Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgivings Day and The Campaign of Israel

I am so thankful this Thanksgiving! Though I was not able to travel home to see my relatives this Thanksgiving, God has certainly blessed me and provided for me mightily. I could not have asked for a better year! Below is a break down of how I spent my wonderful day:

First, it was a wonderful 83 degrees here in LA!
Second, I went to church at 10:00 am where they blessed loaves of bread for our Thanksgiving Day meal.
Third, I went Christmas shopping because all the stores were open. This was unlike the 2 previous Thanksgivings that I spent in LA and I can only attribute this to the state of the economy.

My Thanksgiving Meal:
After church, I raced home and baked both a carrot and a spice cake and I made an "ugly" pumpkin "poop" pie (see the pic "how pumpkin pie is made" e-mailed to me by one of my sister-in-laws). My turkey dinner was a quick TV dinner but I did my own, stuffing, mash, gravy, yams, corn and salad also known as "the fixings".

The Decor:
I had scented spice candles from last year and I got some orange fall flowers for a centerpiece. I incorporated a beautiful cross into a bow made of green shiny ribbon then I put out the blessed bread, a bowl of fruit including pomegranates, the cranberry sauce, cranberry drink, mash potatoes and some cheese as hor'dourves. I decorated the side board and placed all the deserts there and the whipped cream. Everything looked so good on display that I couldn't eat because I wanted it to stay exactly right(lol).

Giving Thanks:
I put out a little note card that said "Thank You, God" and one that said "Reserved". Then I dimmed the lights, lit the candle, played the songs "Come, Holy Spirit Come" and I gave thanks to the Almighty for all that He has blessed me with throughout!

The Music:
Remember these Thanksgiving songs?

The Guests:
Even though I have spent 3 Thanksgivings here I have never felt alone thanks to...

My Church:
Thankfully, Living Faith Church is a strong Bible believing church. The bishops and pastors of the church make very strong prayers on our behalf and they know us all by name. They encourage us to have strong faith and to put our faith in action. They are truly a blessing. I am close to many members of my church and they have been a blessing to me this entire year, also. I go to church 2-3 times a week so I see them very often. Two of them are battling chronic back pain and transitioning careers so I am in good company. They pray and believe God for me constantly and I pray and believe God for them. Some of them invited me to their homes but I wanted a quiet day at home today, so I declined.

My Neighbors:
After I prayed over my Thanksgiving's Day meal, my neighbors and their kids showed up. They needed a turkey baster and they promised me a plate of food when it was all done. They came by on Friday as promised with the turkey and all the fixings including a slice of pecan pie! Two other neighbors are coming by with plates of left overs for me, too. My neighbors are a blessing all year round, also. During the summer time, some bring me fresh BBQ from the grill or bake me brownies. In Fall, others invite me to their apartments for dinner or we just hang around pool side and talk. Some take me out for special occasions, window shopping or for dinner and a movie. Others have even driven me to appointments a couple of times and saved me the cab fare. One even came to my rescue through the smoke when the apartment next door was on fire. Some of my neighbors are med students, residents or retired doctors so I get to talk a little shop and keep up on medical trends. Best of all, I get to hang out with all the neighbors' kids and talk pediatrics.

I thank God again for my church friends, my neighbors, my friends and mostly my family!

Hope your Thanksgivings Day was blessed!


By Franklin Graham
In times like these, when nations are desperate for someone they can trust, Christians know we can always find strength and hope in the Word of the Lord. He tells us through the Apostle Paul,

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV)

Side Note:
The Campaign of Israel:
We at Living Faith Church are in the first week of our Campaign of Israel where we are seeking to have the Faith of Abraham and learn to sacrifice what is precious to us symbolically as Abraham did. I am fasting and praying and attending church 3 days a week I am also considering what financial sacrifice would be right to give. The pastors will take our sacrifices and prayer requests to mount Moriah in Israel just as Abraham did. The pastors are praying for us and I got the following 2 books that are helping me prepare scriptually and spiritually:

"The Faith of Abraham" and "Change Your Life Through Your Sacrifice" are both by Bishop Edir Macedo and can be purchased at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AFI: DAY 7 & 8 and the American Film Market (AFM)

Day 7-- Skipped it!

AFI Fest Wraps UP!

Friday Day 8
The last day of the AFI Film Fest was held in Santa Monica along with the American Film Market(AFM). I headed down there primarily to scout the AFM hotels but then I caught another stop gap animation movie called The Attic, which was very quaint.

AFI Film Festival and AFM:
I'm in some pain from attending all the events but I'm having fun! I have 2-3 more days to go so I'm trying to do as my doctor recommends and not over do things. On Friday I did my usual Friday morning at church then I headed out again, this time to Santa Monica for AFM (the American Film Market) where nearly 800 million in deals for all the upcoming movies are made. It was okay attending the AFM but most of the people there where loud white men making "important" deals on cell phones. They were so full of themselves-- it was worst than being in a room full of male surgeons(lol).

On Saturday I attended AFM's Pitch Me! conference and heard pitches of movie idea and scripts by wanna be writers and producers. The room was packed with about 300 people, mostly established independent writers, producers and directors from all parts of the world with about 60% from the U.S. It was set up just like one of our medical conferences or board review programs so I felt right at home). You know what I mean right? Rows of parallel white cloth covered tables with evenly spaced sterling pitchers of water and clear drinking glasses, hotel pens and small writing pads also endorsed with the hotel's name.

The movie pitches were done by students ages 20's - 40's in the AFI(American Film Institute) programs and many were scared or unsure in their presentation obviously having not done much public speaking or presenting before. All I could think or when I listened to them was how amateurish the presentations were and that how anyone from med school would have blown the panel away. In fact, thanks to my surgery rotation, I can still present in my sleep(lol).

Each pitch was followed by a critique and feedback session done by a panel of established producers and film buyers. The panelist encouraged the presenters to pretend that they were in a friendly one and one in a studio executives office and that they were simply story tellers telling stories. I heard some of the worst and most ungodly movie ideas which had won writing contests and had some level of scholarship or funding attached! Two had gay themes but no plot and two movies seemed racist to blacks. Another, written by a former divinity student, told a blasphemous and crazy story of the devil being really truth and light (the audience really scoffed at that one). Some stories were okay but the writers had not fleshed out the concepts enough in the presentations and others were just plain rip offs of other movies that were done way better.

I was very disappointed not just as a Christian but as a writer and movie lover! The movie ideas were so-o-o bad that it was embarrassing to listen to them pitch it. Writers must write interesting stories with good structure and plots no matter who the story is about, no matter the century... nor whether zombie, gay, black, teen, gender, age or whether you are an alien from outer-space. Imagine, these students pay $40,000 a year in tuition for a 2 year program. That's 3x more than I paid for my medical education... way more than I paid for my entire education and they still can't tell a good story. Thankfully, most of the audience agreed and laughed(not in a good way), cringed, gasped or groaned for at at least 75% of the pitches. Only the scripts that had a compelling or sympathetic hero/heroine in a good v.s. evil plot or a fulfilling spiritual journey got good applauded. We all liked the one of the Native American teen on a poor reservation which was pitched by the almost tearful Native American filmmaker who wrote it.

At the end, a film buyer/financier stood up and asked to speak to only one group, the group who pitched a redemption story about a clone on a journey to find the original version of himself (so it was sci-fi with a "feel good" message). Finally, there were 3 slots for pitches from the audience and we placed our names or business cards in a bowl which they randomly pulled from. I was too ready to pitch one of my movies but I didn't get picked. Later, I had a chance to do a 2 minute video pitch for a contest sponsored by AFM and the People's Choice Awards but they wanted me to sign a 4 page release giving them rights to my likeness and recorded pitch and to use it as they like indefinitely. I declined and complained to them about the legal ramifications for anyone signing such a broadly stated release.

One good thing about attending AFM was that I finally made it to the Santa Monica pier with its carnival rides, Ferris wheels and Cirque de Soliel was playing in large tents on the beach. I saw the Pacific for the second time too, the first was from a distance when I was on an Amtrak train when I went to San Diego for Comic Con last year. This time I crossed the boardwalk to the sand, waded in and boy was it cold! Still it was nice so I was praising God and whooping real loud which attracted a few kids who were also experiencing the ocean for the first time. Kids are so-o-o special. They joined in and we splashed around up to our knees then we ran screaming from the cold waves as more waves rolled in and chased us. All the parents laughed and smiled at how we were carrying on and they took video and pictures of their kids good time. I made real sure I wasn't in any of the videos or pictures this time though. I've learned my lesson(lol)!

Just a minute to give God all the praise...
God is amazing!!! First, the Film festival made all tickets free this year in a year I could not otherwise afford to attend. Then I stood in the back of long lines for the tickets and still got front row seats to nearly all the premieres. The rush line for the movie Precious was too long b/c word had gotten out that Oprah and the "who's who" of black stars would be there. I had gotten there late and I know that the wait in line would have been too much for my back and I still may not have gotten in. Thankfully, a newly made "rush-line friend" who writes for a magazine gave me an "up" to near the front of the line and no one beat me down though I had just walked up(lol).

Then I was considering staying home the next night because I couldn't stand in line another night and it was getting colder but the festival organizers e-mailed me that tickets were available on-line. I quickly sent an RSVP and snapped up 4 then I hooked up my line buddy and the photographer. We walked right into the premiere right next to the red carpet as the arrivals came with all the flashing cameras bulbs and cheers from the crowd. We didn't have to stand or wait in line and we walked through the front door not the side entrance. We had a front row seat for Robert DeNiro and all the other stars.

I've seen more red carpet movie premieres, cocktails poolside, and celeb filled after parties in this week than my whole 2 years in L.A. and since I am not shy, I have talked with everybody. I've spoken one on one with many famous talents (directors, producers, writers, actors, writers) here this week! I also have met many "below the line people" (assistants, camera operators, sound mixers and indies). I am learning a lot about the ins and outs of this industry and I am enjoying watching every movie I can for free(lol). Thanks to God, my access here has been amazing! God can open any door and my cup is truly running over! It's like a miracle! Believe God!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Day 6: Wednesday 11/4/09

I was real sore in the morning so I got to AFI's DigiFest at 2pm and missed most of the presentations. Afterwards, there was a poolside showing of documentary shorts at the Roosevelt Hotel so I headed there. This was my first time pool side at this historic hotel and it was heavenly. I pretended that I was a "50's starlet as I lounged on a chaise lounge but this ended quickly as the temp dropped and I had to huddle around the heat lamps instead. I headed back inside and grabbed a soda and some h'ordouvres and made small talk with some filmmakers from across the globe I did a quick pit stop then I headed to the rush ticket line. I had a choice of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans but I stood waiting for tickets for the tribute to Viggo Mortensen followed by the premiere of Viggo's new movie, The Road. God is amazing! I was rewarded with a ticket after only a 30 minutes wait in line and, again, I had the best seat in the house.

The lights went down and they showed film clips of all Mortensen's movie roles from his early career (opposite in Witness, opposite Michael Douglas and Gweneth Paltrow in Disclosure)to most recently Appaloosa. Eastern Promises clips got "ohs and ahs" from the female audience and Lord of the Rings got thunderous applause from everyone. Then Viggo entered and everyone stood and applauded him. He sat in an armchair on stage right in front of me like we were friends having a one on one conversation and then he discussed his career and the respective films.

Mortensen was very relaxed and soft spoken but he spoke very passionately about acting as a craft and the business of making movies. He spoke about how the industry has changed over the years and how he has changed with it. He also spoke about the other things that he loves like his family, painting art and horses. He talked about the film, The Road being a hard film to make emotionally and he thanked his co-stars especially the child actor who played his son. He smiled a lot and made many self-deprecating jokes even joking that he hoped a tribute doesn't signal that he is old and that his career is over. The interview ended and Viggo waved and left the stage to more applause.

Movie Review: The Road

The Road is a good v.s. evil post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his young son, both slowly starving, in a bleak but not too distant future. The two journey through blighted landscape looking for food and fleeing sadistic bands of cannibals. This movie is not for the squeamish but it is more a psychological thriller than a traditional horror. The horror is evoked with images of suicide and the desperate levels people may go to for self-preservation.

As the father character fights to protect his son, he holds on desperately to the concept of being good but his humanity seems to be ebbing away. Charlize Theron as the wife and mother, is seen mostly in flashbacks and each of her scenes are more cold and desperate than the last. Robert Duvall put in a touching performance in his turn as the old man but who can you trust in this movie? "The boy" as he is called (the boy's name is never said during the movie), played by Codi, is the moral compass and conscience of the movie frequently asking "Are we still the good guys?" and chastising the father for his heart wrenching decisions.

The cinematic views of the blighted land, felled trees and gray skies are impressive and the CG was seamless. The cast did a wonderful job, however, the story was paced too slowly and it was just too sad and disturbing. The boy being called "the boy" really pushes home to the viewer their terrible nightmarish reality. Did the parents not want to name him so that they would not miss him as much if/when he died? Is it for his protection?

I think this movie is based on a book and I hope there was more hope in the book especially hope in God. The father says a few words about God once and they give thanks to an unknown provider for some food they found but it wasn't to God as provider. There is also a scene in an abandoned church with a stained glass widow and a cross.The scene touching but still not hopeful enough for me as they didn't really pray or talk to God.

Still, the ending was satisfying but I almost wish I could have gotten more of Guy Pearce in the film.

I was concerned that the images of suicide (at one point the father teaches the boy how to commit suicide if they are caught by showing him how to mouth a gun and pull the trigger and numerous people are seen hanging by nooses) as well as images of bloody gun and cutlass violence (a man's brain blown out in front of the boy), slaughter of humans and cannibalism were too much of a strong themes for the young actor, Codi. I had to pray a bit before going to bed and I still didn't sleep too well that night myself. I also thought about my med school days in Anatomy cadaver lab and how I went off meat for a few weeks.

My view:

I actually liked the performances but it was very disturbing. On the fence


I was in the row behind where Ms. Theron was exiting and she stopped to hug some of her friends. She looked very pretty but she was not as tall as I thought she would be. I took the time to watch her interactions with her friends then a large crowd gathered quickly around her. A guy I met in line from Germany nearly fell hopping over the seats to her. Charlize refused to sign any autographs but I can understand her point as the crowd was mobbing at this point. One guy wouldn't back off and the security guy shoved him and he kind of fell then he gut up and raced after her but she had already exited. I prayed that he wasn't a crazy stalker and I gave him some room then I exited.

The temperature outside was cold and a few of us huddled together while waiting to cross the street. As it turned out, John H. ( the film's director) and his wife? and I crossed the street together. Not being shy, I discussed the film with him and he seemed receptive. I missed a chance to get a green wrist band for admission for the after party though. It was held at the Roosevelt Hotel's lobby and all the stars attended. They curtained off the foyer and put 2 of the largest bouncers ever at the entrance. I was able to peek through the curtains a bit but I didn't see anyone of interest. I left a few minutes later as it was late and I was in some serious hurt.

AFI Fest: DAY 5

Day 5: Tuesday 11/3/09

The theater was packed but, again, I scored the best seats in the house to the Robert DeNiro starrer, Everybody's Fine. Luckily, I didn't have to stand in line as the tickets were e-mailed to me. The all-star cast including Mr. DeNiro were introduced to thunderous applause and they walked feet from me unto the small stage. Mr. DeNiro took the podoium and said a few words and received a standing ovation.

Movie review: Everybody's Fine:

DeNiro plays a distant "old school" father who is recently widowed and embarks on a journey to reconnect with his adult kids across the country during the holidays. The movie also stars Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell as his grown children.

I thought this movie was warm, touching and well paced and just right for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. I also think that DeNiro did a good job of holding himself back and giving his character nice depths of emotion without being stereotypical or over stated.

I admit that tears welled up just a bit for me on this one and I thought of my one dad who passed over 20 years ago. I especially like that the movie has a lot of flashbacks of DeNiro and his kids as children and so it uses child actors who resembles the adult actors remarkably well. These child actors play their roles very well and helps move the story along with temper tantrums and startling revelations about their adult selves.

I wanted to see him interact more with his adult kids though as I felt his time with them was too skimpy. I was also concerned about the adult subject matter spoken by the young children.

My view/IMHO:

See it!

Post Prem:

After the premiere, I saw Drew Barrymore walk by then Kate Beckinsale brushed past me as she left the theater with her daughters. Both women looked nice but Drew won best dressed with her fuschia dress and well coiffed hair. There was an after party for this movie but, again, I didn't score a passs for it. As a consolation, I did run into Jesse Metcalfe from Desperate Housewives on my way to the Entertainment Weekly Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel(see pic). I'm sorry that my Aussie friends missed a photo oppurtunity with Metcalfe but they had flown back to Australia on Monday. Funny, I just met them but I am missing them at AFI. They were real upbeat and we had good discussions about God, Christianity and movie stars in Hollywood.

AFI Film Fest: DAY 4

Mon 11/2/09

Day 4 of the AFI Film Festival and I have free tickets and the choice of seeing:

1) a special screening of an Alfred Hitchcock film, North By Northwest with a Q&A with Eva Marie Saint


2) a Talk Show with Kenny Ortega choreographer (Foot Loose, Dirty Dancing) and director of Michael Jackson's concert This is It.


3) The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus starring Christopher Plummer, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrel.

I was eager to hear Mr. Ortega speak in light of the deaths of MJ and Patrick Swayze and the proposed remake of Foot Loose but the chance of seeing stars like Johnny Depp and Christopher Plummer (one of my favs) won out and I went for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. However, if Hitchcock was alive and at the Q&A my choice would have been a no brainer.

Movie Review: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus movie

The movie starts out with a weird ancient eastern cult of mystics and a story that was a bit hard to follow. One of the mystics, Dr. Parnassus(Plummer) makes stupid wages with an umbrella carrying, 3 piece black suit and black bola wearing devil. The movie is set thousands of years in the past then we jump to present day London where Dr. Parnassus' has an old style carnival mystic side show set up on a flat bed attached to an ancient looking horse drawn carriage. There we get introduced to the world behind the mirror, a dream world that looks like it was inspired by Dr. Suess on psychedelics. The movie was directed by Terry Guilliam of Mighty Python fame, who is also an artist. The dream world is a CG lovers dream and I found that it was particularly well done.

This movie will always be known as Heath Ledger's last role and he was wonderful in it. His performance as Tony, an amnesic smooth talking stranger with a shady past is both engaging and totally believable. He was truly gifted and obviously engrossed himself in his roles. SPOILER ALERT: Caution to all, his character's entrance in the movie(hanging from a hangman's noose) may be a bit harsh for some considering his death.

As Heath's death occurred before the film was completed Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrel take turns reprising Heath's role as Tony. It was fun to see how each actor brought their "individual" personalities to the role. Johnny was impish, comedic and flirtatious. Jude was flawlessly handsome, vain and self-centered. Colin was head strong, brooding and conceited with a violent streak. The replacements work as Johnny, Jude and Colin appear as Tony only in the dream world. I thought that Heath's face should have been re-imposed over Colin's at the end to keep the continuity of the film but I think that may have been too much emotionally to see on screen.

Unfortunately, the great performances by Heath and Johnny could not save this film. It's too slow, too long and too weird. There was a chance to save it if they had the story more on the conventional Christian view of good v.s. evil but I think they tried to be too different and it fell flat. Also, a young Christopher Plummer look alike should have been used for the flashback scenes playing scenes with a 2 year old instead of 70 something year old Plummer with hair dyed dark. They also should have shown us more of Anton's back story and the love story with the doctor's daughter pre-Tony's appearance. Verne Troyer role could also have been expanded as he did very well and I wanted to learn more about his character.

As a Christian, I was very turned off by the depictions of foreign gods and pagan or sacrilegious story lines and I even considered leaving at one point. Also, the use of black face when Troyer pretended to be an orphaned black child and kohl used to simulate the slanted ?Asian eyes of the white mystics is definitely racist and should be stopped.

My view:
Skip it!

Neither Johhny, Jude nor Colin were at the premiere because as the directors said, "they all have real jobs and are busy working on films". I did get to see Christopher Plummer real close as he entered from a side curtain when the remaining cast was introduced. He is a stately looking older gentle man with lovely posture and he bowed politely as he received a standing "o". There will be a tribute for Mr. Plummer on Thursday after The Last Station, a movie in which he plays Leo Tolstoy.

I don't know if there was an after party for the movie but it was bitterly cold and I hurried home to rest up for the next day.

AFI Film Fest: Day 2 & 3

AFI Fest Day 2: Saturday 10/31/09
I skipped AFI Film Fest on Day 2 because I was still recouping and I really didn't want to be in Hollywood on Halloween night.

Day 3 Precious Movie premiere

Honestly, I only went to this movie premiere because I got free tickets to the red carpet premiere in Hollywood and every black star imaginable (Will Smith, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Tyler Perry, MoNique...) was in attendance. After seeing the movie, I felt that Monique's portrayal of Mary (as depraved as she is) is in deed Oscar worthy and a wide detour from her usual comedic roles. I got a chance to hug Mo'Nique and I tell her so and I admit that that was exciting.

That said, I will not read "Push", the book that the movie was based on, and I probably never will. This may sound harsh but it is just not my type of read and the subject matter way too jarring. You see, I worked with abused children and teens for over 20 years and I know many tragic stories first hand so I prefer books and movies that help me forget.

Precious Movie Review:
To me, the movie is more of a composite of the lives of many abused teens not the life of one abused girl. The movie hopes to impress on us that hope can prevail over a "ton" of trauma, abuse and low self esteem and I think it did on some levels. I hope that the viewers see that it doesn't matter Precious' race or skin complexion, her economics, her poundage or her urban setting because the real issue here is sexual abuse and how one overcomes it.

I felt that this movie was as hopeful as one can be with the difficult subject matter. It also has some of the years best acting perfor-mances. Gabriel Sidibe, as Precious, in her acting role and the afore mentioned MoNique are sure to be nominated and MoNique may indeed win.

I also found the use of flashbacks and dream sequences to help diffuse the heaviness of scenes just simply inspired. Were they used in the book?

Despite all the dark trauma there were also a few strong Christian images portrayed in the movie. I especially liked this small scene:

Precious and her baby have escaped a murderous attempt by her crazy mother. She runs into the cold and down the street as it begins snowing. She looks around for a kind face or shelter but people just walk by her on the busy New York streets. Was I the only one who felt that for a minute they reminded me of Mary and baby Jesus, out in the cold with child in hand and "with no room in the inn" ?

Precious spies a small church and stops hopefully. She presses her face up against the window and peers inside like a little kid. She sees 4-5 people in a choir practicing a Christmas hymm on the altar in the empty church. The choir members look a bit ragged with missing teeth, stooped over, thin. From their meager clothing you can tell that they are poor (maybe they are also suffering from illnesses, old age or are recovering addicts etc.) but they are singing and praising the Lord from the heart.

Precious goes into a fantasy sequence and she imagines the choir on a big performance stage with lights. They are singing and clapping their hands joyously in new shiny blue statin choir robes and they are standing straight and upright with faces all perfectly made up, hair done and teeth fixed. The camera pulls back and a near neon bright cross glows over head. Precious smiles at the sight and takes a big inhale of hope and encouragement and continues on her way.

It seems to me that a lot of the movie was "over kill" and it depicted social workers, teachers and medical professionals, who were charged to teach, monitor or care for Precious, very negatively. For those who don't know, we all are required by law to make a report or call the police even at the suspicion of any abuse or neglect, yet Precious tells of her abuse repeatedly and no cops ever appear.

I spent the last 15 minutes of the movie cowering behind my hands and thinking "what possible hell can be next for this child"? I was already waiting for the other shoe to drop but I still feel that the last bombshell about the father could have been omitted and the story worked just as well. I also think that the two child actors(?), an infant and a toddler with Down's Syndrome, were exposed to harsh words and violent images.

White or light is right?
Precious fantasied about being white and having a light-skinned boyfriend as a way to shield herself or to escape from her abuse but it also reflects poor racial self esteem. Because her case was so extreme her fantasies are extreme. As this fact may be lost on most non-blacks, I felt at times the film did air "our dirty laundry" in the worst way. If you are black and sensitive to this subject then it may be best that you view this movie in a theater with a predominantly black audience. I say this as a size 18 black woman after viewing Precious in a racially mixed crowd at the famed Mann's Chinese Theater. We were surrounded by some of the most accomplished black actors and millionaires yet I was sitting in front of a white man who hummed the theme from Shaft when any black man came on screen. He also made frequent negative comments and laughed way too hard at inappropriate times during the movie.

Appearently there has also been some controversy over the complexion of and the casting choice of Paula Patton for Ms. Rain. I didn't know that the character was depicted as dark with natural hair (dread locks) so the substitution of someone so different could have been bad for the film but PP did such a good job of showing her care and concern for Precious that it didn't matter in the end for me. Precious and PP's connection really rang true to me on screen and that should be all that matters. There have been rumors of the director, Lee Daniels's preference for light skinned actresses but I think that Mr. Daniels casted all the actors based on good screen tests and ability and not their complexions as none of family's complexions matched up on screen (ala The Cosby Show) nor should it matter.

However, in the real world, race and complexion prejudices do exist and it is time people get over them! Also, the "white people to the rescue" attitude, as depicted in film and TV, needs to stop now! I am especially thinking this as I see the trailers for Invictus. With Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela who needs Matt Damon and rugby?!

After the premiere, I was fortunate to meet many of the stars as they were leaving the theater including Will Smith, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Mario Lopez, NBA's Avery Johnson and more. I wrangeled photo ops for my Australian friends, Alisa and Rachel and a local photo journalist named Kat. We didn't get an invite to the after party but I heard that a SAG insider said that it was great and that Oprah attended.
You can see some of the pics at Kat's website but I can't vouch for the content.

Addendum: Oprah calls it quits!
I have been over Oprah and her TV show for years now so I wasn't bummed by the news. I just pray that she is blessed and that she gives God the praise.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

B**** and the Plague of Primetime Profanity

I have been complaining about the rampant use of profanity since the start of the new 2009 Fall TV season. The "b" word is the one I hear most frequently now and, sadly, it is often being said on air by women to other women, by husbands to their wives or by children. For example:

Parks and Recreation (NBC)aired Thurs 11/5/09
B**** said at 8:15 pm husband about wife

NCIS LA (CBS) Sat 11/7/09
B**** said husband about wife

Law and Order (NBC) Sat 11/7/09
B**** said at 9:45 pm by mugger about female victim

Biggest Loser (NBC) 11/10/09
B**** said by trainer to contestants

The Adventures of Old Christine
B**** said at 8:25 pm by woman about another woman

The Amazing Race (CBS) Sunday

B**** said at 8:17 pm by one gay brother to another

30 Rock (NBC)

(pre-teen?)Tracey Jr. says B**** at 9:40 pm

Reality TV or scripted, b**** is the new "in" word. What I want to know is exactly when did we loose our moral compass? If this offends you like it does me, then contact the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) at They will investigate your claim and can fine the networks if they deem it necessary.

Better yet, just turn the channel. I have been turning the channel away from the networks and cable and I have been enjoying great family shows and movies on Ion and This. I have also been enjoying do-it-yourself programs on HGTV and the Food Network as well as great praise and worship on the Worship Network, DayStar and TBN.