All posts by EurWebWriter

pixels - king kong

EURweb in the House for ‘Pixels’ NYC Premiere (Video – Watch)

Pixel2

*”Pixels opened in theaters nationwide on Friday July 24 and is on track for and opening weekend box office talley of $25 million.

Starring Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, Kevin James,  Michelle Monoghan and Peter Dinklage, and directed by Christopher Columbus, “Pixels” tells the story of an alien civilization capturing images of 80s video game, interpreting them as an attack, and sending an attack fleet composed of characters from games such as Pac Man, Centipede, Galaga and others to pixelate the entire human race.

Sandler, Gad, and Kevin James are forced into action and tasked with saving the world.

Last week EURweb was on the red carpet at the Regal Theater in New York City in anticipation of the Big Apple premiere of the comedy.

We were able to get our cameras in the faces of young actors Adam Banbridge, Anthony Ippolito, Jared Riley as well as comic actor Affion Crocket, actor and producer Adam Covert, and screenwriter Tim Herlihy.

Also, actress Lala Anthony tells reporters why she absolutely loves Taraji P. Henson and much more.  Check it out!

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The Sights and Sounds of 44th Annual African Arts Festival (Video)

Kweli

This year’s 44th Annual African Arts Festival enjoyed mostly favorable weather and a robust crowd over the course of three days as festival goers from across the greater Brooklyn metropolitan area to enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds and positive atmosphere that personified the entire weekend.

In addition to traditional and culturally relevant garb, dance and jewelry, attendees enjoyed music from across the African Diaspora’s creative spectrum as Living Colour, Norman Connors (You Are My Starship), and BK’s own Talib Kweli graced the stageThe C’Orte D Ivoire-based dance group, Mamadou Dahoue and the Ancestral Messengers wowed the audience as well and Ayanna Gregory, daughter of famed author Dick Gregory, returned to show love as well.

The Bambara Dance and Drum Ensemble; and the George Gray Jazz Coalition, the Michael Jazz Trio, and the Ifetayo Youth Ensemble each were in prize form as well. The 5 dollar admission was well worth the price.

The festival also featured a martial arts demonstration a daily children’s program, the African Majesty Fashion Show, a chess tournament, a youth natural hair parade, a barber competition,

The Commodore Barry Park location was ideal.    The International African Arts Festival (IAAF) began in 1971 as a fundraiser for the Uhuru Sasa School, a community-based initiative that educated youth and adults about African culture.

Past performers include The Mighty Sparrow, Fela Kuti, Hugh Masakela, KRS-1, Doug E. Fresh, Third World, Erykah Badu, India Arie, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and many other. Check out the video of this year’s happenings.

Stephen twitch Boss (Magic Mike XXL)

Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss Talks Role in ‘Magic Mike XXL’ and More

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*Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, “Magic Mike XXL has been doing work at the box offices for the past week or so. There are no giant robots, no superheroes and no ravenous aliens, but the Warner Bros. film has been  duking it out with the big dogs of the summer blockbuster season and is giving more lumps than it is taking.

According to deadline.com, 96 percent of the film’s audience were women. Considering you have a movie with Channing Tatum taking his shirt off, it’s no big surprise the gender split of the audience is overwhelmingly in favor of women.

Box Office Mojo reports that Magic Mike XXL beat out Terminator Genisys on opening day, but is currently fourth behind Jurassic World, Inside Out and Terminator Genisys in gate receipts this past July 4th weekend.

His name is Stephen “tWitch” Boss. I recently had the opportunity to talk to tWitch, spelling is correct, about his role in “Magic Mike XXL,” what it was like on the set with Channing Tatum, Ms. Pinkett Smith and more.

Ricardo A. Hazell: What were your first thoughts when presented with the script for “Magic Mike XXL?”

tWitch: I was really excited. For whatever reason, perhaps something in the ether out there, but I had been putting it in my mind that, once I found out there was going to be a sequel to Magic Mike, that I was going to be in it. When it came into fruition it was really exciting.

RH: This is a film about male exotic dancers. Individuals who dance for whomever has the money to pay, male or female, gay or straight. Some men just are not comfortable enough to be objectified by women let alone gay men. Did you have any initial reservations about some of the content?

tWitch: I was 100 percent comfortable because, artistically, it’s been part of the world that I grew up in as far as the profession , the craft and the artform.  As an artist, we really don’t have that macho thing. There’s a certain tolerance level. Let’s be real, I’m a dancer. For me to be worried about entertaining gay audiences or anything like that would be ridiculous.  For me, I never really worried about it because that’s the world that I came up in. I’m completely supportive of that. There’s no hesitance. To be quite honest, I think there’s something for anyone who’s comfortable enough to see this movie.

RH: Admittedly, I wouldn’t have seen this movie on my own dollar. However, I am glad I did see it. It is entertaining. What would you say to convince more men to give the film a chance?

tWitch: Even with the dudes taking their clothes off and stuff like that, guys would want to take a road trip like the characters are taking in the film. You think about all of the homies that you would like to jump in the car with and take a ride across the country, stopping at dance places and stuff like that. They would be gone! So, the characters are people that anyone can relate to if they’re comfortable enough to see it, then see it.

RH: What was the day-to-day atmosphere like on set while shooting?

tWitch: From top to bottom, it was all good vibes. From the rehersal classes all the way through the filming. I didn’t know how it was going to be coming into a movie with guys who are making a sequel. You got the camaraderie they’ve already established from the first one. You know, a bond. So, bring in new cast members might be tricky. But there was none of that. It was all open arms. Everybody was great, everybody was supportive or learning the choreography, perfecting the choreography and, when it came to shooting , we were all excited to see each other doing well. It was a blast making the whole thing. I think that probably jumped off the screen because it was genuine.

RH: What was it like working with Channing Tatum?

tWitch: One of the best experiences that I’ve had professionally. He’s such a good dude. That’s really an understatement, but that’s the best that I can say. Hard to put it in words. He’s just a good, genuine, down-to-earth cat. To me, that speaks volumes because that’s literally Channing Tatum. I think he could rule a big part of the country if he wanted to. But he never talks to you like he’s speaking down on anyone. Never, never, never. To me, that’s such an incredible thing. Then, why would you ever want it to be any other way? Why would you want to work with someone who is not like that?

RH: What was it like working with the Queen, Ms. Jada Pinkett Smith?

tWitch: It’s Jada. Say no more. For me, she was one of the huge staples of the movie. What she brought to the role I felt it was incredibly empowering. Her delivery of her dialogue. And, also, she created her dialogue. She kind of came in and dived in head first about what it would be to be this person and offer these things and why it would make sense, and make you believe it.

You felt empowered just watching her as they were filming it. We all felt good about what we were doing. Even though she was saying lines it made sense for that world. I think it was something that needs to be seen to be appreciated. The variety of entertainment in the movie is something the viewers will not be ready for. It goes far beyond just dancing and all of that.

RH: Is there anything that you might having coming up down the road that I neglected to ask you about?

tWitch: In the dance realm. So You Think You Can Dance is coming on. It already started and I am a mentor for ten of the candidates. They’re going to be street dancers. They switched the format up this season to be street versus stage. They have 20 contestants, ten of them are stage dancers who have been training all of their lives in dance studios. They’re mentored by Travis Wall. Then you have ten contestants that are street dancers and they’re mentored by me. Comes on every Monday on Fox.

Secondly, I’m part of a company called CLI Studios, where we’re making the dance world a little smaller. We’re offering dance classes from professional choreographers online. It’s called CLI Studios.

You can catch tWitch in “Magic Mike XXL” or tune in to see him educate up-and-coming talent on “So You Think You Can Dance.” In the mean time, if you can follow Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss on Twitter @official_twitch.

anthony anderson & tracee ellis ross1a

Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross Steal the Show at BET Awards

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The 2015 BET Awards shaped up to be very best in a five year stretch of very good BET Awards shows.

As is often the case, the very best stars in the Black pantheon of entertainment elite, as well as trans-racially affiliated white artists, were in attendance to a BET Awards that was expertly hosted by the comic styling of Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson of the hit ABC comedy “Black-ish.”

From the very beginning, the dynamic duo successfully and seamlessly segue between silly skits, award presentation and snappy repartee in between performances by P. Diddy, Lil’ Kim and the rest of Bad Boy,  The Weeknd and Alicia Keyes, Big Sean, Chris Brown, Nikki Minaj and Meek Mills, as well as French Montana, Patti LaBelle and many more. The legendary MC Lyte used her signature vocals to punctuate the evening’s festivities as the lead announcer as well.

Despite the great performance turned in by Diddy, there were quite a few chuckles as he fell through an opening in the stage. However, the saying is the show must go on, and he continued on in true showmanship fashion without a hitch.

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“Empire” was definitely in the house as Jussie Smollett, Yazz and Serayah performed as well. Meanwhile, Smoke Robinson shut ‘em all down with a speech that both admonished younger performers for their narccisism, but uplifted them for their talents as well.

Sam Smith won the BET Award for Best New Artist. But Anderson accepted the award in his place wearing a hysterical toupee based upon the crooner’s actual hairstyle.

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Michael B. Jordan, star of summer blockbuster hopeful The Fantastic Four, gave a rousing tribute to those who fell to police brutality, as well as acknowledgement of those who have fought white supremacy from Ferguson, North Charleston, Los Angeles, New York and all places in between.  This is significant seeing as though the absence of such overtures on other shows drew the ire of the Black digital illuminate.

Homage to Janet Jackson performed by Tinashe, Jason Derulo, Ciara and was capped by an appearance by Ms.  Jackson herself to accept the Ultimate Icon Award.

As usual, there were naturally many different individuals in the media and in the blogosphere as well who felt the BET Awards haven’t changed one bit. However, I can recall a time of industry tensions among artists, rampant beef on wax and behind the scenes, horrid performances and an all around adversarial atmosphere between new and old artists. This award show was filled with love, stellar performances and tributes to the greats.  But whether one enjoyed it or not, it’s still about entertainment. Were you not amused? All and all, we ain’t mad at the 2015 BET Awards.

Here’s a complete list of last night’s winners.

Best New Artist
Dej Loaf
Fetty Wap
Rae Sremmurd
Sam Smith** WINNER 
Tinashe

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Azealia Banks
Nicki Minaj** WINNER
Tink
Iggy Azalea
Trina
Dej Loaf

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
J. Cole
Drake
Common
Kendrick Lamar** Winner
Big Sean
Wale

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Beyoncé** WINNER
Janelle Monáe
Jhené Aiko
Ciara
Rihanna
K. Michelle

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
The Weeknd
John Legend
Trey Songz
Usher
August Alsina
Chris Brown** WINNER 

Best Group
A$AP Mob
Migos
Rae Sremmurd ** WINNER
Rich Gang
Young Money
Jodeci

Best Collaboration
Chris Brown – “Loyal (feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga)”
Big Sean – “I Don’t F**k with You (feat. E-40)”
August Alsina – “No Love (Remix) [feat. Nicki Minaj]”
Common & John Legend – “Glory” ** WINNER
Chris Brown – “New Flame (feat. Usher & Rick Ross)”
Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)”

Best Actress
Gabrielle Union
Kerry Washington
Taraji P. Henson ** WINNER
Tracee Ellis Ross
Viola Davis

Best Actor
Anthony Anderson
Idris Elba
Jussie Smollett
Kevin Hart
Terrence Howard** WINNER

Youngstars Award
Jacob Latimore
Jaden Smith
fact
Quevenzhané Wallis
Zendaya

Best Movie
“Annie”
“Beyond the Lights”
“Selma” ** WINNER
“Think Like a Man Too”
“Top Five”

Best Gospel Artist
Deitrick Haddon
Erica Campbell
Fred Hammond
Lecrae ** WINNER
Mali Music
Michelle Williams

Video of the Year
Beyoncé – “7/11″ ** WINNER
Chris Brown – “New Flame (feat. Usher & Rick Ross)”
Chris Brown – “Loyal (feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga)”
Big Sean – “I Don’t F**k with You (feat. E-40)”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Common & John Legend – “Glory”

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom
Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Todd Tourso ** WINNER
Chris Robinson
Fatima Robinson
Hype Williams

Sportswoman of the Year
Brittney Griner
Candace Parker
Serena Williams ** WINNER
Skylar Diggins
Venus Williams

Sportsman of the Year
Chris Paul
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Lebron James
Marshawn Lynch
Stephen Curry ** WINNER

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
Beyoncé – “7/11″
Dej Loaf – “Try Me”
Kendrick Lamar – “i”
Nicki Minaj – “Only feat. Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown)” ** WINNER
Rae Sremmurd – “Throw Sum Mo (feat. Nicki Minaj & Young Thug)”
The Weeknd – “Earned It”

Centric Award
Avery Sunshine – “Call My Name”
Jazmine Sullivan – “Dumb (feat. Meek Mill)”
Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)”
Sam Smith – “Stay with Me (feat. Mary J. Blige)”
The Weeknd – “Earned It”** WINNER
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2015/06/the-complete-list-of-winners-2015-bet-awards/#x9vdpXGiS26ExvB2.99

 

christina l barr - book expo1

Black Authors Discuss their Craft at Book Expo of America (Video)

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*Recently I was in attendance at Book Expo of America 2015 at the Jacob Javitz Center on New York City’s far west side. 68 years in the making, the BEA serves as an annual mecca for big time publishing companies, independent publishers and authors from across the creative spectrum.

Indeed, it was a book lover’s dream simply walking through the center, flipping through the crisp pages of the latest novel by your favorite author, or marveling at the cover art by a relatively unknown penman.  However, for our audiences, diversity is not just the cause for a day, a week or even a month, but for an entire lifetime. To that end, I searched up and down the aisles over the course of the three day festival for Black authors that you may not have heard of, but whose work is original and interesting as well.

I came across authors Christina L. BarrK. Edwards and  Celia Mai in the author exhibition section within a stone’s throw of one another. Luckily, the camera was rolling as each  explained the ins and outs of their respective works.

Christina L. Barr (science fiction, fantasy) The Color of God’s Eyes:

K. Edwards (nonfiction narrative) The Five Nincompoops, the Princess and the Savior:

Celia Mai (science fiction, fantasy) Switched: Other Side of the Wormhole:

Seasac

EURweb Red Carpet Recap of the 19th Annual Sesac Pop Awards (WATCH)

2015 sesac awards

*Recently I was in the house amid the grand stone lion status of the New York Public Library in Manhattan to attend the 19th Annual Sesac Pop Awards.

Among the honorees for the evening Warner/Chappell Music president John Platt, who was presented with the Visionary Award by none other than Chuck D of Public Enemy, legendary DJ and producer Keith Shocklee, as well as Angela Hunte, Grammy Award-winning songwriter of the seminal New York anthem Empire State of Mind as performed by Alicia Keys and Jay Z.

Also in the building were Grammy Award-winning songwriters James Napier and William Phillips, winners of the Sesac Award for Song of the Year for Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” while Universal Tunes was named Publisher of the Year, producer Mike Free was in the house as well, nominated for a Sesac Award, along with DJ Marley Waters and many others.   Emerging singer and songwriter Miesa was in the building as well.

Check out some of our video interviews from the red carpet below.

Chuck D and Keith Shocklee

Songwriter William Phillips aka Tourist

Producer Mike Free

Singer-songwriter Miesa

 Check out the abbreviated list of winners below.

Songwriter of the Year: James Napier (PRS)

 Song of the Year: “Stay With Me”
Written by James Napier (PRS) & William Phillips (PRS)

Published by: Salli Isaak Music Publishing (PRS)
Method Paperwork LTD (PRS)
Universal Tunes

Publisher of the Year: Universal Tunes

Visionary Award: Jon Platt

SESAC Sync Music Award:
“Best Day of My Life”
Recorded by: American Authors
Written by Zac Barnett & James Shelley
Published by Zac Barnett Publishing, James Shelley Publishing, Round Hill Copyrights