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THE A TEAM: L-R: Face, Murdock, B.A & (front) Hannibal

THE A TEAM: L-R: Face, Murdock, B.A & (front) Hannibal

‘(Ten years ago / In 1972), a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The A-Team.’

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I haven’t been as excited about a movie as I am about the NWA biopic in a long time! The casting, the trailer, everything looks so on point, and immediately takes me back to 1988! The movie is released on August 14th over here so the countdown has begun… For me anyway. Check out the two released trailers below, with the latter featuring a cool introduction from members Dr Dre and Ice Cube, along with some interesting cameos. Once again, will you be going to see this movie?

Original story posted: June 19th, 2014

Exciting news this week, as the makers of the highly anticipated NWA biopic announced that they have finally cast the three leads, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the late Eazy-E, for ‘Straight Outta Compton’, the big screen movie about the legendary gangsta rap-pioneering hip hop outfit.  And, thankfully they are all unknown actors!

Billboard.com reports:

    ‘After more than five years, four writers and a tough-to-please trio that holds cast and script veto power, Universal’s N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” is finally getting the green light.

Sources say the studio has assembled its leading threesome to tackle the roles of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and the late Eazy-E. The three parties with approval – Cube, Dre and Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Wright – have signed off on the actors who will play the core members of the seminal rap group.

It’s no secret that Cube has been lobbying for his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., 24, to be cast as the teen version of his father, and it appears he got his wish.

Less known is the classically trained actor who is said to have won the role of Dre, Marcus Callender. Although the alum of New York’s Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theater might be more familiar with Chekhov than Compton’s gang-plagued streets, he beat out a phalanx of would-be rappers (the Beats co-founder originally wanted Michael B. Jordan to play him, but the actor is about to take on a Fantastic Four reboot at Fox). Still, Callender has some screen credits, including the pilot for Steve Zaillian’s Criminal Justice on HBO, as well as bit parts in the CBS series Blue Bloods and Elementary.

Even more obscure is Jason Mitchell, who insiders say landed the film’s lead role of Eazy-E after an out-of-the-park screen test. The New Orleans-based actor, who is repped by Talent Connexion, has played small roles in Broken City and Contraband.’

I, for one am very excited about this movie, which has been in development for five years already, with multiple changes in terms of writers and directors!  I am also so happy they didn’t just decide to go with a bunch of known actors who they felt would bring in a fan base as the NWA legacy can do that all by itself.

There was talk recently of comedian Katt Williams playing Eazy-E… Hmmm… I can see where they were going with that, but not sure to be honest. Also, I don’t think I could believe Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) in the role of Dr. Dre… He is a good actor and all, but that is way too random for me. Even going by the fact that I felt the same way about Lil Mama playing Left Eye in the TLC movie last year, and then having to admit afterwards that she actually did an amazing job! Choosing fresh-faced actors hopefully means these young men are actually the best people for the job, and they will do the roles justice! The above picture shows (l-r) Oshea Jackson Junior, Jason Mitchell and Marcus Callender, crouching in front of (l-r) Ice Cube, the film’s director F. Gary Gray and Dr. Dre.

Will you be going to see this movie when it finally comes out?

 

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Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy sat down recently, on The Arsenio Hall show, to chat about a possible sequel to their classic 80s movie Coming to America! I’d love to see one personally, but check out what Eddie and Arsenio had to say and their memories on the original film.

 

Check out the pair on Arsenio’s show back in the day! Below!

 

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Cabbage Patch KidWhen you look at some kid’s TV characters/toys today, it’s astounding that children don’t run away from them screaming in fright. Take for example the terrifying cast of In The Night Garden, who look like they should be locked away in a secure unit, I wonder how many parents have to soothe their distressed offspring from nightmares about Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka and the rest.

But this love for frightening visages is not restricted to today’s tots! When I cast my mind back to my own childhood, a familiar face looms into my memory – that of the Cabbage Patch Kid. Although undoubtedly one of the most popular dolls of the 80s, there’s no denying the fact that they had faces only a mother could love. With giant puffy cheeks, woolen hair, stumpy limbs and staring eyes they didn’t look like any baby I’d ever seen! But their distinctiveness certainly didn’t stop them from doing well.

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US actor James Avery, who played one of my (and millions of others around the world)  favourite TV dads of all time, Uncle Phil from the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel- Air, passed away yesterday after complications with open heart surgery. It was a very sad way to start the New Year, and of course the tributes have been pouring in, most notably from his TV family on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Alphonso Ribiero, who played James’ onscreen son, confirmed the news many fans were hoping was a hoax (a couple of years ago it was rumoured that James had passed, but it was found to be a ruse), yesterday evening by tweeting:

“I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away.

“He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

While Jada Pinkett Smith, who is married to the star of the now defunct sit-com, Hollywood actor Will Smith, posted on Facebook:

“Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend.

“James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed.

“Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James.”

Taytana Ali, who played James’s TV daughter, Ashley Banks also tweeted her condolences, saying: ”James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be a part of me #JamesAvery.”

James Avery served in Vietnam in the US Navy from 1968 to 1969, before he began writing TV scripts and poetry for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). he later appeared in shows such as Greys Anatomy, The Closer and Star Trek: Enterprise, and movies such as Fletch, License to Drive and Doctor Doolittle 2.

A statement issued by his publicist, Tony Benson, said Avery was survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara, his mother, Florence Avery, and his step-son, Kevin Waters.

The statement added, that James had been working until September 2013 on the Zach Braff film Wish I Was Here, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

 

Below are some clips of the role that fans will most remember James Avery for… Enjoy!

 

 

And here is my favourite ever Uncle Phil moment. This scene always makes me cry and let fans of the show know that the actors (James included) on the show weren’t just good at making us laugh – they could tug at a range of emotions, such was their talents! R.I.P James Avery – Your legacy lives on.

 

 

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 was a British TV show based on the hugely popular  book of the same name, written by Sue Townsend in 1982. Like the title suggests the book chronicled the diary entries of a 13 year old boy called Adrian Mole, who is a bit of a geek.

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Tiffany1Who remembers this song? If you grew up in the 80s, the chances are you danced to this at your school disco, dance or prom, or you actually went out to Woolworths, Our Price (remember that???) or Sam Goodys (for my American peeps) to purchase it. California-born teenager (she was 15) and redhead Tiffany Darswich released this now classic pop track on label MCA back in 1987. The song stormed to the top of the charts in the UK, US, and many other countries, with its catchy chorus and synthesised drum production.

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house-party First released in 1990, House Party has become a staple piece of urban cinema over the years.  The title explains what it is about in a nutshell. So yes, it is about a house party, but not just any house party. It’s the party of all parties and everyone who has seen this film has wished that they were there. From the music, the characters, the girls, the guys and the vibe – this now legendary cinematic shin-dig had it all.

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I watched this Unsung episode on Heavy D and the Boyz the other night. I really like this doc series as it covers interesting acts, not usually the focus of music documentaries. Also, I like the way that this shines a light on the contributions and stories of the other members of the group, in particular Eddie F, who is an extremely accomplished and respected producer.

The loss of Heavy D is still one strongly felt in the music industry, and seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

R.I.P to the ‘overweight lover’, and to one of the ‘boyz’, Trouble T.Roy (Troy Dixon), who died at age 22 after a tragic fall back in July, 1990.

 

 

My favourite Heavy D and the Boyz tune is Got Me Waiting. I remember rinsing this in the hi-fi system back during my college days in 1994!

 

Now That we Found Love – Heavy D and the Boyz (1991)

 

They Reminisce Over You (Tribute to Trouble T.Roy) – Pete Rock and CL Smooth (1990)

 

 

 

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Okay, I know it’s been a minute since the TLC biopic was shown on VH1 over in the US, but I’ve only just got this blog back after having it redesigned, so forgive me for being a little *ahem* late!

But back to film, I didn’t allow myself to engage that deeply with any of the information leading up to its release. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the casting for one. Maybe, as a massive fan of the group, I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli aside from the girls themselves.

But once the film came out, of course I had to watch it. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad… For a TV movie. There weren’t a lot of things I didn’t know that ended up in the movie, but it was nice to see everything being pieced together in a movie, and the acting wasn’t that bad. Lil’ Mama surprised everybody, and actually had the standout performance of the film, as Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes.

 

But don’t just take my word for it, check it out below…

 

 

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