STEP : Movie Review “Directors Cut”

Taking a trip to Jamaica, Queens is not a journey that is made on a regular for someone that lives in the deepest part of the Bronx but exceptions were made last night. Thankfully no regrets were made either. Movie goers formed a long line inside the theater entrance waiting for a chance to see STEP before it’s release in theaters on Friday, August 4th. The seats filled up quickly to no surprise and unfortunately a few late comers could not see the film because the theater was completely packed and sold out!

The movie starts and you instantly know what step is and why it is so important to these young women. “You mess with my sister you mess with me,” one of the opening quotes in the beginning of the film.

The movie STEP is a true story about high school girls on the Lethal Ladies step team at a Baltimore charter school. STEP follows these ladies during their senior year showing the ups and downs of making it out of difficult circumstances at home and in their community. Empowered by their teachers, counselors, coaches, teammates and family these ladies fight for their dreams of winning a step championship and being accepted into college.

The storyline focuses mainly on the lives of three young women, Blessin, Cori, and Tayla, all with different personalities and backgrounds but with common goals and obstacles.

blessin

Blessin is the fireball, the creative, and at times the screw up. She is the founder of Lethal Ladies, with a beat face intact Blessin seems to always have it together on the outside but battles a lot internally. Her home life is inconsistent, where food is hard to come by and so is support. It seems her family struggles also to support Blessin and direct her in the right direction to succeed and go to college.

“It’s like sometimes I go somewhere else.

It’s like therapy when I step.”

Blessin

 

cori

Cori is the intellect and introvert and stepping allows her to be everything she is not on the outside. She comes from a big family being the oldest of six siblings and is determined to become valedictorian and also receive a full ride to John Hopkins University. Although she has the support of her family, Cori understands that her family cannot afford college let alone her dream school.

“It’s like comfort doesn’t really exist.

It’s not something that ever stays constant.”

Cori

 

tayla

Tayla has the sassiness of the group and her mom is right there along for the ride as the honorary mascot/coach. Tayla also has dreams of going to college and leaving Baltimore and struggles with staying consistent with her grades.

“I’m like a notch down from Beyonce because she doesn’t mess up.

I mess up sometimes.”

Tayla

This film will surely pull at your heart strings from the beginning to end. Seeing how these ladies persevered over so many hardships and continued to support each other as sisters is powerful. STEP is emotionally inspiring and empowering. The fight that everyone in the community has for these young ladies is not shown enough on the media. Seeing the principal, counselors and teachers at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) fight and encourage these young women will encourage you to do more for the youth around you. BLSYW mission was to graduate 100% of their students and have all of them go to college! This is a phenomenal goal and you can tell these adults truly care for the well being of these students, it was not about the numbers or data, it was about changing lives, circumstances and families. Support, empowerment, resilience, and faith was the over theme of this movie and I highly recommend you, your children, and friends go see this movie!

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“DeadPool 2” Stunt Driver Dies On Set

 

Stunt driver dies performing a motorcycle stunt on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver on Monday. Joi “SJ” Harris, 40, was the stunt double for actress Zazie Beetz who plays Domino in the upcoming super hero movie, Beetz is best known for her role as Vanessa in Atlanta.

Deadline reports that Joi “SJ” Harris, 40,  performed the stunt four time successfully before getting into the accident that propelled her into a first floor glass window without her helmet. Harris, the first African American female professional road racer, was working in her first movie as a stunt double. Production on the film stopped immediately until further notice.

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What Would “Black America” Look Like With Reparations?

Producer, Will Packer, continues to keep our eyes glued in and waiting for what he will do next. Right behind the success of Girls Trip, Packer has developed a new show alongside The Boondocks creator and Black Jesus co-creator, Aaron McGruder. In development for over a year with Amazon, Black America is an alternative history drama series showing a post reparations America.

This show comes right on time with recent partnerships between HBO and Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, confirming the production of Confederate. Another alternative history show that depicts an America where slavery is still legal and has become a modern institution.

Black America is the perfect counter balance, the show depicts a post slavery America where African Americans have formed there own sovereign nation, New Colonia, containing the southern states Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. Throughout the season we will see the struggles between New Colonia and the US during a post Reconstruction era where New Colonia has become an industrialized country and the US struggles to survive economically. It also taps into the complex relationship between these two countries violent history and the freed slaves journey to create their own destiny.

In an interview with Deadline Packer stated, “what if reparations were given, what would this country and that alternate country look like today, how would Americans look, our communities, relations, I think that there definitely is a message about how we co-exist today where that didn’t happen, there weren’t reparations, and you still have black Americans who are suffering from the effects of slavery in various ways,” Packer said. “You still have the prison-industrial complex that disproportionally imprisons black and brown people, you can trace that back for many reasons to slavery.”

What if reparations were given? That is a question that many African Americans have asked themselves and others. How different would life be if my ancestors were really given what they were promised? Now with Packer and McGruder we can witness some of those “what if’s.” What would you like to see happen in Black America? Lets Get Reel Below!

Grace Jones Documentary “Bloodlight and Bami” Premiers at TIFF

The iconic model and singer, Grace Jones, exposes herself in a new way in the forthcoming documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami directed by Sophie Fiennes.

The film debuts in September at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) after 10 years of collecting footage from the Jamaican born artist. “This film began in a collaborative creative spirit,” Fiennes said. “Grace had fiercely controlled her public image, but made the bold decision to un-mask. She never sought to control my shooting process, and I didn’t second-guess the narrative of the film as I was shooting. I just gathered evidence.”

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“The stage is where her most extreme embodiments

are realized and her theatrical imagination lets loose:

this is where the musical of her life is played out.”

 

The film includes performances from Jones classic hits Slave To The Rhythm, Pull Up To The Bumper, as well as the more recent autobiographical tracks Williams’ Bloods and Hurricane. It also takes us on a journey with Jones across Jamaica to visit her family during the holidays unveiling her family roots and her rough childhood. Jones has showed it all on stage but this documentary gives fans personal view of Jones off stage. Take a peak at the trailer below and get ready to see Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami hitting theaters in the UK on October 27 and hopefully move to the states soon after.

Wondering what the title means? Well here’s a little background: “In Jamaican patois, ‘Bloodlight’ is the red light that illuminates when an artist is recording and ‘Bami’ means bread, the substance of daily life.”

Is Nike’s “Equality”Ad Misguiding or Trustworthy

Nike has dived into political matters and addressed some of America’s touchiest topics lately. Nike’s recent ad “Equality” includes stars like Lebron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, and more to express the need for everyone (specifically Americans) to be more open minded and welcoming to other cultures. The main message is that every human deserves to be treated equally and with respect. Most human beings can respect and relate to Nike’s message but actually living by those beliefs and giving people respect and equality can be difficult for many.

After watching the ad I was impressed and thought Nike did a nice job at making African Americans and muslims feel welcomed and supported, but then I scrolled down to the comment section. A large majority of those comments totally disagreed with Nike’s marketing tactics and the message of the “Equality” commercial. Hypocrisy was a big concern with this ad, many commented that Nike should not post ads like “Equality” if they are continuing to mistreat there factory workers and underpay them.

Within the past year Noi Supalai a factory worker in Thailand shared her experience working in a Nike factory. She said Nike refused to pay workers because the factory did not meet a purposed deadline. In the article, Supalai spoke about being mistreated, barely receiving breaks and workers not having enough money to support themselves. For two months employees did not receive pay, so they decided to protest and form a union but by the time all of this was established Nike moved on to another factory to finish their orders.

It is not a secret that many big companies that export their factories overseas to third world countries mistreat and underpay their workers. The real question is does the actions of these big companies carry over to their clientele? Are the celebrities and talent that promote Nike also held responsible for the companies actions and the message they present to the world? Does the hypocrisy also lie on those that support Nike regardless of your relationship with the company?

Check out the ad below and #LetsGetReel! We want to know your views and opinion about this topic! Comment below!