Sheldon Candis’ heart-breaking reality of LUV, starring Common, arrives in theaters January 18, 2013

(L to R) Charles S. Dutton, Common and Michael rainey, Jr. in the Sheldon Candis directed Urban drama LUV.

*The Sheldon Candis’ directed heart-breaking reality of LUV, starring Common (American Gangster) and Michael Rainey, Jr., arrives in theaters January 18, 2013. The Rated PG Urban drama also stars Charles S. Dutton (“Fame”), Dennis Haysbert (“24”), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Meagan Good (Stomp the Yard), Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”), and Lonette McKee (Malcolm X).

“I’ve actually been around someone near death,” said rapper/actor Common about a death scene he portrays in the film LUV where he plays a troubled Uncle just out of prison who for a day mentors his nephew about “Urban life.” “When I get into a character I allow what comes out, to come out…when I’m done I am drained. I give myself to the role.”

Common gave his everything to this role of Vincent, the Uncle to 11 year-old Woody Watson (Rainey, Jr.) determined to teach him how to be a man in the streets of Baltimore, my home-town. Common give an award winning performance of a black man surviving on the streets of Baltimore, one of the most crime filled cities in the country. Young Woody is like a sponge, soaking it all up and it helps to save his life in the end.

Lonette McKee plays Woody’s grandmother forced to care for him, whose mother is in rehab and father is out of the picture. Uncle Vincent – fresh from doing eight years in prison – wants desperately to go straight by opening up a business, but the ‘streets’ just won’t let him. LUV is a powerful Urban drama that left me in tears because of its brutal truth.

Haysbert plays Mr. Fish the Baltimore crime boss that says Vincent can go straight only after one more drug deal. Danny Glover plays the crime boss’ brother Arthur. This ‘situation’ forces young Woody to make a very mature decision – follow his mentor or not.

The Indomina Releasing presentation, LUV, arrives at AMC theaters January 18, 2013. LUV is produced by Datari Turner, Jason Michael Berman, W. Michael Jenson, Gordon Bijelonic, Joel Newton, James R. Rosenthal, Common and Derek Dudley. Written by Candis and Justin Wilson, LUV’s trailer can be seen at www.LUVTheFilm.com.

Derrick Pearson and New Covenant’s ‘You and Me Time’ is a two-disk life changer

Derrick Pearson and New Covenant.

*Winners of the 2012 EnSound Music Award for best music video (“If This Was Real Love”), Derrick Pearson and New Covenant offers a two-disk life changer with their new project “You and Me Time.” You get Praise & Worship wrapped-up in the flavor of R&B and Jazz.

When listing my favorite cuts on the project I started to stop and just say the whole offering is a masterpiece, but I had to list some of the outstanding ones.

“Originally the motivation for ‘You and Me Time’ was what I was seeing,” said Pearson. “A lot of our leaders (in the body of Christ) were falling…not taking the time to find out where we are. It is to encourage us to spend more time in the body of Christ. It will change us and get us back on track.”

I felt like I was in church listening to the project, with its lyrics it spoke so much of the truth in an offering of 16 musical selections on each disk – a total of 32 “love offerings.” Distributed by Central South/Infinity “You and Me Time” has vocals by Al Johnson, Minister Kathy Horry, Charlita Claiborne, Minister Shakina Dunbar, and New Covenant members Adrian Gause, Tahesha Jones, Dennis Jenkins, Shari Pearson, Rita Hollins and Chip Austin.

My favorites include “I Do Believe,” a sweet love song which brought tears to my eyes and also I loved the lead guitar support; “My Trust” for its Caribbean feel – a marching to glory song; “I Was Glad” because I loved the harmonica support and it’s a great Praise & Worship song; “If This Were Really Love,” a great Contemporary Gospel song about waiting for marriage to be intimate – with some very sweet vocals; “Please Don’t Cry” is a heartfelt promise to God and I also love the vocals on this one too; “True Love Waits,” a sweet plea; “Calvary” is a hot number with awesome lead guitar support – love that old-school R&B feel too; “Nevertheless,” a nice selection about haters delivered on a smooth Jazz plate – love the harmonica support here too and it end with a little country flavor – vocals are tight on this one too; “Empty” for its old-school feel, and “Trust in the Word” because it is reminiscent of The Whispers’ trademark sound, which Pearson had a hand in.

For more on Derrick Pearson and New Covenant’s “You and Me Time” two-disk project log onto www.IAmMusic.com.

(Columnist: Eunice Moseley is a PR/media & promotions consultant, and as well as a syndicated entertainment columnist for over 20 years – www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)