Tag Archives: sports

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!

stepislife.jpg

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Director’s Cut: FOX’s Baseball Series “Pitch” TV Review

FOX’s new Thursday night show, Pitch, about a young woman, Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), who becomes the first woman to pitch for a major league baseball team is groundbreaking television. Ginny Baker earns a winning spot on the San Diego Padres because of her vicious screw ball that her father, Bill Baker played by Michael Beach, helped her perfect.

While watching the first few minutes of the show an overwhelming joy came over me. Looking at the beauty of Bunbury on that screen and her strength in the opening scenes, how focused she appeared while heading to her first professional baseball game made me a bit emotional. As a young woman of color this is historical. I can actually see someone that looks like me playing a role that breaks standards. Of course there has been a lot of record breaking shows within the past few years with Empire, Scandal, Queen Sugar and more but to see a fictional female character of color breaking barriers in sports is inspiring.

With the pressure mounting from millions of viewers, thousands of little girls admiring Ginny, and the need to make her family and team mates proud Ginny unfortunately caves to the pressure during her first game. Deciding to leave the game after several high throws and balls hitting the dirt Ginny feels ultimately defeated, and questions her purpose in the league taking it out on her father. Instead of it being the typical father-son sports duo Ginny took her brothers’ position becoming the perfectly sculpted star player her father dreamed of having. The father -daughter relationship in the show is typical of a sports dad being extremely hard and strict on his kid, especially one like Ginny who becomes an elite player in a male dominated sport.

pitch-fox
PITCH: L-R: Dan Lauria, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kylie Bunbury in PITCH ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Aspects of the show that I enjoyed the most would definitely be the realness of the sport. I am not a baseball fan but while watching episode one Ginny’s journey on the field and in the locker room felt authentic. Pitch is surely a sports show that will probably grow an audience base from the off field drama later in the season. Hopefully true baseball fans will connect to Ginny’s story off the field. I am not sure but the show is definitely aesthetically pleasing where Pitch has the pleasure of actually partnering with the MLB helping to make the show look even more authentic.

Another highlight of the show was Bunbury’s acting and the vulnerability and strength she presented from her breakdown on the filed, to her dealing with jealous teammates and doubtful coaches. Pitch showed the true rawness of emotions any women would feel in that position. Ginny’s debut was nothing easy she struggled her first and second game until team captain, Mike Lawson (Saved by the Bell‘s Mark-Paul Gosselaar), finally decides to help and gives Ginny a game time pep talk. “You have a lot of people telling you who you are doing this for except you. You cant please everyone.” said Mike. The pep talk obviously worked because Ginny killed the other team with her perfected screw ball pitch getting five strike outs and a standing ovation from the crowd.

Now you finally think Ginny’s father, Bill, would be proud and happy for his daughter, that they finally accomplished their dream but wrong. A shocker within the last few minutes of the episode hits you and you realize Bill is actually dead! There were several flashbacks throughout the episode showing Ginny’s journey to the MLB and how her father pushed her with late night practices to perfect her throw. One flash back goes to the night she was recruited by the San Diego Padres after winning the state championship game. Ginny and Bill are driving home only to get into a fatal car accident that throws her father out of the car killing him. Now any time she sees her father it is only a figment of her imagination, but a much needed push for her to stay focused and grind, Bill said it himself “We ain’t done nothing yet.”

Overall Pitch is a show I will be keeping up with, especially to see what happens later in the season I am sure there will be more drama, locker room fights, and some romance for Ginny I am sure it is coming! Pitch airs Thursdays at 9pm ET on Fox!

#WhatsTheReel! Let us know what you think about this new sports show and if you are excited to see more groundbreaking television.

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UNC Chapel Hill honors late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott at Late Night with Roy!

Celebrating the new UNC basketball season the Tarheels started the season off honoring legendary sports anchor, Stuart Scott, at last nights Late Night with Roy.

The UNC alumnus, was honored with two great awards on Friday, one being Scott’s induction into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame for his work as a sports reporter. Scott also received the Tarheel Trailblazer award, which recognizes individuals who “paved the way for success in all aspects of the student-athlete experience.”

Retired NBA player and sports analyst Kenny Smith was in attendance along with ESPN’s NBA Countdown host, Sage Steele, to help honor Scott. Paying homage to Scott, Steele wore a Carolina jersey with “S Squared” on the back. “S Squared” was how Scott introduced the two when they hosted SportsCenter together.

Scott was a huge fan of UNC and hosted several Late Night With Roy’s! His tremendous love for sports especially Carolina basketball will never be forgotten.

Tune in below to watch highlights from last nights Late Night with Roy performances and tributes.

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