like in life and a description of their life. The renderings are based on forensic science.

No photography of any kind is allowed in the exhibit. At first I did not understand why, but when we entered the room with the mummies (especially the enter sanctum where the babies are placed) it just did not seem right to allow anyone to take photos of these bodies. All the babies were still in their aged white gowns holding their dolls. It was sobering. No one in the room spoke above a whisper.

Most of the adult mummies are females in their 20's or in their 60's. Most of the adult bodies show the signs of living a hard life. Most died of various diseases. There was one mummy that was a young solider that died in battle and was buried in his uniform. I could see the look of concern on my son's face as he looked at the mummy and realized that solders really can die in war.

The Detroit Science Center did a wonderful job humanizing this exhibit. I understand why the Detroit Science Center was able to persuade the Mexican government to allow Detroit to be the 1st stop for this three year exhibition tour.

Movie Review: "Where the Wild Things Are" is Wild!

Tonight, my son and I went to the Emagine Theatre in Novi to see an advance screening of "Where The Wild Things Are". I remember reading this book as a kid and thinking that Max was one crazy kid. Well, the film paints a story of how he might have gotten that way. Max's parents are going through a divorce and Max is having a hard time adjusting and it drives him, well WILD!

Like in the book, Max runs away and ends up sailing to an island and meeting things that are just as wild as he is. My son loved the numerous fight scenes in this movie - typical boy! The creatures are so lifelike it is scary - a little too scary for really young kids. Since my son is 9 years old, he was fine - but even he was concerned when the story turned very dark that it was not going to end well. I told him not to worry, since we all know that Max comes to his senses and take his little wild behind home to his family.

Anyone that loves the book will love the movie, but please leave the 5 year olds and scaredy cats at home with the book instead. The movie opens this Friday. LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

REVIEW: The new AMC Livonia 20 3D IMAX Theatre

Tonight, my son and I went to the 3D IMAX Movie "Space Station 3D" at the new 3D IMAX theatre at the AMC Livonia 20. The new 3D IMAX theatre was just finished two weeks ago and tonight was one of the first IMAX movie screenings. So instead of this being a movie premier, it was a theatre premier.

Space Station 3D is a wonderful movie about the making of the International Space Station, which was a joint venture between numerous countries including the USA, Russia, and Japan. The Space Station was put together in modules over many years and using many space missions and the movie follows the missions of the crew that assembled the space station.

Since this was a 3D movie, the space footage was incredible. And since this was an IMAX movie, the sounds were out of this world. When the rockets were blasting off, people actually jumped out of their chairs - including me and Darryl!

This was a great inaugural IMAX 3D evening. My son loved every minute - although he did not like giving back his 3D glasses. If you live near Livonia, be sure to check out this new AMC Livonia 20 3D IMAX theatre. The new theatre opens this Friday showing "Where the Wild Things Are" in IMAX 3D...