Reel Spotlight: “Escorts” Webshow

At Reel Reality we love to put the spotlight on talented artists, businesses and professionals so every month we have decided to spotlight new, up and coming, and dope projects or people we have come across.

This month Reel Reality came across the web show Escorts! A drama filled show about the ups and downs of a young entrepreneur starting his own escort business. The show starts off with a group of people at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting but the audience soon learns how everyone is connected through Jay Miller. Eager to find a cash flow to support his family Miller starts his own escort service using his college campus as the perfect recruitment location. The tables quickly turn when something tragic happens to one of his call girls leading Miller to face blackmail, incarceration, and more! Check out episode one below and let us know what you think of this series!! Reel Reality is definitely excited for season two!

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The Black Women Behind NASA’s First Space Shuttle Launch!

Article by Meah Denee via ReelReality

Finally stories about people of color are becoming more of a conversation for Hollywood production companies. Doors are slowly starting to open for non slave narratives to be represented on big screens by big name production companies.

Hidden Figures tells the story of a group of African American women who changed history by calculating the trajectory for the first American astronaut to orbit the earth.  This was no easy accomplishment or job for women of color in the 1960s when African Americans were battling for equal rights in every part of their lives. Nonetheless these women used their minds and talents to help change history forever, and now we get to see their journey on the big screen.

Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson alongside Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson) who were a group of African American mathematicians who became the brains behind NASA’s biggest mission. In a time before electronic computers these women become the “computers” for NASA helping to launch monumental space shuttle missions including the success of Apollo 13 landing on the moon.

The movie trailer premiered Sunday night during the Rio Olympics and began with a prodigy child, Katherine Johnson, who was fascinated with numbers. The trailer goes on to show the struggles these women faced not only being black women but also being educated and how it effected their love life and families.

One scene with Henson, her daughter says, “You’ve been gone 300 hours.”

Henson responds back, “Was momma gone for twelve and a half days.”

Her daughter nods her head no saying, “No but it felt like it.”

Even though the sacrifices were grand the accomplishments that were made were even bigger. Last year Katherine Johnson received the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to her by President Barack Obama.

Hidden Figures hits theaters January 13, 2017. Catch the trailer below.

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Nick Cannon Discusses “King Of The Dancehall” At The Breakfast Club

Article by Meah Denee via TheReelReality

Nick Cannon recently made an appearance on The Breakfast Club to discuss marriage, divorce, new seasons of Wild N Out, and his newest movie King of the Dancehall.

Cannon now has two hit shows on MTV, Wild N Out and Wild N On Tour, that are doing great and continuing to expand the Wild N Out brand across the world. Incredibly enough Cannon continues to find time to venture into new projects, this time filming a movie in Jamaica! Presenting a star studded cast King of the Dancehall is about a young Brooklyn man who falls in love with the dancehall culture while visiting his family in Jamaica. The film will showcase Louis Gossett Jr., Busta Ryhmes, and Whoopi Goldberg as Cannon’s mom.

King of the Dancehall premiers in September for The Toronto International Film Festival. Catch Cannon talk about the movie more below (at minute 16:30)!

#LetsGetReel and let us know what you think about this new movie! FOLLOW @ReelReality on Facebook and Instagram!

“Hands Of Stone” Trailer With Usher Raymond as Sugar Ray Leonard

Article by Meah Denee via ReelReality

Usher Raymond makes an acting comeback to play Sugar Ray Leonard in the film Hands of Stone. The film is about the legendary boxing match between Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and the undefeated lightweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard.

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Written and directed by Venezuelan Jonathan Jakubowicz the film is set in the 1980s and tells the story of Duran’s famous re-match against Leonard. Hands Of Stone also stars Robert DeNiro as legendary boxing coach Ray Archel who came out of retirement, at age 72, to coach Duran. Known for his powerfully strong hands Duran won world championships in four weight divisions and was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (Hands of Stone). Over his career span he won over 100 matches and became one of the few boxers to have a five decade long career continuing to win matches until he retired in 2002, at 49 years of age.

Hands Of Stone hits theaters on August 26. Check out the trailer below!

#LetsGetReel and let us know what you think about this new movie! FOLLOW @ReelReality on Facebook and Instagram!

Want to know more about Duran and Leonard’s legendary fight check out this BleacherReport article.

“Cooley High” Remake Underway

Article by Meah Denee via Reel Reality

It seems that classic films can no longer be just that “a classic” instead these films are being remade for mainstream entertainment. Is this a good or bad thing? I doubt cult classic movies like The Godfather or Scarface would receive open arms if they were remade. Remakes have been most popular for the super hero type of movie but a new film has surfaced and is expected to be remade, Cooley High!

Deadline reports that Cooley High will be remade at MGM with producers: Common (Freedom Road Productions), Devon Franklin (Franklin Entertainment), and Tony Krantz (Flame Ventures); and the script will be written by Seth Rosenfeld.

The original coming of age film, Cooley High, was set in 1960s Chicago and told the story of two high school friends, Richard “Cochise” Morris (Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs) and Leroy “Preach” Jackson (Glynn Turman). The film shows the struggle of these two boys trying to make it out of the hood and accomplish their dreams of one becoming a basketball player and the other a writer. Throughout the film you see the harsh realities of gang violence in their lives but also get to enjoy the humor they find as teenagers hanging out, sneaking out, and hooking up with girls.

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The original film premiered in 1975 grossing more than $13 million, an amazing feat for a low budget film that only cost $750,000 to make. Hopefully, the remake will be just as successful, with big heavy hitters like Franklin, Common, and Krantz working on the film I know they will put their all into creating a great film but what will their audience think? Reel Reality will definitely give its opinion once the movie releases no set date on when production will start but we look forward to a release date.

Catch the Cooley High trailer below:

 

Director’s Cut: Zoe Saldana as Nina Review

The very black and unapologetic superstar known, as Nina Simone has not always been given her fair end of the stick. Breaking out as a star in the 1960s, 70s and beyond is no easy feat especially for a black woman that refuses to mold into society’s standard of beauty. Even with all the broken glass ceilings many do not know her life and the amazing success and fame she built for herself.

I had the pleasure of attending a screening of the movie Nina at the School of Visual Arts hosted by African American Women In Cinema (AAWIC). Many acknowledge the movie from the controversy over Zoe Saldana performing in “black face” as Nina Simone. Personally I was quite skeptical about why they decided to color Saldana to make her look more like Simone but that is exactly why I could not miss an opportunity to witness either greatness or mediocrity.

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The opening scene set in North Carolina during the 1940s set the tone for the strength of the movie. A young Simone with two braids pulled back into pigtails and a schoolgirl dress walked on stage towards a grand piano in an auditorium full of white faces. You see her finely dressed parents standing to the back of the auditorium by the door. Simone sits down ready to perform and slowly pauses, sitting still for a while an older white woman approaches Simone. She thoughtfully but boldly tells the white woman she will not perform unless her parents can sit in the front row. The woman tells her they cannot, as if her request was forbidden, and Simone simply repeats herself refusing to play until they are seated. The woman reluctantly walks away waiving Simone’s parents over towards the empty seats on the side of the room. Of course a couple of white people felt disrespected and left while the majority stayed to hear the prodigy pianist, Nina Simone. Her strength as a young child was just a little piece of the tenacity and power shown throughout the film and her life.

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Surprisingly the film only depicted the last ten years of Simone’s life, showing her struggle with alcoholism, mental illness, and her fight to get back to singing and her home country, America. The film was pleasantly surprising showing aspects of Simone’s life that many have not seen. The relationship she had with her young assistant, Clifton, who eventually became her manager and helped Simone stopped drinking, rebuilding her reputation and career. The film also showed Simone’s internal issues with men, love, family, mental illness, and touched on the anger she had towards a country she believed failed her and its people.

“Being an outspoken black women I feared for my life. It’s only natural I want acceptance from my own country, but I was tired of needing it,” stated Simone on why she left America.

The film had many layers I did not expect to see which was refreshing. I can definitely say that Zoe Saldana’s depiction of Simone was beautiful. She totally gave her all for this role, embodying Simone and tried to honor her the best way Saldana could. Something that surprised me the most was finding out that Saldana sang all the music in the movie and she sounded great! Unfortunately, with all good must come a little bad. Now the time has come to talk about the critics concerns, the makeup!

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While watching the film I really had to put aside all the negativity I heard beforehand about Saldana’s “black face” and really focus on the story itself. Now being truthful the make up was distracting in some scenes where she was darker than previous shots. Other times I was not sure about her age or what decade the scene was in because there were flashbacks in the film, but no significant change in her appearance. Although the make up was distracting at times it did not take from Saldana’s amazing performance. One thing that was greatly missing for me was more of Simone’s backstory. For many millennials they may not know Simone’s legacy and grandeur and that was not shown well in my opinion as to why and how she became the NINA SIMONE! Honestly, that may have been too much of a backstory to put in this movie considering the fullness of her life.

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Regardless of the backlash about this film it should definitely be seen. Nina embodies the boldness and strength of Simone along with the roller coaster of emotions she dealt with while being a successful black female star in a white world. Lastly, Nina made me thankful for Simone’s greatness and inspired me to want to be more like Simone and learn more about her life and share it with those around me. NINA is definitely Reel Approved! To actually watch the movie visit the Urban Movie Channel.

Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, #WhatsTheReel

 

 

 

Women, Sexuality, And Love On A New Hey Meah! Episode!

Reel Reality released a new episode of Hey Meah! featuring several beautiful co-hosts discussing topics like sexuality, love, virginity and more! Episode four of Hey Meah! addresses the concerns of many women of color when it comes to how they define their sexuality and how society defines sexuality for them. Meah Denee speaks with a diverse group of co-host, even discussing her own battle with identity, losing her virginity, and learning how to be sexually free!

The entertainment does not stop there! Meah Denee interviews soul singer Lea Anderson about her newest project called Pronounced Lee, and gets in-depth on how Anderson addresses and expresses her sexuality through her music. Watch the full episode below and SUBSCRIBE to our Youtube channel to stay up to date on future episodes!

WE DID IT!! Prom Gown Giveaway Success

On Saturday, May 21, 2016 six young ladies made their way to Eastchester Gardens Community Center in the Bronx where they all received prom gowns for their big prom night! Along with receiving prom gowns these ladies left with accessories and shoes from Nina Shoes and Liz Pia Designs. Several young queens had the pleasure of being styled by Miss Black New York USA, Vonecia Carswell, and were beautified by the talented Tiara Williams with a complete make over.

This event would not have been possible without the generous monetary, dress and accessory donations given by you. Reel Reality is extremely thankful for the overwhelming amount of support from countless individuals like independent artists, business owners and local news and radio stations.

Our goal was to raise 50 dresses and we passed that goal by collecting 70 dresses! We plan on continuing this event next year and raising even more donations and helping countless more young ladies. We have set bigger goals at Reel Reality by having two Prom Gown Giveways! One being in the Bronx, New York and another being in Reel Reality founder, Meah Denee’s, hometown of Raeford, North Carolina. Please continue to support us by making a donation along with sharing our event to your friends, families, and business acquaintances. Your support is greatly appreciated and is still strongly needed!

For more information on how you can donate or help visit our page at GoFundMe.com/ReelReality.

Hey Meah! Episode 3 Airs On MNN!

It has been a month since the premiere of Hey Meah! on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the show is off to an amazing start! Reel Reality released their new web show, Hey Meah!, in March with host Meah Denee working hard behind the scenes and in front of the camera to put together great content for our viewers.

Hey Meah! is a talk show catered to millennials of color that spotlights topics pertaining to young adults issues, concerns, interests and needs. Host Meah Denee interviews young and amazingly talented artists and business professionals giving their talents and message a center stage. Episode three continues to do just that with host Meah Denee interviewing actors, Lamar K. Cheston and David “D Black” Roberts, from the off broadway play Black Angels Over Tuskegee.

Hey Meah! had the honor of having both actors perform two amazing pieces, with Lamar acting a monologue from the play, and David “D Black” performing a spoken word piece that will truly stir viewers emotions. Tune into the live airing of Hey Meah! on Sunday at 11am on MNN.org or catch up on episodes here!

 

 

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